Weekly Update 09.02.19
“Employers and employees alike have learned that in union there is strength, that a coordination of individual effort means an elimination of waste, a bettering of living conditions, and is in fact, the father of prosperity.”
Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt (D-N.Y., 1929-1932), in address before the New York Women’s Trade Union League, 6/8/1929
We hope you are having a relaxing, safe, and stimulating holiday weekend, WeCAN friends. There are a number of new events this week, including one this morning (Sunday, 9.1.19) at 10:30am. Take a look at what's happening this week and make a plan to bring a friend along to a meeting or an event. We look forward to seeing you there, as always.
HAPPENING TODAY, SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 1st, 2019
Snack and Yak: Climate Emergency Declaration
sponsored by Brattleboro Common Sense
Sunday, September 1st, 2019 at 16 Washington Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301 at 10:30am. For more information please contact 802-490-9363, or email [email protected].
Brattleboro Common Sense is promoting a Climate Emergency Declaration endorsed by the TCM Coalition.
==== Agenda ====
10:30am: Explanation: Declaration background
10:40am: Explanation: meaning of the Declaration and current strategy
11:10am: Discussion: planning for approval of the Declaration by the Selectboard on September 17th, 2019.
11:50am: Discussion: ideas for campaign if the Selectboard fails to approve the Declaration
Text of the Declaration
1) Whereas this article, to be known as the Declaration of Climate Emergency, is in accordance with a resolution promoted by the Selectboard in 2003, and with resolutions on energy and climate change promoted by Brattleboro Common Sense through votes of the people in 2010, 2014, and of town representatives in 2018; and whereas the youth of Brattleboro are calling on today’s town leaders to formally acknowledge the truth of the emergency; and whereas the governments of two hundred million people have declared an emergency;
2) Whereas U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders has said, “We must look at climate change as if it were a devastating military attack against the United States and the entire planet. And we must respond accordingly” in other words, we must respond as if in war;
3) Whereas war demands the strengths and discipline of soldiers, the conservation of resources and the virtues of thrift, truthfulness, and forethought, for lack of which our society has brought the world into this crisis;
4) Whereas the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has reported that global greenhouse gas emissions must be drastically reduced by 2030 in order to avoid worldwide catastrophe, and whereas climate change is causing immense human suffering and damage to the natural world and threatens to destroy civilization and kill billions of people;
5) Whereas the United States government and large corporations have disregarded or concealed the truth about climate change;
6) Whereas we must feel immeasurable obligation and compassion for youth and for people in frontline communities in the U.S. and around the world, whose cultures are decimated by the fossil fuel industry;
7) Whereas reliance on technology instead of our virtues has also caused the crisis and cannot alone save the world;
8) And whereas Brattleboro can act as an example by a transition to an ecologically and socially regenerative economy at emergency speed;
9) We, the people of Brattleboro, therefore declare:
10) That frontline communities have every right to benefit first from the transition to a regenerative economy and to direct the remediation of the crisis as it affects them at all levels of government;
11) That we shall strive for zero emissions across all sectors of the economy by 2030, and that this effort be observed and reported by a sustainability coordinator or other appropriate office of the town;
12) And that the Selectboard shall warn monthly hearings of the people for proposing remedies for the climate crisis, and shall enact emergency ordinances per charter article 4 section 6 AA to test the proposals arising from those hearings.
13) For unity’s sake let no one scorn those of us who deny the crisis, since their inaction has been no worse than ours who believe it, and since their lives will be turned upside-down for a rescue against their will, and let us who will lose our livelihoods in fossil fuel and other industries know our neighbors will help us. We have all been living our lives and denying the climate crisis together. Let us bravely acknowledge and address the emergency we face together.
14) And therefore we the people of Brattleboro declare a state of emergency, and we vow to use any and all means necessary to meet the extremes of it. We will endure hardship and self-sacrifice like military men and women, exert our utmost energy, and summon the deepest truthfulness and courage, even without certainty, to secure the survival of our children, ourselves, all humanity and this divinely beautiful natural world, which has sustained us through the ages with unspoken love.
Share the Harvest
hosted by Edible Brattleboro
Sundays through October 27th, 2019 at the Edible Garden at Turning Point (corner of Elm Street and Frost Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 11am-1pm. For information please email [email protected]. Please bring your own bags.
Edible Brattleboro’s "Share the Harvest" stand is open every Sunday from 11am-1pm, in their help-yourself garden at Turning Point, corner of Elm and Frost Street (diagonally across from NYET). All produce is free.
Thanks to the generosity of local farmers and gardeners, Edible Brattleboro distributed approximately 2500 pounds of free produce last summer. Feel free to drop off produce from your garden during the Sunday hours. You may also visit either of Edible Brattleboro's two public help-yourself gardens to harvest whatever is ready. Simply look for the green flags and instructions on how to harvest. The two public gardens are located at the Co-op (rear parking lot) and Turning Point. Edible Brattleboro is fully volunteer run. If you would like to help out or would like more info, contact Marilyn at [email protected] or visit www.EdibleBrattleboro.org.
HAPPENING THIS WEEK, MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 2nd, 2019-SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 8th, 2019
Alley Lane Cleanup
hosted by Ask the River, Downtown Brattleboro Alliance, VT Center for Photography, Town of Brattleboro, Brattleboro Area Hospice, Brattleboro Prevention Coalition, with artists Evie Lovett, Andrea Wasserman, and Elizabeth Billings
Wednesday, September 4th, 2019 in the Transportation Center Alleyway off of Flat Street (77 Flat Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301), between the VT Center for Photography and Experienced Goods. 4pm-6pm. Public metered parking is available directly across from the Alleyway.
Together we can do this! We invite you to help reimagine the transportation center alleyway off of Flat St. between Vermont Center for Photography & Experienced Goods. There will be three project days to clean up the area, mulch, garden and brainstorm. The date: July 3rd, July 31st, and September 4th from 4-6 PM.
This effort is part of a larger placemaking effort to transform the area into an inviting and inclusive area for community use and engagement. The effort will culminate with a pop-event during the September Gallery Walk on Sept. 6th.
Who is making this happen? Downtown Brattleboro Alliance, VT Center for Photography, Town of Brattleboro, Brattleboro Area Hospice, Brattleboro Prevention Coalition, a team of regional artists– Evie Lovett, Andrea Wasserman, Elizabeth Billings and all of you!
Protest Vigil at TD Bank
sponsored by Post Oil Solutions
Friday, September 6th, 2019 (and every Friday) at TD Bank Brattleboro (215 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT). In front of the building. 12pm-1pm. Signs will be provided
TD is a major investor in Tar Sands. TD helps to fund the Dakota Access Pipeline. What You Can Do (besides attending the vigils): If you’re a TD depositor, change banks! Founded in 2005, Post Oil Solutions is a 501c3 community organizing project in Southeastern Vermont whose mission is to help empower the people of the Central Connecticut River Valley bioregion in this era of global warming and climate change to develop sustainable, resilient , collaborative, and socially just communities leading to a self- and community-sufficient post petroleum society.
Planned Parenthood of Northern New England Open House
Friday, September 6th, 2019 at the Brattleboro Health Center (6 High Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 5pm-7pm. Please RSVP by September 4th to 802-448-9704 or email [email protected]. Refreshments will be served.
Join us for an introduction by community activist Lisa Ford, a poem by Verandah Porche, reflections by former Senior VP and PPNNE Ann Fielder, remarks by PPNNE President and CEO Meagan Gallagher, and a Community Q and A.
Justice? Just Us.: A Musical Exploration of Restorative Justice Practice
Friday, September 6th, 2019 and
Saturday, September 7th, 2019 at the Hooker Dunham Theatre (139 Main St #407, Brattleboro, VT 05301) at 7:30pm. Proceeds will benefit Restorative Community Justice of Southern Vermont.
The play, written/composed by Dan DeWalt and performed by the Rock River Players, begins with a scripted conflict and then changes into a window on restorative practice as practitioners do their work in a real world way while the actors respond extemporaneously, modeling closely how restorative practice works.
Art Build for Climate Strike & Week of Action
Wednesday, September 11th, 2019 at The Drawing Studio (The Whetstone Studio fo the Arts, 28 Williams St, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 5pm-9pm.
Come to The Drawing Studio to MAKE ART including signs, banners, T-shirts and more for the September 20th Climate Strike and Week of Action Sept 20-28. We're grateful to have the support of Kristian Brevik, an incredible artist who has led lots of art builds and will be traveling down from Burlington. We’ll use stencils and freehand. Plus we'll have snacks and all ages welcome! Join us for one of the most fun parts of activism and organizing! Sponsored by 350 Brattleboro, 350 Vermont, Extinction Rebellion of Southern Vermont and Bonnyvale Environmental Education Center. For more details on the Global Climate Strike: Week for Future!:
VermontClimateStrike.org; StrikeWithUs.org; NoCoalNoGas.org
RePeopling Vermont: The Paradox of Development in the Twentieth Century (part of the Community Conversations Series)
hosted by the Vermont Historical Society, Brooks Memorial Library, and the VT Dept of Libraries. A joint project of VHS and the Vermont Department of Libraries. Support provided by the Vermont Humanities Council and Northern Vermont University
Tuesday, September 17th, 2019 at Brooks Memorial Library (224 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 6:30pm-8pm. Free and open to everyone. For more information please go to www.vermonthistory.org/community-conversations.
Join fellow Vermonters in your community to learn about how the state has handled questions of development and progress in the past and how we might use those lessons to discuss a path forward to the future. The programs will open with Northern Vermont University professor Paul Searls, who will review themes and events featured in his newly-published book "Repeopling Vermont: The Paradox of Development in the Twentieth Century". In the book, he highlights the stories of different communities and their responses to difficult questions as part of his inquiry into how Vermont balanced competing visions for the state in the last century.
Following Searls’s presentation, attendees will be invited to share their own perspectives on their communities. How can we use the lessons of history to frame our planning going forward? What is important to preserve, and when is it important to move forward? How can we balance different interests and create a Vermont that works for everyone?
Vermont Climate Strike & Week of Action
Friday, September 20th, 2019 - Saturday, September 28th, 2019
Actions and events happening throughout the week all around the state (and the world!), including September 20th Brattleboro strike and non-violent direct action training (see other listings below for more details).
Greta Thunberg and other young climate justice leaders chose the word “strike.” Adults in the movement are supporting the young leaders in how they’re telling the story of this movement. We’ve heard repeatedly that “strike” is a word that is important to them, as it conveys the urgency of the climate situation. “Strike” also invites workers to shut down business as usual by one method utilized by labor movements. Certainly there’s not a lot one individual’s actions can do. But when we come together and act collectively, history has shown that we become immensely powerful, and we can literally move mountains. Coming together is what has to happen to make change. Everyone matters.
Organizers say that it is on course to be the largest global mobilization against climate breakdown, with over 6000 people in 150 countries pledging to organize events to date. Read more here.
Join Our Climate Strike! Our house is on fire: let’s act like it.
The September climate strikes and week of action in Vermont are being organized by a statewide coalition, including people from the following groups, as well as students from a number of schools from around the state:
- Champlain Valley Democratic Socialists of America
- Climate Disobedience Center
- EnACT at Champlain Valley Union High School
- Extinction Rebellion Vermont
- Sunday Night Environmental Group at Middlebury College
- Sunrise Movement Burlington
- Sunrise Movement Middlebury
- US Youth Climate Strike VT
- Upper Valley Affinity Group
- University of Vermont Youth Climate Summit
- Vermont Youth Lobby
- Vermont Public Interest Research Group
Brattleboro Climate Strike Rally
hosted by 350 VT, 350 Brattleboro, and Extinction Rebellion Southern VT
Friday, September 20th, 2019 at Pliny Park (180 Main Street, corner of Main and High Streets, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 12pm-1pm.
The time is now! Workers and students around the world are striking on September 20th to demand a just future free from fossil fuels—join Brattleboro-area youth striking in solidarity with the Global Climate Strike as we rally at Pliny Park at noon.
Following the rally, walk over to the Centre Congregational Church - Brattleboro, VT for a Nonviolent Direct Action Training - Brattleboro from 1:30 - 5:30 pm. Questions? Contact Sonia at [email protected] Register for the training at: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSc02qbKGjxqZ6Re7RhTid-OrNhuaumXBhIvgeu97g6EdA2vgg/viewform?usp=sf_link
"Strike because the kids have asked us to back them up. Strike because the Earth is heating so fast. Strike for a Green New Deal. Strike because Exxon knew.”
Write for Climate: Reflecting & Reimagining at the Museum
Friday, September 20th, 2019 at the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center (10 Vernon St, Brattleboro). 9am-11am.
Youth activists are calling for a Global Climate Strike on September 20th to demand transformative action be taken to address the climate crisis. In honor of this call to action, join the Mother Up! and 350 Brattleboro "Write for Climate" group for an opportunity to ponder the roles of art and writing in the climate movement. Museum staff have generously offered free admission to the exhibits, including Ocean's Edge (pictured below). Writing prompts will be provided, as well as the opportunity for free write. All are welcome! Afterwards, we'll head to Pliny Park for the Brattleboro Climate Strike Rally from 11:30am-1:30pm. More details at VermontClimateStrike.org and StrikeWithUs.org.
Non-Violent Direction Action Training - Brattleboro
Friday, September 20th, 2019 at Centre Congregational Church (193 Main Street, Brattleboro). 1:30pm-5:30pm. Register at: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSc02qbKGjxqZ6Re7RhTid-OrNhuaumXBhIvgeu97g6EdA2vgg/viewform?usp=sf_link. This training costs between $20-$75 based on your ability to pay. Please contribute as you can—if you are able to give more, you can support others to attend. No one will ever be turned away for lack of funds, and we are happy to figure out a plan that works for you! Questions? Contact Sonia at [email protected].
Join 350 Vermont in Brattleboro for a workshop on non-violent direct action – a powerful tool for social change! Through role plays and exercises, we will learn the importance of collective action and its connection to collective liberation, the basics of NVDA (non-violent direct action) theory, creative tactics for shutting things down to open them up, and legal factors to consider, all with a focus on how to use NVDA strategically within a campaign. This training follows a youth-led climate strike at Pliny Park as part of the Global Climate Strike and Week of Action September 20th - 27th, 2019.
Looking Back, Moving Forward: 4 Decades of Queer Activism in VT
hosted by the Brattleboro Museum and Art Center
Friday, September 20th, 2019 at the Brattleboro Museum and Art Center (10 Vernon Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 7:30pm-9:30pm. Admission is free.
Vermont is widely regarded as one of the most queer-friendly states in America. In 2000, the state was the first in the nation to legalize civil unions for same sex couples, and in 2009, Vermont became the first state to allow same-sex marriage by legislation rather than by court ruling.
But how did that come to pass? At least one important factor has been the tireless activism and advocacy carried out over decades by, and on behalf of, Vermont’s LGBTQ+ community. Presented in partnership with the AIDS Project of Southern Vermont Prevention and Out in the Open - formerly Green Mountain Crossroads and sponsored by The Samara Fund of the The Vermont Community Foundation, this event looks at the key individuals, organizations, and moments in the history of queer activism in southern Vermont from the 1980s to the present day.
This event is presented in conjunction with DONA ANN MCADAMS: PERFORMATIVE ACTS, a retrospective of work by the acclaimed photographer and activist Dona Ann McAdams. McAdams credits her friendship with civil rights icon Harvey Milk with inspiring her lifelong devotion to using photography for social change. The exhibit includes McAdams’ photographs of queer liberation and AIDS activism protests across several decades.
Climate Support Group
sponsored by Post Oil Solutions
Group Begins Wednesday October 2nd, 2019 at Brooks Memorial Library (224 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301) in the History Room. 6pm-8pm. (Oct. 2 Only)
Regular Meetings will occur on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of the Month from 6pm-7:30pm. A conversation with one of the two facilitators is required prior to the start date to ensure that this is the right group for you. There is no charge to participate, and group size is limited to 10 people. For more information, and to apply, please contact Tim Stevenson at [email protected] or (802) 869-2141.
Post Oil Solutions is sponsoring a 10 session support group to provide a safe and supportive place for people to share their feelings about the climate emergency, and the very real possibility of societal collapse--grief, despair, rage, guilt, powerlessness, as well as explore with each other how we can adapt to this existential crisis, and take care of ourselves and each other by coming together within resilient, transformative communities. The group will be co-facilitated by Tim Stevenson and Connie Baxter, both experienced group leaders. This is a peer support group, not a therapy group. It will be closed (not open to drop-ins); we are thus seeking people who will commit to attend the 10 sessions.
CPR and First Aid Training
Saturday, October 5th, 2019 at Putney Moves (133 Main Street, Putney, VT, 05346) from 1pm-3pm or 3pm-6pm.
CPR/AED: Adults, Children, and Infants: 1pm - 3pm is $40.00. First Aid: 3pm-6pm is $55.00. Attend both sessions or just one! To register visit our trainer's Site: instituteforwildmed.com/courses/ and for more about our trainer: instituteforwildmed.com.
Are you interested in deepening your knowledge of First Aid and/or CPR? Do you work in a health care field and want to feel confident administering emergency care? Join Putney Moves and Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician Nicole Roma Thurrell for one or both training sessions and get certified this Fall! Certification is good for two years!
A Community Letter from Brattleboro Federation of Nurses-AFT
Brattleboro Memorial Hospital Nurses are Calling for Community Support: Your Solidarity is Needed!
To Our Community,
As your community’s nurses at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, we write asking for your support. We ask that you stand with nurses by adding your name to our community petition here.
Brattleboro Memorial Hospital (BMH) is located in Brattleboro, Vermont, serving a population of more than 60,000 people in 22 towns in Vermont, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts.
As members of the Brattleboro Federation of Nurses-AFT, the nursing staff is currently in contract negotiations with the Administration of BMH. The central goal of these negotiations is to make key changes that would result in the recruitment and retention of our quality nursing staff here in our community:
- A safe workplace with the necessary tools and staffing to foster the best care that our friends and family rely on.
- Parity with other area Hospitals as a means to reducing the reliance on travelers and to recruit and retain trained nurses, technicians and ancillary staff here in Windham County.
- Improved benefits to ensure that nurses can retire with dignity and have expanded access to area health care.
By signing our petition, you are deciding to stand with us as we work to improve the quality of care here at our local hospital. You can sign here.
Our Community Hospital is bleeding nurses. BMH Administration needs to address nurse retention as a quality of care issue.
Is this the best way to spend BMH’s resources? The Impact of Turnover on Patient Care
Nurse turnover regularly leads to a shortage of nursing staff that negatively affects a patient’s experience and outcome. When nurses leave a healthcare organization, they create a vacancy that can affect the cost of operation. The vacancy is also costly to other nurses, who may have to work overtime and can experience burnout due to long hours and a high patient load.
The Shocking Cost of High Turnover
High and increasing turnover is a recognized problem in the medical field. However, it presents an even bigger than average challenge at BMH. While the national turnover rate for bedside RNs is 14.6%, the RN turnover rate at BMH was 21% in 2018. Not only does this present a dangerous situation for patient care, but it also presents a huge financial cost. “A study in the Journal of Nursing Administration found that it may cost anywhere from $97,216 to $104,440 in today’s dollars to replace a nurse, including pre-hire recruitment and aspects such as unstaffed beds, overtime, and losses in productivity.” BMH reported 121 FTE RNs to CMS in 2018. At a 21% turnover rate, using the estimates from the previously cited study, that turnover cost BMH at minimum $2.4 million.
In the face of high turnover and lack of adequate recruitment, BMH contracts with an outside agency to provide traveling nurses. These nurses come at a tremendous cost to the hospital, both financially and in terms of continuity of care. Over the last three years, BMH has spent a yearly average of nearly $1.5 million on travelers.
Overtime is often a result of a lack of nurses. Over the last three years, BMH has averaged 8,466 hours of per year of nurse overtime hours.
While the hospital seems to struggle financially year to year, compensation of its top executives has steadily increased. Between 2013 and 2018, while the hospital’s total revenue only increased by 3%, CEO Steven Gordon’s base pay increased by 24% and his total compensation increased by 20%. For reference, the median household income in Brattleboro, VT is $39,402. In 2017, BMH’s CEO made 9 times more than the average household in the community. Please sign our petition in support of improving BMH. Sign here.
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.
STANDING REGULAR MEETINGS
Women Veterans Weekly Coffee and Tea Social
Thursday Mornings at Brattleboro Legion Post 5 Inc. (32 Linden Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 9am-10am.
All female veterans are invited to join in the Women Veterans group coffee held at the American Legion. All women veterans are welcome. You do not need to be a Legion member.
Youth 4 Change
Meetings are held on the 1st and 3rd Mondays of the month from 5:30pm-8pm.
For more information please contact Youth 4 Change at [email protected].
5:30pm: Drop in homework time and art making
6:30pm: Meeting and Organizing
Youth 4 Change is for local-area youth 12-22 interested in political organizing around local/state/national social justice issues that are important to them. Brattleboro area advocates and educators are holding a space, and assisting youth in building a strong personal tool kit to organize for change. Using a variety of creative methods, we aim to enable youth with tools for resilience, courage and compassion, while fostering their ability to speak up about issues that matter to them, and to take action in the name of love and liberation for all people. Come explore issues of racial, economic and gender justice through art, movement, first-hand accounts and contemplative practices. Connect with area youth around the issues that matter to you and strengthen your tool kit for action!
Windham County NAACP Regular Meetings
Monthly community meetings are held on the third Thursday of every month at The Root Center for Social Justice (The Whetstone Studio for the Arts, 28 Williams Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301) on the First Floor from 6pm-7pm. For more information please email [email protected]. All are welcome.
The meetings are open to anyone interested in racial justice. The Mission of the NAACP is to secure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights in order to eliminate race-based discrimination and ensure the health and well-being of all persons.
ONGOING EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMMING
Sundays at 12pm on Brattleboro Community Radio 107.7FMTo 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.
Thank you for your activism, Friends! Until next week...
Joanna and Leslie