Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Annette Smith Local Control Issues Platform

Annette Smith For Vermont Governor
Local Control: A Vision for a 21st Century Vermont
Independent Mounting Statewide WRITE-IN CAMPAIGN for Election Day ‘12

2012 Independent WRITE IN candidate for Vermont governor Annette Smith has published her “Local Control” platform outlining a vision for a 21st century Vermont that empowers  Vermont citizens and communities. “It is past time for Vermonters to claim our right to self-determination,” Annette said. “We need to challenge the monopolistic power of large corporations and the political systems that serve them, and take that power from the state and federal level back to the community level.”

40% of working Vermonters are making less than a $10.50 hourly wage.  We must support a vibrant working landscape here in Vermont, just as Vermonters have done for generations. We can raise wages and revitalize the economy by removing regulatory obstacles and encouraging local businesses to create value added products.  State and federal policies that promote exporting raw resources while taxing and regulating productive businesses have to be reversed.

Vermont must challenge Wall Street's corruption and take charge of our financial future by developing comprehensive financial and legal policies to address the unsustainable practices of Wall Street and the Federal Reserve.  Vermont must create a publicly-owned bank like the state-owned Bank of North Dakota that can leverage Vermont's assets to make loans available through existing community banks to encourage investment in diversified agriculture, innovation, conservation, and small businesses.

Vermont must aggressively promote energy conservation and reverse the trend of increasing monopoly power over our energy supply. We must support local control over our energy resources instead of subsidizing out-of-state monopolies. Forcing residential wireless smart meters and the corporate industrialization of our pristine ridgelines is not a solution to either climate change or energy security.  Distributed solar electric and hot water, sustainable biomass heating fuels, ecologically designed micro-hydro, and the sensible reclamation of our existing hydro-power are our priorities.

A 21st century Vermont must feature local control over a diversified working agricultural landscape.  Instead of unwieldy state and federal mandates and regulations that stifle productivity and subsidize commodities, Vermont must encourage diversified local food production to feed ourselves and our communities with our own abundant agriculture resources.  Exporting more value added products with the recognized Vermont brand will boost incomes across the state. Transparency in GMO labeling is a priority. Vermont must remove obstacles to traditional agricultural crops for biomass and fiber production.  We must take on the Dean Food monopoly and get dairy farmers a fair price for their milk as we help them diversify.

Local control of our public schools - from our curriculums to our lunch programs - must become a priority. Federal funding and testing mandates, overwhelmingly rejected by our public school teachers, must be rolled back, with a return to local control and equality of education opportunity for all Vermonters. Vermont needs to stand up to the failed federal education system and insist that funding which comes from the taxes Vermonters pay cannot be withheld simply because we make our own education decisions and standards locally. State-level policies must reverse the trend of consolidated power in Montpelier and return local school decisions to local communities.

Health care freedom is a human right. Vermont is one of the healthiest states in the US, but pharmaceutical and insurance corporations have far too much influence on our medical system.  This influence contributes to skyrocketing costs and affronts to our freedoms, as government regulations are being written to benefit corporations rather than the average Vermonter. Vermont’s health care policy must be shaped by the choices of our citizens, families, and health care professionals; not by corporations and “one-size fits-all” state and federal mandates, such as requiring purchase of insurance or enforced medication/vaccinations. Every Vermonter has a right to clean water, clean air, pure food, and access to medicines – including natural medicines, vitamins and supplements –  that cannot be patented or sold for profit. The ancient Oath of Hippocrates, centered on the promise to “first, do no harm,” should guide all health policy while honoring privacy and freedom of choice in patient-provider relationships.

Our culture of “Freedom and Unity” is under siege from the militarization of the U.S. economy and the rising power of the police-state. Vermont’s growing dependence on the military-industrial complex – Homeland Security, Lockheed’s F-35s and smart meters, nuclear power – threatens both our liberty and our security. The police-state and the failed war on drugs drains us of precious natural, human and economic resources and destroys families. We need our soldiers and police to protect our rights and help our communities at critical times. Vermont must take a stand against the expansion of the war economy, the war on drugs and the police-state, and focus on preserving the rights and safety of Vermont citizens.

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