I went from being inspired by Sen. Bernie Sanders to introducing him in Washington, DC to a room full of 1200 community leaders and activists from around the country.
Because like you I’m not just one person focused on one issue at at time. And, I found my voice.
I’m not a woman on Monday, a person struggling with poverty wages on Tuesday, a caregiver worried about healthcare on Wednesday, a grandmother who cares about the future of the planet on Thursday, and a citizen who thinks we need to take back our democracy on Friday.
We are all of those things all of the time.
Rights & Democracy (RAD) is an organization that is all of those things, too, fighting for economic, environmental, racial, and social justice issues and uplifting people who have too often been left out of the political process.
I was one of those people.
When Sen. Bernie Sanders ran for president and urged everyday people to join the revolution, I took it to heart. I stepped outside of my comfort zone and knocked on some doors. From there, I began to volunteer politically, but it didn’t seem enough.
Then, I heard about Rights & Democracy and joined immediately.
Since becoming a member, I’ve stood alongside other RAD members in Bennington to rally for health care for all, for opioid treatment, and testified for raising the state minimum wage to $15, and more, giving a voice to people who have too often been left out of the political process.
Rights & Democracy plays an increasingly important role in our state: From helping pass legislation for paid sick days and same-day voter registration to helping coordinate the largest protest in our state’s history—Vermont Women’s March with more than 20,000 people gathering in Montpelier.
Inspired by my fellow RAD members, I ran for Selectboard and while I fell short of winning (this time), I was not discouraged. I learned that when you listen and speak up, people do want to hear what you have to say.
That’s why RAD is launching Democracy Summer: From Protest to Power, a series of town halls around the state that will lift up local leaders on issues of economic, racial, social, and environmental justice.
In addition, we have set out to raise $25,000 from members and supporters to sustain our work this year, and into the 2018 elections. We know that the issues we fight for every day—racial and social justice, raising the minimum wage, providing healthcare for all, and ensuring clean air, clean water, and clean power for all Vermonters—will also be on the ballot.
Together, We Win.