In response to the COVID-19 crisis we’ve been working hard to identify new ways to connect with our members, support our community, and provide opportunities for virtual learning and engagement.
With that in mind, we’ve launched a webinar series focused on topics that align with VPIRG’s core values of promoting and protecting the health of Vermont’s people, environment, and locally based economy.
Every week, we’ll share an email with what’s on tap for the days ahead, so make sure to sign up for our mailing list so you don’t miss out!
Here’s what we have planned for the coming week:
And here’s a library of replays of recent webinars…
- Secretary of State Jim Condos on COVID-19's Impact on Vermont's Elections & Open Meeting Laws
- Wondering how COVID-19 is impacting elections, and how Vermont can respond to those challenges? Tune in to this conversation between Vermont Secretary of State Jim Condos and VPIRG Executive Director Paul Burns.
- Judith Enck on How Industry is Exploiting the COVID-19 Crisis
- Learn more about how industry is exploiting the COVID-19 crisis to undermine the EPA and state efforts to fight single-use product pollution—and what you can do about it—in this conversation with Judith Enck, founder of Beyond Plastics and former EPA Region 2 Administrator under President Obama, and VPIRG Executive Director Paul Burns.
- Jon Erickson on Building a Resilient and Equitable Economy in the Wake of COVID-19
- Jon Erickson, Professor of Sustainability Science and Policy at the UVM Rubenstein School and VPIREF trustee, speaks with Anna Marchessault, University of Vermont student and VPIRG trustee, about the lessons we can learn from the COVID-19 pandemic and how we can apply them to the way we address the climate crisis moving forward.
- Community Organizing & Volunteer Opportunities around COVID-19
- VPIRG’s Maeve Power facilitates this conversation with Jenna Koloski (Vermont Council for Rural Development), Carrie Baker Stahler (Green Mountain United Way), Rebecca Sanborn Stone (organizer in the White River Valley), and Monique Priestly (organizer in the Upper Valley). Tune in for information on how communities across Vermont are coming together to respond to the current crisis, and what YOU can do to get involved.
- Exploring the Impact of COVID-19 on Vermont Small Businesses
VPIRG’s Maeve Power facilitates a conversation on the impact of COVID-19 on small businesses with Morgan Nichols of Vermont Main Street Alliance and Matt Birong, state legislator representing Addison-3 and owner of 3 Squares Cafe in Vergennes.
- Federal Rollbacks of Environmental Laws in Response to COVID-19
Mark Floegel, Research Director for Greenpeace USA, and Drew Hudson, Senior National Organizer for Friends of the Earth, both members of VPIRG’s Board of Trustees, update VPIRG’s Maeve Power on the many rollbacks of environmental laws and regulations we’re seeing at the federal level in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. We’ll dig into the details of why this is happening and what we can do to push back against this trend.
- A Look Into the Federal Stimulus Bills, and Plans for the Next
VPIRG’s Ben Edgerly Walsh speaks with Kathryn Becker Van Haste, Director of Health Policy and Health, Veterans & Business Outreach for the Office of Senator Bernie Sanders, about the last three federal stimulus bills, Senator Sanders’ perspective on them, and the ongoing deliberations around the fourth stimulus bill currently being crafted in the House of Representatives.
- The Future of Climate Action in Vermont
Representative Sarah Copeland-Hanzas, Co-Chair of the Climate Solutions Caucus and Chair of the House Government Operations Committee, joins VPIRG’s Ben Edgerly Walsh to discuss the future of key climate legislation like the Global Warming Solutions Act, and what the future of climate action in Vermont will look like coming out of the COVID-19 crisis.
- Knit Democracy Together with Eve Jacobs Carnahan
In this virtual knitting circle with Eve Jacobs-Carnahan and VPIRG’s Government Reform Associate Kate Lapp, attendees and speakers discussed measures states and cities have adopted to strengthen democracy by reducing the impact of large campaign donors, all while knitting building blocks for a 3-foot tall sculpture of a state capitol building.
UPDATED VIDEO COMING SOON!
- The VPIRG Summer Canvass: Models for Grassroots Organizing and Leadership Development
For decades, the VPIRG summer canvass has been a tenet of Vermont political life and a model for grassroots organizing. But beneath the surface, it has played a critical role in developing leaders that go on to progress change here in Vermont and around the world. In this webinar, VPIRG’s Maeve Power discusses these ideas with two female veterans of the summer canvass: Becca White, State Representative from White River Junction, and Ashley Orgain, Global Director of Advocacy and Sustainability at Seventh Generation.
- The Role of Vermont School Nurses in Community Organizing and COVID-19 Recovery
In celebration and recognition of VT School Nurse Day, May 6th, 2020, VPIRG’s Maeve Power interviews leaders of the Vermont State School Nurses Association.
- International Nurses Week: The Role of Vermont’s ‘Healthcare Heroes’ in Charting a Path to Recovery
The impact that COVID-19 has had on society is far reaching, but there’s no doubt that medical professionals have been some of the most heavily impacted. Whether serving in hospitals or in their communities, these healthcare heroes have been on the frontlines working to slow the spread of the virus and lead the way to recovery. VPIRG’s Maeve Power will facilitate this conversation with:
- Clayton Wetzel III of VT State School Nurses Association
- Cynthia Peterson and Eileen Girling of American Nurses Association of Vermont
- Carol Conroy of Organization of Nurse Leaders MA-RI-CT-NH-VT
- Michelle Wade of Vermont Nurse Practitioners Association.
- Exploring the Role of Local Media During the COVID-19 Crisis
VPIRG’s Ben Edgerly Walsh interviews several leading voices of VT journalism on the role and importance of local media in a time of crisis. Interviewees include Anne Galloway, founder and editor of VTDigger and the executive director of the Vermont Journalism Trust, Kevin McCallum, political reporter for Seven Days, and Steven Pappas, editor of the Barre-Montpelier Times Argus.
- Senate Update with Senator Becca Balint
VPIRG’s Ben Edgerly Walsh interviews Senator Becca Balint of Brattleboro on the ongoings of the Vermont Senate and strategies for COVID-19 recovery.
- Affordable High-Speed Internet for All: How Community Broadband can get Vermonters Connected
VPIRG’s Zach Tomanelli connects with representatives from several of Vermont’s communication union districts to talk about the effort to bring affordable high-speed internet to every Vermonter, how community-owned models may be the key to doing so, and the immediate challenges and opportunities facing these entities right now.
Interviewees include Evan Carlson, chair of Northeast Kingdom Community Broadband, F.X. Flinn, Chair of ECFiber, and Jeremy Hansen, Chair of CVFiber.
- The Status of the Vermont Census and the Impact of COVID-19
VPIRG’s Maeve Power connects with Bob Stock, Vermont Specialist for the United States Census Bureau, on the status of Vermont’s census, the barriers presented by the COVID-19 crisis, and the reasons why accurate census reporting has such a huge impact on Vermont’s future over the course of the next decade.
- Vote-by-Mail Update
VPIRG’s Democracy and Government Advocate, Kate Lapp, and Vote-By-Mail Organizer, Lilli Platt, discuss the status of a vote-by-mail system in Vermont, as well as the importance of youth engagement in democracy at this moment.
- Rising Healthcare Costs in Vermont and Efforts to Address Them
In this time of COVID-19 and a historic economic crisis impacting Vermonters, Blue Cross and MVP want to raise health insurance premium prices. The Green Mountain Care Board must approve the these increases before they can take effect.
Tuen in below for a webinar co-hosted by VPIRG, Rights & Democracy and Vermont Legal Aid for a discussion of these propose rate increases and how Vermonters can make their voices heard in the process. VPIRG’s Zach Tomanelli and RAD’s Dan Fingas will be joined by Mike Fisher, Vermont’s Chief Health Care Advocate, to discuss the state of health care affordability in Vermont, where these proposed increases are coming from, the process for public input and how you can get involved.