May Brattleboro successfully address its town-government whiteness problem

BRATTLEBORO — I am glad to see that the 100-percent-white town-government staff is considering taking action to make itself more reflective of the people who live here. I hope that the conversation reported in The Commons bears some fruit.

Being aware of the problem and discussing it is not enough. Minds need to change also.

In order for change to happen, we need to venture out of our cocoons, look around, ask questions, and then act differently.

Curtiss Reed Jr. of the Vermont Partnership for Fairness and Diversity suggested reaching out for consultation. There needs to be input from people who have a wider and deeper perspective than is demonstrated by the Selectboard.

There is a quota system in place already: one that enforces a 100-percent-white-dominated town government. The whole town can act on this issue by defining the problem and encouraging new voices into the power structure.

I hope so much that it happens now that attention has been given to the system being played out locally in this town and across the country. Brattleboro will continue to be part of the problem if we do not move forward.

The lives of all our residents - 9.6 percent of whom are people of color - are constantly curtailed by this closed system. Let's open up to a different way.

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