Brenda Siegel is running for Lieutenant Governor in Vermont and she is a force to be reckoned with. As a teacher and single mother, she knows about the personal struggle of every-day people in her state. Her Opioid Epidemic Plan has become the gold standard for the country.

1:00 Fusion election system in Vermont There are three parties in Vermont and candidates can run on a fusion ticket. There is currently a Republican Governor in office now who is likeable, but regressive in policy. Brenda previously ran for Governor and with no name recognition 21% of the vote in a four-way race despite having no access to campaign cash. 

“We know that wealth does not trickle down and in fact, poverty trickles up, yet we keep making policies that support the top while leaving behind those who struggle and the middle class. We need to re-think our outdated beliefs about what makes a thriving economy. We know that poverty creates a drain on our state, so it is in our best interest to make sure we build the economy from the bottom up instead of the top down. We don’t have to choose between supporting business and employees, we can do both.”

9:00 System Failures Addiction as well as the school to prison pipeline affects commun9ities everywhere. Is this intentional? In Vermont, the right intention may have been there, but the results of false “accountability” misunderstands the issues. The disparity in economic resources is a predictor or outcome in the criminal justice system.

“It is a people made problem and people made problems can be fixed.”

Is addiction disease and how should we address it through medical care or through criminalization. Brenda lost her Nephew, to a Heroin overdose on March 8th of 2018. Siegel wants Vermont to be a leader in ending this epidemic.

“REGARDLESS OF your opinion or belief, we have good evidence that what we are doing is not working. Our best chance at safe communities and raising children who don’t experience the death of their friends with great frequency is to follow best practices that lead to people having the tools for recovery or reduce the harm of their use. We know this; we don’t have another direction. The old way isn’t working. It is time to change it.”

Siegel has successfully been fighting for and promoting evidenced based policy shifts across the state and country.

13: 44 Harm Reduction as a Concept in Practice Crime and death are dramatically reduced through these processes that shift the practices in how we treat the problem holistically. This isn’t about decriminalization but increasing treatment services through various methods. Clean needle exchanges, mobile and stationary overdose protection sites. These simple ideas provide an opportunity to reduce costs and loss of life across the community. Narcan availability is important with the complications of fentanyl.

29:00 Why run for Lt Governor? The candidate running for governor is a good fit and Brenda has a passion for policies and programs in the works now. This race helps her forward these ideas and gives her a platform to implement them once elected. This is a surprisingly conservative areas with a populist fell. Brenda works to create the arts, business and government to revitalize the economic outlook in small communities and go from a bottom-up approach with paid family leave, good wages and other policies.

“I think the reality is that all of these ideas are intersectional…We must be working on all these policies if we want things to change… We have to stop thinking of them in silos.”

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