I am writing this letter today in support of my wife Kiah Morris and her bid for the vacant seat as Vermont State Representative in our District 2-2. First I want to thank Anne Mook as she retires from this position after the many years of service she has given to our community and I wish her luck in all that she plans to do in the future.
As a lifelong resident of Bennington I have owned and operated several businesses such as J.R.’s Limousine Svc., Legacy Homes and J.R.’s Auto Sales, as well as having managed several other prominent local companies. I can bear true witness to the love Kiah has for this community. She hit the ground running the very first week she was here when she volunteered for P.A.V.E (Project Against Violent Encounters) as a hotline responder and soon after became employed at P.A.V.E., as they saw her work ethic and her deep desire to help people. Kiah has been deeply involved with such important community work ever since. Her regional community-based work for groups like P.A.V.E, Center for Restorative Justice, Alliance for Community Transformations and SVMC are just a few examples of her passion for this community. She has served as Vice President of the board for the Coalition for the homeless and is currently a member of the Bennington County Prescription Drug Task Force. She is also a long-standing Policy Council member for the Bennington County head Start -- and this is just a short list of the things she does, which just keeps growing every day.
Through her work, and without any platform or political connection, she has been already doing the work that needs to be done to create a healthy and vibrant Bennington. Kiah has been a part of policy changes both locally and statewide and continues to forge relationships with key people on a local and state level both here and in our neighboring states which has brought hundreds of thousands of dollars into our community. She is real, she is passionate, she is sincere and honest in her life long quest to improve life for everyone around her. She has had a long standing relationship with Bernie Sanders and his office and most recently has become friends with Ex-Governor Madeline Kunin who was a mentor in the Emerge Program Kiah recently graduated from.
Kiah will continue to work hard for everyone in our community and our state no matter what your party affiliation is and she has an innate ability to get people to the table that have refused, in the past, to speak to each other. Her decision to run did not come without great care and thought. As my wife and the mother of my son, we understand clearly how important this role will be for the future of the town I grew up in and am now raising our son in. A vote for Kiah Morris on Tuesday, August 26 will be a vote for a qualified candidate with a life-long history of collaboration and results. As a former business owner, manager, entrepreneur and current college student I ask you please place a vote for Kiah Morris on Tuesday, August 26. She will not let us down.
JAMES "J.R." LAWTON