By Emilie Krasnow
Every year on Town Meeting Day, I am filled with memories from my childhood. Charlotte Central School was closed, but we woke up early in my house to get ready to go to the meeting. We often drove through snow to get to the meeting (a memory very different from recent years with our trend toward warmer winters) and were welcomed into school with a smile from Cowboy Lewis. My parents walked me down to the babysitting room where 8th graders were charged with our care. Mom and Dad kissed me good-bye and went off to perform their civic responsibilities in the gym.
The best part was when the 8th graders walked us down to the gym to visit our parents and to watch the meeting for a few minutes. My dad, Gerry Krasnow, was on the school board and sat on the stage with the principal and other school board members for several years. I was very proud to see him up on that stage, as I was in later years when he addressed the community as Charlotte’s state representative to the Legislature. Following my dad’s passing, my sister, Alysia Krasnow Butler, had the honor of addressing the town when she filled my dad’s seat in the Legislature. Yes, Town Meeting was a family event.
When the meeting broke for lunch, my family and I joined the many town residents in line in the cafeteria. We waited with excitement to see what Mrs. Atkins and Mrs. Preston had prepared for lunch. Great conversations were overheard at the cafeteria tables as we gobbled up the delicious treats that were there for us. Then it was time for the grown-ups to return to the gym and for us to go back to the music room to be “watched.”
When I remember those feelings of pride and engagement in town affairs, I realize it was my first introduction to what has become a significant passion of mine—being politically active and working to make real change in the lives of Vermonters. Having had the opportunities to work on state-wide political campaigns as well as to be a part of Senator Sanders’ campaign for president, I know that those early years attending Town Meeting with my family had a significant impact on my life.
Now it’s your turn to be part of our community’s future. Please join me at Town Meeting on March 7 and be part of the change you want to see.