The people of Franklin County should have the choice to send a truly progressive voice to Montpelier. At the very least, they deserve the opportunity to weigh it against other contenders.
After serious consideration and with the full consent of my family, I have decided to offer myself as a candidate for the Vermont Senate.
This seems particularly fitting, since my next door neighbor, Republican Dustin Degree, has also announced his candidacy. Perhaps we can arrange some front porch debates, inviting the two sitting senators to pull up a rocker and join us.
My platform will include legalization and regulation of recreational marijuana, rapid progress toward a single payer model for healthcare in Vermont, strengthening citizen access in the permit system; a more progressive tax structure so that the wealthiest Vermonters may enjoy the privilege of helping their less fortunate neighbors; routine increases in the minimum wage to track the cost of living; paid sick leave to improve worker health and morale; and protection for shoreline ecosystems. I will also advocate for a statewide vision to link communities across the state and reduce emissions through public transportation corridors for bus and rail.
Number one on my list of personal priorities will be a tireless effort to see effective conflict of interest policy adopted at the state level in the hope that this will influence municipalities to do likewise.
And while we’re at it, how about trying to return female prisoners to the St. Albans facility that was especially modified to accommodate their needs and those of their children before the women were abruptly switched-out so that the facility could house male prisoners?
I certainly don’t claim to have all the answers, but I have a heck of a lot of questions!
I am sure there will be plenty to talk about and hope that I can look forward to monthly public forums with the other senate candidates.
Fasten your seatbelts, fellas; it’s gonna be a bumpy ride!