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The Vermont Progressive Party is a political party in the United States founded in 1999 and active only in the state of Vermont. The party is largely social democratic and progressive. As of 2019, the Party has 2 members of the Vermont Senate and 7 members of the Vermont House of Representatives.[2][3] After the Democratic Party and the Republican Party, the Vermont Progressive Party has the highest number of seats among State and National offices for any organized party in the country.

Vermont Progressive Party
ChairpersonAnthony Pollina
SecretaryChristopher Brimmer
Vice ChairMegan Polyte
TreasurerMartha Abbott
Lt. GovernorDavid Zuckerman
Senate President pro temporeTim Ashe
House LeaderRobin Chesnut-Tangerman
Founded1981; 38 years ago (1981) (coalition)
March 1999; 20 years ago (March 1999) (state major party)
Split fromLiberty Union Party
Democratic Party
Preceded byCitizens Party
Progressive Party
HeadquartersP.O. Box 281
Montpelier, Vermont 05601
Youth wingProgressive Youth Caucus
IdeologySocial democracy
Left-wing populism
Political positionCentre-left to left-wing
Colors     Red
     Green (historical)
(Pink and Black sometimes used as well)
Seats in the U.S. Senate
0 / 2
Seats in the U.S. House
0 / 1
Elected statewide offices
2 / 6
Vermont Senate
2 / 30
Vermont House of Representatives
7 / 150
County Executives
1 / 14
Elected County Judges
0 / 42
0 / 8
Seats on the Burlington City Council
5 / 12
Local offices>13 (2019)[1]


Formation in BurlingtonEdit

The Vermont Progressive Party originated in the early 1980s with the successful independent campaigns of Bernie Sanders for mayor of Burlington (prior to being elected mayor Sanders was a leader in the Vermont Liberty Union Party). Sanders, who was later elected to the House of Representatives[4] and subsequently to the Senate[5], and who co-founded the Congressional Progressive Caucus, never officially associated himself with the Progressive Party due to the fact it was only organized at the state level and not nationally, although the Progressives were among his biggest supporters. A group of Sanders’s supporters, the "Progressive Coalition" as they had come to be known, as well as former members of the dissolved Citizens Party, organized themselves during his final term as mayor to contest future elections within the city as well as other parts of the state.[6]

Progressive Peter A. Clavelle was elected Mayor of Burlington in 1989 and served seven terms. After winning his first term, he remained in office until 1993 when he lost his re-election bid after giving domestic partners of city employees full benefits. Clavelle returned to the mayor's office two years later in 1995, continuing to hold the position until 2006, when he was succeeded by Progressive State Representative Bob Kiss.

Expansion to state governmentEdit

The coalition succeeded in electing several members, including Terry Bouricius in 1990, to the Vermont General Assembly; and after establishing a stable political base, formally became the Progressive Party in 1999.[7] In the 2004 elections, the party picked up three new seats and then had five representatives in the Vermont House of Representatives.[8]

By the 2012 elections the party had several members of the legislature and a candidate elected to statewide office, as well as dozens of local office holders around the state.


The Progressive Party encompasses a social democratic platform, similar to that of mainstream European center-left parties. The party's main focus has historically been advocacy for a single-payer health care system, which has recently made great strides with the implementation of Green Mountain Care, a health care program that was pushed by Democratic Governor Peter Shumlin due to pressure from the Progressive Party. Other major policy platforms are renewable energy programs and a phase-out of nuclear energy, public transportation proposals including one for a high-speed rail system, criminal justice reforms directed at reducing the state's prison population and better protecting convicts' rights, the creation of programs to end homelessness in the state, ending the War on Drugs and repealing No Child Left Behind and ending the focus on standardized testing in the school system. The party also has an anti-war stance, advocating for Vermont's national guard to be restricted from engaging in war zones outside the United States, an end to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and opposition to all preemptive wars, strikes, or other offensive or interventionist military actions. The party is very supportive of LGBT rights and members of the party were involved in the legalization of same-sex marriage in the state.

Economically, the party also calls for converting the minimum wage to a living wage and having it tied to inflation rates, having the economy focus on small and local businesses, empowerment of worker cooperatives and publicly owned companies as democratic alternatives to multi-national corporations and to decentralize the economy, for the strengthening of state law to protect the right to unionize, for implementing a progressive income tax and repealing the Capital Gains Tax Exemption and residential education property tax, and for all trade to be subject to international standards on human rights. The party is also critical of privatization.[9]

Elected officialsEdit


State-wide Office

Vermont Senate

Vermont House of Representatives

  • Rep. Mollie Burke (P), Windham-3-2, single member district (2009–present)
  • Rep. Robin Chesnut-Tangerman (P), Rutland-Bennington, single member district (2015-present)
  • Rep. Brian Cina (P), Chittenden-6-4, with 1 (P) (2017–present)
  • Rep. Selene Colburn (P), Chittenden-6-4, with 1 (P) (2017–present)
  • Rep. Mari Cordes (D/P), Addison-4, with 1 (D) (2019-present)
  • Rep. Diana Gonzalez (P), Chittenden-6-7, with 1 (D) (2015–present)
  • Rep. Sandy Haas (P), Windsor-Rutland-2, single member district (2005-present)
  • Rep. Zachariah Ralph (P), Windsor-1, with 1 (D) (2019-present)


County governmentEdit

Municipal governmentEdit

  • Burlington
    • City Council
      • Perri Freeman (Central District-Ward 2 & 3) (2019–present)
      • Jack Hanson (East District-Ward 1 & 8) (2019–present)
      • Max Tracy (Ward 2) (2012–present)
      • Brian Pine (Ward 3) (2018–present)
      • Ali Dieng (D/P) (Ward 7) (2017–present)
    • Ward Clerk [10]
      • Wendy Coe (Ward 2) (2010–present)
    • Ward Inspector [11]
      • Jane Stromberg (Ward 1) (2019-present)
      • Alex Rose (Ward 2) (2019-present)
      • Kit Andrews (Ward 3) (2013-present)
      • Bonnie Filker (Ward 3) (2019-present)
  • Springfield
    • Selectboard
      • Stephanie Thompson (2010–present)
  • Berlin
    • Selectboard
      • Jeremy Hansen (2013–present)
  • Richmond
    • Selectboard
      • Steve May (2016–present)
  • The party also has a significant number of its members elected to local town governments and appointed to serve as town officials. However, in Vermont these elections are non-partisan and no party name appears before their names on election ballots or during an appointment process.

Party leadersEdit

  • Chair: Anthony Pollina
  • Vice Chair: Meg Polyte
  • Secretary: Christopher Brimmer
  • Treasurer: Martha Abbott
  • Executive Director: Joshua Wronski[12]
  • Senate Caucus Leader: Anthony Pollina
  • Senate Caucus Whip: Christopher Pearson
  • House Caucus Leader: Robin Chesnut-Tangerman
  • House Caucus Whip: Diana Gonzalez
  • Youth/Student Caucus Leader: Carter Neubieser

Timeline of party ChairsEdit

  • Heather Riemer (1999-2001)
  • Bob Miller (2001)
  • Martha Abbott (2001-2005)
  • Marrisa S. Caldwell (2005–2007)
  • Anthony Pollina (2007–2009)
  • Martha Abbott (2009–2013)
  • Emma Mulvaney-Stanak (2013–2017)
  • Anthony Pollina (2017–present)


  1. ^ "Local Officeholders". Retrieved March 30, 2018.
  2. ^ "Legislators - All Senators". Vermont General Assembly. The State of Vermont. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  3. ^ "Legislators - All Representatives". Vermont General Assembly. The State of Vermont. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  4. ^ Gutman, Huck (December 12, 2002). "Some Political Lessons from Vermont". Common Dreams. Archived from the original on October 7, 2012. Retrieved August 21, 2009.
  5. ^ "Bernie Sanders elected to U.S. Senate". People's World. November 9, 2006.
  6. ^ Cockburn, Alexander (October 12, 2000). "'Vote Your Hopes, Not Your Fears'". The Nation. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
  7. ^ Nichols, John (January 31, 2002). "New Year, New Party". The Nation.
  8. ^ Winger, Richard (January 15, 2009). "Vermont Bill Signed, Will Put Progressive Party on Apportionment Board". Ballot Access News. Retrieved August 21, 2009.
  9. ^ "Platform Straw Poll from September 2014 State Committee Meeting". Vermont Progressive Party. Retrieved January 24, 2016.
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ Press Release (2018-06-13). "Vermont Progressive Party nominate candidates for statewide office - VTDigger". VTDigger. Retrieved 2018-11-02.

External linksEdit