Weekly Email Update 7.20.20

"You must find a way to get in the way and get in good trouble, necessary trouble...You have a moral obligation, a mission, and a mandate, when you leave here, to go out and seek justice for all. You can do it. You must do it."
Congressman John Lewis
U.S. Representative for Georgia's 5th congressional district, serving in his 17th term in the House, having served since 1987, and is the dean of the Georgia congressional delegation

 

      This week's new entries include both a new food relief program in the Brattleboro area and a call for volunteers to fuel it, a BLM event happening TODAY in Northampton, a Cost of Medical Insurance Online Forum, and a Windham County Covid 19 Recovery Forum, also online. Scroll on through to the bottom to make sure you don't miss any of our newest additions. We look forward to connecting with you soon! 

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HAPPENING TODAY, SUNDAY, JULY 19th, 2020

Share the Harvest Stand
brought to you by Edible Brattleboro
Sunday, July 5th, 2020, and every Sunday during the Summer, at the corner of Elm Street and Frost Street in Brattleboro, VT, 05301. 11am-1pm. For more information please email EdibleBrattleboro@gmail.com.
Pick up FREE fresh veggies and/or drop off surplus from your garden to share. Please supply your own bags.  

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Black Lives Matter/Environmental Justice March in Northampton, MA
hosted by the Sunrise Western Mass Coalition
Sunday, July 19th, 2020 at Pulaski Park (240 Main Street, Northampton, MA, 01060). 4pm-6pm. **This is a socially distanced event and masks must be worn** It is forecasted to be VERY HOT on Sunday, so please bring water and sunscreen to keep yourself safe and cool!
CLIMATE JUSTICE IS RACIAL JUSTICE!
Please join us for a BLM Environmental Justice March on Sunday, July 19th from 4-6pm beginning at Pulaski Park in Northampton!
We must demand equitable climate policy in MA in order to work towards racial justice! We need our MA legislators to pass these pieces of crucial legislation that will be voted on later this month:
- H.4264/S.453/S.464: Provides legal definitions that will allow us to protect communities from environmental racism and classism.
- H.2836: 100% Renewable energy by 2045 and energy by 2035. 
- H.2810: Putting a price on carbon!
We will be taking a host of different actions throughout our march to show how important these policies are! Please share this event. 

 

HAPPENING THIS WEEK, MONDAY, JULY 20th, 2020-SUNDAY, JULY 26th, 2020

 

Veggie Van Go
sponsored by the Vermont Food Bank
Monday, July 20th, 2020 at Brattleboro Union High 
School (131 Fairground Road, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 10am-12pm.
Fresh veggies and boxed pantry items available on a first come, first served basis in the parking lot of BUHS. All are welcome, no paperwork needed. Please stay in your vehicles and wear a mask. If you are walking or cycling, please wear a mask as you approach the volunteers. If you are ill, please have someone else pick up for you. You are welcome to pick up for other households, too. 

 

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Public Forum on the Cost of Health Insurance
hosted by the Green Mountain Care Board
Tuesday, July 21st, 2020, Online. 4:30pm-6:30pm.
RSVP at https://www.workerscenter.org/calendar/2020/07/21/public-forum-on-the-cost-of-health-insurance. Call-in or join online via Microsoft Teams.
Questions: contact windham@workerscenter.org.
On July 21, the Green Mountain Care Board (GMCB) is holding a public forum on the rate increases requested by Blue Cross Blue Shield and MVP for the qualified health plans sold through VT Health Connect. The forum will be held via Microsoft Teams from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Blue Cross is requesting a 6.3% increase and MVP a 7.3% increase.
Last year, Kevin Mullin, Chair of the GMCB, explained the rationale behind approving double-digit increases at that time, saying “These rates are not affordable. We acknowledge they are not affordable. But at the same time we can’t put a company out of business.” His comment illustrates the conflict at the heart of our privatized health care system, where the interests of ordinary people are up against the power of industries designed to make money off our need for health care.  
The Vermont Workers’ Center encourages people to testify at the hearing, especially people who are directly impacted by these increases. If you or a family member is on one of these plans or is uninsured because you can’t afford one, they need to hear from you. The message we are bringing to the Green Mountain Care Board is that this system is not working. Every year the rates increase, and it’s time to make good on Vermont’s commitment to healthcare as a public good as enacted in Act 48.
Click on this link to register and get more information about how to join. The link also includes information on how to submit a public comment using an on-line form.

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Construction of Whiteness Study Group
facilitated by Brattleboro Solidarity
Tuesday, July 21st, 2020 
Tuesday, July 28th, 2020
Tuesday, August 4th, 2020
On the Brattleboro Common (at the intersection of Routes 5 and 30: Park Place, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 6pm-8pm. This is an open and free study group. Snacks will be provided. Please sign-up by contacting brattleborosolidarity@gmail.com and wear a mask. 
The social construction of "race" as a way to divide people is as old as the founding of the United States. Today we are seeing an escalation of ICE raids, police killing, and white supremacist attacks on people of color that are directly related to the construction of whiteness. It is imperative we continue to expand our knowledge of the history of race in this country in order to fight the supremacy in our society. Brattleboro Solidarity will be hosting a study group to expand our understanding of the  historical divisions along race and class lines in the U.S as a tool for economic exploitation. 

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Toxic White Discussion Group 
hosted by Peace and Justice Center
Wednesday, July 22nd, 2020, Online. This discussion group is available at two times: 12pm and 5pm. Recommended donation $10. No one turned away for lack of funds. Not sure if you should contribute more, less, or nothing? View our Sliding Scale Fee document to determine an amount that feels right for you.  Donation to be shared with Black Lives Matter of Greater Burlington.
This space is held for white people to specifically process how white supremacy culture is harmful to them. The hope is that by joining this space, white people will be better able to allow for the emotional needs of people of color to take priority in multi-racial spaces. Space is limited and registration is required.

 

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Teaching in Solidarity with Black Lives: Towards an Equitable Future
a Spark Teacher Education Institute learning opportunity
Wednesday, July 22nd, 2020
Wednesday July 29th, 2020
Wednesday, August 5th, 2020
All sessions will meet via Zoom. 4pm-6pm.
Contact SparkTeacherEdVT@gmail.com for more information! Join us! Fill out this form to apply!  Cost is $300, but contact us for sliding scale costs. 
Spark Teacher Education Institute will facilitate online learning communities aimed at building curricula that centers Black lives and equity.  With the goal of democratizing  knowledge, the expertise will come from participants as they  commit to study and reflection. We will co-construct curriculum and interrogate our pedagogy to inform our teaching practices.
You will receive 15 hours of  professional development credits (that includes meetings and independent work), with the possibility of continuing into the year for graduate credits.
There will be 3 groups to choose from:
Science/Math, Humanities, and Early Childhood/Elementary.
Why Join this PD? 
Practitioners and scholars have been urging teachers to centralize equity and Black lives in pedagogy and curricula for over two decades. Gloria Ladson-Billings, a distinguished professor of education and critical race scholar, points to the historic education debt (not “achievement gap”) placed upon Black students which is reflected in their over-representation in punishment, expulsions, and special education. Teaching in support of Black lives and equity is more than just methods or adding a social justice lesson. Teachers need to investigate and challenge white supremacy in their pedagogy and curricula to move the center.  Teaching in support of Black Lives is an opportunity for educators to connect a long history of racialized inequities to school based practices, curriculum, and broader structures of schooling. These sessions are organized to offer a place for questioning and active collaboration to forge new paths of inquiry and initiatives in your schools and broader communities.
Spark Teacher Education Institute has been working with teachers for 18 years to centralize the experiences of working people, women, and people of color, in order to teach against exploitation and build an equitable world for all. Spark Teacher Education Institute was started by Janaki Natarajan and offers teacher certification in Social Justice Education.  Teachers learn the social justice pedagogy and  political economy.  Participants work side-by-side for an entire year with a skilled mentor teacher, learning to integrate social justice and equity content into the mainstream curriculum. The program strives to instill an understanding of self and others in conjunction with the development of skills, knowledge, critical thinking and compassion required for creating an equitable and engaging learning environment for all learners.

 

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Windham Region Covid 19 Recovery Virtual Forum
hosted by The Local Support and Community Action Team of the Governor’s Economic Mitigation and Recovery Task Force, in partnership with regional and local leaders, and with coordination from the Vermont Council on Rural Development
Thursday, July 23rd, 2020, Online. 6:30pm-8:30pm.
To Register: https://windham-recovery-visit.eventbrite.com. Website for Additional Information: https://www.vtrural.org/recovery.
The Local Support and Community Action Team of the Governor’s Economic Mitigation and Recovery Task Force, in partnership with regional and local leaders, and with coordination from the Vermont Council on Rural Development, is hosting Community Recovery Visits in counties throughout Vermont in the Summer and Fall of 2020. 
Join Recovery Visit Forums in your county to:
- Share challenges and ideas for community response and recovery
- Connect to others working to respond, recover, and build long-term resilience
- Meet with a “visiting team” of state, federal, business, and non-profit leaders who will share recovery strategies from across the state and ideas for resources and support.

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Solidarity Fridays: Our Struggles Are Connected
organized by Brattleboro Solidarity, The Root Justice Center, Tenants Union of Brattleboro and Lost River Racial Justice
Friday, July 24th, 2020 (and all Fridays) at Pliny Park (the corner of High Street and Main Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 5pm-7pm.
Weekly protest at Pliny Park focusing on a variety of currant local and national issues. Bring your signs, banners, chalk & noise makers to Pliny Park to rally for the world we want. Please wear a mask. 
Our struggles are connected!
Keep the pressure on!
No Justice! No Peace!

 

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UPCOMING EVENTS

The First Amendment or How to Become a Political Animal
with Meg Mott, Professor of Politics Emerita at Marlboro College, 
part of Talk About Our Democracy and organized by We Celebrate Democracy/Civil Rights For All
Monday, July 27th, 2020, Online. 6:30pm. Go to https://www.megmott.com/events for the link to the website to participate in the meeting via Zoom.
Meg says: Aristotle loved democracy, because he saw how it gave citizens the habits of "political animals." The First Amendment to the Constitution describes the process of becoming an actualized citizen. It begins with the freedom to follow a higher moral standard (freedom of religion) and ends with political protest (freedom to petition the government for a redress of grievances). This Zoom talk will consider how the Framers understood these First Freedoms and how we might think about them today. Fortunately, the technology permits for democratic engagement. Participants will have a chance to reflect on their individual paths to becoming a political being.

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Vermont’s Tomorrow: State-Wide Candidate Forum on Young Professional Issues
hosted by Southern VT Young Professionals
Saturday, August 1st, 2020. Online. 4:30pm-6:30pm.
Click this link to register: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYrdu2sqToqHtTKZl3Fsm5pGaPdE5mNGR9d.
Housing, childcare, diversity, climate—We know your primary concern isn’t the price of avocados, so as the Vermont Primary approaches, join the Southern Vermont Young Professionals for a virtual policy discussion. Meet the candidates hoping to represent you at the state-wide level and ask about the issues that matter to you.
We’re inviting qualified candidates running for the following offices to introduce themselves, give a brief overview of their policy positions, and participate in a moderated Q&A.

US Congress
Governor
Lieutenant Governor
Treasurer
Secretary of State
Auditor of Accounts
Attorney General

Do you already have burning questions? Can’t make it to the discussion? Submit your questions here, and we’ll get through as many as we can.https://forms.gle/dZyix4n2iwS6EMmE8
We’ll also be streaming the event on Facebook Live, where you can also join in on the discussion.
Looking to hear from your State Senators and Representatives? We’ve got a local candidate forum in the works for mid-October.
*Qualified candidates are those approved by the Secretary of State—the names you can expect to see on the ballot August 11th.

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Marlboro Free Food Event
Thursday, August 6th, 2020 at the Malboro Community Center (524 South Road, Marlboro, VT, 05344). 3pm-5pm. 
All food is FREE. No registration necessary. All are welcome. Please wear a face mask. This event will follow social distancing protocols. 
In cooperation with Marlboro Cares and the Marlboro Alliance, we will be giving away grocery bags of non-perishable food such as pasta, flour, rice, bean and canned goods.
Deliveries will be made through Marlboro Cares for those needing assistance. Please call Marlboro Cares at 258-3030 in advance to arrange a delivery.

 

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What the US Constitution Offers Us: The 2nd Amendment
with Meg Mott, Ph.D, Professor of Politics Emerita, Marlboro College
Wednesday, August 12th, 2020 at Moore Free Library (23 West Street, Newfane, VT, 05345). 7pm-8:30pm.

An outdoor, salon-style discussion of the 1st, 2nd, 9th, and 10th amendments to the U.S. Constitution with Meg Mott, Ph.D, Professor of Politics Emerita, Marlboro College and "Constitution Wrangler." In case of severe weather, the event will be held the next day (Thursday) at the same time.
2nd Amendment: Why the need for an armed citizenry? In the 21st century, the Second Amendment took on a new life. In two recent Supreme Court rulings, the right to bear arms was transformed from a collective right of state militias to a personal right of self-defense. We will consider why the Framers wanted an armed citizenry, how the Second Amendment lost ground during the tragic failure of Reconstruction, and what the emphasis on individual self-defense tells us about the health of our democracy.

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2020 Rich Earth Institute Virtual Summit: Reclaiming Urine as a Resource
hosted by Rich Earth Institute
Tuesday, September 15th, 2020-Thursday, September 17th, 2020, Online. Begins at 2pm. Admission By Donation. To RSVP: https://forms.gle/vTmFqEvBG5oW3tj7A. Proceeds will support members of the Container Based Sanitation Alliance who provide access to dignified, safe, and affordable sanitation in dense urban areas otherwise lacking in options. Please direct all queries to julia@richearthinstitute.org.
Join us to discuss the future of urine diversion and its re-use as a fertilizer!
For the past five years, the Rich Earth Institute’s annual urine diversion summit has brought together researchers, practitioners, policy makers, industry leaders, and students, catalyzing new collaborations and partnerships as we continue to grow the body of knowledge about this innovative practice.
This year, we’re bringing our conference online for the first time! We hope this will enable a much wider, global audience to participate in the discussion as we exchange ideas for the future of urine diversion. Recordings of each panel will be made available after the event to accommodate time zone differences and other scheduling conflicts. RSVP now for updates about the conference, including registration information, panel themes, topic lunches, and more. Event registration is now open!
Call For Presenters!
Have research results, a project, or other experience you want to share? Submit an abstract for a 6-8 minute lightning talk through the RSVP form.
Keynote Speaker: Dr. Nancy G. Love
Dr. Nancy G. Love is the Borchardt and Glysson Collegiate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University Michigan, and an adjunct Professor at the Institute of Biotechnology at Addis Ababa University. In collaboration with her students, Dr. Love works at the interface of water, infrastructure and public health in both domestic and global settings. As Principal Investigator of the National Science Foundation’s INFEWS project: Advancing Technologies and Improving Communication of Urine­-Derived Fertilizers for Food Production within a Risk­ Based Framework, she will discuss this collaborative project and her vision for the future of urine diversion and reuse.

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Women’s Film Festival Screening: Sisters Rising
Friday, September 18th, 2020 at New England Youth Theater (100 Falt Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 3:30pm.
Buy your tickets here: http://womensfilmfestival.org/tickets/.
VERMONT PREMIERE of Sisters Rising at the Women's Film Festival!!! Ticket sales support the life-saving work of our beloved Women's Freedom Center in Southern VT. Q&A with directors Willow O'Feral & Brad Heck following the screening. MORE ABOUT SISTERS RISING: http://www.sistersrisingmovie.com

 

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COMMUNITY SUPPORT OPPORTUNITIES

Everyone Eats! is a program which will distribute meals from Brattleboro restaurants to anyone in need who lives in Brattleboro, Dummerston, Guilford, Putney, or Vernon, free of charge, for four weeks beginning on August 3rd. There will be 600+ meals/day available Monday through Thursday to serve our community during the COVID-19 pandemic.
We need volunteers to help distribute the meals at two sites; the C.F. Church Building at 80 Flat St in Brattleboro and at Mama Sezz in West Brattleboro, Monday-Thursday between 4pm and 6pm. Please send out this volunteer sign-up form to anyone who may be interested! If you have any questions visit https://www.brattleboro.com/everyoneeats/ or contact Frances Huntley frances@brattleboro.com.

Loaves & Fishes & Groundworks needs help delivering meals during these times. The task involves stopping at Loaves & Fishes (193 Main St, Brattleboro, VT, 05301)) to pick up pre-packaged meals and dropping them off at a hotel and at Foodworks/Groundworks (Canal Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 
This volunteer gig is Tuesday and Friday for about 1 hour from about 11am-12pm. If you have questions please call Ruth Tilghman at 802-258-1765.  

 

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From WeCAN Founding Member and Administrator, Ann Braden:
On July 4th Dan (Ann’s partner) suffered an inter-cerebral hemorrhage, the origins of which are still unknown. Luckily the MRI showed no tumor and he is largely his same self. It will be another 3-6 months before the blood is reabsorbed and they can find out in more detail what happened and how to treat it. For now it's all about pain management and rest.
From a Braden family friend, Katie Traeger:
Take-out meals and groceries would be greatly appreciated for the family. I'm thinking postcards would also be awesome as well, seeing as Ann is the Love Brigade postcard queen! Shower them with love and healing! You are welcome to send them grocery or restaurant gift cards from the list compiled here. All the info can be found below:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1jI-7I1UiV9QtHUxh9ciuQHkOd4A9reoOiDPtkx9Oon8/edit?usp=sharing

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Out in the Open Rural QTBIPOC/LGBTQIA+ Mutual Aid Fund
The Mutual Aid Fund is offering requests up to $400 and support for: Groceries, supplies, housing support, medical support, and other thriving and survival needs.
Queer Joy= Mutual Aid
Mutual Aid= Voluntary, reciprocal, participatory support among equals and being with, not for, community members.
Pride= Resistance
We are here for our community, our community is here for each other.
Ask: request funds for support weareoutintheopen.org/mutualaid
Offer: to donate, weareoutintheopen.org/donate
The Mutual Aid Fund will distribute money to LGBTQ+ folks, prioritizing QTBIPOC folks requesting funds. Priority will also be given to folks in Southern Vermont, southwestern New Hampshire, and then elsewhere in Vermont and New England, where funds of this type are critically needed. Additional priority will be given to those who live at the intersections of systematically oppressed experiences & identities.
To request funds and for more information: weareoutintheopen.org/mutualaid!
To donate, visit: weareoutintheopen.org/donate
"We Need Each Other" image credit to @itsmonicatrinidad

 

LGTBQIA+ Resources via Out in the Open

Out in the Open is offering a lot of resources & virtual spaces for rural LGBTQ folks in this time, friends. The full list and calendar is on our website hereWe have a Community Care Offers & Asks list, and a list of Rural New England Mutual Aid opportunities, with specific resource links for LGBTQ and QTPOC folks. Out in the Open also has a Slack channel for rural LGBTQ folks to share resources and connect outside of social media. Email info@weareoutintheopen.org for more information.

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Are You Sewing Masks? We have patterns and more information here: https://www.wecantogether.net/masks

Masks Needed for Local Schools by August
needed In Brattleboro, Dummerston, Guilford, Putney, Vernon 
Can you sew masks for this need? 
Can you donate cotton fabric or ⅛-¼ in. elastic? 
Can you cut out masks if given material and a pattern? 
Can you donate bandanas? 
Cloth masks will be needed for students and teachers and school staff and bus drivers for the reopening of school (in late August).Hundreds of masks are needed in all sizes, from kindergarten through adult sized. 
If you are capable of sewing masks, here are some samples of mask patterns: 
Rectangular pleated mask, adult and child sizes https://www.deaconess.com/How-to-make-a-Face-Mask/Documents-Mask/Mask-Information 
Contour face mask, several sizes https://drive.google.com/file/d/1O3IvcoVqyYqSTekwzLlnLI0t0GxSm-zA/view 
Keep in mind, please: 
1) Child size masks should have elastic loops, no ties (choking hazard). 
2) All masks should be made of at least 2 layers of fabric. 
3) Masks can be dropped off in marked bins Mon-Fri at any of these locations, and will be distributed to students and staff in the school district: 
Brattleboro: Windham Southeast Supervisory Office, 53 Green Street or Oak Grove School, 15 Moreland Ave 
Dummerston School, 52 Schoolhouse Rd 
Guilford Central School, 374 School Rd 
Putney Central School, 182 Westminster Rd 
Vernon Elementary School, 381 Governor Hunt Rd 
Please email Nurse Julia Duke (Green Street School) with questions: jduke@wsesdvt.org or contact Judy Siler if you'd like ready-made kits for sewing or if you need elastic: 802-275-2627jsilervt@yahoo.com.
Please share this information widely! Thank you! 

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Online Religious Services

All Souls U.U. Sunday Services
Sunday Mornings at 10am. 
To get the current information on an upcoming service or vespers check the All Souls web page at www.ascvt.org.

 

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Vermont Nonviolent Medicaid Army
Sponsored by Vermont Workers’ Center
Our mission is to serve our communities by ensuring everyone gets the health care and services we need, through this crisis and beyond.
Medicaid, also known as Green Mountain Care, is a lifeline in uncertain times for poor and working-class people in Vermont. But with the growing fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, our Medicaid system and our rural hospitals and clinics are facing new threats.
Join us to defend and expand Medicaid to everyone, keep our rural hospitals open, and win a livable wage for all home and health care workers in Vermont. 
You don’t have to be on Medicaid to join - all we ask is a firm commitment to securing the well-being of everyone in our communities.
For more information or to join go to https://www.facebook.com/groups/NVMAVT/about/ or contact windham@workerscenter.org
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COVID 19 RESOURCES: VERMONT

Statewide Mutual Aid
organized by Brenda for Vermont
Localized Mutual Aid has been organized in Brattleboro and Putney and hyper local neighborhoods in Marlboro.  If your community does not have mutual aid or you can't find it, please sign up to volunteer or if you are in need of help.  All of us will likely be on the side of being able to help and needing help at times.  Please don't hesitate to ask for help.
Sign up here if you would like to help your neighbors or are in need of help:https://www.brendaforvermont.com/cms/help-your-neighbor/
The links below will take you directly to the mutual aid forms. 
To Volunteer: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfkRnbDKtNX_SacVaHWPyIAnsSXDGLsDMZE8vys25nzTgUo5A/viewform
If You Need Help: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfw7gg12KNq6n4s7SDUxf1ghMx-0MD3S0RCWQtxqmPTJQI8QA/viewform

 

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A Message to Vermonters from Senator Bernie Sanders

As a member of the United States Senate, I want to make sure that the citizens of Vermont receive all of the federal benefits and help to which they are entitled. Although I cannot guarantee a particular outcome, I want you to know that my staff and I will do our best to respond to your concerns.
To contact Senator Sanders with a question, concern or comment please use this link: https://www.sanders.senate.gov/services/casework/.
If you want to contact me about your views and concerns regarding legislation and other issues important to you please use the COMMENTS FORM
If this is an emergency, please call: 802-862-0697 (Out-of-State 800-339-9834).
Note: We are currently experiencing a high volume of inquiries. As we do our utmost to assist vulnerable Vermonters, please only complete the form above if you are requesting assistance. Go to General Comments to leave comments and opinions.

 

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Social Justice Resources

ROOT SOCIAL JUSTICE CENTER MUTUAL AID & SUPPORTIVE NETWORK
The Root Social Justice Center is collecting a list of contacts and resources to help support and assist with the needs of their Root community members. Join if you are in need or are able to help.

 

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FREE HEALTHY AND NUTRITIOUS FOOD IN WINDHAM COUNTY

Brigid’s Kitchen, St. Michael’s Church, 47 Walnut Street, Brattleboro 802-254-6800 or 802-558-6072 
Grab-and-go lunches and fruit/nuts on Mon, Weds, Thus, and Sat, 11:30am-12:20pm.
Loaves and Fishes, Centre Congregational Church 193 Main Street, Brattleboro (802) 254-4730
Grab-and-go lunches on Tuesdays and Fridays at 12pm.
VT Foodbank and Veggie Van Go will be at Brattleboro Union High School (Fairground Ave, Brattleboro, VT, 05301), in the parking lot, on the 1st and 3rd Monday of the month, from 10am-2pm. Drive up, touchless pickup. Walkers welcome, too. Call VT 211 for more information. 
Foodworks, the food shelf program of the Groundworks Collaborative https://groundworksvt.org (802) 490-2412, ccolascione@GroundworksVT.org 
Households in need of food are asked to call or email to coordinate delivery. There is an urgent need for volunteers, and Foodworks has set up protocols to keep staff, volunteers, and clients as safe as possible. Please email us at volunteer@GroundworksVT.org if you are able to help.
Guilford Food Pantry 
Every Thursday at the BBCC (3940 Guilford Center Road, Guilford, VT, 05301). 5pm-6pm.
We know that supplemental food can make such a big difference in one's budget. That is why we are stocking our shelves for our neighbors. All are welcome to come and take home fresh produce, staples, meat, dairy. Guilford Cares welcomes anyone in need of supplemental food for themselves or their families.

 

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NEW: “Everyone Eats!” Food Relief Program Information
If you have questions, contact Frances Huntley at frances@brattleboro.com
What is this? Everyone Eats!, a food relief pilot program in Brattleboro, leverages federal relief funds to engage local restaurants in making to-go meals for anyone in Brattleboro, Guilford, Vernon, Dummerston, or Putney whose food security has been challenged by the COVID-19 crisis due to unemployment, underemployment, homelessness, and other financial challenges.with eight Brattleboro restaurants providing 150 meals per day, Monday through Thursday, from August 3rd-27th, 2020.
When? Monday – Thursday 4pm-6pm for 4 weeks beginning August 3rd.
Where?  Individuals/households will be able to pick up meals in the parking lot of the Church Building on Flat Street on a first-come-first-served basis. Organizations will be able to pick up pre-ordered meals at Mama Sezz in West Brattleboro.
Who is eligible? Anyone whose food security has been challenged by the COVID-19 crisis due to unemployment, underemployment, homelessness, and other challenges to well-being who would get relief from receiving meals may participate.

For Individuals
When and where can I receive meals? Meal distribution for individuals is first-come-first-served. Pickup is from 4-6pm on weekdays Monday through Thursday in downtown Brattleboro (location TBA).
When does the four-week period begin? The first pick-up day will be Monday, August 3rd.
Is it free? All who would benefit from a meal are welcome to participate.
Can I give something back to help the program? There is no obligation to pay it back or forward. If what you have to offer in return is your thanks, that’s enough. But if you can share veggies from your garden, there will be a drop-off location on site for bagged or boxed contributions; as much as possible will be used in future meals. And if you would like to make a monetary contribution to help make more meals possible for others, it will be gratefully received. The base cost of each meal is $10 but any amount will be appreciated. Touch-free options for donation include Venmo, Paypal, mailing a check, or providing a donation at the time of pickup.
What will I receive? You will receive one individually packaged cold ready-to-eat or heat & serve dinner for each person you request a meal for.
Do you have vegetarian or vegan/GF options? Yes, you will request your meal choice at the time of pickup.
Is there a limit to how many meals I can get? You can request one meal per person per day for each person in your household. Please note that there is a limit to how many meals will be produced each day. We hope to serve everyone who makes a request but we cannot guarantee it. Meals will be first-come-first-served.
Can I pick up meals for another household? Yes, you can pick up meals for up to three households including your own.
Will my meals be hot or cold? Meals will be distributed cold, so if you are driving a distance, delivering to other households, or distributing through your organization, consider bringing a cooler if you can.
Who can I contact with questions? Contact Frances Huntley at frances@brattleboro.com.

For Organizations
As a representative of an organization, can I request meals on behalf of my clients? Yes. We invite organizations to do bulk pickups for distribution to those they serve.
Is there a limit to how many meals I can pick up? No, but you will need to reserve meals in advance each week using this form.
What will I receive? You will receive individually packaged COLD ready-to-eat or heat & serve dinners for each person you are willing to distribute a meal to.
What options are available? You will choose how many of each type of meal (omnivore, vegetarian, vegan/GF) and which days you will pick up meals for distribution.
Who will be making the food? These meals are being made by independently-owned local restaurants.
Will I need to pick up our meals, or will you deliver to my location? You will need to pick up your requested meals and distribute them to your clients. We cannot deliver them to you.
When and where do I pick up my meals? Pickup for organizations is from 4pm-6pm on weekdays Monday through Thursday in West Brattleboro at Mama Sezz, 127 Marlboro Rd.
How do I request meals for bulk pickup? Organizations must submit their request forms two weeks before the first distribution week and one week before the second, third, and fourth distribution weeks. To get more information about participating and request a form for the first week, contact Frances Huntley at frances@brattleboro.com.
Will I receive a confirmation? After your meal request form is received, you will receive an automated email via Google Forms.
When do you need my form by? Meal request forms must be submitted by the Thursday prior to the week they are for (except for the first week, which must be submitted two weeks prior). You will need to submit a new form each week. If you have already received meals in a prior week, you will receive an email reminder for later weeks.

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Vermont WIC is Responding to Covid 19
We are moving to phone appointments to align with social distancing efforts. If you have opted in to email and text notifications, you will receive important program updates, including information about local office hours and changes in operations. Our website will be kept up-to-date as well. Contact your local office with any questions about breastfeeding, nutrition or shopping. Call 1-800-649-4357 or email WIC@Vermont.gov with any questions about WIC nutrition services and enrollment.

P-EBT (Pandemic EBT) is Available in VT
Many families in Vermont were notified that they would be receiving a food benefit called Pandemic EBT (or P-EBT). P-EBT is loaded on a card and can be used to purchase the groceries at many grocers and farmers markets. If you have school-aged kids, contact your school district to apply for free school meals. If approved, you'll automatically receive P-EBT. 
If you’ve already received P-EBT and also participate in WIC, use your WIC benefits first, as WIC benefits do not rollover month-to-month. dcf.vermont.gov/press-releases/P-EBT

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COVID 19 GENERAL VERMONT INFORMATION

Weekly Summery of Vermont Covid19 Data

NEW: Weekly Summary of Vermont COVID-19 Data is a new feature, where you can see a deeper level of demographic and other detail. You can find out more about testing trends, outbreaks, pre-existing conditions and prevalence of symptoms.

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Information for Those Traveling to Vermont: https://www.healthvermont.gov/response/coronavirus-covid-19/traveling-vermont

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The Path to Restart Vermont

Just a reminder: Covid 19 is still very much prevalent and is not gone, despite the feeling you may get as VT and other states reopen. Please continue to wear masks and gloves when out in public, wash your hands whenever available, bring and use hand sanitizer often if hand washing isn't available, clean commonly used areas like door knobs and counter tops often, and stand at least 6 feet apart, even outdoors. 

Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development Covid 19 Recover Resource Center: https://accd.vermont.gov/covid-19

Schools, Childcare, and Summer Camps: https://www.healthvermont.gov/response/coronavirus-covid-19/schools-and-child-care-programs

NEW THIS WEEK:

Covid 19 Recovery Resource Center: 
https://accd.vermont.gov/covid-19 and https://www.healthvermont.gov/response/coronavirus-covid-19

For more information on:

  • COVID-19 health information, guidance and case data, visit www.healthvermont.gov/covid19.
  • The Governor’s actions, visit governor.vermont.gov/covid19response.
  • The state’s modeling, visit dfr.vermont.gov/about-us/covid-19/modeling.

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Testing

Testing at Popup Locations information can be found HERE

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New on Healthvermont.gov: Race and Ethnicity Data

The Health Department is now including data about race and ethnicity on its data dashboard at healthvermont.gov/covid19. We recognized the need to include this information to help us understand how Vermonters were being affected by COVID-19, but in our earlier efforts to respond to the pandemic, race and ethnicity data was not always collected for each patient. Health equity exists when all people have a fair and just opportunity to be healthy – especially those who have experienced socioeconomic disadvantage, historical injustice, and other systemic inequalities. Therefore, our epidemiology team collaborated with Vermont Information Technology Leaders (VITL) to cross-reference medical records to gain more robust race information about COVID-19 cases in Vermont. At the end of March, race was unknown in 73% of cases, but through our joint work, we have brought that number down to just 8%. We have been able to partner with VITL through a state directive issued in response to the State of Emergency. We can use this data to help to prevent the spread of illness, improve care for patients, and present a more complete picture of how COVID-19 may be affecting everyone in Vermont. The Vermont State Health Assessment reports on what we know about the health status of Vermonters. Updated every five years, most recently in 2018, the assessment provides vital data for examining health inequities by race and ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation, disability, socioeconomic status, and geography. See the report and learn more at healthvermont.gov/sha.

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Cloth Face Coverings

The Health Department recommends that all Vermonters wear cloth face coverings when outside of the home, since COVID-19 can spread before a person has any symptoms. Facial coverings are encouraged for essential workers in stores and their customers. While there is no State-wide mandate, many towns have enacted their own legislations. Please be aware of the local laws when traveling around Vermont and always wear a mask in public spaces. 

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Volunteering

We still need your help! Please sign up to support the state’s COVID-19 response: https://vermont.gov/volunteer. 

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Guidance for Vermonters

Who to contact:

• If you have questions: Use the Ask A Question tool on healthvermont.gov and review the FAQs.

• For non-health related questions, dial 2-1-1. If you have trouble reaching 2-1-1, dial 1-866-652-4636.

• If you are sick: Stay home and contact your health care provider online or by phone. Do not go to the hospital, except in a life-threatening situation.

Call the Health Department at 802-863-7240. We’re ready to respond to COVID-19 health-related questions. Calls are answered 8am - 6pm, seven days a week. Outside those hours, leave a message and your call will be returned.

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VT Health Dashboards

VT Health: https://vcgi.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/6128a0bc9ae14e98a686b635001ef7a7

VT Open Geodata Portal: https://geodata.vermont.gov/search?q=covid

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Are You an Uninsured Vermonter?

Due to the COVID-19 emergency, Vermont Health Connect has opened a Special Enrollment Period. During this time, any uninsured Vermonter can sign up for a Qualified Health Plan through Vermont Health Connect. Qualified families can also get financial help paying for coverage.. Please call us at 1-855-899-9600 to learn more.

NOTE: The Vermont Health Connect portal will be down for required system upgrades between Friday, July 10th at 5pm and Tuesday, July 21st at 9am. During this scheduled downtime customers will not have access to the online portal and will be unable to enroll or make changes to their account online or over the phone. If you need to enroll or make a change to your account, please do so before the downtime begins on July 10. Thank you for your patience and understanding. 

Getting Started

  1. Learn about health insurance basics.
  2. Try our Plan Comparison Tool to find out if you qualify for financial help, and to see estimates of the total cost of each plan choice. Most Vermonters can either get free or low cost coverage through Medicaid or Dr. Dynasaur, or get help to lower their monthly premium and out-of-pocket costs. 
  3. Ready to apply? Set up an online account with Vermont Health Connect and fill out your application there, or call us at 1-855-899-9600 and speak to a customer support representative. If you'd like to talk through health insurance terms or the application process in person, you can meet with a trained, certified in-person Assister near you

 

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RESOURCES FROM THE VT DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH

For daily Department of Health updates please use this link: https://www.healthvermont.gov/response/infectious-disease/2019-novel-coronavirus

 

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VERMONT ESSENTIAL PERSONS INFORMATION 

Vermont Emergency Management Has Issued This Essential Persons List for Covid-19 Response
It includes staff and providers of childcare and education services, healthcare providers, public health employees, firefighters, first responders, pharmacy staff, grocery workers, and many more. The full list is here: https://vem.vermont.gov/sites/demhs/files/Essential%20Persons_03182020.pdf

 

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WSESU Essential Worker Request for Childcare
According to the state, "Essential Workers" will now be able to get childcare from the public school system. If you are classified as an Essential Worker and have no other adult available to provide childcare while you are at your job, you should complete this form. Once your form is submitted, you will be contacted by school personnel with more information.  
If you have questions, please contact the school counselor where your student is enrolled.

 

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NEIGHBORLY ASSISTANCE PRECAUTION RECOMMENDATIONS

While Vermonters are staying home or choosing activities that maintain social distancing as much as possible to slow the spread of COVID-19, some are stepping up to ensure their neighbors have what they need. This type of community support is crucial, but we need to make sure our helpers and volunteers are still using social distancing practices to protect our most vulnerable Vermonters.
Any volunteers bringing items to those who need to stay home should:

  • Keep a distance of six feet away.
  • Avoid entering the recipient’s home.
  • Wash your hands regularly, avoid touching your face and cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • If you feel sick or learn that you have had contact with someone who is sick, stop doing community support work immediately.
  • Keep a list of anyone you come into close contact with in case contact tracing is required.
  • Wear clean gloves when handling items that may be given to people with a weaker immune system, and when you are close to someone who may be sick.

Common sense practices can go a long way while Vermonters take care of each other.
Want to help? Consider signing up for the Medical Reserve Corps. Volunteers can be deployed locally in the event of an emergency, support first aid stations at community events, educate the public on preparedness, and assist in promoting various health and wellness activities. You can also reach out to local community groups/organizers like rotary and lion clubs, soup kitchens and check out your neighborhood Front Porch Forum group.
Resources

Fact Sheets: Coronavirus and Emerging Infectious Disease Outbreaks from The Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress (Vermont Department of Mental Health)
Managing Anxiety and Stress
(CDC)
Slide Presentation on Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Useful Posters

Social Distancing (smaller version)
Social Distancing
(larger version)
Keep Germs from Spreading
Proper Handwashing

 

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RESOURCES FOR EMPLOYEES AND EMPLOYERS

Department of Labor FAQs for Employers and Employees
https://labor.vermont.gov/covid19/covid-19-frequently-asked-questions
Specific Guidance for Employees:
https://labor.vermont.gov/covid19/employees
Employee Assistance (Unemployment Claims):  1-877-214-3332.
Specific guidance for Employers:
https://labor.vermont.gov/covid19/employers
Employer Assistance (Unemployment Claims):  1-877-214-3331.
Vermont’s unemployment rules have been relaxed to be able to help folks. Their phone lines are swamped, so here is a link where you can start the process of applying for Vermont Unemployment Insurance. https://appengine.egov.com/apps/vt/dol/unemploymentinsuranceclaim

 

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MENTAL HEALTH ASSISTANCE

Vermont Support Line from Pathways Vermont (833) 888-2557
The Vermont Support line is a free, anonymous resource for all Vermonters who are looking for someone to talk to. The Support Line is staffed by individuals who acknowledge that they have experienced a broad range of struggles of their own and are willing to be open about them.

 

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National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Covid 19 Information and Resources can be found here:
COVID-19-and-Mental-Illness-NAMI-Releases-Importan/COVID-19-Updated-Guide-1.pdf?lang=en-US
.

 

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IF YOU OR A FAMILY MEMBER IS ILL

  • Stay home. Many people who are mildly ill can manage their symptoms at home with rest, drinking fluids and taking fever-reducing medicine (Tylenol), when needed. Not everyone needs to be tested for COVID-19.
  • Call your doctor and ask to be seen for an evaluation. Do not go to the doctor's office unless instructed to do so. Anyone who does not have a health care provider can call 2-1-1 to be connected to a clinic in their area.
  • Do not go to or visit any hospitals or long-term care facilities unless absolutely necessary. This is to protect everyone’s health, including patients and staff.
  • Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home. As much as possible, you should stay in a specific room and away from other people and animals in your home. Also, you should use a separate bathroom, if available. Avoid sharing personal household items.
  • Wear a facemask if you are sick around other people and pets.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with your sleeve or a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean all “high-touch” surfaces every day. These include counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables.

Resources

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RESOURCE FOR WeCAN

Rapid Response Text Alert System

When WeCAN began, Song & Solidarity set up a Rapid Response Text Alert System for WeCAN Groups. Directions for signing up are on WeCAN's website, here: https://www.wecantogether.net/rapid_response. We are grateful to Song and Solidarity for providing this service.

  

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ONGOING EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMMING 

Indigo Radio
Sundays at 12pm on Brattleboro Community Radio 107.7FM. To stream live, visit: www.wvew.org 
Indigo Radio, deepening understanding and making connections! IndigoRadio is a group of area educators seeking to learn through engaging with others in our community and throughout the world. We will be talking about educational and social issues both globally and locally and connecting them to our lives and Brattleboro community. Find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/indigoradiowvew/. For archive recordings of past shows: https://soundcloud.com/user-654648353

 

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    We hope to see your smiling faces again soon, friends, but until then....wear a mask, keep 6 feet away from your neighbor, be aware of your surroundings, and don't forget to lead with kindness. 



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Joanna and Sam