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Coalition pushes Vt. lawmakers not to lose sight of climate, racial justice

Published: Jan. 13, 2021 at 5:16 PM EST
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MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) - A coalition of Vermont advocacy groups and nonprofits are urging lawmakers to think about climate change and racial justice as the state rebuilds from the pandemic.

The Vermont Renews Coalition aims to pass policies this session at the intersection of climate and racial justice. Members say their focus is on building and maintaining affordable housing, increasing food security for marginalized communities, and putting Vermonters back to work by creating new jobs. It comes as lawmakers return to the virtual statehouse facing a recession and hundreds of struggling businesses.

The group’s Dan Fingas says they are pushing for a holistic approach to tackling the state’s underlying issues. “It’s pretty clear that the pandemic has shown that there are huge cracks in our systems and small businesses are definitely one place where those cracks exist. But much more of the case that workers are the place where the cracks exist. And are people falling behind -- unemployment benefits that they are not meeting, people going hungry, not having adequate housing,” he said.

The coalition is part of a greater group in New England made up of 150 groups.

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