Spoon Agave is running for a one year seat on the Brattleboro Selectboard.
Introduce yourself – who are you and why are you running this year for a 1 year seat?
During my 34 years living in Brattleboro I have served on almost every major Board, Committee and Commission including Selectboard, School Board, Planning Commission, Development Review Board, Traffic and Safety Committee, the Town Finance Committee, and most importantly the last Charter Revision Commission where I studied diligently and in great depth the structure of municipal government and its relationship and embodiment within a democracy. I chaired several of these groups including Charter Revision. I have been a Town Meeting Representative for nearly 25 years.
What unique perspectives or experience do you bring to the board?
As a person of modest means I am also among the half of our population that rents and recently experienced the difficult and exceedingly costly problem of needing to relocate.
Do you have anything in particular you’d like to accomplish in the coming year on the board? What is motivating you to offer your services this year?
I take a humanist or human rights approach to, what I believe, is a genuine community framework for planning and problem solving. In this light it is necessary to first help those who need the most help. As I was taught when I was a kid: everyone gets firsts before anyone gets seconds. Nobody asks to be born. But we’re here and we are all entitled to a long, healthy and fulfilling life. This is the nature of being human and thus the basis of our human rights and the responsibilities of good citizenship.
What’s your favorite part of living in Brattleboro? What do we do well?
What’s our greatest weakness in Brattleboro? What needs attention?
What can Brattleboro voters expect of you on the following issues:
-Brattleboro ambulance services – which option do you prefer?
-Living Memorial Park upgrades
-Housing & Gentrification
If you could make an immediate change (free of charge!) to Brattleboro, what would it be?
Read any good books lately? What can you recommend?
Is there any thing you’d like to discuss that we didn’t ask you about?
Consistent with the above I believe in democracy. The best democracies require the highest level of participation and well informed citizens. Many of our most controversial problems arise from a lack of accurate and fully shared information. Two of the questions you will hear me ask most frequently are “how do you know? what do you mean?” because our best decisions are made on good evidence of fact and truth. Our meeting processes too often conclude with decisions wrought from exasperation rather than a unified viewpoint. Typical process forces us into winning at any cost rather than finding the best decision for all.
Sustainability and survivability are inextricably linked. We have a moral imperative to do everything we can to reduce, and better yet, prevent irreparable environmental and ecological damage. Our children have a right to inherit a world as good or better than our own. That mantra must be our guide. What less would you wish for them?
But living is more than just breathing. We need richness and fulfillment. We cannot achieve these joys if we lack basic needs such as good nutrition, a decent roof over our heads (a home!), satisfying work, sufficient health care, physical and psychic safety and a secure old age. These too are therefore among the elements that comprise our human rights. They are always our first priority. They are the needs around which a society is constructed.
In the context of all of the above one of the most critical if not crucial endeavor to get underway is a community wide dialogue about our future and an action plan to respond. Everyone is worried about the future. We ignore it at our own peril.
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