It is time for Vermont to Start Growing Again.

I'm running for Vermont State Senate because I want to hear more people in Montpelier advocating for policies that attract more investment, people and opportunity to our state.  We need our state government to foster the conditions for economic growth so our present and future generations have more opportunity to stay here, live here, work here and thrive here.

Before the current economic crisis, Vermont was becoming less affordable every year and a large reason for this is because we weren't growing.  Now, with the present economic shut down, growth has actually reversed. Unemployment is lowering family incomes. The closing of businesses is threatening to drive some into bankruptcy. Just at the time when we need support from our state to help us pull out of this slump, the state has less income to meet these new demands. This is a condition that will worsen until our state’s economy is back on its feet, people are working and businesses are operating fully again. Chittenden county had a thriving business community. Unemployment was at historic lows and wages were climbing. Tourism kept our restaurants full and our shops busy. Now, all of these are threatened, and, every day, the ability of our community to recover its vibrancy is diminishing.

We had problems before that we all saw as priorities for new spending; areas where we looked to local and state government for help in helping us solve important problems. Now government resources are being drained by the needs of current survival (e.g., maintaining payrolls and basic services). They can only be replenished by a return to full employment and thriving businesses.

We need leaders who understand how to balance priorities when resources are tight. Legislators who know how to most efficiently support the re-emergence of our state and local economies. This regrowth is critical if we are going to regain the quality of life we cherish and the goals that we had before this epidemic. We have to have leadership that understands how to help reinvigorate our struggling farms and small businesses that ensure our local food supply. We have to do what we can to help our badly damaged service sector (restaurants, tourist venues, the arts community) and so many others. We need legislators that can help ensure that our state government operates as efficiently as possible.

Graph of Vermont's population

https://www.washingtonpost.com/us-policy/2019/03/02/rise-fall-most-european-state-union/

I believe it is time for Vermont to start growing again, in the sustainable, people and planet friendly way that we are known for in the world.