The beautiful town of Peacham, VT has a population listed at about 665 people but last night it was doubled for Senator Bernie Sanders Town Meeting on Healthcare last night. The upstairs of the church had over 300 people, the downstairs had over 150 people, and then speakers were blasting out the church kitchen door to a crowd of well over 200 people outside, often standing in the rain. Just like the Town Meetings held last week, in Rutland and Arlington (link: http://www.workerscenter.org/node/112 ) hundreds of Healthcare Is A Human Right Campaign (HCisHR, link: www.workerscenter.org/healthcare ) and single-payer healthcare supporters came to show their support, outnumbering opponents at probably more than 25-1 (Rutland was probably 6-to-1, Arlington probably about 10-to-1).
HCisHR local Organizing Committees from Hardwick, Washington County, Franklin County and Chittenden County helped turn out hundreds of people from around the state. Hundreds of people also came out from the immediate area, and many were excited to get involved in the effort. Over 300 new people signed HCisHR postcards to the Vermont Legislature, which call on them taking action this year to make healthcare a basic human right and taking action on state single-payer bills S.88/H.100. Senator Sanders reiterated is commitment to right to healthcare and his belief that we will get there by having a single-payer system in Vermont and eventually the entire country. There was many powerful testimony of people calling for systemic change and if it cannot be done nationally that Vermont should lead the way.
"The difference between Bernie's Town Meetings and the other Congressional Town Meetings held around the country is the difference between day and night," says James Haslam, Director of Vermont Workers' Center, who coordinates the HCisHR. "With the huge turnouts at these events, and the overwhelming support for fundamental change in healthcare it is clear that when the federal reform falls far short from solving the current crisis, in Vermont we are ready to lead the push to redefine healthcare, from a benefit or commodity, to a basic right and basic public good."
To learn more about getting involved in your local HCisHR Organizing Committee email info @ workerscenter.org or call 802-861-4892