We are in a climate emergency and the State of Vermont must continue to lead with policies that reduce our carbon footprint. In each of my roles, I have been a staunch advocate for policies and practices that have environmental benefits reducing CO2 emissions from our human activity and will take this priority into the Vermont State Senate.
Since I have been a member of the South Burlington City Council we have installed solar panels on the capped landfill, modernized our city hall/buildings with energy efficiencies and created a special fund to collect and redirect energy savings into more projects with economic and environmental benefits.
While on the Green Mountain Transit Board (a.k.a. CCTA) we added our first two Proterra Electric Busses, entered in a contract to allow solar panels on our headquarters roof and smart investments made in AVL software to allow people to track and plan for their bus arriving - this investment is an essential component to attract choice riders to opt for public transportation. It’s these sort of smart solutions you can expect from me as your Chittenden County State Senator.
At the University of Vermont, I wrote the grant that successfully brought Virtual Desktop Computer labs to campus, designed a new course on Green IT covering environmentally & economically beneficial applications of Information Technology in the Modern Enterprise and was a champion for a new online course evaluation platform designed to replace the ~50,000+ pieces of paper previously used each year. Environmental change starts small and grows, and I know how to make it happen.
There is more that needs to be done. In the State House, I will be an advocate for policies that motivate the dual purposing of our impermeable surfaces that are creating water quality issues in Lake Champlain from stormwater runoff. We need to align incentives to get private property owners to want to build cantilever Solar Panel frames over their parking lots (like what is over the Echo Center parking lot in Burlington, pictured above) so we stop putting solar panels in green fields that make our state beautiful. Over parking lots, these solar panels will shield our cars from the snow, the sleet and the sun rather than disrupting the bucolic scenery that makes Vermont, Vermont.
But most importantly, to reduce our carbon footprint, we need a growing economy, a growing revenue base and a growing population. Growth attracts investment, renewal and enrichment. We can't upgrade our practices with stagnation and we need growth to support strategic investments in new infrastructure to implement environmental strategies that support our people and our planet.