My name is Leslie Goldman, and I am running to represent Windham-3 in the Vermont State Legislature. A previous edition of The Shopper ran my letter to the editor discussing my qualifications. Now I am writing to explain why I am running.
COVID-19 has turned our world upside down, and it has been heart-wrenching watching what has been going on worldwide. Here in Vermont, we have not faced the suffering that other regions have seen from the disease, but the economic fallout has been enormous. The Vermont Department of Labor reports that the April unemployment rate was 15.6% compared to 3.1% in March.
We are seeing the consequences of workers who lose their healthcare when they lose their jobs. We are witnessing lay-offs in our town halls and K-12 schools, and a state college system in disarray. We are learning about who is truly essential in sustaining our economy – small business owners, grocery store workers, truck drivers, teachers, and healthcare workers, among others. And, at the same time, we are facing a climate crisis that needs to be a priority.
As I study these critical issues, I find myself asking these questions: What is the Vermont of the future? How do we get there? How do we contend with inequality and disparities in Vermont? How do we develop a local response to climate change? How do we ensure that all Vermonters find dignified work that allows them to support their family and contribute to their community?
One of the most important places to answer these questions is in the Vermont State Legislature. Representatives from across our state can come together in Montpelier to address these and the many other important questions that we are facing today. Our beliefs and values are translated into laws that affect our lives. I am a lifelong Democrat because we support healthcare for everyone; we are committed to dependable and affordable education for our citizens; we are committed to robust small businesses that attract and retain a workforce which improves the quality of life for all; and we are committed to tackling the climate crisis now.
The outcome of the 2016 presidential election compelled me to become more actively involved in politics, and in 2017, I became chair of the Rockingham Town Democratic Committee and the vice-chair of the Windham County Democratic Committee. This year I am running for state representative to use my knowledge and skills to participate in and contribute to these important conversations. It would be an honor and a privilege for me to serve the people of Windham-3.