For the second straight year, it was a summer unlike any other at VPIRG. Last week we wrapped up our first-ever “hybrid” canvass, one year after running our first ever 100% virtual canvass.
Once again, we faced the many challenges of operating a grassroots community engagement effort in the middle of a pandemic. Like last summer, out of an abundance of caution, we made the decision to kick off our canvass virtually. We started the summer on the phones, with over a dozen new canvassers contacting thousands of VPIRG members remotely.
Eventually, we were able to return to doing what we do best: going door-to-door, renewing memberships, and rallying grassroots support—all of which gave a big boost to our campaign to modernize Vermont’s most successful recycling program: the Bottle Bill.
If you had a conversation with a VPIRG canvasser this summer and renewed your support for VPIRG – thank you!!
As I’m sure you’ve heard already, a modernized Bottle Bill is a critical part of our efforts to fight single-use plastic pollution, reduce litter, and promote real recycling of glass, aluminum, and plastic containers.
Hot on the heels of our victory in the Vermont House last legislative session where we helped pass a bill (H.175) that would expand the Bottle Bill to cover more containers, VPIRG canvassers mobilized to educate and inform the public, gathering more than 10,000 signatures in support of a modernized Bottle Bill. This sets the stage for the Senate to take up H.175 next year, hopefully sending it to the governor’s desk.
Despite our major victory in the Vermont House earlier this year and the tremendous momentum we’ve built from our outreach this summer, we know the beverage and waste industries are only going to push harder as this legislation winds through the State House.
Our canvassers worked hard this summer to galvanize public support for this important piece of legislation. In addition to gathering thousands of petition signatures, our outreach has resulted in Vermonters sending hundreds of personalized messages of support to their senators. Grassroots actions like this are our best tool for affecting change, and as always, our members rose to the challenge.
I can’t tell you what it meant that our canvassers were able to speak with VPIRG members in-person for the first time in nearly two years.
We wouldn’t be able to do this work without the generosity of our members.