Sen. Michael Sirotkin, a democrat from South Burlington, is hoping Vermonters will give him another term in the Senate. He wants to apply his experience to address fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sirotkin made his senate debut in 2014, filling the seat of his late wife, Sen. Sally Fox. Sirotkin was appointed to the position by then-Gov. Peter Shumlin and has been re-elected to the seat every vote since.
“It’s great to be in a position where you can address the problems of the state and address state policy issues that I care about,” Sirotkin said.
Sirotkin’s priorities include economic justice, income inequality, housing issues and consumer protection issues. As a two-term chair of the Senate Economic Development Policy Committee Sirotkin said he has been able to work on these, and he’s hopingto continue the work in a fourth term.
Though Sirotkin isn’t a Vermont native, he has called the Green Mountains home for about 50 years. He moved to the state after landing an internship with a law firm in Burlington while studying in Colorado to earn his law degree. After the internship, the Burlington firm offered him a job, cementing his move.
Sirotkin went on to marry Sally Fox moving to Essex, where they lived and raised their two sons for 15 years. The couple moved once more to South Burlington, where Sirotkin has been since. He has served on the city’s development review board, Red Rocks Committee, Board of Civil Authority and as a Justice of the Peace.
If re-elected to the senate, Sirotkin anticipates addressing COVID-19 will be the greatest challenge. But he feels prepared, having already learned to navigate legislating in the age of social distancing this spring.
“When COVID hit we stopped going to the State House and we did all our meetings through the end of June by Zoom. I welcome the challenge, I welcome doing the work to help navigate us through this crisis and come out on top at the other end,” he said.
“In terms of running again, I think it’s important that some of us have this experience now and that programs have been established and we need to follow through on them,” he continued.
Another challenge, he said, will be addressing the state’s demographics – an aging population with young Vermonters leaving for opportunity elsewhere.
He believes there is an opportunity to attract more young professionals to the state.
With another term as senator, Sirotkin would like to see the state’s minimum wage reach $15 and a paid family and medical leave bill reintroduced and passed.
“I just feel I bring a lot of experience to the job. I have been respected by my fellow citizens, by quickly being appointed chair of an important committee,” Sirotkin said. “I love my work and I love representing the people of Chittenden County.”