What I have to say will not be popular and that really is the point.
Expressing one’s opinion is a basic human right provided by our creator and spelled out in the U.S. Constitution. It cannot and should not be something decided by popular vote. In the 1960’s if one had taken a popular vote about segregation in the south it would easily have been up held and some would have argued that it was the will of the people. However, a majority of voters can’t take away the rights we have been granted. Our founding fathers realized this so they clearly delineated those things which were natural rights of the people. Elected officials often represent the will of their constituents, but it takes the courage of conviction to understand when it is necessary to oppose such popular sentiments.
John Kennedy wrote about such conviction. One example he provides is the case of Edmund G. Ross who represented the one vote to save President Andrew Johnson from being removed from office in his impeachment trial. My point is that while I am a passionate supporter of democracy, there are times when what is popular is not what is right.
Which brings me to the point of this letter; ALL of our rights need to be protected and preserved. They are the natural order of the way things should be. One of these rights is spelled out in the second amendment to the Constitution. When attempts are made to limit our ability as citizens to protect ourselves we must remember that this right is as precious as all the others. In fact some would agree that it is the most important because without the ability to defend ourselves all of our other rights are clearly in jeopardy.
Vermont Foodbank gratefully recognizes volunteers
The fourth week in April is National Volunteer Week, an opportunity to appreciate the work of our nation’s inspiring volunteers, torecognize their initiative and commitment, and to celebrate the positive change they impact in our local communities.
At the Vermont Foodbank, our volunteers help us pack, process, and distribute an astounding 8 million pounds of food annually. They are a vital part of the work we do from start to finish, sorting and packing food for redistribution to meal sites and food shelves, filling backpacks with nutritious food for school-aged kids to take home on weekends, harvesting fresh produce from local farms, conducting interviews to assess the needs of our neighbors, offering professional skills and services, and more. Without this energetic volunteer-force, we would not be able to serve as many as 86,000 Vermonters in need of emergency food assistance every year, 27,000 of whom are children.
This week at the Vermont Foodbank, we extend our deepest and most sincere gratitude to the hundreds of volunteers who not only make us a more effective organization, but who also anchor us to our surrounding communities throughout Vermont. The value of volunteerism is not limited by its ability to increase organizational work-capacity; it breeds healthier, more engaged communities who feel empowered to mobilize the public in search of a better and more just society. Together, let us commend the outstanding efforts of our volunteers, and let us continue to strive for a Vermont where no one will go hungry.
JOHN SAYLES, CEO