Op/Ed

Letter to the editor: Cordes has been a strong advocate for Addison-4

With less than a week until the election, it is more important than ever that Vermonters reflect on their core values as they choose the candidate who will represent them during the next term. The outcome of the election will be an indication of our vision for the future. As teens, we are unable to vote, however we believe strongly that this year it is more important than ever that Vermonters vote for candidates who will be strong and effective leaders in an increasingly divided world. Because of this, we encourage voters to support Mari Cordes on Nov. 3. Since 2018, Mari has represented Addison-4 in the Vermont House of Representatives, and during that time has fought for racial equity, climate justice, and broader access to health care. 
Mari supports an economy that works for all Vermonters. She took the lead on a bill to create economic stimulus funding for Vermonters who were left out of federal stimulus payments due to immigration status. When it comes to racial justice issues, Mari is an outspoken advocate in the House. She is the leader of the Racial Justice and Social Equity committee and a founding member of the Social Equity Caucus. In such polarized times, it is critical that Vermonters vote for representatives who will support everyone regardless of race, ethnicity, or economic status.
In addition to working to combat racism, Mari prioritizes climate and the environment. Particularly for young Vermonters, the climate crisis poses a threat that must be rapidly addressed. Mari strongly supported an energy efficiency bill that would reduce greenhouse gas emissions. She also has passed legislation that increased funding for income-sensitive weatherization programs. The changing climate is an urgent issue and we must vote for representatives such as Mari who will advocate to protect our planet. 
Mari also pushes for access to health care for all Vermonters. As a nurse of 30 years, Mari understands the importance of providing health care to all. Our state is facing unprecedented times, and because she has continuously pushed for an equitable and safe Vermont for all, there is nobody better than Mari to help lead us onward. Mari is a member of the House Health Care committee, which sent the first pandemic relief bill to a vote. This legislation made it possible for our health care system to rapidly build new infrastructure to increase access to health care during the pandemic and to stabilize provider practices in order to remain viable. The Healthcare Provider Stabilization Grant Program provided $275 million to health care and human service providers. 
This legislation, along with other policy work in the House led to $1 billion of pandemic relief funding for Vermont. When re-elected, Mari will continue to help Vermont navigate the pandemic. Prior to COVID-19, Mari successfully pushed for more public funding for community and peer mental health services. She also introduced legislation to reduce out-of-pocket costs for insulin. 
Health care is a human right, and Mari will fight to ensure that all Vermonters are given access to high quality care. 
When re-elected, Mari will bring energy and dedication to the statehouse and continue to work towards a sustainable and equitable future for Vermont. 
Anna (16), Eliza (14), 
and Emma (14) Doucet
Bristol

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