Commentary: The clowns are running the circus

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Many of us are having a hard time accepting the fact that we have a mentally unstable, narcissistic bully for a President (calling him a clown would be disrespectful to clowns) and we feel helpless to do anything about it. But there is some glimmer of hope and that exists on the local level. We still have the ability to effect change in our state and town and that means that if we organize and mobilize we can make the world a better place despite the daily garbage that is thrown our way.

The Guilford Town Democratic Committee has organized a community meeting for this Saturday, Sept. 16, at 4 p.m. at the Broad Brook Grange on Guilford Center Road in Guilford and it will be an opportunity for local people to discuss issues important to their communities, the state and the country.

The organizers of this event hope that attendees will be able to talk about ways to move forward and do something constructive about the issues that concern them. As they stated in their event flyer, "Many of us want to be engaged, to do something. The time is now, locally, at the grass roots. All are welcome, just to listen or share views. We need change. We need to get involved. Let's work together for progress and equity."

I spoke to the organizers of this event and they told me that issues such as health care, education and affordable housing will be on the table as well as any other issues people want to discuss. Committee chair Andy Burrows explained that, "We hope to develop an action plan by the end of the meeting." He did note that they are also looking for people to become active in the local Democratic party.

Betty Frye, committee vice chair said that one of the questions the meeting will address is, "How do we take our national concerns and do something locally?" That is a question that is on many people's minds and meeting organizers hope to be able to find local answers. Committee treasurer Timm Harris said, "The shrinking of available social services and ways to address them is an important topic of discussion. Funding is expected to drop and it will impact all of our social services in Vermont."

Harris hopes the meeting will address solutions to those problems. Committee secretary Elise Burrows would like to see people from not only Guilford but also people from Vernon attend Saturday's meeting because as she noted, "We need to work on mutual decisions."

This kind of meeting could be a model for small communities throughout Vermont and beyond for addressing many of the current political and social anxieties that they face. There have been many rallies and demonstrations throughout the country in the past eight months and they have sent a number of messages to elected officials, but the time may have come for more meaningful action on the local level.

That is why Saturday's meeting is important. It marks a new direction for Vermonters, a chance to vent and a chance to figure out a way to do something about the mess that is being created by people that we have little faith in. We do have faith in ourselves and that is a good place to start when it comes to making change. We can sit home and complain from our couches or we can work to make change happen. The meeting in Guilford will be a chance for anyone interested to move from complaining and feeling helpless to working on ways to make our little corner of the world a better place.

For more information about the Sept. 16 meeting call Andy Burrows at 802-254-9472 or Timm Harris at 802-254-3676.

Richard Davis is a registered nurse. He writes from Guilford and welcomes comments at rbdav@comcast.net. The opinions expressed by columnists do not necessarily reflect the views of the Brattleboro Reformer.

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