It is with a heavy heart that Issue One acknowledges the passing of a valued member of our ReFormers Caucus, former Governor Phil Hoff (D-VT). As a strong believer in bipartisan solutions, Governor Hoff joined the ReFormers Caucus as one of its initial members in 2015, now a group of 200 former members of Congress, governors and Cabinet officials from both parties working together to fix our fragmented political system and return government to the American people.
In 1962, Gov. Hoff was the first Democratic governor elected in Vermont in more than 100 years. Hoff served three, two-year terms in office, focusing much of his work on repairing Vermont’s judicial system, reducing pollution, and cleaning up the state’s water resources. Stephen C. Terry, former journalist and author of the biography, “Philip Hoff: How Red Turned Blue in the Green Mountain State” (2011), said, “Phil Hoff forever changed the state of Vermont…His influence in the 1960s has molded and created the Vermont many of us know today.”
In his inaugural address, Gov Hoff said, “The people of Vermont have clearly said that they don’t want to continue with the old ways, and if we fail to respond to forces at work in our society, we face a bleak future.” Governor Hoff created his state’s civil rights commission, the predecessor to Vermont’s Human Rights Commission, and he advocated for Vermont’s fair housing law that would make it illegal to discriminate against minorities.
Issue One is incredibly grateful for Gov. Hoff’s dedication to our causes, and his help in working to restore our democratic institutions through public service. Our thoughts go out to the governor’s friends and family as we honor his incredible life and legacy.