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Caleb Elder for Vermont Senate

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2024 Campaign Testimonials

Caleb and family

Why I'm Running for Vermont Senate to represent Addison County, Buels Gore, Huntington and Rochester

At the 2024 Town Meetings in Bristol, Lincoln, Monkton and Starksboro I announced that, following my three terms in the house, I will not be seeking re-election to that seat. Instead, I have decided to run for one of our two Addison County Senate Seats. In addition to Addison County towns, this senate district also serves the communities of Buels Gore, Huntington and Rochester. As a lifelong resident of Addison County, including education at Mount Abe and Middlebury College, I have deep connections to this county I call home and feel eager to continue my service in the area of public policy development. 

Particular priorities of mine are:

  • Public Education, ensuring that the young people of our state have excellent educational options for the next 20 years, while bringing the price of that education in line with what our taxpayers can afford. I believe that community schools, and embedded human services in our schools, is part of the solution. There are both regulatory and emotional barriers to be bridged in this effort, but I am passionately dedicated to the work. 
  • Housing investments to provide greater affordability to Vermonter's who are feeling priced out by our current rental and real estate market. We need common sense land use and zoning reforms that allow communities to build more easily in there village centers. We need to bring the private sector fully on board with creating affordable housing. Subsidized "permanently affordable" housing has an important role to play, but it can't be the totality of our efforts. We need to get out of the way of the more cost efficient building options that continue to emerge in the private sector. This is a tough negotiation, as I have witnessed in my 6 years in the house, but I'm committed to working with all parties on a solution. 
  • Climate Resiliency work has never been as urgently needed as right now. But how we respond to the floods of 2023 is an critical first step in charting a course of resilience in the face of changing weather. We need to stick together, and to try new things. Building housing outside of flood plains is critical in some communities, and they need the state's help to accomplish this work. I'm in this effort for the long haul. It will also involve a greater understanding of our connectivity through landscape and watersheds. These problems don't start and stop at county boundaries, so we need a more holistic approach. 

Please reach out any time with questions about my campaign at calelder@gmail.com. If you have questions about policy in the current biennium, please reach out to me at celder@leg.state.vt.us. It's always a pleasure to hear from constituents during our session. And of course, from supporters during the campaign. 

Thanks for reading! Sincerely, Caleb Elder

 

 

Policy Priorities

Education

Our public education system is struggling to maintain quality for students at a price that is affordable for taxpayers. We must address this problem with new, bold solutions that center our children and their future. I believe that integration of human services under our school roofs, in a community schools model, might be a real opportunity for change. Post-covid, we have seen the social and emotional health of our students suffer. 

 

Health Care

  • Pass a Universal Primary Care bill as a first step towards Universal Health Care. Access to primary care can lower costs and improve outcomes over an entire population and over the long term. Our hospitals and insurers must help in this effort if we’re going to succeed.
  • Enable competition in the healthcare marketplace, where there is a clear need for  increased choice and pricing transparency.
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Education, continued

The resources needed to address these struggles have been added on to our typical school spending, and our school budgets are foundering under the added weight. We must bring other services to bear in the school buildings, with better integration of our designated agencies. Our investments in education and human services have been siloed from one another for too long, it's time to make real change. 

Transportation

  • Reconsider road designations to provide safe, bikeable routes for all Vermonters not just “road warriors”.  It should be safe for kids to bike to school on public roads.
  • Identify ways to continue funding our roads and bridges as the gas tax diminishes over time.
  • Increase bus and train services for commuters.
  • Expand broadband services throughout Vermont to facilitate more remote working opportunities.

Experience

Solar Flower

Professional

  • I have enjoyed 16 years working in the Renewable Energy sector in Vermont, including solar project development for homeowners, schools, nonprofits and businesses. I currently operate Elder Energy Services, LLC as a solar sales consultant. 
  • I am a Musician, performing on violin, and viola with various Vermont groups for the past 25 years. During the summers, I play around VT in historic barns, churches, town halls and backyards at private events and municipal functions. 

Public Service

  • I'm an incumbent State Representative, serving Addison-4 since 2019
  • I represent the Vermont House as a Board member at the Vermont Student Assistance Corporation. I'm currently serving a 6 year term.
  • 7 Years of recent experience on local school boards, 2014-2021

Education

  • Bristol Elementary School
  • Mount Abraham Union High School
  • Patricia Hannaford Career Center 
  • Middlebury College