Brattleboro Absentee Ballots Available

Absentee ballots for the Primary Election to be held on August 11, are now available in Vermont town clerks’ offices.  Anyone wishing to vote prior to August 11 may apply for an absentee ballot until 5:00 p.m. on Monday, August 10.   Due to COVID-19, in-person early voting at the Brattleboro Town Clerk’s office will not be an option this year. Absentee ballots may be mailed to the voter by the clerk’s office or if a voter is in need can be delivered to the voter’s residence by two Justices of the Peace.  All ballots must be received by the clerk before the polls close on election day in order to be counted.  Ballots can be returned by mail (postage pre-paid), dropped off in advance of the election in the drop box in the Municipal Center parking lot, or returned to the polls on election day. For more information or to request an absentee ballot in Brattleboro call 251-8157. Sample ballots are available on the Brattleboro.org website, under elections.


VT AFL-CIO Stands With Black Communities In Resistance

June 28, 2020, Montpelier, VT – Black Lives Matter. The Vermont AFL-CIO understands and recognizes that the United States of America is a nation which has long been governed by a ruling class whose power (social and economic) is rooted in slavery, racism, inequity, and oppression. We further see with clear eyes that Black people, whose ancestors were brought to this country in chains, have suffered (and continue to suffer) oppression on a massive and inexcusable scale. Such facts are made plain by not only looking at history, but also by looking at contemporary unemployment figures, poverty rates, average household income, incarceration rates, and through policing data. People who are Black are also murdered by American police officers with sickening regularity. George Floyd was not an exception. He, like Breonna Taylor, Michael Brown, Terence Crutcher, Eric Garner, Freddie Gray (to name but a few), was one of the latest in a long line of martyrs going back hundreds of years (and accounting for thousands of taken lives). We must not become numb to these murders. We cannot accept that Black families must educate their children on how to not become the target of unprovoked police violence. We cannot allow systematic racism and police violence against Black people to continue as the regularity that it has always been. Rather, we must resist.


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!


20 Union Demands – All To The Union Picket Lines June 9 – Come and Fight for a Green New Deal for Vermont!

Demand a New Deal – No To Racism – No To Austerity – Union Yes!
“An Attack On One Is An Attack On All”

WE DEMAND A NEW DEAL!

NEW DEAL: We demand the Federal Government, the State of Vermont and municipalities commit to a economic recovery effort through a progressively funded NEW DEAL that puts the working class first, and gives rise to a more directly democratic society free of racism, discrimination, oppression, and economic exploitation of the laboring classes;


Vermont AFL-CIO President Speaks: Demand A New Social Contract That Puts Workers First & Green New Deal!

Last week I, as Vermont AFL-CIO President, talked with WGDR’s Carl Etnier (a UAW member) about COVID-19, the health concerns of Early Childhood Educators, the fight of Burlington City workers (AFSCME) to defend their pay and benefits (while not suffering layoffs), the need to rebuild the economy through a more directly democratic Green New Deal, and Labor’s support for Progressive David Zuckerman for Governor.

It is beyond the pale that while we continue to struggle and suffer during the pandemic, that the elite and many politicians are calling for cuts to social spending, the closing of colleges, for workers to lose their jobs or suffer wage & benefit reductions, and for the wealthy among us to continue benefiting from the massive tax cuts reaped under the Trump Administration. All the while tens-of-thousands of Vermonters are out of work (40 million across the Nation). Thousands are already lining up at Vermont National Guard bread lines! And yet the rich, and too many politicians who they wield influence over, want to protect their comfort and privilege by asking YOU to tighten YOUR belt. The Vermont AFL-CIO rejects this basic premise!


Right Wing Attacks On Our Post Offices – Trump Bails Out Corporations – Seeks To Let Postal Service Fail

COVID-19 has brought on an economic crisis not seen in the US since the Great Depression. And as with all historic financial disasters, it is far from inevitable that the working class-left will emerge from the chaos with a progressive agenda moving forward. Another competing force is the far right. Such reactionaries will use the crisis to seek to implement privatizations, cuts to social services, elimination of environmental regulations, and even more tax cuts for the rich. There will also be those on the extreme right who will use the crisis to argue for a neo-fascist re-ordering of society.

We, the Labor Movement, must recognize the opportunities and dangers the crisis presents. We must also be sober in our analysis that the future is unwritten, and the outcome undecided. And here, we shall only emerge as the victors and we shall only have the ability to move a progressive program forward if we are able to build the power required to overcome the other. And right now, the battle over the United States Postal Service is the front that has been opened by the Trump Administration, and therefore constitutes one of the major fights we must engage in.


Putting Workers First: Organizing the Pandemic – The Working Class Must Fight For A Union Based New Deal

On Wednesday, April 15th, 2020, Champlain Valley Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) hosted a Zoom panel discussion with organizers from several labor and social justice groups in Vermont and around the U.S. Panelists discussed the pandemic-related challenges they are facing in their communities and workplaces and, most importantly, how they are seeking to overcome these challenges and advance bold left demands for workers’ rights and economic and social justice [and a Union based Green New Deal].

Following the panel discussion, DSA opened up the floor to questions from participants. The goal of the call was to strategize ways to coordinate our work more closely, develop shared demands and provide concrete ways for people to tap into these current campaigns and actions.


Brattleboro Absentee Ballot Requests

With August Primary elections and the November General elections coming up around the corner, we encourage all voters to visit their My Voter Page to update their registration address, including their physical AND mailing addresses, and request an absentee ballot to be mailed to them.

The My Voter Page is now found at https://mvp.vermont.gov. If you encounter problems logging into your My Voter Page, please contact the Town Clerk’s office at 802-251-8157 for assistance. People can also register to vote using the online voter registration page at https://olvr.vermont.gov. Note that both of these links have been updated.


Anti-Labor Turncoat, Cynthia Browning, Removed From VT House Committee Assignment – Brattleboro’s Emilie Kornheiser Becomes Progressive Alternative

I would challenge anyone to find a single instance were VT Representative Cynthia Browning voted in favor of any piece of major legislation that benefited Vermont workers or was supported by Organized Labor. And this week she challenged the quorum of the House thereby compelling 100 lawmakers to converge on the Statehouse, despite the rapid spreading virus, in order to enact emergency voting procedures desired on a tri-partisan bases during the crisis. The Vermont AFL-CIO celebrates Browning’s removal from the powerful Ways And Means Committee and encourages Speaker Mitzi Johnson to not appoint her to any committee. We further call on the Vermont Democratic Party to continuously reject Browning as a recognized member of their Party and thereby refuse access to their Party lists, endorsements, and assistance during the November General Election. And frankly, the Vermont AFL-CIO asserts that such actions should have been taken years ago.


David Schoales Resigns Selectboard – Ian Goodnow To Take Seat

“WHAT IS NEW TODAY • Selectboard member Dave Schoales has resigned so that Selectboard member-elect Ian Goodnow can be appointed. This will allow the composition of the Selectboard to change in the manner decided by the voters at the same time when that transition normally would take place. The Town’s Charter states that “newly elected Selectboard members’ terms shall begin on the first Monday following the final adjournment of the annual Representative Town Meeting.” Due to the postponement of this year’s Representative Town Meeting, the commencement of Ian Goodnow’s service would have been delayed indefinitely. Instead, a special Selectboard meeting will be held soon so that the continuing 4 Selectboard members can appoint Ian Goodnow to fill the vacancy created by Dave Schoales’ resignation.”


Trump Wins Democratic Primary

The national Democratic party machine has once again managed to set up its circular firing squad as the bullets started flying. Instead of developing a comprehensive strategy to use the presidential primary as a way to unify Democrats, they have created chaos while allowing Trump to set the agenda for just about everything they do.

The grand obsession is to focus almost all of their messaging and energy on their anointed candidate who they believe has the best chance of beating Trump in November. Debate over the issues important to voters has been tainted by the obsession.


Brattleboro Representative Town Meeting Informational Forum and District Caucuses

Brattleboro Town Selectboard will hold a pre-town meeting information forum on Wednesday, March 11 at Academy School beginning at 7:00 PM. Representative Town Meeting articles will be discussed, including the budget.  At 6:30 p.m., town meeting members of each district will be available to meet with constituents to offer residents an opportunity to share their views and discuss articles to be voted on at the annual meeting.  Also, at that time, all three districts will be accepting nominations to fill town meeting member vacancies for 1 year.District 1 has eleven seats to appoint, District 2 has one seat to appoint, and District 3 has four seats to appoint.


Brattleboro Unofficial Election Results March 3, 2020

Please see the attached for the “unofficial results” for Brattleboro Town Meeting, WSESU School Board, & Presidential Primary Elections. These are the results from the ballot tallies, not including write-in votes, and not including other towns’ results for the WSESD or Primary races. The projected winners are in bold in each race.


Brattleboro Election Information and Candidate Interview Links

We now have all interviews for Brattleboro Selectboard candidates available, and Tuesday is the day to get to the polls and vote if you haven’t already done so. Here are the links to candidate interviews, the candidate forum video, representative statements, and general election information. It is all to help guide your last-minute voting decisions.

Selectboard Candidate Interviews, alphabetically: