“We don’t have time to sit on our hands as our planet burns. For young people, climate change is bigger than election or re-election. It’s life or death.”
also known by her initials AOC, is an American politician and activist. She has served as the U.S. representative for New York's 14th congressional district since 2019, as a member of the Democratic Party.
There's lots to get to this week, Windham County Neighbors. Join us for a plant walk, to rally for Medicare, to meet activist Bill McKibben, and to bike for climate justice - all happening this week. This is the perfect time to plant seeds of change and to step out of your comfort zone by attending a meeting or workshop that may be new for you. You can donate your time to a community farm, subscribe to a soupscription and participate in change while you nourish yourself, or meet new political candidates that are stepping into the spotlight who may need volunteers. We can't wait to see what you do next!
Lean Left Action in New Hampshire
Each political party is responsible for appointing more than 1,100 ballot inspectors in towns and wards. Ballot Inspectors (also known as Poll Workers) are community members who maintain the integrity of our elections: marking the checklist, handing out ballots, helping voters in need at the ballot booths, and more. Ballot inspectors serve two-year terms (starting in August 2022) and are responsible for all state and local elections.
- Make recruitment calls and protect the vote in New Hampshire with the NH Voter Protection Team. These are very rewarding calls to make. We're talking to people who have been and will be on the frontline in November. Contact Rebecca here.
Soup for Change: Sign Up for Your Southern VT Sister District Soupscription Today!
Editor's Note: I am a Sister District Chef and was the Soup Recipe Coordinator for the past year. This program is AMAZING and the soups are delicious, vegan, and made with hope and love. If you are able, please considering signing up for a subscription for your own household, to gift to a friend, or to donate to neighbors who need it via the Putney Food Shelf or Brattleboro Groundworks/Foodworks.
SUNDAY, MAY 22nd, 2022
Plant Walk with SUSU commUNITY Farm
Sunday, May 22nd, 2022 at 94 River Road, Newfane, VT, 05345. 2pm-4pm.
Please be aware: You will be sitting on the grass —bring a chair if you need it. It is tick season and dress for the outdoors. Open to all. $15-$30 per person, includes funds to cover costs of materials plus a donation to SUSU. Participants are asked to bring cash or a check to the event.
Join Food Connects and SUSU commUNITY for a hands-on plant walk.
Intros, somatic plant meditation, plant walk, intentional harvest, medicine making, questions, closing.
Michelle’s Souper Supper
hosted by Rep Michelle Bos-Lun
Sunday, May 22nd, 2022 at 94 CCC Road, Bellows Falls, VT, 05101. 5:30pm-7pm.
Event by Donation: you can contribute at https://secure.actblue.com/donate/michelle4windham4
Come enjoy live music, homemade soups, salads, cornbread and desserts and a chance to connect with Michelle and help her raise funds for her re-election campaign for the VT House of Representatives.
You can donate online or bring a check book (we can't accept cash due to campaign finance guidelines). Join us to raise funds to send Michelle back to Montpelier for two more years!
"Sharing knowledge is not about giving people something, or getting something from them. That is only valid for information sharing. Sharing knowledge occurs when people are genuinely interested in helping one another develop new capacities for action; it is about creating learning processes."
Peter Senge b.1947
Peter Michael Senge is an American systems scientist who is a senior lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management, co-faculty at the New England Complex Systems Institute, and the founder of the Society for Organizational Learning.
New events in this week's Weekly Email Update include a plant walk at the Susu commUNITY Farm, a Critical Mass bike ride, and a visit from Bill McKibben of 350.org fame in Brattleboro. Take a moment or two to scroll on through this email and find an event to attend that calls to you. Scroll on through past the "Happening This Week" section below and you'll find listings for reoccurring happenings, community announcements, job opportunities, Justice initiatives, and much more. If you find the information in our weekly email valuable, please feel empowered to forward it on to family and friends in Windham County who may want to join you in learning about future rallies and protests, lectures, group meetings, book clubs, and community supported free food/supplies. Thank you so much for your continued involvement in making Windham County a more just and equitable place!
SUNDAY, MAY 15th, 2022
Virtual Cooking Event
hosted by Edible Brattleboro
Sunday, May 15th, 2022, Online. 4pm.
You can access the free class here: https://www.youtube.com/c/BrattleboroCommunhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VLCsJ3PukfYityTV
Beans are a magical super food. Inexpensive, loaded with protein and fiber, they provide a healthy, fat-free alternative to meat, and taste great! In this video class, you can interact live with Edible Brattleboro "chefs" while they demonstrate two recipes - Roasted Sweet Potato Black Bean Salad and Creamy Cannellini Bean Pasta. Recipes will be posted on our website. The video will not be available until its launch on 5/15 at 4pm.
“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?”
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 ground. Protecting 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.
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.
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!
"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."
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...
Lean Left Action of the Week
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!
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!
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!
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!