Vicki Strong: Not Just a Politician

ALBANY – Republican Rep. Vicki Strong (Orleans-Caledonia-1) hopes that voters in her district will send her back to Montpelier. Strong, who is seeking her second term, called her first year a learning experience.Part of her education in Montpelier included learning about the legislative process, what it takes to see a bill happen and why Vermont even needs a legislature.“Learning the whole process was a big, big step for me,” she said. “I still have a lot to learn. Just being part of that was exciting and interesting.”During the next couple of years, Strong would like to have a bigger voice for the Northeast Kingdom. “My first two years I was mostly listening and just learning,” said Strong. “I was able to have a voice, but would like to be a little bit more active this time.”Strong, who is concerned with large scale wind towers, would like to be involved in a moratorium so the towers will be on hold and the legislature can have a study conducted.“I personally am dead set against it,” said Strong of wind power. She called large wind farms a scam. “I thought we were above that in Vermont as far as not allowing that kind of thing to come into our state."Strong is also concerned about the environmental impact the wind towers will have on Vermont.Strong said she isn’t against nuclear power in the sense she believes it’s safe and efficient, there is no carbon footprint and nuclear power technology has improved over the years.Strong wants to stand up for private business owners as well as small towns and villages that can’t afford more taxes and regulations. She also favors a Wal-Mart type store in the region. “It’s a chance to have one come in, but I think in the long run, it can improve Newport and bring more business and employment," said Strong.Strong favors building up cellular and broadband service.  Strong feels one of her biggest accomplishments over the past two years was being a personal representative and not a politician. “They look at me as a person they can relate to and trust,” she said. “I don’t believe I’m just spinning a political agenda. I’m really saying, objectively, what can I do to help, how can I represent my people in a way their voices can be heard, and making connections.”Strong opposes a socialized healthcare system. During her first two-year term, Strong served on the healthcare committee in her first year and judiciary in her second year.The state should be one of the first to have a sense of preparedness for the future, Strong said, which includes having local and efficient power. “I think we will enter a time in our history when we will see unprecedented struggle and crises coming,” said Strong. “I think it could be natural disaster, terrorism or financial. I think we should be ready. I think we as a country, we’re not really blowing the whistle. Should something happen, we could be cut off from the rest of the country. Parts of our state could be cut off from each other and what are our true resources? What do we have? Let’s be ready.”Strong is married to Pastor Nathan Strong from the Albany Methodist Church. They have had three children: Jeese Strong who died Jan. 26, 2005, while serving in Iraq; Matthew Strong and Heather Strong.When not in Montpelier, Strong works for Weight Watchers, works with her husband in the church and is connected with Gold Star Families.