March 1st Town Meeting Day - Highlights
On Vermont’s Town Meeting Day, Tuesday, March 1st, the Vermont Workers’ Center’s Healthcare is a Human Right campaign made a big splash across Vermont! The campaign’s supported dozens of Vermonters to publically speak up about Vermont’s need for healthcare reform and the human right to healthcare, and many participated in the campaign’s photo petition (http://workerscenter.org/photopetition). The highlights and experiences at each Town Meeting varied, but the overwhelming consensus was that the environment was extremely positive and that people were very much in support of the campaign.
In Putney, Mal Herbert explained that passing the universal healthcare bill was an integral gateway step in the process to establishing a single-payer system in Vermont. She was able to speak at her Town Meeting, and was delighted to not only her have her proposed legislation pass, but to also speak to a crowd that included Senator Jeanette White.
The photo petition was one of the campaign’s great highlights for the day. Leslie Matthews, of Northfield, remarked on her excitement about the photo petition’s success. She said the petition, and the Town Meeting itself, served as great platforms for increasing campaign involvement. Ellen Tenney of Bellow Falls said that the majority of people she met the next day at the polls were excited to have their picture taken, and that the photo petition was a great way to personalize the campaign.
Although most Healthcare is a Human Right campaigners met a positive environment on March 1st, there were members of the campaign who held their own in difficult conversations about healthcare reform and who stood up to challenges from opponents. In one case, Sherill Gilbert, of Barre Town, reported that she was not allowed to promote the campaign’s work or take photos for the photo petition; yet she managed to speak with people and did her best to get the word out.
Overall, Town Meeting Day was a great success for the Healthcare Is a Human Right campaign!! Thank you to everyone that participated and handed out leaflets or took a photo for the photo petition!
Thank you to Mal Herbert, Ellen Tenney, Leslie Matthews and Sherill Gilbert for participating in this blog.