Good news is the highlight of the day at the statehouse today. Two press conferences, one about accountability, and the other about working together for Vermonters hard hit by tropical storm Irene gives us a positive focus for today.
Hallways are calmer, it's business as usual at the statehouse. Students from our state colleges have come and gone, leaving behind the memory of our future leaders
having to proclaim how hard our state is making it for them to get an affordable education.
Hard working people, who need to have a say in what goes on in their businesses and what kind of guidlines are needed or useful, were here trying to get support for H.97.
Join the Vermont Workers' Center in supporting this Call to Action from our Put People First partners Vermont Sierra Club and 350 Vermont. The VT House Natural Resources and Energy Committee need to hear from Vermonters to push for bold renewable energy goals.
CALL THIS WEEK and leave a message at the statehouse for Energy Committee Chairman, Rep. Tony Klein and your House Rep , that says:
The House Committee on General, Housing and Military Affairs is continuing to hear testimony on H216 an act relating to federally assisted affordable housing.
My name is Sandy Gaffney. I am here today representing the Vermont Workers Center because of Tropical Storm Irene. I lived in Westons Mobile Home Park just outside of Montpelier in Berlin, Vt. My home and 70 other mobile homes were destroyed by the severe flooding as well as most of our belongings.
Working parents with young children across the state of Vermont are daily confronted with a difficult choice: work outside of the home and pay for childcare, or stay home with their children and try to make ends meet on one income, or no income for single parent families. For one Essex Junction parent, the equation just didn’t make sense anymore. After paying for childcare for 2 children, she was bringing home $70.00 for a 40 hour work week. She left her job and now sits on the other side of the equation, trying to make a living as a registered home provider.
Yesterday and today, the General Housing and Military Affairs Committee met to hear testimony about H.216, an act relating to preserving federally assisted affordable housing.
This testimony included information from VHFA that many contracts for affordable housing, signed 20 to 40 years ago, are now ending. This makes these units at risk for being sold and not be available as affordable housing for the mostly elderly and disabled who have been living in them.
I'm Sandy Gaffney. I was of a member of Mobile Home Park Residents for Equality and Fairness. We organized to be heard about what our needs actually were and to get them met. After the flood I came to realize that many of our needs weren't being met for a long long time and that I could work to change things. As a result I am a member of the Vermont Workers Center and here today.
[This article was originally published in Bennington Banner, VT Digger, Rutland Herald along with other VT media outlets. ]
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In 1967 in his Christmas sermon, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. said, "I still have a dream that one day the idle industries of Appalachia will be revitalized, and the empty stomachs of Mississippi will be filled, and brotherhood will be more than a few words at the end of a prayer, but rather the first order of business on every legislative agenda."