Mike Szostak

Coffey: outstanding accomplishments in first term

Two years ago, I wrote a letter supporting Sara Coffey. I gave her my support after riding around with her as she campaigned and listening to what she said.

At that time my support for her was primarily based on the hope that she would actually do what she was promising the people of Vernon and Guilford. I am pleased to again write a letter of support - this time, based on what she's actually done.

Sara's record over the past two years has been outstanding, especially for a new legislator.

She serves as a member of the Committee on Corrections and Institutions, addressing systemic racism and promoting social equity within the Department of Corrections.

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We are those racist systems

It's primarily up to people of privilege, especially us white folks, to change what has been going on in our country since its founding over 300 years ago, when the United States was built on the brutal annihilation of the Native American population, followed by the enslavement of people...

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Bernie is the best of three old, white men

It's quite disappointing that the only candidates remaining for president are three old, white men: Biden, Sanders, and Trump. As if we need any more evidence, white male privilege is still a driving factor in the decisions being made. It's illogical to think that out of the millions of...

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Compassion is sincere when it turns into actions that bring about real change

The conversation at our Brattleboro Food Co-op's recent annual meeting relating to a racial incident, and the ensuing descriptions of what happened at that meeting, did not make my falsely-accused black friend feel better. In fact, it drove the hurt deeper. She did have the courage to speak up at the Annual Meeting, and attendees did have the decency to listen to her, but this was not an occasion to be “full of pride.” As a 20-year Co-op member, I...

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Data-supported decisions might appear sensible, but are those decisions just?

One of the latest catch phrases commonly used to describe various systems in our country is “data-driven decision making.” This term is meant to represent a positive approach to how various organizations and systems go about making decisions and setting standards and goals. The intent is to eliminate subjective determinations and make everything fact-based, without emotion. We see this approach in how workers' performance is measured, how we design our school systems, how Amazon and Google run their businesses, and...

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We must dismantle systems of oppression that benefit white folks

Donald Trump's most recent attack on four women of color is not only outrageous but hurtful to many. And as our president, who is supposed to be our leader, he is abusing his power by portraying such comments as representing our collective views and values. And we wonder why bullying behavior is such a problem among our youth! Despite my outrage, I have learned that when I point my index finger at someone else, I need to take a moment...

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Government control over women’s bodies crosses a line

Regardless of one's political beliefs, most would agree that a sad and horrible part of our history is the enslavement of people upon whose backs our nation was built. Shockingly, it is disheartening to see us heading down a similar path again with women's rights. It is understandable that, due to religious and personal beliefs, abortion would be viewed differently among people. However, when government takes control of a woman's body and thus becomes the owner of it, a line...

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Coffey: ‘Everything I look for in a state representative’

Addressing the old and new problems we face requires energy, creativity, intelligence, and a fresh perspective. We need new ideas; not business as usual. Younger people, women, people of color, and those with other diverse qualities have the best shot at bringing something new to the table. Kudos to Patrick Gilligan, the young man who is running for Vernon and Guilford's state representative. It's really nice to see a young voice speak out. Although I'm pleased to see Patrick getting...

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