Progressive Groups from NH and VT Support Senator Sanders, Rally for Healthcare - Rights and Democracy VT

Progressive Groups from NH and VT Support Senator Sanders, Rally for Healthcare



Aly Johnson-Kurts, 802-595-9593,

James Haslam, 802-272-0882,

Progressive Groups from NH and VT Support Senator Sanders, Rally for Healthcare

Rights & Democracy, a grassroots org representing thousands of Vermont and New Hampshire progressives, celebrates its endorsement of Sen. Sanders

Salem, NH – Today, Rights & Democracy, the first grassroots group in the New England to endorse Senator Sanders, joined National Nurses United in an enthusiastic cross-state demonstration of support for Sen. Sanders’ candidacy and his ideas. More than 50 people heard speakers including Mari Cordes, a Burlington nurse and founding member of Rights & Democracy, Jeff Kramer, a founding member of Rights & Democracy New Hampshire, and Karen Higgins, Co-Chair of National Nurses United. The rally focused on access to healthcare.


“Senator Sanders support in New Hampshire is showing his broad appeal,,” said James Haslam, Executive Director of Rights & Democracy. “We’re inspired by Senator Sanders’ candidacy because he was the first candidate to speak to the economic justice issues that matter to working men and women here in New Hampshire, across the border in Vermont, and throughout the country.”

“I’m transgender, and health care is especially critical for us. That’s why I’m supporting Bernie Sanders for President,” said Jeff Kramer, who works for Rights & Democracy New Hampshire.


Rights & Democracy was founded in Vermont in August 2015. Spurred by rapid success pushing paid sick leave in the Vermont State House, the group opened an office in New Hampshire in November. In addition to healthcare, the group is working on securing New Englanders access to paid sick leave, family and medical leave, a living wage, and green jobs.



James Haslam is co-founder and the Executive Director of Rights & Democracy. He previously served as the Executive Director at the Vermont Workers’ Center for over 15 years and led the Healthcare Is A Human Right Campaign pushing for universal healthcare in Vermont. He has extensive experience in running grassroots legislative advocacy campaigns, including helping win increases to the minimum wage and election day voter registration.    

Mari Cordes is from Lincoln, VT and is a registered nurse and union and community social justice activist. She is the former local president of Vermont Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals and current VP of Healthcare for AFT-Vermont and in the leadership of the Vermont Progressive Party.   

Karen Higgins is a registered nurse and co-president of National Nurses United.

Jeff Kramer is an organizer with Rights & Democracy and long-time New Hampshire resident.


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