Following are some ideas to consider as you prepare to present the Declaration.
We know that each town or organization is different and that the strategy for gaining adoption and implementation of the Declaration may be different.
HOW TO PRESENT
Depending on the Selectboard or group, you may want to present it at one meeting and return to it at the next meeting and request a motion to adopt.
FIND AN ALLY
Prior to the second meeting, you may be wise to approach a friendly member to support the Declaration of Inclusion, speak to it, and make the motion to adopt. We recommend that you be present at both meetings for support and to answer any questions.
REWORDING THE DECLARATION OF INCLUSION
The organization/Selectboard may wish to change the wording. This is acceptable provided the basic thoughts are preserved, the designated groups are considered, and they continue to be included.
The goal is to have statewide adoption, including at the state level. Governor Scott issued a Proclamation of Inclusion in May 2021.
HAVE A CONVERSATION
Speaking with those who may be reluctant, do not see a need for the statement, or even oppose the Declaration may be useful as well. Doing so provides an opportunity to discuss and hopefully resolve statements such as: “We don’t have those problems here” and “I am not a racist. Why do we need such a statement in our town?”
THE PATH FORWARD
There may be doubt about the ways to implement, monitor, and assess progress on the Declaration. Turning words into action is not the easiest. Since each community is different, with different needs and different stages of socioeconomic development, we suggest follow-up discussions led by a skilled discussion leader. He/she/they may be a respected member of the community, a professional facilitator, or a competent consultant. We can help identify those potentially interested in working with you.