Three years ago today, Tropical Storm Irene came roaring across Vermont, bringing heavy winds and so much rain that most of our rivers spilled their banks. Roads, bridges, and homes — in some cases, entire neighborhoods — were washed out by the floods, isolating many of our communities for days as neighbors worked to support each other through the crisis. Irene had a devastating impact on so many of our lives and livelihoods, through lost homes, posessions, traumatic experiences, and financial hardship.
Apparently, the conservative business lobby is calling the shots in Montpelier and people have the right to be outraged. This is how broken our democracy is becoming. Democrats and Progressives have super-majority control of the Vermont House (101-49) and Vermont Senate (23-7), and we have a Democrat as Governor with Peter Shumlin.
This Monday from 4:00-6:30pm is the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations will hold a joint public hearing on Vermont Interactive Technologies (V.I.T.) to give Vermonters throughout the state an opportunity to express their views about the state budget for fiscal year 2015. All 13 V.I.T. sites will be available for the hearing: Bennington, Brattleboro, Johnson, Lyndonville, Middlebury, Montpelier, Newport, Randolph Center, Rutland, Springfield, St.
Such a powerful day today. Was honored to be sitting with Joyce Werntgen when this resolution was adopted today by the General Assembly of the Vermont Legislature.
The debate on whether to bring the F-35 war plane to be based at Burlington Airport has often had proponents focusing on the fact that this new technology is the only way to have a future for the Vermont National Guard once the F-16 is phased out. Recent media reports indicate that there is good reason to think that this has been the focus in order to use patriotism and the public support for the Guard to push through a broader agenda that includes major airport expansion.
May 1st marks not only a celebration of workers, or of the symbolic closing of this legislative session. The day is also a celebration of our achievements this year and the beginning of a new era of solidarity in the face of our shared struggles. We expressed our optimism and unity yesterday in Montpelier, our state capital, in the largest weekday rally in state history and a call for human rights in Vermont!
May 1, 2013
Subject: Put People First!
Thousands of Vermont residents have descended upon the statehouse today as we have on May 1st for the past four years. Initially, we showed up to demonstrate to you that creating a healthcare system that met human rights principles was not only politically possible but the will of the people of Vermont. We have made progress in that direction. But we have also watched decisions get made, about all aspects of our lives, that do not reflect the values of our communities. Many people feel voiceless in this process.
This Workers' Memorial Day comes with many heavy hearts at the recent tragedies of hundreds of workers being killed in Texas and Bangladesh factories I wanted to share three articles in honor of Workers' Memorial Day in case you missed them.
On Workers Memorial Day - Pledging Action for the Human Rights of Workers
from our partners from NESRI
“Dignity not poverty” Human Rights Hearing and Vigil
People from all across Vermont came together in solidarity to put people first on Thursday for a “Dignity, Not Poverty” Human Rights Hearing at the Montpelier Christ Church. During the hearing we heard many stories of personal struggle and inspiring voices in support of one another in economic times such as these in Vermont.