LTE: Candidate Stu Lindberg articulates his views

Dear Editor,

 

After announcing my candidacy for the Vermont House of Representatives two months ago, my inbox has been inundated with questionnaires from various news outlets and citizens advocacy groups. I feel it is important to publicly discuss the key issues about which I am frequently asked. Bucking today’s ubiquitous political trend, I choose transparency so that the voters in my district can make an informed decision this election.

  1. Article 22

Vermont has no restrictions or limitations on abortion and has not had any since 1972. The following is codified in Vermont law (Act 47), “The State of Vermont recognizes the fundamental right of every individual who becomes pregnant to choose to carry a pregnancy to term, to give birth to a child, or to have an abortion.” The law also affirms access to contraceptives. It is clear that we do not need to amend Vermont’s constitution to protect a right that is already inscribed in the state’s legal DNA. I oppose Article 22 because it is out of step with mainstream America, deliberately vague, and undemocratic. It would put unlimited, unregulated late-term abortion into our state constitution, which is a position opposed by the vast majority of Vermonters and 90% of Americans (according to a Harvard/Harris poll). It would remove voters and future legislators from any further discussion about what “personal reproductive autonomy” means. This amounts to an intentional abdication of legislative authority.  Does “personal reproductive autonomy” entail human cloning or surrogacy trafficking? These are cultural conversations that we should be having as a society in our state. Article 22 would prevent these important discussions by permanently tying the hands of legislators and voters.

  1. School choice

I support school choice. In 1991, upon graduating from Lyndon State College, I worked for six years at the Pine Ridge School in Williston. This small private high school served students with learning differences. It catered to the unmet needs of students who had been academically and emotionally underserved in the public school system. At Pine Ridge, the faculty and staff did tremendous, intensive work with the young people in our care, helping them achieve grade level standards in reading, writing, math, and the other disciplines. This first-hand experience taught me the importance of allowing parents to find and place their children in the best-suited and most appropriate environment that meets their unique needs. Taxpayer dollars should follow every child to the best school available to him or her, regardless of whether it is a public or private institution, or a homeschooling arrangement.

  1. Addressing Vermont’s inflating energy costs

When the Vermont Legislature convenes in January 2023, the new legislature will vote on whether or not to enact the recommendations made by the Vermont Climate Council to raise carbon taxes/fees on home heating fuels (oil, propane, natural gas, and kerosene) and similar new carbon taxes/fees on gasoline and diesel. There is little we can do about the various national and global factors affecting energy prices. However, we can prevent increasing fuel prices for these necessities on Vermonters who are already struggling to make ends meet. Last spring, when fuel prices were skyrocketing, Vermont Democrats voted to raise taxes on home heating fuels (H.715), and voted to override Governor Scott’s veto of that heartless bill. A new version of that bill and many like it will be back in 2023. If elected, I will be a solid “No” vote on any proposed taxes/fees that would artificially raise the price of energy on Vermonters.

  1. Stance on Vermont’s Global Warming Solutions Act 

Vermonters of every political persuasion have a long and proud tradition of environmental stewardship. We have been doing our part for decades and the environmental data proves it. Vermont is the cleanest state and our total energy consumption is the lowest of any state in the nation. Vermont forests have removed more carbon dioxide than emissions produced every year since 1990. Unfortunately, there is a political tendency in Vermont to focus on global phenomena rather than resolve local pressing issues. For example, we are experiencing severe workforce depletion, an acute shortage in the rental market while the state has the second highest home vacancy rate in the nation, record high costs of motor vehicle and home heating fuels, more numbers of middle class and fixed income families falling into poverty, staggering rates of drug overdose deaths, and a sharp increase in violent crime. I am running for office to implement tangible change that directly improves the standard of living of my constituents.

I ask for your vote this election season. Thank you.

 

Sincerely,

Stu Lindberg

Cavendish, Vt.

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