first_imgJudith McLaughlin of Franklin has announced her candidacy for the Vermont State Senate as an Independent.  In 2010,  McLaughlin came in immediately behind incumbents Randy Brock and Sara Kittell.  Neither incumbent is running for re-election. She ran as a Republican for the seat in 2010. In a statement, she said: â It is my wish to represent all of Franklin County and Alburgh the best way that I can, without being restrained by party.  As an independent I will legislate for the good of Franklin County and Alburgh, as well as all of Vermont, without the restrictions of partisan politics.  I have always said, itâ s not about the party, itâ s about the people.âMcLaughlin said she will take her mountain bike and traverse the roads of Franklin county and Alburgh this summer personally discussing her 4-point Platform; Diversified Agriculture, Rural Youth, Affordable Energy and Entrepreneurism. â I understand first-hand the issues our small businesses and agricultural community faces, and I will be their champion.  As a former agricultural small business owner, and a current homesteader looking to develop a new agricultural-based business, I struggle along with others like me who continue to face the bureaucratic red-tape that tends to stymie entrepreneurship.  Vermont requires more entrepreneurs to develop new demands for local food.  A business-friendly infrastructure developed specifically for diversified agriculture is paramount in VT.  Small, state-of-the-art, regional processing facilities are required for our natural/organic meat and poultry producers.   We need year-round facilities in our communities for our local farmers to market their products.  We need our permitting processes simplified.  We need tax relief for small businesses while we continue to improve our road and communication networks.â  McLaughlin, a Vermont Army National Guard retired Lieutenant Colonel, spent her career working with civil authorities and youth, both here in the States as well as overseas. â Here in Vermont, our rural youth need inspiration.  They canâ t be what they canâ t see.  We need to cease lamenting that their generation will never be great, and we need to begin showing them how they can.  When our youth have no hope for a higher education, or a livable-wage job, we lose them to crime, homelessness or the cycle of public support.  Iâ ve spent most of my career mentoring and teaching youth and I will champion affordable tuition at our State Colleges, community mentor centers and programs, along with school curriculums that better prepare our youth to become young leaders.âShe said that in their spare time, Judith and her husband Rob teach younger generations all the forgotten arts inherent to a self-sufficient family.  Judith and Rob raise their vegetables, honey, eggs and herbs for multiple families, and teach their younger generations how to become self-sufficient while reducing their energy footprint. Judith stated, â Energy efficiency is a personal as well as state responsibility.  We all need to participate to ensure affordable energy for Vermonters, and to protect our most vulnerable.    Yet, we need to rethink how we look at renewable energy in Vermont, and shift our focus from large-scale community projects to homeowner solutions.  The ultimate result is a reduced energy footprint in Vermont.  How we get there is our choice.  I will champion new and innovative small businesses that develop alternative energy solutions that are affordable and sustainable for the homeowner.  Alternative energy must available to all homes.  I will promote tax credits for improving homeowner energy efficiency, while ensuring our current public utilities, as well as new development remains responsive and responsible to Vermonters needs.âlast_img

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