Steve May announced today that he will be a candidate in 2020 for the Democratic Nomination for State Senate. In announcing, he highlights significant participation in Vermont politics over many years. May cites his concentration area: “…his experience in and around Healthcare issues, having worked as a Clinical Social Worker in a variety of settings across Vermont; with a clinical practice focusing primarily on addiction issues for the past fifteen years.” In May’s announcement he notes a need for system-wide change with more bed space in across the treatment system… May has called on the state to double the number of treatment beds available statewide within four years.”
May is exhaustively exercised on all significant issues; and leaned on his previous experience working in advocacy around patients with rare diseases to point out that any role out of a healthcare benefit would be state-based and must be inclusive enough to work for everyone. As the former National Director of State Affairs for the Hemophilia Federation of America and past director of Advocacy for the New England Hemophilia Association May was tasked with fighting for patients with bleeding disorders and their ability to access adequate care.
May continued on, noting the need to create a network of policy which place the needs of Vermont families first—“Affordability has become a buzzword somehow, we need more than empty platitudes… paid family leave is a necessity, a meaningful increase in the minimum wage is a necessity, subsidized childcare and adult day care are a family is a necessity and as a matter of public policy we must act like it.”
Finally, we need a Universal Basic Income to address the changes that Vermonters are confronting all too often in this economy. “Economic displacement and the gig economy are the new reality for thousands upon thousands of workers. UBI is intended to be a supplement to income and not replace work, in creating a supplemental stream of currency it is our hope that Vermonters would be freed up for work which suits their interests, not just their wallets. A broad-based UBI benefit which draws revenues from a multitude of sources should be made available to support Vermonters…” said May. Any benefit must not compromise other existing benefit programs. May continued on: “…This is a far better idea than trying to attract a handful of mercenary remote workers who have no permanent attachment to our state”; a current experiment without nuance that, among other downfalls, excludes folk who came here under similar circumstances before the program.
Bringing this all together, May states that “there is a housing crisis in Chittenden County. We need to encourage residential growth. The lack of entry level homes in the marketplace is staggering;” Right now, rents are spiking. “One response among many is a comprehensive plan that puts the breaks on double digit rent increases can only be in the public interest.”
In addition to his experience as an advocate in healthcare, May started a Civil Rights organization focused in genetic bias issues, and was instrumental in its introduction and passage of bills in Massachusetts, Vermont and law in California, plus other jurisdictions. Mays’ work was instrumental in putting the issue of Genetic Bias on the radar screen in the early 2010’s through The Forum on Genetic Equity, the organization he founded. May has also served as a past member of the VT AFL-CIO Executive Board and as former Vice President of the Champlain Valley Central Labor Council. May also has served as a member of the Smilie Elementary School Board and Richmond Selectboard previously.