Who am I?
I am an organic vegetable farmer. I also have served in the Vermont House of Representatives for 14 years (1997-2010) including 6 years on the Natural Resources and Energy Committee, 6 years on the Agriculture Committee (4 as Chairman) and 2 years on the Ways and Means Committee.
My wife, daughter and I own and operate our farm. We employ as many as 8 workers at the peak of our production. We produce 25 acres of vegetables, 1000 broilers and a couple dozen pigs. We sell our food throughout a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), the local farmers market (Summer and winter) and through local food stores.
I enjoy biking, playing soccer and basketball, contra-dancing and hiking.
Why am I running?
I was first inspired to run for office by the work of Senator Bernie Sanders (VT) when he served as Vermonts long congressman. His work on behalf of ordinary working people and the environment without the typical political double speak of so many politicians was eye opening.
Upon learning more of his work and that of other local people who worked to get him first elected as Mayor of Burlington in 1981, I became re-engaged in the political process.
That engagement led to my running for the Vermont House of Representatives as a student at the University of Vermont. After losing in 1994, I tried again and won in 1996.
I am now running for the office of Senator for Chittenden County to continue the work I started in the House. I am planning to be very engaged in the implementation of Vermont's single payer healthcare system. As a small business owner without insurance and unable to provide insurance to my employees, I understand first hand how the costs of healthcare and health insurance are prohibitive.
I also have a keen interest in the following issues and have worked succesfully on many of them towards progress; sustainable and local agriculture, affordable housing, marriage equality, raising the minimum wage, movign towards more renewable energy and increased efficiency to reduce energy demand, legalization, taxation and regulation of marijuana, and GMO legislation (labeling and other).
I have a track record of working on more than two things at once. My primary goals will be to get as progressive a funding system as possible implemented for the single payer healthcare system and work to pass GMO labeling legislation. I will also work to move our marijuana laws towards a more reasonable and rational system and away from being characterized as criminal.
My DFA Values
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My Campaign is People Powered!
In the primary, it was clear that I had more volunteers and interest than almost any other campaign for the same office. It was widely remaked that we had more lawnsigns equally distributed across the county than anyone else. This shows that we had volunteers in each town taking responsibility for finding households who would be willing to put them up as well as taking the time to make sure appropriate public spaces also had our presence.
Our campaign, with the help of others, also leafletted more of the county than any other campaign. We have had volunteers staffing tables and events throughout the county.
I can also say that I know I would not win this campaign without a tremendous amount of help. With most of the campaign falling during the peak of the farming season, I have had to rely on volunteers and one paid staff/volunteer to keep this campaign happening. From literature production, basic campaign materials ordering, event organizing, mailings etc., I simply would not have had the time to do it. When I used to run for the House, I did much of that my self. I had hoped to do more of it myself this time around as well. But I have had the good fortune to have many many people interested in my election and they have stepped up in more ways that I can possibly know.