Dear Montpelier: No More False Choices!

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Pitting us against each other is what those in power do best, and too often we take the bait without realizing that in the end, nobody wins. Except those in power.

 

Reject this false choice by calling the Sgt at Arms office today to urge your State Representative and State Senator to:

 

1. Stand firm against cuts to clean water funding;

2. Provide funding for affordable housing; and,

3. Protect the rights of teachers to collectively bargain with their local school board.

 

Call the Sgt. At Arms office at (802) 828-2228

 

Find your legislator(s)

 

Call Gov. Phil Scott at (802) 828-3333

 

We need to tell our elected officials: Water, housing, and health do not belong on the chopping block!

 

As we stare down yet another austerity budget from politicians in Montpelier, the need for clean water to drink, swim, and fish in is pitted against the need for safe, affordable housing. Both are issues of long-term health—for individuals if not the entire state—and both should be fully funded and supported by the legislature and governor.

 

We are given the false choice of providing health care benefits to public employees or destroying the pact of workers’ rights to collectively bargain. In fact, we should be fighting and arguing for both—salaries and benefits for valuable public employees and their right to collectively bargain with their local school boards.

 

If Gov. Phil Scott was serious about saving healthcare dollars he would follow the principles of Act 48 and enact a single-payer, healthcare for all system.

 

Let’s be honest that is not what Gov. Scott is up to. This is a page out of the right-wing playbook that Gov. Scott Walker, a poster child for the Koch Brothers, used in Wisconsin to undermine public unions. Wouldn’t the Koch Brothers be ecstatic if they could undermine “liberal” Vermont’s environmental standards, push for universal healthcare, and collective bargaining rights?

 

Yes, they would.

 

Our teachers are asking that we show up at the State House tomorrow at 4:30 to stand in support of their hard-won right to collectively bargain for healthcare. RSVP here and be sure to share the event with your friends and family!

 

We cannot let Gov. Scott and his right-wing backers in Vermont take advantage of an invented crisis to undermine our rights.  And we need to let our lawmaker allies know that now is not the time to be fearful and retreat on our shared values.

 

Rights & Democracy was founded on the principle that public policies need to meet the needs of everyone in our communities and that our rights are indivisible and interdependent. The state budget is a moral document that demonstrates our priorities, and we cannot let policymakers present false choices that pit the basic needs of our communities and environment against each other.

 

We are asking Gov. Phil Scott, House Speaker Mitzi Johnson, President Pro Tem Tim Ashe, and other legislative leaders to come to agreement on a budget that preserves collective bargaining, health care benefits for public employees, and funding for clean water and affordable housing.

 

Call your State Representatives and Senators to stand up for Vermonters and our environment.

 

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