Lois Barber: Flawed charter too risky for Amherst

Thursday, March 22, 2018
Flawed charter too risky for Amherst

As executive director of EarthAction, a global environment, peace and justice organization, I have traveled around the world helping people to have their voices heard on important issues, to influence policies and to develop and strengthen their democracies.

Back at home, I have seen firsthand how Amherst Town Meeting is one of the finest examples of “democracy in action” where policies are made by a broad diverse group of people whose lives are most affected by their own decisions. All my experience tells me that the proposed flawed charter would be a drastic move in the wrong direction for our town.

It would concentrate power in the hands of a paid part-time council of 13; take away power from those not wealthy enough to run for office; turn citizen policymakers into supplicants before a higher council; and open our town government to the influence of big money.

I’ve seen enough of this elsewhere in the world and in our own federal government. This flawed charter is too risky to everything I love about Amherst.

I’ll vote “no” on March 27.

Lois Barber


The writer is founder and executive director of EarthAction.