Pollina: Budget Proposals Should be Tied to Tax Reforms

*This is a press release from Sen. Anthony Pollina, Interim Chair of the Vermont Progressive Party.    June 19, 2017 Contact: 802-272-3765 / 229-5809   Washington County Senator Anthony Pollina is calling on the Scott Administration to tie efforts to cut government spending to reforms of Vermont’s tax system.   Governor…

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Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman: Let’s Work Together

This op-ed is from Lt. Governor David Zuckerman   In Vermont, we have a tradition of spending time reviewing complicated changes to our laws. The legislature you elect works collaboratively to ensure all ideas receive a thorough vetting and reduces the chances of unintended consequences. The Governor’s proposal to mandate…

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Budget Veto Response from House Caucus Chair Chesnut-Tangerman

DC politics moves to Montpelier?   Phil Scott was elected as a “down to earth” moderate. We can now safely throw those labels out the window. It is neither down to earth or moderate to demand a budget that doesn’t raise taxes, get what you asked for, praise it, and…

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Three big votes

Hello Friends,   What a week it’s been! This week our legislators voted on three major pieces of legislation. They voted on cannabis reform, paid family leave, and Gov. Scott’s last minute attempt to undermine the right of teachers to collectively bargain health insurance with their school boards. On all…

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Progressives Stand with Teachers and Their Families

May 4th, 2017 Contact: Josh Wronski Executive Director, Vermont Progressive Party 802-229-0800   Montpelier, VT – Last night Progressive House Legislators stood unanimously opposed to a thinly veiled attempt to undermine workers’ rights in Vermont.   Governor Phil Scott’s proposal to negotiate a statewide health insurance plan for teachers was…

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Update from Rep. Sandy Haas and Rep. Brian Cina

Hello Friends,   While Democratic and Republican leaders continue to pass the buck on implementing progressive legislation to support the needs of ordinary Vermonters, our Progressive State Representatives Have been hard at work fighting for the needs of ordinary people and the planet. This week we have updates from Representative…

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Legislative Update

Hello Friends,   Now that we are two thirds of the way through the legislative session, I wanted to give you an update on where we stand on a few key pieces of Progressive supported legislation. This year Progressive Party members identified key social, economic and environmental issues in our…

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Progressive House Caucus: Our Take on the State Budget

The following is a letter from the Progressive House Caucus to the Progressive State Committee explaining their position on the state budget.    Hello Progressive State Committee   Last week the House of Representatives almost unanimously approved the proposed FY 2018 budget. By all accounts it was an austerity budget…

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Progressive Statewide Meeting

Sunday, February 19th  1 pm to 4 pm Location: Edmunds Elementary  School (299 Main St, Burlington)  The Women’s Caucus will meet for a potluck lunch at 11:30 am at Emma Mulvaney-Stanak’s house (79 Front St, Burlington) before the meeting. The Labor Commission will meet immediately following the meeting.  All are welcome.…

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Scott’s Budget Highlights Need for Progressive Reform

The following is from Robin Chesnut-Tangerman, Chair of the House Progressive Caucus. Robin also responded to Scott’s budget via Facebook Live immediately following the budget address. You can find his video response at the bottom of this post.     Governor Scott’s budget address last week was uncharacteristically bold. It contained…

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Progressives Question Scott’s Plan to Merge Departments

Contact: Josh Wronski Executive Director, Vermont Progressive Party (802) 229-0800   Montpelier, VT – Some Progressives are questioning Governor Phil Scott’s executive order combining the Departments of Labor and Commerce.   “Efficiency in government and consolidating departments and agencies makes sense when they have overlapping missions,” said Progressive Party Chair…

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Misdirected Criticism

Emma Mulvaney-Stanak
State Chair, Vermont Progressive Party
Former Burlington City Councilor

 
On January 12th, Mayor Weinberger addressed the Burlington City Democratic Caucus and took direct aim at the Progressive Party. He toggled between praising current Progressive City Councilors for their collaborative nature and then harshly labeling local Progressives as divisive, reactionary and fringe. The Mayor also declared Progressives as anti-environment and anti-worker, among many other distorted labels. He went on to claim Democratic credit for recent pro-environment and pro-worker efforts in the city, yet neglected to note that virtually all of these efforts were started by Progressives. Progressives initiated Burlington’s move towards 100% renewable energy sourcing by positioning the Burlington Electric Department to purchase the Winooski hydro plant and by creating the McNeil plant. It was Progressives who pushed recent pro-worker efforts such as supporting the Howard Center workers and maintaining livable wage standards for contractors/businesses at the airport while the Mayor opposed both measures. Clearly, the Mayor’s critique of the Progressive Party is misplaced and his efforts to give the bulk of the credit to Democrats for Burlington’s successes ignores the efforts of 30 years of Progressive leadership in Burlington.

 

 

The Mayor was exactly what he criticized local Progressives to be – reactionary. Many residents recently organized and opposed a major development project at the downtown mall and two related ballot initiatives in November. The Mayor chose to label these residents and anyone who agreed with them “fringe and reactionary.” What the Mayor sees and labels as “fringe” opinions is democracy in action. These residents represent the underrepresented voices and neighborhoods in the city. The Mayor should embrace differences of opinion and find ways to convene underrepresented residents, not push them away. For Burlington to be a stronger, better community, everyone in Burlington should feel welcomed and encouraged to participate in matters that impact our community.

 
More importantly, attacking the local Progressive Party and labeling the Party as fringe based on recent city council endorsements represents the Mayor’s poor knowledge of who our 2017 council candidates are and why they are running for local office. While any council candidate should have formed an opinion of the high profile recent development projects, labeling someone who disagrees with the Mayor fringe or reactionary is out of line. The 2017 Progressive endorsed candidates include: City Council President Jane Knodell, a champion of those exact development projects as well as many neighborhood revitalization projects, Charles Winkleman, an early educator and dedicated activist looking to address affordability issues for young people in Burlington, and Charles Simpson, an academic and champion of public transportation and strengthening neighborhood communities.

 
While Winkleman and Simpson disagreed with aspects of the mall development project, they do not deserve such reactionary labeling by our Mayor. These candidates are running on more than one single issue. Moreover, there are various opinions on the development project within the Progressive Party. Disagreement and discourse is healthy in a democracy within a city and within a Party. It is the job of elected leaders to take the high road and be defenders of good process and stronger communities. Elected leaders should also expect to be criticized and challenged. It comes with the territory. It is the job of leaders to go high in these moments. The Mayor went low.

BURLINGTON STILL NOT FOR SALE; OPPOSE MALL PROJECT Support thoughtful, community-based planning process

This is a press release from the Burlington Progressive Committee.  CONTACT: Charles Winkleman, 802-448-0183, BTVProgressiveParty@gmail.com BURLINGTON – Today the Burlington Progressive Party announced its opposition to the current Burlington Town Center proposal and proposed zoning changes. Progressives understand that although the project would bring some benefits in additional housing and…

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