To the Editor,
Town meeting day elections are right around the corner, and we need people from every walk of life to run for local office in every town if we want to make any progress in our state over the next few years. Unfortunately, it is far too rare for the people who are most directly impacted by rising inflation, high transportation costs, and lack of affordable housing to serve in any elected capacity in our state.
A few years ago, Vermont Public compiled data on the types of people who serve in the Vermont Legislature. They found that:
“Nearly 40 percent said they were retired or had no other meaningful source of income outside their legislative pay.
And then, another 30 percent said they were self-employed.
That means less than a third of representatives have the kind of job that most of us are probably accustomed to. Like, with a boss, where we have to show up on time, and work at least 40 hours, every week.” – Vermont Public
This same dynamic is true on town boards and commissions across our state. The people who have the time and resources to run for and serve in office are rarely the type of people who understand the struggle of affording to live or support a family on low wages.
It is our job to change that dynamic.
While it is not easy for anyone who works a full time job to serve in office, we know that these are the exact types of people we need to run if we are going to make progress on the affordability crises in our state. That’s why we need you and many people like you who understand the struggles of the working class to run and serve at every level of government in our state.
If you have decided to run, or are interested in running for office this Town Meeting Day, we would love to connect on ways we can support.
Please fill out our interest form here and we will reach out. https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdHhqpYyQx9UF4Tqvq-nxAO2vP0hsLFxyIqHHroJv9J6la4MA/viewform.
Director, Vermont Progressive Party