Candidate’s Statement: Wendy M. Levy, District 1 Town Meeting Representative

Greetings fellow Brattleboro voters, especially my District 1 neighbors. I am on the ballot this year to represent District 1 at our annual town meeting, and I seek a two-year term.

If elected, this will be my return to RTM (Representative Town Meeting), although last year I was not elected.

How did that happen? During the District 1 caucus at the RTM informational meeting, I was appointed along with a handful of others. Why didn’t I get myself on the ballot? When it was time to petition to get on the ballot, I was still a reporter with The Commons newspaper, and journalists are ethically precluded from holding public office. I couldn’t even be the Weigher of Coal or the Viewer of Fences!

I know it sounds hokey, but once I left my job with the newspaper, two things quickly came to mind: now I can serve on non-profit boards, and now I can run for office. When I saw that District 1 needed RTM members, I decided to get involved.

It was the right time. As a reporter, I covered every meeting of the Brattleboro Selectboard for a few years. I knew the budget in and out, and had an excellent familiarity with the other items on the warning. Why not use all that knowledge to serve my town? And I did. And now I want to do it again.

Why should you vote for me?

I do my homework. I pay close attention to the workings of the Selectboard — partly by reading iBrattleboro’s great reporting on the meetings! I learn as much as I can about the agenda items, and about town issues in general. When I need more information, I ask questions. A lot of questions.

Public service is important to me, as is government accountability and transparency, and my paid work reflects this. I am a Board Recorder/Boards Clerk/District Clerk for the following entities: Windham Solid Waste Management District, Windham Southeast Supervisory District, and the Town of Northfield (MA). Most of the work I do is taking official meeting minutes, to give YOU access to what your elected officials are doing.

I have lived in Brattleboro on and off since 1994. I am a graduate of Marlboro College, a former home-owner (I was a landlord), a former business-owner (I had employees), and now I am a renter and a worker. My income has always been low to moderate. I’ve seen many sides, and I understand the benefits and challenges associated with these roles.

As a volunteer, I am a shelf-reader and assist with a local-archives project at Brooks Memorial Liibrary. I am also the Music Director and all-around big helper at non-commercial, all-volunteer, Brattleboro Community Radio, WVEW. I also host a weekly music program at WVEW.

I’m a good listener, I will generally hear you out, and I will consider information and perspectives that are new to me. Because I am not a piece of fabric flapping in the breeze, I may not vote the way you want me to vote–or, I might–but be assured my decisions are based on information I have studied, perspectives others have shared with me, and my own observations and ethics.

My sense of justice and fairness is strong. I believe the town should prioritize the needs of those who live here now and are struggling. And, we should always welcome newcomers to our town–especially People of Color and LGBT folks–whether it’s for a short visit or a relocation. Attraction is better than promotion, in my opinion, and the way to convince others to move here is by creating and maintaining a fabulous, vibrant place where ALL people who live here thrive, so when someone visits, or talks to a current resident, they can’t help but want to be a part of it. Of us.

I hope I have your vote, District 1!

See you at the polls.

(photo credit Ezra Distler)

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