“A lot of people still call me Corey, and I like that. I tell a lot of them: I’m the same kid you had in your classroom 20 years ago,” said Corey Parent (’08). Senator Corey Parent brings this sentiment into his work in the state Senate.
In an interview with Parent, he explained how he was re-elected on Nov. 3 2020 to the Vermont state Senate on behalf of Franklin County. He served a previous term after being elected in 2018 and served two terms from 2015-2019 in the Vermont House of Representatives. Parent ran as a Republican all four terms, and he is currently employed for the town of St. Albans as the Director of Operations.
Parent Graduated from St. Lawrence University but, before all that, he went to high school right here at BFA.
“I grew up playing sports…I was class president my freshman year at BFA…I always had a sense of place and a sense of home. I was really lucky to love the hometown I was raised in,” Parent said.
He was raised here in Saint Albans, and Parent takes his knowledge of the town and its people into the statehouse with him every time he enters.
“Every community has its own little culture; [being] raised here you have a feeling…It’s not something I learned, it’s something I experienced,” Parent said.
Parent said that he is one of two senators that represent Franklin county barring Richford and Montgomery. Vermont has 30 state senators. Like the federal government’s Senate, the senators of each state has a hand in making laws that will govern just on a state level as opposed to federal laws.
Parent explained some of the responsibilities he has as a Vermont state senator. “It’s ultimately my job to be your voice in the statehouse and in the Senate…When we touch on everything from paving roads, to global warming, to COVID, to childcare, to cleaning up lake Champlain, we have to be able to learn a lot about a lot of different things and make important decisions.”
He also discussed some of the work he puts into learning about all the important problems he has to make decisions on. “The difference [between the Vermont state Senate and] the United States Congress is they have a lot of staff members who do research for them and tell them what is going on. We have no staff in Vermont. So, I respond to my own emails, I return some phone calls and I research my own legislation. We kind of do it all on our own.”
While Parent ran as a Republican, some of what he has done in office may seem contrary to how people view Republicans today. The widespread media around Donald Trump’s presidential term tied many of his beliefs to the Republican party and changed Republican conservatism drastically from the Republican conservatism of the past. Parent worked on an ethnic studies bill that would help educate children on cultures other than their own and was part of a resolution to recognize May 2021 as Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander heritage month.
He had this to say on Trump’s brand of Republicanism: “I think Donald Trump perverted what it means to be Republican, and it’s unfortunate for younger people, who, that’s their only experience with the Republican Party. I view the Republican Party as a party that conceptually is thought to advocate for more local decision-making…I think your school board knows best about what to do with BFA… I think the state of Vermont knows best [when it comes to] education in Vermont, rather than the federal government.”
It’s easy to see why Parent believes those who love Vermont know what is best for Vermont. For Parent, Vermont has always felt like home. “St. Albans has always been home. Kids when I was in high school always wanted to get away and never come back and I always wanted to come home,” Parent said.
By Claire Johnson from the BFA Mercury. Here is the link to the original article.