Katherine Sims: Passionate about making a difference

LOWELL - Katherine Sims, a strong supporter of local decision making and local school boards, hopes to serve voters in the Orleans-Lamoille district for the Vermont House. Sims is going up against Republican incumbent Mark Higley.Sims, a Progressive, hopes to be on both the Progressive and Democratic tickets.“I am passionate about making a difference for our community," said Sims.Sims is the founder and director of the Green Mountain Farm to School Program. Over the past several years, she has worked to address some of the challenges facing local communities. Sims also works hard to support the health of kids and farms by building school gardens, getting local foods into the schools, and educating kids about healthy food choices. She also worked as an auditor for four years in the Town of Westfield. “I would be honored to have the opportunity to bring that same creative problem solving down to Montpelier,” she said.Sims wants to make sure the diverse perspectives of the community are represented. She said she wants to be a strong independent voice and not beholden to political parties. Over the past several weeks, Sims has spoken to hundreds of people about what is important to them and what is on their minds.“I hear people wondering about what’s going to happen if they’re sick,” she said. “For me, I’m eager to secure healthcare that’s affordable and accessible for all Vermonters.”Sims thinks the state should spend money on high quality healthcare instead of paperwork, bureaucracy and profit. People also worry about their children not finding work. “I think we should be investing in loggers, farmers and entrepreneurs in our community,” said Sims, who wants to make sure that small local businesses are part of the local community. “By investing in them, we can make sure we have a strong community.”Sims doesn’t favor large scale, commercial wind projects, but favors smaller projects. She believes the state should make Green Mountain Power accountable for the promises it made to the community. She also believes the state should invest in alternative energy in a away that reduces the dependency on fossil fuels while making sure the source doesn’t have a negative impact on the environment and has a direct benefit to local communities, such as small scale solar energy projects.Sims, an advocate for closing Vermont Yankee, said the plant has outlived its license and there are ways to provide the needed power. As for Wal-Mart, she said, “I think Pick and Shovel provides nearly everything we need, from pets to Carhartt clothing to lumber. It provides great jobs for the Newport area. I think it’s about supporting local businesses in our community.”“I will work tirelessly to represent our community down there,” said Sims.When she’s not working, Sims likes to garden, ski and cook.