EQUAL TIME is where Vermonters talk about issues ignored by the corporate media—mothers opposing toxic pollution, workers fighting for decent jobs, nurses working for health care reform, students speaking out about their education, farmers struggling against corporate agribusiness, and more.
Sarah Jaffe, the author of Necessary Trouble: Americans in Revolt, explains that the US is witnessing a wave of political engagement and social activism. Pundits who fretted about Americans' apathy have, in the last few years, borne witness to uprisings and protests across the country: the growth of the Tea Party, the successful fight for a $15 minimum wage, #BlackLivesMatter, Occupy Wall Street, and the grassroots networks supporting presidential candidates like Bernie Sanders. Jaffe discusses what has made ordinary Americans from Seattle to St.
Stephanie Yu discusses the Public Assets Institute's new report, A Framework for Progress. Stephanie makes the case that Vermont's political leadership should focus on three fundamental initiatives to move the state forward:
• Ensure that work pays and all Vermont families can meet their basic needs.
• Make smart, evidence-based investments in programs and infrastructure.
Chris Brooks, a UMass-Amherst Labor Studies grad student and staffer at Labor Notes, joined by former program instructors, Dave Cohen and Judy Atkins, explain that the UMass Amherst administration has been cutting the Labor Center’s budget for many years. Chris, Dave and Judy talk about why Workers Education is so important. This is the Northeast’s only Labor Studies Program.
Howie Hawkins, long time Green Party activist and political candidate, explains that the Sanders campaign has revealed that a mass base exists now for an independent party of the left. More than in most presidential cycles, there is reason to hope for a mass breakaway in 2016. With many Sanders supporters unwilling to vote for Clinton, the independent left has a big opportunity to enlist significant new forces for independent left politics.