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Editor of the Reformer,

(Lt. Gov.) David Zuckerman endorses Brattleboro Common Sense Youth Vote Amendment: "In a time when political cynicism is at an all-time high, it is great to see young citizens active and engaged in their communities. James, Rio and others in the Youth Vote movement have been doing the hard work of knocking doors and gathering signatures in support of youth participation in their local town meeting. With the dedication, determination and commitment of this group I expect they will get the 400 signatures required to put the Youth Vote Amendment on the ballot and I am hopeful local citizens will support it when they vote. Engaging youth in local decisions is a great way to instill a commitment to their community, bring in new ideas and energy, and to recognize the value they add to the region."

The Youth Vote (YVT) amendment will allow 16 and 17 year old residents of Brattleboro to vote on local issues, serve on the Town and Brattleboro Union High School Boards, and serve at Representative Town Meeting. YVT is an initiative of Brattleboro Common Sense (BCS), and was drafted by Brattleboro town moderator Lawrin Crispe and attorney Paul Gillies and has been endorsed by Lieutenant Governor David Zuckerman. Jeanette White, chairperson of the Vermont Senate Judiciary Committee, has promised to expedite its approval following our vote. We at BCS have been planning to get the YVT on the ballot for the November election.

Unfortunately, during this past week there has been some confusion in town government, causing a change in the signature deadline and making a problem for us. At this point we need the rest of the required signatures by 5:30 p.m. today or maybe midday on Tuesday, Aug. 21 at the absolute latest, and we need the Select Board not to pass judgement on the Youth Vote, but just to put it on the ballot. The amendment process following this petition already requires a decision by the state legislature. It is not town government's business to short-cut the legislature's decision. Town government should tend to the proper day-to-day business of the town and leave the people's initiatives to the people and to the proper authorities, in this case, the state legislature.

If you are a registered Brattleboro voter and would like to sign, please stop by Everyone's Books in downtown Brattleboro during their opening hours until Tuesday (the 21st) at 11:30am at the latest, preferable by Monday afternoon. Or you can download and print out the petition from our website BrattleboroCommonSense.org and drop off the signed petition in the mailbox at 16 Washington Street, Brattleboro 05301 by Monday (the 20th) afternoon. My email is riodaims@brattleborocommonsense.org and my number is (802)275-8306 if you want to get in touch with me.

Rio Daims

Brattleboro, Aug. 18