At the end of August, the 2017 VPIRG Summer Canvass wrapped up what was the most successful canvassing operation in VPIRG history–by far. Led by ten canvass directors, VPIRG staffed over 100 canvassers throughout the summer, with a peak staff size of 94—the largest in VPIRG history.
The campaign, called “Vermont Fights Back,” focused on the threats facing Vermont from Washington, D.C. – EPA cuts, reduced toxic chemical regulation, climate denialism, cuts to education and healthcare, and many others. VPIRG canvassers discussed those issues with Vermonters, and then presented the ways in which VPIRG is fighting back against federal policy threats, and continuing to build state-level progress on critical issues during these uncertain times.
The canvass team knocked on doors in every town in Vermont, working out of VPIRG’s Burlington office and also camping at state parks in order to fully reach the furthest corners of the state.
Throughout the summer, our team knocked on 114,148 doors– over a third of all houses in the state! They had nearly 50,000 conversations with Vermonters, 19,662 of whom contributed to VPIRG’s work. Most importantly, our canvass added 8,697 new members, bringing our total membership to nearly 50,000. With so many Vermonters on our side, we are more than ready to take on some of the biggest challenges facing our state in the upcoming legislative session and the years ahead.
Those challenges, which are becoming more severe each day include: providing Vermonters with affordable education, healthcare, and childcare; protecting Vermonters, particularly our children, from toxic chemicals; and tackling climate change by replacing fossil fuels with clean energy, to name a few. In talking to Vermonters, our canvassers discovered that people around the state are ready and willing to take on these challenges—regardless of what is happening in D.C. Now more than ever, we recognize the need for state level action, and VPIRG plans to take the energy of tens of thousands of Vermonters straight to our elected leaders to ensure that we see the changes that are so necessary in this political moment.
We are blown away by the success of our canvassing operation this summer, and we are excited to carry the momentum of the canvass into major policy victories for the public interest in 2018 and beyond!
Did one of our canvassers talk to you? Feel free to give us feedback on your conversation by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.