Suggestions/additions welcome. Don’t see your issue, event or organization? Send it to me.

I am going to the Women’s Convention in Detroit, so this week’s newsletter is abbreviated. Please see below for important updates about upcoming events, including tonight’s Progressive Caucus and Saturday’s Halloween Parade.

Also, please remember that 2018 Health Insurance Open Enrollment will start 11/1/17 and will close on 12/15/17: http://info.healthconnect.vermont.gov/Get_Started The enrollment period is abbreviated and advertising has been curtailed, so please help to get the word out to your friends and family.

UPCOMING EVENTS

  • Thursday Oct 26
    • 6:30 pm Rutland City Progressive Party Caucus at Vermont Farmers Food Center – If anyone is a Rutland City resident and interested in a more active Progressive Party in the City, come to the Progressive Party Town/City Caucus at the Vermont Farmers Food Center, 251 West Street in Rutland to elect a city committee, elect officers, elect county committee members, and conduct any other business.
    • 7 pm Progressive Party Rutland County Meeting – at the Farmers Food Center at 251 West St, Rutland City – with Lt. Governor Zuckerman and Rep. Robin Chesnut-Tangerman

 

  • Saturday Oct 28
    • 10am-noon – TD Bank Rutland protests continue (we’re on the corner, at the apex of the streets – if you’re looking directly at the stand-alone booth or at the side of the building you may not see us)
    • Rutland City House Party 3-5 pm at Hop’n Moose, 41 Center Street, Rutland City – Fundraiser for Vermont Democratic Party for candidates with Speaker of the House Mitzi Johnson, Treasurer Beth Pearce, Representatives Mary Howard, Steve Carr and David Potter – $25 for guests
    • Halloween Parade – Rutland County Democrats invite everyone, regardless of party or politics, to join in a celebration of Freedom and Unity. In addition to your costumes, come with your posters and regalia celebrating inclusion and diversity, from your Women’s March pink hats to your Black Lives Matter signs: from your climate and economic justice buttons to your #NoBanNoWallNoRaids posters and your Progressive banners. This is about putting country over party, and celebrating the strength of a nation that’s built on diversity. Join us and show the power of Freedom and Unity!
      • WHERE: We are in Section 5. Section 5 is on Strong’s Avenue and extends generally from just past Stewart’s to Vermont Family Auto. Please do not block the entrance to the Party Store with either a float of a large group of people. You are not allowed to drive a vehicle down Strong’s to drop people off.
      • WHEN: Line-up begins at 5:45 p.m. sharp. Please try to get there on time and not early, as we will not be ready for you prior to 5:45 p.m. The parade will begin promptly at 6:30 p.m.
      • WEAR A COSTUME/SIGNS SHOULD AVOID ASKING FOR VOTES/NO FLYERS:
        • Politicking is not considered part of that spirit.
        • All participants in the parade must be dressed in a Halloween costume and if a car or float is used as part of your entry we ask you to take some time and dress it up in the “Halloween Spirit.”
        • You are allowed to have the name of the candidate on the car, float or person, but you are NOT ALLOWED to add the words “vote for”, “elect” or anything else along those lines that would be considered politicking.
        • If the candidate is currently in office, we ask that they only use their name and not include the title of the office they hold.
        • We further ask that you refrain from politicking before, during and after the parade.   Put politics aside for one night and show your respect for this community.  The voters who elect you will be aware of this policy and will respect your choice to honor this event by not politicking.
        • Flyers will not be permitted to be distributed; there is no solicitation allowed. However you may choose to hand out candy.
        • ALL ENTRIES WILL BE CHECKED DURING STAGING TO ENSURE THEY ARE FOLLOWING THE RULES, AND MAY BE REMOVED FROM THE PARADE LINE_UP IF RULES ARE NOT FOLLOWED.
      • BATHROOMS: We will have a porta-potty located in the Howe Center parking lot and at Justin Thomas Memorial Park. Please respect private property.
      • INCLEMENT WEATHER CONTINGENCY:   The parade will be held regardless of the weather.  This would change only in the event the weather was determined to be a risk to those involved.  Meaning, we would need a snowstorm or heavy rain to cancel the parade.  If we were unable to hold the parade due to extreme weather conditions, we will hold the parade on Sunday.
      • KEEP A GOOD PACE: We work hard to keep gaps in the parade to a minimum. Please make all effort to stay close to the unit in front of you. What will help you is having plenty of volunteers handing out candy/treats as that is what seems to slow units down. If you have limited volunteers then you will need to plan on hitting just some of the eager children along the route.
      • WHO TO ASK FOR INFORMATION: Parade line-up staff will have orange vests on that say EVENT STAFF on the back. We will be happy to assist you!

 

  • Sunday Oct 29 at 3 pm Shrewsbury VT to San Salvador PR: A Concert to Help Rebuild in Puerto Rico at Shrewsbury Church, Shrewsbury Center – with the Shrewsbury Singers, led by Licia Gambino-Hamilton; the Shrewsbury Community Blues Band, led by Marcos Levy; jazz pianist Eric Hangen and singer Heidi Vasquez-Garcia, and more. Tax-exempt donations (cash and checks payable to SAGE, Shrewsbury Institute for Agricultural Education, Inc.) will go to an organization with low overhead in PR called Pathstone; checks to COSS (Communidad Organized de San Salvador) will go directly to the target town, where we have contacts. Because the need for basic supplies remains acute, especially in rural areas, and because the U.S. government appears to minimize the situation, Shrewsbury community members have organized this effort, in cooperation with musician Eric Hangen and his wife Heidie Vasquez-Garcia, who has family (including her mother and two aunts) in Puerto Rico. Please call Joan Aleshire (802 492-3550) for information.

 

 

  • Thursday Nov 2
    • 13th film showing at 6 pm at Castleton University, 86 Seminary St., Castleton – “Join us for a showing of the film 13th, an in-depth look at the prison system in the United States and how it reveals the nation’s history of racial inequality. The film will be followed by a moderated discussion with light refreshments.” https://www.facebook.com/events/514763572249405/
    • Women’s Summit 8 a.m.–3 p.m at Dudley H. Davis Center, University of Vermont.

 

 

  • Saturday Nov 4 Vermont 350 Convergence – at Goddard College from 2:00pm-7:30pm for a day of workshops, conversation, and celebration! We will take this time to reflect on the past, heal our hearts, launch new campaigns, and unite to build our power through statewide connection. We’re looking forward to a full day including a group workshop, dinner, campaign updates, annual reports, and more.  http://350vermont.org/5th-annual-convergence/
  • Tuesday Nov 7 Vermont Rural Caucus from 5 pm – 7 pm at the State House. “The Vermont House of Representatives Rural Development Caucus will hold a Public Hearing…to hear from municipal, business, education, and non-profit interests in rural Vermont about what the most pressing issues are for rural Vermont. We are helping to organize a hearing for the Vermont Rural Caucus – a nonpartisan group of Vermont State Representatives. As the legislative session nears, the Caucus is seeking input about what Vermonters feel are the most pressing issues for Vermont. Come share your testimony. Or if you are unable to attend, you may submit testimony via email to caucus member Representative Charlie Kimbell at ckimbell@leg.state.vt.us.”

 

  • Wednesday Nov 8
    • Saving Our Waters at 6:30 pm at Paramount Theatre Rutland. Free screening & discussion about water quality issues facing VT. Info & RSVP: horg/water
    • Rutland NAACP Meeting at 7 pm at Leahy Center, Rutland Regional Medical Center

 

  • Wed-Thur Nov 8-9 Vermont Creative Network Summit in Montpelier, “Mark your calendar for the upcoming Vermont Creative Network Summit – a gathering of those working to advance Vermont’s creative sector. The Summit theme: Connect to Advance. The agenda for this year’s convening will focus on efforts to finalize key creative sector policy issues to forward to the governor and the legislature in January. Opportunities for networking, observing case studies, and skills building will all be included and are designed to sharpen awareness of the power of Vermont’s creative economy as a vital part of the state’s overall economy.” http://vermontcreativenetwork.org/about/conferences/2017-summit/

 

  • Thursday Nov 9
    • Race, Gender & Access in Sports: Title IX at 45 at 12:30-1:45 pm in the Herrick Auditorium, Stafford Academic Center, Castleton University – with Diana Nearhos, Sports Reporter Knoxville News Sentinel; Marybeth Lennox, Professor of Sports Management; and Dr. Adam Chill, Professor of History
    • Autumn Festival with Keith Ellison 6:30-8:30 pm at The Echo, Leahy Center, Burlington – with Congressman Keith Ellison, Senators Leahy and Sanders, and Congressman Welch – $50 if you buy your ticket in October, $75 starting Nov 1 https://www.facebook.com/events/708912205971984/

 

  • Saturday Nov 11
    • Vermont Workers Center Membership Assembly from 11:30am – 5pmon Saturday, November 11th at the Old Labor Hall, 46 Granite St, in Barre.
    • Scottish Club dinner, reading “In Flanders’ Fields” at 6 pm at the Hotel Coolidge in White River Jct., VT – This is part of the World Beyond War global movement to end all wars. Cost is $49 per person. Anyone interested may contact Nancy Dean, (802-649-1324) or at  nhdean@comcast.net.
    • Vermont Crossroads Conference 8 am – 5 pm at Champlain College in Burlington. “Frightened by the direction of the country? Worried that we’re been being torn apart? Want Vermont to fight back and move forward? Then join hundreds of your fellow Vermonters, thoughtful business leaders, and leading non-profits for the 2017 Vermont Crossroads Conference. Learn about the major campaigns that will lead Vermont forward, investigate the shared values between organizations and initiatives, and discover how we can succeed together…The conference is FREE and co-hosted by: ACLU, Main Street Alliance, Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, Rights & Democracy, Toxic Action Center, VNRC, VPIRG, and the Vermont-NEA.” http://www.vtcrossroadsconference.com/

 

  • Thursday Nov 16 at 7 pm DACA/Dreamers Panel at Castleton University with Scott Wong, Professor of History, Williams College; Faisal Gill, Chair, Vermont Democratic Party; and Eloisa Romero, UVM Student and DACA Recipient. Sponsored by Women and Gender Studies Castleton University. Limited Seating for this FREE Event. Please RSVP hastevenson9@gmail.com

 

SUCCESSES/GOOD NEWS

 

VERMONT-RELATED ITEMS (Commonly used contacts can be found here: https://mindsworth.blog/2017/07/14/vermont-important-contacts/; A list of Vermont-based activism/political groups can be found here: https://vtactivist.org/organizations/)

 

1 Rights and Democracy is trying to expand its outreach. “We are united to fight for and secure our rights to build a true democracy. Rights guarantee that we all have what we need to live, and a true democracy gives voice to those rights. We fight to defend threats to our rights and to secure rights that will help us achieve our vision for a better world. Our nation has failed to guard those fundamental, inalienable rights that free each of us to achieve our full human dignity. Our nation has failed to establish a democracy where each of us has a voice in the way that our rights are defended and achieved. We embrace our shared humanity and commit ourselves to a unified struggle to claim our rights, build collective power, and achieve systemic change for ourselves and our planet. We envision a society with human rights and a vibrant democracy at its core, and our work to bring that society into existence is guided by a commitment to equity, universality, solidarity, justice, accountability and transparency, power, sustainability, and freedom.” http://www.radvt.org/

  • Action: Put the next meeting on Front Porch Forum so that your community members are aware that it’s happening: Title of Event: Community Action Meeting – Join your neighbors on Thursday, November 2nd to learn how you can build a local, powerful team with Rights & Democracy that will be part of winning legislation like a $15/hr wage and universal healthcare, fighting injustices in communities and across the state, and working on campaigns of local leaders who will help us change the direction of our state in the years to come. Learn about RAD, our issues, our strategy, and how you can make an impact as part of a movement for people and the planet over profit. radvt.org/11_2_rutland_community_action_meeting WHERE: CVPS/Leahy Education Center, 160 Allen St, Room CR-B, Rutland, VT 05701 CONTACT: Katie McCarty katie@radvt.org

 

2 As mentioned above, “The Vermont House of Representatives Rural Development Caucus will hold a Public Hearing, at the Vermont State House, from 5-7 pm on Tuesday November 7th to hear from municipal, business, education, and non-profit interests in rural Vermont about what the most pressing issues are for rural Vermont.”

  • Action: If you would like to provide testimony but you are unable to attend the hearing, you may submit testimony via email to caucus member Representative Charlie Kimbell at ckimbell@leg.state.vt.us.

 

3 For Middlebury residents: Up until November 7, “you can vote early in the town’s special election, where residents can decide whether to approve the Selectboard’s decision to grant a free easement to Vermont Gas Systems (vote “Yes”), or to reject that easement and force the Selectboard to negotiate a payment from Vermont Gas for the right to drill under the municipal lot below the Cross Street bridge (vote “No”). Why bother voting on this? Because it’s important that the Middlebury Selectboard see that town residents are INVOLVED in local issues, so that the board members don’t get complacent. Just last month the board ignored the vast majority of town residents’ wishes by approving a resolution to lobby the state government against marijuana legalization — because a majority of the board thought that the people who supported legalization in the town’s survey aren’t the people who come out and vote in local elections. Don’t let your local representatives get complacent. Go make your voice heard. Early voting is available at town hall every Monday through Thursday from 7:30am to 5:30pm, or call Ann Webster at 802-388-8100, ext. 211, and ask for an absentee ballot to be mailed to you.” From Middlebury Indivisible

 

4 Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) has filed four notices of appeal “with the Vermont Superior Court, challenging the Agency of Natural Resources’ recent issuance of wastewater treatment facility permits in Alburgh, Montpelier, South Burlington, and St. Albans. Despite phosphorous limits recently set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that call for a ratcheting down of pollution, these permits allow for dramatic increases in the phosphorous pouring into Lake Champlain. CLF’s suit alleges that defying these limits constitutes a violation of the federal Clean Water Act.” https://www.clf.org/newsroom/clf-fights-vt-wastewater-permits/

 

VERMONT-RELATED READING/LISTENING

Listen to clips from the New Poor People’s Campaign Mass Meeting in Boston (some of the attendees were from Vermont): http://www.breachrepairers.org/livestream

Recommended by Rod: VPR recently replayed this talk about the murder of blacks by police and the responsibility white allies have to fight the underlying system of white supremacy that enables this violence: http://digital.vpr.net/post/kunin-talking-about-race 

An endangered fish has appeared in Vernon: http://digital.vpr.net/post/endangered-fish-shows-vernon-0#stream/0

Congress just voted to kill consumer protection repeal. Here’s a background article: https://vtdigger.org/2017/09/29/leahy-senate-dems-oppose-consumer-protection-repeal/#.WfIAEVtSzIU

“LISTEN: Breaking Down Vermont’s Latest Clean Water Funding Plan” http://digital.vpr.net/post/breaking-down-vermonts-latest-clean-water-funding-plan?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

Listen to a VPR clip about NFL players kneeling to protest the murder of blacks by police officers: http://digital.vpr.net/post/cassidy-taking-knee#stream/0

An article on “the economic and environmental viability of electric vehicles in a rural state like Vermont” http://digital.vpr.net/post/have-we-finally-reached-age-electric-car?utm_content=bufferb467f&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer