Secretary of State Deb Markowitz Presents the 2010 Democracy Awards - December 21, 2010
Secretary of State Seeking Nominations for 2011 Centennial Business Awards - December 7, 2010
Secretary of State-elect Condos to Attend New Secretary of State Orientation - December 6, 2010
December 21, 2010
Contact: Ginny Colbert (802) 828-2148
Secretary of State Deb Markowitz Presents the 2010 Democracy Awards
Seven Vermont citizens and organizations were honored in a statehouse ceremony.
Montpelier. Vermont Secretary of State Deb Markowitz presented the 2010 Democracy Awards to seven Vermont citizens and organizations at a ceremony at the Vermont Statehouse on December 21.
“These awards honor people who have promoted the tenets of democracy in Vermont. Each of this year’s recipients is a shining example of leadership in the democratic process,” says Markowitz.
The National Association of Secretaries of State Medallion Award will be presented to Frank Bryan, University of Vermont professor and author; the Burlington Free Press; and John Cushing, Milton Town Clerk/Treasurer.
Receiving the Vermont Secretary of State’s Enduring Democracy Award are student interns Ellie Beckett, Katie Levasseur, and Courtney Mattison who helped usher through Proposition 5; and Susan Clark, Middlesex town moderator and author.
The Medallion Award was established by the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) in 2001 to honor individuals, groups, or organizations with a record of promoting the goals of NASS in one or more of the following areas: improving elections, with special emphasis on voter education and increasing voter participation; civic education, including the teaching, promotion, and study of this subject; and service to state government--specifically, as it relates to improving democracy in the state.
The Vermont Secretary of State Enduring Democracy Award honors individuals and organizations that have shown an outstanding commitment to promoting democracy in the Vermont.
Please visit www.sec.state.vt.us for more information about programs offered by the Secretary of State’s Office.
Frank Bryan, University of Vermont – Frank Bryan is considered an expert on Vermont politics, in particular Vermont’s town meeting tradition. He has authored several books and publications, including the 2005 “All Those in Favor: Rediscovering the Secrets of Town Meeting and Community.” Over the years he has been a vocal champion of Vermont local government and the town meeting tradition. In 2007 his testimony was instrumental in passing Act 124, making town meeting a holiday in Vermont.
Burlington Free Press - The newspaper is being honored for its extraordinary, bipartisan, in-depth coverage of Vermont’s election. In addition to its regular election coverage, the Burlington Free Press posed questions to the candidates and published candidate responses on its front page and on its opinion page almost daily for months leading up to the election. In addition, the newspaper hosted multiple live web debates and sponsored a political blog that kept Vermonters informed and engaged in the election process.
John Cushing – John Cushing has served as the Milton town clerk/treasurer for over 40 years! He is recognized as a leader among his peers and served as the president of the Vermont Municipal Clerks and Treasurers Association and on the secretary of state’s town clerk advisory committee. Over the years he has been instrumental in getting key legislation passed relating to the administration of elections in Vermont.
Ellie Beckett, Katie Levasseur, and Courtney Mattison - While interning in the Vermont State House, these three students proposed a constitutional amendment that would permit 17-year-olds who will be 18 by the time of the general election to vote in the primary election. They put this forward to Senator Jeanette White and testified on the merits of the amendment (which became known as Proposition 5) before several legislative committees. The amendment passed out of two legislatures and Proposition 5 was approved by the citizens of Vermont in the 2010 general election.
Susan Clark – Susan Clark is being recognized for her commitment to enhancing Vermont's local democracy. Not only did she coauthor of "All Those In Favor: Rediscovering the Secrets of Town Meeting and Community," but she has been an ardent advocate of town meeting. Through her efforts we now permit towns to adopt a representative town meeting and individuals have the right to take town meeting day off from work. Not only has she contributed to enhancing democracy for the state of Vermont as a whole but she has contributed greatly to her own town, spearheading efforts to energize citizen participation and serving as the town moderator.
December 9, 2010
Secretary of State - Elect Jim Condos
Montpelier, VT - Secretary of State – Elect Jim Condos has selected Brian Leven of Stowe to be the new deputy secretary of state.
Brian has strong, relevant experience to be the deputy secretary. Brian has spent the last 12 years as an attorney for the Vermont Legislative Council. During that time he has served as counsel for the House and Senate Committees on Government Operations and the Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules. These three committees are important committees for legislation pertaining to activities and operations of the secretary of state’s office.
In 2002, he staffed the Senate Reapportionment committee which was responsible for redistricting of House and Senate districts after the 2000 US Census. Reapportionment will again be taken up this biennium with completion of the 2010 Census. And, this past year, he served as counsel to the Government Accountability Committee which is monitoring the progress of Challenges for Change.
“I am excited to have Brian join my team,” said Secretary-elect Condos. “His knowledge and experience will prove invaluable as my office continues to serve Vermonters with positive outcomes.”
Brian Leven lives in Stowe, Vermont, with his wife, Jacquie, and two children, Augie and Talula. Brian grew up in Danville and St. Johnsbury, Vermont. He graduated from St. Johnsbury Academy, received a B.A. from the University of Vermont, and a J.D. from the University of Denver College of Law.
In addition to playing music, reading, and enjoying the outdoors, Brian serves as chair of the Stowe Development Review Board.
Jim Condos was elected to be Vermont’s secretary of state on November 2, 2010. Jim has over 20 years of elected public service including 18 years on South Burlington City Council, eight years as a Vermont state senator, along with over 30 years of private sector business experience.
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Contact: Ginny Colbert - 802-828-2148
Secretary of State-elect Jim
Condos To Attend
Montpelier, VT – Secretary of State-elect Jim Condos will attend an orientation for newly elected chief state election officials in Austin, Texas, on December 10-12 – co-hosted by the National Association of Secretaries of States and the Pew Center on the States.
This will be a new member orientation with a focus on elections. Some of the topics to be discussed are: Military and Overseas Voting, Voter Registration, Election Performance, and Redistricting.
“I’m looking forward to meeting with my elected colleagues from around the country,” said Secretary-elect Jim Condos. “It offers a valuable opportunity to learn what other states are doing in the election arena.”
The cost for this trip will not be borne by Vermont taxpayers.
Jim Condos was elected to be Vermont’s Secretary of State on November 2, 2010. Jim has over 20 years of elected public service including 18 years on South Burlington City Council, 8 years as a Vermont State Senator, along with over 30 years of private sector business experience.
Formed in 1904, the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) is the oldest non-partisan organization of major public officials in the United States. Members include the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands. NASS serves as a medium for the exchange of information between states and fosters cooperation in the development of public policy. Key initiatives include the areas of elections and voting, state business services, and digital archiving.
The Pew Center on the States is a division of The Pew Charitable Trusts that identifies and advances effective solutions to critical issues facing states. Pew is a nonprofit organization that applies a rigorous, analytical approach to improve public policy, inform the public and stimulate civic life.
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Is Your Business A Century Old?
Program Honors Vermont's Oldest Businesses
Montpelier. What do the Northfield Savings Bank, Johnson Woolen Mills, and the National Life Group have in common? All three were recipients of the Vermont Centennial Business Award. This program is a joint project of the Secretary of State’s office, the Vermont Chamber of Commerce, and the Vermont Business Magazine and honors businesses that have operated in Vermont for at least 100 years.
Secretary of State Deb Markowitz said, “We are currently seeking nominations for the 2011 ceremony. Any business that has been in operation in Vermont for 100 years or more can participate by filling out an application and providing verification of its business start date." Vermont's centennial businesses will be presented with a plaque at an awards ceremony in the spring.
“It is important to recognize Vermont's businesses for their longevity," said Secretary Markowitz. “It takes a tremendous amount of dedication to keep a business active for 100 years. The Vermont Centennial Business Award acknowledges Vermont's oldest businesses for enriching our economic heritage. This program deepens our understanding of how Vermont's businesses have enhanced our community life during the last 100 years.”
Deadline for applications is Friday, January 14, 2011. For more information about the awards program and to obtain an application, contact the Secretary of State’s office at 802-828-2148 or visit the Vermont Centennial Business Awards webpage at: http://www.sec.state.vt.us/centennial_business.html