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.