Weekly Email Update 8.27.18

“The genius of impeachment lay in the fact that it could punish the man without punishing the office.”
Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.,
Pulitzer Prize winning American historian, social critic
, and public intellectual


When we asked you to show up and vote in the August 14th Primaries, fellow Vermonters, you sure did show up! 

-107,637 votes were cast in this year's August Primary in Vermont for all parties
-over 70,600 votes were cast for Democratic or Progressive candidates
17,128 absentee ballot votes were cast by Vermonters who were out of state at the time of the Primary
-Approximately 1 out of every 4 registered voters in Vermont voted in this year's State Primary
- While this turnout was much higher than anticipated, Vermont Secretary of State, Jim Condos, believes we can do more:
     "While we’re encouraged that Primary voter turnout this year has been among the highest in recent years, we always think that there’s opportunity to do better and get more voters engaged in our democratic process! #VT" (Jim Condos, via his official Twitter account)

Thank you for all that you've done to contribute to our Democratic process, Windham County Voters! We can't wait to see you at the polls in November.


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Weekly Email Update 9.3.18

"Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you."
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Supreme Court Justice and co-founder of the Women’s Rights Project of the ACLU

     As you enjoy this Labor Day with family friends (or at work, like many of us), we'd like to share with you some facts about this holiday in the hopes that you'll take this knowledge and spread it far and wide:

THE FIRST LABOR DAY CELEBRATION WAS SEPTEMBER 5, 1882 IN NEW YORK CITY. On that Tuesday, 10,000 citizens marched for labor rights down the streets of Manhattan. During this time the average American worked 12 hours a day, six days a week. It wasn't until the Adamson Act passed on September 3, 1916 that our modern eight-hour work day was established.

LABOR DAY IRONICALLY CAUSES SOME OF THE LONGEST WORKING HOURS FOR RETAIL WORKERS. Labor Day weekend is notorious for having crazy sales, but unfortunately, this means retail workers (a faction that makes up 6% of the country's employment system) have to work longer hours on a day specially dedicated to labor appreciation. In fact, many other professionals are expected to work on Labor Dayas well including correctional officers, police officials, firefighters, nurses, and more. While most people interpreted this as recognizing the day as a national vacation, Congress’ proclamation covers only federal employees.* It is up to each state to declare its own legal holidays.+

LABOR DAY CONTROVERSY. There’s some controversy as to who started Labor Day. Some say it was Peter J. McGuire, general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners. Other say it was Matthew Maguire a member of International Association of Machinists. The controversy continues with no declared official winner. What we do know is that President Grover Cleveland signed it into law in 1894.  By the way, Labor Day came about more than two decades BEFORE the US Department of Labor existed.#

WHITE AFTER LABOR DAY? Historians say the expression “no white after Labor Day” comes from when the upper class would return from their summer vacations and stow away their lightweight, white summer clothes as they returned back to school and work.^

16.3 million The number of wage and salary workers age 16 and over represented by a union in 2016. This group included both union members (14.6 million) and workers who reported no union affiliation but whose jobs were covered by a union contract (1.7 million). Among states, New York continued to have the highest union membership rate (23.6 percent), and South Carolina had the lowest rate (1.6 percent).~

* https://www.townandcountrymag.com/leisure/arts-and-culture/a10318921/history-of-labor-day/
+ http://theconversation.com/have-we-forgotten-the-true-meaning-of-labor-day-64526
# https://www.adoramapix.com/blog/2016/09/05/15-fun-facts-about-labor-day/
^ https://www.dosomething.org/facts/11-facts-about-labor-day
~ https://www.thespectrum.com/story/news/2017/09/04/labor-day-numbers/630958001/

Have a happy and safe Labor Day, friends! We look forward to seeing you at an event soon. 


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Weekly Update 12.10.18

“To talk about race and food, we have to change the terms of engagement. We should reward not just the finished product of transformation but the process. My personal experiences, hosting public dinners on race and immigration, over the last year and a half in communities across the country, has taught me that the tensions inherent in these sorts of conversations are reconcilable only through a substantive transformation of the individual and the system. Both have to inform each other, happening in tandem, and also independently.”
Tunde Wey,
writer and host of the Blackness in America Dinner Series


     It seems like Winter is coming on fast, friends, and many of us are in the mood for family, friends, food, and, of course, resisting. While we're cozied up under our blankets and sweaters this December here are a few good (food) books that will keep your spirit hungry for progress and your soul full of fuel. Happy reading...and cooking!  

  • America the Cookbook by Gabrielle Langholtz: A compendium of 800 home-cooking recipes from across all 50 states of America that covers every region’s specialties and a range of cultural cuisines. America: The Cookbook acknowledges the culinary influences and contributions of both Native Americans and immigrant populations as well. (https://www.phaidon.com/store/food-cook/america-the-cookbook-9780714873961/)
  • A History of the World in Seven Cheap Things: A Guide to Capitalism, Nature, and the Future of the Planet by Nicola Temple: A History of the World...explores how processing methods have evolved in many of the foods that we love in response to big business, consumer demand, health concerns, innovation, political will, waste and even war. (https://www.amazon.com/History-World-Seven-Cheap-Things/dp/0520293134)
  • Feed the Resistance: Recipes and Ideas for Getting Involved by Julia Turshen: Recipes are mindful of affordability, time, and dietary requirements, ranging from “easy meals for folks who are too busy resisting to cook” to “feeding the masses”. All proceeds from the book will be donated to the American Civil Liberties Union. (https://www.amazon.com/Feed-Resistance-Recipes-Getting-Involved/dp/1452168385)
  • The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South by Michael W. Twitty: Culinary historian and author of the blog Afroculinaria, Michael W. Twitty, explores the history of African-American cooking and and how it has shaped the Southern American culinary tradition. (https://thecookinggene.com/)
  • The New Food Activism: Opposition, Cooperation, and Collective Action edited by Alison Alkon and Julie Guthman: The New Food Activism explores how food activism can be pushed toward deeper and more complex engagement with social, racial, and economic justice and toward advocating for broader and more transformational shifts in the food system. (https://www.ucpress.edu/book.php?isbn=9780520292147)
  • Cooking Up Trouble by Leela Cyd and Anne Parker: (from the author) We can’t do everything to fix this alternate political reality we’re living, but we can contribute in the best way we know how and give 100% of all proceeds from this book to Planned Parenthood, a place that has nurtured and protected us and so many of our friends throughout our lives. (https://cookinguptrouble.org/buy-the-book/3m6hdos50zhvun10p8fmtnv3ighovk)
  • The Food Activist Handbook by Ali Berlow:Small steps can create big changes in your community’s food quality and food security, helping to get more healthy food to more people and support a better food system. Ali Berlow shows you dozens of things that anyone can do, from creating a neighborhood kitchen for preserving fresh food to mapping farmland. (http://www.aliberlow.com/the-food-activist-handbook/)


Would you like to add your favorite book to this list? Send us your reading suggestions at admin@wecantogether.net and we'll include them in an upcoming Weekly Email Update!

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Weekly Update 12.03.18

"Information helps you to see that you're not alone."
Maya Angelou

     In recent weeks we've been asked to touch on these two queries: "Aside from the Weekly Email Update where do I find real time information about local events and campaigns?" and "Where can I find ideas on how to give or seek solidarity right now?"

     These are fantastic questions! Here are a few resources we use regularly to help stay up-to-the-minute informed about marches and vigils planned with short notice:
WeCAN Facebook Group: Open to Facebook members, this group is an extension of this email blast and is moderated and administered by local group and community leaders. Here you can find event postings in real time with the option to create your own events listings as well. 
The Rapid Response Text System by Song and Solidarity
: This system, run by the local group Song and Solidarity, texts members to alert of locally occurring protests, marches, postcard campaigns, and more. Directions for signing up are on WeCAN's website, here: https://www.wecantogether.net/rapid_response.
Brattleboro.com Event Calendar:  A comprehensive list of goings-on in Brattleboro that is updated daily.
The Root Social Justice Center's Calendar: This extensive calendar is updated regularly; their Facebook page and website reflect real time announcements of marches and gatherings happening locally. 
The Putney Huddle's public Facebook page 
is updated regularly and often reflects real time march and vigil information.

For those that would like to give or seek solidarity right now, in this moment, we offer these two resources:
To give solidarity: The Local Love Brigade: The mission of this group is to band together when there is an incident of hate and respond with giant helpings of love in the form of mailed postcards and notes. Through the reliably updated spreadsheets, you can dive deeper into the stories of people needing a bit of love and garner a larger understanding of social injustices happening at your local and national level. 
For those that are seeking solidarity: we encourage you to plan an event of your own with the backing of a local group. This website, https://www.mapsonline.net/brattleborovt/forms/standalone.html.php?id=854136589, is the town of Brattleboro's Parade and Open Air Meeting Permit Application platform and an excellent place to start. 

     We hope that by sharing these resources we can all be better prepared to show up when necessary, make our voices heard, and help our neighbors cope. To suggest other resources, please email admin@wecantogether.net and let us know how you keep up-to-the-minute informed.

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