My friendship with later-to-become Vermont state Sen. Fred Westphal was a profound lesson in how to talk and be friends with someone whose ideas you revile, a social discipline we would do well to pursue today.
We’ve done little or nothing from a policy perspective to stem the immense damage done by addiction to refined carbohydrates, which are propelled untaxed into our food systems and with government subsidy.
We must look to the causes of crime in our own communities, flaws in the criminal justice feeder system, and then continue working together to diminish the need for spending $180 million a year keeping Vermonters behind bars instead of investing that money in community-support systems that reduce criminal behavior.
Although a significant amount of fiber-optic cable has been installed in Vermont, the ‘last mile’ connectivity remains a steep investment challenge.
An increased need for nonprofits’ help and more pressure on donors could create a chance to collaborate and consolidate.
The largely deregulated drug industry is one of the major drivers of increasing health care costs.
Vermont has a unique opportunity to reimagine the future.
Whether an influx of wealthy urbanites to Vermont will benefit the state remains to be seen.
Local and regional papers provide a critical and cohesive civic and social fabric that sustains our threatened small towns.
The state must focus on how to right-size its health care infrastructure and professional providers to meet the needs of Vermonters in a rapidly shifting environment.
Honesty calls us to remember the dark underbelly of racism and economic privilege that persists even today in Vermont.
The economy, in and of itself, is not an entity to be preserved above all else for the benefit of those who extract wealth from it.
Vermonters turning in greater numbers to their neighbors for food and local farmers are seeing an upsurge in direct local buyers. That trend must be encouraged.
We must understand education as part of a social and economic constellation that includes businesses, corrections, civic institutions, other private and public schools, and the communities in which they’re resident.