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Kick-off video

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Spring Days of Action Against Drones 2014!

The Peace & Justice Center is excited to work with our members throughout Vermont in solidarity with a world wide coordinated campaign in April and May to End Drone Killing, Drone Surveillance and Global Militarization. This campaign is designed to encourage communities to host educational events and actions around the world with the eventual goal of winning the passage of local laws that prohibit weaponized drones and drone surveillance from being used in their communities as well as seeking national laws to bar the use of weaponized drones and drone surveillance.

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Creating Peace by Learning to Speak a Language of Life (April 27th, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.)

This all-day seminar is based on Nonviolent Communication (NVC) and lead by John F. Reuwer, MD. If you wish you could find more peace within yourself, or have more energy and skills to make peace with people you love and people you don’t, this seminar is for you. The “language of life” has been used as a description of nonviolent communication, developed by Marshall Rosenberg, and adapted here by Dr. Reuwer.

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More Left the Unemployment Line, But Few Found Work

In the depths of the recession, Vermont unemployment peaked at 26,200. Since that point, in May 2009, it has steadily declined; by February 2014, more than 13,000 Vermonters had left the unemployment lines. Not all of those people found work, however. Between May 2009 and February 2014, employment in Vermont rose by just 2,750.
 
 
 

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Second Decade Campaign Kick-off Reception, March 27th

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Public Assets Institute Launches Second Decade Campaign for a Vermont that works for all

MONTPELIER, VT — Public Assets Institute staff, board and strategic partners gathered in the Vermont state house Thursday to launch the group’s second decade campaign: for a Vermont that works for all.
The group celebrated the achievements of its first ten years and recommitted to developing policy proposals for a Vermont that works for all.

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Second Decade Campaign charts

Vermont’s minimum hourly wage over 40 years ago—almost $9.50 in 1970, in 2012 dollars—was worth a dollar more than the 2012 wage. In 2005, Vermont became one of a few states to tie its minimum wage to inflation.* This policy has helped low-wage workers but has not made up the ground lost in the 1970s and 1980s.
* Each Jan. 1, the minimum wage rises by the same percentage as the CPI or by 5 percent, whichever is smaller. The law prohibits a downward adjustment of the wage.
 

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Connecticut the Latest State to Allow Driver's Licenses for Immigrants

With comprehensive immigration reform continuing its arduous path through Congress, states continue to work on their own tracks, passing reasonable, humane, and economically beneficial immigration policies. In addition to measures like tuition equity, this includes bills that allow undocumented immigrants access to driver's licenses. This week, Connecticut became the latest state to pass such a bill, while California saw bipartisan support emerge for theirs -- yet more evidence of how the politics around immigration reform may be shifting:

With Congress a Morass, States Continue to Look at Gun Violence and Immigration

This past week was saturated with crisis and tragedy following the events in Boston and Texas, but it also saw significant developments on two critical issues before the U.S. Senate that would likely have otherwise fully gripped the nation's attention. On guns, an already-weakened bipartisan compromise on universal background checks was blocked in the Senate by a minority of senators, ending for now the fight to pass any federal legislation in the wake of the Newtown tragedy. On immigration, the long-awaited full text of the so called "Gang of 8" immigration bill was released, drawing support from the White House, conditional praise from some advocates, and stoking opposition among anti-immigrant forces. With the ability of Congress to pass legislation on any major issue now perhaps even more in question, both issues also continued to play out on the state level this week as well: