Health care is a right, not a privilege.

• The pandemic has laid bare the gaps in public and private systems that many of us have known existed and are fighting to repair. I was proud to lead with my House Health Care committee in the creation of the first major pandemic response legislation that addressed these gaps, including making sure that people who lost their jobs would still have access to health care. But we have much more to do until health care is accessible to all without being a condition related to employment.

• Vermont must have a healthcare system that is financed publicly with strong transparent government regulation that allows for ample public engagement. Every Vermonter should feel that they have a voice when it comes to their health. Big insurance companies are an unnecessary expense and profit by denying access to necessary care. Healthcare providers in partnership with their patients should determine what care is needed.

• Americans are being taken advantage of by drug companies and we cannot afford to be overpaying for prescriptions that other countries are getting for half the price. We must stand together to demand strong laws protecting the public from the impact of healthcare and pharmaceutical corporate greed. We’ve seen the effects of this on a local level as we continue to lose local pharmacies to large, national chains.

•We have all known someone impacted by addiction and too many of us have lost loved ones to overdoses. Vermonters struggling with addiction are suffering from a disease. We need to expand access to healthcare services instead of expending resources on mandatory minimums for nonviolent crimes.

• When we support quality mental health services, we help create healthy and productive communities and support individual independence. I am proud to have championed increased funding to our peer and community mental health services.

Quality education from early childhood to higher education.

• Kids do best when educators have the resources that they need, and when the educators and students are leading discussions about how education happens. Every community in Vermont is unique in its demographics, geography, and access to resources, and each has a different story to tell about the impact of school consolidation upon them. Much has changed since Act 46, but we should maintain the local participation and autonomy of schools as much as possible, and strive to adequately and equitably fund smaller rural schools. Our district is doing great community-led work to envision how we can make our schools value-added social centers. We must reform how we pay for education at the state level, including seriously considering the recommendations of the Pupil Weighting Factor Report and or moving to income-based school taxes.

• Early childhood education is critical to helping our children get off to a great start and ensure that they succeed later in life. I will continue to champion adequate public resource supports for parent-child centers, home and center based early education, and universal pre-K.

• I will continue to support improved public funding for all education including community college to enable statewide tuition-free access, and believe that our legislative “bridge funding” to the Vermont State College system was a wise use of Coronavirus Relief Fund dollars. I am a strong supporter of programs like dual enrollment, trade schools, and public/business collaborative workforce development, particularly in green energy, technology, construction, and health care. My House Healthcare Committee developed comprehensive healthcare workforce development supports which we will continue in 2021. Finally, with more education happening online, broadband access is a must.

Vermont must lead on the climate emergency.

• I will continue to prioritize bold action addressing the climate emergency. Our environmental commons, watersheds, and ecosystems are all connected and directly impacted by the impacts of climate change. And they are what we all love so much about Vermont. Forest, agricultural land, air, and water health all contribute to the reduction and sequestration of greenhouse gases, as well as help us strengthen our resilience to storms, heat, and drought. Our tools include a combination of resource and conservation mapping, protection of biodiversity and wildlife corridors, zoning changes, empowering municipalities to create local solutions, income-sensitive weatherization and transportation supports, investing in regenerative agriculture, and more. We must strategically analyze where we are currently spending money, and pivot as quickly as possible to creating new jobs, a renewable energy infrastructure, and a green economy. In doing so, we will protect those most vulnerable to the devastating impacts of the climate crisis.

• As a member of the Climate Solutions Caucus leadership team, I work with my colleagues to ensure that energy solutions are community-based and focused on building lasting resilience while protecting those most vulnerable to the climate emergency, the impacts of disasters, and transformative policy initiatives.

Racial Justice

• For too long, white Vermonters have thought of ourselves as untouched by racism; it’s taken several high profile and despicable actions for us to really understand how vicious racism is right here in Vermont. The age of denying that we have an issue is over. It’s time to take steps to ensure that ALL Vermonters can access the benefits our state has to offer regardless of race.

• First, we must each have the courage to understand how deeply systemic racism is embedded in our habits and thinking. For centuries, the people most devastated by the impacts of white supremacy and systemic racism have been sharing their stories, their pain, their struggle. They have given us the information we need on a silver platter. And we have not listened. My skin color in our culture has made it possible for me to not be aware that racism exists because I am not a victim of it. Our silence and denial make us willing participants in a system that continues to oppress millions of people, and yes - including, perhaps especially, in a state like Vermont. Until we each are willing to do anti-racism work, nothing will change. The Legislature itself must do this deep and continuous reckoning. It is difficult, and it is painful.

• The establishment of a Racial Equity Advisory Panel in 2018 was a triumph, overcoming some resistance from the Scott administration -- but we must do more. Currently, House Leadership and the Social Equity Caucus are providing very focused spaces and trainings for representatives and are doing work to make sure that Vermonters of color can hold their legislators accountable.

• I commit to doing the work to confront my own complicity with racist behaviors and systems in Vermont. I will continue to ask to be held accountable and will continue to ensure the centering of Black, Brown, and Indigenous lives, and the lives of People of Color.

An economy that works for us all.

• We must address growing income inequality in Vermont. Vermont needs progressive tax reform to reduce property tax rates and return to an economy where the ultra-wealthy pay their fair share. Billionaires made 500 billion dollars more during the pandemic while thousands of Vermonters were suddenly without income. In addition to tax reform, I’ll continue to support stimulus dollars for green energy jobs and agriculture; affordable housing, increased broadband access, and address disparities in education, housing, transportation, and healthcare.

• I have a proven track record of fighting to maintain Vermont’s tradition of worker and union power. By promoting this tradition of respect for workers’ rights including safe working conditions, a voice in the workplace, paid sick leave, and a living wage, I stand with Vermont’s working families.