Weekly Email Update 9.7.2020

Weekly Email Update 9.7.2020

"(In reference to Covid 19) All of the essential workers I've been listening to in the past six months have said to me that they are holding inside themselves an equal amount of sadness and hope, and it's really hard to hold both. Because of the amount of death and infection that they've had to witness, either at the hands of police or because of the lack of personal protective equipment in their workplaces, there's a lot of grief that people are holding. But there's a lot of hope — because young people are in the streets, demanding change, and working people have either been in the streets or walking off their job, demanding change."
Mary Kay Henry
president of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU)

     Can you believe it’s already Labor Day Weekend, WeCAN Friends? This year seems to have simultaneously flown by and dragged…but here we are, in early September, once again celebrating the workers that keep this country running. We have seen this year, more than ever before, that “essential” workers are, in fact, essential to our daily lives, our health, and our wellness. We appreciate all the work they've done to keep us safe and healthy, despite the pushback they continually receive from all sides, and we stand in solidarity in their fight for PPE, a living wage, and the right to unionize.
     Labor Day is a day meant to celebrate all workers with time off, but, alas, "all" is rarely the case in a capitalistic patriarchy. In a 2019 survey of more than 100 human resources and employee relations professionals, it was revealed that 15% of employers are making their security or public-safety personnel and technical employees report to work on Labor Day. In addition, 13% of the employers surveyed will have professional employees working Labor Day, 11% will have managers or supervisors on the clock, and 10% will have service and maintenance, sales, and customer service personnel report to work. The research found that 80% of businesses with at least 1,000 employees will require at least some of them to work on Labor Day, compared to just 29% of small businesses. The study also found that 56% of non-business organizations, such as hospitals and government agencies, will have some employees working on Labor Day, compared with only 35% of non-manufacturers and 30% of manufacturers.
     In its origins, Labor Day was signed into law by President Grover Cleveland as a means to placate sympathizers who disapproved of his inaction during the Pullman workers' strike and to pacify worker parades and uprisings all over the country. The employees of the Pullman Palace Car Company (who made luxury rail cars) were demanding better wages and time off commiserate with the work they were doing and decided to strike; they were subsequently joined by the members of American Railway Union in 1894 (which disrupted mail, for example, in entire regions of the USA). In total, 125k workers across 29 railroad companies quit their jobs rather than break the Pullman Boycott, which was met with soldiers and violence from the Federal Government. 13 people were killed and 53 seriously wounded during the riots, and the violence between troops and strikers led to $80 million in damages across Chicago. Cleveland’s decision to declare Labor Day as a holiday for workers was likely a move meant to please his constituents after his poor handling of the strike and was less about giving workers what they demanded. 
     Even in the supposed equality of the 21st century, we are starkly reminded that labor laws in this country were written to exclude many essential workers, especially those who were not white males. The National Labor Relations Act (NRLA) of 1935, for instance, explicitly excluded agricultural and domestic workers from creating unions and was a way for southern Congressmen to exclude Black employees from the New Deal in order to preserve a plantation-style agricultural system that still permeated the Jim Crow South. The language was repeated in the Labor Standards Act of 1938 and the Social Security Act of 1935. It wasn't until recently that states like CA and governors like Gavin Newsom have had enough gumption to override the NRLA with executive orders and allow family care professionals to unionize after a 17 year legal battle.
     The future, though, is wide open for unions to take back labor rights and bargaining status, experts say. Because unions excluded Black, Brown, Indigenous, and those identifying as Womxn for so long, the strength and bargaining position of unions has been historically weak in proportion to population. Even now, it is estimated that only 10.5% of Americans are union members. When counting people in the private sector only, that number dips to 6.4%. When you compare it to the membership high of 33% in the 1950s, we can see how the only way to improve union strength is to include more of the working population in legislative language, not exclude them. 
     During Covid 19, we have also seen the power of unions in real time: the NBA Players Union striking in solidarity with Black Lives Matter and Amazon workers are walking off the job to demand hazard pay, as well as nursing home workers striking in order to win rights to create their union at a time where their work is vital; we are seeing a tired, working America that has had enough of being excluded by those in control and is furiously fighting back in order to be treated with dignity and respect. 
     To learn how to support your local unions in rebuilding America, check out the AFL-CIO Labor Day Live event with Presidential Candidate Vice President Joe Biden on Monday, September 7th, 2020 at 4:15pm. You can find more information and RSVP here: https://actionnetwork.org/forms/labordaylive/.

Resources: https://vt.aflcio.org; https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2020/09/10007185/labor-day-history-unions-2020; https://www.thoughtco.com/the-pullman-strike-of-1894-1773900; https://www.unionplus.org/page/labor-day-history; https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/8354-working-labor-day.html

 

HAPPENING TODAY, SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 6TH, 2020

Share the Harvest Stand
brought to you by Edible Brattleboro
Sunday, September 6th, 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. Please wear a mask. 
Pick up FREE fresh veggies and/or drop off surplus from your garden to share. Please supply your own bags.  

 

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Meet Michelle in Putney
hosted by Michelle Bos-Lun for State Representative
Sunday, September 6th, 2020 at the Putney Coop (8 Carol Brown Way, Putney, VT). 11:30am-12:30pm.
Stop by for a chance to talk with Michelle, who is one of the two Democratic nominees running to represent the Windham 4 district in the VT State House.
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HAPPENING THIS WEEK, MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 7th, 2020-SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 13th, 2020

Everyone Eats! EXTENDED THROUGH DECEMBER 11th, 2020!!
Monday, September 7th, 2020-Thursday, September 10th, 2020 at the C.F Building (80 Flat Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 4pm-6pm. Masks required. PLEASE DO NOT ARRIVE EARLY. You can pick up meals for up to three households including your own. If you have any questions visit https://www.brattleboro.com/everyoneeats/ or contact Frances Huntley frances@brattleboro.com. Organizational ordering information is listed under our Free and Nutritious Food in Windham County section further along in this email. 
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, through December 11th. There will be 850+ meals/day available Monday through Thursday to serve our community during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Pick up for individuals will be at the C.F. Church Building at 80 Flat St in Brattleboro and group/institution orders can be picked up at Mama Sezz in West Brattleboro. All meals are available Monday-Thursday between 4pm and 6pm until supplies run out.
If you have extra produce from your garden, there will be a wheelbarrow you can drop it off in on your way out of the pickup site. Participating restaurants will use the donated produce in making more meals.
The meals are free, but 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.
Which restaurants are contributing food? A Vermont Table, Dosa Kitchen, Duo, Hazel, Indian Masala, MamaSezz, Porch Too, The Works, and Yalla. Each restaurant will contribute meals two or more days a week. You will receive one individually packaged cold ready-to-eat or heat & serve dinner for each person you request a meal for. 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.

Everyone Eats! Info From Putney Mutual Aid
Have you taken advantage of Everyone Eats? Here's how Putney folks can participate:
1. CURBSIDE PICKUP IN PUTNEY!!! We will be distributing meals in Putney for curbside pickup on Monday evening. Pick up at the Putney Community Center from 5-5:45. First come, first served. No need for advance reservations. (Be sure to drive up in your car and wait for instructions. We will bring the food to you.)
2. DELIVERY IN PUTNEY!!! Putney Mutual Aid volunteers can deliver a meal to you on Monday evenings -- PM us, comment here or email PutneyVTMutualAid@gmail.com to make arrangements
3. CURBSIDE PICKUP IN BRATT!! You can journey into Brattleboro (Mon-Thurs, 4-6) to pick up a meal. The program runs through mid-December. (more info in the link below).
4. VOLUNTEER!!! If you are interested in helping with delivery of meals as a volunteer with Putney Mutual Aid, contact us! Comment below, PM or PutneyVTMutualAid@gmail.com.
Just a reminder... this program is meant to be an economic stimulus as well as an innovative way to address food security. Please feel free to participate and grab a meal! It helps our local restaurants and gives us all delicious food. Putney Food Shelf https://www.brattleboro.com/everyoneeats/.

 

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Labor Day 2020 with Rights and Democracy NH/VT and the Vermont State Labor Council AFL-CIO
Monday, September 7th, 2020, Online. 7pm-8:30pm.
To register: secure.everyaction.com/ONVwjC8fd0CEZgHfMKQHEQ2
Rights & Democracy invites you to our special virtual Labor Day 2020 celebration focused on building a movement for a just transition to an equitable future!
Five years ago when we launched RAD to win the bold change our communities need, we couldn’t imagine just how important it would become to have a people-powered vehicle to fight for our rights and democracy. In this landmark year, we’ve been pushed to the limits and are coming into this election year with more endorsed candidates than ever before in both Vermont and New Hampshire. 
We’re more energized and organized than ever before as we head into one of the most critical elections of our lifetime. Join us on Monday, September 7th at 7:00pm, alongside some powerhouse speakers to hear about how we’re working towards a truly just and equitable future and what it’s going to take to bring real change to our communities.
You’ll be hearing from...
* Senator Bernie Sanders
* Sara Nelson, International President of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, AFL-CIO
* David Zuckerman, Vermont Candidate for Governor
* Andru Volinsky, New Hampshire Candidate for Governor
* Alison Nihart, Rights & Democracy, Board Co-Chair
* Asma Elhuni, Rights & Democracy
* James Haslam, Rights & Democracy
* Janice Kelble, American Postal Workers Union, Legislative Dir. NHPWU
* Omar Fernandez, Tour 1 Expeditor, Postal Worker, President American Postal Workers Union (APWU) of Vermont and VT AFL-CIO VP for Postal Workers
* Gwendlyn DeYoung-Reynolds, Unemployed Action
* Liz Medina, UAW Member and Acting Director of the Vermont AFL-CIO
* Carlos Cardona, NH Candidate for State Representative
* Jubilee McGill, parent, VT State Rep candidate and RAD member
* Natasha Eckart-Banning, public school teacher and VT NEA member
* Don Tinney, Vermont NEA president
* Megan Tuttle, New Hampshire NEA President
* Myra Flynn, Singer/Songwriter and activist
Register today through the ticket link! 
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Marlboro Community Food Share
hosted by the Marlboro Community Center
Thursday, September 10th, 2020, and every Thursday, at the Marlboro Community Center (524 South Road, Marlboro, VT, 05344). 4:30pm-5:30pm.
Every Thursday from 4:30pm-5:30pm the Marlboro Community Center invites you to fill a grocery bag with non-perishables and fresh local produce. No registration or eligibility required. This weekly opportunity is available for anyone who could use an extra bag of groceries or knows someone who does.
Food will be set up in the entry-way to the Marlboro Community Center. For proper social distancing, please enter one person at a time. Bring a grocery bag or use ours. Masks are required. Deliveries will be made through Marlboro Cares for those needing assistance. Please call Marlboro Cares at 258-3030 in advance to arrange a delivery.
To donate food:
Leave non-perishable food in the donation box at the Marlboro Post Office. It will be collected on a weekly-basis. (Please note that this box previously supplied the Deerfield Valley Food Pantry, which is now distributing food exclusively from VT Food Pantry) 
Gardeners and farmers are welcome to donate produce. Wear masks and wash hands when harvesting and handling food. Fresh produce can be dropped off at the Community Center on Thursday between 1pm and 4pm. (Any leftover produce will be taken to FoodWorks the following morning)

 

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Guilford Cares Food Pantry
Thursday, September 10th, 2020 (and every Thursday) at Broad Brook Community Center (3490 Guilford Center Road, Guilford, VT, 05301). 5pm-6pm.  If you have questions, concerns or would like to donate groceries or monetary gifts please contact Pat Haine 802-257-0626. For additional questions or more information call 802 579 1350 or email guilfordcaresvt@gmail.com.
The Guilford Cares Food Pantry will continue to operate during the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure food security for all our citizens and vulnerable populations. They are well stocked with the staples you need for your family and are following viral guidelines to limit risk.
They ask that shoppers to remain in their car. A volunteer will greet you and give you a "shopping list" for you to  mark with the items you would like. Another volunteer will fill your bag  and bring it to porch where you will be asked to pick it up. Please  bring a bag for the items and a pen to fill out the shopping list. If you have questions, concerns or would like to donate groceries or monetary gifts please contact Pat Haine 257-0626
If you cannot come to the Pantry due to illness or high risk, you can call also call Pat to arrange for food delivery by a volunteer.
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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Art for Social Change
sponsored by The Root Social Justice Center, River Gallery School and In-Sight Photography Project
Friday, September 11th, 2020 (and every Friday) at the River Gallery School (32 Main St #201, Brattleboro, VT 05301). 1pm-4pm. Masks are required. Drop-ins are welcome, come by and make some art on Fridays and help spread messages of transformation, unity and justice all over the town of Brattleboro. 6 person maximum in studiosFor more information: Jess Weitz, jess@rivergalleryschool.org.
River Gallery School is offering a free open art studio at 32 Main street on Fridays from 1-4pm for people to use printmaking, drawing, and painting to create art around issues of the pandemic,
social and racial justice, the 2020 election, and the climate crisis.
All materials available for free.
In addition, River Gallery School will have an art table at the
Solidarity Friday rallies in Pliny Park for art and sign making from 5pm-6:30pm.
Paste ups will be put up in town October 15 thru November 15, 2020.

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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, September 11th, 2020 (and all Fridays) at Pliny Park (the corner of High Street and Main Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 5pm-7pm. Masks are required. 
Weekly protest at Pliny Park focusing on a variety of current local and national issues. Bring your signs, banners, chalk & noise makers to Pliny Park and rally for the world we want.
(This week we will make signs in yellow and black to promote consistency and solidarity among our coalition).
This week, we make connections between the struggles of the people on a global scale. From the annexation of land and occupation of Palestine, to brutal weaponized tactics of Federal agents against Portland protesters, to the systemic racism rampant across the world, and to local efforts toward examining police brutality and safety in Brattleboro, in the diversity of our struggles we are all united!
Show Up! Participate! Discuss!
For the safety of ourselves and others, masks are REQUIRED at Pliny Park! We will have extra masks to pass out to those without one. Hand sanitizer will also be available.
This week, consider bringing a donation for Groundworks Collaborative! See their wishlist below!
-Deodorant
-Disposable Razors
-Umbrellas
-Mens belts
-Notebooks and pens
-Playing cards and classic board games like chess
-Benadryl
-Sunblock
-Bugspray

 

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UPCOMING EVENTS

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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Overdose Prevention and Narcan Training
hosted by Tapestry and Opioid Task Force
Wednesday, September 23rd, 2020, Online. 10am-11am. To join the zoom call please email maile@opioidtaskforce.org.
Please join Tapestry and the Opioid Task Force on Zoom for a free online overdose prevention and Narcan training.
Participants will learn how to recognize and respond to an opioid overdose as well as how to administer Narcan. All are welcome, please join us!

 

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March for Medicaid
Saturday, October 3rd, 2020 at Hospital Court in Bellows Falls, VT 12pm. For more information contact windham@workerscenter.org or (802) 257-4436.
On October 3rd the Vermont Workers’ Center is holding a March for Medicaid in Bellows Falls, part of a national week of action to build the Nonviolent Medicaid Army and the movement for the human right to healthcare, while connecting the dots among all the issues faced by poor and working class people: healthcare, housing, wages, debt, childcare, and more.
Meet at noon at Hospital Court, Bellows Falls. Masks are required and will be available for anyone who needs one. We will observe physical distancing and safety protocols. 
We’re marching for the 180k people--disproportionately poor and dispossessed people, unhoused people, essential workers, and  Black, Latinx, and Indigenous people--who have died from COVID19 at the hands of a government more committed to bailing out corporations than guaranteeing public health and safety.
We’re marching for the 700 people who were dying every day in this country from poverty before the pandemic, and for those who’ve lost loved ones to preventable illnesses because they couldn’t afford or access the healthcare they need.
And we’re marching to tell Governor Scott that it’s time to cut the state’s contract with OneCare Vermont, a private, for-profit company that’s received millions in Medicaid funding while doing nothing to address the rising cost of healthcare or threat of hospital and clinic closures in our communities.

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COMMUNITY SUPPORT OPPORTUNITIES

Racial Justice Lending Library: A Community Ask from Brattleboro Resident and Ally Johanna Dery
     This spring, I created a "little free library" and since the start of the George Floyd protests I have operated it as a "Racial Justice Lending Library." The books in the collection were donated by family and friends and neighbors who believe in anti-racist personal education. It is a free resource for community members to learn about systemic racism, which will inspire necessary conversations among us. After three months, the library has circulated 50 books into the community.
     The library is located on Pleasant St. in a tree stump that looks hobbit-friendly. Perhaps you have borrowed a book and read it, perhaps you have passed it on to a friend, or perhaps you borrowed one and have not been able to read it yet... That is OK! The books are meant to be in the community -- but I am writing today because after this initial collection of 50 books has gone out, the library has become sparse. Many books return only to immediately go out again; some have not yet made it back.
     I am writing with a request: If you purchased and read anti-racist literature in the wake of the uprising this summer, have finished with it and would consider donating it -- please contact me or simply leave your book(s) in the tree stump. I would like to continue this project, but I need your books!
     Here is a link to a google doc that lists all the books in circulation now, followed by the books suggested to me by local activists and scholars, and collected from anti-racist reading lists posted online.
     The books in BLACK are in circulation. The books I would like to add are in RED. Multiple copies of any book is OK!

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Yn1vYN3rnO1yDuX59vAMQtXTjeaqDSgS-dkK-UaWR4o/edit?usp=sharing

 

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From The Susu Healing Collective,  The Root Social Justice Center, Tenants Union of BrattleboroBrattleboro Solidarity, Lost River Racial Justice, 350 Brattleboro:
     Brattleboro Community! We are working towards a community that is free of white supremacy in all of its manifestations!
We are building a process which will review and examine the Brattleboro Police Department, Town support for non-profit organizations, social service agencies and other community resources, as well as identifying currently unmet community needs. This open process will invite in the wealth of knowledge and life experiences that our community holds about police, social services, racism, oppression, and alternatives to punishment and violence.
Facilitator and committee positions are currently open and we’re seeking community members to be part of this process!
For facilitators: please see this request for proposals [HERE], submissions due by September 8th [HERE].
For committee positions: please apply here https://www.mapsonline.net/brattleborovt/forms/standalone.html.php?id=175605855&sid=e475298c523c5d4937af628557794105, and for more information see the press release here: [PRESS RELEASE]. Note: Folks concerned about safety, folks don't need to provide their full addresses on these applications. Only the town where you live is mandatory.
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Do You Live in Brattleboro and Want to Help Address Community Safety Needs? (e.g. Police, emergency responses,etc)
Applications are due by Tuesday, September 8, 2020.

The Brattleboro, Selectboard is looking for you to join the all-new Community Safety Review committee.
About the project: https://www.brattleboro.org/…/Community_Safety_Review_Facil…
Fill out your application at: https://www.mapsonline.net/brattlebo…/…/standalone.html.php…
The Selectboard plans to appoint members of the Community Safety Review Committee at the Selectboard meeting on September 15, 2020.
In its selection of Committee members, the Selectboard will prioritize inclusion of Black, Indigenous and People of Color as well as other community members who are especially impacted: those who use drugs, psychiatrically labelled people, people with disabilities, domestic violence and sexual assault survivors, poor people, people who are experiencing or have experienced homelessness, LGBTQ+ folks, and more, while not excluding community members who may not identify as part of any traditionally marginalized populations.

 

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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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For MASK information, please see our permanent resource here: https://www.wecantogether.net/masks

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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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COVID 19 RESOURCES: VERMONT

Money for Past-Due Rent in Vermont During the COVID-19 Crisis
If you need help paying your rent and you have a very low income, call 211. Otherwise, contact your landlord and apply together for the Rental Housing Stabilization Program.
For help with past-due rent, Vermonters should apply for the Rental Housing Stabilization Program through the Vermont State Housing Authority (VSHA). VSHA is accepting applications from landlords and tenants, and paying landlords directly to bring the tenant’s rent account current.
The program pays up to the VSHA payment standards. If the landlord wants payment, the landlord must agree to waive rent amounts in excess of the payment standard for all the months paid for. 
When the landlord accepts the money they have to promise to: 

  • drop any eviction 
  • not start a new eviction for the same number of months (up to six months) in the future as the money pays for
  • not raise the rent before January 1, 2021, or the end of your lease term — whichever is later, and 
  • make sure the unit is up to code in 30 days.

Important: VSHA has to have applications from both the landlord and the tenant. You should talk to your landlord and agree on the amount you owe. Make sure that amount is on both applications. Apply for this rent help on the VSHA website. If you need help with your landlord, an eviction, or applying for the rent help, contact us at Vermont Legal Aid.

 

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.
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, Monday through Thursday, through December 11th, 2020.
When? Monday – Thursday 4pm-6pm
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).
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.
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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ADDITIONAL COVID 19 RESOURCES CAN BE FOUND AT THEIR PERMANENT HOME ON OUR WEBSITE, HERE: https://www.wecantogether.net/covid19_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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    Have a fantastic week, WeCANners, and thank you for your ongoing support! 


Your Friendly WeCAN Admins, 

Joanna and Sam