MONTPELIER, Vt. – Brattleboro resident and Black Lives Matter supporter Isabel Vinson filed a federal lawsuit today challenging a Vermont law that prohibits “disturbing peace by use of telephone or other electronic communications.” Vinson was criminally cited by the Brattleboro Police Department in June 2020 for her online criticism of a local business owner’s derogatory Facebook posts about the Black Lives Matter movement.
The lawsuit asserts that the law at issue, 13 V.S.A. § 1027, unconstitutionally restricts online speech. Vinson is asking the U.S. District Court for the District of Vermont to declare that the statute violates the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution and to issue an injunction prohibiting its enforcement going forward.
Parking rates are set to go up after the next regular meeting of the Brattleboro Selectboard. They’ll also be repealing the begging ordinance that caught the recent attention of the ACLU.
Brattleboro will buy sand and salt, get some bulletproof vest upgrades, and the board will review their goals as well as bulky item trash pickup. You can bring up other matters during public participation.
The parking garage, a.k.a. the Brattleboro Transportation Center, had center stage at Tuesday’s meeting of the Brattleboro Selectboard. Is it safe? Is it energy efficient? Is it bright enough? Should we add a permanent art project? How big is that ceiling? Is there something we can do instead of paying half a million for reflective paint? These are the issues of the day.
There was quite a bit of public discussion throughout, new energy projects were approved, and the vehicle for hire ordinance is on hold. But really, it was mostly about the parking garage.
As Brattleboro begins down the path toward adding municipal broadband utility, the ACLU has weighed in with a new report “The Public Internet Option – How Local Governments Can Provide Network Neutrality, Privacy, and Access for All.”
The report compares the necessity of internet access to that of electricity and water, and says that the rollback of net neutrality laws and enforcement threatens equal access (as we have for say, roads and bridges).