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Why State Sen. Kesha Ram Hinsdale wants to represent Vermont in the US House

A photo of Kesha Ram Hinsdale in a purple scarf and patterned jacket outside in the snow.
State Sen. Kesha Ram Hinsdale announced her candidacy for the U.S. House of Representatives in January.

When Kesha Ram Hinsdale began her first term in the Vermont legislature in 2009, she was the youngest state lawmaker in the country. Now she's running for the U.S. House of Representatives. If elected in November, she would become the first woman and first person of color to represent Vermont on Capitol Hill. Ram Hinsdale joined Vermont Edition to share what she wants to accomplish in Washington, and why she thinks she’s the most qualified person for the job.

During her conversation with Mikaela Lefrak, Ram Hinsdale discussed her legislative experience representing the Chittenden District in the Vermont House and Senate. She would also be a committed advocate for Vermont's more rural communities if elected to Congress, she said.

"I have also been a champion for getting infrastructure dollars, investment into our more economically distressed, rural communities so that they can have meaningful access to broadband and transportation," she said.

Ram Hinsdale said that her number one focus on Capitol Hill would be addressing climate change. When asked whether she would support a carbon tax, she said other policies like regional emission caps might be more effective.

"The jury is still out on the best solution that would have the greatest impact to reduce fossil fuel emissions, keep fossil fuels in the ground, and make sure we are truly tackling climate change," she said, noting that she has supported carbon tax legislation in Vermont in the past.

Broadcast live on Thursday, Feb. 17, 2022 at noon; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.

Have questions, comments or tips? Send us a message or tweet us @vermontedition.

Mikaela Lefrak is the host and senior producer of Vermont Edition. Her stories have aired nationally on Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Weekend Edition, Marketplace, The World and Here & Now. A seasoned local reporter, Mikaela has won two regional Edward R. Murrow awards and a Public Media Journalists Association award for her work.
Matt Smith worked for Vermont Public from 2017 to 2023 as managing editor and senior producer of Vermont Edition.