S.281, Systemic Racism Mitigation Bill Veto Outrage

We are Outraged at the Governor’s Veto of S.281, the Systemic Racism Mitigation Bill!

Folks,

We are outraged at the Governor’s Veto of S.281, Racism the Systemic racism Mitigation bill.  The fact that he would replace the bill with an executive order speaks of his unwillingness to truly seek to address mitigating systemic racism in Vermont in any real and sustainable manner.  Of all concerns, the Governor vetoed this bill because he would not have the ability to terminate this person unilaterally, without the majority vote of an associated panel.  Legislative Council has stated that his claims that a termination process requiring a majority panel vote are simply wrong.

Addressing systemic racism by executive order leaves the fate of the entire systemic racism mitigation apparatus in the hands of the Governor who has been (with one exception) an affluent white man throughout all Vermont history.   Further, the Governor has no authority to appropriate funds for the creation of a position or the funding of panel.

We demand that the legislature immediately take action on this very important issue and immediately override this incredulous overreach of Executive power.  We cannot allow this Governor to derail the hard fought efforts placed into addressing systemic racism in Vermont.  His plan is clearly intended to wield and protect his political power, not implement a sustainable approach to mitigating systemic racism.  Please help us move a swift and decisive veto override.  Here is how you can help:

  1. Send this message to all of you friends ASAP
  2. Call you legislators, the Senate Pro Tempore and the Speaker of the House and tell them to override the veto 802.828.2228
  3. Send a note to your legislators, the Senate Pro Tempore and the Speaker of the House and ask them to override the veto
  4. Share this on your social media

Justice For All pursues racial justice within Vermont’s criminal justice system through advocacy, education, and relationship-building.
As you consider where you are investing in social justice issues, remember the racial referendum that we just experienced in our national election. Consider donating to Justice For All, an organically grown, Vermont-based racial justice organization that has been here doing the work over the past couple of years  Please help us with your membership, provide organizational support or simply provide a contribution. Help us continue this work in Vermont.

Over the past number of years we have worked to successfully deliver the Vermont Fair and Impartial Policing Policy for all law enforcement agencies in the state. We are the founding organization of the Racial Justice reform Coalition, which put forward what became Act 54, the Racial Disparities in the Criminal and Juvenile Justice System Advisory Panel.  Our latest legislative win is S.281, the Systemic Racism Mitigation legislation is headed to the Governor’s desk at the time of this update.  Our work continues with numerous community outreach activities, Vermont Justice Coalition, Coalition on Racial Justice Reform, the Law Enforcement Professional Regulation Committee and much more but we need your help to continue.Respectfully,

Mark A. Hughes, ED, Justice For All

Racial Justice Reform Coalition

The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call For Moral Revival Enters Week Two, Linking Systemic Racism to Poverty

The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call For Moral Revival Enters Week Two, Linking Systemic Racism to Poverty

On Monday, you may have joined the Vermont Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival to launch the largest wave of nonviolent in civil disobedience in US history. This action kicked off our our six-week season of nonviolent direct action in Vermont!

For the first week, we focused on child poverty, women in poverty and people with disabilities. Monday’s actions come as the Trump administration pushes work requirements for SNAP recipients and seeks to cut $7 billion from a child healthcare program.

If you missed week one, you can catch some of the fantastic local and national news coverage!

MyNBC5

WCAX

Huffington Post

We’ve stepped out across the nation, and we are just getting started.

Our theme next week (May 20-26) is Linking Systemic Racism and Poverty: Voting Rights, Immigration, Xenophobia, Islamophobia, and the Mistreatment of Indigenous Communities. RSVP here.

This is an important issue for anyone who cares that almost half—23 states—have adopted some form of voter suppression law since 2010; that deportations have increased tenfold between 1976 and 2015; or that Native Americans and Alaska Natives have the highest poverty rate of any racial group.

If you RSVP to Week Two’s rally, we’ll send you a reminder email ahead of time and give you instructions on when and where to show up.

Here are some important links for this week activities:

May 20th Training Facebook Event

May 20th Training Registration

May 21st Rally Facebook Event

May21st Action Registration

Please connect with and share these links out with your network, we need your help to take the good news of this campaign to every corner of the state! Keep up the amazing work.


Each week in Washington, DC there will be events live streamed across the nation. All events will be live streamed from the PPC: NCMR Facebook Page. We will also be hosting them locally and encourage you to do the same. 

Here are the recurring weekly activities that will be happening throughout the 40 days of Nonviolent Moral Fusion Direct Action:

Sunday Evenings     –    Mass Meeting
Tuesday  Evenings   –   Truthful Tuesday  – Having broken into the national consciousness on Monday, the theme of each week will be further explored by thought leaders, moral leaders and impacted leaders in a nationally broadcast teach-in. Local viewing events and discussion is encouraged.
Thursday Evenings  –    Justice Jam Night –  Justice Jam Night will be a power-packed hour of justice music and spoken word! (starts May 17th)

Find the Vermont Poor People’s Campaign on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.  Register here to receive email directly from the campaign www.poorpeoplescampaignvt.org.  You can email them as well:  vermont@poorpeoplescampaign.org

Weekly Themes: 

  • Week One (May 13-19) – SOMEBODY’S HURTING OUR PEOPLE: Children, Women, and People with Disabilities in Poverty
  •  Week Two (May 20-26) – LINKING SYSTEMIC RACISM AND POVERTY: Voting Rights, Immigration, Xenophobia, Islamophobia, and the Mistreatment of Indigenous Communities
  • Week Three (May 27-June 2) – THE WAR ECONOMY: Militarism and the Proliferation of Gun Violence (Action will take place on Tuesday rather than on Memorial day)
  • Week Four (June 3-9) – THE RIGHT TO HEALTH AND A HEALTHY PLANET: Ecological Devastation and Health Care
  • Week Five (June 10-16) – EVERYBODY’S GOT THE RIGHT TO LIVE: Education, Living Wage Jobs, Income, Housing
  •  Week Six (June 17-22) – A NEW AND UNSETTLING FORCE: Confronting the Distorted Moral Narrative

About Justice For All
Justice For All pursues racial justice within Vermont’s criminal justice system through advocacy, education, and relationship-building.

As you consider where you are investing in social justice issues, remember the racial referendum that we just experienced in our national election. Consider donating to Justice For All, an organically grown, Vermont-based racial justice organization that has been here doing the work over the past couple of years  Please help us with your membership, provide organizational support or simply provide a contribution. Help us continue this work in Vermont.

Over the past number of years we have worked to successfully deliver the Vermont Fair and Impartial Policing Policy for all law enforcement agencies in the state. We are the founding organization of the Racial Justice reform Coalition, which put forward what became Act 54, the Racial Disparities in the Criminal and Juvenile Justice System Advisory Panel.  Our latest legislative win is S.281, the Systemic Racism Mitigation legislation is headed to the Governor’s desk at the time of this update.  Our work continues with numerous community outreach activities, Vermont Justice Coalition, Coalition on Racial Justice Reform, the Law Enforcement Professional Regulation Committee and much more but we need your help to continue.

Respectfully,

Mark A. Hughes, ED, Justice For All

The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call For Moral Revival – Breaks Silence and Launches a 40 Day Season to Initiate an Effort to “Save the Heart of The Nation”

On Monday, May 14th, the Vermont Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival will launch a season of nonviolent moral fusion direct action in Vermont, and we need you to join us. In communities across America—black, white, brown and Native—we have built a Poor People’s Campaign to become what Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. called “a new and unsettling force in our complacent national life.” 

The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival will force a serious national examination of the enmeshed evils of systemic racism, systemic poverty, ecological devastation, the war economy and our distorted moral narrative.  Through these highly publicized, non-violent moral fusion direct actions, the Campaign will begin the process of changing a badly distorted national moral narrative while forcing a serious conversation about poverty and a national examination of the enmeshed evils of systemic racism, systemic poverty, ecological devastation and the war economy.

Listed below are the upcoming events, activities and training leading up to the 40 day season of Nonviolent Moral Fusion Direct Action (NVMFDA). Please keep in mind that EVERYONE actively participating in any civil disobedience associated with the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call For Moral Revival MUST attend a Sunday NVMFDA (Part II), at a minimum.

NVMFDA Training on May 12th in St. Johnsbury
NVMFDA (Part II) Training at Episcopal Church in Barre on May 13th at 5:00 PM
Grounding and Staging at Christ Church in Montpelier on May 14th at 10:00 AM
Rally (Somebody’s Hurting Our People) Statehouse on May 14th at 2:00 PM
Direct Action at the Statehouse on May 14th at 3:00 PM

Each week in Washington, DC there will be events live streamed across the nation. All events will be live streamed from the PPC: NCMR Facebook Page. 

Here are the recurring weekly activities that will be happening throughout the 40 days of Nonviolent Moral Fusion Direct Action:
Sundays:             5:00 PM Nonviolent Moral Fusion Direct Action Training at Church of the Good Shepherd, Barre
Mass Meeting Livestream – 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. EDT
Mondays:            10:00 am centering and logistics, Christ Church, Montpelier
2:00 PM Rally at the Statehouse
3:00 Action at Statehouse
Tuesdays:           Truthful Tuesday Teach-Ins Livestream – 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. EDT
Further exploration by thought leaders, moral leaders and impacted leaders in a nationally broadcast teach-in.
Thursdays:          Thursday Justice Jam Nights Livestream – 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. EDT
Power-packed hour of justice music and spoken word!

Weekly Themes: 

  • Week One (May 13-19) – SOMEBODY’S HURTING OUR PEOPLE: Children, Women, and People with Disabilities in Poverty
  •  Week Two (May 20-26) – LINKING SYSTEMIC RACISM AND POVERTY: Voting Rights, Immigration, Xenophobia, Islamophobia, and the Mistreatment of Indigenous Communities
  • Week Three (May 27-June 2) – THE WAR ECONOMY: Militarism and the Proliferation of Gun Violence (Action will take place on Tuesday rather than on Memorial day)
  • Week Four (June 3-9) – THE RIGHT TO HEALTH AND A HEALTHY PLANET: Ecological Devastation and Health Care
  • Week Five (June 10-16) – EVERYBODY’S GOT THE RIGHT TO LIVE: Education, Living Wage Jobs, Income, Housing
  •  Week Six (June 17-22) – A NEW AND UNSETTLING FORCE: Confronting the Distorted Moral Narrative

Don’t forget our monthly General Meeting (every third Thursday) at the Unitarian Church, in Montpelier.

As you consider where you are investing in social justice issues, remember the racial referendum that we just experienced in our national election. Consider donating to Justice For All, an organically grown, Vermont-based racial justice organization that has been here doing the work over the past four of years.

Please help us with your membership, provide organizational support or simply provide a contribution. Help us continue this work in Vermont.

Respectfully,

 

Mark Hughes,
ED, Justice For All

Open Letter to House Government Operations in Response to Proposed Amendment to S.281

Madam Chair and members of the Committee,

I am shocked at the sweeping changes that have essentially rendered the Systemic Racism Mitigation Bill as pointless.  Much attention has been given to the removal of the independent nature and subpoena authority of the Director.  Though these actions concern me personally, there are other decisions that you have proposed that further threaten hopes that this legislation will create a true chance to affect positive change.

Defunding the Director and Panel (HRS Internal Service Surcharge approved by Senate Appropriations) and removing the required administrative  and technical support makes this entire endeavor a nonstarter.  Another critical judgement error is placing the Director as a liaison between the Executive branch and the Human Rights Council.  By their very nature, the HRC should NEVER by required to do their work through a liaison to any agency.

Finally, it deserves clarification that the intention of this role has always primarily been data collection to identify data points to measure progress, not to “point out to state agencies what they are doing wrong”.  It is disappointing to communities of color to see representatives of the political and economic power structure pushing back on this plan to address systemic racism with a narrative of an explicit racism which hunt.  The direction that this legislation is headed is sideways and I hope that the committee can demonstrate the leadership and political and moral will to get it right.

Respectfully,

Mark A. Hughes,

ED, Justice For All

 

House Gov Ops Proposed Strike All Amendment:  

  1. Eliminates the independent nature of the role (reports to Governor).
  2. Insulates the Governor’s Cabinet from the Vermont Human Rights Commission by mandating that the Director as a liaison between them.
  3. Removes responsibility of collection and oversight of statewide race data.
  4. Eliminates legal, administrative or technical support for the Director
  5. Eliminates the Subpoena Authority of the Director
  6. Defunds the Racial Equity Advisory Panel and Director by eliminating the HRS Internal Service Surcharge approved by Senate Appropriations.
  7. Creates a second redundant Panel (Racial Justice Advisory Panel) with NO appointment criteria to create the job description and submission of short list candidate list to the Governor.
  8. Calls for Panel submission of candidate recommendations to Governor at the same time as the deadline for Panel seating

Open Letter to the Senate Pro Tempore and Senators White, Sears, Pollina, Cummings, Brooks and Ingram Regarding a Resolution Proposing the 2019 Senate Amend the Constitution to Remove Slavery

April 17, 2018

Mr President Pro Tempe, Peter, et. all,This inquiry went out over a month ago and I have not received a direct response, though I’ve been told that it is now “late in the session” and there a too many other things on your plates. I asked Senator Ingram to look into this and among other reasons she is  telling me that this resolution would not be taken up this session. Some indirect responses seem to suggest the assumption that we don’t understand the constitutional amendment process. We understand the constitutional amendment process. Other Senators have avoided this discussion by speaking about the 2019 Biennium as if somehow they have little chance of being a part of it (unlikely). Not to be overly critical but it seems that someone ought to be asking why there has NEVER been a proposal of a constitutional amendment, removing slavery (though there has been an ERA proposal which was not ratified because it was voted down when it reached the state ballot.). I think we all understand that you all take an oath to the constitution every time they are sworn in.

I am hearing (also indirectly) that the reason why some senators think that this is a bad idea is that “it won’t bind the 2019 senate”. We have no intention on binding a future senate. We do however want the existing seated senate to go on record on this issue, given the fact that in all likelihood most all of them will return. It is for this reason that I disagree with some senators comments that this will “bring nothing to the discussion”. In fact, I believe that it WILL START THE DISCUSSION in the midst of our continued false narrative that Vermont was the first state to abolish slavery!

Senator White represents Windsor, the home of Stephen Jacobs who was on the Council of Censors, States Attorney, County Judge, United States District Attorney, Member of Governors Council and State Supreme Court Judge while owning at least one slave in Vermont (Dinah White). They don’t teach that in school here. Let’s not compartmentalize this because then we’ll forget the importance of S.281, a bill to mitigate systemic racism in Vermont. To not understand the history of Dinah also distracts us form the conversations of patriarchy, poverty and disability.

I am having a hard time with the fact that 1) language stating the position of intent to clarify reference to slavery in the constitution has been in the VDP Platform since 2016 (before the election), and 2) you have already passed a resolution requesting an action of the 2019 Senate [ERA Amendment]. With something as important as this, It troubles me that in a time like THIS, that our VDP senate majority would not take up a resolution to urge the 2019 senate to amend the constitution to eliminate slavery.

Are we really waiting for another election cycle to pass?

 

Mark Hughes,
ED, Justice For All

 

New Report Released: A Deeper Dive Into Racial Disparities in Policing In Vermont

Download the report here:
Download Now

A reported, released 26 March, 2018 revisited the “Driving While Black” report released by Professors Seguino and Brooks last year.  This report provided further analysis including regression testing to address concerns expressed by law enforcement over the past year.  The conclusion of this report is provided below:

“Vermont has embarked on a long-term project of using data to expand awareness of traffic policing and race. Because traffic stops are the most frequent interaction people have with the police, combined with the large number of traffic stops in any given year, data on stops can be a useful tool for understanding the extent of racial disparities in these interactions. They are, in other words, a way of holding up a mirror to ourselves.

Though data often and usually are imperfect, that does not preclude their usefulness. In this report, we have discussed an array of concerns with traffic stop data quality, many of which have been shared with us by police. Efforts to improve data quality are important and should continue to be pursued. It is clear that there are a number of agencies pursuing that goal. In the interim, however, the data we do have are useful at gauging racial disparities in policing and give no evidence of being so systematically flawed that they are unusable.

In this report, we provide details on a statistical analysis that controls for other factors that may influence the probability of being searched or of contraband being found during a search. Those results demonstrate that while other factors also contribute to the likelihood of either of those outcomes, racial disparities continue to exist when those factors are controlled for. In particular, Black and Hispanic drivers in Vermont are substantially more likely to be searched than White or Asian drivers, and are less likely to be found with contraband. The levels of disparity indicated by the logistic regressions are very similar to the search and hit rate ratios in our original 2017 study. The use of more rigorous statistical techniques therefore does not alter the nature of our 2017 findings.

These disparities should be of great concern to law enforcement agencies, communities, and legislators. While the disparities in no way suggest that agencies are intentionally profiling people of color, they do indicate the necessity for law enforcement to be selfreflective about their policing practices and to interrogate the role of implicit bias in decision-making. Research shows that implicit racial bias is evident in numerous domains, not just policing. As its name suggests, it is often unconscious rather than intentional. Several agencies have planned or are planning implicit bias trainings, a positive step to work toward fair and unbiased policing in Vermont. The Vermont State 24 Police has gone beyond this to rigorously examine a wide array of practices, procedures, and policies to ensure fair and impartial policing at every level.

Finally, with regard to the descriptive analysis of 2016 VSP contraband, it is instructive that for searches turning up heroin, cocaine, and opioids, drugs that are so much in the Vermont news of late, only White drivers were found with such contraband. There may be other aspects of drug trafficking in Vermont not reflected in these data. But the data tell us that in terms of discretionary searches in the course of traffic policing, the stereotype, held by society as a whole, that people of color are more likely to be drug traffickers is erroneous.”

Download the report here:
Download Now

We have 48 Hours to Make History – Please Ask Senate Appropriations to Fund S.281 and PASS it  out of Committee NOW!

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of convenience, but where he stands in moments of challenge, moments of great crisis and controversy. And this is where I choose to cast my lot today.

― Martin Luther King Jr., To Charter our Course for Our Future”

 

All,

If there is any hope that the systemic racism mitigation bill (S.281) passes this year, it MUST come out of Senate Appropriations funded NOW.
Appropriations cross-over is on Friday, 16 March. Here is how YOU CAN HELP:

  1. Please pass this call to action to EVERYONE on your mailing list.
  2. Call the Statehouse and leave a message for Senators, Kitchel, Nitka, Sears, Starr, McCormack, Ashe, Westman and Balint with S.281 in the subject line, asking that the committee to “immediately fund and pass S.281 out of Senate Appropriations Committee.” Also ask YOUR Senator to vote S.281 out of the Full Senate by Friday, 16 March.  Call 828.2228
  3. Please send an email to this address vermont-senate-appropriations@googlegroups.com, requesting that they “immediately fund and pass S.281 out of Senate Appropriations Committee.” Make sure that S.281 is in the subject line.
  4. Email your Senator and Ask them to Vote S.281 Out of the full Senate by Friday, 16 March.  Find your Senator’s email address here:  https://legislature.vermont.gov/people/all/2018/Senate

Here is the bill as voted out of senate Senate Government Operations. Here is the Coalition systemic racism research document and again the  Q&A to verse you in the bill background and details

Racial Disparities in the Criminal and Juvenile Justice System Advisory Panel Report Released

Download the Report here:

Download Now

A report was released by the Chair and Vice Chair of the Racial Disparities in the Criminal and Juvenile Justice System Advisory Panel last week.  The report, as outlined in ACT 54, 2017 provides updates on:

  1. A review of data collected pursuant to 20 V.S.A. §2366, to measure State progress toward a fair and impartial system of law enforcement; and
  2. Progress on educating and engaging with communities, businesses, educational institutions, State and local governments, and the general public about the nature and scope of racial discrimination in the criminal and juvenile justice system; and
  3. Progress on the recommendations from the 2016 report of the Attorney General’s Working Group on Law Enforcement Community Interactions.

This report provides recommendations to the Criminal Justice Training Council and the Vermont Bar Association on data collection and model trainings and policies for law enforcement, judges, correctional officers and attorneys, including prosecutors, to recognize and address implicit bias.  Also recommendations on data collection and a model training and policy on de-escalation and the use of force in the criminal and juvenile justice system are provided to the Criminal Justice Training Council.  Finally the report, includes various specific recommendations on addressing systemic implicit bias in Vermont’s criminal and juvenile justice system, including:

  1. How to institute a public complaint process to address perceived implicit bias across all systems of State government; and
  2. Whether and how to prohibit racial profiling, including implementing any associated penalties; and
  3. Whether to expand law enforcement race data collection practices to include data on non-traffic stops by law enforcement.

The Panel’s next meeting is on 13 March, 2018 at the Waterbury State Office Complex. Sally Fox Conference Center, from 6:00 – 8:00 PM.

The first of a number community discussions throughout the state are listed below:

March 11th and 18th at the Unitarian Church in Montpelier – 6:00 – 8:00 PM
March 12th and 27th at the CCTV Burlington (294 Winooski Avenue) – 6:00 – 8:00 PM

https://www.facebook.com/events/1750472371640285/ (Montpelier)
https://www.facebook.com/events/2082017761825295/ (Burlington)

3 V.S.A. § 168 established the Racial Disparities in the Criminal and Juvenile Justice System Advisory Panel in the Office of the Attorney General.  This report was provided to the Attorney General, the Human Rights Commission Executive Director, the House Speaker and the President Pro Tempe.  You can download the report, released 2 March, 2018 here.

Download Now

Proposal for a Senate Resolution Requesting that the 2019 Senate Amend the Constitution, Removing Reference to Slavery

 

 
Call 802.828.2228 and ask your Senator to take up this Resolution.  Find your Senator here: https://legislature.vermont.gov/people/search/2018  Also, send a note to the Senate Judiciary Committee at this address: vermont-senate-judiciary@googlegroups.com  Subject line: “Constitutional Amendment –  Slavery” 

Senate resolution relating to encouraging its members, in 2019, to initiate an amendment to the Vermont Constitution regarding the removal of all reference to slavery. 

Whereas, the original Vermont Constitution of 1777, allowed for the holding of males until the age of 21, females until the age of 18 and anyone bound by law for payment of debts, damages, fines, costs, or the like to be held as slaves.

Whereas, the revised Vermont Constitution of 1786, continued to allow for the holding of males until the age of 21, females until the age of 18 and anyone bound by law for payment of debts, damages, fines, costs, or the like to be held as slaves.

Whereas, the adopted Vermont Constitution of 1793, continued to allow for the holding of males until the age of 21, females until the age of 18 and anyone bound by law for payment of debts, damages, fines, costs, or the like to be held as slaves

Whereas, the Vermont Constitution being amended by Conventions in 1828, 1836, 1850, and 1870, continued to allow for the holding of males until the age of 21, females until the age of 18 and anyone bound by law for payment of debts, damages, fines, costs, or the like to be held as slaves

Whereas, the Vermont Constitution being amended by the people in 1883 and 1913 continued to allow for the holding of males until the age of 21, females until the age of 18 and anyone bound by law for payment of debts, damages, fines, costs, or the like to be held as slaves 

Whereas, the Vermont Constitution being amended by the people in 1924 continued to allow for the holding of males until the age of 21, changed the age of females from 18 to 21 and continued to allow anyone bound by law for payment of debts, damages, fines, costs, or the like to be held as slaves

Whereas, the Vermont Constitution being amended by the people 27 additional times, 25 of which were ratified, the last of which being as recent as 2010, to this day continues to allow for the holding of males AND females until the age of 21 and anyone bound by law for payment of debts, damages, fines, costs, or the like to be held as slaves.

Whereas, Vermont is the ONLY state in the United States that constitutionally allows for the holding of males AND females until the age of 21 and anyone bound by law for payment of debts, damages, fines, costs, or the like to be held as slaves.

Whereas, every voter solemnly swears (or affirms) that whenever they giving their vote or suffrage, touching any matter that concerns the State of Vermont, they will do it so as in their conscience they shall judge will most conduce to the best good of the same, as established by the Constitution, without fear or favor of any person.

Whereas, every officer, whether judicial, executive, or military, in authority under this State, solemnly swears (or affirms) that they will be true and faithful to the State of Vermont, and that they will not, directly or indirectly, do any act or thing injurious to the Constitution or Government thereof.

Whereas, every State Representative solemnly swears (or affirms) that as a member of the Assembly, they will not propose, or assent to, any bill, vote or resolution, which shall appear to them injurious to the people, nor do nor consent to any act or thing whatever, that shall have a tendency to lessen or abridge their rights and privileges, as declared by the Constitution of this State.

Whereas, the Vermont Constitution is the foundation of governmental structure, political processes, and limitations on the use of power and underpins all of the laws of the Green Mountain State of Vermont.

Resolved by the Senate:

That the Senate of the State of Vermont encourages its members, in 2019, to initiate a Vermont Constitutional Amendment to read as follows:

 “Article 1. [All persons born free; their natural rights; slavery prohibited]

“That all persons are born equally free and independent, and have certain natural, inherent, and unalienable rights, amongst which are the enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety; therefore no person born in this country, or brought from over sea, ought to be holden by law, to serve any person as a servant, slave or apprentice. , after arriving to the age of twenty-one years, unless bound by the person’s own consent, after arriving to such age, or bound by law for the payment of debts, damages, fines, costs, or the like.”

“VOTER QUALIFICATIONS OF FREEMEN AND FREEWOMEN”

  • 42. [VOTER’S QUALIFICATIONS AND OATH

S.281 Voted out of Senate Government Operations (5-0) Independent and Funded! – It’s up to Senate Appropriations Now!

“Human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability; it comes through the tireless efforts of men willing to work to be co-workers with God, and without this hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the forces of social stagnation. We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right.”

― Martin Luther King Jr.Why We Can’t Wait

 

Ask Senate Appropriations to Fund S.281 and PASS it  out of Committee ASAP

All,

This bill which was originally intended to create a commission to mitigate systemic racism in Vermont, was passed out of Senate Government Operations as a funded AND independent body (5-0). Now it is up to Senate Appropriations to approve the funding and they need to do it quick!  They will get the bill on the 13th and Appropriations cross-over is on the 16th of March!  There is little if any time to delay!

This could likely be the most important bill that the Senate passes this session.  Please ask Senate Appropriations to immediately fund and  pass S.281 out of Committee. Please pass this call to action to EVERYONE on your mailing list.

  1. Call the Statehouse and leave a message for Senators, Kitchel, Nitka, Sears, Starr, McCormack, Ashe, Westman and Balint with S.281 in the subject line, asking that the committee “immediately fund and pass S.281 out of Senate Appropriations Committee.”
  2. Please send an email to this address vermont-senate-appropriations@googlegroups.com, requesting that they “immediately fund and pass S.281 out of Senate Appropriations Committee.” Make sure that S.281 is in the subject line.
  3. PLEASE submit any statements and testimony NOW! Include your name, your title, your organization, the date and the bill (S.281) on your statement or testimony.   You can send them here: vermont-senate-appropriations@googlegroups.com

Here is the bill as voted out of senate Senate Government Operations. Here is the Coalition systemic racism research document and again the  Q&A to verse you in the bill background and details.