Many Vermonters say the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris gave them a sense of hope that’s been lost.
“I’m excited to have Trump out, that’s for sure,” said Brady Sackett. “Anything’s better than Trump. It’s kind of turned into a joke with all the social media crap, and I don’t think Biden’s going to be playing that game so definitely ready for things to be taken more seriously.”
After a tumultuous 2020 and rocky start to 2021, they want to see the Biden-Harris administration take real action and craft policies that will impact the lives of Americans.
“First and foremost would be handling the pandemic differently, so we can work to put it behind us,” said Ann, a senior at UVM.
“To kind of see things settle down a bit,” said UVM senior Rebecca. “I feel like our country is very divided right now. I hope that it will not fuel a fire that will further divide our country.”
In addition to political action, many noted the history already made on day one: Kamala Harris becoming the first woman, and first woman of color, to be vice president. Biden has also selected Rachel Levine to his team at HHS. She’ll be the first transgender person to hold a Senate-confirmed position.
“It’s reassuring to know that there is movement happening,” said Vermont state Rep. Taylor Small, the state’s first openly transgender legislator
Small celebrates Levine’s nomination, but she hopes going forward, the recognition will be less about identity and more about leadership skills
“Not talking about firsts anymore, not having to focus on identities,” she said. “Because the reason we focus on identities is the history of discrimination we have faced in this nation. It shouldn’t be remarkable, this is how our country’s governance should be set up.”