Grange Notes for October 3, 2017 by Tim Swartz
Not up for gardening work? We also need “support staff”–bring snacks, beverages, tunes to help us move forward with fun. See you there!
Resolved: that we will support improvements in legal status for immigrant farm workers–this is what we decided back in June. Merry Shernockbrought to our attention a bill being supported by Vermont’s Senator Pat Leahy: Senate Bill 1043. The bill introduced by Sen. Diane Feinsteinwould create a legal way for immigrant farm workers to stay in the U.S.–even year-round farm workers like the many who help keep Vermont dairy farms going. Using a “blue card” earned by working over 100 days per year in US agriculture, a farmworker would able to keep working in the country–legally, and would have a possible path to a permanent green card status.
Come and help us discuss the resolution Merry crafted, working with information from Migrant Justice, Senator Leahy’s office, and experienced Grangers. You can learn more about the bill at: https://www.congress.gov/bill/
We’ll also talk about the other 20 resolutions, about everything from banning certain pesticides, to supporting Daylight Savings time! I’ll be happy to send PDF copies of the resolutions to anyone who wants: email Grangemaster@
We’ll also be hearing more about how the Grange is doing financially–there have been some significant changes! For one thing, we gained exemption from the Berlin property taxes in 2016; for another, Merry took over as Treasurer about a year ago, receiving the baton (and the check-signing privileges) which Les Skinner has held for quite a few years. Merry has started using QuickBooks to keep track of our money, our bank accounts, and our investments (did you know we have investments?). She’ll be projecting the forms and information on the screen at the Hall on Saturday, to show us where we stand, to answer questions, and to learn what members want to hear about on a monthly/quarterly or yearly basis. Our budget and our expenditures reflect what the Grange can do now, and affects what we will be able to do in the future, so we hope you will help us manage our monetary affairs “with fidelity”, as our Grange salutation promises.
There are lots more to discuss–join us to learn more! The meeting starts at 4:30–and then there will be the famous Grange community Potluck dinner,starting at 6:00. Join us to eat more, too!
Les has gotten lots more out of Grange membership since then, and has given back as well. He kept the CCG going since he and Phyllis moved to Northfield in 1991, partly by becoming Master, and partly by offering affiliate memberships to the North Branch Grange members, and partly by letting the Grange’s renters know that the Grange needed their help. As most of you know, this is how the current membership drawn from the dance community and other Grange users came about. Les (along with Phyllis and the other experienced members) led us in learning what it meant to be Grangers, not just people who came to the Grange to pursue our own favorite activities. He certainly showed me how to run more enjoyable meetings by being relaxed, friendly and welcoming–just how I found the Grange when I joined. It was a pleasure to present the official certificate from the National Grange to Les on September 16th.
We also enjoyed a great potluck dinner, with cake and and brownies!