VERMONT DEMOCRATS

Party Platform

VDP Party Platform

ADOPTED AUGUST 20, 2022

Preamble

Our nation’s democracy is under immense pressure. The damage caused by the January 6th 2021 attempt to sabotage the peaceful transfer of power is a threat to our democracy. 

Additionally, a politicized Supreme Court has become increasingly alienated from the will of most Americans and threatens to undermine our fundamental human rights. During a single week in June of 2022, Republican-appointed Supreme Court members: 

  • Decimated every woman’s freedom to control her reproductive health. 

  • Crippled each state’s authority to protect its citizens by managing the use of guns. 

  • Destroyed the wall between church and state. 

  • Laid a blueprint for a further assault on fundamental rights to individual privacy and autonomy, including contraception and marriage equality. 

  • Severely hindered the EPA’s authority to regulate air quality. 

  • Failed to comply with the conflict-of-interest regulations imposed on all other federal judges. 

 

In the face of these attacks, Vermonters continue to defend and extend the conditions on which democracy depends. 

  • During the Covid pandemic, Vermonters have blended personal responsibility with a concern for our communities resulting in nation-high levels of vaccinations. 

  • Despite the challenges of the pandemic, Vermonters voted in record numbers and Vermont ranked number one in the national Election Performance Index. 

  • While Republican lawmakers in 27 states worked to limit access to the ballot, Vermont Democrats enacted legislation to expand voter participation. 

  • In 2020, our Democratic Secretary of State, in partnership with the Democratic led legislature, ensured that Vermonters could vote safely in record numbers. 

  • While the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade threatens to ban or curtail access to abortion and related health services, Vermonters are poised to ratify a constitutional amendment protecting an individual’s right to personal reproductive self-determination. 

 

Like other Americans, Vermonters are burdened with rising inflation caused by Putin’s war in Ukraine, global supply chain bottlenecks, and unrestrained price-gouging by giant companies, especially those that control energy and food processing in the United States. 

There is much work ahead. While too many states devolve into autocracy, Vermont can and should extend its leading role as a laboratory of 21st century democracy.

To that end, the Vermont Democratic Party (VDP) is committed to the following: 

1. Equity:

Vigorously examine and reform practices, processes, policies, regulations, and legislation that may inhibit or obstruct access to, and participation in, the life of our communities by any Vermonter for reasons of sex, race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, class, religion, age, physical ability, mental health status, disability, incarceration history, or immigration circumstances. 

2. Prosperity for All:

Direct public and private investments focused on developing a 21st century economy that promotes shared and sustainable economic, social, and ecological well-being. 

3. Environmental Justice:

Enhance the quality of every Vermonter’s life within the carrying capacity of our supporting ecosystem and fully implement the Climate Action Plan. 

4. Health Care for All:

Unequivocally establish that health care is a fundamental human right, central to dignity, autonomy, and well-being. Universal, comprehensive, accessible, and affordable health care is essential to human life and to full participation in our society. 

5. Justice and Community Safety:

Improve the well-being of our communities through a comprehensive approach to public safety that recognizes our individual implicit biases and the institutional racism inherent within the criminal justice system, and that ends the criminalization of poverty, addiction, and otherness, while embracing more effective alternatives to incarceration. 

6. Public Education Second to None:

Secure Vermont’s future by investing in our children – sustaining our commitment to equitable and excellent preK to post high school education, increasing and improving affordable access to early childcare, and extending affordable, first-rate, post-secondary learning opportunities throughout adulthood.

7. Democracy:

Strengthen Vermonters’ engagement and confidence in government by ensuring free and fair elections, spirited public participation, transparent and effective government, and a free press. 

To be sure, these planks are neither exhaustive nor separable. They are indispensable, interdependent elements of a vibrant and creative future for Vermont, rooted in respect for each other, care for our communities, and a collective responsibility for our planet.

1. Equity

Vermont is made stronger when all people are uplifted and afforded equitable opportunity and access in all of our communities. Equity is a foundational principle to our Party, Democratic beliefs, and rural and urban communities across Vermont. Within this plank and across all planks of this Platform, it is critical that equity be both a goal and an outcome across policies. 

The VDP recognizes that systemic and institutional racism exists throughout our state and affirms that Black Lives Matter. We acknowledge past and present inequities in our party, our state, and our country, and strive to dismantle the systems of oppression that continue to marginalize valued members of our community. We will continually educate ourselves as individuals, as communities, and as a Party about racial justice and we understand these conversations will be hard and uncomfortable while ensuring a safe and positive environment for all. The VDP will endeavor to make these changes through:

GOVERNMENT 

  • Examine and evaluate policies, procedures and legislation– including the Vermont Constitution– through  racial equity and intersectionality lenses, and regularly assess decision-making processes at all levels of government.

  • Adopt Proposition 2, amending the Vermont Constitution to prohibit all forms of slavery and

  • indentured servitude. 

  • Work toward equitable distribution of, and access to, power by improving participation in, running for, and serving in elected office to better diversify representation. 

  • Identify and remove barriers to participation in vital democratic practices such as voting and Town Meeting Day, to ensure equitable opportunity for underrepresented communities. 

  • Work to close the racial wealth gap by raising the minimum wage and enacting other legislation and policies that promote equitable hiring and retention practices, high quality jobs, and hold institutions accountable for engaging in predatory lending.   

EDUCATION

  • Affirm and protect the importance and presence of racial justice curriculum and LGBTQ+ inclusion in Vermont schools. 

  • Affirm and support the safety and well-being of students and their families who identify as BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and/or have disabilities, ensuring they can learn and thrive in environments free of bias and discrimination. 

  • We reject the idea of book banning and respect the right to read, recognizing that individuals and families can make their own decisions to include diverse literature including topics regarding, race, sexuality, and inclusion.

HISTORICALLY MARGINALIZED COMMUNITIES 

  • Roll back the regressive Republican tax cuts for the very wealthy and large corporations. Pass measures that address the corrosive effect of excessive wealth. 

  • Implement tax policies that encourage local investment. 

  • Investigate excess profits of Big Oil and support a federal windfall profits tax to fund affordable energy alternatives. 

  • Expand Vermont’s child tax credit and support renewal of the federal child tax credit to provide critical support for families. 

HEALTH AND WELL-BEING

  • Work to root out harassment, including, but not limited to, sexual and racial harassment in our workplaces and other institutions, and take action to ensure those committing these injustices are held accountable. 

  • Denounce divisive rhetoric and hate speech that generates division and fear towards historically marginalized individuals or communities. 

  • Reduce and ultimately eliminate health disparities, such as the heightened dangers of the COVID-19 pandemic faced by BIPOC communities, and strengthen access to quality health care to reduce maternal health disparities. 

  • Affirm, protect, and extend fundamental rights to dignity, privacy, and bodily autonomy including, but not limited to rights to be free from discrimination, the rights to contraception and procreation, reproductive health care, consensual sexual activity, choice of living arrangements, end-of-life decisions, and the rights to form intimate relationships, including marriage, regardless of race, sexual orientation, or gender identity.

2. Prosperity For All

We recognize Vermonters as anyone who lives in Vermont regardless of time of arrival or ancestry. We believe that Vermont must be a place where young Vermonters can stay and raise their families, and where older Vermonters can live comfortably and securely. Vermont must also be a beacon for new residents to this country and the energy and dynamism they bring to our economy. Unfortunately, our economic structures and policies have led to enormous imbalances in wealth and income that have left too many of our neighbors behind. 

Additionally, rising inflation from global supply chain bottlenecks, Putin’s war in Ukraine, and the price gouging of food and oil corporations have increased the economic burden shouldered by Vermonters. While no one state can change the global economic forces at work, the VDP believes that our response must focus on building an innovative and prosperous economy that works for all Vermonters through the following elements: 

INVESTMENT

  • Invest in quality public schools that support all learning types. 

  • Support life-long learning through trade schools, community colleges, state colleges, and the University of Vermont. 

  • Provide access to capital and technical assistance for small businesses. Offer support for employers providing worker training. 

  • Expand affordable high-speed internet and cell phone coverage to all parts of Vermont. 

  • Support the passage of President Biden's COMPETES Act to boost domestic manufacturing. Increase investment in Vermont’s private and public housing. 

  • Commit to improving Vermont’s roads and rails, as well as expanded public and green transportation options. 

  • Implement the clean energy components of the Inflation Reduction Act to expand funding for electric and hybrid vehicles and charging stations. 

ECONOMIC SECURITY

  • Ensure a dignified work and life free of discrimination based on race, gender, gender identity, class, sexual orientation, immigration status, religion, age, or disability. 

  • Support and encourage the right to organize a union without retribution and to bargain collectively. 

  • Increase the minimum wage to a living wage. 

  • Commit to full employment for those seeking work. 

  • Support a national Medicare for All plan with negotiated prices for all prescription drugs.

  • Implement paid family leave and affordable childcare and care for adults in need of assistance. 

  • Create a public pension system for small businesses to ensure retirement security. 

  • Fully fund state employee and teacher pensions. 

  • Increase funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).

  • Provide assistance (financial, technical, and regulatory) as Vermonters transition to a carbon-free economy. This includes financial support for sectors impacted by climate change, such as, but not limited to, tourism, winter sports, and maple sugaring. 

  • Examine and evaluate policies, procedures, and legislation to ensure that the basic needs of families are adequately met to prevent separation of children from their families.

PROGRESSIVE TAXATION

  • Roll back the regressive Republican tax cuts for the very wealthy and large corporations. Pass measures that address the corrosive effect of excessive wealth. 

  • Implement tax policies that encourage local investment. 

  • Investigate excess profits of Big Oil and support a federal windfall profits tax to fund affordable energy alternatives. 

  • Expand Vermont’s child tax credit and support renewal of the federal child tax credit to provide critical support for families. 

3. Environmental Justice

Globally, Vermonters understand that climate change is real, that its environmental and economic impacts are being felt today, and that the failure to act now to limit climate change will change the lives of future generations in inequitable and irreparable ways. Youth are leading the way; Vermonters are listening and the state must act now. 

Locally, we cherish Vermont’s splendid natural resources that enable farming, forestry, outdoor recreation, and tourism, while creating a healthy, sustainable ecosystem that cleans our air, sequesters carbon, produces drinking water, and serves as a healthy habitat for all living things. 

As we transform our lives, we are dedicated to centering and financially assisting low and moderate income and vulnerable Vermonters in the transition. We know that those who have the least culpability for the impacts of climate change bear the brunt of the difficulties.

To steward Vermont’s environment and grapple with these critical environmental challenges, the VDP relies on four principles: sustainability, measurable reductions in the carbon footprint, intolerance for pollution of any kind, and divestment from fossil fuels. 

We are at a pivotal moment of action with unprecedented federal monies spearheaded by President Biden and our congressional delegation for innovative solutions in infrastructure, transportation, and energy. 

To achieve these principles, we must take action in the following areas: 

CLIMATE CRISIS

  • Aggressively pursue the goals to attain 90% renewable energy by 2050. Adequate, steady, long-term funding is essential to realize these goals. 

  • Fully implement the Environmental Justice and Equity policy. 

  • Continue to press for funding to support environmental cleanup and restoration at the state and federal levels. 

  • Ensure accountability to our climate goals by fully implementing the Climate Action Plan. 

  • Anticipate and act to reduce the impacts of climate change on future generations. 

  • Refuse campaign funding from fossil fuel companies, polluters, and those who profit from the degradation of our natural spaces. 

  • Hold polluters financially responsible for the consequences of the pollution they create.

STEWARDSHIP

  • Recognize the importance of survivability and therefore the fundamental right of all current life on earth to clean and available water, breathable air, nutritious and varied foods, and a stable climate.

  • Encourage the identification and protection of Vermont’s unique and fragile ecological habitats, critical wildlife corridors, and threatened and endangered native species. 

  • Eliminate the use of non-essential single-use plastics and regulate unnecessary wasteful practices that litter our rivers and other natural waterways. 

CLEAN ENERGY FUTURE AND INFRASTRUCTURE

  • Transform our transportation, residential and commercial fuel, electricity, agriculture, waste, and industrial systems to be sustainable. We value the built and natural environment and work to bring them closer in alignment. 

  • Work for passage of the Clean Heat Standard. 

  • End our dependence on fossil fuels. 

  • Oppose fracking, and transition to renewable sources of energy and efficiency. Expand the role of Efficiency Vermont to be an all fuels utility. 

  • Reduce single person, single vehicle trips by incorporating telecommuting options, including expanding access to high-speed internet. 

  • Assist farmers in making the transition to clean energy and sustainable practices. 

  • Promote research and innovation solutions from within Vermont. 

4. Health Care for All

The VDP supports a single-payer, Medicare-for-All health care system. Until federally sponsored Medicare-for-All legislation is enacted, Vermont must take all available steps toward achieving universal access to and coverage for high-quality, medically necessary health services for all Vermonters.This includes addressing critical challenges in the health care workforce and provision of rural care; to that end, the Vermont Democratic State Committee supports a universal publicly financed system in Vermont with primary care as the first step.

Access to essential health care, including reproductive health and abortion services, must be protected against the assault coming from the Supreme Court and right wing political ideologues. 

Health does not exist in a vacuum. Health access and outcomes are influenced by racial/ethnic, economic, and social disparities. We must eliminate racial/ethnic, gender, disability, geographic, socio-economic, and other health inequities. 

As the COVID pandemic demonstrates, a robust public health system is necessary to protect the well-being of all Vermonters. Comprehensive mental health, substance use, and recovery services are central to healthy people and communities. All Vermonters, regardless of age or disability, have the right to live in ways which maximize their dignity, safety, and independence.

 

To enhance the health of Vermonters, we will support public policies that increase: 

HEALTH ACCESS

  • Strengthen primary, specialty, dental, and vision care access statewide. 

  • Promote prevention and early intervention services. 

  • Lower prescription medication prices. 

  • Expand existing public health insurance programs. 

  • Conduct on-going assessment, oversight, and evaluation of current health care reform efforts, including the Green Mountain Care Board and the Accountable Care Organization model. 

  • Expand access to veterans’ care for PTSD and other health-related issues.

REPRODUCTIVE LIBERTY

  • Protect access to a full range of reproductive health services and autonomy for all, including abortion services. 

  • Pass Article 22 Reproductive Liberty Amendment (formerly known as Prop 5) to the Vermont Constitution to enshrine these protections permanently. 

  • Resist the national right wing assault on abortion, contraception, and other essential reproductive health measures.

HEALTH EQUITY

  • Commit to addressing and eliminating health inequities based on race/ethnicity, gender, gender identity, disability, geographic, socio-economic, age, and other factors. 

  • Improve the overall health of Vermonters by addressing the non-medical determinants of health (e.g., food, housing) and impacts of trauma. 

  • Provide linguistically and culturally competent care. 

  • Ensure availability of gender-affirming care. 

  • Address the unique challenges of providing and staffing health care in a rural state, making appropriate services available in all areas of Vermont.

PUBLIC HEALTH

  • Protect and build a robust public health infrastructure. 

  • Ensure future public health readiness by conducting a comprehensive review of all aspects of Vermont’s COVID response. 

  • Strengthen science and accurate data as the center of all public health decision-making and to aid the public in making personal health choices. 

  • Emphasize vaccination as an essential element of disease prevention and care. 

  • Respond to the health crisis of gun violence through adoption of common sense gun safety measures.

MENTAL HEALTH, SUBSTANCE USE, AND RECOVERY SERVICES 

  • Ensure a full range of statewide mental health and recovery services, from community-based counseling and support programs through effective in-patient treatment. 

  • Recognize that opioids and substance use disorder are an on-going and urgent crisis requiring a comprehensive response. 

  • Provide full access to behavioral medicine including substance use disorder services for all who need or want those services. 

  • Move away from a criminal justice response to substance use to a health-based approach. 

  • Adopt a range of substance use prevention, harm reduction, and recovery-based services in comprehensive, community-based strategies. 

  • Support innovative, science-based treatments.

HEALTHY COMMUNITIES

  • Support dignity, independence, and safety for people with disabilities and Vermonters of all ages in their communities and homes. 

  • Support a broad range of well-coordinated, home-based and community services to maximize independent living. 

  • Insist on fully accessible communities, organizations, facilities, and services. 

  • Ensure access to high-quality affordable long term and respite care. 

  • Protect and expand choices in end-of-life care.

HEALTH CARE WORKFORCE

  • Address critical shortages in the health care workforce with a comprehensive strategy of  recruitment and retention at all levels of health care.

  • Prioritize fair pay and better working conditions. 

  • Expand education and training activities. 

  • Attract new workers from within Vermont, across the United States, and around the world. 

5. Justice and Community Safety

All Vermonters deserve to feel safe in their communities. We recognize that relying primarily on punitive measures to address crime too often results in marginalization of the most vulnerable members of our society and disparate enforcement that represses racial and ethnic minorities. We recognize that our current approach to crime and punishment often exacerbates the underlying socio-economic problems that lead people to commit crimes, resulting in more crime being committed rather than less, and leads to unnecessarily violent interactions between police officers and the communities they serve. 

Accordingly, we seek to adopt a comprehensive approach to community safety; one that recognizes both individual and institutional biases within the criminal-legal system, and which addresses the underlying drivers of crime and social unrest, including poverty, the lack of stable, affordable housing, the lack of meaningful, lifelong educational opportunities, and the lack of access to physical and mental health care.

 

We must end the criminalization of poverty, addiction, and otherness. To achieve these goals, Vermont Democrats will work to:

REFORM POLICING

  • Ban the practice of deploying military equipment and tactics for civilian law enforcement purposes. 

  • Eliminate qualified immunity for police misconduct, and implement protections from retribution against officers who speak out about misconduct by colleagues. 

  • Prioritize the use of mental health and substance use counselors, peer support groups, recovery coaches, social workers, and other non-police interventions to assist people in

  • crisis. 

  • Demand accountability and transparency in policing, including by establishing empowered civilian oversight structures. 

  • Reduce the use of lethal and non-lethal force by police officers on members of their communities through mandatory de-escalation training. 

  • Expand the law to require that all Vermont law enforcement officers wear and use functioning body cameras while on duty.

REFORM PROSECUTION AND PRISONS

  • Reduce the number of Vermonters held in prisons.  Eliminate entirely the use of out-of-state prisons by reforming sentencing practices and embracing alternatives to incarceration, such as mental health services, restorative justice programs, transitional housing, and job training.

  • Eliminate the use of cash bail and unreasonable fines and fees. 

  • Expand access to expungement, including by enacting a system to automatically seal and expunge criminal records. 

  • End the privatization of correctional services, including in-prison medical services.

  • Re-examine existing prison sentences in light of our current knowledge of how systemic bias has led to disparate outcomes based on race and socio-economic status, and reduce existing sentences where these biases are found. 

  • Make Vermont the first state to fully eliminate life without parole sentences. 

  • Promote successful re-entry by providing incarcerated people with greater educational,

  • technical, and professional training opportunities. 

  • End the criminalization of consensual sex work between adults, and support regulatory

  • practices to prevent sex trafficking.

REDUCE RELIANCE ON CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM TO SOLVE SOCIAL PROBLEMS

  • Adopt an approach to the possession and misuse of drugs motivated solely by public health and harm reduction principles, rather than punishing undesirable private behavior. 

  • Ensure that cannabis is appropriately regulated and taxed in a manner that rights the historic wrongs of the War on Drugs and that recognizes the disproportionate impact prohibition has had on minority communities. 

  • Revamp our approach to domestic violence by investing in prevention and resources for victims outside of the criminal justice system, including transportation, safe and stable housing, mental health services, and access to civil-law legal resources. 

  • Promote behavioral health care for perpetrators of domestic violence.

  • Expand restorative practices through the justice system and ensure access for all Vermonters to fully supported diversion programs and community justice centers.

  • Support reform of the civil justice system and the development of educational programs

  • and the full funding of Vermont Legal Aid and Legal Services of Vermont to make it easier for Vermonters to assert and defend their rights in the civil courts regardless of their socioeconomic status.

GUN VIOLENCE PREVENTION 

  • Respect Vermont’s culture of safe and responsible gun ownership through activities such as Vermont Hunter Safety Education courses. 

  • Strengthen domestic violence protections. 

  • Strengthen waiting periods and background check requirements. 

  • Ban assault weapons. 

  • Require safe and secure storage of firearms.

6. Public Education Second to None

The VDP believes that equitable access to a high-quality pre-K to post high school public education system for all Vermonters, regardless of their socioeconomic status, is the cornerstone of a strong democracy. A commitment to this comprehensive system for all children and young adults in the state will result in better educational outcomes and the promise of a healthy, happy, and secure future for students.

 

To achieve these goals, the VDP will work for:

EQUITY

  • Ensure that all Vermont schools receiving public funding are free from discrimination on the basis of race, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, or disability, for both students and staff. 

  • Implement policies that promote racial and social equity, including but not limited to revised curricula and equitable disciplinary practices (with guidance from the Ethnic and Social Equity Standards Workgroup). 

  • Provide comprehensive and on-going anti-racism and implicit bias training for all school staff. 

COMMUNITY

  • Support local decision-making, giving voice to communities. 

  • Ensure wages and benefits for educators are fully funded, including meeting the state’s responsibilities for teachers’ and other school personnels’ pension funds. 

  • Replace reliance on property tax funding with a fair, income-based funding system. 

  • Encourage communities to adopt a community schools model based on the pilot program established in the 2020 legislative session. 

  • Provide school-based family and school staff mental health services to address issues such as childhood trauma, substance use disorders, and stresses caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. 

  • Establish universal connectivity and provide affordable high-speed broadband access across the state to both schools and homes. 

  • Encourage school districts to revise curricular offerings to reflect more accurately our nation’s diverse and complex history and to reinforce the importance of civic engagement, including voting. 

  • Reaffirm the profound importance of freedom of information and access to diverse ideas in our schools and public libraries.

CHILDHOOD AND EARLY EDUCATION

  • Secure significant investments in Vermont’s public and private childcare systems to ensure that a variety of quality and affordable childcare opportunities are available for all Vermonters.

  • Ensure childcare workers receive a fair and livable wage, compensated in relation to their colleagues with similar credentials in K-3 schools. 

  • Improve and expand quality early education programs, including special education. 

  • Encourage and support communities to provide full day, full year childcare for Vermont children within their public-school facilities.

ELEMENTARY AND HIGH SCHOOL

  • Address the teacher shortage exacerbated by the Covid pandemic, helping schools to fill vacancies. 

  • Provide all students with access to 21st-century technology. 

  • Increase 21st-century curricular offerings at high school technical centers statewide. 

  • Expand arts curricula across all grades, pre-K to 16, and broaden access to arts and cultural programming for all. 

  • Improve delivery of special education programs and ensure that schools receiving public funds fully serve all students with special needs. 

  • Meet workforce needs with a focus on trade education, providing Vermont with well-resourced CTEs (Career and Technical Education Centers) that forge a path to good-paying jobs.

POST HIGH SCHOOL

  • Enhance lifelong learning opportunities, including continued support and funding for Vermont state colleges and trade schools. 

  • Support more funding, grants, and borrower-friendly no- or low-interest loans for the higher education system to make colleges affordable and accessible for all. 

  • Offer recent college graduates loan forgiveness if they remain and work in Vermont for at least two years. 

  • Encourage the state college system to expand and diversify its income by attracting small businesses, federal programs, day care, and other higher education opportunities to its campuses. 

7. Democracy

There is increasing recognition that at the Federal level, our democracy has been and continues to be dangerously weakened by gerrymandered House districts, a Supreme Court dominated by ideologues appointed by presidents who did not win the popular vote, and, most recently, grotesque and cruel Supreme Court decisions opposed by long standing precedent. At the state level, we have an obligation to stand in opposition to these forces by using the power of our Legislature and Constitution to protect and defend democracy. 

The VDP believes that all actions of the government must be conducted with transparency, fairness, responsibility, and accountability. Democracy only works when Vermonters can vote freely and easily, with accurate and timely information about critical issues, and when the government itself is held accountable by a free and fair press and guided by an ethics standard applicable to all government employees and elected officials. 

We urge our congressional delegation to push for an end to unfettered money influence on our political system and civic institutions – which has exploded as a result of the Citizens United Supreme Court decision – and to work for essential democracy and election reform legislation included in the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Enhancement Act.

 

The VDP will prioritize work in the following areas: 

ELECTIONS

  • Ensure safe, free, and easy access to the ballot box for all Vermont residents, in elections for positions at all levels of government. 
    Increase voter participation by continuing to eliminate barriers to voting that may arise from language, differing abilities, or work and family responsibilities. 
    Help first-time voters understand how to register and vote in their communities. 
    Ensure that candidates from diverse backgrounds can successfully run for office at all levels of government. 
    Support the United States Postal Service (rural post offices are under threat). 
    Continue conducting fair and transparent elections, with auditable paper ballots. 
    Support communities that wish to extend voting rights for local elections, such as Brattleboro’s 16-17 year old voting and Montpelier’s non-citizen voting on municipal issues. 
    Implement campaign finance reforms that ensure transparency, limit corporate influence,
    encourage small-dollar donations, and offer a functional public financing option. 
    Support changes to election law that strengthen transparency and trust by voters, such as requiring that candidates who run in and win a party primary use the same party designation in the general election. 
    Explore the feasibility of ranked-choice voting. 

ACCOUNTABILITY

  • Resource the State Ethics Commission to improve Vermonters’ confidence in government institutions, offer guidance to public servants, and to protect whistleblowers. 
    Strengthen open meeting and public records laws to promote public participation in, and oversight of, government functions. 
    Defend a free press that increases political knowledge, encourages voter participation, and holds government officials accountable to the people. 
    Prevent the privatization of public assets and government services, including the postal service, veteran’s care, corrections, and mental health services. 
    Support investigative journalism that counters disinformation and falsehoods amplified by social and other media. 
    Uphold and hold ourselves accountable to campaign finance law as written.