Along with serving on the Brattleboro Town School Board, Dave has supported the work of the Fit and Healthy Kids Coalition, the Windham County Hunger Council, Building Bright Futures, and Let’s Grow Kids. All of these organizations, and many others, are involved in improving the health and education of children. Dave has worked to connect these efforts with local schools, and identify the range of services available to support families and children.
Dave has also lobbied and testified in the legislature and worked with other community members to moderate the damages threatened by Act 46, a law intended to eliminate local school boards and create centralized control with no local decision-making. Although there are school districts that have large inequities in opportunities for students, our districts have few, and can resolve these limited examples without sacrificing our unique schools and school boards. Our town meetings have been an effective way of assuring our community values are reflected in the programs and costs of our schools. The long-term improvements and tax savings from creating one big district will be very small, while the cost to our communities would be great.
The biggest threat to children in Vermont today is the damage they suffer from living in poverty. If elected to serve as Senator from Windham County, Dave will work tirelessly to improve the coordination, effectiveness, and efficiency of state agencies in fighting the effects of poverty. Schools, human services providers, police and corrections services, community colleges, child care programs, pre-schools, employment and job training programs, economic development efforts, housing, hunger, and drug/alcohol abuse programs and many other individuals and organizations all over the county and state are committed to helping families find a path out of poverty. These efforts need to be coordinated and focused on surrounding families with services so we are not just applying bandages, or giving people a fish to eat. We need to be treating the root causes of the disease of poverty. We need to teach people how to fish- to give them the support they need to become able to support themselves and their families. Our current system is not a system- it is a series of activities that need to be coordinated into an effective system. There are examples in our towns and other regions where progress is being made.