“Bad officials are elected by good citizens who do not vote.”
George Jean Nathan b.1882 d.1958
American drama critic and magazine editor
We hope you and yours have had some time to relax and reflect this holiday weekend, WeCAN friends. We are so appreciative of your support and readership these last 4 years; you have encouraged and supported this small-but-mighty group through your words and actions and we couldn’t be more grateful for all that you do. Thank you!
With Georgia’s runoff election one week closer, it is imperative that we help increase voter turnout in whatever way we can. Tonight, Sunday, November 30th, you can learn how you can help the Environmental Voter Project, a nonprofit that focuses on mobilizing non-voting environmentalists, in a one-of-a-kind Zoom call. EVP targeted 1.8 million never-voted-before environmentalists in the 2020 presidential election and helped get over 600,000 of them to vote early (including 69,332 in Georgia). Now, they're raising funds to scale up their efforts for the Georgia US Senate runoff elections and have identified 382,844 environmentalists who are unlikely to vote in the January 5th runoff. This call will feature EVP Founder and Executive Director Nathaniel Stinnett, who will explain EVP's methods and results before answering questions.
Join Piper Perabo, actor and activist (Coyote Ugly & Covert Affairs), Laura Hillenbrand New York Times best-selling author (author of Sea Biscuit among other notable works), Daniel James Brown, New York Times best selling author, Rebecca Skloot, New York Times best selling author (The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks), Tim Guinee, actor & activist (Iron Man), and Nathaniel Stinnet, Founder & Executive Director of the Environmental Voter Project, among others, this evening in an effort to raise funds and voter awareness in Georgia! We hope to see you there.
To RSVP, please click HERE.
“I think it is the Republicans' [election] to lose, but as we know from what’s happened in 2010 and 2012, Republicans can do that.”
Dr. Charles S. Bullock, University Professor
speaking about the upcoming Senate race in Georgia to USA Today. Dr. Bullock is the Chair of the Political Science Department at the University of Georgia.
This week's email has quite a few event changes, WeCAN Community. Some previously listed events have been cancelled or postponed due to Covid 19, so please take a moment and scroll all the way through the email to see what's different. New Covid19 protocols from our Governor have been highlighted and the latest statistics are available further down in this email as well. We urge you to stay home unless traveling for work/school or for essentials, wear a mask when out in public, keep a 6 foot distance from other humans you aren't quarantining with, and wash your hands regularly.
As you may remember, we are featuring a unique way to get involved in the Georgia Senate race in each Weekly Email Update until the election on January 5th, 2021. This week's suggestion comes via Instagram user @coach_evil and encourages you to get up and get moving order to support change! The Georgia on my Mind 5k is an at-home virtual 5k that you can complete in your own time, wherever you are, before December 19th, 2020. Your donation will be split between both Jon Ossoff and Reverend Raphael Warnock and Stacy Abram's voting rights organization, Fair Fight. For more information, registration, and to donate, please click HERE.
NEW COVID 19 STATEWIDE GUIDELINES Effective Saturday, November 14th, 2020 at 10pm
State Officials Clarify Ban on Social Gatherings
At Friday’s (11.20.20) press conference, Governor Phil Scott added further clarification to the state’s prohibition of social gatherings in the newest executive order. Under the order, you are not allowed to gather with people you don’t live with. This includes all inside and outside social, recreational and entertainment gatherings, and in public and private spaces.
There is an exception for people who live alone. They may gather with people who live in one other household. Gov. Scott announced additional allowances Friday:
• People can take in and shelter those from another household who are living in a dangerous, unhealthy or otherwise unsafe situation.
• You can do outdoor fitness activities with one other person from another household. However, both of you must stay at least 6 feet away from each other and wear a mask at all times. For example, you can bike, hike, walk or run with one of your neighbors.
As daily cases of COVID-19 continue to reach new heights, Health Commissioner Mark Levine, MD, said we can still contain the virus, but we need Vermonters’ help.
“Avoiding social gatherings, limiting non-essential travel, quarantining when necessary, and taking prevention steps will help stem this rising tide — but only if Vermonters follow the guidance,” Dr. Levine said. “It’s too soon to see the impact... But with a little patience, and a lot of compliance, I am hopeful we can make a difference.”
EDITOR'S NOTE: Last week we listed an event, "Stop Climate Denial in Town Government at the Brattleboro Select Board Meeting
Tuesday, November 17th, 2020, Online. 6:15pm", but failed to mention that it was an event hosted by Brattleboro Common Sense. We apologize for any confusion or inconvenience.
HAPPENING TODAY, SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 22nd, 2020
Ecodharma, A Buddhist Path for the Climate Crisis: A Talk with David Loy
hosted by the VT Insight Meditation Center (VIMC)
Sunday, November 22nd, 2020, Online. 1pm-4pm.
Registration and scaled fee are required by contacting the VIMC at https://vermontinsight.org. Zoom log-in details will be emailed to all registrants.
The Vermont Insight Meditation Center (VIMC) will host via Zoom a talk by activist, writer and Zen teacher David Loy, on the subject of “Ecodharma, A Buddhist Path for the Climate Crisis.”
Many people have suggested that the ecological crisis is as much a spiritual challenge as a technological and economic one. Does Buddhism offer any special perspective on this imminent catastrophe? Loy argues that Buddhist teachings have important implications for how to understand and respond to the greatest challenge that humanity has ever faced. His talk will focus on the parallels between the usual Buddhist predicament of personal liberation while pointing the way to resolving our collective dilemma.
A national and international lecturer and prolific author, David Loy’s latest book is Ecodharma: Buddhist Teachings for the Ecological Crisis. Many of his writings, as well as audio and video talks are available on the web. He is also one of the co-founders of the Rocky Mountain Ecodharma Retreat center near Boulder, Colorado. For more information: www.davidloy.org.
"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!