Together we can build opportunities and strengthen Vermont by:
I’m running for Lieutenant Governor because I see many opportunities to bring the voices of regular Vermonter’s to the table. I’ve spent nearly two decades bringing people together, connecting grassroots activism with legislation, and working hard for constituents in Montpelier. As an organic farmer, my goal is always to leave the land healthier than when I found it. I take the same approach as a public official. Like the land, we must leave our communities and economy stronger for future generations. With your help, we can:
Supporting our Rural Economy
Small, family businesses are the backbone of our rural communities. We need to grow our diverse farming sectors, improve the forest products industry, and expand rural telecom infrastructure.
Protecting our Environment
As a farmer I feel the impacts of climate change each season. We must continue to invest in renewables and reduce our fossil energy use, do even more to clean up our rivers and lakes, and divest our state funds from the fossil fuel industry.
Boosting Wages & Improve Working Conditions
Ensuring Vermonters have a livable wage, paid sick days, and can organize in the workplace are all good for families. We must invest in early childhood education and healthy food for our children. As your Lieutenant Governor, I will work every day to end the wage gap. By working together, we can show the nation that an economy and communities thrive with equal pay and fair housing. We can end gender stereotypes and inequality and ensure that tolerance and decency flourish.
Easing Property Taxes
The current property tax structure is regressive and gives the wealthy a tax break. We need to ease property tax burdens so Vermonters can use more of their hard-earned money to meet basic needs. This session, I’ve supported a bill that proposes lowering property tax rates for households earning less than $200,000. We passed legislation that includes modeling this reform in time for the 2017 session. This should bring us one step closer to a fairer tax system that works for all Vermonters, not just those on top.
Over the last two decades, my work as a legislative leader and coalition builder has been recognized by many including the Vermont Children’s Forum, Steps to End Domestic Violence (Women Helping Battered Women), Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility, the Vermont Natural Resources Council, and Renewable Energy Vermont. In the early 1990s, as a student at UVM, I was awarded the Keith Miser Award at graduation for my contributions to campus leadership. I’ve learned that by working together, we can build a strong and just society and be a national leader on important issues. Below are some of the issues I’ve championed:
My work on GMOs in the legislature began in 1999, when I introduced a bill directing the University of Vermont to study the impacts on genetic engineering on Vermont agriculture. To my knowledge this was the first bill related to GMOs introduced anywhere in the country. After a long fight for the right of consumers to know what’s in their foods, we passed legislation in 2014 requiring all products containing genetically engineered ingredients to be labeled. I was the lead Senate author and am so proud to have been a part of this statewide movement. GMO labeling has once again made our state a model for the entire nation. Several multinational corporations including General Mills, Kellogg’s, Mars, and Campbell’s have now announced that they will label foods containing GMOs nationwide, so it turns out our leadership is having a dramatic impact on the country. Learn more about the national impact of GMO labeling.
I was a leader for both Civil Unions and Marriage equality. As one of approximately 30 Representatives who were present for enactment of both laws, I take great pride in our accomplishment. Passing such laws required tremendous organizing by community leaders, many of whom are part of this campaign. As your next Lieutenant Governor, I will continue to be a strong ally, engage citizen activists, and ensure Vermont is a state where our communities find strength in their diversity.
I introduced my first bill to expand bargaining rights during my first term. Since then, I’ve consistently supported the right to organize and giving unions a seat at the table. I also played a role in the founding of the Working Vermonters Caucus. My record is clear. I have been involved in numerous minimum wage increases and have stood with workers on picket lines and in fights for fair contracts.
Cannabis Reform & Drug Policy
I was a leader of Vermont’s Medical Marijuana bill and have sponsored legislation for full legalization, regulation and taxation for responsible adult use. It is time to recognize that the war on drugs has failed and take a smarter approach to regulating controlled substances. Taking cannabis off the streets and moving it to a regulated setting where laws and age limits are enforced will make our communities safer. Additionally, our drug policies should focus more on human health and studying the causes of addiction. If we focus our resources on health, education, job opportunities, and improving quality of life, we will reduce crime and fewer people will turn to drugs.
End of Life Choices
I have been a leader on end of life choice legislation. There was a clear consensus among Vermont citizens that we should offer patients control at the end of their lives and in May 2013, after many years of community and legislative organizing, we passed a Death with Dignity law. We are the first state to do that through legislation and I am proud of my role in leading that effort for many years.