Why we chose Vermont as our model state
Our states are where we live, work, and raise our families. The challenges we face on the local level tend to be practical not ideological. We want be proud of our states. We want them to function well.
For generations Vermonters have pondered the question of the America they want. From drawing up the first constitution to ban slavery to the legalization of gay marriage, Vermont has often found itself in the forefront of the American debate.
First an independent republic and then the first state to join the original thirteen, Vermont has always been frugal in fiscal policy but often in the vanguard on social matters and issues of conscience. These range from sending the highest number of men per capita to fight in the Civil War and to pioneering rural electrification in the1930s. In these, and in many other ways, Vermonters have never shied away from sending a message about the America they want.
This is one of the reasons why we have chosen to start an intentional national conversation here in Vermont: a liberal state with a Republican Governor — a conservative history with a long-standing progressive streak.