VT Governor Scott Extends State of Emergency

Montpelier, Vt. – Governor Phil Scott today signed an executive order to update and extend the State of Emergency in Vermont to July 15. The latest order reflects all current re-openings and eased restrictions, which have been underway since late April to account for the State’s low case counts and continued slow growth rate.

State data and modeling shows overall spread of COVID-19 continues to be limited, even as the state has seen an isolated outbreak with 84 related cases in the Winooski area.

Governor Scott also detailed how a robust testing and tracing program; better knowledge of the virus; greater public awareness of, and adherence to, preventive measures; health and safety requirements across sectors; and increased stock of critical healthcare supplies, the state is much better positioned to track, manage and box in outbreaks and slow spread, which is critical to managing this virus until there is a vaccine.


100+ Vehicle Caravan Pickets For Job Security & New Deal in Burlington – Solidarity With Black Lives Matter

June, 2020, Burlington, Vermont – On Tuesday June 9 in Burlington, 45 Vermont Labor Unions and allied organizations answered the call issued by AFSCME Local 1343 to picket for job security and a New Deal economic recovery. In a powerful display of progressive Labor unity AFSCME City workers, led by Local President Damion Gilbert and Vice President Jesse Greeno, insisted that the Mayor guarantee that workers and public services come first during these hard times. 1343 further urged the City Council to support a charter change to allow for a wealth tax on the richest residents to better fund public services, and that if cuts need to be made that they come from Police Department equipment & brass and by way of cutting high paid political appointee positions.


Cris Ericson Is On The 2020 Progressive Party Primary Election Ballot. Please Watch Her Home Kitchen Video!

Cris Ericson, previously an independent and U.S. Marijuana Party candidate, is now a 2020 Progressive Party candidate for the Vermont primary election August 11, 2020. Absentee ballts are being sent out as early as the last week of this month, June 2020. Candidates have to use new ways to communicate with Vermont voters!

Cris Ericson is also happy to announce that she sees Emily Peyton as a Republican this time, and Boots Wardinski on the 2020 primary election ballot running against Cris Ericson for Governor of Vermont on the Progressive Party 2020 primary election ballot. Good candidates are not defeated because they lose in the past, they just run again! We are like sports teams that lose and lose and never give up and then surprise, surprise, we will win, hopefully in 2020!


VT Governor Scott – Limited Seating at Restaurants Allowed and New Travel Rules

Montpelier, Vt. – As state data and expanded testing and tracing capacity continue to support reopening, Governor Phil Scott today announced the resumption of limited indoor seating at restaurants and bars and a data-driven approach to allow travel to and from designated areas without a 14-day quarantine requirement.

“One of the many things that Vermont is so well known for is our great local food and craft brews, so I know how important this sector is to our economy,” said Governor Scott. “I know we still have a very long way to go to help our restaurants get back on their feet but we’ve got to start somewhere and we’ll be able to build on this progress if our numbers continue to move in the right direction.”


Vermont Governor and Attorney General Statements on Protests

“Protests have been an important part of our democracy, driving change throughout our history. The peaceful protests we’ve seen in Vermont are an important outlet for our communities to express their sadness, anger and frustrations, and to call for change. This is a critical moment in our history, and it is our responsibility, as public servants, to listen and allow for these protests to safely continue. I thank Vermonters for their commitment to protecting each other, both through the change we are trying to seek and how we are seeking it.” – Governor Phil Scott


The 2020 Census and Second /Seasonal Home Ownership

Instructions for Second Home Owners

Second home owners should know they must respond to the Census – once for each home they own. Please use the following instructions to complete the survey for each house that you own.

1. Go to 2020Census.gov and enter another form once you have completed the survey for your primary residence.

2. In the address location, where it *specifically* says, “Where were you living ON APRIL 1?” disregard that instruction about the date, and put in the seasonal/second home address.


Coronavirus: Vermont AFL-CIO Crisis Demands & The Need To Rebuild The Economy Through A Green New Deal

Much progress has been made in the Green Mountains since the start of the Coronacrisis. And we should all recognize the rapid pace at which it was achieved. Together, as Vermonters, we have:

* Unemployment Insurance: Greatly lowered the qualifying thresholds for unemployment insurance;

* Worker Safety & Health: Seen most unionized cities and towns take meaningful steps to better protect the health and safety of workers;

* Feeding Low Income Children: Secured food for low income children;


WGDR Interview: VT AFL-CIO President Van Deusen on the CoronaCrisis & Rebuilding Through A Green New Deal

The Coronavirus public health crisis is rapidly becoming an economic crisis for the working class. In this interview (WGDR 91.1 FM) Vermont AFL-CIO President David Van Deusen discusses the steps already taken to address the needs of working people, what still has to be done in the here and now, and the need for a Green New Deal to rebuild society after the immediate danger passes.

Click on the below video link to listen to the full interview:


VT AFL-CIO On Combating the Coronacrisis: Where We Stand – Where We Need To Be

Montpelier, Vermont – In the seven days since the Vermont AFL-CIO put forth a list of demands to State government on behalf of ALL working class Vermonters, we have seen meaningful progress. The following steps have either already been taken, or are in the process of being implemented:

· Our Labor and Health: An overwhelming number of Unionized employees of Towns & Cities continue to receive full pay and benefits even if ordered home (and in many communities older or health compromised workers have been afforded the right to go home with said pay, even when their job responsibilities are important to base line operations);


I AM…2020 Important Update – Rescheduled for May 2021

IMPORTANT UPDATE ABOUT : I AM…2020 – The Statewide Exhibition
Coming to Southern Vermont (Posted to the Calendar for May 1 – May 31)
*NOW RESCHEDULED FOR MAY 2021*

Given the current landscape with COVID-19 we want to be cautious and will be rescheduling the I AM… exhibition to coincide with Diversity Day celebrations in May 2021. If you have questions, please inbox curator, Shanta Lee Gander.


Vermont Partnership For Fairness and Diversity and African American Heritage Trail Create Opportunities For Poets Of Color

Mount Island is excited to announce that the Vermont Partnership for Fairness and Diversity (VPFD) and Vermont African American Heritage Trail—an initiative of the VPFD— have donated a total of $150 toward the Lucy Terry Prince prize. Celebrated poet Major Jackson, who lives and teaches in Vermont, will serve as judge for the inaugural Lucy Terry Prince Prize. Major Jackson is the author of five books of poetry, including The Absurd Man (2020), Roll Deep (2015), Holding Company (2010), Hoops (2006) and Leaving Saturn (2002), which won the Cave Canem Poetry Prize for a first book of poems. The donation will cover the $10 entry fee of 15 poets of color seeking to submit their work for consideration.


Where Have All The Nurses Gone

In his recent budget address Vermont Governor Phil Scott pointed out that Vermont is spending too much money to hire traveling nurses. He has come to recognize something that has been causing economic pain to Vermont’s health care institutions for many years.

When an institution cannot hire enough nurses from the local community and they want to provide optimum staffing, they often turn to one of the national traveling nurse companies to fill vacancies. The overall cost of contracting with these agencies significantly hurts the bottom line of institutions and that means that overall health care costs increase for everyone eventually.


Vermont Companies Support Employees’ Call for Urgent Climate Action

Burlington, VT, January 23, 2020 – Some of Vermont’s most iconic companies gave employees time off today to lobby policy makers at the Statehouse in Montpelier.  More than 100 employees met with elected officials and called on the Governor and the legislature to make climate change a priority in this legislative session and to pass a package of laws to ensure that Vermont meets its goals of a 40% reduction of GHG levels by 2030, and 80-95% reduction by 2050.

The employees warned that Vermont’s failure to reduce carbon emissions is damaging to the economy, environment, and their way of life.


Governor Scott’s State of the State Address

Mr. President, Madam Speaker, Mr. Chief Justice, members of the General Assembly, honored guests and fellow Vermonters:

Today, I welcome the opening of the legislative session with the same optimism I had as a freshman senator from Washington County nearly two decades ago. 

I come before you to report on the state of the state, to reflect on the work we’ve done and to share a vision and priorities for our future. 


Vermont Jazz Center Presents: Annual Big Band Scholarship Fundraiser, Celebrating Nat King Cole

The Vermont Jazz Center’s Big Band will present its Annual Scholarship Gala on Saturday, December 7th at 8:00 PM. This year’s celebration will honor Nat King Cole’s 100th birthday-anniversary. The VJC Big Band, under the leadership of musical director Rob Freeberg, is a community orchestra made up of professional musicians who come together once a year to raise money for the VJC’s Scholarship Fund. This event is the primary funding source that helps aid scholarship students attending VJC’s educational programs. In 2019 the VJC offered $30,000 in scholarships to help students attend ensembles, private lessons and their annual summer jazz workshop.

This year’s gala will feature the arrangements of songs made famous by Nat “King” Cole, who was recognized as “one of the most influential entertainers of the 20th century” by National Public Radio. The Grammy Hall of Famer was a superstar of his time: he recorded over 150 Billboard singles and sold over 50 millions records. Cole knew he was destined for a life of music – he dropped out of high school at the age of 15 to tour as pianist in his brother Eddie’s trio and he never looked back.


Opening Week for the Winter Farmers’ Market

The Brattleboro Winter Farmers’ Market opens its 14th season on Saturday, November 2nd once again in the C. F. Church Building at 80 Flat St in downtown Brattleboro. After the last outdoor market in October, fans of the famous summer farmer’s market in West Brattleboro, can simply follow many of their favorite vendors indoors to the only weekly farmers market in the region. The Brattleboro Winter Farmers’ Market is open every Saturday, 10- 2, November through March.

Visitors will find plenty of farms and local produce, and this great location provides easy convenient parking and a spacious market where we can adequately serve both our vendors and customers. Most weeks, market visitors will find over 2 dozen vendors, including many favorites from past seasons and some new faces as well.


Vermont Jazz Center Presents: 2nd Annual Emerging Artist Festival featuring Harold López-Nussa Quartet

The Vermont Jazz Center is excited to present pianist Harold López-Nussa and his all-Cuban quartet on Saturday, November 2nd as part of the VJC’s Emerging Artist Festival. This event is being held in memory of the VJC’s dear friend and generous patron, Jonathan Flaccus, whose passion for Cuban music and classic bebop as well as his generosity in assisting those in need has had a great impact on the Jazz Center. This is a rare opportunity to hear the López-Nussa Quartet live, as they are based in Cuba and are coming to the VJC as part of a tour that will take them to seven venues on the East Coast as well as performances in France and the United Kingdom.

Thanks to an Arts Impact Award from the Vermont Arts Council, the Harold López-Nussa Quartet will also be presenting a free workshop on the basic building blocks of Cuban jazz performance and style at the Vermont Jazz Center at 2:00 PM on Saturday, November 2nd.  This workshop is free and open to the general public. The López-Nussa Quartet concert at 8:00 PM is a ticketed event (tickets available at vtjazz.org).


Why I Endorse the F-35 (Fubar-35) Sort Of..

“The only purpose of war is make the rich richer and the poor poorer.” Major General S. Butler USMC

There is a big NIMBY (Not In My Backyard) brouhaha about the F-35 being stationed in Burlington, Vermont. The plane has certainly lived up to its appellation as Fubar-35 (finagled up beyond all rationality) and the environmental pollution and deafening noise are certainly factors to consider. Lockheed Martin and the Pentagon know the plane is a disaster; nevertheless, it’s a bonanza for the Military Industrial Mafia who profit from it: Pratt Whitney, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin and hundreds of military suppliers. Contrary to reason and rationality, bring this noisy mechanical economic failure here to our Green Mountain State!


RIP Green Mountain Red, Former Putney Communard, Roz Payne

May 21, 2019 -Vermont has lost one of our most remarkable woman; today film maker, journalist, Black Panther historian, communard, Green Mountain Red, revolutionary, and (ironically) Richmond constable Roz Payne has left this world and these Green Hills for points beyond. Roz grew up in a working class-leftist household in New Jersey. Her mother was a union organizer in Lawrence, MA in the 1930s, and her father ran for NJ State Senate as a member of the Socialist Party.  Poet Allen Ginsberg was her sometimes babysitter.


Vermont Town Meeting Day – Empowering Direct Democracy

By David Van Deusen, District Vice President of the VT AFL-CIO

March 5th, 2019, Cabot VT -Today, the first Tuesday of March, is Town Meeting Day in Vermont. While a community may have many Town Meetings during the year, this is the one day when every community has a Town Meeting all at once.  And here, all the citizens collectively act as the legislative branch of the local government.  One citizen, one vote.  Unlike in the rest of the United States, towns in Vermont have the right to conduct all their government business from the floor of the Town Meeting.