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These are my Priorities

Vermont is a great place to live, raise a family, and connect with community. But, like many rural parts of the country, we face challenges. COVID-19 has caused chaos across our region. Students, families, frontline workers, and small businesses are struggling to get by. 

Vermont’s people are strong, but many of the foundations our communities rest on are fragile. 2020 is about who we are as a state and where we want to go. We must be bold if we want to recover and ensure more Vermonters achieve success in the 21st century. That means having an honest conversation about our challenges, and bringing the voices of our neighbors together to chart a new path. 

As a State Senator, I will lead with my values and support bold policies to move Vermont through this moment. Below are some of my priorities. This is by no means a complete list, so please reach out if I can answer any of your questions. I’m available at [email protected]

If you want to learn more about the types of bills I’ve supported and passed in my 2 terms in the Vermont House of Representatives, check out my record of results

Dylan speaks on the floor of the Vermont House.

Here’s what I’ll Support as your State Senator:

COVID-19 Recovery

As a State Representative for a large community, I know the toll COVID-19 has taken on the health and financial well-being of Vermonters. Local governments, our health care system, and public colleges and universities are reeling. More pressures form daily. This is a moment that calls for bold, transformative leadership. We cannot step back from meeting these challenges and providing support to Vermonters in their time of need. As a State Senator, I will fight for a COVID-19 recovery that leaves no one behind.

21st Century Education

As a lifelong Vermonter who attended public schools, faced challenges as a student, and dropped out at 16, I know education can’t be a one size fits all solution. It’s time we invest to give all our learners opportunities that engage them, and end punitive practices that lead to suspension and expulsion. “Traditional” education should be enhanced with off-ramps for students whose interests would be better served at a career and technical education center, or at the Community College of Vermont. As a State Senator, I will work to ensure our students’ voices drive their education and spark their creativity.

Higher Education & Training

As a member of the Vermont State Colleges Board of Trustees and an alum of the Community College of Vermont and NVU-Johnson, I recognize the immediate need for the State of Vermont to step up and meaningfully fund public higher education. Vermont has a dismal 30+ year record of reducing its investment in affordable public college. We must do more. It is time to set a goal that Vermonters can rally around. We currently are ranked at the very bottom of the pack for funding higher education. As a State Senator, I will propose a permanent dedicated revenue source to restore our funding percentage and support Vermont students.

Affordable Housing

As a millennial who grew up in Vermont and struggled to find a way or a trade, I know the challenge of accessing quality, stable, affordable housing. Regional housing costs are out of control. Despite escalating costs, the stock is old, and many require costly improvements. Renters have too few choices. At the same time, Vermont employers consistently cite housing as the primary reason they are unable to recruit skilled workers or expand their operations. As a State Senator, I will support a new round of investment in affordable housing, and will support grants for first time homebuyers so they are not saddled with more debt.

Rural Vermont Renaissance

Vermont’s rural communities are essential to our identity, brand, and way of life. While many parts of Chittenden County are developed, there are areas that remain very rural. Too many homes lack adequate cell coverage and broadband access. Just like other counties in the state that are negatively impacted by a lack of 21st century connectivity, the digital divide is leaving certain communities behind. It is time to invest in models that help local communities build out broadband infrastructure. As a State Senator, I will support a major investment in broadband to ensure all Vermont families, students, and businesses can access the world that’s available online, beyond Vermont.

Climate Action

We are living in the midst of a climate change catastrophe. The science has been clear for decades. The data are irrefutable. The only thing stopping us from addressing our climate challenge are the failed policies of the 20th century. It is time for the politicians to catch up with what a majority of Vermonters already know: we need to take climate action and meet the emergency with the full resources of the public and private sectors. As a State Senator, I will support major investments to cut reductions, end unnecessary pollution, and support the buildout of green energy production.

21st Century Justice Reform

Our criminal justice system is broken and needs immediate reform. Racial disparities undermine the fundamental fairness of the system, and too few have a second chance to get their lives on track after being incarcerated. We must ensure accountability for the police and our correctional facilities, create transparency and access to data, address the opioid crisis as a medical issue, and build a criminal justice system that is fair and equitable to all Vermonters. As a State Senator, I will pass legislation to make sure we have a criminal justice system that works for all. 

Success at any Age

Each year, the number of Vermonters who reach age 65 outpaces the number of younger Vermonters entering the state. Vermont will soon move past Maine as the oldest state in the nation. With demography matching projections, it’s time for Vermont to become a leader on elder care. We need to rethink and redesign communities to support older Vermonters’ health and independence. This will require us to rethink zoning regulations to help people age in place. It will also require an investment in our caregiver professions. As a State Senator, I will prioritize investments to provide support to the recently enacted Older Vermonters Act.

Government you can Access

Vermont’s citizen legislature does best when dedicated, accessible public servants fill elected office. In each of the two elections I successfully ran for State Representative in Essex Junction, I made an effort to knock on every door I could access. This face-to-face time provided me a window into the needs of my neighbors. With remote meetings now part of daily life, it should no longer be a luxury to reach an elected official. We must be available and open to constituents. As a State Senator, I will always be available to neighbors to answer your questions, address your needs, and to carry your voice to Montpelier.