Mollie Burke

Rep. Mollie Burke, Brattleboro, Windham 3-2


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The Vermont Progressive Party, whose origins date back to Sanders’ surprise victory 34 years ago in the Burlington mayoral race, endorsed Sanders’ bid for the Democratic nomination Friday in a news release.

Fifteen elected officials who ran on the November ballot as Progressives, including State Auditor Doug Hoffer, the only statewide Progressive officeholder, signaled their support for Sanders.

The signatories included state Sens. Anthony Pollina, P/D-Washington, and David Zuckerman, P/D-Chittenden. Sen. Tim Ashe, D/P-Chittenden, was not listed on the news release but he said in an email that he supports Sanders and would make his own announcement.

Pollina said the U.S. needs Sanders’ voice in the race.

“Bernie really means what he says,” Pollina said in the release. “It’s a rare thing to have a politician who’s so consistently committed to doing the right thing for people.”

Rep. Chris Pearson, P-Burlington, said Sanders’ views on working families, climate change and other progressive issues should be part of the national debate.

“I doubt most Americans have heard a serious political voice like his before: it’s refreshing and I think our country is ready for it,” Pearson.

The other elected officials were:

Rep. Susan Hatch Davis; Rep. Mollie Burke; Rep. Sandy Haas; Rep. Diana Gonzalez; Rep. Robin Chesnut¬ Tangerman; Rep. Amy Sheldon; Burlington City Council Chair Jane Knodell; Burlington City Councilor Selene Colburn; Burlington City Councilor Max Tracy; Burlington City Councilor Sara Giannoni; and Winooski City Councilor Robert Millar.

The Progressive Party’s state committee will vote on a presidential endorsement in September.

Originally published in the VTDigger:

Progs back Corren, rebuff Bauer for Lt. Gov.

June 2, 2014; Terri Hallenbeck; Burlington Free Press

MONTPELIER – As the Progressive Party State Committee met Saturday in the Statehouse cafeteria, two candidates for lieutenant governor stood up and asked for the group’s endorsement.

Both men touted Progressive ideals. Only one of them was a Progressive.

If you thought that might make for a few awkward moments, you would be right. In the end, the non-Progressive was politely but resoundingly rebuffed.

Dean Corren of Burlington and John Bauer of Jeffersonville are both hoping to unseat two-term Republican incumbent Phil Scott.

Corren, a former state legislator, is one of the founders of the Progressive Party and the party’s highest-profile candidate for statewide office. Bauer is an avowed Democrat who probably would have been wise to spend his time Saturday campaigning almost anywhere in Vermont except in front of a roomful of Progressive Party faithful who were passing petitions for Corren.

Read the whole article >>

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 >>

February 2014 State Committee Meeting - Proposed Agenda

Vermont State Committee Meeting
February 8, 2014; 1:00 pm
North End Studios, Burlington


Welcome: Emma Mulvaney-Stanak (5 minutes)

Burlington Update: City Councilors & Candidates (25 minutes)

Panel Discussion – Economic Rights & Paid Sick Days (60 minutes)
  *Panel Members: Rep. Cindy Weed, Lindsay DesLauriers (Voices for Vt's Children), Cary Brown (Vt Commission on Women), Dan Barlow (VBSR), & Cecile Reuge (Vt Workers' Center)

Break/Raffle Drawing (15 minutes)

Regional Networking/Discussion (45 Minutes)

Platform Process Update: Emma Mulvaney-Stanak (15 minutes)

Party Committee Reports: Committee Chairs (10 minutes)

Legislative Update: Progressive Legislators (20 minutes)

Closing: Emma Mulvaney-Stanak (5 minutes)

2013 State Convention - A Message from our Chair

Dear Friends -

I’d like to invite you to join us for our upcoming Annual Convention on November 9th, at the Capital City Grange in Berlin.  If possible, please plan on arriving promptly at 12:30PM to enjoy a light lunch provided by our friends at the Vermont State Employees Association.

Capital City Grange, Berlin
November 9, 2013
Lunch & Registration - 12:30 PM
Convention - 1:00 PM

(RSVP on Facebook)

We have a very exciting agenda planned, including:

● a special video message from Prof. Bill McKibben;
● a discussion with and Student Activists about fossil fuel divestment issues;
Progressive Legislators will present their priorities for the 2014 session;
State Auditor Doug Hoffer will talk about his first year in office;
● and much more!

Our new State Committee will also elect five officers and six at-large members to the Coordinating Committee.  If you are interested in running for the CoCo, e-mail a short bio and picture to before October 31.  These bios will be posted on our website and will be available on the day of the meeting.  Nominations may also be made from the floor.

Finally, I want to remind you that there are many ways to help ensure the continued financial health and success of our party.  If you are not already a regular supporter, please consider establishing a monthly donation.  By signing up as an ongoing contributor, you allow us to spend less time fundraising and more time recruiting and training candidates.  If you already give monthly, please consider making a special, one-time donation to help us offset the costs of this year’s reorganization.  Remember, unlike the other two parties, we're an entirely people-powered party, which means we can’t do it without you!

Thank you for your support.  I look forward to seeing you in Berlin.


Martha Abbott
Party Chair

PS: The Vermont Workers’ Center will be holding their 15th Anniversary Celebration Dinner that evening at 6PM at the Old Labor Hall in Barre -- I hope to see you there, as well!

Press Release: Progressive alternative funding sources

Progressives have pushed for a greater investment in childcare, higher education, student loan forgiveness, weatherization and clean energy for years, so it was encouraging to hear Governor Shumlin promote these initiatives in his state budget.

While we applaud his priorities, many of us across the state find his funding proposals detached from the economic reality of our neighbors. They are an insult to the working families of our state.

Take a look at this snapshot provided by Thom Kavet in his annual revenue summary prepared for JFO, which shows the change in income by income class for Vermonters over the past 10 years.

2001-2011 Income Growrth

The median household income in Vermont is $53,000. That is, half of Vermont households are on the top half of this chart and half are on the bottom. Given that, I think most reasonable people would look at this and conclude that any new sources of revenue have to come from the top half.

Gov. Shumlin seems to think it’s those living in the bottom half who should pay up.

Today, we present nine revenue options that draw from those on the top half of this chart. We present a package totaling $50 million and hope it will stimulate discussion and inspire legislative leaders to find ways to advance Shumlin’s priorities without hurting those who can least afford it.

Progressive Revenue Menu

1.    Bank Franchise Tax (pay higher of BFT or corporate income)     $5.0 million
       currently 0.000096 of the average monthly deposit
       banks have expanded into services, etc

2.    Tax capital gains as ordinary income                                       $11.0 million
        currently exempt first $5,000

3.    Property Transfer Tax per 0.25% value > $500K                         $1.5 million
       adds 3rd tier for high-value properties

4.    Estate Tax – reduce exemption from $2.75 to $1 million             $1.9 million
       brings into line with neighboring states

5.    Income Tax Top Bracket Collapse                                           $20.0 million
       brings actual rates closer to marginal rates

6.    Vermont Alternative Minimum Tax                                          $1.0 million
       parallel’s federal structure

7.    Escheat (unclaimed bottle deposits)                                      $1-2 million
       reclaim the nickels

8.    Natural Resources Extraction Taxes
       Groundwater extraction 28 cents per gallon                          $4.5 million
       Earth Resources extraction 2 cents per cubic yard
       We are one of only 11 states without one

9.    Eliminate Sales Tax Exemptions
       Bottled Water                                                                    $1.0 million
       Clothing > $100                                                                  $2.2 million
       We don’t need bottled water
       People buying $120 sweater can afford $7.20

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