VT Progressive Party

Party Organization

Report From Montpelier

Click here to watch at VPT.org

Mark Johnson hosts a live discussion with three leaders of their respective parties in the Vermont House of Representative: Willem Jewett, Democrat; Don Turner, Republican; Chris Pearson, Progressive.

Watch on VPT.org >>

Press Release: Progressive Party Statement on Burlington City Progressive Caucus

On Sunday evening, over fifty Burlington Progressives gathered at the East Avenue Co-housing to endorse candidates for the 2014 Town Meeting Day election.  In addition to endorsing candidates, those gathered heard about March ballot items, redistricting, Moran Plant redevelopment, and more from currently elected Burlington Progressive City Councilors Vince Brennan, Jane Knodell, Rachel Siegel, and Max Tracy.

Burlington Progressives then broke into Ward Caucuses to discuss and vote on endorsements.  The Ward 1 Caucus endorsed Selene Colburn for City Council and Emma Rosenzweig for Inspector of Elections.  The Ward 2 Caucus endorsed Max Tracy for City Council and Wendy Coe for Ward Clerk.  The Ward 3 Caucus endorsed Rachel Siegel for City Council.

Burlington City Progressive Party Chair Kyle Silliman-Smith had this to say:

“Progressives in Burlington are excited and ready to once again expand our numbers on the Burlington City Council this March. Councilors Max Tracy in Ward 2 and Rachel Siegel in Ward 3, along with Ward 1 Council candidate Selene Colburn, received the overwhelming support of their Ward Caucuses tonight because they truly represent the values of the Progressive Party and of the people of Burlington.  Clearly the future is bright for both the party and the city with such great candidates to represent us.”

Democrats, Republicans overwhelmingly back campaign finance bill in House vote

January 9, 2014; Anne Galloway; VTDigger

In the brief House debate Thursday, independents and Progressives complained that the bill gives the major parties — Republicans and Democrats — an unfair advantage.

The Vermont Progressive Party is not tied to a well-heeled national party machine, and independents have no party backup.

Rep. Susan Davis, P-Orange, asked what changed between May and November to justify raising limits and giving parties the ability to give unlimited contributions.

“Why would we want more money in the political process when Vermonters want the opposite?” Davis asked.

Read the whole article >>

2014 Legislative Session Kickoff

January 7, 2014; Bob Kinzel & Patti Daniels; VPR

Click here to listen!

"Vermont Edition broadcasts live from the statehouse as lawmakers, reporters, lobbyists, and eager constituents all descend on Montpelier to kick off a new Legislative session.

Host Bob Kinzel talks to Speaker of the House, Shap Smith, house Republican leader Don Turner, and Chris Pearson, the chair of the House Progressive caucus."

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The Democratic Vistas of 2014: Five Reforms to Make Our Politics Matter

January 1, 2014; John Nichols; The Nation

Common Cause and other groups are working in states across the country to end the absurd practice of gerrymandering local, state and federal election districts—which makes too many elections for too many important offices uncompetitive. The Working Families Party in New York and Connecticut, the Vermont Progressive Party and other third-party and independent groupings are drawing the rough outlines of multi-party and ideologically diverse politics from New England to the Northwest. And Fair Vote: The Center for Voting and Democracy is pushing for a wide range of reforms, while noting successes in communities that have adopted more democratic models for voting. For instance, FairVote notes, “Minneapolis uses ranked choice voting, so voters were able to express not only which candidate was their favorite, but also which second-choice and third-choice candidates they thought should win if their first choice did not qualify for an instant runoff. Ranked choice voting meant that candidates competed seriously but also positively, and Minneapolis ultimately elected a candidate who reflected a broad consensus—Betsy Hodges skipped spending money on television ads in favor of grassroots campaigning. She broke from the field by earning more than a third of first-choice rankings and more than 60% among voters who expressed a preference for either her or her strongest opponent. Altogether, she was the first, second or third choice of two-thirds of the voters.”

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Press Release: Selene Colburn to Seek Progressive Nomination for Ward 1 City Council

BURLINGTON – Selene Colburn will seek the Progressive nomination for the City Council seat being vacated by outgoing Ward 1 Councilor Kevin Worden.  Selene, a librarian at the University of Vermont and a Trustee on the Burlington Library Commission, brings a rich understanding of issues important to Ward 1 residents.

“I was born and raised in Ward 1,” Selene says.  “I come from a long line of Burlingtonians who have made unique contributions as educators and public servants and I’m inspired by their leadership.  My main priorities will be to work with my neighbors to increase the city’s focus on neighborhood issues and to encourage the hiring of more women to positions of power within city government.”

Progressive Party State Chair Emma Mulvaney-Stanak praised Selene’s work ethic, saying, “I’ve had the pleasure of working alongside Selene on a number of projects and can’t think of anyone who will work harder for Ward 1 residents.  All of Burlington will benefit from her insight and objectivity as a Councilor.”

Selene is an Assistant to the Dean of Libraries at UVM.  She is a cofounder and former Board Chair of Vermont Access to Reproductive Freedom.  She has also served on the boards of Vermont Community Access Media, Cradle to Grave Arts, Grace Roots Art and Community Effort, and the Vermont Library Association (VLA).  She is currently chair of the VLA’s Government Relations committee and a parent volunteer at Edmunds Elementary School.

A long-time advocate for economic and social justice, Selene says, “I intend to speak up for neighborhood safety, a strong local response to climate change, and inclusive processes for the city’s development and budgeting initiatives.  I’m looking forward to representing the immense creativity and expertise we have to offer on these issues in Ward 1.

“I’m an evidence-based decision maker and I’ll bring an even-handed, objective approach to my work as a City Councilor.  I love Burlington with all my heart and I’ll hold myself and my fellow Councilors to high standards on its behalf.”

Selene spent much of her childhood in a family home on the corner of College and Willard.  She has lived on Latham Ct with her husband Chris Burns and their two daughters since 2008.  Her grandfather Francis was an artist and humorist who helped found the Art Department at UVM and her grandmother Gladys taught for decades at Burlington High School.  Her mother Lorrie worked at the Fletcher Free Library for over 20 years.

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