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.
Sarah has been a leader on climate action, increasing access to the ballot box and improved government transparency. Sarah lead 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 is currently Chair of the Government Operations committee. She has served on the Executive Committee of the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Mother, Leader, Business Owner, Woman, Vermonter.
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