The Issues

Here's where I stand:

Education

Access to education provides students with a pathway to success and gives students agency in their goals and decisions for the future. This deserves to be preserved, and the way we do that is by making sure our schools are funded and utilizing funding in the most efficient ways possible.

As providers of our children’s education, we as a community, must in turn care for our teachers and school workers, at every stage of their careers.

As new teachers and staff managing the stress of learning the ropes, as mid-career professionals who may decide to go back to school for additional certifications, and as older teachers and workers transitioning into retirement.

Every stage of an educator's work-life deserves our support because supported teachers and educators excel at supporting our students.

Children

As a parent of two beautiful children, I can tell you that pregnancy, adoption, fostering, or caretaking are just the introductions to parenthood.

The real work begins when you must daily instill values, love, and care on small humans that look to you to meet their every need. This becomes incrementally more difficult when working parents must balance childcare with their careers. Even more difficult is if parents cannot access adequate support networks that enable that balance.

We as a community are facing a deficit in support for parents and caregivers. This deficit can be seen in a lack of support for locally sourced school meal programs and the state child tax credit. In an absence of these resources and others, parents face undue stress to provide and care for their children.

As a community, we must stand up and support our next generations caregivers.

Environment

As a community, we need to make sure we are making informed decisions around renewable energy, public transportation, infrastructure, and natural resources.

We need to make sure that any shift towards renewable clean energy is in collaboration with farmers, trade unions, and your average Vermonter to increase affordability and access to green energy, while still planning for a future that addresses climate change. The investments we make in our future, are investments in our community.

We must make space for well-paying new jobs that keep young people in town and draw new tax-paying community members to stay, while not leaving anyone behind.

Diversity Equity and Inclusion

When I think of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion I think about where we are as a community and where we are going.

Where are we; St. Albans is growing, slowly, but we are also aging, and our young people are graduating from high school, moving away and they don’t always come back. This means a couple of different things.

First It means we need to preserve the community we have, second, it means drawing new tax-paying community members to settle here, and third, it means we need to continue to grow into a community that people want to come back to. So how do we do that? A community is strengthened when you include diverse perspectives, it gives us a larger foundation from which to draw solutions.

Diversity includes a diversity of thought, gender, ethnicity, race, and socio-economic class. Inclusion means creating an environment where everyone can be heard and it requires your leaders to be accountable to their constituents, be transparent in how decisions are being made, and be accountable when mistakes or problems occur.

Inclusion means creating an environment where everyone feels welcome. Where regardless of your identity, where you come from, or where you’re going, you feel safe walking down Main Street. Decisions are made with everyone in mind.

And when we talk about Equity, it means that as a community we take care of each other, and we provide the supports and services that allow everyone to participate and prosper in our community.

Housing

Tied into issues around our declining population in St. Albans is our limited stock of both housing and affordable housing, the need for updated zoning laws that would allow for a discussion around strategic increases in neighborhood density, and looking at how we can support additional owner-occupied rental options.

If our community successfully attracts new residents, then we must have a place for them to live. And if we want our kids to move back, then we want to make sure they have housing to move into.

If purchasing a home is not what our community member needs, then we need to make sure there are affordable options for rentals or short-term housing.

Reproductive Rights

The overturning of Roe v Wade has allowed states to pass restrictive laws that limit a persons access to critical healthcare. Having the ability to choose what is best for our bodies, and having access to medical support to back up those choices is neccessary. I have spent my career working all over the world, and have seen the consequences of extremist policies that specifically limit women's rights. We deserve leadership here in Franklin County that values freedom of choice. Leadership that trusts all women; from our mothers, and daughters, to our wives and friends, to make their own health decisions.