Matt's Message at the Vermont Democratic Party Convention

On Sunday Matt spoke at the Vermont Democratic Party Convention. His speech is copied below. 

This election is so important because of the role Vermont plays as the conscience of the country. 

We were the first state to ban slavery and the first state to push back against Joe McCarthy. We were first to require GMO labeling, the first to guarantee healthcare to every child within our borders, and we were the first to say love is love and legalize civil unions.  

Vermont has set the bar for what it means to be a progressive state. And I knew that from my own upbringing as well. 

My father was a civil rights activist who was arrested for protesting racial injustice in North Carolina. He then became a country lawyer who helped found the Vermont land trust. My mother was the first woman to go through tenure track at Dartmouth, where she became chair of the education department and went on to lead a national school reform movement. 

That’s my heritage -- and I’ve done my best to carry it forward. I was proud to sponsor a single payer healthcare bill way back in 1994.  I was proud to be one of the first Vermont politicians to support gay marriage. And though pundits and citizens alike were skeptical of his chances, I was proud to be the first gubernatorial candidate in the country to endorse Bernie Sanders. 

In this election at the state level, we are going to see the biggest leadership shift in decades. We’ll have a new Governor, Lt. Governor, Speaker of the House and President Pro Tem, and new chairs of committees in both chambers. And at the national level, as Bernie will tell you, that what’s happening is not about one person running for president. It's a movement. A movement that started in Vermont and must continue here in Vermont. Bernie’s fight is our fight. We are ready. 

We are ready implement real ethics reform, and ban corporate contributions. 

We are ready to act on the truth that healthcare is a human right, and bring universal healthcare to our state. 

We are ready to deliver a 15 dollar minimum wage.

We are ready to make sure that every woman and man is paid equally for equal work, and that all working Vermonters can have paid family leave. 

But this window closes if Phil Scott is elected Governor. And let me be clear: I am ready to beat Phil Scott. I am ready to bring a vision for progressive change to Montpelier. We must seize upon this moment and this movement. By working together, we will ensure that Vermont continues to be the conscience of the country, and lead the nation by being a model for progressive values. 

I look forward to working with all of you to make sure this happens, and to make sure we are victorious in November.