We live in a fantastic community. The Old North End is the gateway to greater Burlington and is the one of the most diverse areas in all of Vermont. More and more families have moved here, solidifying and strengthening the community.
But we still have work to do.
As I speak with residents at their doors, I hear a common concern: Crime and drugs. The sudden explosion of prescription drug addiction has fueled a rise in break-ins and theft. People are tired of seeing drug deals go down outside their front stoops in broad daylight and worrying about the threat of an intruder in the middle of the night.
I should know because it happened to me. One night last summer I awoke to an intruder in my own home. As anyone can tell you, it’s not just unnerving but discouraging as well. If we can’t feel completely safe in our homes, where can we?
Our primary focus must be on the causes of these crimes — drug addiction, mental illness and poverty. If we can start alleviating these challenges, we can finally start to see safer neighborhoods, stronger community and lower crime rates. This is an economic justice issue and we must begin addressing it now.
(1) As your state representative, I will work to increase our investment in treatment to help stop the spread of drug abuse, addiction and poverty.
(2) I will also work to expand the innovative Rapid Intervention Community Court here in Chittenden County to help break the cycle of crime. We should be championing programs like these that have won national awards for their efficacy.