People of color have always been part of the fabric of our state, from the stewardship of this land by the Abenaki people, to the free and enslaved Black Americans who shaped our history, to the migrant farmworkers who continue to keep our dairy industry alive. All Vermonters, especially Vermonters of color, deserve to know from candidates how they will advance an anti-racist platform as their State Senate representative. Because when we advance racial justice, we all benefit.
Racial justice is at the core of every policy I put forward. It guides my work to ensure all Americans can practice their right to vote. It centers my work to end our nation’s cruel immigration and incarceration practices. It fuels my work to address the disproportionate burdens that climate change inflicts on communities of color. It underlies everything.
As the first woman of color to serve in the Vermont State Senate and co-chair of the Social Equity Caucus, I’ve fought to end systemic inequities for people of color in Vermont. I am driven by the pursuit of racial justice because, unfortunately, America continues to fall short of its promise as a nation of freedom and equality. White supremacists are emboldened and hate crimes are on the rise, all the while the manufactured panic surrounding “Critical Race Theory” sweeps across the country. We must stand up to these racist attacks on people of color and address the root causes of racial inequality in this country.
It is no secret that Vermont is a predominantly white state. However, what is often left out of this narrative is that the vast majority of our population growth over the last decade has come from the in-migration and resettlement of people of color and new Americans. It is in our collective best interest – for the strength of our communities and growth of our state – to build inclusion and equity into our communities. True equality cannot be achieved until we break down the systems of oppression our government created. And that is what I intend to do in Montpelier.