Director’s Note on the 2014 Session

VICTORIES on GMOs, Toxics, Solar, and more!

If you support VPIRG because we’re the kind of organization that takes on the tough fights on important issues and gets results, then I have good news for you.

Our advocates, organizers, interns and member volunteers just completed one of the most successful legislative sessions in VPIRG’s 42 year history. From the landmark law requiring GMO foods to be labeled to a new program that will help protect kids from toxic chemicals in children’s products, we not only passed important laws, but we took on some of the most powerful corporations in the country to do it.

Check out our full list of Legislative Accomplishments

Because of you, legions of corporate lobbyists are now having to explain to their bosses at Monsanto, Dow Chemical, DuPont, Coke, Pepsi, Exxon Mobil and many, many more, just why they failed.

The reason, of course, is that Vermont is still a place where organized citizens can make a huge difference in shaping public policy. Legislators listen if their constituents speak in a unified voice.

That’s why they passed legislation to encourage more solar development this year. Vermonters clearly want more clean energy. That’s also why bills designed to repeal the Bottle Bill and block renewable wind and solar projects were defeated so soundly in the Senate.

Read what Vermonters were able to accomplish together

We didn’t win everything we wanted this year. If we had, we would have been aiming too low. Our biggest loss came with the new campaign finance law that actually allows more big money in state political races and fails to rein in the power of lobbyists, corporations and Super PACs. We have more work to do there.

But overall, the session was an incredible reminder of the power that real people still have when they exercise it effectively.

So, we thank you for helping to make good things happen.  We thank all of our state legislators for their service – especially those who championed these public interest victories!  And we are grateful to the governor and the many state employees whose job it is to implement and defend the programs that Vermonters want.

Best,

Paul Burns
VPIRG Executive Director

PS – Speaking of defending our laws, there’s a way you can help there too. As you know, giant food manufacturers and the biotech industry have announced they will sue Vermont to stop our GMO labeling law from taking effect. To help defend our law, you can make a tax deductible gift to VPIRG here.  And you can give directly to support the Attorney General’s litigation effort here.  Thank you!