The ideal Brattleboro is sustainable

How do we live so that we don’t have a negative impact, on ourselves or on others, now or in the future? An effective sustainability coordinator can make that happen.

BRATTLEBORO — I love Brattleboro. I love its down-to-earth-ness coupled with its flair for creativity. I love that I can walk to the co-op, to the library, to the hardware store, and to the woods. I love that we have curbside compost. I love that we come up with compassionate, practical programs like the recently announced day-work program.

At the same time, the Brattleboro we have is not the ideal Brattleboro.

We struggle with homelessness and addiction. We struggle to retain and attract young people. And we struggle to prepare for and adapt to the increasing challenges of the climate crisis, which threatens our health, our environment, our food supply, our economy, our infrastructure, and the futures of our children.

I think we all agree that the ideal Brattleboro is sustainable. “Sustainable” means finding ways to live that don't have a negative impact, on ourselves or on others, now or in the future.

While the town staff do great work, they can't create a sustainable Brattleboro on their own. We need to work together as a community, and that takes communication, education, and resources.

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The proposed sustainability coordinator would work with everyone who is or could be invested in our town. This person would think big, educating people about sustainability and connecting schools, businesses, and residents with the resources needed to work toward innovative solutions.

The sustainability coordinator would engage the community with the vision laid out in our Town Plan, boosting Brattleboro's progress toward town goals like increased transportation options, waste reduction, and sustainability in residential and commercial development, among many others.

Improving Brattleboro is not a finite process. The more collaboration and community buy-in we have, the more we can accomplish. The more we accomplish, the better the quality of life here, and the more Brattleboro will attract diverse, engaged citizens and enthusiastic visitors.

Does all of this depend on hiring just the right person? Yes. Do I think we can find that person? Yes.

An effective sustainability coordinator will be the catalyst for vastly more benefit to Brattleboro than using the money for a single project or program. We need a Brattleboro that takes bold action toward a bold vision, bringing us all on board together to create a more sustainable, resilient, and prosperous future for our town and everyone in it, including the generations to come.

Thanks for all the work you do! I hope you will vote to approve the position.

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