The Put People First! The People's Budget Campaign of the Vermont Workers' Center mobilized over 150 Vermonters to testify at the state budget hearings held across Vermont on February 12, 2012.
In their testimonies, Vermonters described their struggles to meet their fundamental needs and called for a People's Budget that is based on human rights and puts human needs first. The next day, February 13, Put People First member David Kreindler testified at the Statehouse and asked representatives to support the People's Budget bill drafted by the Put People First Campaign.
The People's Budget bill states that the purpose of the state budget is to meet people's fundamental needs, that the budget process must be based on human rights principles, and that the state must raise the resources required to meet the needs addressed in the budget.
Listen to a radio report about the budget testimonies, produced by Put People First! Radio:
Read a few of the 2-minute testimonies from members of the Put People First – The People's Budget Campaign here.
Here is one example:
Hi my name is Glenn French. I am member of the People’s Budget Campaign of the Vermont Workers’ Center. After serving in the U.S. Navy I worked for the city of Montpelier for 29 and a half years. My family and I are trying to survive on my pension and social security. The cost of fundamentail needs like food, fuel, housing, and healthcare keeps going up but my fixed income is still just that–fixed. This means we are under a lot of stress and I can barely sleep because I am worried about my family. When there is not enough I have to make choices between things like fuel and food. When we are making the budget, why do we ask the working people to give things up, instead of the people who have enough? Vermonters are no longer fooled by the myth that we have to wait for benefits to “trickle down” from the wealthier people. Our government has an obligation to ensure our human rights, and that's why I am here to call for People’s Budget.