(Saturday) Money and Building Local Abundance

The current state of extreme inequality across this country and the world, has led to extreme scarcity. But if the state of Vermont, alone, has a balance of $350,000,000 at the end of every business day, where does all of that money go? What is the nature of the current financial system? Why is inequality worse, now, than it was 100 years ago, since productivity and income have only increased over time? Why is there so much debt? Find out what's behind the financial system from international specialist on sustainable community development, Gwen Hallsmith, and learn how you can be a part of bringing wealth home.


Gwendolyn Hallsmith, the founder and Executive Director of Global Community Initiatives (GCI), has over 25 years of experience working with municipal, regional, and state government in the United States and internationally. She has served as a City Manager, a Regional Planning Director, Senior Planner for the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy Resources, the Deputy Secretary of the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, and as an international specialist on sustainable community development. Her international experience has included work with the United Nations Environmental Program, the United Nations Development Program, the Institute for Sustainable Communities, the International City/County Management Association, the Academy for Educational Development, and Earth Charter International.

KC Martel is a Campaigning Fellow with Vermonters for a New Economy. He got his start as an organizer advocating for better student services and working conditions as a paraeducator in Boston. Since then he has focused his efforts on the twin issues of campaign finance reform and voting rights as Field Organizing Coordinator at Democracy Spring. In 2017 KC moved to Vermont to work on the transformative effort to establish a public bank in the state.

Henry Jacqz found his passion for activism as an undergraduate at Tufts University, where he joined campus campaigns for fossil fuel divestment and fair janitorial contracts. In the Greater Boston climate justice movement, he began learning the critiques of mainstream economics that had been missing from his classes, while organizing with students and young people across the state to demand Massachusetts take bolder action on climate policies. In 2016, inspired to deepen his organizing experience and address the systemic dimension of climate inaction, Henry left school to work with Democracy Spring - a social movement project fighting to limit the influence of money in politics and protect the right to vote - as a member of the field organizing team and co-coordinator of the training program. In 2017 he moved to Vermont to join the campaign to establish a publicly owned state bank.