The long absence from this blog, though coinciding with a personally rocky road, hasn’t equated with inactivity.
Far from it.
I put in some time both pre- and post-primary on Peter Shumlin’s campaign for governor, and thanks be to all who voted him in. I’m certain we’re on the cusp of happier political days in Vermont.
I had intended an official launch of a State Ombudsman Campaign to be a few months ago, but circumstances, including the passing of one of the dearest and most significant people in my life, resulted in its delay. If you’re new to this blog, the short story is that after having encountered and witnessed much in the way of Kafkaesque machinations and injustice in state bureaucracies, I planted this little seed of creating a State Ombudsman in Vermont. I’ve watered and tended it to become a healthy growing thing, but now it needs the attention of many more people to become the thing that will bear good fruit for the citizens of this fine state.
Though delayed, the timing is good, because now the election has come and gone and all Vermonters know (or can easily find out) who their state legislators are for the session starting January 2011. The focus now is on people contacting their legislators to say they think creating a State Ombudsman is a good idea. The idea has bipartisan support, e.g. Rep. Anne Donohue (R) and Sen. Harold Giard (D). The legislators I’ve talked with so far have identified additional reasons for having a State Ombudsman that I hadn’t thought of–such as its dovetailing well with Challenges for Change–so it seems an idea whose time has come.
The one-page State Ombudsman Proposal is here. Right click to download it. Distribute it, talk it up, email your pals, post on Facebook and Twitter. We’ll be seeing transparency and justice increasing in Vermont when the legislature makes it so! We can do this in 20012, yes? Maybe even 2011??