Put People First! Radio
Summary: Put People First! Radio tells the untold stories of everyday Vermonters, and reports on their struggles to organize for a government that puts people and the planet first. Put People First! Radio is a project of the Vermont Workers' Center. For more info, go to www.workerscenter.org/media/radio
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- Artist: Vermont Workers' Center
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
Join us for the biggest weekday rally Montpelier has ever seen! This May 1st, come out to the Put People First March & Rally: One Movement for People & the Planet. As part of a national day of action thousands of Vermonters will converge on the Statehouse in Montpelier to connect our 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. Kids friendly activities, music, fun and rallying for our human rights. Also please be sure to sign up here: www.workerscenter.org/may1 March starts at noon at Montpelier City Hall, 39 Main Street.
This town meeting day 2012, members of the Vermont Workers' Center organized at over fifty town meetings all across Vermont, talking with people about healthcare, the proposed post office closings, and the People's Budget Campaign. To find out more, check out our blog post about town meeting day: www.workerscenter.org/townmeeting2012
On February 13, 2012 over 150 people with the Put People First Campaign turned out to Vermont Interactive Television sites to speak at the state budget hearings for the Joint Legislative Appropriations Committees. People testified sharing their personal stories. Their message to legislators was that we're here together to do the hard work of transforming the way our state creates its budget to build a system that puts people first and meets all our human rights. In addition, VWC member David Kreindler testified at the House appropriations committee, and announced the People's Budget proposed legislation. For more information, go to: http://www.workerscenter.org/ppfbudgethearing
As part of the Put People First Campaign, organizing committees of the Vermont Workers' Center are holding community meetings all across the state. At these meetings, everyday Vermonters are talking about the struggles they are facing with meeting their fundamental needs, such as housing, healthcare, education, jobs with dignity, childcare, and healthy food. Members of the Campaign talk about why so many of our communities' needs are not being met, and why we need to organize to stand up for our human rights.
The United States Postal Service is proposing to close down the Processing and Distribution Center in White River Junction, VT. The result will be the loss of 245 jobs from White River Junction, as well as a serious degradation of postal services in the area. On Wednesday January 4th, people from all across the state came to White River Junction to tell the USPS management that our postal service is a public good and must be protected. Listen to find out more! Also, go to http://savewhiteriverpdc.blogspot.com/
The Vermont Workers' Center and the Put People First! Campaign rallied at the first day of the Vermont 2012 legislative session to demand that human rights and needs are put first. Listen to the report to find out more!