Tributes to Sally


Michael’s wife of 34 years and former State Senator, Sally Fox, passed away January 10, 2014. Immediately, the recognitions of her amazing life and public service poured in, and continue to this day.

-On January 11, Governor Shumlin ordered all flags to be flown at half staff for 3 days
-On January 12, Burlington Free Press front page story and photo called Sally “The Champion of the People”
-On January 14, Seven Days quoted the Senate Majority leader calling Sally a “Rock Star” to the disadvantaged

Legislative recognition:
-Scores of legislators gave floor speeches and a resolution sponsored by all 180 legislators honored Sally’s life on January 15
-The 2014 Capital construction bill (H.864) honored Sally in statute and named the new major Human Services Conference Center in Waterbury in her name
-The year’s most significant human services legislation dealing with addiction treatment and criminal procedures (S.295) honored the “eternal impact” Sally had on human services in Vermont. Sally was named as the lead Sponsor of this historic bill.
-Joint Resolution establishing May as Women and Lung Cancer Awareness Week. Her husband Michael Sirotkin was asked to be lead sponsor in Sally’s honor.
-Michael received this very thoughtful note from the Governor, as well as the pen the Governor used to sign the key opiate treatment law of the session, of which Sally was the lead sponsor.
Opiate Bill

Community Awards (2014):
-Vermont Law School Poverty Clinic formally dedicates its 2014 report and work to Sally
-Autism Society of Vermont presents Sally a beautiful framed photo of Lake Champlain at its annual meeting
-Vermont Network for Crime Victims Services presents stunning engraved pewter case and jewelry at their annual meeting
-Vermont Children’s Trust Foundation establishes $5000 competitive annual grant in Sally’s name to a children’s advocacy organization to be selected annually by Sally’s family.
-Speaker of the House and President Pro Tem of the Senate call on legislators to match the $5000 of the Children’s Trust Foundation to bring total award to $10,000
-Vermont Association Against Domestic Violence recognizes Sally as its annual award recipient at its June event.  (Here is the speech: Sally Fox tribute speech)
– Vermont Cancer Survivors Network establishes the Sally Fox Memorial fund to give small grants out to cancer patients needing travel assistance to go major cancer centers outside Vermont.
-The Vermont Democratic Party honored Sally with one of three prestigious Curtis Awards for her outstanding public service to Vermont citizens as a lifelong “Champion of the People.”
-Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger honored Sally with the Ken Schatz Community Justice Award.  The plaque reads to: “Sally Fox, for her extraordinary commitment to Community Justice.  The Ken Schatz award recognizes those who ensure that offenders who accept responsibility are given a second chance, that victims receive the support that they need, and that community needs arising from crime or conflict are addressed.”

-Planned Parenthood of Northern New England honored sally with its  2014 Champion of Choice Award.
The award is meant to be bestowed on individuals that have gone above and beyond in their support of access to reproductive health care. 
-Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility (VBSR) honored Sally with its Lifetime Achievement Award recognizing her work to promote business and the economy in a socially responsible fashion. In addition to her 17 years fighting for these causes in the Vermont General Assembly, she was VBSR’s policy director  for several years in  between her terms in the House and the Senate.

Sally Fox Conference Center dedicated at Waterbury State Office Complex


February 11, 2016. Sen. Michael Sirotkin unveils Katharine Montstream’s “Panoramic Sky over Shelburne Bay,” a painting at the dedication of the Sally Fox Conference Center at the new State Office Complex in Waterbury on Jan 29. Courtesy photo

“Sally Fox represented Chittenden County both as a fierce and dedicated member of the Vermont legislature and a passionate lobbyist in Montpelier for more than thirty years. She was beloved and admired by all who witnessed her relentless drive to help and protect those who struggled to make their voices heard.

In January 2014, she passed away from cancer, and on Friday, January 29, her memory was honored with the dedication of the Sally Fox Conference Center at the new State Office Complex in Waterbury. The center will house the Agency of Human Services—fitting, many noted, as the place where her work to assist the poor and disadvantaged will continue for years to come.

Fox’s husband, current Chittenden County Senator Michael Sirotkin, joined 400 others at the dedication, which featured moving speeches, fond memories of Fox, and the dedication of a painting by her favorite artist, Katharine Monstream. The conference center is in a new building at the state offices in Waterbury, which stands next to older facilities that were recently renovated after being severely damaged by Hurricane Irene in 2011.”

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