By Curt Peterson
The Hartland Select Board voted unanimously to adopt the Vermont Declaration of Inclusion Monday night, becoming the 65th Vermont town to sign onto the movement.
Chair Phil Hobbie told the Mountain Times one very minor wording amendment was made to better reflect the feelings Hartlanders want to express. The adopted amended declaration reads:
“Recognizing that diversity strengthens and enriches a community, the Town of Hartland denounces discrimination and welcomes all persons, regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity or expression, age, or disability. We strongly commit ourselves and our institutions to the fair and equal treatment of everyone who lives or works in, or passes through our three villages. We strive to ensure that all of our plans, policies, programs, procedures, statements, and actions reflect this commitment and support a town in which all persons feel safe to express their opinions and participate in the community.”
The goal of the Declaration of Inclusion movement, according to co-founder Al Wakefield, is formal acceptance of inclusion as a characteristic of Vermont, in hopes more people of all descriptions and ages will see ours as a welcoming place to visit, live, go to school, and work.