Join Kesha Ram, Brenda Siegel, Vanessa Santana and other speakers to discuss the Overdose Crisis, the history of the drug war, where we are at in Vermont and in the country, what strategies other countries have used and where we can and should go from here. What would save lives and reduce the collateral damage that goes along with this crisis?
Kesha Ram: Kesha Ram is a candidate for Chittenden County Senate. She served four terms in the Vermont House of Representatives on behalf of Burlington. In 2018, she graduated from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government with a Master in Public Administration. Her focus while in graduate school was on understanding the opioid crisis, including studying policies and practices in Portugal, West Virginia, and Kentucky. She has worked for the City of Burlington as the Civic Engagement Specialist and for Steps to End Domestic Violence as the Legal Advocacy Director. She also serves on the boards of Planned Parenthood of Northern New England and the Vermont Natural Resources Council.
Brenda Siegel: Brenda Siegel is founder and director of Southern Vermont Dance Festival, created in response to tropical storm Irene in which her family lost all of their belongings. Siegel is Chair of the Newfane Democratic Committee and Delegate to the County Committee. Siegel began her political work as an intern in then congressman Bernie Sanders’ Washington D.C. office in 2001. Brenda has been active with the Raise the Wage coalition and member leader at Rights and Democracy. Brenda is a member of a national cohort focused on addressing the overdose crisis with People’s Action and RAD, Since her 2018 campaign for Governor, Brenda has traveled around the state and country speaking to states attorneys, police chiefs, legislators, those in active use, recovery and family members to advocate for progressive drug policy. March 8th of 2018 Brenda’s nephew died of a Heroin Overdose. He was the son of her brother who died just over twenty years ago of a heroin overdose. She released a plan to heal the Overdose Crisis during her campaign which has gained traction across the state and in parts of the country. Brenda is an alumni of Emerge and Run As You Are national training and a writer of socio-economic and political commentaries. Siegel is a citizen member of the Vermont Legislative Equity Caucus, and serves on the board of Community of Vermont Elders. In addition she sits on the State of Vermont’s Public Transportation Advisory Commission.