News

Statement on CRT from the Rutland Co Democratic Executive Committee

Please read the Rutland County Democratic Executive Committee’s letter to the editor in today’s Rutland Herald:

The Rutland County Democratic Executive Committee supports our public schools in following best practices to increase representation in lesson plans and to integrate restorative, equitable procedures. We support the research on systemic racism that is needed to dismantle hate. Systemic racism exists. For proof, just look at the attacks on best practices in diversity, equity and inclusion in our schools.

That’s the real source of the recent outrage directed at Critical Race Theory (CRT). Complaints about CRT strike at the essential bonds of our shared humanity, fueling division and mocking our efforts to build a more inclusive, resilient community.

No K-12 program is teaching CRT, because this theory is taught only to law students and, perhaps, to graduate students in a few other disciplines like history or sociology. But all K-12 programs should be supported in teaching ideas that can be found in CRT but aren’t specific to it. This includes equity and inclusion, both of which are core democratic values and the source of the USA’s strength. K-12 programs should also be teaching the truth about the damage done by racism both in the past and present. Failing to do so harms students of color and ill-prepares white students for an increasingly diverse and rich world. These ideas can be found in CRT, but they aren’t unique to it. They’re the basis of fundamental human decency. Attacking these ideas through an assault on CRT ultimately erodes the bedrock of our common identity.

We can’t afford for Rutland County or Vermont to become one of the places where simple human decency is banned thanks to the unfounded fear of CRT. Please make your voices heard. There’s too much at stake. Let’s support diversity, equity and inclusion. Let’s support our schools and our kids.

In solidarity,

Heather Juliussen

Rutland County Democrats,
Chair

Declaration of Inclusion

At the June 14, 2021 Rutland County Democratic Committee, we voted to pass a Declaration of Inclusion:

The Rutland County Democratic Committee condemns racism and discrimination of any type and welcomes all persons, regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age or disability, and will protect these classes to the fullest extent of the law.

As a committee, we formally condemn discrimination in all its forms and commit to fair and equal treatment of everyone in our community.

As a committee, we formally condemn discrimination in all its forms and commit to fair and equal treatment of everyone in our community.

The Rutland County Democratic Committee is committed to providing a space where the most marginalized can feel safe.

This declaration has been modeled on the declaration that’s already been passed in several towns in Rutland County, an event that’s making national news!

We encourage every town in Rutland County to pass a declaration. To read more about the declaration and to find talking points, you can go here.

If you would like to work on a Declaration of Inclusion in your town, but you aren’t sure how to get started, email us and we’ll put you in touch with people who can help: rutlandcountydemocratsvt@gmail.com

We can do this!

Democracy needs you!

Extremist Republicans are right here in Vermont and they are organized. Rutland County officeholders voted against state and local resolutions to condemn the January 6th assault on the US Capitol. Some repeated false claims about what happened that day and questioned the validity of the November election. We Democrats must be organized and prepared to fight back. We must restore honesty, decency and justice to move Rutland County forward.

Donate online: https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/rutland

Or send a check to Rutland County Democratic Committee, PO Box 933, Rutland, VT 05702

Town Meeting Day municipal elections showed what we can do. We pulled out all the stops by supporting candidates in key races across the county. We need to push even harder to win local seats so that we can build the bench of candidates and ensure that our town officials reflect our values.

Republicans take corporate, out-of-town money but Democratic officials work for us, so they need grassroots funding from local Democrats like you.  With your support we can win with strong candidates and effective campaigns. Every dollar stays in Rutland County and every cent helps.

Donate online: https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/rutland

Or send a check to Rutland County Democratic Committee, PO Box 933, Rutland, VT 05702

Thank you for your support!

Heather Juliussen-Stevenson, Chair

Your Executive Committee out & about in 2020:

Your Executive Committee: Elizabeth Filskov, Kathy Hall, Scott Garren, Eugenia Cooke, Mary Droege, Carol Wright, and Heather Juliussen-Stevenson

Join the Rutland County Democrats in supporting inclusion!

Please join us for our next meeting on June 14th as we discuss our work to elect candidates who represent our values and to build the kind of future that we want to live in. Part of this effort includes standing up for our most vulnerable neighbors. That’s why we’re so excited by the work that’s being done to pass a Declaration of Inclusion in every town in Rutland County. You’ve probably already heard about this, an effort that’s already making national news!
We encourage every town to adopt their own resolution. To read more about the declaration and to find talking points, you can go here. If you would like to work on this in your town, but you aren’t sure how to get started, email us and we’ll put you in touch with people who can help.
Join us in passing our own Declaration of Inclusion!
We will be voting on the passage of a Rutland County Democratic Committee Declaration of Inclusion at our June meeting.
When: Monday June 14th at 7 pm
Where: Join the Zoom meeting: https://zoom.us/j/99369836255?pwd=MnQvcTFrZXZ1dGUvVmVaUGxQenpwdz09
Meeting ID: 993 6983 6255
Passcode: 236786
Or call 646-558-8656
Read the draft meeting minutes from our last meeting: https://rutland-democrats.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/RCDC-Meeting-Minutes-Apr-2021.docx.pdf
And let us know what you think of our draft Declaration of Inclusion, modeled on the declaration that’s being passed across Rutland County:
The Rutland County Democratic Committee condemns racism and discrimination of any type and welcomes all persons, regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age or disability, and will protect these classes to the fullest extent of the law.
As a committee, we formally condemn discrimination in all its forms and commit to fair and equal treatment of everyone in our community.
The Rutland County Democratic Committee is committed to providing a space where the most marginalized can feel safe.
Hope to “see” you on June 14!

Tomorrow May 8th at 4 pm Voting Rights Demonstration in Main Street Park in Rutland

Republicans are after our voting rights

Republicans have introduced 361 voter suppression bills in 47 states. If they succeed in taking enough state legislatures, they can call a Constitutional Convention and rewrite the Constitution with new voting restrictions. They could introduce property requirements, as Steve Bannon hoped, or worse.

We may never see another Democratic President in our lifetimes.

The lives of our most vulnerable community members are at stake!

Stand up for voting rights

Castleton Indivisible is inviting the public to join them in a national day of action to fight for voting rights.

When: Saturday May 8th from 4 – 5 pm
Where: Main Street Park in Rutland
What: Hold signs to educate the public and to show our support for federal measures to save voting rights:

Pass S1 to end voter suppression https://indivisible.org/resource/people-act-strengthening-our-democracy
Pass HR 4 John Lewis Voting Rights Act https://indivisible.org/resource/democracy-reform-john-lewis-voting-rights-act
Pass HR 51 DC Statehood https://indivisible.org/resource/making-democracy-reform-priority-dc-statehood
End Filibuster https://indivisible.org/resource/congress-101-filibuster

On Republican voter suppression legislation: https://www.brennancenter.org/our-work/research-reports/state-voting-bills-tracker-2021

If you can’t make the May 8th demonstration:
Please talk to your friends and family in other states about the importance of these issues. And you can check out the links above for more information from Indivisible. You can record a video about the importance of DC Statehood and more! (Check out this video made by Mary Droege, Rutland County Democratic Grassroots Chair and Castleton Indivisible Co-leader: https://twitter.com/IndivisibleTeam/status/1377761436089389076?fbclid=IwAR1I9SMWjeHeFxP90NjznYwE0RzNfiJRRLxUITPtpS_zI9l0e-lgjaAjrZM)

Event guidelines
Face masks and six foot distancing required. Please stay on the sidewalk. Do not block traffic or passersby. Signs welcome. If you are going to bring a pet, please limit this to service pets only.
By choosing to attend this Event, you are committing to participate non-violently and to work to de-escalate confrontations with others. You are also acknowledging that you are solely responsible for any injury or damage to your person or property resulting from or occurring in the course of your participating in the Event. If you are going to bring a pet, please limit this to service pets only.
More Specifically:
· Avoid profanity (even when we’re subjected to profanity)
· Do not chant or shout.
· Respect each other’s physical space and keep at least 6 feet between everyone. If someone approaches us in a confrontational manner, we will yield the space.
· Ensure your safety
o Don’t go out unless at least one other ally is with you
o Always keeping a look-out for potential threats
o Consider filming but do so in a way that’s not obvious lest the act of filming spark an altercation
· Help us make sure that newcomers are on the same page with us about what we mean by non-violence and de-escalation, and if they aren’t then physically and verbally separate yourself from them so that we are not held responsible for the actions of outsiders.
· Avoid arguments with passersby who engage us; ask questions and try to evoke empathy with personal stories; always end on a good note even if they disagree by wishing them a good day. For tips, see https://indivisible.org/resource/organizing-mainly-about-listening
· Do not stand in front of other groups’ signs because that is a form of escalation.
· If an altercation breaks out, be ready to ensure the safety of the most vulnerable by physically surrounding them or providing them a means of escape from the scene. Remember that people in more marginalized positions than you are not necessarily safe even if you feel safe.
· Remember that you’re not there for yourself. The most effective thing you can do is practice non-violence, showing that you believe in standing up for others even in the face of cruelty and hate, and swallowing your knee-jerk response to act out of anger and hurt.
Hope to see you there!

We stand by VT workers & teachers

As the Vermont legislature works towards addressing the problem of underfunded pensions, the Rutland County Democratic Executive Committee has voted to express its support for Vermont’s state employees and public school teachers and staff.

The pension problem has been growing for decades. We do not need to rush the process. We can afford to slow down until we find a solution that works for everyone. And we should be inviting input from all the stakeholders.

Governor Phil Scott should stop watching from the sidelines. We need bold leadership and solutions. If he can’t provide that, then he needs to get out of the way so that the Democrats can step in and help the people who are counting on us. If Governor Scott thinks that supporting Vermont workers is too radical, then he has no business serving in government office or drawing a salary from our tax dollars.

Historically, Democrats have stood by the working class and many of us are Democrats today for that very reason. We know that Vermont workers were already struggling, even before the pandemic. Workers shouldn’t have to worry about their pensions, especially now. We fear that Vermont will be facing a mass exodus if the underfunded pension problem is not addressed in an equitable way. And this isn’t just an issue of economic justice—it’s a racial justice issue, too, with Black folk, indigenous people, and people of color suffering a disproportionate lack of access to economic resources.

The Rutland County Democratic Executive Committee stands by and supports workers and their right to organize. We support unions. If the Republicans cannot or will not step up and do the right thing, then they should be held accountable for that decision. The vulnerable Vermonters who are relying on us demand our utmost fidelity.

Vermont workers have paid their dues. It’s time that we pay them back.

Our sympathy on the passing of Judge Hall

Our deepest sympathy to the family and friends of Judge Hall. We are grateful for his service and grieve his passing.

Read more: https://www.legacy.com/us/obituaries/burlingtonfreepress/name/peter-hall-obituary?pid=198090437

Help VT lower the spread of COVID-19 & win $25

Senator Cheryl Hooker has asked us to share this opportunity to take an online survey from the University of Vermont to provide the state with information that will help them minimize the spread of COVID-19. To take the Survey: https://qualtrics.uvm.edu/jfe/form/SV_bph6Y6koswJ1joh

Complete the online survey and enter for a chance to win one of ten $25 gift cards to a local Vermont business. Total time for participation is approximately 10 minutes.

To participate you must:
• Be at least 18 years of age,
• Be either a Vermont resident OR travel to Vermont from out-of-state during the Covid-19 pandemic.

A group of researchers at the University of Vermont have developed a survey on Vermont’s Covid-19 Guidelines in collaboration with the VT Department of Health (VDH) and Department of Tourism & Marketing (VDTM) and is approved by the UVM Institutional Review Board. We are sharing weekly reports with VDH and VDTM to aid with their pandemic communications and will provide a complete report in April to all interested parties.

For more information and to participate, please visit http://go.uvm.edu/kv7cd

To take the Survey: https://qualtrics.uvm.edu/jfe/form/SV_bph6Y6koswJ1joh

Thank you!

Wish your town was doing more about right wing extremism?

Get your town Select Board to pass a resolution condemning racism

Bob Harnish recently succeeded in having Pittsford pass a resolution condemning racism and welcoming all persons regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity or expression, age or disability and will protect those classes to the fullest extent of the law. Read the resolution here.

Encourage your town Select Board to pass a similar resolution. This could encourage conversations that need to be happening more often. It could also be a way for your town to become more organized in electing legislators who will represent our values.

Want some help? Email us RutlandCountyDemocratsVT@gmail.com and we’ll connect you with other people in your town who are interested in working on this project.

Get state resources for organizing your town!

With Rutland County Republican legislators like Rep. Art Peterson and Rutland City Alderman Tom DePoy rejecting resolutions condemning the white supremacist insurrection at the Capitol, we need to start organizing now to elect officials who will represent our values.

The Vermont Democratic Party hasn’t been able to provide much support for town committees in the past. This is changing! With party re-organization quickly approaching in September and a competitive mid-term election in 2022, the Vermont Democratic Party is committed to using its resources to empower towns across Vermont!

The Vermont Democratic Party is calling their new initiative “251 in ’21,” named after the number of the towns and cities in our state.

Whether you’ve been organizing for years or you’re just getting started, please join us for the 1st meeting of 251 in ’21.

When: Tuesday February 2nd at 6:30 pm

Where: Virtual meeting

RSVP: https://www.mobilize.us/vtdems/event/371883/

We’re looking for someone like you!

Dear Rutland County Democrat,

Are you committed to your community? Do you want to make a difference?

Have you ever thought of serving on your town’s Board of Aldermen or Select Board?

Are you interested in serving on your local School Board?

Do you know someone else who is?

Why? The Rutland County Democrats are here to help community members run for local seats. Too many towns are stagnating under the leadership of do-nothing politicians who still believe in outdated and ineffective trickle-down economics.

Who? We need people just like you—people who are willing to invest their time and effort in their communities. Together, we can build the kind of inclusive-minded region that works for everyone and brings in new opportunities.

When? Local elections are in early March, so it’s time to get to work!

Why now? We are facing unprecedented challenges. We need local government offices to be filled with people who represent our values.

Next steps: If you are interested or you know of someone who may be interested in running for a seat in the March elections please reach out to RutlandCountyDemocratsVT@gmail.com