Priorities.

 
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Livable-wage job creation

I believe in a Vermont economy that provides livable-wage employment for all working adults. Jobs, that allow people to support themselves and their families. Creative work, that adds value to Vermonters’ lives. A robust economy, that allows entrepreneurs to innovate new businesses and pay employees fairly. Wages, that enable Vermonters to send their children to college and/or prepare for a secure retirement.

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Equal pay for women

In Vermont, women are paid 84 cents for every dollar paid to men. On average, full-time female workers in Vermont lose a combined $1.5 billion every year due to the wage gap. In addition, 43% of VT women who work full-time do not make enough to cover basic living expenses. It's time to fight for workplace policies that ensure equal compensation for women to support their families, invest and save for the future. This will grow our Vermont economy too.

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Safe, vibrant public schools

Public schools are the bedrock of Vermont communities and provide our children the opportunity to reach their potential and succeed in life. They are the incubators of our future, trained workforce. We must do everything in our power to strengthen our public-school systems in their quality, rigor, equity and cost-effectiveness. Every Vermont youth must be prepared to succeed in a rapidly changing economy with well-established school-to-work pipelines.

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Affordable housing & healthcare

The costs of healthcare and housing have far outpaced wages. Especially for low-income families. A worker in Vermont must earn $22.70/hour to afford a two-bedroom house; a person making minimum wage needs to work 1.7 jobs to rent a one-bedroom apartment. Skyrocketing health insurance is causing folks to drop coverage. These basic human rights must be accessible to all Vermonters, not just the well-to-do.

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Healthy environment

Vermont is one of the cleanest, most environmentally pristine states in our nation. But it is under threat from pollution to our streams and lakes, and from climate change. Reducing dependency on fossil fuels and generating clean, renewable energy sources can boost our local economy. We must create a long-term plan because our drinking water, tourist industry, property values, and quality of life depend on it.

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Human dignity for all people

Vermont’s population is becoming more diverse. This presents an opportunity for new voices to contribute to policymaking, as well as to our public conversations. We need to create inclusive spaces where all voices are represented. It is essential that as a town and state, we remain committed to the fair, equitable and just treatment of our neighbors, regardless of background. Just systems that serve everyone must be our rallying cry!

 
Political civility is not about being polite to each other. It’s about reclaiming the power of ‘We the People’ to come together, debate the common good and call American democracy back to its highest values amid our differences.
— Parker J. Palmer