“Unless we put medical freedom into the Constitution the time will come when medicine will organize itself into an undercover dictatorship. To restrict the art of healing to doctors and deny equal privileges to others will constitute the Bastille of medical science. All such laws are un-American and despotic.”
― Benjamin Rush,
Founding Father of the United States of America, Signer of the Declaration of Independence, and Physician
If you're anything like your Friendly WeCAN Admins, you found this week's Healthcare news troubling at best. For many of us feelings of anxiety can be magnified because we don't know what next steps we can take in the face of such lunacy. Never fear! WeCAN has a few suggestions for actions you can take to help save or improve health care in our country:
1) Call Your Representative
You can find your Representative here: http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/.
Don't know what to say? Try this: "Hello, I am a constituent of [your representative's name.] I am very worried about efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, which would lead to millions of Americans losing their health insurance or being denied coverage. This is a matter of life and death for millions of Americans, with and without preexisting conditions, and I urge the representative to oppose any repeal of the Affordable Care Act."
Note: If your Representative opposes repealing the ACA (yay!), consider choosing a nearby Right-leaning district and call their Representative's offices as a concerned neighbor.
2) Talk about your ACA/Healthcare Experiences (If You're Comfortable)
Personal stories connect all of us and those connections can build a stronger, more resilient force for positive change. Keep talking, keep sharing, and (most importantly) keep listening. Public approval for the ACA is at an all time high (55%) and support for a Single-Payer System is growing steadily--we, as a nation, want our friends and neighbors to be insured regardless of preexisting conditions or income. That is a reassuring thought, indeed, that can be built on.
3) Rally, March, and Protest
It's true: a show of support or of disagreement in large numbers can make an impact. Use resources like WeCAN, Our Revolution, and Facebook Groups to find out if local organizations are holding an event in your area. If you can't find a healthcare related Rally or March close to you consider spearheading one yourself! This Single-Payer Protest Tool-Kit is a great place to start and can be implemented as a Pro-Affordable Care Act resource as well. If you'd like to hold your event in Brattleboro, click here to request a permit for an open-air meeting. It's that easy!
Do you have ideas on how to support Single-Payer Healthcare or the Affordable Care Act? We'd love to feature your suggestions in an upcoming weekly email! Please send your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing from you.
Happening Today May 7th, 2017
Cross Class Dialogue Circle
Sunday, May 7th, May 21st, and June 4th, 2017 (participation all 3 days is required) at The Root Social Justice Center (The Whetstone Studio for the Arts, 28 Williams Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 9am-3pm.
Childcare and transportation available, light refreshments provided, and wheelchair accessible. This event is fragrance free.
The dialogue circle is funded through a cost-sharing process.
Cross-class dialogue circles are a powerful way for people across the class spectrum to come together to talk about their experiences with class, listen to each others’ stories and perspectives, better understand class as part of an economic system, and then to work together as change makers for economic justice. Sign-up today!
The Putney Huddle
Sunday, May 7th, 2017 at the Putney Public Library (55 Main St, Putney, VT 05346). 1:30pm-3:30pm.
1:30pm-2:00pm The steering committee will share.
2:00pm-2:30pm Faisal Gill, the chair for the Vermont Democratic party will speak and take questions.
2:30pm-3:30pm Sister District leaders will hold an info and brainstorming session.
Please use our Facebook Event page to RSVP:
https://www.facebook.com/events/1868928896683659/?ti=cl or email Laura at email@example.com.
Care Bags for the Homeless
Sponsored by the Brattleboro Love Project
Sunday, May 7th at 3:30pm at the Putney Library (55 Main St, Putney, VT 05346)
Join us at 3:30 pm at the Putney Library with the Putney Huddle to assemble care bags for the homeless! List of needed supplies below, or contact us to donate!
We have decided to embark on another project, this time to help the homeless population in town. In partnership with the Putney Huddle, we will be assembling baggies filled with greatly needed food and toiletry items. Suggested items include: peanut butter cracker packages, mints, clementines, applesauce, granola bars, mini shampoos, body wash, sunblock, sanitary napkins, condoms, etc. Along with these items, we welcome handwritten cards, notes, or drawings to put inside the baggies as a symbol of love and support.
We hope this project will directly help our neighbors in need. Want to help out and join the project? Grab a freezer-sized plastic zip bag and fill with items! You can either keep them in your car for when you see someone in need, or you can donate items to us so we can continue to help our community.
Climate Change Café: A Community of Concerned Citizens
SOS: Secret of the Seasons
(The Original Global Climate Change Co-Opera)
co-sponsored by Post Oil Solutions and Green Up SIT
Sunday, May 7th, 2017 at the Brooks Memorial Library (224 Main St, Brattleboro, VT, 05301) in the Main Room. 5:30pm. Free. Light refreshments available.
Based on songs written by SIT Professor John Ungerleider and Bill Conley, the SOS co-opera is a reflective, participatory musical journey that engages the audience with the external and internal challenges that global climate change is bringing to our lives.
Audience dialogue between thought provoking songs is designed to move participants from Fear and Denial to Hope and Action in response to the threat of global warming.
The title song asks about the local impact of climate change: “Will it still feel like my home, when the leaves don’t turn to red and gold, and the ice doesn’t cover the fishin’ hole?”
More more information please call 802.869.2141 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lauren Sullivan, Director and Co-Founder of Reverb
This past Saturday marked the second international weekend devoted to science this month: The People's Climate March. Again, so many thanks to all those who traveled, marched, participated in, and supported Climate Science this weekend. The Earth thanks you, and your fellow humans thank you!
In the spirit of Climate Science education, here are 5 immediate actions you can take to limit your carbon footprint:
- Eat locally-produced and organic food. It has been estimated that 13% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions result from the production and transport of food. Transporting food requires petroleum-based fuels, and many fertilizers are also fossil fuel-based.
- Cut the beef and dairy. It takes a lot of resources to raise cows, and it’s especially bad if you buy beef from somewhere like Brazil, where it was grazed on land that used to be tropical forest but was cleared for agricultural use. Deforestation is a top contributor to carbon emissions and thus climate change.
- Water usage. Lower the amount of energy used to pump, treat, and heat water by washing your car less often, using climate-appropriate plants in your garden, installing drip irrigation so that plants receive only what they need, and making water-efficient choices when purchasing shower heads, faucet heads, toilets, dishwashers and washing machines.
- Driving style. Speeding and unnecessary acceleration reduce mileage by up to 33%, waste gas and money, and increase your carbon footprint.
- Avoid traffic. Being stuck in traffic wastes gas and unneccessarily creates CO2. Use traffic websites and apps and go a different way or wait.
Happening Today, April 30th, 2017
Let's Get Ready! Community Prep for May Day March for Dignity
hosted by Lost River Racial Justice's Ready Response Team
Sunday, April 30th, 2017 at the The Root Social Justice Center (The Whetstone Studio for the Arts, 28 Williams St., Brattleboro, VT). 7pm-9pm.
Facebook event page
Contact LostRiverRJ@gmail.com with questions.
May Day is coming! A contingent from Southern VT will be heading up to Burlington to March for Dignity with Migrant Justice, the Vermont Workers' Center, and many other community organizations. In Vermont we show up in the streets on May Day (International Workers' Day) knowing that rights for all workers includes rights for our most vulnerable workers: we resist Trump's attacks on our communities and demand that Ben and Jerry's fully implement the Milk With Dignity program developed by migrant dairy workers as they promised to do two years ago.
Please join Lost River Racial Justice's Ready Response team to make signs, educate ourselves about Migrant Justice, and get geared up with other community members for the next day's March for Dignity. We'll provide art and sign-making supplies (feel free to bring more of your own). There will also be a brief teach-in and opportunity to sign petions regarding two pieces of legislation that Migrant Justice helped create: Fair and Impartial Policing and the Racial Justice Reform Bill. Whether or not you can make it to Burlington on Monday, this is a great way to support the March.
The Root Social Justice Center is wheelchair accessible and is a fragrance free and nut free space--please come accordingly. Children are welcome.
May Day March for Dignity event page
Windham County May Day carpool form
Swing Left Meeting
Sunday, April 30th, 2017 at the Hooker-Dunham Theatre (139 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301) at 2pm.
There is an alley next to the Hooker-Dunham building and if you go down the stairs you’ll be at the door of the theatre.
Agenda includes updates on Swing Left activities in Amherst, MA to support NH-02 and NY-19 Democratic congressional candidates, plans from Knock on Every Door regarding canvassing training, and support activities for House candidates in Special Elections.
Neil deGrasse Tyson
Happy (Belated) Earth Day WeCANers! Many, many thanks to all of you that attended events large and small yesterday as part of the International March for Science. We hope that you continue to keep active participate in the People’s Climate March next weekend in whatever capacity you can. Thank you, also, for your responses to our call for suggestions to make some positive, Earth-friendly choices! Our suggestion this week comes from Sheila Garrett, in Putney. She writes:
“If you don't do composting consider finding a friend or neighbor who does and donate yours to them. Napkins and paper towels are welcome additions. OR you could start a WORM BIN (DIY instructions here: http://compost.css.cornell.edu/worms/steps.html) under your sink. It's really easy and you can use the resulting product in your house plants or garden or give it to a friend.”
Thank you so much for your advice, Sheila! Please send in your tips for helping out Mother Earth to email@example.com. We will be featuring a few more tips next week so get your suggestions in today!
Happening TODAY Sunday, April 23rd, 2017
Women's March Reading and Chat
sponsored by the Putney Huddle
Sunday, April 23rd, 2017 at the Putney Public Library (55 Main St, Putney, VT, 05346). 12pm.
Afterwards, for those interested in carpooling to the Vermont Democrats meeting with Tristan Toleno at Marlboro Grad Center, we will meet up in the library parking lot and leave at 1:30pm.
Windham County Democratic Meeting
Sunday April 23, 2017 at Marlboro College Graduate School (28 Vernon St, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 2pm-4pm.
We will discuss prepping for next election cycle with Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman, VDP Chair Faisal Gill, local legislators and you! All are welcome!
A Talk with Lt Governor David Zuckerman and Brattleboro House Representative Mollie Burke
sponsored by Windham County Progressives/Vermont Progressive Party
Sunday, April 23rd, 2017 in the Brattleboro Food Co-op Community Room (1 Canal Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 4pm. Please enter using the entrance on Canal Street.
Our Representatives will be speaking and meeting with constituents. We look forward to seeing you there.
Women Marching Forward Monthly Meeting and Teach-In
This Month's Topic: An Introduction to Emerge Vermont: Helping Women Get Elected
Sunday, April 23rd, 2017 from 4pm to 6pm at the Learning Collaborative, Rt 5, Dummerston.
Learn about the statewide organization Emerge Vermont, which helps prepare women to run for office, with Emerge alumni Majority Leader Becca Balint and Elizabeth McLoughlin.
Candlelight Vigil for Democracy
Sunday, April 23rd, 2017 at Pliny Park (the corner of Main Street and High Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 8pm.
The WE CELEBRATE DEMOCRACY / CIVIL RIGHTS FOR ALL banner will be hung for one week over Main Street in Brattleboro beginning on Sunday morning the 23rd of April. We have called a Candlelight Vigil for Democracy under the banner for that evening and we have reserved Pliny Park. The Town of Brattleboro will accommodate a larger event if more people attend the vigil.
We believe that democracy needs all the help it can get. A large, newsworthy Vigil for Democracy is just the thing for declaring that we are concerned, worried, afraid, scared, anxious, and mortified about what is happening to democracy around the world. Stand for love in the face of hate. Stand for sharing & caring, helping & loving in the face of taking & hoarding and hurting & hating.
Please join us for democracy's sake and spread the word far and wide.
Please let us know if you can make it! firstname.lastname@example.org or the Facebook page - Candlelight Vigil For Democracy.
“We all remember the BP Oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, the worst oil spill in United States history. What is less well known is that B.P is claiming a $9.9 billion dollar tax deduction on the money they had to spend cleaning up their own mess and paying for damages they caused. That is absurd."
This week finances might still be on your brain with Tax Day looming (on (April 18th) and the chants of Tax Day Marches ringing merrily in your ears, but we'd like to take this opportunity to encourage you to make plans to attend Earth Day celebrations, March for Science events, and Climate Change rallies happening during the next two weekends. While all the work we all do for social justice causes is vital to our society, none of it will matter if we don't have an Earth that is habitable, water that is potable, and air that is breathable. After all, there is no Planet B.
Here are 5 easy actions you can take this (and every) week to show Mother Earth that you care:
1.) Ditch That Plastic
Gravitate towards glass, wood, and metal made materials. Use mason jars or glassware to store food and phase out your Ziploc disposable plastic containers and gallon sized bags. Ditch the plastic wrap for an eco-conscious beeswax wrap (available locally at the Brattleboro Food Coop). Look for recycling symbols BEFORE you purchase new plastic to make sure you can recycle it and always aim to reuse before you recycle.
2.) Let the Breeze Dry Your Clothes
Give your dryer a break during the Summer months and string up a line outside. If you line dry your clothes just HALF OF THE TIME you can save over $60 in a year. You'll burn 450 pounds less coal and save 1150 pounds of CO2 emissions…the work of 23 Trees!*
3.) Eat Local
Take advantage of our local New England bounty and resist buying exotic fruits and veg from far off lands like Mexico, Peru, and Ecuador. Instead, stick to what is local (100 mile radius or less) and in season. Not only will you save some pennies, but you'll also help save the environment from excessive transportation emissions, help to limit food waste that incurs with excessive transporting, and support local farmers financially so that they might be able to grow a greater variety of crops-which is, in turn, excellent for the soil.
4.) Make Your Own Household Cleaner
We shouldn't have to load up our homes (and septic systems or sewers) with harsh chemicals just to get our Spring Clean on! Instead of reaching for the name brand cleaner this week, reach into your cupboard and make your own. Not only will you save your lungs and nose from chemical exposure, you'll also help to lesson the chemical load that is dumped into our soil, waterways, and farmland...a chemical load that has led to endocrine, lung, lymph, and digestive ailments nationwide.
Simple Kitchen Cleaner Recipe:
1 cup distilled white vinegar
1 cup water
3 drops tea tree oil
3 drops essential oil, your choice
Make It Like So: Put all ingredients into a 16 oz bottle with a spray nozzle and shake to mix. Spray liberally on dirty surfaces and wipe clean. Keeps for about a month.
5.) Reuse Before You Recycle
While recycling is wonderful and is preferable to trashing an item, reusing the item before you recycle it is even better. Can you reuse those water bottles and plastic take out containers as seed planters before you recycle them? Can you use the cardboard from cereal boxes to make signs for your next protest before they hit the recycling bin? Can you take those chipped glasses and cups and use them as vases for your Summer flowers? Can you cut up your excess computer printouts into scrap paper sizes to be used once again before you recycle them? Yes, WeCAN!
I bet you can think of so many more ideas of how to cut your waste and up your recycling...feel free to email us at email@example.com with suggestions! We look forward to hearing from you!
Monday, April 17th, 2017 through Sunday, April 23rd, 2017
Monday, April 17th, 2017 at The Root Social Justice Center (The Whetstone Studio for the Arts, 28 Williams Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). First Floor. 5:30pm-8:30pm
Youth4Change is a project of The Root Social Justice Center and is open to all youth who want to work toward racial, economic, immigrant, indigenous, gender, queer, and environmental justice. This meeting will be an art-build and strategy session for the upcoming Saturday, April 29th Climate Marches and Monday, May 1st School Walkouts and Immigrant Justice Rallies.
5:30pm: Art Build
7:00pm: Strategy Meeting
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.Read more