BREAKING NEWS – June 2018
West Brattleboro State Representative Valerie Stuart Launches Campaign for Fifth Term; Stuart’s Vision for Vermont Focuses on Workforce and Economic Development, Job Creation and Revenue Generation, Marketing Vermont, and Combatting Climate Change
Brattleboro, Vermont — West Brattleboro State Representative Valerie A. Stuart is pleased to announce her campaign for a fifth term as West Brattleboro’s State Representative in Montpelier. Stuart looks forward to continuing to champion workforce and economic development, job creation and revenue generation. Another one of the eight-year veteran lawmaker's priorities is continuing to fund an economic development marketing campaign to promote Vermont — both internally and externally. As a member of the House Commerce and Economic Development Committee Stuart helped spearhead an economic development marketing campaign for Vermont. It's goals: to keep young people in the Green Mountain State by building their awareness of and giving them the skills necessary to fill the 4,000 jobs currently open here in Vermont. The economic development marketing plan also is designed to build public awareness outside of Vermont about what a great state Vermont is to work, play, raise a family and "grow" a business.
Over her 4 years on the House Commerce Committee, Stuart has helped secure $750,000 in funding to create and implement the campaign. A key goal of the campaign is to retain Vermonters in state and attract new residents to the Green Mountain State. Positioning Vermont as a leader in innovative high-tech and renewable energy sectors is another goal of the program.
As a member of the House’s Climate Solutions Caucus, Stuart has helped launch several successful initiatives. Notably, she generated the idea that culminated in the Vermont Council on Rural Development's 3-day "Catalysts of a Climate Change Economy, held at the University of Vermont in Burlington last fall. The Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) transformed Stuart's idea into a national innovation summit that attracted 500 entrepreneurs, thought leaders and investors from across the nation to the “Queen City“ in the fall of 2017.
"I came up with the idea for such a national conference at one of the VCRD’s Climate Economy Summits several years ago. I figured it would be an excellent way to position Vermont as a renewable energy job creator and leader. Vermont generated 14,000 jobs in that sector in 2014 -- that was more jobs per capita in the renewable energy sector than any other state in the Union had created at the time. As a marketing person, I knew it would be a great way to attract the kinds of clean, green renewable energy companies and entrepreneurs we want to live here or move to Vermont and establish businesses. I believe that the best way to safeguard our state’s future is to grow our population, create jobs and educate our workforce to do the jobs of today and tomorrow."
“Everywhere we turn in Vermont, we confront a revenue shortage. As a people, we have a tremendous amount of creativity and energy. We need to harness those assets by investing in initiatives that position Vermont for a stronger economic future. As a member of the House Commerce Committee for the past 4 years, my goal has been to spearhead and champion initiatives that grow jobs, generate revenue and employ Vermonters so everyone can earn a livable wage, put a house over their families’ heads and put food on their table. I believe creating jobs, generating revenue and giving Vermonters marketable job skills are the best ways for us as lawmakers to create a brighter future for all." Stuart’s climate change solutions work garnered her the honor of being named a Climate Change Solutions Champion by Vermont Businesses for Responsibility (VBSR) this past fall.
This past session, Stuart was an out-spoken proponent for sensible gun legislation. Her leadership role as an advocate for protecting our children and all public spaces so people can go about their daily lives in peace paid off in the sensible gun legislation Governor Scott recently signed into law. Gun Sense Vermont awarded Stuart a Certificate of Appreciation in gratitude for her advocacy for common sense gun laws.
Representative Stuart’s seat mate during the past 2-terms on the House floor, South Burlington Representative Martin LaLonde, was the lead sponsor of many of the gun control provisions the House championed, the Senate ultimately approved, and the Governor signed into law. “In my view, one of our key responsibilities as lawmakers is protecting those we serve. I am proud of the sensible gun legislation we passed. It strikes a balance between helping protect Vermonters and honoring Vermont’s heritage of hunting and responsible gun ownership."
Representative Stuart began her tenure in the legislature in 2011 as a member of the House Education Committee . She served on that committee for 4 years. During that time, the House Education Committee spearheaded ground-breaking legislation, including Universal Pre-Kindergarten, the Free Breakfast and Lunch Programs, Dual Enrollment, the Flexible Pathways Initiative, the Vermont Strong Scholarship Program, and the use of solely “green” cleaning products in Vermont’s schools to reduce children's exposure to harmful chemicals.
Stuart also is known in the General Assembly for her ongoing advocacy on behalf of the poor and disenfranchised. During the first few years she served in the House, she spearheaded a concurrent House/Senate Poverty Awareness Day Resolution. Governor Shumlin, Vermont’s Chief Executive at the time, proclaimed one day in May of 2013 and another in May of 2014 as Poverty Awareness Day. Her goal was to build awareness in the General Assembly that the shift of income upward in American society was an insidious and ongoing trend. “I read a prediction in The New York Times over two decades ago by M.I.T. economist Lester Thurow forecasting that the shift of income upward would have deleterious effects on America and our middle class. Sadly, we have seen his prediction come true. Our nation’s middle class continues to shrink as our country’s underclass grows. America’s billionaires now control an obscene percentage of America's wealth. This is a trend that is eating away at America’s greatest strength -- the middle class. Our shared values as a nation and a strong middle class have always been the backbone of our country. We are a nation of immigrants where all people deserve the right to a good life. I believe we must all work together to make the beacon of hope and possibility America has always represented shine bright again.”
For more information about Representative Stuart, her background and her legislative accomplishments go to valeriestuart.com . She also welcomes you to contact her with your thoughts and concerns. Email: email@example.com or Phone: 802-257-0249. You also can "friend" her on Facebook.