Dear 350VT Community (UPDATED JUNE 4)

We’re writing to you in uncertain times for our planet as well as our community– the COVID-19 pandemic is serious.

The 350VT staff collective has been operating completely remotely for the past two months, and we know that most of you and your groups have been too. As we move forward, we’re imagining that some version of physical distancing practices are going to be in use widely for the foreseeable future. As of May, we’re planning for all of our events and meetings to remain online for the rest of 2020, but we’ll remain adaptable as restrictions change! (Another way of saying this: plan A is to hold things online, plan B is to hold them in person if that turns out to be possible.)

  • Our Burlington office is closed. You can still reach us by email, social media, and phone.
  •  Below are the guidelines that the 350VT staff are using for organizing in-person gatherings, and we hope that your node will use them too (of course adding any additional guidelines that you think are needed for your group):If your planned action does not meet these guidelines, or you have other questions, please contact a member of the staff collective. We won’t endorse public events that don’t adhere to these guidelines, but are open to discussing them on a case-by-case basis! Nodes are welcome to add additional guidelines if needed. We are asking our Nodes to stick to these guidelines for things they organize as a group:
    • Limit gatherings of people to 75 or less, outdoors. (This may change as the Governor and state agencies ease restrictions. Visit https://governor.vermont.gov/covid19response for updated information.)
    • For other information on Vermont’s response to Covid-19: https://www.healthvermont.gov/response/coronavirus-covid-19
    • Consider who may not feel safe or be able to participate if you meet in person rather than online.
    • Gather only outdoors.
    • Ask that people not join if they, or if members of their household, have been sick during the past two weeks.
    • When 350VT or our Nodes endorse something larger, we will push the organizers to offer other ways for people to be involved that don’t involve crowds.
    • Require participants to agree to:
      • remain at least 6 feet away from other people
      • wash or sanitize hands at the beginning of the meeting, and more as needed
      • bring a mask/face covering, and wear it unless all participants are comfortable with others not wearing masks

Relationships are at the heart of everything we do. Right now, the best ways we can protect one another are to stay connected (virtually) and take preventative measures to keep each other safe and to flatten the curve, which in most cases means staying home.

350VT’s focus will still be, as always, climate justice. We will persevere, working tirelessly to shut down dirty energy projects; we will continue to find power in building a more equitable and sustainable world. But in this moment, the “justice” part of our mission is that much more evident: those who are impacted the most by climate change and the oppressive systems at its roots are the same folx who are being impacted most heavily by this crisis: our elders, the immunocompromised, people without means, BIPOC, and people with marginalized identities.

In these uncertain times, please remember to be gentle with one another, ask for help when you need it, and offer mutual aid if and when you are able. We will do what we can to uplift voices and provide support— and of course, act in solidarity with all of you.

 

With heart,

Abby, Jaiel, Julie, Lily, and Sonia

 

PS: We’ve found solace and wisdom in these words by healer Dori Midnight: “it is time / to care for one another / to pray over water / to wash away fear / every time we wash our hands.” Read the full poem here.

To see our May 2020 legislative priorities, CLICK HERE