Letter: Editorial got us wrong

To the editor:

The recent editorial regarding the "need" for new voices in Pownal was at its best a slightly humorous extended name calling session; and at its worst, a manifesto of declared superiority of thought, education and life choices by its authors.

Throughout Empower Pownal, I "championed" the idea that we should all be respectful and participatory. In fact, I participated throughout the program, happily and willingly.

When I read the proposed town plan, I had concerns with some of the language and intent. I spoke to members of the Planning Commission, studied the plan, state statutes and other town plans for reference. Like many others, I read a statement at the public hearing. The tone of the meeting was mutually respectful and informative. You would never know this if you were only to read the Banner.

This editorial was a PR smear campaign against a particular assumed political position, libertarianism. However, people who spoke at the hearing were Liberals, Republicans, Democrats and Independents. I am the only declared libertarian I am aware of. We all voted for different people in the elections, and have a diverse collection of political opinions that are often in disagreement. The passionate idea we share, however, is that we should be able to openly and freely discuss solutions. Publicly disagreeing with a proposed solution does not mean denial of the problem, nor does it constitute "cyberbullying" or an organized attack by the ill-informed and provincial. I personally want more authentic civic participation from diverse ideological perspectives, not "more libertarian voices."Every voice should come to the table for the hard work of real collaborative action.

Those of us who have begun to participate more fully in the happenings of our town have laughably been mislabeled as "right wing extremists," when really we are an example of how true bipartisan action and conversation can and should happen. This well oiled danger machine (as seen by the authors of the editorial) is actually just a haphazard collection of hard working men and women and family people who share the desire that all voices be heard, not just those of a particular political philosophy or socio-economic class. We don't have a campaign office, we don't have backers or any money, we don't even officially have a "we," except through friendship. And, I extend the hand of friendship to anyone, no matter their political thinking.

— Rebecca Dragon



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