Meet Sarah

Sarah Copeland Hanzas, who is running for Secretary of State in Vermont, and her three children.

Invested in Vermont

Sarah Copeland Hanzas grew up in a large, politically diverse, family in Corinth. Sarah’s family would discuss the news each night around the dinner table, and it’s where she learned to disagree respectfully, think critically, and love politics.

Sarah graduated from Oxbow High School and University of Vermont with degrees in History and Geology. Investing in her community was always important to Sarah, so she chose to become a teacher. She completed her teacher training at Upper Valley Educator Institute and has taught science and coached youth and high school field hockey, basketball, and softball.

Sarah and her husband John had three children, and Sarah spent eight years as a stay-at-home mom. Then, in 2004, she decided she wanted to give back to her community in a bigger way, so she ran for the Vermont legislature. Sarah has served 18 years representing Bradford, Fairlee, and West Fairlee.

In 2010 Copeland Hanzas co-founded The Local Buzz Cafe on Main Street in Bradford, because she saw a need for a local meeting spot in her town. She spent 11 years operating the cafe, serving food and coffee. The Local Buzz closed in 2021 to make way for a new eatery.

In 2022, Sarah was elected Secretary of State and since then has steadily improved the operations of the Secretary of State’s, overseen the revitalization and expansion of the Civic Learning program, and worked to modernize the Safe at Home address confidentiality program.

Sarah Copeland Hanzas, running in VT Secretary of State election, working at the Buzz Cafe in Bradford.

Leader in the State House

Sarah has been a leader on climate action, increasing access to the ballot box and improved government transparency. Sarah led the efforts in Vermont for racial justice reform and sensible cannabis reform. Sarah has received national recognition for her groundbreaking work on Sexual Harassment legislation. Her 2018 legislation was called the strongest in the nation.

Sarah's leadership made Vermont the first state in the nation to protect firefighters, EMT and police personnel by demanding parity for PTSD treatment, protecting our first responders and helping them get back on the job. Sarah was lead sponsor of the Global Warming Solutions Act, requiring Vermont to meet its emissions reduction goals. She led the successful 2021 Pension Task Force to a unanimous report that stabilizes Vermont's Teacher and State Employee pension plans.

Sarah served on the Health Care Committee for a decade, fighting for affordable health care and prescription drugs for all Vermonters. She has served as House Majority Leader and Chair of the Government Operations committee. She has served on the Executive Committee of the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Sarah has always stood steadfast in her values:

Climate Change

In the face of mounting environmental challenges, Sarah remains steadfast in her commitment to safeguarding our planet for future generations. As a legislator, she voted to protect our planet at every opportunity. She was the lead sponsor on the Global Warming Solutions Act, and finished her time in the legislature as the Co-Chair of the Climate Solutions Caucus for three years. She is recognized state-wide for her work on Climate and Environment.

Reproductive Rights

As a woman, a mother of three female-bodied children, and an advocate for civil liberties, Sarah believes that Vermont is going in the right direction by adopting a constitutional amendment guaranteeing reproductive liberty (which she voted for as a legislator). The decision of when and whether to use one’s body for reproduction should be up to the individual.

Sexual Harassment/Assault

Do you know 5 women? Then statistically you know 4 women who have experienced sexual harassment. Like many women, this is a personal topic for Sarah, and she has fought to better laws around sexual harassment in the workplace (for all genders). Her 2018 legislation implemented sexual harassment protections that at the time were called the strongest in the nation. Sarah has also passed bills to help protect victims of sexual violence.

LGBTQ+ Issues

Sarah joined the legislature in response to the attack on civil unions in Vermont. She proudly voted yes on marriage equality in 2009, and continued that trend by voting supportively on other LGBTQ+ issue bills, such as requiring non-gender bathrooms. As a legislator, she voted yes to get rid of the “LGBTQ+ panic” defense for crimes, and she co-sponsored and voted to pass the bill allowing people to amend their birth certificate to reflect gender identity.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Sarah is extremely proud to have passed legislation to get PTSD covered under worker’s comp for first responders. If we’re not protecting those who come to help us on our worst day, that is a tragedy. Sarah is hoping that the success of this legislation will grow to include more first responders, including health care workers who have been on the front line of the pandemic.

Gun Safety

With a clear and consistent record of supporting sensible gun safety reforms, Sarah has been a steadfast advocate for common-sense measures to prevent gun violence. By prioritizing public safety and the well-being of Vermont communities, Sarah continues to lead the charge for meaningful action on gun safety, ensuring that Vermont remains a safe and secure place for all.

Sarah for Vermont

Mother, Leader, Business Owner, Woman, Vermonter.

Sarah Copeland Hanzas who is running for Secretary of State with her basketball club.
Sarah Copeland Hanzas, who is running for Secretary of State in Vermont's next election, speaking on the House Floor.
Sarah Copeland Hanzas, who is running to be Vermont's Secretary of State election, throwing a football.

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