Ellen Oxfeld

“We have a very competitive race for State Senate in Addison County, and this will give our voters a chance to weigh many different approaches to how our state government can best advance the public good.

Two candidates — Ruth Hardy and Chris Bray — stand out from the field. In my opinion, they are the best choice for Addison County. They have both the necessary skill sets as well as the dedication to advance our welfare and find cost effective ways to address the state’s important social and environmental issues.

Ruth Hardy has a strong background in education, family and health care issues. At a time when many Vermonters struggle with high out of pocket medical costs that often cause them to delay care, Ruth will fight for a universal publicly financed primary care system as an important first step in creating universal access to health care. (Universal primary care will also be a step toward necessary cost control, as broad access to primary care can reduce the need for expensive hospitalizations and emergency room visits). Ruth is also a strong advocate for our children and schools. She knows an ounce of investment in our children now can save pounds of worry and costs later on.

Chris Bray is our current senator and deserves re-election. Living on a working farm, Chris understands the need to support and sustain our family farms in Vermont, and to help them to do this, he has become a strong advocate of regenerative soil systems, renewable energy, and the regulation of toxic substances and hazardous materials. Chris helped develop the best-funded and most robust clean water program in the state’s history. Chris understands that for farms to flourish our farmers and their families have to flourish as well. As such, his work is broader than agriculture, environment and energy; he has also supported worker training, equal pay for equal work, raising the minimum wage, and paid family leave. He also strongly supports a universal primary care system.

Chris Bray and Ruth Hardy will be a wonderful team for our county; they will advocate and promote economic development, and social and environmental welfare. They both deserve our strong support at the voting booth this November.”

Ellen Oxfeld is an anthropology professor and healthcare activist who lives in Middlebury. This letter appeared in the Addison Independent on October 8.