Laura Chapman

Chute: We need her steady, thoughtful leadership

Putney Selectboard chair Aileen Chute is doing a fantastic job for our community. She has earned my vote and enthusiastic support. With the many complex needs occurring in our town, state, country, and world right now, we need her steady, thoughtful leadership at the front of the room. She has shown up in a diplomatic, intelligent, levelheaded way, done the work, and continues to do the work even when it is hard. As a former Selectperson, I can testify that the work is far more challenging than anyone ever expects it to be, and if it isn't, you're not doing it. She does all this for a paltry stipend, without complaint, with honesty, care, integrity, and transparency.

I was further impressed that Ms. Chute cared enough to have thought about and created a lengthy platform that shares many of the goals and values I see as representative of Putney, as demonstrated in our town plan. Her platform includes that if re-elected to the Selectboard, she will continue to encourage out-of-the-box ideas; explore extra revenue sources beyond property tax; champion government transparency and access; ensure constructive public expression; advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion; seek out ways to decrease dependence on fossil fuels; promote alternative transportation; advocate for land-use planning that mitigates flooding; and support a compact, mixed-use downtown and energy-efficient housing.

She is committed to supporting the positive efforts of Our Future Putney taskforces, working with state partners to develop Putney as a walkable and bikable community, and working with community partners to capture funding for economic development. Lastly, she expresses her love for Putney and plans to continue being an active community member regardless of re-election.

Laura Chapman...

Read More

A pink hammer to the patriarchy

A mom and a teen son reflect on the multiple messages of Barbie on the big screen. It’s so much more than a story about a doll.

No filters, no makeup, no pink, no costumes - just an impromptu trip to see the Barbie movie. It almost felt like we were breaking some unspoken rule based on all the fanfare I've seen, but we both needed to know what the hubbub was and had a rare...

Read More

Why I give money to people in need - without question

'Panhandling is a desperate enough act for my compassion, and I don't want anyone to be pushed to further desperation'

Let's unpack this statement, which was just repeated to me for what felt like the gazillionth time today: “I don't give panhandlers money, because they're just going to buy drugs with it. I don't want to feed their addiction.” Maybe they are, maybe they're not. But let's say for...

Read More


All the things I wish I had said

Of all the days. At first, I thought they might be there to support Planned Parenthood, since the three of them were in front of the clinic, while the rest holding signs were on the other side of the road. “Is this in support of Planned Parenthood?” I asked. Pushing an anti-Planned Parenthood pamphlet my way, she responded, “It's in support of the truth.” The bile in my stomach rose, I fought back the tears of anger and resentment, pointed...

Read More

We are talking about neighbors and loved ones

Hundreds of Windham County residents - children, veterans, seniors, young adults, the employed and the unemployed, are living in a state of homelessness. An extremely disproportionate number identify as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color). People are unable to find a place to live and when apartments do open up, they are often far beyond the price range of the average earner. Vermont has been underdeveloping housing for over 40 years. With the increase in demand during COVID-19 and the...

Read More

Siegel: Selfless, passionate, impactful

Brenda Siegel makes no secret of the fact that she struggles financially. So three years ago, when we attended the Women's Convention in Detroit, it was no shock when she laid out her budget for that weekend clearly to me. It was minimal but enough to squeak by, especially since her room and some of the meals were sponsored. Walking to the convention together one windy day, we passed by a man sleeping on the sidewalk. He was covered in...

Read More

Hashim, Mrowicki: Match a quick learner with a teacher with experience

What would it feel like to put on an undershirt, layered with a bulletproof vest, uniform, boots, and heavy utility belt, and then holster a radio and gun - in all types of weather? Then go de-escalate volatile situations? Now imagine doing so for nine hours a day, sometimes longer if you're in the middle of an active situation at the end of your shift. Would you manage that with a cool head and compassionate heart? Vermont State Trooper Nader...

Read More