Letter to the editor: Race for Middlebury board makes for tough choice
I wish I could vote for both Esther Thomas, who I helped recruit, and Andy Hooper, my good neighbor, on Middlebury selectboard for the one-year seat for which they are competing. I will have to choose.
It is healthy to have such a robust choice. Esther brings a fresh, encouraging and open voice to our diversity efforts in this critical time of this focus. Andy brings local government experience serving on Montpelier’s selectboard and now on Middlebury committees, especially on our library board, working to sustain this essential town asset. You’ll need to decide on Middlebury’s priority for this year, knowing that the following year ushers in more opportunities to seek election to the selectboard.
Racial justice work emphasizes the need to actively recruit and support people of color on our boards. We are fortunate to have Esther, a single mother of color, stepping forward and Lindsey Fuentes-George, a parent of bi-racial children, and Farhad Khan, a business owner of color, running again for three-year seats and joining “rookie” Dan Brown on Middlebury’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Workgroup. The rest of our selectboard, Andy and many others in our community are committed to this work, which I view as our priority.
I hope both of our wonderful new candidates remain involved, for even if not elected, they can have a voice in selectboard meetings and town committee involvement, as I did rising from our energy committee. And I urge everyone to look for opportunities to serve that are posted in March at the Welcome To Town of Middlebury, Vermont website — townofmiddlebury.org — and on our town list serve. Consider them, and a future selectboard seat.