Letter: Town Hall Meetings

On Feb. 5 and 19 we urge those in our community who yearn to fulfill their role as citizens to join us from 2 to 4 p.m. at Desmond-Fish Library in Garrison.

Historically, in town meetings across New England, community members have come together to practice direct democracy, giving citizens the opportunity for self-determination and action-based engagement to promote their vision for building a better society.

For a democracy to work, citizens need to ensure that our representatives work to uphold the values we share as a community. As a step toward achieving this, we believe it is important to create a space to discuss and prioritize those values, and to define concrete ways we can work together to ensure our representatives give voice to them.

At our first meeting on Feb. 5 we will create an organized structure to push our representatives to resist policies and actions that don’t reflect our values and to simultaneously promote a positive agenda for social progress. In addition, we will discuss the development of a Community Rights Campaign as a way of uniting around actions that impact us at the local level.

At our second meeting on Feb. 19 we will build into this structure a list of legislative priorities on the county, state or federal levels. The format for this event will be open and democratic. Any citizen may present a specific legislative proposal and will be given two minutes of speaking time to support its inclusion in our legislative drive.

We are concerned that the events on Feb. 5 and 19 might draw more citizens than the legal capacity of the room at the library. In order to ensure that everyone who plans on attending is guaranteed a seat, we are asking for RSVPs. Those who RSVP by emailing me at [email protected] will be given priority over those who are unable to commit. You will be notified if you have a seat at the event and your name will be at the door.

Eric Stark, Garrison

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