Proposed Vermont AFL-CIO Convention Resolution

Protect Democracy

WHEREAS, the Vermont AFL-CIO and our affiliates are committed to the defense of democratic rights and the institutions of democracy, regardless of the party affiliations of those in power;

WHEREAS, the Vermont AFL-CIO recognizes that democracy in the United States is hobbled by the archaic structure of the Electoral College and entrenchment of the two-party system;

WHEREAS, President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have refused to state publicly that they will respect the outcomes of the presidential election and have repeatedly promoted conspiracy theories meant to undermine democracy;

WHEREAS, President Trump has refused, on multiple occasions, to denounce the activities of white supremacist militias and organizations that have stated desires to overthrow American democracy and instead has conveyed support for their actions;

WHEREAS, the Trump administration and Republican allies have conducted a concerted campaign to obstruct, sabotage, and reject a fair and complete count of presidential ballots by creating barriers to voting, targeted at people of color, immigrants, women, and young people. These tactics include intimidation of BIPOC voters at polling places and requirements to have two people sign a ballot that hurt women voters, as well as dismantling key infrastructure such as the U.S. Postal Service;

WHEREAS, the Constitution requires voting results and Electoral College tallies to be completed and submitted to Congress by the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December, and the new 2021 Congress to validate the results, and voters should be determining the results, not courts;

WHEREAS, Trump has denied science, resulting in more than 200,000 Americans dying from COVID-19, and millions more facing deep economic pain due to ongoing impact from the virus, and can do irreparable harm during a lame-duck session;

WHEREAS, the extreme risk currently posed to the historic institutions of democracy in our nation may require more widespread and vigorous resistance than at any time in recent history;

WHEREAS, the labor movement and trade unions have played a proud and vital role in protecting democracy and opposing authoritarianism in many nations throughout the world;

WHEREAS, the most powerful tool of the labor movement in our history has been the power of the general strike;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Vermont AFL-CIO is empowered by the delegates at the 2020 state convention to call for a general strike of all working people in our state in the event that Donald Trump refuses to concede the office of President of the United States on January 20, 2021.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Vermont AFL-CIO will work with allies in the antiracist, environmental justice, feminist, LGBTQ+, and immigrant rights movements to protect our democracy, the Constitution, the law, and our nation’s democratic traditions;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Vermont AFL-CIO will call on city and county governments to pledge to protect protesters defending democracy, and commit to not using police action or curfews to curtail these activities, and to use all available resources to stand up against any effort by the Trump administration to steal the presidential election.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Vermont AFL-CIO commits itself to the long-term goal of winning genuine democracy through the abolition of the Electoral College and two-party system, through the collective action of our affiliates and allied organizations.