In preparation of the August 9 primary election, we conclude our interviews with the three Democratic candidates for Lieutenant Governor.
We speak with Chittenden County State Senator David Zuckerman of Hinesburg about his positions on top issues facing the state, including stimulating the Vermont economy, the environment, gender equality, and property taxes.
Also on the program, the state's gubernatorial candidates have taken to the airwaves with television ads. Vermont Press Bureau Chief Neal Goswami assesses the messages.
David Zuckerman on why he wants to be lieutenant governor:
"When you look back at my 18 years of work between the House and Senate, and back to what first got me involved in politics which was back in 1992 as a cynical young person. I wasn’t interested in the political process at all, I was much more an activist on the University of Vermont campus trying to make environmental changes, social justice changes. And I saw this guy running for Congress that obviously we’re all extraordinarily familiar with these days, Bernie Sanders. And I said, 'Wow, there’s somebody who states his views very clearly, guides in much broader concept where we want to go with economic justice, environmental justice, social policy justice to make a more fair and just society for all citizens.' And I realized, you know, as a political leader, you can do that in a political arena. That was shocking to me. And so I was very excited and started volunteering for him and I met many others who got involved in the political process.
"And what I did, when I first started running then a few years later, getting asked to run by some local folks in Burlington. I realized that so much of what we can do in the political arena is done with people throughout the state getting engaged process. And we’ve heard Bernie talking about this in the last year as well. And when you look at the issues I’ve worked on over time – marriage equality, when I was the lead sponsor for many years; end of life choices, I was the lead sponsor for many years; GMO labeling, which I brought up – maybe one of the first in the country around genetic engineering. Those bills didn’t ultimately become law via the internal dynamics of the political process in Montpelier. They became law because people around the state were engaged in the process. For me, moving into the office of lieutenant governor will afford me the opportunity to do that on a much larger scale. Bring more people into the process.
"You’ve got time in the morning as lieutenant governor and time in the afternoon on either side of the floor session when you’re technically moderating the Senate, where you can invite people into the Statehouse, engage them in the process, work with them to push their legislators to move forward on big policy. I think there’s real opportunity on health care reform, raising the minimum wage, affordable housing, rural economic development, climate change where being a leader and bringing people into the process is a real fit for me."
Live tweet of the interview with David Zuckerman:
Broadcast live on Friday, July 8, 2016 at noon; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.