I was born and raised here in Brattleboro. My father had various jobs, grew much of our own food, and my mother cleaned houses and worked as a childcare provider. At one point we relied on the federal WIC program for help. I have traveled far but I have never forgotten where I come from.
I ran for U.S. Senate because I believe in loving your neighbor. I believe that every person—no matter who they are or where they are from—deserves a place at the table. Our neighbors have been a lifeline for me. When I was a baby, and we were living in a building with no insulation, it got cold in the winter. Our neighbors took us in without thinking twice. They sheltered us. They fed us. I think our leaders in Washington need to treat us more like my neighbors did growing up, with that sort of compassion and swift action.
You can count on me to fight for your family and to lead with courage. From coming out as a teenager in this rural state in the 90s, to bringing together young people from around Vermont to fight for student seats on the Vermont State Board of Education, to co-leading an international mobilization to end a war, I have put myself on the front lines for my communities big and small and for my neighbors near and far.
Built bridges to win the largest global stimulus ever. I led the national campaign for a just economic recovery from COVID. Bringing together groups that have 10s of millions of members, I built a coalition of nuns, farmers, unions and businesses – from across the political spectrum – that in August, 2021, won the biggest release of international funds in history. This included $2.7 billion in new funds for Ukraine with no cost to U.S. taxpayers.
Sparked the largest anti-war coordination in 2 decades. In 2020, from my desk in Brattleboro, I organized a global day of action, World Says No to War on Yemen. Over 400 organizations in 30 countries in the end signed on, making it the largest anti-war coordination since 2003.
Secured voting rights for Vermont students. Before graduating from Brattleboro Union High School, I brought together students across the state to fight for a vote on the Vermont State Board of Education. In 2000, Gov. Howard Dean appointed me as the 1st high school student with a vote on that state board. Since then I have advocated for expanded voting rights for Vermont’s youth.
Made the winning case for dental care for more Vermonters. In 2015 I did the research for a bill to help meet the dental care needs of low-income, young and elderly Vermonters. In the face of a special interest group, I talked to dentists, activists and Vermont health department officials, and my 64-page report to the Vermont State Legislature helped result in the 2016 passage of this bill. My work is helping expand the dental workforce and access to care.
Helped Congress reclaim its power over war. Starting in 2017 I co-led the campaign across the U.S. that won historic bipartisan legislation in 2018 and 2019 to end the unconstitutional war on Yemen, the poorest country in the Middle East. The rallies I organized in front of the offices of key members of Congress, including Nancy Pelosi's, secured vital support for the measure. Within days of our rally at her office, she went on record to publicly oppose the war.