Municipalities Representing 60.5% of the Vermont Population
Vermont Business Magazine As of Tuesday, March 7th, 100 Vermont municipalities have adopted a Declaration of Inclusion. The Declaration of Inclusion initiative has been underway since October 2020 and began with the adoption by the Town of Franklin. Adoption efforts are led by Bob Harnish, Al Wakefield, and Norman Cohen, all longtime residents of Rutland County.
“Our vision is for Vermont to become and to continue to be this nation’s leader in promoting and guarding diversity and inclusion, known and respected for its public efforts to welcome all people, with special emphasis on and attention to those groups who have been historically marginalized,” said Bob Harnish. “To accomplish this, we’ve set a goal of having all 247 Vermont municipalities adopt a Declaration of Inclusion.”
Following adoption, each municipality is encouraged to take action to communicate and reinforce the words of the Declaration. A number of implementation ideas are featured on the initiative’s website. To also assist with implementation, the Vermont Office of Racial Equity and the Vermont League of Cities and Towns offer advice and services, many of which are cost-free.
Supporting this initiative are the Vermont Chamber of Commerce, the Vermont League of Cities and Towns, Vermont Interfaith Action, NAACP, and the legislative Social Equity Caucus.
In 2021, Governor Phil Scott issued a proclamation designating the second week of May as Inclusion Week in Vermont.
The first 100 towns to adopt a Declaration of Inclusion:
Essex Junction Village
Isle La Motte
St. Albans City
Source: Rutland, VT (March 7, 2023) – Vermont Chamber