Rebecca A. “Becca” Balint was born on May 4, 1968, in a U.S. Army hospital in Heidelberg, Germany, and raised in Peekskill, New York. She moved to Vermont in 1994 to work as an educator and was elected to Vermont’s at-large district in the U.S. House of Representatives. Previously, she served in the Vermont state senate, including as majority leader and president pro tempore. The first open lesbian to have served in the Vermont state senate, she is a graduate of Smith College, Harvard University, and the University of Massachusetts with degrees in education and history.
Balint’s grandfather was killed in the Holocaust, and her Hungarian-Jewish father immigrated to the United States in 1957. Balint says that growing up gay and the daughter of a Holocaust victim helped her develop deep empathy for “people on the margins.”
After gaining visibility as chair of the Vermont state senate Sexual Harassment Panel during a successful effort to suspend a fellow senator accused of sexual assault, the Democratic caucus voted unanimously, in 2017, to make Balint majority leader.
Balint has advocated for limited police involvement in immigration enforcement and expanded background checks for gun sales. She opposes restrictions on voter identification, arguing that voter fraud is rare and ID laws are used to make voting difficult. She has championed affordable housing, reproductive rights, paid family leave, and minimum wage increases.
On her 2022 Congressional campaign website, Balint shared position papers only on domestic issues, ranging from mental health to racial justice to cannabis legalization. The only issue paper with a global focus was climate change. During her race, she told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that she opposes the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign targeting Israel. Balint was endorsed in her House race by J Street.
Sources: Becca Balint, Wikipedia.
Becca Balint for Congress https://www.beccabalint.com/about-becca
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