MARGARET LUCENTI, Dead at 93

Here at Green Mountain Daily we adhere to the goal of more and better Democrats.

Margaret Lucenti embodied that principle.

Not simply the grandmotherly figure you would see at the State House or on election days in Montpelier, Margaret was a giant in progressive Democratic politics. As her obituary points out, Margaret was the first chair of the Vermont Human Rights Commission. She worked for three decades as a committee assistant in the Vermont Legislature. (I first met her twenty-five or thirty years ago in my first foray into lobbying, and I got some tips from her as she pointed out that she was also on the board of Central Vermont Community Action.) I worked with her for many years on Montpelier's Board of Civil Authority, and for many years she was the treasurer of the Montpelier Democratic Committee.

As her obituary in the Times Argus tells us, and you should really read the entire thing: 

 She was also chairperson of the Vermont delegation to the 1976 Democratic Convention in her role as a Vermont National Democratic committeewoman, a candidate for the Vermont House of Representatives and the Washington County Senate seat in 1978. She was also the first woman to run in a Democratic primary in Vermont for the U.S. House of Representatives in 1974. Her commitment to civic participation by continuous active involvement on town, county and state Democratic committees, often serving as an officer, was most admirable. This included her long tenure as a justice of the peace. Margaret also served as board member of the Washington Electric Coop from 1976-1978. 

 Three years ago she was the subject of a “Super Senior” profile on WCAX, and it relates how her opposition to the Vietnam War spurred her to activism.

What you probably won't read elsewhere, though, is that it was Margaret who, while a member of Vermont's delegation to the Democratic National Convention in 1972, convinced Tom Salmon to run for governor. He won, becoming only Vermont's second Democratic governor since 1854

Margaret was also inseparable from her husband, Sal, who died just last month. They were married for 72 years.

Margaret's funeral is 10:00 Thursday morning at St. Augustine's Church in Montpelier.

Margaret will be missed by everyone who knew her. 

2 thoughts on “MARGARET LUCENTI, Dead at 93

  1. who was fortunately granted an long, long life in which to accomplish  a great many important things.

    That she also was so lucky in love is as sweet as it is rare.

  2. I first met her during the 1984 Jesse Jackson campaign, and loved interacting with her over the years.

    She was always open, warm, smart, pragmatic and true to her progressive ideals.  When lobbying the legislature on LGBT issues and HIV issues she often provided extremely helpful advice and insights from her staff position.  And she was a real ally in internal Democratic Party efforts (for example, helping fight the knee jerk anti-Bernie impulses that many in the party establishment held onto for far too long).  

    Her commitment to human rights, to labour rights, and to countless other progressive causes never wavered — and she played a major role in shaping the way politics in the state evolved.

    What a great impactful life she lived.  So glad I got to know her — feel so much richer for having had that opportunity.  

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