October 10, 2011, Brattleboro Reformer, Chris Garofolo
BRATTLEBORO — A Brattleboro lawmaker was recently honored with a women’s action award for her work in the legislative process.
State Rep. Sarah Edwards, P/D-Brattleboro, was presented the 2011 Pacesetter Award from the Women Legislators’ Lobby of the Women’s Action for New Directions during a September conference in Washington, D.C.
“It is wonderful to be recognized for one’s work. It gives you encouragement to continue,” Edwards said.
In mid-September, she attended the Women at the Table of Power conference to strategize about how women can help change national priorities. The event provided women lawmakers the opportunity to network with policy activists and other luminaries to find political common ground on education and economic issues.
During the event, Edwards was recognized with the award for her contributions to sound progressive policies and her focus on the defense budget.
“Our leaders in D.C. battle endlessly over how to allocate our resources. Pentagon spending all too often funnels billions of dollars toward outmoded weapons that were originally intended to fight the Cold War,” she said.
“We can pinpoint extremes in wasteful expenditures that do nothing to make us safer. Redirecting those dollars into education, health, transportation and infrastructure can provide the jobs and services that are desperately needed in communities across Vermont and America,” Edwards continued. “We cannot afford to stand on the sidelines for this debate. I went to Washington, D.C., to advocate for a budget that grows the economy and protects the essential programs on which my constituents rely.”
Edwards also mentioned her work on nuclear accountability and push to protect critical education and health care programs.
“We need to invest in the economy and create good jobs, and we need to be smart about where we put our money,” she said. “As we focus on the budget and the economy, I am weighing in for a robust state-federal partnership to ensure the necessary resources and services are in place for our citizens. We must protect vital programs and insist that Pentagon spending be scrutinized for savings as well.”
Edwards has been involved with WiLL, a Washington-based network of women state legislators, for eight years.
State Sen. Nan Grogan Orrock, A Georgia Democrat and president of the Women Legislators’ Lobby, said WiLL was delighted to recognize Edwards for her commitment to excellence and a resolve to hear the voices of all women.
“We chose Rep. Edwards from among our nearly 700 members because of her consistent efforts, in her community, with her Statehouse colleagues, and on Capitol Hill, to make the connections between our nation’s military budget and state budget priorities,” Orrock said.
“A strong advocate for her constituents, Rep. Edwards also brings their voices to the Washington budget debate, seeking to protect critical funding for education, health, and human services and to expose the bloated Pentagon spending on outdated weapons systems that consumes far too much of our precious resources,” Orrock added.