This is a strange time to be releasing our 2019 Annual Report. In some ways, it feels like a time capsule, a reminder of bygone days – before Trump’s impeachment, before the global spread of COVID-19, before we knew the names Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, or George Floyd.
In recent months, as an organization and as individuals, we have seen many of our plans and expectations for 2020 upended. Here at VPIRG, we have responded by refocusing our work on three core tenets: voting, vigilance, and values. We’re grateful that our long history of working on a broad range of public interest issues allowed us to pivot nimbly in a time of crisis to address some of the most pressing concerns facing Vermonters today.
In the pages of the 2019 Annual Report, you will find a celebration of this broad portfolio of programmatic work, from our legislative victories on single-use plastics, lead and PFAS in drinking water, and toxic pesticides, to our ongoing efforts to ensure that all Vermonters have access to reliable, affordable broadband, an issue that’s been thrown into stark relief in recent months as tens of thousands of people have found themselves working and learning from home for the first time.
You’ll also hear about the incredible reach of our 2019 summer door canvass (a topic that makes us especially nostalgic, in light of our decision to cancel this year’s door-to-door operation and focus on virtual outreach instead), and the momentum that young Vermonters have helped build for climate action, work that we’re proud to say is continuing in 2020, even in the face of a multitude of other crises.
We hope you’ll you’ll draw hope and inspiration from the stories of powerful grassroots organizing and advocacy that fill its pages.