Two short documentaries: Vermonters share their stories, rally on mental health advocacy day

Chris Estey of Bristol, left, and Michael Booska of Middlebury take a moment in the Hall of Flags. Photo by Josh Larkin.

Videographer Catherine Hughes created these two short documentaries. The first piece is comprised of four interviews with Vermonters who would be directly affected by Gov. Peter Shumlin’s proposed cuts to human services programs for the developmentally disabled and mentally ill. The second is from the rally March 9, 2011, on the Statehouse steps. Speakers included: John Campbell, president pro tem of the Senate, Shap Smith, Speaker of the House, Rep. Tom Koch, R-Barre, Rep. Chris Pearson, P-Burlington, and others.

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Anne Galloway

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  • Pat Goudey OBrien

    All over the country, those who want to cut budgets and shrink government had a field day a year ago hollering about death panels declaring people unfit to receive insurance benefits. That mind set put us on a fast track to cutting, cutting, cutting national budgets even more than the recession demands, drastically impacting state resources, too. And now in Vermont, we have a whole population of people being summarily squeezed out of access to public services, not really because of the conditions they suffer from, but because they don’t have a wealthy family member or their own money to sustain them, and the state thinks they’re an appropriate place to cut. These people have been deemed less worthy of care (shall we say by the local incarnation of the mythical “death panel”?) based solely on the money in their pockets. If they can pay for it, they can get it. If not, the rest of us don’t care, and the state budget gets cut. That’s every bit as obscene as any imaginary “death panel” and so much more REAL. (And a tip of the hat and “thanks for nothing” to the Ayn Rand devotees out there.)

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