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2013 May 1st March & Day of Action
May 09, 2013 08:36 PM PDT
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Thousands of people across Vermont marched to the statehouse in Montpelier on Wednesday May 1st to participate in a day of action. The day was organized by the Put People First Campaign, which is building a movement for human rights and democracy in Vermont.

Members from many different organizations and groups such as Migrant Justice, Vermont Early Educators United, environmental justice groups, homecare workers, students, children and families gathered to participate in the action fair after the march.

The action fair included a healthcare screening clinic, youth tent, and many other activities representing the vision for a world where everyone’s fundamental needs are met.

Participants talked about how May 1st is a day to unite and come together to fight for human rights and true democracy.

Immediately following May 1st, the Put People First campaign celebrated two major legislative victories. The bill recognizing homecare workers’ right to organize passed the following day, and Migrant Justice’s drivers license bill passed on Tuesday May 7th.

Participants looked toward the 2014 legislative session and committed to continue to organize for universal healthcare, a budget that meets everyone’s needs, and a future where everyone’s human rights are met.

May 1st March and Day of Action!
April 09, 2013 05:37 AM PDT
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Many people in Vermont are struggling to meet their fundamental needs, such as housing, healthcare, education, work with dignity, and healthy foodOver the past year, we have also seen many of the basic programs that our families and communities depend on come under attack. Major decisions are being made that will affect our lives for years to come, and we dont have a seat at the table.

This May 1st, come out to Montpelier for a march and day of action to Put People First - as we build a movement everyday people organizing for our human rights and real democracy. May 1st is a celebration of our communities, our families, and our connections to each other. By joining together on this day, the people of Vermont show their commitment to building one movement for people and our planet.

This event is family friendly, and will include a healthcare screening clinic, kid friendly activities, music and fun!

Join us at the Vermont Statehouse at 11:30am for the march. For more information and to register, go to www.workerscenter.org/may1 or call (802) 861-4892

Driving Towards Human Rights- Testimony on S. 38
March 18, 2013 06:33 PM PDT
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On Thursday March 14th, the Vermont Senate Transportation Committee heard testimony on S. 38, legislation that would permit all Vermont residents to be able to obtain drivers licenses, including undocumented farmworkers. The room was packed with Migrant Justice members and supporters. Danilo Lopez, a leader in Migrant Justice, testified to the ways that a lack of freedom of movement affects farmworkers. Danilo also spoke about the ways that having a drivers license would be a step forward for Vermont, and the crucial role that farmworkers play in Vermont’s dairy industry.

For more information on Migrant Justice and S. 38, go to http://www.migrantjustice.net/

"The Budget is a Moral Document" - 2014 Vermont Budget Hearings
February 18, 2013 09:02 PM PST
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On Monday February 11th, the Vermont House and Senate appropriations committee held hearings on the proposed 2014 state budget through Vermont Interactive Television. People from all across the state testified to how the current state budget is not putting people first.

Many people also spoke out against the governor’s proposed cuts to Reach Up and the Earned Income Tax Credit. The governor is proposing cuts to both these vital programs instead of raising revenue on the wealthiest people in Vermont. These cuts will disproportionately impact poor and working people in the state, and leave many families even deeper in poverty.

Members of the Put People First Campaign called on their elected officials to create a budget based on human need that fulfills everyone’s human rights.

For more information, go to www.workerscenter.org

People's Budget Address
January 31, 2013 05:41 AM PST
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On Wednesday January 24th, the Put People First campaign read the People’s Budget Address at the Vermont Statehouse, prior to the Vermont Governor’s state budget address. The People’s Budget Address calls for a state budget that first determines the needs of the people of Vermont, and then proposes raising money equitably to meet those needs. In addition, the address talked about the importance of equity in healthcare financing, based on the idea that people must be able to get what they need and give what they can.

For more information on the People's Budget and to read the whole address, go to http://www.workerscenter.org/peoplesaddress

Day 1 Put People First Rally
January 14, 2013 08:48 PM PST
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On the first day of the legislative session this year, a unified, diverse, and growing movement of organizations called Put People First packed the Vermont Statehouse. Put People First believes Vermont can and must protect and fulfill the human rights of all its people, while ensuring a healthy and livable environment. The movement unveiled its Put People First Agenda and delivered thousands of postcards collected over the past year to legislators, showing the breadth of statewide support for making human rights a reality in Vermont.

With the Put People First Agenda, the people of Vermont call on the legislature to take concrete steps to move this vision forward. The Put People First Agenda puts forth a plan for holding Vermont accountable to its obligation to fulfill the people’s human rights by taking action on universal healthcare, dignified work and the right to organize, freedom of movement and access to transportation, inclusion of people with disabilities, the right to a healthy environment and livable planet for all, and a budgeting process that puts people, not money, at its center.

Put People First includes 350 Vermont, Green Mountain Self-Advocates, Migrant Justice, Rising Tide Vermont, United Professionals of Vermont/AFT, Vermont Center for Independent Living, VT Early Educators United/AFT, VT Federation of Nurses & Health Professionals AFT, Vermont Workers’ Center, and Voices for Vermont Children. The Vermont Workers’ Center coordinates Put People First.

People's Budget Hearings
December 03, 2012 10:35 PM PST
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In the 2012 Vermont legislative session, the People’s Budget Campaign organized for an amendment to the state budget bill which established for the very first time the purpose of the state budget. The 2012 budget bill stated that the budget’s purpose is to “to address the needs of the people of Vermont in a way that advances human dignity and equity." and that "Spending and revenue policies will . . . recognize every person's need for health, housing, dignified work, education, food, social security, and a healthy environment."

As part of the amendments to the budget, the state is required to have public participation in the development of the state budget. As a result, on November 13th and 19th of 2012, the state held hearings through Vermont Interactive Television.

Many of the people who turned out to VIT budget hearings spoke about what the human rights crisis looks like in their communities.

In addition to establishing the purpose of the state budget, the 2012 budget bill also included language to address in inequalities in VT’s revenue raising policies.

The upcoming legislative session will be crucial in establishing next steps for adopting a People’s Budget that ensures and fulfills everyone’s human rights in VT

For more information, go to www.workerscenter.org

Governors Conference and the People's Convention
August 09, 2012 10:54 AM PDT
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On Sunday July 29th, hundreds of people turned out in Burlington VT to protest a closed door conference of governors and premiers from New England and Canada. Groups from across the region came together to tell elected officials loud and clear that governments must be accountable and transparent, and must both protect our human rights as well as the environment. Many groups were there to speak out against the tar sands pipeline proposed to be built across New England, and to draw connections between climate change and the struggle for human rights. Participants created a human oil spill in front of the hotel where the conference was happening, to draw attention to the danger of tar sands oil. Later in the afternoon, in a dramatic turn of events, the Burlington police used tear gas and rubber bullets on protesters attempting to block the buses carrying the governors from leaving the hotel. In contrast to the Governor’s Conference, the upcoming People’s Convention for Human Rights offers a space for people to envision and articulate a better world. Put People First Radio is a project of the People’s Media Project. For more information, go to www.workerscenter.org/media/radio For more information on the VT People's Convention for Human Rights, go to www.vtpeoplesconvention.org

People's Convention for Human Rights
July 26, 2012 11:43 AM PDT
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This labor day weekend, come out to the People’s Convention for Human Rights in Burlington, VT. The People’s Convention will explore how we can work together to fight for our human rights, a healthy environment, dignity for everyone and real democracy. The People’s Convention will include workshops, kids activities, music, art, street theater, food and much much more. Saturday night of the Convention, be sure to come down to Battery Park for music and food to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Toward Freedom from 6-9pm.

Join us in building one movement for people and the planet!

The People’s Convention will take place August 31st-September 2nd in Burlington, VT. For more information and to register, go to www.vtpeoplesconvention.org

May 1st- Put People First March and Rally
May 04, 2012 10:49 AM PDT
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This May 1st, as part of a national day of action thousands of people in Vermont converged on the Statehouse in Montpelier to connect the struggles for universal healthcare, education, housing, childcare, workers' rights, women's rights, disability rights, migrant justice and a healthy environment and livable planet into one huge march and rally.

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