Single mom weighs in
on paid sick days

Editor of the Reformer:

I’m from Brattleboro and I am a single mom of two daughters. Over the last 20 years I have been active in the work force, working up to three jobs at a time to still only make an annual income of no more than $22,000. During this time my children were either in school or childcare, allowing me to work.

Unfortunately, as a single parent with minimal support, I depended on the school/daycare to take care of my children. I already had a limited market to choose from to find a job that would fit my children’s schedules or needs so I finally landed an all-day job or jobs that for the most part would allow me to be at home at night with my children.

I’m guilty as one of those parents who sent their children to school sick. There are too many times to remember how often I sent my children to school, knowing that as soon as they got there that they might throw up. Sadly, I depended on the school nurse and hoped that whatever sickness my child had was not bad enough to send her home. I prayed when I got the call that they would say that she can just stay in the nurse’s office for the rest of the day if she has too.

As a parent what do you do? I had to! Yes, I left my kids at school sick, because I knew that I would not be able to afford the time off from work. Yes, my kids got others sick and they, too, ended up in the nurse’s office or at home. Yes, then I had to stay home anyway because the next day she was sick and so was I. And yes, so were the other parents who got sick from my kid, from theirs.

I look back and realize this isn’t right. I feel bad as a mom, a friend, and a person in the community. Those days were not just sick days I needed for myself, but that my community needed me to take. So together we can all be well. Those days not only took away my ability to be well and take care of myself and my child, but others in the community when they fell sick due to my decision to keep my job, support my family and secure our future.

Today, I have my first livable wage job and paid sick days.

Please help families to grow and sustain their lives. Stop the cycle and pass sick days now, if not for me, what about all of you?

Shela Linton,

Brattleboro, Feb. 11

Peyton discusses campaign for governor

Editor of the Reformer:

If the monetary system were built, run and managed by Jesus, Buddha, or Gandhi would we have the problems we do today? I asked this to the Senate Government Operation Committee in support of monetary reform. Would there be unproductive, diseased people destroying the earth and killing each other? The looks I got from around the room were memorable.

Politicians demand that we behave in a spiritual manner; that we help one another, that we work hard and refrain from temptation. That we do not harm one another, that we cheerfully accept hardship, and be obedient to laws of the land. Meanwhile, politicians and bureaucrats chosen by them systematically enable horrifically depraved behavior of persons compacted together in corporate identities (a corporation is a private person we are told), while concurrently using punative measures to micromanage the behavior of singular individual public people. The corporate lack of spirituality encouraged by politicians and their hires is dehumanizing our culture. Because politicians haven’t reformed our monetary system to reward virtue, we have hunger and homelessness, we are to grovel at half a living wage, pay taxes to kill, maim and destroy children across the globe in service to whom?

It matters if a corporation does not behave as would Jesus, Buddha, or Gandhi. It matters, and I am going to stand up as a candidate for governor about exactly why it matters, and what I propose we all do about it.

Our democracy in Vermont is broken by a handful of people. They replace our democratic process of elections at the statewide level with corporate dictatorship; 50-100 people are altering the outcome of elections against Vermont law (Title 17, Statute 2701, Undue influence), and most obviously Articles 7 and 8 of our State Constitution.

Vermonters won’t (and shouldn’t) vote for someone who hasn’t presented and proposed a winning platform, moreover they can’t vote for someone they don’t know is running. If Vermonters aren’t offered winning remedial policy through non-corporate leadership, then government cannot be reformed to reflect public virtue. I don’t expect to win (of course), but I do have winning policy that the public should know about and be able to call for through their less corporate local representatives.

I have asked my responsive Senator White for an amendment to S.86 misc election laws; that candidates shall behave with decorum; no props, costumes or bad language but they must be permitted to participate in all public debates of statewide elections. I am an equally balloted candidate for governor, and so I shall be respectfully treated as one. Democracy will be the law. That handful of Vermonters shall not steal democracy from the public of Vermont any longer.

How long will you be silent about what is going on?

Emily Peyton,

Putney, Feb. 8

Aldrich on candidacy

Letter to the Editor:

Please allow me to introduce myself to your readers. My name is Doreen Aldrich and I am running for Trustee of the Rockingham Free Public Library. I was born and raised in Bellows Falls and Gageville and attended parochial and high school here. I have worked for the Town of Rockingham since 1988 and I’m currently the town clerk and treasurer of Rockingham.

I am running for this office on a slate that includes physician Carol Blackwood, retired pastor David Gould and lawyer Raymond Massucco. Together, our goal is to earn back the trust and confidence of area residents and employees of the library. We would appreciate your vote on March 4. If elected, we promise to work hard and restore the good name of our library trustees.

Doreen Aldrich,

Bellows Falls, Feb. 11