Vermont Progressive Party's blog

2015 Reorganization Meetings

Oct. 6, 2015 

County Chairs & 2015 County Organizing Meetings:


Ellen Oxfeld, Addison Co


County Meeting:

Wed, Oct. 21 - 7pm

@ Ilsley Library, Main Street, Middleury 


Claude DeLucia, Bennington Co


County Meeting:

Wed, Oct. 28 - 7pm

@ Shaftsbury Elementary School


Chris Brimmer, Caledonia Co


County Meeting:

Thurs, Oct. 22 - 6:30pm

@ Hardwick Municipal Building (307 Main St, Hardwick)


Selene Colburn, Chittenden Co


County Meeting:

Sunday, Oct. 18 - 5pm (potluck); 6pm (meeting)

@ Full Moon Farm in Hinesburg


Phil Bronz, Franklin Co


County Meeting:

Tues, Oct. 20 - 7pm 

@ Enosburg Library 


Johenry Nunes, Grande Isle Co


County Meeting:

Wed, Oct. 14 - 6pm

@ Isle LaMotte Methodist Church 


Marci Young, Lamoille Co


County Meeting:

Tues, Oct. 20 - 6pm

@ Morrisville Centennial Library 


Susan Davis, Orange Co


County Meeting:

Tues, Oct. 20 - 6pm

@ Calef Library, Washington town


Marjorie Kramer, Orleans Co


County Meeting:

Sat, Oct. 17 - 10am

@ Goodrich Memorial Library (Vermont Room)


Robin Chesnut-Tangerman, Rutland Co

County Meeting:

Thurs, Oct. 22 - 7pm

@ 72 Sundog Lane, Middletown Springs


Ben Eastwood, Washington Co


County Meeting:

Mon., Oct. 26 - 6pm

@ Kellogg Hubbard Library (Hayes Room), Montpelier 


Eesha Williams, Windham Co


County Meeting:

Wednesday, Oct. 21 - 7pm

@ Dummerston Town Office (1523 Middle Rd, East Dummerston)

Liz Blum, Windsor Co


County Meeting:

Monday, Oct. 19 - 6:30pm

@ Upper Valley Food Co-Op (upstairs meeting room), White River Jct 


Resolution in Support of Bernie Sanders for President


Whereas Senator Bernie Sanders is currently seeking election as President of the United States; and


Whereas, the Vermont Progressive Party’s current Party Platform asserts our positions on many social and economic justice issues that align with Sen. Sanders’ campaign platform; and


Whereas Progressives believe in a strong, sustainable economy that supports all people, not just the top 1% and Sen. Sanders has consistently advocated for the working and low-income people of Vermont and the United States; and


Whereas Progressives believe healthcare is a human right and should be provided through a publicly financed system and Sen. Sanders tirelessly advocates for universal healthcare;  and

Whereas Progressives and Sen. Sanders recognize the importance of climate change on both our environment and our economy; and  

Whereas Progressives recognize that deeply rooted racism and white privilege needs to be abolished wherever they exist and Sen. Sanders is listening to black leaders, addressing deeply internalized racist structures, and developing racial justice policy, and


Whereas Progressives and Sen. Sanders stand for sensible sentencing reforms which seek to protect communities while reducing the overburdened prison system; and


Whereas Progressives believe a strong education system is essential to citizen participation in a democratic society and Sen. Sanders is the only candidate who advocates to lift the heavy burden student loans place on young adults seeking higher education; and


Whereas Progressives and Sen. Sanders believe that all people should have access to paid sick leave and paid parental leave so that working people cannot be penalized for taking care of our families;


Whereas Progressives believe veterans deserve medical, emotional and financial support for their service to the country and Sen. Sanders continues to be the most outspoken candidate in support of our veterans; and


Whereas Progressives believe in non-military policies to resolve international conflict and Sen. Sanders understands the need to use cooperation and diplomacy to improve our relations with the world; and


Whereas Progressives believe in limiting the influence of corporations and excessive money in campaigns via super PACs and Sen. Sanders is committed to not accepting campaign contributions from such entities; and


Now therefore be it resolved, the Vermont Progressive Party State Committee here assembled commends Sen. Bernie Sanders commitment to progressive values; and


Be it further resolved, the Vermont Progressive Party State Committee hereby encourages its members to support the candidacy of Sen. Sanders for President of the United States in the 2016 election.

Adopted Sept. 19, 2015. 



Vermont Progressive Party Platform

PREAMBLE: The Vermont Progressive Party offers this platform to preserve and sustain democracy, guarantee inalienable rights, and promote the general welfare of the citizens of the State of Vermont.


Health Care
Progressives believe health care is a human right, and support universal, single-payer health care, birth to death, provided through a nonprofit, publicly financed system. We will work to:

• Implement a comprehensive, full-spectrum single-payer health care system, including dental, vision, hearing, preventive and mental health care as well as providing coverage for proven alternatives to western medicine such as acupuncture, naturopathic, and chiropractic treatments.
• Establish Community Health Centers to deliver health care services throughout the state.
• Subsidize tuition for students in underrepresented medical fields, who agree to remain and practice in Vermont Community Health Centers after graduation.


The VPP believes that a strong public educational system is an essential foundation to citizen participation in a democratic society. We will work to:

• Promote a public education system, Pre-K through college that provides comprehensive opportunities for all ability levels.
• Replace or supplement the residential education property tax system with an income-based tax and other progressive forms of taxation such as a wealth tax.
• Increase the federal and state share of special education funding and improve the quality of services through increased local professional and parental control.
• Reduce post secondary tuition cost for Vermonters attending state schools with programs such as “pay it forward” and the Collegiate High School programs. The long-term goal of the VPP is a tuition-free college education for Vermonters at state schools.
• Oppose ongoing federal and state efforts to undermine public schools through high-stakes testing, standardized curriculum, vouchers, and charter schools.
• Enable teachers to exercise more influence on the quality of education via greater respect for the contract negotiating process, school governance, and curriculum design and implementation.


Criminal Justice
Progressives are committed to public safety. We will work to:

• Invest in prevention and anti-violence programs.
• Discontinue the failed “war on drugs.”
• Fund drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs.
• Limit incarceration to offenders who pose a threat to public safety.
• Re-evaluate the sentencing structure, which often imposes sentences that are purely retribution and not conductive to rehabilitation.
• Increase accountability and public oversight of the Department of Corrections through an independent Citizens Oversight Committee.
• Create effective penalties against driving under the influence to ensure public safety.
• Work to provide in-state placements and treatment (rather than out-of-state).
• Set up half-way houses in each county.
• Advocate for vocational and workplace training for offenders and youth at risk.
• Remove barriers to employment for those who have served their time.
• Provide education and literacy support in all corrections settings.


Civil Rights
Progressives will preserve Vermont’s national leadership as a champion of civil rights, in the tradition of Vermont’s history as the first state to outlaw slavery. Progressives believe our right to personal privacy, guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution, is unconditional. We will work to:

• Ensure an individual's right to control their body and their medical choices with complete confidentiality.
• Establish a statewide Zero-Tolerance standard toward all forms of discrimination and harassment in public places, schools, and workplaces.
• Ensure that control of each person's private information and communications remains with that individual, and that state and local governments may not access, monitor, or eavesdrop on these protected personal effects without due process.
• Protect the privacy of individuals from commercial interests.


Progressives believe that a strong, local economy is the foundation to a vibrant and sustainable future that promotes a high quality of life for all Vermonters. We will work to:

• Establish and guarantee that all working age Vermonters are afforded the opportunity for full time employment, which provides a living wage.
• Advocate for the rights of workers to unionize.
• Insist that Vermont contract only with responsible employers that hire local employees and pay a livable wage.
• Require that state-funded institutions buy products and services from Vermont farms and businesses wherever feasible.
• Promote cooperatives, worker-owned businesses, public benefit corporations, and publicly owned enterprises as alternatives to profit-driven multinational corporations.
• Change from the sole reliance on Gross Domestic Product to include other metrics, such as the Genuine Progress Indicator, to factor in social and environmental costs when evaluating our state’s economic development.
• Establish a publicly owned state bank, which would invest state monies into our local economy, instead of Wall Street banks.


Progressives believe that Vermont’s natural environment is the foundation of our health, quality of life, and economy. We appreciate the intrinsic value of nature, and understand the need to be good stewards of this treasure so future generations can enjoy the same benefits as we do. We will work to:

• Protect our water, air, and biodiversity through strict enforcement of existing regulations, the creation of new regulations when necessary, and financial incentives that reward responsible stewardship.
• Strengthen effective land-use planning policies (e.g., Act 250, Current Use Program) that support town centers, farming, forestry, and conservation.
• Promote environmentally sound use of Vermont’s natural resources by supporting composting, expanding recycling, reducing hazardous waste, and restoring polluted sites to environmental health.
• Support and develop locally controlled, community scale, sustainable energy resources and practices, statewide mass transit, and energy-efficiency programs to combat climate change, protect our diverse ecosystem, and enhance our scenic beauty.
• Create a carbon tax that is used to develop alternatives to carbon-based energy.


Progressives know that a diverse variety of small scale agricultural operations, such as family farms, orchards, and woodlots, are essential to Vermont’s food security, economy, and cultural heritage, while large scale agriculture tends to threaten our environment, has dubious effects on our health, and promotes a debt-based economy. We will work to:

• Support fair trade pricing for Vermont family farms, and develop farm and community based food hubs, processing centers, and other infrastructure needed to broaden the market for Vermont agricultural products, and to make locally produced food more readily available statewide.
• Promote and enforce agricultural regulations that will protect food safety and the environment from the risks associated with factory farms, without becoming onerous burdens to small producers.
• Promote agricultural regulations which allow small producers to offer products that are unavailable otherwise, such as raw milk and farm slaughtered meat.
• Support efforts to transition to sustainable, organic farming practices, such as changing the laws so compost can be considered a tax exempt agricultural product and ensuring that those planting GMOs are held accountable for any damages caused by those crops or the methods needed to grow them.


Progressives believe a safe, stable and affordable place to live is the birthright of every Vermonter. We will work to:

• End homelessness by providing safe, stable, and affordable housing, rent subsidies and supportive services to all who desire and need them.
• Facilitate the creation of affordable housing by easing building and land use regulations without compromising safety, smart growth principles, or the livability of existing neighborhoods.
• Reverse federal cutbacks and increase funding for affordable housing, including Section 8, Community Development Block Grants, Public Housing, and the HOME program, among others.
• Maintain the balance between the rights and responsibilities of renters and landlords.
• Make it easier to apply for subsidized housing by instituting a universal, online application form.
• Increase the state's supply of affordable housing by providing full statutory funding for the Vermont Housing and Conservation Trust Fund.
• Preserve existing subsidized housing when current subsidies expire or the owner decides to sell or otherwise end its affordability.
• Create a statewide system for ensuring basic minimum standards of safety and habitability in the state’s rental housing.


Public Participation
Progressives believe that progress in the face of multi-billion dollar corporate interests requires serious participation by people in our communities, workplaces, and schools between elections. We will work to:

• Encourage events in our communities and at the State House to bring out the voices of the people.
• Preserve and strengthen local participation in Town Meeting Day and local decision-making on local/regional issues.
• Advocate for Town Meeting Day to be a state holiday to encourage local civic participation.
• Encourage participatory budgeting and an assessment of people’s needs on a local and state level to empower citizens to be involved in the financial decision making by government.
• Ensure all residents, regardless of citizenship status, have an effective voice in decisions that affect them in their communities and the state.
• Work to reduce exceptions to the Public Records Act and hold governmental bodies at all levels accountable to the Open Meeting Law.


Progressives believe that, although a well-trained military is necessary for national defense, military expenditures must be weighed in the context of domestic priorities. We oppose the concept of military spending as economic development. We will work to:

• End the occupation of Iraq and the on-going military commitment in Afghanistan/Pakistan.
• Support all proceedings to hold accountable any violators of the U.S. Constitution, international laws, and/or treaties.
• Restrict Vermont National Guard troops from assignment to war zones.
• Prohibit the use of torture.
• Oppose preemptive war.
• Support non-military initiatives and policies to resolve international conflict.
• Ensure Vermont’s veterans receive medical, emotional, and financial support according to their service-related disability.


Progressives believe Vermont can develop safe, secure, and stable energy sources. We will work to:

• Decommission Vermont Yankee safely with funds entirely provided by the plant owner (i.e., Entergy), and with a just transition for affected employees and communities.
• Promote investments and job development in energy conservation and weatherization programs.
• Promote the use of safe, clean, renewable, publicly and locally owned energy resources.
• Take positive and effective steps to significantly reduce, and ultimately eliminate, fossil fuel use.


Progressives believe Vermont’s transportation system is essential to a vibrant statewide economy and quality of life. Progressives understand that transportation is one of the main contributors to carbon emissions and that climate change adds new challenges to our transportation infrastructure. We will work to:

• Place a moratorium on all new major highway construction and focus on repair backlogs and improving the resilience of our existing infrastructure.
• Support development, improvement, and access to a comprehensive public mass transportation system including bicycles, light rail, Amtrak, buses and van services.
• Introduce transportation and land-use planning with incentives that promote walkable and bikeable access between and within communities.
• Promote modes of transportation which reduce carbon emissions and implement incentives to reduce dependence on fossil fuels.


Progressives believe that taxes are essential to funding our social and economic needs and should be generally based on one’s ability to pay. We will work to:

• Eliminate Vermont’s capital gains tax exemption, and tax investment and unearned income at the same rate as low to moderately income households.
• Remove or significantly reduce Vermont’s education funding system reliance on residential property tax and find more a more progressive based revenue stream. Maintain property tax on industrial, commercial, and vacation homes as a source of revenue for education and other state services.
• Require overseas businesses with Vermont ties to pay the same corporate taxes as in-state businesses.
• Adopt a progressive income tax system where wealthier Vermonters, especially the top 5% wealthiest Vermonters, pay a higher percentage of tax on their income than low to moderate income Vermonters.


Government Reform
Progressives believe government should work for the people, not corporate interests, and it should do so transparently, and accessibly, without wasteful bureaucracy. Progressives insist on fair, accountable, and representative elections. We will work to:

• Prohibit the use of any proprietary-code or paper-trail-less voting machines and ensure all elections are transparently audited to ensure accurate results.
• Ensure government accountability to taxpayers for taxpayer dollars.
• Institute Instant Runoff Voting (IRV), or another system of proportional voting, for state and local elections.
• Enhance campaign finance laws, to provide public financing for all elected positions, strictly limit or eliminate campaign contributions from corporations, PACs and political parties and reverse the doctrine of “corporate personhood.”
• Close the revolving door between government and industry, by implementing strict ethics laws which transparently hold lobbyists and public officials accountable, and which place a buffer between when a lobbyist can run for office, or an elected official can lobby their former colleagues.


Amended November 15, 2014

Tea Party Tactics Have No Place in Vermont

As many of you have heard by now, Vermont Republicans are lying to our seniors about Medicare. Yesterday voters in Addison and Rutland counties received mailings that claimed Progressive and Democratic candidates running for House plan to take away Medicare. Not only is this completely untrue, it's not even possible: Medicare is a federal program administered by the federal government-- state representatives don't make decisions about it.

So let's set the record straight, shall we?

Vermont seniors will NOT lose their Medicare benefits when we transition to a single-payer healthcare system (or as we like to call it, "Medicare for all!"). Medicare is the most successful universal healthcare program in our country-- we want to expand this access to more people, not take it away! We believe that everyone should have access to affordable, high-quality healthcare as a human right. Progressives are committed to making sure our single-payer system will be funded equitably (not on the backs of poor people, working people, and seniors on fixed incomes).    

It's very clear this mailer is a last-minute scare tactic straight out of the Tea Party play-book (no doubt funded by out-of-state, corporate money from sources like American Reynolds and Koch Industries). It's dirty politicking, and it's NOT how we do things here in Vermont.

Help us stand up against the influence of Tea Party dollars in our state elections:

1. Please get out and vote on Tuesday! Polls are open from 7am-7pm.

2. Make a donation so we can continue to fight on behalf of Vermont's working families! The Progressive Party doesn't accept corporate contributions (never have, never will) because we're tired of big money running elections in this country. We survive on your dollars and cents. Please contribute today.


Paid for by the Vermont Progressive Party and not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.

Sen. Leahy Endorses Dean Corren for Lt. Gov

Dean Corren Endorsed by US Senator Patrick Leahy

BURLINGTON, VT – In a year when voter turnout could be low candidates for statewide office are pushing every advantage possible. Endorsements are no exception and Dean Corren, who is running for Lt. Governor and a Progressive/Democrat, just landed a big one.

Senator Patrick Leahy has leant his support to the top two Democrats for state office, saying, “Peter Shumlin and Dean Corren have the experience and vision to lead Vermont.  I support their commitment to Vermont's families as they work to protect our environment in the face of a changing climate and ensure Vermonters receive safe, affordable health care.”

Corren, a former four-term legislator from Burlington is in his first race for statewide office. Senator Bernie Sanders and Congressman Peter Welch have both already endorsed Corren.  Sanders is in Corren’s latest television ad saying, “Make the right choice for Lt. Governor: I’m voting for Dean Corren.”  In that ad, he joins former Governot Madeleine Kunin, VDP Chair Dottie Deans, and a group of other women leaders of Vermont.  Early in the campaign Governor Peter Shumlin decided to back Corren.

In his professional work, Corren is a clean energy expert who has the backing of the Sierra Club, Vermont Conservation Voters and renowned environmental activist Bill McKibben.  He also enjoys support from all of the state’s major labor unions as well as the Planned Parenthood Vermont Action Fund PAC.

“Certainly, having earned the support from all three members of our Congressional delegation is an terrific boost,” said Corren.  “These endorsements send a clear message that my values and positions are far more closely in sync with our fellow Vermonters.  I look forward to working alongside them as Lt. Governor.  We have many challenges to address and it will help to have a Lt. Governor with a close working relationship to our delegation in Washington.”

Visit for more information about the Corren campaign, including how you can help. 


Progressive Candidates - 2014 Elections

Below are a list of candidates running on the Progressive ticket for the 2014 election cycle.



    • Dean Corren, Lt. Governor (Progressive)
    • Doug Hoffer, Auditor (Progressive/Democrat)
    • Don Schramm, Treasurer (Progressive)
    • Ben Eastwood, Secretary of State (Progressive)


House of Representatives:

For more information about candidates, contact VPP Elections Director, Kelly Mangan at kelly[at]

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