2021 Legislative Wrap-Up

The Vermont legislature has officially wrapped up its work for the session, and once again VPIRG’s research, member engagement, and advocacy efforts paid off. We were incredibly successful in this “virtual” session, going toe-to-toe against some of the most powerful corporate lobbyists in the state. We’re pleased to announce that…

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Statement: Derek Chauvin Found Guilty in Murder of George Floyd

A little less than a year ago, Minneapolis police officers murdered George Floyd. Today’s verdict, in which Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all counts, officially recognizes that reality and brings some measure of accountability for this killing. However, this verdict alone does not rectify the deep, systemic issues that…

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Racial Justice & the VT Vaccine Rollout

Right now, all Vermonters who identify as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) who are 16 or older, are eligible to register for vaccination, along with everyone living in their household. Anyone who falls into that category can register to receive the COVID-19 Vaccine here.   Prior to this stage, Vermont set up vaccination…

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Support Cultural Liaisons

Cultural liaisons are a go-between for families (primarily those with limited English proficiency, LEP) and school and town staff. They have been brought on in both the Burlington and Winooski school districts, and they have been hard at work helping families with everything from filing taxes to accessing social services and building trust in our government to getting kids to class on time.   Liaisons are a vital component of our communities working with LEP families all…

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Fund the Office of Racial Equity

This morning, the House Committee on Government Operations took testimony on H. 196. This legislation, proposed by Representative Kevin “Coach” Christie of Hartford (and co-sponsored by 36 other House Reps), would create two additional full-time equivalent (FTE) positions to support the work of the Executive Director of Racial Equity in the Administration. The positions as outlined in the bill…

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Stop Out of State and Private Prison Incarceration

For a few months now, we at VPIRG have been expanding some of our research, advocacy, and organizing to include issues related to criminal justice reform and public safety. And we’ve been following the shocking reporting of mismanagement coming out of the Mississippi prison that houses more than 200 incarcerated Vermonters.   The prison is owned by CoreCivic, a private prison…

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Improving Policing in VT – Vote Needed this Week

Back in August, we joined the ACLU of Vermont, Justice for All, and over a dozen other organizations in proposing a 10-point platform for reimagining policing in Vermont. Now, Vermont has an opportunity to take an incremental but concrete step towards improving public safety with legislation governing police use of force statewide.  This use of force bill, S.119, would promote peaceful, de-escalatory resolution while also providing clarity and uniformity around how and when police are…

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VT Must Include $5M for Essential Workers Excluded from CARES Act

Se puede leer este artículo en español al final de esta página. In his recent budget proposal, Governor Scott included $2 million for the Immigrant Families Coronavirus Relief Fund which would provide relief to Vermonters who were left out of the federal CARES Act payments this spring. That the White…

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Reimagining Policing in Vermont

Today, VPIRG joined the ACLU of Vermont, Justice for All, and more than a dozen other organizations in releasing a letter urging Vermont leaders to fundamentally reimagine the role of police in Vermont communities and to commit to the ten-point action plan below. Police reform is just one component of…

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VPIRG Launches Racial Justice Program

Two months ago, after the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers, we told you that VPIRG “stands in solidarity with those demanding justice and working to address systemic racism.” Solidarity isn’t about making a statement – it’s about taking action. In launching our Racial Justice Program, we are…

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