Anthony represents Washington County in the Vermont State Senate. Before election to the Senate in 2010, Anthony spent over 30 years as a community organizer, advocate and educator, committed to helping citizens have a stronger voice in policy decisions that affect them. He continues that commitment today in the Senate.
“Anthony provides the leadership in the Senate we need in these difficult times” –Senator Bernie Sanders
Anthony is the “conscious of the Senate,” Republican Leader, Kevin Mullin, Senate floor, 2011
“I am proud to represent the people of Washington County in the Vermont Senate and all those Vermonters who believe that state government should stand up for economic, social and environmental justice.
I know that the best policy ideas and social change do not start in the statehouse but around kitchen tables, in town halls, church basements and wherever people gather to talk and find ways to work together. And, I think the most important thing I can do as a legislator is help ensure those citizens’ voices are heard in the statehouse.”
Having been the founder and Director of Rural Vermont, senior advisor to Bernie Sanders, Policy Director of the Vermont Public Interest Group and a long time community organizer and radio talk show host at WDEV AM&FM Anthony has had the opportunity to work with many Vermonters on important policy issues and projects.
In the Senate while working with those from all parties on many issues, he led efforts on important policies. Here are some:
Anthony won coverage for Vermonters with autism and developmental delays, a new policy requiring the State to hire and buy local and the 10% For Vermont program, investing millions of dollars in local economic development every year and consistently fought to lower the cost of Vermont state colleges.
He led debates putting Vermont on record opposing Citizens United and big money in our elections and opposing growing income inequality and against the outsourcing of Vermont state jobs.
He sponsored a new law requiring insurance companies to disclose every claim they deny, which are overturned on appeal and how much they spend on lawyers to fight their own customers; also their political contributions, lobbying and marketing expenses, salaries and bonuses for officers and board members. The law also protects local pharmacists from Pharmacy Benefit Managers who could conduct virtually limitless, costly audits of pharmacies. Local pharmacists say the new law is the best in the country.
He worked to try to expand Vermont’s bottle return law, co-sponsored a law to identify and control toxics in children’s products, sponsored new laws that protect tenants in danger of losing access to water due to irresponsible landlords.
And, as the Director of Rural Vermont, where he led the call for GMO labeling 25 years ago, Anthony was glad to see that bill finally signed, as he was to see child care and home health workers win the right to organize.
He also won passage of a Genuine Progress Indicator to help Vermont measure our economy in a new way. Unlike traditional indicators that only measure what we buy and sell, GPI puts real economic value on other important factors, like the cost of water pollution and benefits of safe communities. The GPI will help us set policy priorities and build a state budget that is based on what is really happening to our families, environment and economy.
As a member of the Health and Welfare Committee Anthony helped craft major mental health system reforms, building a strong community-based system and was one of a few Senators who consistently supported a 25-bed state of-the-art hospital in Berlin for those with acute mental health needs. He has consistently tried to lead us towards affordable, universal health care realizing that while we have made progress we have a long way to go.
In his first years in the Senate, Anthony has been honored as Legislator of the Year by Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility and twice chosen Ally of the Year by Green Mountain Self Advocates for his support of Vermonters with developmental disabilities – the only legislator to receive this honor twice.
Anthony has received the Lena Brown Labor Award from the Vermont State Labor Council, recognizing his many years of outstanding service to the working men and women of Vermont
Some other work experiences include:
- Adjunct Instructor – Johnson State College, Public Policy Courses
- Organizer – Dairy Farmers of Vermont
- Regional Organizer – FarmAid
- Director/Teacher – Community High School, alternative grade 7-12 school
- Instructor – Community College of Vermont, Vermont Studies, American History
- Northeast Organic Farmers’ Association, Board member
- Vermont Peace and Justice Center, Board member
- Governor’s Agriculture Advisory Board, Member
- National Biotechnology Working Group, Member/ Organizer
- National Family Farm Coalition, Board member
Anthony holds a BA from Johnson State College, Political Science and Environmental Studies (1977). He is married to Deborah Wolf. They have two grown daughters and two grandchildren and lives in Middlesex, Vermont.