Thousands Sign Petition for Human Rights-Based People’s Budget, Presented at Opening of Vermont Legislature

At the opening day of the Vermont 2012 legislative session, the Vermont Workers’ Center delivered a petition for a human rights-based People’s Budget signed by over 3000 Vermonters. Members of the Put People First Campaign and representatives from allied organizations assembled in the Statehouse to call for spending and revenue policies that make human rights and the needs of communities the budget’s top priority. 


The Burlington Free Press pictured the rally on its front page and noted in its hour-to-hour recount of the day that at “12:04 p.m. Peg Franzen, president of the Vermont Workers’ Center, stepped up to the microphone before a throng of folks in red shirts to begin a Put People First rally. The organizers delivered petitions to legislative leaders calling for new budgeting process. ‘We are here to be the voice of the people, the 99 percent,’ Franzen said. ‘We are here to demand a budget that puts people first.'”


The VT Digger reported that members of the Workers’ Center “packed the Cedar Creek Room during the noon hour and gave speeches and delivered a petition for a People’s Budget signed by more than 3,000 Vermonters. The petition was given to Governor Shumlin’s office, and the Democratic leadership of the House and Senate. Peg Franzen, president of the Vermont Workers’ Center, invoked the slogan of the Occupy Wall Street movement. She said the goal of the rally was to bring the voices of the “99%” to the Statehouse and demand a budget aimed to meet needs such as health care, housing, food, education, good jobs and a healthy environment. […] Put People First! is coordinated by the Vermont Workers’ Center which launched the successful campaign Healthcare is a Human Right in 2008. In that campaign, activists aggressively pushed for a single-payer initiative in large rallies and a long-running vigil in the Legislature’s health care committees.”

Listen to a podcast with voices from the Put People First rally for a People’s Budget here