Public Participation

Public Participation

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 www.deancorren.com for more information about the Corren campaign, including how you can help. 

 

Progressives Announce Slate of 21 Candidates

June 1, 2014; Anne Galloway; VTDigger

The Vermont Progressive Party will have four statewide candidates, three incumbent senators and 14 House candidates running for office in the 2014 election.

The Progressive party, one of four state major parties, announced its slate on Saturday — well ahead of the Vermont Democratic Party and the Vermont GOP, and the June 12 filing deadline for candidates. While the Democrats are fielding a preponderance of incumbents, the Republicans have announced some House and Senate candidates, but have yet to declare who will be running for statewide office, including the gubernatorial race. The Vermont Liberty Union Party, which gained major party status in the 2012 election, is also fielding a slate of statewide candidates and a candidate for the House of Representatives, who may be the sole contender for Rep. Peter Welch’s seat.

Progressive Party officials touted the “real growth” in the number of candidates since 2012.

Read the whole article >>

May 2014 State Committee Meeting - Proposed Agenda

Vermont State Committee Meeting
May 31, 2014; 1:00-4:00PM
Vermont Statehouse, Montpelier

12-1PM: New Pre-Session: Progressive Women’s Caucus
Bring your own lunch and join the women of the Progressive Party for an informal discussion of politics, running for office, & being a woman in a world where we are far from equal representation.

12:30PM: Registration

1PM: State Committee Meeting Begins
1. Welcome: Emma Mulvaney-Stanak (5 minutes)

2. Election to fill Coordinating Committee Vacancies: Emma Mulvaney-Stanak (10 minutes)
Vice Chair and one At-Large Position

3. Statewide Nominations & Endorsements: Emma Mulvaney-Stanak (25 minutes)
Statewide offices: Governor, Lt. Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General, Treasurer, Auditor

4. Legislative Update: Progressive Legislators (20 minutes)

5. Break/Raffle Drawing (15 minutes)

6. Platform Update Discussion: Platform Committee/Emma Mulvaney-Stanak

Review of platform review process to-date & summary of submissions received via online polls (Ben Eastwood and interns Indra Acharya and Anna Nicolosi) (10 minutes)

Small group discussion (45 minutes)
Meeting attendees will be asked to break into groups to discuss amendments (if any) to the current planks of the platform. Suggested topics: Wind; Taxes & Economy; Energy & Environment; Healthcare; Education; Criminal Justice. Attendees may propose additional groups if there is interest. Facilitators will be designated for each group and attendees will have about 20 minutes per topic before moving to a second topic, although they may also “vote with their feet” and move to different groups at any time. The State Committee will consider any amendments to the platform and take a final vote at its September 2014 meeting.

Break – Gallery walk to review notes/charted information by small groups (10 minutes)

Full State Committee comes back together for general discussion of platform topics (30 minutes)

7. Closing: Emma Mulvaney-Stanak (5 minutes)

Former Progressive State Rep to Run for Lieutenant Governor

May 8, 2014; Andrea Suozzo; VTDigger

It's been 14 years since Dean Corren left the Vermont House. But with the state moving ever closer to providing universal health insurance coverage, he says it's time to get back in the game.

"I think this one of the most exciting times since I've been involved in Vermont and Vermont politics," the Burlington Progressive says. "I think we're on the verge of doing things we've been talking about for many decades — things the people want and the politicians are catching up with."

Corren announced Wednesday that he plans to challenge Republican Lt. Gov. Phil Scott for the state's number two office. He's joining a field that already includes John Bauer, a Democratic Party activist from Jeffersonville, and Marina Brown, a Liberty Union Party candidate from Charleston.

Read the whole article >>

Will the House balk at holding an earlier primary?

March 31, 2014; Nancy Remsen; Burlington Free Press

Robert Millar, executive director of the Vermont Progressive Party, worries about making changes to the process so late in an election year. Many Vermonters wouldn’t be aware of the schedule change — which obviously isn’t yet official, he said. And the change would take effect so fast, it would leave potential candidates with “much less time to make the extremely important and difficult decision of whether to run for public office and then to gather the required signatures.”

“I find it deeply concerning that this major change in our elections calendar could move forward based on what I perceive to be mainly misconceptions and unsubstantiated fears,” Millar said. He argues that the Department of Justice lacks authority to move Vermont’s primary date.

Read the whole article >>

Minutes - February 2014 State Committee Meeting

February 8, 2014; 1:00 pm, 
North End Studios, Burlington
In attendance: Approximately 60 people attended, with another several guest speakers.

Welcome: Emma Mulvaney-Stanak
Emma opened the meeting and thanked everyone for attending. She offered up an instant poll for State Committee members to answer a survey question on paper or electronic meeting materials. Those State Committee members without smartphones participated by a raising of hands. Most people indicated a preference to receive materials only electronically. Party leaders will take this into consideration when planning future meetings. Emma also asked people to support the party by becoming a monthly or one-time donor.

Panel: Burlington City Council Update and City Committee Leaders
All four incumbent Progressive City Councilors shared highlights on issues they are working on ranging from climate change initiatives to public safety to transportation (bike/ped issues) to updates on Burlington Telecom. Councilors Max Tracy and Rachel Siegel are up for reelection this March. Max needs help with his council race – volunteer support and financial support – because he is running against a well organized Democrat. Rachel has an opponent, but does not expect a tough race. Councilors Vince Brennan and Jane Knodell are up for reelection in 2015. There is an open seat for City Council in Ward 1 and State Party Vice Chair Selene Colburn is running unopposed for that seat. We expect to have 5 city councilors out of 14 after Town Meeting Day. Democrats currently have 7 seats with a possibility of gaining one more seat. The other two seats are held by Independents. Burlington City Chair Kyle Sillman-Smith and Vice Chair Ali Zipparo shared ways they have reenergized their city committee including regular informal “breakfast club” gatherings, leader recruitment to get more people involved by creating a database of potential leaders to draw from when commissions and boards have openings in the city, and a regular city committee meeting schedule.

Paid Sick Days (PSD) Panel
We were joined by Rep. Cindy Weed, Lindsay DesLauriers from Voices for Vermont’s Children, Cary Brown from the VT Commission on Women, Cecile Reuge from the VT Workers’ Center, and Dan Barlow from VT Businesses for Social Responsibility. Rep. Weed gave an overview of the Paid Sick Days bill in the House and explained it is due for a vote in her committee (House General) next week and could be voted on by the full House as early as mid February. The fight will be whether or not carve outs get added to the bill before it leaves committee. Also the Senate is not as supportive of the bill and the Governor is not a guaranteed supporter either. Lindsay explained the PSD issue from the angle of families/children and gave an overview of PSD history in VT. Cary explained PSD as an issue that relates disproportionately to women because they tend to hold more low-wage, service/retail jobs in VT that tend to not include paid sick leave. She also raised the issue of victims of domestic violence and the challenge of taking leave to heal from acts of violence. Dan explained the business angle and impact on the economy and noted several businesses are supportive of this bill, but several are speaking out and starting to pressure Representatives not to support this bill because it is an added “burden” on businesses. Cecile explained the VWC’s organizing effort to get PSD passed this session and ways people could help.

Emma then asked SC members to take action at the meeting and contact their state representative, senator and the Governor’s office to ask them to support the PSD bill. Legislator contact information was shared and people took time to place calls. We reviewed a list of key legislators who would benefit from being contacted. VPP will send an email action alert to share that list and ask all VPP members to take action on this bill early next week.

Break/Raffle Drawing

Regional Breakouts
The SC membership broke into regional groups to discuss local issues and potential house and senate districts for the VPP to target in the 2014 election cycle. Based on limited numbers from certain parts of the state, we had groups meet together from the Northwest region (Franklin, Grand Isle, Lamoille Counties), Chittenden/A-R (Chittenden, Addison and Rutland Counties), NEK/Central Vermont, and Southern Vermont.  CoCo members from each region facilitated the conversation. SC members said this was a useful way to break up the meeting. Party leaders will try to find ways to keep conversations going on topics raised in between SC meetings.

Platform Review Committee Update
Ben Eastwood (Montpelier) reported as Chair of the new Platform Review Committee. There is no written procedure on how to set up the process for reviewing the platform beyond formal ways to adopt changes to the platform (state law and VPP bylaws). The CoCo endorsed a process for this round in January. The committee will be appointed by the State Party Chair and limited to 5 members to keep it workable. An attempt will be made to achieve geographic diversity and a mix of new and experienced voices. The committee will also be charged with offering a written recommendation on a procedure to adopt for future platform review work so the Party has a known process going forward. The Chair appointed: Ben Eastwood (Montpelier, Chair of Montpelier Town Committee and Washington County) as Chair, Leslie Matthews (Northfield, former Coco member, SC member), Tim Kipp (Bratteboro, SC member), Cindy Weed (Enosburg Falls, former chair of platform committee last time, State Rep), and Becky Raymond (Middlesex, new Party member). Becky recently resigned from committee, so the Chair will work to fill the vacancy. The committee also has a recent UVM grad working as an intern for the committee.

The process is still being created, but it will include several ways to engage SC members and other Party members in reviewing and offering feedback on the platform. It will also include a very clear set of procedures, including any amendments and the process for voting/debate ahead of the September SC meeting where the SC and town and county chairs will be asked to adopt/reject any changes. The May 31st SC meeting will include a large portion of time on the agenda for platform discussion and input. The committee hopes to have any proposed amendments ready for the CoCo to review in mid July. Questions and feedback can be sent to Ben.

Party Committee Reports
Corey Decker (Enosburg) reported as Chair of the elections committee. Emma reported for Chairs who were absent from the meeting, including Chris Brimmer (organizational development committee), Martha Abbott (fundraising committee), and the communications committee (who are in need of a new Chair). All committees are looking for volunteers. Here is a description of each committee’s charge:

Fundraising Committee
Committee will develop an annual fundraising plan for the Party, oversee fundraising appeals to Party members (initial ask, follow up ask, etc.), revamp fundraising strategies used by the Party in the past, assist staff with development of appeals (letters, online, etc.), assist staff with organizing fundraising events (small), train Coco members and other Party leaders on how to effectively fundraise, and plan an annual major fundraising event for the Party.

Elections Committee
Committee will develop and conduct campaign trainings for candidates, campaign managers, and campaign volunteers during the 2014 election cycle (build capacity of party to run strong campaigns). The committee will also assist Party leaders and staff in recruiting candidates to run in the 2014 election cycle and assist the CoCo and State Committee in any Party endorsement process for the 2014 election. The committee will also support Burlington City Council campaigns as necessary (Jan-March 2014).

Communications Committee
Committee will develop a communications strategy for the Party, assist staff with press releases for the Party, assist staff with social media and blog postings, review the website for relevant content, and help advance the 2014 special project - corporate campaign donations petition. The committee will also help staff and the CoCo work on branding and promoting the party on a statewide level (messaging).

Organizational Development Committee
Committee will assist CoCo in doing quarterly outreach (to increase attendance) to the state committee members for quarterly meetings, develop "on-ramp" events for new Party members to get involved in Party outside state committee meetings, and examine more ways for the Party to involve new members (on the ground engagement and promotion of Party). The committee will also work with Chair ahead of state committee meetings to develop state committee agenda items that will spark engagement by members (and ideally attendance!).

Legislative Update
Rep. Chris Pearson and Rep. Cindy Weed gave a brief update from the Legislature. The conversation focused mainly on the health care policy debate and the road to single payer (or not) based on the roll out of the state exchange and new rules facing Vermonters without health insurance and employers who do not currently offer insurance.

Submitted by Chris Brimmer, Secretary 2/20/14

Syndicate content