Participants, Organizations Connect at "Community in Action"

 

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Above: Steve Geller (right) poses with Kate Ash from Senator Leahy's office at SEVCA's "Community in Action" event.

In her inspiring address at SEVCA’s Community in Action event on May 25, Vermont Senate Majority Leader Becca Balint urged her listeners not to succumb to despair in the face of recent attacks by the Trump administration to de-fund or drastically cut human needs programs.

         “Tonight I want to ask you this: What brought you to this work? What fired you up? What gives you hope? Because we need it…I need you to dig deep and find what brings you to this work.”

For Balint, it is her connections to others in her daily life that she said inspires her and fuels her determination…and that is exactly why SEVCA chose to organize Community in Action. As Steve Geller (quoted in The Commons last week) said about fighting to protect the safety net, “We can’t do this alone.” SEVCA felt that we needed to reach out to other community organizations to make connections and work together to oppose the massive assault by the President and the Republican-led Congress on programs like health care, housing, fuel assistance, education, job training, treatment for addictions, assistance to people with disabilities, etc. In fact, Trump’s recently released budget would cut $2.5 trillion over 10 years to programs that help struggling low-income families and individuals, which includes decimating the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid and causing 23 million people to lose health coverage.

MaryLou Beaver from Every Child Matters spoke about what the impact of these cuts would be on Vermonters, where a full 1/3 of the state budget comes from federal funds. She said that over 28,000 people would lose fuel assistance and 18,000 would lose food assistance (3SquaresVT), including close to 10,000 households with a disabled member. She lauded the recent successful campaign to save LIHEAP (fuel assistance) from funding cuts in the current year’s federal budget, and urged everyone to keep fighting. Other speakers also emphasized the importance of continuing to communicate with their legislators, including staffers from Vermont’s Congressional delegation: Kate Ash, from Senator Leahy’s office, Katarina Sisaius from Senator Sanders’ office, and Kevin Veller from Representative Welch’s office.

Here are links to two articles about the event:

The Brattleboro Reformer:

http://www.reformer.com/stories/community-groups-fret-over-looming-federal-cuts,508951

The Commons: http://www.commonsnews.org/site/site05/story.php?articleno=17285&page=1#.WTWu0uvytph

Participants at Community in Action had an opportunity to connect with 20 organizations that oppose these cuts or are advocating for innovative solutions to strengthen programs and protections for vulnerable community members—such as Vermont’s Raise the Wage Campaign and Physicians for a National Health Program. Here is a list of these organizations with contact information:

Organizations

Contact info

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)

James Lyall, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone: 802-223-6304

Brattleboro Area Affordable Housing (BAAH)

Emily Clever
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Community of VT Elders (COVE)

Virginia Milkey, Executive Director
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone: 802-229-4731

Every Child Matters

MaryLou Beaver, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
202-527-2692

Health Care & Rehabilitation Services (HCRS)

Will Shakespeare; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
802-254-7501

Hunger Free Vermont

Marissa Parisi, Executive Director This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Phone: 802-865-0255 Ext. 108

Indivisible—Brattleboro

Matt Wright and Eileen Parks
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Let’s Grow Kids

Vicky Senni; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
802-793-2744

Physicians for a National Health Program

Beth Kindle, Karen Kraham
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Planned Parenthood

Paige Feeser, Vermont Public Affairs Organizer
Planned Parenthood of Northern New England
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.802-448-9754 (Office)

Raise the Wage/ Interfaith Coalition

Melissa Battah, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
802-595-9912

Rights & Democracy (RAD)

Anne Zimmerman
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Southern VT Sister District

Peg Alden
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Vermont Low Income Advocacy Council (VLIAC)

Karen Lafayette
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

VT Affordable Housing Coalition

Erhard Mahnke
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

VT Legal Aid

Christine Speidel; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

VT Partnership for Fairness & Diversity

Curtiss Reed
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

VT Workers’ Center/ Healthcare is a Human Right

Ellen Schwartz: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Windham Community Action Network (WeCAN)

Emily Kornheiser
Ann Braden; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Women’s Freedom Center

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.PO Box 933, Brattleboro, VT 05301

Youth Services

Russell Bradbury-Carlin, Executive Director
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.Phone: (802) 257-0361

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

Margaret Mead