Day 1 - Legislative Kickoff
Summary: On Tuesday, January 7th, more than 100 people from across VT packed the statehouse in Montpelier to kick off the 2014 legislative session. The day began with a rally and press conference, lead by leaders of organizations such as Green Mountain Self Advocates, AFSCME, AFT, and the Vermont Workers’ Center, who spoke about winning our human right to dignified work by passing PSD legislation this year. To kick off the press conference, members delivered over 2,000 PSD petitions to legislators to show the commitment to healthy communities and dignified work and the urgency to pass PSD this year. Along with PSDs, leaders also spoke about supporting VT Early Educators in forming a union, continuing to move forward with universal healthcare in VT, and developing a people’s budget that meets everyone’s fundamental needs. Following the rally and press conference, Governor Shumlin spoke to the House and Senate Healthcare Committees on how to move forward with universal healthcare in Vermont. Gov Shumlin spoke about the problems with the current insurance marketplace, VT Health Connect, and spoke about how to move forward with VT’s transition to a universal healthcare system, which was passed into law in 2011 after years of grassroots organizing through the HCHR campaign. The day ended with a People’s Team training. The People’s Team consists of PPF members who sit in on legislative meetings at the statehouse in order to hold government officials accountable for decisions they make that affect the people of Vermont. During the training, members from PPF organizations spoke about the goals for this legislative session, what to expect when sitting in on a legislative meeting, and about what it means to be a member of the People’s Team. This legislative session, through passing PSD legislation, supporting VT Early Educators in forming a union, developing a people’s budget that meets everyone’s fundamental needs, and continuing to work toward a universal healthcare system, together we will win Health & Dignity for the people of Vermont.