Issues

Today more than ever we need bold new leadership to act on sustainable structural change so that we ALL do better.

These are unprecedented times as we all struggle to reckon with the health and financial impacts of COVID-19, as well as with the deep injustices of historic racial inequities that persist today in our society, and yet what stands out is how Vermonters have come together to help and support each other. As we learn ways to carry on more remotely to keep each other safe, or as we continue to peacefully protest for meaningful and substantive reforms, there are lessons that we have learned from these hardships. We cannot go back to the old “normal” but forward to a new “normal” that is more inclusive, more prepared, more resilient, and more hopeful.      

Economic Development

THEO WILL WORK FOR YOU TO:

  • Secure a livable wage and support paid family and medical leave for all Vermonters while balancing the need for small businesses to succeed
  • Promote Vermont’s hospitality and tourism industry
  • Develop and sustain downtown ‘destinations’
  • Expand Tax Increment Financing opportunities
  • Support expanded technical and vocational education and job opportunities
  • Initiate and maintain public-private partnerships for job growth
  • Increase business accelerator programs and work training opportunities for sustainable jobs
  • Help grow Vermont’s green economy and business entrepreneurship opportunities
  • Support and implement statewide broadband internet access and net neutrality
  • Adopt results-based outcome measures for government accountability
  • Demand cost-effective and transparent government
  • Explore a universal basic income model for employment support
  • Support military pension income tax exemptions for low-income Vermonters
  • Promote community supported agriculture, farm-to-table initiatives, a budding hemp and cannabis economy, and other sustainable agricultural best practices
  • Find ways to make flexible work time and remote work opportunities beneficial to employers and employees
  • Support and promote entrepreneurial opportunities so that not-for-profit businesses can succeed

…AND MUCH MORE, AS THE JOB MAY AND WILL REQUIRE.

Education

THEO WILL WORK FOR YOU TO:

  • Promote public/private partnerships for school-to-work initiatives
  • Move to a progressive income-based statewide education funding approach
  • Promote mentorships
  • Increase loan forgiveness for students who stay in Vermont
  • Offer two years free tuition at a community or technical college
  • Support and expand affordable early childhood education programs
  • Seek to include diversity and disability awareness education in secondary school curricula
  • Respect local governance and decision making processes
  • Preserve oral history to benefit future generations and promote intergenerational education and cultural awareness

…AND MUCH MORE, AS THE JOB MAY AND WILL REQUIRE.

The Environment

THEO WILL WORK FOR YOU TO:

  • Promote climate change best practices in all policies, expand payment for ecosystem services opportunities and green procurement practices
  • Implement the regional transportation and energy efficiency goals of our Global Warming Solutions Act
  • Do everything we can at the state and local level and with our federal and international partners to mitigate the effects of climate change
  • Promote youth leadership and job opportunities in the Green Economy
  • Attain our renewable energy goals while being reasonably mindful of generation and distribution constraints
  • Protect and conserve our natural resources
  • Promote energy efficiency
  • Implement an extended producer responsibility framework for single-use plastics
  • Ensure and preserve clean and safe water resources and develop a long-term funding mechanism for water clean up
  • Help support and educate farmers to comply with best agricultural management practices
  • Promote electric vehicle affordability and infrastructure
  • Develop methane recapture and energy generation opportunities
  • Promote and expand waste-to-energy initiatives
  • Support the development of negative emissions technologies and other carbon sequestration practices in Vermont

…AND MUCH MORE, AS THE JOB MAY AND WILL REQUIRE.

Health & Human Services

THEO WILL WORK FOR YOU TO:

  • Create a “public option” for all Vermonters’ healthcare
  • Achieve affordable healthcare
  • Ensure universal primary care
  • Eliminate public benefit cliffs
  • Reduce prescription drug prices
  • Promote sustainable self-sufficiency
  • Increase funding and support for moderate needs individuals in the Choices for Care (long-term care) program
  • Enable real property tax deferrals for low-income senior citizens
  • Promote long-term care partnership insurance plans
  • Expand Working People With Disabilities program opportunities
  • Work with our federal partners towards achieving Medicare for All
  • Support and expand Tele-health opportunities for practitioners and patients
  • Promote mental health parity
  • Add dental care, eye care, and hearing care to insured comprehensive major medical services
  • Increase funding for the Child Care Financial Assistance Program
  • Create incentives for nutritious purchasing in the SNAP (Food Stamps) program
  • Support healthcare, housing, and jobs for our Veterans
  • Emphasize preventative and wellness initiatives to save costs with measurable ROI
  • Promote public health in all policies

…AND MUCH MORE, AS THE JOB MAY AND WILL REQUIRE.

Social Justice & Public Safety

THEO WILL WORK FOR YOU TO:

  • Expand the role of the Executive Director for Racial Equity and support the work of the Racial Equity Task Force
  • Institute de-escalation and diversity training for police
  • Fight all discrimination
  • Support and expand restorative justice initiatives including circles of support and accountability and compassionate re-entry from incarceration
  • Promote community service and other incarceration alternatives for non-violent criminal offenders and phase out private prisons
  • Help teach consent
  • Promote respectful dialogue and inclusive action
  • Ensure transparency and ethics in government
  • Sustain funding to combat the opioid crisis and continue to fight the disease of addiction
  • Promote community-oriented policing initiatives
  • Ensure equal access to justice for all, including an expedited medium sized docket for our courts and fast tracks to mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution
  • Promote diversity appreciation and gender parity
  • Maintain and develop Emergency Planning and Preparedness resiliency and readiness
  • Strengthen public records access for increased government transparency

…AND MUCH MORE, AS THE JOB MAY AND WILL REQUIRE.

Housing 

THEO WILL WORK FOR YOU TO:

  • Provide ‘Housing First’ for individuals suffering from mental illness
  • Use TIF dollars for affordable housing projects in downtowns
  • Expand single room occupancy options for homeless individuals
  • Phase out motel and hotel use for GA emergency housing
  • Move children and families from temporary to permanent housing
  • Promote inter-generational housing opportunities
  • Develop and expand affordable housing options
  • Provide supports for landlords who assist with affordable housing

…AND MUCH MORE, AS THE JOB MAY AND WILL REQUIRE.

Transportation

THEO WILL WORK FOR YOU TO:

  • Revive, support, and expand commuter and commercial rail corridors
  • Grow public transportation opportunities
  • Leverage federal dollars through state and local roads, bridges and infrastructure projects
  • Promote pedestrian-friendly downtowns and reasonable parking infrastructure projects
  • Support bicycle-friendly communities

…AND MUCH MORE, AS THE JOB MAY AND WILL REQUIRE.

Arts & Culture

THEO WILL WORK FOR YOU TO:

  • Keep musical and visual arts alive in all aspects of our lives and community
  • Grow arts education
  • Support and expand historic preservation and cultural awareness education
  • Promote civic engagement and community discourse on political issues

…AND MUCH MORE, AS THE JOB MAY AND WILL REQUIRE.

Possible State Initiatives for Revenue & Savings

THEO WILL WORK FOR YOU TO:

  • Increase federal receipts and gain flexibility for use of relief and stimulus monies
  • Demand measurable results and tangible outcomes
  • Create a ‘White Paper’ system of ongoing preparedness in our citizen legislature
  • Implement a per-capita assessment on stop-loss products over ERISA plans for increased revenue and premium tax equity to fund a reinsurance mechanism for the non-group health insurance market and to stabilize premiums
  • Implement a “public option” for a single, unified healthcare plan for all Vermonters
  • Do a comprehensive review of all large state contracts with the goal of increasing cost-effectiveness to help ensure dollars are spent in Vermont whenever possible
  • Implement long-term care partnership insurance policies to help Vermonters avoid impoverishment when receiving long-term care Medicaid
  • Explore property tax deferrals for low-income senior citizens
  • Explore and initiate a wholesale drug purchasing program to reduce prescription drug costs for the Vermont health insurance marketplace
  • Move to a progressive income-based funding approach for education
  • Move away from a binary budget/budget adjustment cycle to longer-term spending strategies which measure return on investment
  • Develop a payment for ecosystems services model to promote negative emissions technologies and measurable ROI
  • Ensure that we do not use one-time funding for ongoing programs

…AND MUCH MORE, AS THE JOB MAY AND WILL REQUIRE.

Paid for by Theo Kennedy for Vermont State Senate, 397 Shady Rill Road Middlesex, VT 05602