A Note from Matt

As you may have heard, we were not successful in winning the primary. It’s always hard and we are tired, but full of gratitude. Campaigns are never run by one person working alone. Sarah and I, and the amazing campaign team, are so deeply thankful for all of your support.

One of the central goals of our campaign was to empower the young people who will become the future leaders of Vermont. And what I saw on primary day and throughout the past year in our campaign were young people dedicated to making a difference in the world and in our magnificent state. Young people who believe in a cause. And young people whom I know are more powerful now than when we started, better equipped to forge the change we all know is possible.

I also want to thank the amazing Nick, who led this campaign from his heart. You could not ask for a better leader or partner in an effort like this. He put together an energetic and passionate team of staff and volunteers and I am so grateful to each and every one of them.

Yesterday I stood beside my friend Sue Minter to congratulate her on winning the Democratic nomination. And I am going to work hard to make sure that Sue is the next governor of Vermont. Vermont is too important to me to let it fall into the hands of someone who will not continue our tradition of leading on progressive economic and social justice issues.

My life has never been just about politics. My community gave me an early start in public service and I have always been willing to answer that call, but there are many, many ways to make an impact in the world. My central purpose is to use whatever vehicle I can find to empower people and communities, particularly those who are struggling the most. I have approached everything I’ve done with an eye toward giving those working alongside me the platform to exceed even their own expectations of what can be accomplished. I don’t know yet what my next chapter will be, but I know that it will have this same focus, and that it will have as a goal working with and empowering the people of the most amazing state in the nation.

For now, I will be spending the next few weeks with my magnificent wife and with my wonderful children, who continue to amaze me every day.

Thank you for your support. The change we all know is possible will only happen when we come together. I am so honored all of you joined me on this journey.

 
 
 

"A Governor Who Won't Back Down" - Jeff Weaver

What a year it’s been for Vermont. Bernie Sanders kicked off 2016 with primary victories across the country because he spoke truth to power, fighting to make progressive policies part of the mainstream of political dialogue in this country. Bernie’s message empowered millions of voters who had never before been involved in political campaigns because they agreed that it was time for a change. Even as the chorus of voices speaking his message grew louder and louder, the establishment didn’t want to confront the truth about the role of money in our elections, or the grotesque levels of income and wealth inequality in our country. But Bernie was relentless, he was tireless, and because of his fight, the Democratic platform is the most progressive in the history of the Democratic Party.

Our job now is to elect other progressive candidates who will help Bernie carry on what he calls the political revolution – our political revolution. We need candidates who will stand for the values that Bernie espouses and who will fight at every level of government — federal, state and local — to enact the progressive platform Bernie secured. As Matt Dunne, Democratic candidate for governor, often says, Bernie’s fight is our fight.

Right here in Vermont, Matt himself has faced headwinds from the political establishment as he fights to give a voice to Vermonters in communities across the state. Campaigns are busy, and they can get messy, but there’s no excuse for other campaigns distorting Matt’s position on local control with unfounded attacks and half truths. Matt’s record has been consistent.

And — contrary to what the opposition claims in misleading tv ads bankrolled by a Washington, D.C., Super PAC — he’s committed to tackling climate change and supports wind energy. Matt proposed a detailed policy agenda that includes taking on big oil by divesting the state pension fund from fossil fuels, opposing the pipeline and banning state purchases of heating fuel from ExxonMobil, which has funded climate change denialist organizations and willfully deceived the public about the science behind global warming. Matt will make sure we’re aggressively pursuing hydropower at the hundreds of untapped dams across the state, investing in microgrids and ensuring Vermont Yankee decommissioning stays on track.  

Matt also knows that we need to create an economy that works for all of us, not just the few. We need an economy that provides good jobs paying a livable wage. Matt is not afraid to talk about poverty and how too many of our neighbors are not getting by. He supports a $15 an hour minimum wage, equal pay for equal work, and paid family medical leave. Sound familiar? It should. That’s the agenda that so many of us have been fighting for in the presidential campaign and that is now part of the Democratic platform. And he wants to invest in affordable housing which will not only mean more Vermonters have a decent place to live but also that we will create more good paying jobs here in Vermont.  

Vermont is facing big changes in the coming years, and we’ll need a bold leader. On August 9, Vermonters have a chance to stand up for progressive change and to carry the political revolution forward – forever forward. That’s why I’m supporting Matt Dunne for governor.

Jeff Weaver

National Delegates for Bernie Sanders Support Matt Dunne for Governor

National delegates for Bernie Sanders today released the following letter endorsing Matt Dunne for governor:


Dear Fellow Democrats:

A little over a year ago, Bernie Sanders started a movement that brought a home-grown, inclusive message to the national stage. He fought to shift the conversation to progressive issues like making government more transparent and banning corporate money from our elections, raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour so that no one working full time lives in poverty, making universal healthcare a reality and giving the next generation the opportunity to graduate from college debt free. Bernie put the concerns of everyday people front and center in a presidential campaign in a way that hasn’t been seen in years.

But these issues weren’t new to his presidential campaign. Throughout his career — as the mayor of Burlington, a U.S. Representative, and our U.S. Senator — Bernie has been a tireless advocate for seniors, women, and low- and middle-income workers. During his campaign, the country saw that Bernie is willing to say what he believes, even if it meant the establishment would fight back.

It’s those reasons that compelled us, the national delegates for Bernie Sanders, to enthusiastically support Bernie’s presidential campaign, and it’s for those same reasons that we support Matt Dunne for Governor of Vermont.

Matt is a lifelong Vermonter. He served his hometown as a State Representative, and later as a State Senator. He co-sponsored a universal healthcare bill in the early 1990s, and has continued to fight for every Vermonters’ right to high-quality, affordable healthcare, making it a central focus of his campaign. He has the expertise that will be needed to fix the Health Connect website, because he managed similar efforts both when he was Director of AmeriCorps*VISTA — the “domestic Peace Corps” — and during his time at Google. And Matt has what it will take to put a real plan in motion to fight poverty and end homelessness in our state. In fact, he’s the only candidate for governor with a specific, detailed plan to fight poverty, and the only candidate with a plan to address the needs of our seniors, so they are able to retire with dignity and financial security.   

Organized labor, including the Vermont State Employees’ Association, the Executive Committee of the Vermont State AFL-CIO, the Teamsters Local 597 and the Professional Firefighters of Vermont have all endorsed Matt because they believe he is the best candidate to fight for the rights of working people. And Rights and Democracy, the grassroots progressive organization on the very front lines in the fight to grow our economy while protecting our environment, for workers’ rights and for a strong democracy, endorsed Matt because they believe he has the commitment to these issues and the experience to deliver results.

Last week, Bernie’s campaign manager and longtime aide Jeff Weaver endorsed Matt’s candidacy, saying Matt is the only candidate who can unite Democrats, Progressives and Independents to defeat Phil Scott in the fall, and the candidate who can bring Bernie’s message home to Vermont. We, once again, wholeheartedly agree with Jeff.

Bernie Sanders started a movement, and we have the opportunity to make his vision a reality here in Vermont. We’re calling on Bernie Sanders supporters across the state to help bring Bernie’s message and the political revolution home and vote for Matt Dunne on Tuesday, August 9th.
 

Signed:

Claudia Inés Pringles, Montpelier

Ashley Andreas, Hartford

Laura Simon, Wilder

Matt Kiley, Peacham

Kit Andrews, Burlington

Brian Pine, Burlington

Rich Cassidy, South Burlington   

Representative Kevin “Coach” Christie, White River Junction

Sherry Merrick, Thetford

More Than Sixty Women from Across Vermont Release Op-Ed in Support of Matt Dunne

A few months ago, an upsetting story was making the rounds on social media: a woman with no maternity leave, the sole income earner in her family, journaled her return to work 20 days after giving birth. As mothers, and as women, we were saddened and angered by this story. How could this be happening in 2016 in the United States? Even more upsetting is the fact that this single story represents countless working mothers who are in the same or worse situations — no maternity leave, no job protection if they choose to take time off after welcoming a new baby, and certainly no paid leave to help support their growing family while they’re away from work.

Statement from Matt Dunne on Orlando

The horrific events of last Sunday weigh on all of us. Hearing the death toll in the largest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, and the notion that the killings were motivated by hate for our LGBTQ brothers and sisters, has left me literally sick to my stomach and aching for our country. Over the last few days when I was carving out time to celebrate my daughter’s birthday, my children were asking the most difficult question. How could this have happened? 

Love Is Love

Sarah and I are heartbroken over the senseless attack in Orlando this weekend. We mourn those lost, honor their memories and pray for healing, both for the victims and for our country. This act was perpetrated by a hate that we simply cannot reconcile with all that makes us strong: diversity, inclusiveness, and above all, love. 

My First Priority as Governor: Trust, Ethics, and Transparency

Our state is in danger of losing our position as a progressive leader, because we are in danger of Vermonters losing trust in their government.  

That trust is the foundation that allows us to continue building on our legacy of progress.  And when that foundation cracks -- when people lose trust in their government, when they stop believing government has their interests at heart -- progress grinds to a halt.  

I Stand with the VSEA

I stand with our hard working state employees and members of VSEA.  I strongly encourage the Vermont Labor Board to stick to the fact finder recommendation, and support the 2% COLA adjustment in 2016 and 2.25% COLA in 2017.  As governor I will work with the Legislature to fully fund this contract, and I will treat our state employees as partners, not adversaries.  

 

Town Meeting Day

Town Meeting Day

Growing up in Vermont in the 1970s and 80s, I saw firsthand the power and importance of Town Meeting Day. The first Tuesday in March always seemed to bring with it a sense of hope and optimism -- that a group of people who care about each other and their town can come together to work through the complex and seemingly unsolvable problems that faced us, from budget shortfalls to leaking fire trucks, lawn ornament disputes to the costs of epic mud seasons.