Heller has made effort to engage students in the civic process

I recently turned 18. Besides the thrilling new privileges of being able to rent an Airbnb, go to federal prison, get drafted, and go to federal prison for dodging the draft, I am now able to vote.

When I exercise my exciting new ability this March, I am proud to announce that I will be casting my vote for Oscar Heller as he runs for a three-year term on the Selectboard.

I've found that Oscar and I share a passion for the climate crisis, and as a younger guy with similar interests he understands and supports me as a youth involved in civic action.

His investment in the youth voice was recently exemplified when he approached me about setting up a voter engagement effort at the high school for newly eligible 16- and 17-year-old voters. So far, he is the only candidate in the upcoming election who has made an effort to engage students in the civic process, and this should not go unnoticed.

I met Oscar somewhere in the doldrums of 2020, when I joined the Brattleboro Energy Committee. Interpersonal activism had gone into a Covid hibernation, and I was looking for a new medium for climate action. Municipal legislation seemed like an interesting place to pour some effort.

I will not lie and say that my dreams of cutting green energy deals like an environmentalist Dick Cheney on the committee were fulfilled; I immediately became frustrated at how lugubrious the process of municipal bureaucracy was.

However, I quickly learned from experienced members like Oscar not to be consumed by the slow pace of things. Oscar was then the chair of the committee, and I was immediately struck by his calm and driven presence as a leader (even over Zoom).

Unfazed by what seemed to me impossible bureaucratic gridlocks, he was able to skillfully navigate the complicated system of bureaucracy rather than battling it, using his legal and political knowledge to maintain a steady pace of proposals and projects.

Oscar is competent, motivated, and knowledgeable. I trust him not only as someone who is genuinely concerned with issues such as climate crisis, housing shortages, and public transit availability, but also as someone with the strategic and organizational aptitude to deal with them.

He will bring a deep level of civic experience to his seat on the Selectboard, having served for five years on the energy committee, five years as a Town Meeting rep, and four years on the Representative Town Meeting Finance Committee.

I know that Oscar is not one to be battered to apathy by the tedious side of politics as many are, and I am excited to see what he will be able to pull off in a position of higher executive capacity. I cannot endorse him more.

Django Grace


This letter to the editor was submitted to The Commons.

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