Where I stand.....
I have spent the past 20 years as a small business operator and owner. As a state we must focus resources to support and nurture our local economy. Downtown centers and Vermont’s main street businesses are a large part of our identity and a major driver to the state’s economy. I will work tirelessly on policies that will make it easier for employers to do business and work to empower our workforce. By fostering growth of local businesses and startups, we will build an economy that works for all Vermonters.
A strong local economy means supporting and empowering small businesses to be competitive employers for the state’s workforce. As a small business owner in Vergennes, I work to give people in our community good jobs, with fair pay, and the opportunity for personal growth. I lent my voice in support of paid sick days and public retirement because I know the value these policies bring to my business and the hardworking people who keep it running. These initiatives empower me and small business owners across the state by leveling the playing field between small, local businesses and bigger corporations. But we also need responsible tax structures to hold large out-of-state corporations to the same standards as our small businesses. Every business should be required to pay their fair share and the rules should enforce that. An investment in our local economy is an investment in our future.
Healthy communities start with easy access to health care, but it doesn’t end there. I support publicly-financed health care because I believe that no matter who you are or where you work, you should have access to the care you need. Access to paid family and medical leave insurance for all working Vermonters will make individuals, employers, and our local economy more resilient. In my life I have seen too many people have to carry the financial stress of illness or life events when they needed to be focusing on treatment and family. We must rethink the current system to ensure everyone is given equal opportunity at health and wellness.
How we teach our children and how we fund those schools is one of the more complex issues we face. First, we need to ensure we are providing students and teachers with the funding and resources they need while being prudent managers of taxpayer funds. I believe an increased focus on alternative education, vocational training and work study programs will guide students into industries that are in need of workers. Higher education affordability has to be addressed. Reducing tuition for Vermonters at state institutions must happen in order to provide education and opportunity without the burden of decades of loan debt.