In Vermont, yesterday was Town Meeting Day, a tradition that has been described as democracy in its purest form. Vermonters (including, for the first time, legal residents in Montpelier and Winooski who are not US citizens) turned out to vote on articles ranging from equity issues, to climate action, to funding service organizations. Results from across the state, including numerous ARPA-funded infrastructure projects and the election of Peace and Justice Center Executive Director Zoraya Hightower to Burlington City Council, will impact the future of our communities and organizations serving them – read more about results statewide at VTDigger’s Town Meeting Day Results.
As we reflect on the significance of Town Meeting Day, and the need to protect and expand voting rights more broadly, we must think of those whose democracy, safety, and peace are actively under threat.
Our hearts go out to Ukraine and those impacted by Russia’s invasion. As Congressman Welch, in speaking with reporters at Burlington Airport, empathized, “All of us can imagine what it would be like if we were in Burlington or in Rutland or in Brattleboro or in Lyndonville and suddenly we’re getting reports that 15 miles away are these massive tanks and buildings being struck by missiles. We all have families. We have communities that we care about. And that’s the savagery of what Putin is doing.” In response, Vermont groups are collecting relief funds and holding vigils, colleges have closed international programs, and Governor Scott has pulled Russian-owned distilleries from Vermont liquor stores. We also remind you to care for yourselves and each other in this time of crisis, as we hold those at risk in our thoughts.
For those asking how to support the people of Ukraine, we have shared articles below on how to help, and will continue updating the list as we learn more.
Additionally, we encourage nonprofits to continue to practice strong data security practices as the potential risk of cyberattacks increases. According to the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency, “Every organization—large and small—must be prepared to respond to disruptive cyber activity.” Visit their website to prepare for, respond to, and mitigate the impact of cyber-attacks.
Do you process online donations, store and transfer personal information, collect information on newsletter subscribers? The National Council of Nonprofits offers a helpful introductory resource on cybersecurity and what it means for your nonprofit.
Together, we must ensure our data, democracy, and most importantly, our people are safe and secure. Take care and be well.
The Common Good Vermont Team
Ways to Help:
- What You Can Do to Stand Up with Ukraine (Tech Soup)
- Want to support the people in Ukraine? Here’s how you can help (NPR)
- Vermont businesses send aid to Ukraine (NBC5)
- Cybersecurity NPOs Form ‘Nonprofit Cyber’ Coalition (The Nonprofit Times)
- Cybersecurity for Nonprofits (NCN)
- Nonprofit Security Grant Program (FEMA)
- 2021 Cybersecurity Readiness for Nonprofits Playbook (Community IT)