The core of Rights & Democracy's work is door-to-door canvassing, local organizing and leadership development, and electoral and legislative engagement. We feel a robust democracy requires people become empowered to make their voices heard on issues that affect them and their communities. Rights & Democracy is currently engaging in a number of intersectional campaigns:
ECONOMIC JUSTICE - Raise Up Vermont
We are helping lead campaigns in VT to push for a $15 minimum wage, family and medical leave insurance legislation, and preventing worker misclassification. With tens of thousands of workers struggling on poverty wages, 90% without union representation, and thousands of families lacking paid leave to care for their families, it's more important now than ever that we organize locally to enact policies that make economic security and work with dignity realities in our state.
- Better Worker Protections (just cause employment & stronger enforcement against worker misclassification)
ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE - Jobs, Justice, Climate
We are working to move toward an economy based on renewable energy that provides work with dignity and puts us on the forefront in the fight against climate change. We must advance a more unifying vision of how we put people and the planet over profit - and one that seeks to engage people around the idea of clean water, clean air, clean food, and clean soils. From business development to energy policies, including those focused on public transit, progress will be measured by an open, democratic approach to determining our future.
Sign up to get involved with our Jobs, Justice & Climate campaign locally, and sign our petition "UVM - Divest from TD Bank" to help pressure UVM to divest from a bank which has invested millions in the Dakota Access Pipeline in violation of indigenous sovereignty.
CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM - Decarcerate Vermont
From minor drug offenses to nonviolent offenders who are largely incarcerated as a result of addiction (and complex trauma), we are disproportionately incarcerating people of color and low-income people for minor offenses while more privileged whites (who can afford private attorneys) are getting probation and commuted sentences. At its core this a human rights issue, and we’ve seen other nations incarcerate people at a much lower rate and see better safety outcomes in their communities.
We work in partnership with Vermonters for Criminal Justice Reform, Justice for All, and the ACLU of Vermont to reform a criminal justice system that incarcerates rather than rehabilitates some of our most vulnerable populations. Sign our Stop Private Prisons! petition and sign up to volunteer.
HEALTH CARE JUSTICE
Throughout the country, the Congressional Republicans’ and the Trump administration’s plans to dismantle the Affordable Care Act and portions of Medicare and Medicaid will generate both urgency and momentum in the fight for health care for all. In Vermont, we will continue to ally ourselves with sister organizations such as the Vermont Workers’ Center, Planned Parenthood, and Vermont Health Care for All (among others) to continue to push for reforms that move us towards full universal healthcare.
Our work must be defensive at times, and working offensively towards our vision for a more just world whenever possible. Other campaigns that have arisen from our members' organizing efforts include: