by Kolby LaMarche
You may have seen Representative Leslie Goldman’s Front Porch Forum post, published here in the VDC. In reading Goldman’s post it becomes apparent that there are areas of concern that warrant attention.
In case you missed it, Goldman’s piece had three points of note: 1) Goldman passionately presents her work during this session and implies, in an attempt to emotionally ensnare the reader, that disagreement with the budget signifies a lack of concern for the mental and physical well-being of Vermonters. 2) Goldman relies on the statements of Speaker Jill Krowinski rather than offering her own independent thinking. 3) She attributes the entirety of the G.A. motel crisis to Governor Phil Scott, deflecting responsibility from the legislature.
Goldman aligns herself with Krowinski’s assertion that “it is the Executive Branch’s responsibility to ensure the welfare of the state and the health and safety of all Vermonters.”
One wonders what Goldman perceives as her own responsibility. Is it not to serve the health and safety of Vermonters? Or perhaps it entails pursuing personal gain, such as a substantial pay increase or attending to mundane matters like cleaning that special license plate she received when she first took office.
Goldman introduces another perspective, stating that “The legislature creates policy and funds that policy, the executive branch ‘executes’ policy.” This contradicts the earlier paragraph, leaving uncertainty about Goldman’s understanding of the Executive Branch’s role.
Nevertheless, an important admission emerges from her writing: Goldman acknowledges that it was a policy choice by herself and fellow legislators, not the executive branch, to end the motel program without a well-funded and adequately planned transition.
While Goldman demonstrates a solid grasp of various numbers, such as 10 counties, 14 counties, 4 months, and specific years, a glaring omission remains: the significant figure of 2,800. This represents the number of Vermonters who will face eviction due to a state-sponsored mass-unsheltering, initiated by Goldman and her colleagues, by July 28. Amusing, but not shocking, to observe how Goldman conveniently avoids honestly addressing the repercussions of her actions.
In the upcoming vote to override the Governor’s budget veto, Goldman is expected to align herself with Krowinski and Democratic leadership, disregarding humanity and moral imperatives. It is crucial to recognize that this issue transcends partisan lines, constituting a moral quandary. As readers and voters, we bear the responsibility of holding Goldman, as well as every Democratic representative who failed to adequately plan for this crisis, accountable. So, if you see Goldman in your travels, let her know she has failed Vermont and that she may want to refrain from representing or advocating for anyone other than herself.
Kolby LaMarche is a prudent leftist from Burlington.