Expand the conversation, don’t shut it down

PUTNEY — Democracy is a dynamic, messy, and sometimes contentious thing, but it certainly beats all the alternatives. Democratic activity can take the form of the spoken word, of song, and of the printed word.

The discussion that is happening with the proposed bylaws of the Putney Food Co-op is, of course, local. But it also has larger implications.

The debate and unease about the impact of CDS Consulting on the functioning of our local co-op is one that is happening around Vermont and around the country, as we are learning from comments that we are getting from members of other co-ops.

Because this is, and should be, a national debate about a national consulting firm, the publication of written articles like the ones by Mimi Yahn are essential to the broader understanding of the problems that many of us feel exist.

Rather than attempting to discourage speech, we should encourage a wider debate on these important issues and invite as many people to join the discussion in Putney and elsewhere to express their views in whatever form they feel comfortable.

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