How should Vermont recover from the COVID-19 crisis?

The Local Support and Community Action Team, part of the Governor’s Economic Recovery Task Force, has organized virtual COVID-19 recovery visits in all 14 Vermont counties in the next several months.

The Lamoille County event is scheduled Thursday, Sept. 24, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

The action team’s job is to plan regional and community recovery efforts and to ensure a fair distribution of resources, especially in rural areas and underserved populations.

Residents and business and organizational leaders will be invited to discuss challenges and share ideas for the recovery efforts.

After a brief opening session, participants can join breakout discussions on topics chosen by a local steering community. Possible topics include telecommunications, business, education and child care, community unity, racial inequities, buy-local campaigns, housing and food access.

Federal, state, nonprofit and business leaders will be at each forum to outline ideas for resources and support, and to explain recovery strategies discussed at earlier events.

The first visit was last Thursday in Franklin County. Other visits, all from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., include:

  • Caledonia County, Aug. 6.
  • Essex County, Aug. 20.
  • Orleans County, Sept. 3.
  • Washington County, Sept. 10.
  • Addison County, Sept. 17.
  • Lamoille County, Sept. 24.
  • Grand Isle County, Oct. 1.

Information: vtrural.org/recovery or 802-223-6091. The registration period for each visit will open two weeks before the event.

Team Roster

Paul Costello, executive director of the Vermont Council on Rural Development, leads the Local Support and Community Action Team. Josh Hanford, commissioner of the Vermont Department of Housing and Community Development, is the state liaison.

Other team members are Maura Collins, executive director, Vermont Housing Finance Agency; Xusana Davis, executive director, Vermont Office of Racial Equity; Catherine Dimitruk, executive director, Northwest Vermont Regional Planning Commission; Paul Dragon, executive director, Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity; Oliver Olsen, director, Workday, Londonderry; Nick Richardson, president, Vermont Land Trust; Jude Smith Rachele, CEO, Abundant Sun; Lisa Sullivan, owner, Bartleby’s Bookstore, Wilmington; Ed Vilandrie, founder, Altman Vilandrie & Co. and co-owner of Kingdom Taproom, Peacham; Sarah Waring, vice president, Vermont Community Foundation.

Many executives from state agencies are also part of the effort.

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