My name is Leslie Goldman, and I’m announcing my candidacy for the Windham-3 seat in the Vermont House of Representatives.
I came to Bellows Falls in 1982 with my husband, Dr. Matthew Peake, to start a primary care medical practice at the Rockingham Memorial Hospital. We went into private practice in 1986 and operated our small business until Rockingham Memorial Hospital closed in 1990. It was a terribly difficult moment for us and for the local area. But a wonderfully creative community solution was found. Outpatient services remained in Bellows Falls with in-patient care going to Springfield Hospital.
In 2008, I completed a Master of Public Health at the Dartmouth Medical School with a focus on systems thinking and quality improvement, and then went on to practice primary care at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Keene. I retired in 2018.
In my practice, I have cared for a range of people from the homeless to college professors. I know first-hand about the opioid crisis. I have witnessed people make choices between buying home heating fuel or medicines. These experiences and many others will be helpful to me as a legislator, especially now, as I’ve observed that COVID-19 has shown in full relief the failures of our medical system and the need for serious examination and redesign.
I served on the Bellows Falls Union High School Board from 1991 until 2003 and on the Rockingham Selectboard from 2004 to 2006, where I learned the skill of crafting a budget. A budget is a statement of philosophy. Do we have to cut from one program in order to fund another? Funds are limited and there is always someone who is disappointed and feels their needs are not being met.
I have also served as board member of Parks Place and am currently a board member of the Nature Museum in Grafton. I sing with the Hallowell Hospice Choir.
As a founding member of Rockingham Help and Helpers in March 2020, I see first-hand the devastation that COVID-19 is having on the vulnerable in our community as well as the incredible generosity from others supporting those in need. I find a particular joy in my work with this group and in contributing, in my own small way, to the worldwide crisis.
Working with RHH and watching the Vermont Legislature during these last months has shown me that Vermont’s recovery from COVID-19 will need to come from two directions. We need strong local communities supporting each other neighbor-to-neighbor as well as strong leadership from Montpelier supporting those communities.
I would like to bring the concerns of the local communities of Windham-3 – Athens, Brookline, Grafton, Rockingham, and part of North Westminster and Windham – to the state legislature and integrate my understanding of medicine, small business management, education, public health, systems thinking, and local government toward improving the lives of all in my community.
For more information or questions, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Candidate for Windham-3