News

Finances Threaten Local Schools Such As Lincoln's. Can Towns Afford to Lose Them?

February 17th, 2021
 – 
Jonathon Mingle, Seven Days

"If we want to curb or slow the demographic crisis, you don't get rid of a resource that is actually bringing people back into your communities or that is attracting people from other parts of the country into Vermont," said Backlund

Continue reading »

Nurse practitioner in the making seeks health equity

May 10, 2021
 – 
Chris Mays

"Carr wrote a policy brief with the goal of improving health equity, access to healthy food and health disparities. She also looked at the economic perspective — federal funds from the WIC benefits would go to small family farms largely owned by women or Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) community members who are working on small margins. She pointed out rural areas tend to have a lot more farmers markets, which are closer than stores selling food.."

Continue reading »

Scott signs law making Vermont 14th state to ban LGBTQ ‘panic’ defense

May 5, 2021
 – 
Kit Norton

"The lead sponsors of the bill were Reps. Mari Cordes, D-Lincoln, and Taylor Small, P/D-Winooski, who is the first openly transgender person to serve in the Vermont Legislature." "From Small’s perspective, the unanimous support in the Legislature and Scott’s signature send a signal to members of the LGBTQ community that they can more safely report cases of discrimination, bias and violence."

Continue reading »

House panel OK’s new policy, moves to private meeting to discuss possible discrimination case

April 26, 2021
 – 
Kit Norton

"After voting 4-0-1 in favor of the Vermont House of Representatives’ discrimination prevention policy for 2021-22, the panel approved a motion to enter executive session to consider a question of discrimination in the lower chamber."

Continue reading »

Panel discussing steps Vermont needs to take in state's criminal justice system

April 13, 2021
 – 
Carolyn Sistrand

"..The Addison County Democratic Committee's Criminal Justice Panel wanted to emphasize the importance of tackling criminal justice issues in Vermont. The virtual meeting held Monday night identified problems such as race, police, drugs, and much more."

Continue reading »

Letter: Statement from the Women's Caucus standing with Asian American women

April 13, 2021
 – 
Women’s Legislative Caucus co-chairs: Rep. Lynn Batchelor, Derby; Rep. Mollie Burke, Brattleboro; Rep. Sara Coffey, Guilford

"These horrific killings have exposed another truth of the fundamental inequity of life for Asian American women in our society. Discrimination against Asian-Americans is rising both nationally and in Vermont."

Continue reading »

Plan to bring greater fairness to health care heads to the state Senate

March 28, 2021
 – 
Xander Landen

"A bill designed to address disparities in Vermont’s health care system won approval Friday from the Vermont House. "

Continue reading »

American Rescue Plan Brings Billions to Vermont

March 25, 2021
 – 
Megan James

Additional government funding from the American Rescue Plan includes $130,752 for Addison County and support for vaccine distribution, childcare subsidies, rental assistance, and more.

Continue reading »

Thank you, Reps. Small and Cordes

March 11, 2021
 – 
Scott Weathers

"Last week, Rep. Taylor Small and Rep. Mari Cordes’ bill to protect transgender people unanimously passed through the House Judiciary Committee."

Continue reading »

Sacrifice, solitude and stress: How Vermonters handled a year of crisis

February 28, 2021
 – 
Mike Dougherty

"On March 9, two days after Scott announced the state’s first positive case, Cordes started a Facebook group titled “How Can I Help #prepare.." which "became a clearinghouse for information on local volunteer efforts, public announcements, news articles and the latest health guidance Cordes could get from her workplaces."

Continue reading »

[Representative Arthur Peterson] questions whether systemic racism exists

February 12, 2021
 – 
Emma Cotton

“If I, as a white woman, am not willing or able to listen or learn, then I will never know about systemic racism, because I don’t experience the deleterious impacts of it,” [Representative Cordes] said.

Continue reading »

Cordes: Reckoning and repair is our work for those of us who are white

February 8, 2021
 – 
Mari Cordes

If wishes were fishes, we’d all have a fry. Wishes for unity will never work on their own unless we do the hard and necessary work together to repair and grow.

Continue reading »

Vermonters with ‘long COVID’ seek answers

November 18, 2020
 – 
Katie Jickling

"The condition, also known as “long COVID,” can lead to a panoply of bewildering symptoms: hair loss, memory loss, red spots on the legs, an autoimmune response, lack of smell or taste, brain fog, exhaustion, cough, insomnia, diarrhea, fever."

Continue reading »

Cyberattack ‘struck the nervous system’ of UVMMC

November 10, 2020
 – 
Katie Jickling and Anne Galloway

"On the cardiology unit, everything from the patient alarm system to the process to get lab results has changed, said nurse Mari Cordes...".

Continue reading »

Largest Vermont Hospital Among Victims of Cyberattack

October 29, 2020
 – 
Jack Thurston

"I do want to put the public at ease, even though, from a 30,000-foot view, this is definitely disturbing," Cordes said. "But what's happening in the hospital is very methodical. We are using the same safety precautions we've always used."

Continue reading »

Letter to the Editor: Global Warming Act a Good Step

September 10, 2020
 – 
Steve Maier

The Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA) comes up soon for final approval in the Vermont House and I urge the continued support of Addison County’s legislators. Thanks for earlier support go to Reps. Robin Scheu and Amy Sheldon of Middlebury, Peter Conlon of Cornwall, Mari Cordes of Lincoln, Caleb Elder of Starksboro, and Matt Birong and Diane Lanpher of Vergennes. Thanks also to Senators Chris Bray and Ruth Hardy for their ongoing support.

Continue reading »

Bill requires Vermont to meet Greenhouse Emissions Targets

September 10, 2020
 – 
Lisa Rathke

Rep. Mari Cordes, a Democrat, from Lincoln, said it was lawmakers' responsibility to protect Vermonters and be proactive, particularly when it's hard.

“Supporting the global warming solutions act is supporting economic resilience and protecting the most vulnerable from the devastating impacts of climate change,” she said, adding that it doesn't go far enough.

Continue reading »

Vermont House passes relief bill for Migrant Workers

September 8, 2020
 – 
Colin Flanders

The Vermont House on Tuesday gave preliminary approval to a bill that would send stimulus checks to anyone who was denied federal relief payments this spring because of their immigration status.

Continue reading »

Women’s Legislative Caucus: Support relief payments to undocumented workers, families

08/28/2020
 – 
Women's Legislative Caucus Commentary

The Women’s Legislative Caucus strongly believes that all workers in Vermont – regardless of immigration status – should be treated with dignity and fairness. We call on the State of Vermont to step up where the federal government has failed and create a fund to issue payments to all undocumented families excluded from federal Covid-19 relief due to their immigration status.

Continue reading »

Women's Legislative Caucus: Support relief payments to undocumented workers, families

August 27, 2020

To: All House & Senate Chairs and Legislative Colleagues

We, the undersigned members of the Women’s Legislative Caucus, support the creation of a Coronavirus Relief Fund for immigrant and undocumented workers and their families in Vermont.

As our state responds in the face of an unprecedented public health crisis, it is important that our legislative actions and policymaking are guided by justice, equity and fairness – and that all Vermonters have access to relief from the state and federal government.

Continue reading »

Cordes deserves a second term in VT house

07/30/2020
 – 
Richard and Gail Butz

We first met Mari when she was canvasing our neighborhood during her first run for the legislature and immediately formed a bond because of our mutual and passionate concerns for the environment and social justice. Right from the beginning Mari impressed, even amazed us, with her background, her vocation, her energy, and her work for the common good.

Continue reading »

Cordes Campaign receives multiple endorsements

July 28, 2020

LINCOLN, VT — Mari Cordes, Democratic/Progressive candidate for the Vermont House in Addison-4, has received endorsements from several individuals and organizations, including Vermont Sierra Club, Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC), Renew New England and Our Revolution, and Rights and Democracy.

“I’ve dedicated my life to the causes these people and organizations represent, and it’s an honor for my campaign, our community building and legislative work to be recognized in this way,” said Cordes.

Continue reading »

Rep. Mari Cordes given environmental award

February 13, 2020

Vermont Conservation Voters (VCV) has presented this year’s Environmental Rising Star Award to Rep. Mari Cordes, D-Lincoln, and two other first-term legislators who have become leaders on environmental issues: Rep. Kathleen James, D-Manchester Center, and Sen. Andrew Perchlik, D/P-Montpelier....Rep. Cordes is a registered nurse and labor negotiator, and has volunteered extensively in her community and abroad — including offering medical care for Vermonters after Tropical Storm Irene, in Haiti after a devastating earthquake, and for refugees fleeing Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq. She also works locally with organizations including 350VT and Rights & Democracy.

Cordes completed her degree in Natural Resource Economics, Management and Policy. She chose her home in Vermont because of its beauty, the ability to live close to the land and a strong commitment to community. Having raised her family on their organic vegetable farm, she now lives with her husband off the grid in Lincoln.

Since being elected to the Vermont House of Representatives in 2018, VCV says Cordes has stepped up to become a leader on the legislative Climate Solutions Caucus, helping the team build and execute strategies for connecting with more Vermonters all over the state about climate solutions. This includes ambitious efforts this past fall that resulted in reaching over 1,000 Vermonters at climate events in communities around the state.

“Rep. Cordes has brought her years of organizing experience and expertise at getting hard things done to the Statehouse, and that’s why she earned this year’s VCV Environmental Rising Star Award,” said VCV Executive Director Lauren Hierl. “We’re looking forward to seeing what she accomplishes next.”

Continue reading »

Final Reading: State revenue issues loom ahead, minimum wage negotiations to start next week

January 17, 2020
 – 
Grace Elletson and John Walters

— Rep. Mari Cordes, D-Lincoln, spent part of the Christmas season in a refugee camp on the U.S.-Mexico border. Cordes, a registered nurse, provided volunteer medical support for people seeking asylum in the U.S.

Conditions in the camp are primitive, she said, with refugees living in tents with minimal supplies of food, water and sanitation. Cordes has previously volunteered in disaster zones and refugee camps in the U.S., Haiti, Africa and Europe. - John Walters

Continue reading »

Conservation Commission supports Glyphosate (RoundUP) ban

January 16, 2020
 – 
Manchester Conservation Commission

Glyphosate, the herbicide better known as Monsanto's Roundup, has been identified in recent scientific studies as a human carcinogen and toxic to environmental ecosystems. It is widely used in Vermont. Manchester's Conservation Commission supports a statewide ban on glyphosate and glyphosate-based pesticides as set forth in Vermont House bill H.301 sponsored by Representative Mari Cordes.

Continue reading »

Asylum Seekers Receive Grassroots Aid Along the Border in Mexico

Jan. 13, 2020
 – 
Tracy Barnett, YES!

Staff from GRM’s 750-member network of health care providers come down for a week or two to lend a hand. They include people such as Mari Cordes, a veteran nurse and Vermont state legislator who used the holiday break to serve.

Continue reading »

The Seeds of Rural Progressivism

Fall 2019
 – 
Kate Logan and Shay Totten

...she was able to draw on relationships she had built in the community as a neighbor, nurse, and union leader over nearly as long a period. Bringing a grassroots approach to electoral campaigning—in part by inviting community members to come together and talk about the changes they wanted to see in the district and state during regular listening sessions she organized throughout the campaign...

Continue reading »

Climate Change Activists Disrupt Vt. Legislature, Demand Action

May 16, 2019
 – 
Jack Thurston

A close ally of climate change activists in the House, Rep. Mari Cordes, D/P-Addison 4, said while she passionately supports climate justice, the wide variety of priorities among Democrats and a need to represent all Vermonters simply meant not every initiative could advance this session.

“I share their frustrations,” Cordes said.

Still, Cordes promised she and colleagues focused on climate change legislation will continue working in the Vermont Legislature’s off-season.

Continue reading »

Vt. general store gives community closure ultimatum

March 7th, 2019
 – 
Christina Guessferd, WCAX

When news of the potential closure reached state reps, Alderman says they immediately called and asked, 'what can we do to help?' Now, they're working together to keep the store's doors open, and its legacy alive.

"I was definitely dismayed, but not surprised. We're in the era of chain stores, Blue Apron and Amazon," said Rep. Mari Cordes, D/P-Lincoln. Cordes spoke to the Commissioner of the Tax Department and Lieutenant Governor David Zuckerman Thursday. She says they all agreed it's in everybody's best interest to keep country stores like Monkton General afloat. "Like schools, I think general stores are the heart of the community. Having village central areas and economic hubs, I think, are critical to that so that people can get their needs locally and not be driving long distances to purchase things."

Continue reading »

Addison County Candidate Forum - Full Video

October 17, 2018
 – 
Northeast Addison Television (NEAT)

6 Candidates for Addison4 Vt Senate, 2 seats open. 4 Candidates for Addison4 Vt House, 2 seats open. 1 Candidate unopposed Addison5 Vt House

Continue reading »

Letter to the editor: Cordes, Elder make very good team

October 25, 2018
 – 
Rob Demic

We of Bristol, Lincoln, Starksboro, and Monkton could not be better represented, and it is with admiration from me, who ran against them this primary, that I ask you to support them. The State House will run better if they are in there to help.

Vermont takes up #WomenDisobey protest in solidarity with action in Washington D.C.

June 28, 2018
 – 
Joel Banner Baird and Emilie Teresa Stigliani

We are calling for all women to join us for a mass civil disobedience in DC on Thursday, 6/28, to demand this administration stop criminalizing undocumented immigrants and tearing children away from their parents.#WomenDisobey to #EndFamilyDetention http://endfamilyseparation.us

Continue reading »

Cordes Campaign Announces Multiple Endorsements

June 25, 2018
 – 
Kate Bailey

LINCOLN, VT — Mari Cordes, Democratic candidate for the Vermont House in Addison-4, has received endorsements from several individuals and organizations, including David Zuckerman, Bill McKibben, the VSEA, and Rights & Democracy.

“I’ve dedicated my life to the causes these people and organizations represent, and it’s an honor for my campaign to be recognized in this way,” said Cordes.

Continue reading »

This is what Democracy Looks Like

12/20/2017
 – 
Allison Berkowitz

"Mari Cordes in town from Vermont, said that she makes sure to let her nursing board know ahead of time when she plans to participate in “CD” so it won’t interfere with her licensing. When asked whether or not helping professionals should be protesting this way, she said, “I think this is one of the most healing things a nursing practitioner can do.” I am sure there are many other ways Ms. Cordes would have preferred to use her time. She’s a mother, grandmother, and full time Nurse back in Vermont. But she felt compelled to be here."

Continue reading »

Elizabeth Deutsch & Mari Cordes: Patients Will Pay

December 5, 2017
 – 
Commentary

"Instead of slashing health care to cover the cost of massive tax cuts for the wealthy, elected leaders should listen to their constituents and work to expand access to health care so that every American can get the care they need, when they need it."

Continue reading »

Panel Convenes to Review Racial Disparities in Vermont

August 30, 2017
 – 
Pat Bradley, WAMC Northeast Public Radio

"... Mari Cordes says she has witnessed racial discrimination in the health care system and says all institutions, whether they are public or private, need to take a hard look at the issue. “Many of us are taking a hard look at our bias. Many people are still not. So I think what’s transferable is for institutions to have the courage to admit that it exists within them personally individually and within the organization and then take strong steps to establish processes and systems that will address it.”

Continue reading »

Emboldened Fight for Health Care as a Right: A conversation with Mari Cordes

August 4, 2017
 – 
Sarah Jaffe

WELCOME TO INTERVIEWS FOR RESISTANCE. Since election night 2016, the streets of the U.S. have rung with resistance. People all over the country have woken up with the conviction that they must do something to fight inequality in all its forms. But many are wondering what it is they can do. In this series, we’ll be talking with experienced organizers, troublemakers, and thinkers who have been doing the hard work of fighting for a long time. They’ll be sharing their insights on what works, what doesn’t, and what has changed, and what is still the same.

Continue reading »

Heroism 2.0: Vermonters on the Front Lines of Health Care Debate

August 2, 2017
 – 
John Walters, Seven Days

As the American Civil Liberties Union's Twitter feed put it, "Senators Collins, McCain and Murkowski deserve gratitude — but the real heroes are the millions of Americans who showed us what democracy looks like."

Continue reading »

Now That Skinny Repeal is Squashed, What's Next for Health Care?

August 1, 2017
 – 
Sarah Jaffe, BillMoyers.com

Mari Cordes talks about the organizing she did against the health care bill and why it's important that activists keep fighting for the health care we need.

Continue reading »

These Candidates Are Challenging The Status Quo In Their States This Election

10/31/2016
 – 
Emily Tate

"Inspired by the work of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Cordes, a 57-year-old grandmother and registered nurse, is seeking public office after decades of advocating for individuals and families.

In her state, she has helped secure paid sick leave, pass anti-discrimination legislation for transgender people and expose systemic racism. She has also provided medical and disaster relief to earthquake survivors in Haiti and refugees passing through Greece. Cordes believes it’s our responsibility to help anyone who is negatively impacted by U.S. policy, including Syrian refugees and communities affected by the climate crisis.

It takes ordinary people like us, like me, fighting like hell for a world that works for everyone and not just a few."

Continue reading »

After Bernie: Will "Our Revolution" Deliver on Its Promise of "Political Revolution"?

October 25, 2016
 – 
Michael Corcoran, Truthout

When Our Revolution -- the new organization founded by Sen. Bernie Sanders -- kicked off in Burlington, Vermont, a nurse and long-time union organizer, Mari Cordes, introduced the iconic senator in front of the many thousands watching across the country. While Cordes is a major advocate for social change in Vermont, she is not a national figure. But some might call her a pioneer whose story may be the epitome of the kind of "political revolution" that Sanders says is "just getting started."

Cordes is among several Vermont progressives, many of whom have worked with Sanders in the past, who have already had success in winning down-ticket primaries this year against what Cordes described in an interview with Truthout as "the Democratic establishment in Vermont." She was endorsed personally by Bernie Sanders in her successful primary challenge for a seat in Vermont's House of Representatives, against an incumbent Democrat. Since then, she has been among the first candidates endorsed by Our Revolution. She was also endorsed by Rights and Democracy (RAD), a Vermont-based group she helped found, which has similar goals as Our Revolution, emphasizing down-ticket races at the local level.

Continue reading »

Mari Cordes Receives National Recognition

October 19, 2016
 – 
Press Release

Mari Cordes, who is running for the Vermont House of Representatives in Addison-4, was named to the Progressive Change Campaign Committee’s 2016 Power List, which recognizes rising political stars from across the country.

Continue reading »

People's Action Endorses 22 Candidates with the Values and Vision to Build the Progressive Political Revolution

October 18, 2016
 – 
Jacob Swenson-Lengyel

People’s Action, a national organization of more than a million people, is endorsing 22 candidates around the country. The candidates exemplify the leadership qualities, values and vision necessary to build a strong future for everyone – not just the wealthy few.

Continue reading »

Susan Borg and Richard Nessen from Lincoln, Vermont: "She's going to be a very, very strong Representative"

October 11, 2016

Continue reading »

Catch Mari on Bernie's livestream!

August 24, 2016
 – 
Alison

“Change never takes place from the top down, it always takes place from the bottom up.”

  • Senator Bernie Sanders

This past Wednesday night, surrounded by fellow progressive candidates, Bill McKibben, and a standing-room-only crowd, I had the honor of introducing Senator Bernie Sanders at his national broadcast launching the organization Our Revolution. It was a privilege to join Bernie in carrying the message that the people's movement sparked by his presidential candidacy has transformed this country’s political landscape. Today, meaningful progressive change can and will occur from our local school boards all the way to the halls of Congress!

Watch my speech following Bill McKibben’s introduction, and keep listening for Bernie’s full message.

Primary roundup: Turnout, Sanders, incumbent victories

August 10, 2016
 – 
Jess Aloe, April Burbank and Cory Dawson, Burlington Free Press

Vermonters went to the polls on Tuesday to choose nominees for governor, lieutenant governor, state senators and state representatives, and cast ballots on local issues.

Continue reading »

A New Path to Progressivism: An Interview with Vermont House Candidate Mari Cordes

August 1, 2016
 – 
Victoria Albert, In These Times

“I live with my husband and our small flock of quirky chickens on our off-the-grid homestead,” reads Mari Cordes’ campaign website.

But don’t be fooled by her humble words; Cordes is a powerhouse.

As president of the 2,000-member Vermont Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals (VFNHP), Cordes successfully fought for paid sick leave, improved health care legislation, an end to insurance discrimination against transgendered patients and increased oversight of for-profit hospital buyouts, all while working 12-hour shifts as a cardiology RN.

In the wake of Bernie Sanders’ groundbreaking progressive campaign, Cordes has set her sights on something even bigger—the Vermont House of Representatives.

On August 9, the self-described progressive Democrat will make her first run for elected office, facing off against Stephen Pilcher and incumbent Dave Sharpe in the Democratic primary.

Vermont is one of the few states with a precedent of progressive leadership. Not only have third-party progressive candidates won seats in the state House and Senate, but Sanders also hails from the Green Mountain State. Riding the wave of political optimism created by his campaign, candidates like Cordes are working to ensure that the senator’s progressive legacy will live on in local government.

Her work has earned her the endorsements of the Vermont AFL-CIO, the Vermont National Educators Association and the Vermont State Employees’ Association.

In These Times recently connected with Cordes by phone to discuss her past, present and future as a political leader.

Continue reading »

Dunne unveils plan to overhaul Vermont's Healthcare System

June 30, 2016
 – 
Vermont Business Magazine

Cordes quoted: “Matt and I agree that healthcare is a human right. I’ve been a registered nurse in Vermont since 1988, and I’ve witnessed firsthand how a political system hijacked by private, corporate interests has an impact on the health and well-being of Vermonters,” said Mari Cordes, RN VA-BC, and former President of the Vermont Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals. “Matt has a plan to help turn this around, starting with a system of publicly funded universal primary care. He’s also right to prioritize community health programs. Our current system is broken, and we need a new approach to turn it around. I have confidence in Matt’s plan to put us back on track and implement policies that will improve access to high quality care for all Vermonters.”

Continue reading »

Paid Sick Leave Policies are Good for All

December 16, 2013
 – 
Mari Cordes

Proud to be part of a coalition that made this into law this year! "We are living in a remarkable period of time when policy, resources and protections have shifted dramatically toward large businesses and away from people, with a continuing and disturbing trend of deteriorating standards for the lowest paid workers while the wealth and opportunities of very few are flourishing. All this while evidence grows that paid sick leave policies work and support both people and business."

Continue reading »

Vermont Advocates Continue to Push for Single Payer Health

December 3, 2015
 – 
Lisa Rathke, Times Argus

A survey of the 3,000-member Vermont Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals showed overwhelming support for singer payer, said Mari Cordes, a nurse member of the union.

Health care providers want anyone who needs medical attention to get it as early as possible, she said, with no barriers to accessing care when their condition worsens or becomes life-threatening and costlier to treat.

“Get the insurance companies out of our exam rooms and get our hard-earned money out of administrative waste and exorbitant CEO compensation,” Cordes said. “A universal publicly funded health care system is the only way to do that.”

Continue reading »

Labor for Bernie Letter for Mari

May 26, 2016
 – 
Labor for Bernie

Dear Sisters and Brothers:

We are writing on behalf of Mari Cordes, a working nurse in Burlington, Vermont and past president of the 2,000-member AFT-affiliated RN union at UVM Medical Center.

.... She was instrumental in securing her state federation’s support for [Bernie Sanders] campaign and joined other members in lobbying the American Federation of Teachers to back Bernie’s presidential bid.

Mari is now running for office herself, as part of the surge of interest in local progressive politics generated by Bernie’s national campaign. She is running for the Vermont State House of Representatives from the Addison-4 District (the towns of Lincoln, Starksboro, Monkton, and Bristol).

She is campaigning, in part, based on her past labor-related work as a statewide leader of the Vermont Progressive Party and [activist] member of the Vermont Workers Center. She has been one of Vermont’s leading advocates for single-payer health care, workers' rights, and other causes, including environmental protection. (She is treasurer of the 350.org Vermont board.)

Continue reading »

Vermont Orders Insurance Companies to End Transgender Exclusions

Transgender Law Center

Mari Cordes co-led the Equal Care Coalition that won this: "Transgender Law Center congratulates the state of Vermont today, as it becomes the fourth state (and DC!) to order insurance companies to end their practice of excluding medically necessary care for transgender people."

Continue reading »

Vermont’s Voice For Nurses–and All of Us!

June 16, 2016
 – 
Suzanne Gordon

On this site in the past, I’ve tried to highlight the work of nurses who have taken their patient advocacy into the arena of public policy making and electoral politics.

Mari Cordes, a nurse of twenty-eight years, the last sixteen at the University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington, has done both. After tireless campaigning for single payer health care in the Green Mountain State and for safer nurse-patient staffing ratios in her own hospital, Mari has become a candidate for the state legislature.

Before taking this plunge into local politics, Mari served as president of a 2,000-member nurses union, affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers. In that capacity, she both represented her co-workers in contract negotiations and day-to-day grievance handling and served as a constant presence in Montpelier, the Vermont state capitol. There, she helped draft bills and organize community support for paid sick leave, an end to health insurance plan discrimination against transgendered patients, and better regulatory oversight when local hospitals are sold to for-profit operators.

Continue reading »