Weekly Email Update 5.9.22

“No matter what men think, abortion is a fact of life. Women have always had them; they always have and they always will. Are they going to have good ones or bad ones? Will the good ones be reserved for the rich, while the poor women go to quacks?”
Shirley Chisholm, Unbought And Unbossed
Shirley Anita Chisholm was an American politician, educator, and author. In 1968, she became the first black woman elected to the United States Congress. Chisholm represented New York's 12th congressional district, a district centered on Bedford–Stuyvesant, for seven terms from 1969 to 1983.


    Thank you, WeCANners, to all those who came out on Tuesday to rally for abortion rights, made calls this week to their Representatives, donated to abortion mutual funds and pro-choice non-profits, and had difficult conversations with those around them in an effort to support individuals who want to maintain their bodily autonomy when it comes to reproductive issues. Thank you, too, to those who did not do any of those things, but simply held silent vigil for themselves or others who have been affected by reproductive right restrictions or forced pregnancies. Finally, thank you to all the volunteers, organizers, activists, physicians, lawyers, teachers, and politicians that have put themselves and their careers on the line to support people of all genders who wish to take advantage of the laws in this country that allow for abortions for any reason. 
     If you found yourself a bit paralyzed this week after hearing SCOTUS' draft decision, with no idea what direction to take or where to go for information, that's ok! With so much going on in the world (and Covid still very much all around us), it is impossible to stay on top of every important issue all the time. If you'd like to get involved locally or to read more about the future of abortion and the right reproductive freedom in Vermont, here are a few links to get you started:

1) Vermont Access to Reproductive Freedom
VT Access provides financial assistance to help Vermonters pay for abortion through grassroots fundraising, working to equalize access and promote economic justice. In solidarity with the National Network of Abortion Funds, “we envision a world where every reproductive decision, including abortion, takes place in thriving communities that are safe, peaceful, and affordable. We envision a world where all people have the power and resources to care for and affirm their bodies, identities, and health for themselves and their families—in all areas of their lives. How we help: 
a) Patients seeking funding call our 24 hour answering service and provide basic information about their appointment.
b) A Vermont Access board member returns their call within 1 day
c) No eligibility criteria. Patients define their need, and are granted as much as possible depending on our available funds. 
d) We fund on a first-come, first-served basis until we reach our minimum balance, at which point funding is suspended and callers are redirected to alternate funds.

2) Vermont for Reproductive Liberty Campaign
Please feel free to reach out to [email protected] with any questions. 
The Reproductive Liberty Amendment, previously Prop 5, will be a ballot measure in Vermont's 2022 General Election this November. If passed, it would amend Vermont's constitution to protect every person's right to make their own reproductive decisions, like whether and when to become pregnant, use temporary or permanent birth control, or seek abortion care. Important medical decisions should be guided by a patient's health and wellbeing, not by a politician's beliefs. But for far too long, politicians across the country have been fighting to restrict reproductive health care, and now they are gaining groundProtecting personal reproductive liberty in the Vermont Constitution will preserve this right in our state, no matter what happens in Washington, D.C. If we succeed, this will be a groundbreaking achievement. Vermont could become the first state in the nation to explicitly protect reproductive rights in its constitution and pave the way for other states to do the same.


3) Sister District Project and Lean Left VT
One of the best ways to help our neighbors in red states that have reproductive right restrictions is to support them in electing Democratic representatives at the local and federal levels. We are fortunate that two organizations that help to "turn red states blue" have branches in VT; they are always looking for volunteers, donations, and allies to help them in their respective missions and we encourage you to check out their websites and get involved if you are able. From Southern VT Sister District: "Through persistence and creativity we’ve been raising 10’s of 1,000’s of dollars each year for progressive candidates in VERY strategic, state-level races (PA, VA, FL). If you are appalled by what is happening in the Supreme Court and looking for a way to support reproductive choice, (we) invite you to join our mighty little Southern Vermont Sister District Team." - SVTSD Member Peg Alden
  

4) Planned Parenthood of Northern New England (PPNNE)
At Planned Parenthood our mission is to ensure all people have access to the care and resources they need to make informed decisions about their bodies, their lives, and their futures. We are committed to advancing the health of young people in this country by providing comprehensive sex education that is medically accurate, culturally responsive, equitable and accessible — as well as inclusive of varying gender identities, expressions and sexual orientations. Planned Parenthood provides education and outreach to 1.1 million people every year, and millions more through digital sex education tools. You can learn about the Planned Parenthood Vermont Action Fund and how to get involved at the local level HERE

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Action of the Week, via Our Facebook Page, from WeCAN Member Ann Zimmerman

"...(I)t's not surprising that Governor Scott vetoed H708, the Just Cause Eviction Burlington Charter Change bill, despite the fact that the local voters overwhelmingly supported this with a 64% majority. Even in a severe housing crisis the Governor has shown he just doesn't stand with ordinary Vermonters who could become homeless on a whim. The good news is that the legislature will hold a vote on this coming Tueday to override the Governor's veto. Let your Senators and Rep know they should vote to override! It's so important, especially during the state's housing crisis, to protect tenants from arbitrary no cause eviction in our state's most populated city. Really, we need Just Cause Eviction throughout our state, but let's start with supporting the voters of Burlington.

Under Just Cause, tenants can ONLY be evicted if there’s good reason to do so- things like non-payment of rent, bad tenant behavior, the landlord wants to take the unit off the market or use it for family--It just can't be for NO REASON, as about 50% of evictions currently are.
It’s our job now to make sure that our Democratic leaders in the legislature know that a majority of Vermonters want this law passed and to override Gov. Scott’s veto.
Call and email your Representatives to share your support for Just Cause eviction and the override of Gov. Scott’s veto. Housing is a human right. Let’s make sure Vermont is taking the right steps to become a state where everyone can access safe, secure, affordable housing.
Use this link to find who represents you and how to get in touch: https://legislature.vermont.gov/people/search/2022
For more information, go to justcausebtv.com or message RAD Vermont Housing Justice Organizer Tom Proctor at [email protected]
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HAPPENING TODAY:
SUNDAY, MAY 8th, 2022

The Second Perennial Nettle Festival
Sunday, May 8th, 2022 at the Putney Community Center (10 Christian Square, Putney, VT 05346). 10:30am-2pm.

For nettlers and non-nettlers alike! Join us as we celebrate the diverse benefits of nettles and wild Spring medicinals with art, food, and community. All are welcome!

 

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Weekly Email Update 5.2.22

"We don't even know how strong we are until we are forced to bring that hidden strength forward. In times of tragedy, of war, of necessity, people do amazing things. The human capacity for survival and renewal is awesome."
Isabel Allende
Chilean-American writer whose works sometimes contain aspects of the genre of "magical realism”.
2014 U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient

   
     This week's Weekly Email Update is chock-full of ways, ideas, and events to get your activist juices flowing, WeCAN members. As always, we encourage you to set aside a few minutes this week to peruse this email and plan to attend a meeting or event that you feel drawn to. If you're able, ask a friend or family member to join you as we work hard to create a fair and just Windham County for all of us. 
     We'd also like to remind our activist leaders and organizers to send in your Summer events as soon as you can. We are now listing into July (already!) and we encourage you to send your info in early so that it runs for as long as possible, allowing many eyes in our community to see your listing. Have a great week, friends! Until next week...

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Lean Left Action of the Week

New Hampshire
How can we reach voters and get them engaged in the 2022 midterm election?  Listening to their concerns is a genuine way to engage people in a campaign and a candidate as well as helping in shaping the messaging. This "deep canvassing" approach gets voters talking about personal experiences and draws on emotional connections. It can be used when making calls or knocking on doors. 

  • Join us at a Swing Blue Alliance deep canvassing training this Thursday, April 28, from 5:30pm to 7pm.  SIGN UP HERE! 

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HAPPENING TODAY:
SUNDAY, MAY 1st, 2022


The Wobblies: Free Documentary on May Day
Sunday, May 1st, 2022 at Epsilon Spires (190 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 8pm-10pm.
Tickets are free, but please RSVP here: https://www.epsilonspires.org/event-info/the-wobblies-documentary-for-may-day. Click HERE to watch the trailer.
"Solidarity! All for One and One for All!" The Industrial Workers of the World, aka the Wobblies, were one of the few unions to be racially and sexually integrated.
Newly restored by the Museum of Modern Art and recently inducted into the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress, this provocative film pays tribute to American workers who took the ideals of equality and free speech seriously enough to die for them. Directed by Stewart Bird and Deborah Shaffer in 1978, this radical documentary is a rare and challenging invitation to rethink both past and present through the eyes of an organization largely omitted from public memory.
The Industrial Workers of the World, or IWW, welcomed all workers, regardless of their trade, gender, or race. Wobblies, as they were known, came from textile mills, copper mines, logging camps, and everywhere in between, and together generated more controversy, perhaps, than any other organized-labor group in U.S. history. 
"Solidarity! All for One and One for All!" 
With that slogan, they took to organizing unskilled workers into one big union and changing the course of history. Along the way to winning an eight-hour workday and fair wages in the early 20th century, the IWW, one of the few unions to be racially and sexually integrated often met with imprisonment, violence, and the privations of prolonged strikes. 
This award-winning film airs a provocative look at the forgotten American history of this most radical of unions. Made in 1978 yet echoing current times, THE WOBBLIES boldly investigates a nation torn by naked corporate greed and the red-hot rift between the industrial masters and the rabble-rousing workers in the field and factory. Deeply enriched by the reminiscences of IWW members, who, in their eighties and nineties, are lucid and lively on the subject of the union’s peak during the 1910s. Intercut with remarkable archival footage, their first-hand accounts of textile strikes, pitched battles over free-speech rights, lumberjack work stoppages, and the methods and theories of industrial sabotage are set to the sounds of rousing music straight from the “little red songbook.”
This free screening for May Day was organized in solidarity with other independent theaters around the US!

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Milk with Dignity Action: Brattleboro, Vermont/ Acción Leche con Dignidad
hosted by Migrant Justice/Justicia Migrante
Sunday, May 1st, 2022 at Hannaford Supermarket (896 Putney Rd Unit 5, Brattleboro, VT 05301). 4pm.

This Mayday, International Workers Day, Migrant Justice is calling for a day of action at Hannaford Supermarkets across the northeast! Farmworkers and consumers will join together send a clear message to Hannaford: We want Milk with Dignity!
Join us at the Hannaford in Brattleboro, VT at 4:00pm. And if you have time before, head to the day's main event in South Burlington at 1:30pm (https://fb.me/e/30FOL4F63).
See you on Mayday!

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Este primero de mayo, el día internacional del/a trabajadorx, Justicia Migrante convoca un día de acción en las tiendas de Hannafords por toda la región noreste! Compas y aliadxs nos unimos para mandar un mensaje fuerte a Hannaford: ¡Queremos Leche con Dignidad!
Únete en la acción en la tienda de Brattleboro a las 4:00pm. Y si tienes tiempo antes, pases por la acción principal en South Burlington a las 1:30pm (https://fb.me/e/30FOL4F63). 
¡Nos vemos el 1 de mayo! 

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Weekly Email Update 4.25.22

“Every leaf that grows will tell you: what you sow will bear fruit, so if you have any sense my friend, don’t plant anything but Love.”
-Rumi
Jalāl al-Dīn Muḥammad Rūmī was a 13th-century Persian poet, Hanafi faqih, Islamic scholar, Maturidi theologian, and Sufi mystic originally from Greater Khorasan in Greater Iran
  

     There are several new events in this week's Weekly Email Update--surely something for everyone, WeCAN readers. In celebration of this bounty of information we invite you to bring a friend to an event during the coming week. With Spring emerging  all around us, it's the perfect time to plant some seeds of knowledge and watch them grow in the coming Summer months. We invite you to learn, grow, and develop your activism interests at an event or meeting this week. We'll see you there!
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Lean Left VT Action of the Week

Warm weather is here! Let’s go for some walks and connect with voters. In-person canvassing is happening now in Concord and Manchester and will be starting up on April 30th, 2022 in Keene, New Hampshire.
You can sign-up now for Concord and Manchester. If you’re interested in knowing who else is going and when contact Rebecca at [email protected].
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HAPPENING THIS WEEK:
MONDAY, APRIL 25th, 2022-SUNDAY, MAY 1st, 2022

Isaac Evans-Frantz for U.S. Senate Official Campaign Kickoff
Tuesday, April 26th, 2022 at the U.S. Post Office at 204 Main Street in Brattleboro, Vermont. 12pm.
This event will have ASL interpretation.
For more information about Isaac's campaign, please visit isaacforvermont.com.
Progressive activist Isaac Evans-Frantz of Brattleboro, Vermont will formally kick off his campaign for the open U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Senator Patrick Leahy on Tuesday, April 26th at 12 pm, at the U.S. Post Office at 204 Main Street in Brattleboro, Vermont.
Featuring the Milkhouse Heaters, Americana music duo of Rockingham, come for speakers, music and snacks, and learn about Isaac's vision for a Congress where everyone has a seat at the table and our politics is based in community care and kindness. Vermonters deserve someone who knows our struggles and will lead with a strong voice Washington.

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Weekly Email Update 4.18.22

“Despite the fear and anxiety of the moment, we're not going to back down from doing the things that we know matter. We are going to stand by the work that we do. We're going to stand by the celebration and joy of being in community with peers. We're gonna celebrate our identities and that is just as important.”
Dana Kaplan
Executive Director of Outright Vermont, in response to Fern Feather’s murder in Vermont this past week.* 

    
     As you may have heard this week, Vermont lost a beautiful soul in Fern Feather to a horrific crime. Fern, who had recently come out on social media as transgender, was possibly targeted because of their identity; the Human Rights Campaign lists Fern as the eleventh trans or nonconforming person in the country to be killed in 2022. We would like to invite you to take a moment of silence and reflection as you read this to acknowledge Fern and, indeed, all the other transgender and nonconforming persons who have been killed in Vermont and in our nation as of late. 

Toussaint St. Negritude, Fern's friend, wrote a poem in their honor and we'd like to share it with you here, via a publishing on VPR^.

THROUGH

For however many times
Fern was stabbed

I ache
and bleed from every wound.

So many of us do.

Only Fern's
smile holds me through.

© 2022 by Toussaint St. Negritude

     If you (or someone you know or love) identify as LGBTQIA+ or nonconforming and do not feel safe, the Pride Center in Burlington runs a SafeSpace Anti-Violence Program which includes a support line that people can contact by phone (802-863-0003) or online chat. If you are not ok and need to chat with someone to process your emotions, please call or text the Pathways VT Support line at (833) VT-TALKS / (833) 888-2557. You can also text “VT” to 741741 to get in touch with the 24 hour Crisis Text Line. Other NAMI resources can be found here. Please share them widely! If you cannot find what you are looking for, please email us at [email protected] and we will be so very happy to assist you. 


Fern, 2014, at Tree Frog Farm (photo: Asam Ahmad)'

*https://vtdigger.org/2022/04/15/whether-friends-or-strangers-thousands-mourn-transgender-woman-killed-in-vermont/
^https://www.vpr.org/vpr-news/2022-04-14/friends-mourn-fern-feather-lover-of-plants-and-birds-after-killing-in-morristown
' https://kopkind.org/2022/04/16/fern-feather/?fbclid=IwAR3BrgCLP6WPe3HVsYDSMmWV4ghDm_Nl2IolNRk5WfJQAaUgDgA_n5IlQMc

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Lean Left Mid-Term Action of the Week

The New Hampshire state Senate just passed SB 418. This bill makes extra-hard for people to register and vote on the same day. The so-called “affidavit ballot” would require voters to mail in a copy of their missing domicile documentation within 10 days of an election for their vote to count in the final tally. This threatens to suppress the vote of thousands of Granite Staters -- including students and overseas military voters -- and undermines ballot privacy.
Join the NH Dems and other progressive organizations in making calls to urge voters to contact their Representatives! SIGN UP HERE!

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