"I want to be clear: we're in a new phase of this pandemic. The days of low-risk are over. Given our recent case growth, we have no choice but to restrict social gatherings, whether at a home, in a bar or in a parking lot after a game."
Vermont Governor Phil Scott
Covid 19 Press Conference, November 13th, 2020
With Covid 19 cases surging in Vermont and across the country, we will be bringing back our weekly Covid 19 updates in the second half of the Weekly Email Update. You will be able to find recent amendments to the Governor's Stay At Home orders as well as updated statistics and resources pertaining to Covid 19 in Vermont in the listings below.
As we promised last week, WeCAN Family, we will be dedicating our brief Weekly Email Update intro for the rest of this year to ways we can assist helping Georgia voters get to the polls during their upcoming special election. This week, we have 3 ways you can get involved, right from your computer here in Windham County. Take a look:
-Text Bank, Phone Bank, and Write Postcards
Voter suppression is the number roadblock in Georgia’s upcoming election, but you can help combat misinformation and gerrymandering:
Put your general election phone and text banking skills to use to help folks register to vote and spread the word about the runoffs from the comfort of your own couch. Work with Fair Fight Action by texting FAIR to 70700, or Flip the West's phone banking and post-card writing session, or through the Democratic Volunteer Center's phone and text banking programs.
PSA: Georgia has a long and rampant history of voter suppression and any help in getting voters to get their ballots in will go a long way. In local elections like state senate, winners can be decided by a handful of votes.
-Help 'Vote Forward Georgia' Register Voters:
Their mission is to empower grassroots volunteers to help register voters from under-represented demographics and encourage them to vote. They build tools to enable Americans, wherever they may be, to encourage fellow citizens to participate in our democracy. You can sign up here for their letter writing campaign https://votefwd.org and find out how to host a virtual party here: https://votefwd.org/vote-forward-party-kit-virtual.pdf
-Donate Your Time to Voter Protection and Human Rights Organizations that Directly Impact Georgia:
- Fair Fight
- Common Cause Georgia
- Black Voters Matter
- New Georgia Project
- Asian Americans Advancing Justice
- ProGeorgia State Table
NEW COVID 19 STATEWIDE GUIDELINES Effective Saturday, November 14th, 2020 at 10pm
TRAVEL: All non-essential travel to and from Vermont now requires quarantine. Vermonters should limit non-essential travel.
PREVENTION: People from different households should not gather. Stay home when you're sick (and even when you're not sick) and check out these prevention tips.
TESTING: Learn who should get tested and find testing locations throughout Vermont. (More information on Brattleboro testing locations is located below in this email)
MULTIPLE HOUSEHOLD SOCIAL GATHERINGS SUSPENDED: Attendance at all public and private social, recreational and entertainment gatherings, indoor and outdoor, including large social gatherings incidental to ceremonies, holiday gatherings, parties and celebrations, shall be limited to participation with only members of a single household. For the sake of clarity, nothing in this Order prohibits the gathering of members living in the same residence. Individuals who live alone may gather with members of their immediate family residing in a different household.
CONTACT TRACING COMPLIANCE: To preserve the public health and safety, to ensure the health and safety of the State, and to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Vermonters are directed to comply with requests made by the VDH Contact Tracing Team.
RECREATIONAL SPORTS: All recreational sports programs, including organized and/or informal recreational youth and adult league sports, practices, games and tournaments, are hereby suspended. This suspension shall not apply to school-sponsored sports activities which are subject to applicable Agency of Education Guidance.
RETURNING COLLEGE STUDENTS: All students who are returning home from a college or university, in-state or out of state, shall quarantine at home for fourteen days, with a test for COVID-19 strongly encouraged, or quarantine for no less than seven (7) days at which time they must be tested for COVID- 19.
TELEWORK: All businesses, not-for-profit entities and municipal government entities in the State shall reinstitute, to the maximum extent possible, or reemphasize to the extent necessary, telecommuting or work from home procedures. In person meetings are strongly discouraged and all meetings should be held by telephone or electronically to avoid in person meetings whenever possible.
BARS AND SOCIAL CLUBS: Closed to in-person service beginning Saturday, November 14th, 2020 at 10pm. Curbside and delivery services are allowed.
RESTAURANTS: Restaurants must close in-person dining at 10pm, but may provide curbside and delivery service after 10pm. For in-person dining, restaurants must seat only one household per table, in accordance with existing capacity limits and the new restriction on multi-household gatherings.
IN CASE YOU NEED SUPPORT: www.CovidSupportVT.org is offering a wellness Zoom group every Tuesday at 1pm and 5pm. These Zooms will feature self-care strategies for coping and relaxing. The Zoom link is available on their website.
"[White anguish.] I know how that feels. I promise you, I know how that feels. Everyone knows how that feels. But here’s the difference between me and you. You guys hate each other for it. And I don’t hate anybody. I just hate that feeling. That’s what I fight through. That’s what I suggest you fight through. You got to find a way to live your life. Got to find a way to forgive each other. Got to find a way to find joy in your existence in spite of that feeling.”
Dave Chappelle, comedian
Saturday Night Live, November 7th, 2020
Wow, WeCAN Friends...just wow. A Biden/Harris presidency is on our doorstep and it is thanks to YOU, grassroots organizers, for making that happen! Thank you for the time, energy, emotion, and ingenuity you've poured into shifting governments both big and small to the Left. Thank you for the long hours, for the meals on the run, for the countless zoom meetings, for the text and phone banking, canvassing, and voter registrations. Thank you for caring, for empathizing, and for listening. Your hard work has led to celebrations worldwide and an outpouring of support from world leaders welcoming us back into the fold. Thank you!!
The work, alas, still continues; this time, in Georgia. From The Nation:
"Unlike most states, Georgia allows for runoff elections when no candidate for the US Senate receives a majority of the votes in initial balloting. The state had two Senate elections on November 3rd—a regular contest for the seat held by Republican incumbent David Perdue and a special election for the seat held by appointed Republican incumbent Kelly Loeffler. The special election pitting Loeffler against the inspired candidacy of the Rev. Raphael Warnock is definitely headed to a runoff on January 5, and it now appears the regular election for the Perdue seat will go the same direction.
If both seats flip, as is a real possibility in the suddenly competitive state of Georgia, McConnell’s numbers no longer add up. At best, he’s got 50 of 100 seats—and this is where the Constitution comes in. If the Senate is tied 50-50, the vice president has the authority to tip the balance to one party or another."
In the coming weeks, we will be featuring actions you can take to get involved with the Georgia runoff race and help Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock win their seats in the Senate.
This week, consider donating to their campaigns via ActBlue here: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/2020gasenaterunoff.
Also, if you are able, please consider sharing this piece of info on your social media pages and with friends or family you may have in Georgia:
"A run-off election means that Georgia residents who are currently 17 years old — but will turn 18 by the time of the run-off election — will have the opportunity to participate and register by December 7th. You can find more information here: https://sos.ga.gov/index.php/Elections/register_to_vote."
Once again, CONGRATS Friends! We have accomplished a huge goal and are more prepared than ever to push Biden and Harris towards Medicare for All and a Green New Deal. Have a safe and joyous celebration weekend!
Get up, stand up, stand up for your rights
Get up, stand up, don't give up the fight
from "Get Up, Stand Up" by Bob Marley and Peter Tosh, 1973
Please join your friends and neighbors at a Protect the Vote rally on Wednesday, November 4th on the Brattleboro Commons as we unanimously say stand up for our rights to have every vote counted.
Count Every Vote in Brattleboro
co-sponsored by 350 Brattleboro and 350VT
Wednesday, November 4th, 2020 at the Brattleboro Commons (Park Place, at the intersection of VT Routes 30 and 5, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 5pm. All attendees will be required to observe COVID-19 safety precautions. Masks are mandatory, and a limited number will be available at the event. Questions? Contact Abby at [email protected] or Sonia at [email protected]. This event meets ADA standards. Please also bring your own candle or light, dress warmly, and if you are able, come prepared to march (exact details forthcoming)! Additional rallies are taking place in Vermont. Please see https://www.protecttheresultsvt.org for more locations.
With every tweet and refusal to commit to accepting the legitimate results of the 2020 election, "45" seeks to stoke chaos and fear.
We are ready - Protect the Results will activate nationwide mobilizations to demand that all the votes are counted and for the peaceful transition of power. Locally, join 350 Brattleboro, 350VT, and other organizational allies to make these demands.
Our sincere hope is that every vote gets counted (even if it takes days or weeks) and that both presidential candidates accept the results of the election. We hope to see you on the Commons on Wednesday evening.
Be well, drink some water, get some rest, check in on your friends and family, and keep working for the future you want to see. Thank you.
Your Friendly WeCAN Admins,
Joanna and Sam
"I'm voting to elect leaders who will work for the people to end systemic racism. The time is over for career politicians who no longer have the best interest of our country at heart. I'm voting for change so that Breonna's death is not in vain."
Tamika Palmer, Mother of Breonna Taylor
in an interview with Marie Claire
For so many of us, dear WeCAN community member, this week has been a goalpost in the distant future. The path to it has been littered with road blocks and unspeakable heartbreak for so many. We are here, though, at a crossroads of our shared path; this election is the best chance 'We the People' have to change the course of our nation in a substantial way since Trump took office. If you haven't voted yet, please bring your absentee ballot TO YOUR TOWN CLERK'S OFFICE ON MONDAY OR BRING IT TO YOUR POLLING PLACE ON TUESDAY. Your community sincerely thanks you for all of your efforts, large and small, that have helped us to prepare for this week. We got here together and we will go forward, together.
As many of us have already voted, you may be at a loss as to what to do Tuesday (and beyond) while we await the results. Here are some suggestions that may be helpful:
Try to limit the number of stressful things you have to do on Election Day if you are already feeling overwhelmed. Having comfort-food meals prepared or planned out beforehand is a small thing that can go a long way towards helping you feel more comfortable (consider stopping by Everyone Eats! in Brattleboro to pick up a free dinner for yourself and your family, too!) Tidy up the room where you'll be relaxing before Tuesday so that you can feel calm and undisturbed in your space. Do stressful errands on Monday if you are able and don't forget to ask for help if you need it!
Make It a Movie Night
Forgo the election coverage stress altogether and have yourself a movie marathon, complete with leftover Halloween candy and popcorn. Enlist friends and family to watch along with you via a Watch Party app or watch it with them old-school: put each other on speaker phone, pressing play simultaneously on your devices to sync your audio. Set a theme, watch old favorites, or binge something new: there's no wrong way to do a movie night.
Make a Plan to Continue Your Activism
No matter who wins on Tuesday, our nation is in desperate need of caring activists like you. Contemplate these questions: Where has your activism taken you in the past? Did you enjoy it? Where are you currently putting your energy? Is it short term or long term activism? Where do you see your activism taking you in 3 months? 1 year? 5 years? Activism is more fun with friends: how can you encourage one person in your circle to engage in activism with you?
Be Mindful of the Amount of Network News and Social Media You Consume on Election Night
Keep in mind that by the time Election Day has rolled around and you’ve cast your vote, you can’t do anything else to change the course of the election. No amount of refreshing your news or social feed will alter the end result. So, give yourself permission to relax just a tick. Take breaks early and often and don't forget to hydrate. Resist the temptation to doomscroll (consuming endless negative news). Instead, pick a positive theme (ie liking your friends' "I Voted" sticker selfies or sending encouraging words to those still waiting in line to vote) and send your energy there.
Talk It Out
No matter what happens this week, your mental health is crucial and shouldn't be ignored. Chat with family and friends if that feels appropriate. If you need to chat with a trained individual, Vermont has a few options:
Text “VT” to 741741 to speak with a trained Counselor
PathwaysVermont Support Line (833) VT-TALKS / (833) 888-2557 or text (833) 888-2557
Peer-operated Youth Hotline (877) YOUTHLINE or (877) 968-8454 (3pm-9pm Eastern)
Veterans Suicide Prevention Line (800) 273-8255, #1
National Hopeline Network (800) 442-HOPE or (800) 442-4673