Vermont Progressive Party Hires New Elections Director

The Vermont Progressive Party Coordinating Committee has hired Kelly Mangan of Burlington to be the Party’s new Elections Director as of July 7th, 2014.

In recent years, Mangan has worked as a labor organizer for food service workers with the United Electrical Workers (UE), helping Sodexo employees at Vermont’s higher learning institutions who wished to unionize, and has been an organizer for childcare providers with the American Federation of Teachers. She was the Field Director for Senator Bernie Sanders’ 2012 re-election campaign, leading the campaign's statewide outreach and canvassing program. And in January of this year, Mangan added "new mom" to her list of job descriptions. 

“I'm excited to be VPP's Election Director because I want our state to be governed in the best interests of everyone, not just a wealthy few,” Mangan said. “I believe the Vermont Progressive Party is the only political party in our state that is sincerely trying to empower and engage working people around the issues that affect us. That’s why I’m eager to help elect new Progressive candidates, and to re-elect those who are fighting for us in Montpelier.”

Emma Mulvaney-Stanak, Progressive Party State Chair, says she believes Mangan’s background in union organizing is a beneficial skill set that she brings to the Party. “As an organizer, Kelly knows how important it is to develop leadership potential in others. I’m excited to work with her as our Party continues to grow,” she said.

Former Party Director Robert Millar resigned in June to run for State Representative for the Chittenden 6-7 district. Mangan said: “Robert is a knowledgeable and extremely qualified candidate for State Rep. I’m excited about his race and very happy to be working to support him and all the other great Progressive candidates around the state.”

To contact Kelly, you can email kelly[at]

Vermont Progressive Party State Committee Meeting Minutes 5/31/2014

Vermont Progressive Party State Committee Meeting Minutes
Statehouse Cafeteria, Montpelier, VT

Meeting called to order at 1:00 pm. Approximately 80 state committee members and VPP members were in attendance.

Coordinating Committee Vacancies
The Chair, Emma Mulvaney-Stanak, explained the vacancies and the process under VPP bylaws for filling the seats. The Coordinating Committee had two vacancies – Vice Chair since Selene Colburn stepped down in April and one of the At-Large seats when Lee Madden stepped down in February. Under VPP by-laws the Coco may appoint temporarily until the next state committee meeting. The Coco appointed Morgan Daybell (Montgomery) as Vice-Chair and Christian Hanley (Brattleboro) as the At-Large Member at its April meeting.  The State Committee unanimously elected Morgan Daybell as Vice-Chair in an uncontested race. There were three candidates for the At-Large Member seat - Christian Hanley (Brattleboro), Shawn Jarecki  (Pittsfield) and Jason Batchelder. Shawn Jarecki was elected to the At-Large seat.

Statewide Candidate Nominations/Endorsements
Discussion moved to sorting the differences between nomination and endorsement, discussion of the process. The State Committee (SC) can nominate and endorse candidates. The nomination process is outlined by state law and is required for placement on the primary ballot and for use of a Party label on the general election ballot. Individuals may still collect the required number of signatures and be placed on the Progressive primary ballot without the VPP nomination. Endorsements are an act of the VPP to show support for a candidate in the election. It can be granted under VPP by-laws, which were reviewed with SC members.

Auditor- Doug Hoffer is seeking the SC endorsement as a D/P on a campaign of continued audits of state programs, increasing transparency, insuring the efficiency and efficacy of healthcare and pressing for more whistleblower protection. Motion by Marge Power to nominate for the ballot and to sanction a write in campaign, second by Martha Abbot and approved by acclamation of SC. Motion to endorse by Martha Abbot, second by Morgan Daybell and approved by acclamation.

Treasurer- Don Schramm nominated by Liz Blum, second by Chris Pearson and nominated by acclamation.

Secretary of State- Ben Eastwood nominated by Marge Powers and second by Glennie Sewell. Jim Condos nominated by Gary Case, second by Jessica Falker. Jim Condos was not present at the meeting. Ben Eastwood nominated by majority voice vote.

Attorney General- Ed Stanak nominated by Martha Abbott, the nomination was declined. Shawn Jarecki nominated by Ben Eastwood, second by Ellen David Friedman, nominated by acclamation. Note: After the state committee meeting concluded, Shawn declined the nomination.

Lt. Governor- two candidates seeking an endorsement. Dean Corren would run as a straight Progressive, endorsement so moved by Chris Pearson and seconded by Marge Powers, endorsed by acclamation.  Dean Corren is collecting signatures for placement on the Progressive primary ballot and did not seek a formal nomination. John Bauer would run as a Democrat/Progressive D/P, endorsement moved by Jessica Falker, second by Gary Case. Mr. Bauer gave a brief speech. A member made a motion to call the question after some vigorous debate. Peggy Sapphire seconded motion to call the questions. The motion to endorse Mr. Bauer was defeated by a voice majority with 5 abstentions.

Governor-Marge Powers moved to close without a nomination for governor, second by Ben Eastwood, motion approved by voice vote with one abstention.

SC member Tom Kingston recommended that the SC nominate all endorsed candidates, seconded by Cindy Weed and approved by voice vote with one abstention.

Staff Recognition
Special thanks and recognition to Robert Millar as State Coordinator who is moving on to run for State House.

Legislative Update
Five of our elected legislators discussed the legislative session: Representative Chris Pearson-discussed the effort to raise minimum wage and the process the bill took to approval of a raise over three years. Representative Sandy Haas-discussed mental illness and the courts and provision for pretrial services. Representative Cindy Weed-discussed equal pay for women, workplace retaliation prevention, childcare worker unionization and the earned sick day bill that did not pass this session. Representative Susan Hatch-Davis-Tried to kill the school governance bill, recognizes the problems but believes a better bill should be passed. Senator Anthony Pollina-State Bank his primary issue, tried to begin the effort by moving 10% of state funds into VETA, lots of opposition from both Dems and Reps.

Platform Review
Ben Eastwood, chair of the Platform Committee, took the floor to discuss the process for platform breakout discussion groups. SC broke into small groups to discuss in the first session: energy & transportation; public participation in government; criminal justice; military affairs; state economy; gun control issues (not a plank); government reform. The second session the SC broke into small groups to discuss: education, housing, healthcare, agriculture, taxes, industrial wind, civil rights.

A motion was made to close meeting at 3:15 PM, and seconded, approved by acclamation.

Respectfully submitted by Chris Brimmer, Secretary.



Vermont Progressive Party Coordinating Committee Meeting 6/7/2014

Vermont Progressive Party Coordinating Committee Meeting 6/7/2014
AFT-UPV Office, Pine St, Burlington
11:00 AM and 12:30 PM.

Present: Chair Emma Mulvaney-Stanak, Treasurer Martha Abbot, Secretary Chris Brimmer, at large Corey Decker, Executive Director Robert Millar joined meeting at 11:30, Vice-Chair Morgan Daybell joined at 11:45, at large Shawn Jarecki attended portions via speaker phone.

Absent: Katherine Sims (Vice Chair), Mari Cordes (At Large), Caryn Connolly (At Large), Adam Norton (At Large), and Nancy Potak (At Large)


Agenda modifications. The Coco decided to abbreviate the meeting in order to free up Coco members to volunteer for Dean Corren’s campaign to assist him in the final work to qualify for public financing. As such, the agenda was modified to only include a review of the state committee meeting on May 31, a financial/fundraising update, budget revisions, and an update on the hiring process for new staff. We tabled discussion of financial support for VPP member attendance/participation in outside state event such as the Left Forum; Committee Reports from elections, communications, organizational development, and policy; Discussion of a new list/data sharing policy; and review of the Coco annual goals.



Review of the State Committee Meeting

Noted by several members of the CoCo was a general frustration with the platform process. Discussion on whether we should take up divisive issues, wind, guns and how to allow more conversation by party members before decision-making meeting in September. We could schedule other sessions for more debate, such as morning of the September state committee meeting. Agreed to let the process play out this summer by committee and then consider using morning of September state committee meeting for more engagement. Platform Committee will write and distribute proposed language for review in July. Women’s caucus was an unmitigated success with discussion ranging widely.



Discussion of the Pride Parade/festival, deadline for application in August. Emma suggested costs may be split with candidates. Issue tabled by acclamation of the CoCo.



Discussion of the hiring process. Ads are running for two weeks, short list goes out on Monday and the pool is looking good. Personnel Committee will conduct interviews. CoCo needs to decide if the CoCo makes the final decision or the Personnel Committee because our personnel policy does not account for one staff person who is not the Executive Director. Corey suggested/moved that the Personnel Committee will recommend and then the CoCo will vote in a conference call approved by acclamation of the CoCo.



Financial report was presented by Martha. Down on income but also on spending, party is currently in small deficit. Corren qualifying for public financing will improve the fundraising situation. Funds are tight but Martha planning to do fundraising immediately to put us back in the black. Discussion on start date for new hire based on financial situation and fundraising on the horizon. Motion by Morgan to give authority to Emma to set a start date of June 30th or July 7th dependent on party finances based on a June 18th report that cash is on hand for either date, seconded by Corey and approved by acclamation.



List sharing policy was tabled for the next meeting.



Examined budget revisions, mileage and dental coverage. Corey suggested this should be budget driven. Martha suggested that this should be a top priority to be able to provide this sooner rather than later if they have spousal insurance then a swap for mileage. Martha moved that the party will not offer mileage or dental insurance unless the new hire has other health insurance options and/or until we have funds, seconded by Corey and approved by acclamation.



Discussion of participation of party in national events, do we offer resources for members to attend? Current event is the Left Forum where two members attended. Corey-possible in the future but not at this time, Martha-decisions should be made in advance before we reimburse, Corey-is there some way to set a rating system for these events as a fund raising vehicle? Emma-table the discussion and make decisions at a future meeting. Motion by Corey to not reimburse for the 2014 Left Forum but to establish criteria for future requests, second by Morgan and approved by acclamation.


Meeting concluded at 12:30 PM.


Respectfully submitted by Chris Brimmer, state party secretary

Livable Wage Waiver

I penned the following to Mayor Miro Weinberger (cc'ed members of the Finance Board) after the Finance Board voted in favor of an exemption of the livable wage ordinance to Skinny Pancake.

December 3, 2012

Dear Honorable Mayor Weinberger,

As co-chair of the Legislative Working Vermonter's Caucus, it is important that I work to promote a progressive, working families agenda and support justice for all Vermont workers. Burlington's livable wage ordinance is a model that political leaders in Vermont should be touting not exempting. It is a family friendly policy and makes good economic sense for Burlington and Vermont because it puts the spending power into the hands of regular people (in particular women, who traditionally have worked in the lower paying jobs).

Burlington can be proud of such a good policy that helps to give Vermont's working poor a better chance to eventually rise up into the middle class. Your policy is an excellent example of an act of justice for working Vermonters.

Sadly, it is my understanding that you and the board of finance recently approved the Skinny Pancake's request for an exemption from the city's livable wage ordinance. I am concerned that your defense of the exemption sets a troubling precedence for hard working families who have already been hammered by a financial crisis they didn't create. These families need political leaders who will fight for hardworking people, not undermine policies that give them a chance to live a dignified life.

I urge you, as Mayor in one of the greatest cities in our state, to do the right thing and reconsider your decision or look at alternative ways to work with Skinny Pancake to uphold the existing ordinance. I'm sure you will agree that the greatest aspect of Vermont's economy is our hardworking families. There is still time for you to support Vermont's economic future and do the right thing. Anything less sells working Vermonters short.

Thank You,

Representative Susan Hatch Davis
Co-Chair Legislative Working Vermonters Caucus

New Member Orientation

At the end of November, I joined almost three dozen newly-elected and veteran legislators for a three-day Snelling Center for Government New Member Orientation at the statehouse in Montpelier.

The event began with a General Assembly Legislative Briefing session that included updates on Vermont’s new health care initiative, Green Mountain Care, and a Mental Health Systems update; FEMA and Irene Recovery; national economic trends; and the status of Vermont’s current revenue/budget. The orientation also included an entertaining tour and history of the statehouse; legislative information technology; presentations from first term and former legislators as well as committee and political caucus chairs; introduction of the Office of Legislative Council Staff and an overview of the bill drafting process; parliamentary procedure and bill amending, recording and notice process; ethical decision making; briefing from the National Conference of State legislators; Joint Fiscal Office staff introductions and presentations; a meeting with media representatives; and seminars with the Executive and Judicial Branches of government.

I was impressed by the knowledgeable, supportive and professional statehouse staff and look forward to working with them and my new colleagues when the session starts on January 9th.  The training was certainly an integral step in preparing legislators to make informed decisions about our capital budget and in crafting legislation that improves Vermonters’ lives.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions, concerns or comments at


Representative-elect Cindy Weed

2012 Election Results

2012 was a great year for the Vermont Progressive Party.

In November, while Republicans lost seats, every Progressive incumbent was reelected: the four members of the Vermont House who ran for reelection and the two members of the Vermont Senate.

We added one new Vermont House member (Cindy Weed of Enosburg, who beat a Republican incumbent) and one new Vermont Senate member (David Zuckerman, who came in 4th in the six-seat Chittenden County district).  Now there are three Progressives in the Vermont Senate and seven Republicans.
We also elected the first Progressive to a statewide office ever (not counting Senator Bernie Sanders, who runs as an Independent): Doug Hoffer was elected Vermont Auditor of Accounts as a D/P.  Doug is clearly a Progressive in all the ways that matter.  So now in Vermont we have one Republican in statewide office and one Progressive.

In the Lieutenant Governor’s race, Cassandra Gekas got 41 percent of the vote against incumbent Phil Scott.  She received more votes than Republican Randy Brock got in the Governor’s race, despite spending a fraction of what he spent in that race.  Cass ran a great campaign and impressed everyone who heard her at a forum or rally.  She articulated a clear Progressive vision for Vermont’s future.

And then there is Ed Stanak.  “Don't panic; Vote Stanak” was his radio ad tagline.  Ed didn't start running until after the Primary Election because so many of his friends in Labor had backed TJ Donovan.  With Bill Sorrell winning the primary, Ed went to work articulating a simple, but powerful, platform to hold Wall Street accountable, close Vermont Yankee, and more.  In the end, Ed finished with 6 percent of the vote, enough to qualify us for Major Party status (as did Cass Gekas' results).

Don Schramm held the Progressive banner high in the State Treasurer’s race, after we attempted to persuade Beth Pearce, the Democratic candidate, to talk about the reasons Vermont would like to end our association with Wall Street banks.  Don promoted the concept of a Vermont State Bank, and explained the many reasons why Vermont’s economy would benefit from such a move.

It’s clear that the Vermont Progressive Party, the most successful ‘third party’ in the country, continued to grow in 2012, even as the Vermont Republican Party continued its decline.   Together, we are standing up against the corporate interests so prevalent in the other political parties – and we are winning.

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