Daily Buzz | Become a Write-In Candidate
And some well-deserved appreciation
It’s Freaking Friday, Burlington!
As an at-home parent who works for myself, Friday means next to nothing to me, but for some reason I still have the urge to mark the day. Hope the week has treated you well. Some rando housekeeping and items of interest here today.
First, I want to send a big, huge shout out to those of you who have chosen to become paid subscribers. I’ve been able to use that income for advertising, including flyers, online ads, and yet-to-be-debuted swag which I think you’re gonna love. I’ve also managed to spend some time researching podcasting and planning for my next one or two podcasts. (Wanna come on and make a fool out of yourself with me? Let’s do it! Got an idea for a podcast topic? Send it to me!) I also was able to check out the podcast studio at BCAT yesterday, which is pretty amazing. If you didn’t already know about this, it’s free to use and they have all the software and hardware you need. I’m SO EXCITED to try it.
If you don’t subscribe yet and you’re interested in becoming a subscriber, just click the button below. If you already subscribe and wish to become a paying subscriber, you can do that too. I know you know how hard I work to bring you this information in an easily-digestible format, and your paid subscription helps me keep my posts accessible and free for our community members. (And eventually you’ll be able to access more post exclusively for paid members. 😀)
Register to Vote
It’s been awhile since I plugged voter registration, but there’s only a week left to register before the local election on April 9. There are a ton of resources online on how to do that, and registering is super simple. Check on the Secretary of State’s website to see if you’re registered. On that same website, you can register, enroll into a political party, or update your registration information. Our Town Clerk’s Website has additional information if you need it.
I promised yesterday I’d talk about this today, so here goes. Write-ins are an accessible way for us to fill those open seats I mentioned before. Currently we have open seats in:
Precinct 1 Town Meeting (1)
Precinct 5 Town Meeting (2)
Precinct 7 Town Meeting (4)
It’s not good to have open seats - it means your precinct (or the town, for townwide seats) is not being fully represented in town government. But you can change that! A write-in campaign can actually be super simple. One way to do it is to simply print out a few sheets of return address labels (with a phone number, please! I’ll get to why in a second) and hand them out to people - that way they can just place your label right on the ballot. Just beware you’re not allowed to campaign within 150 feet of the polling site.
Although our upcoming election is local, it’s governed by state laws. You can find all the information here on the Secretary of State website.
After the election is over, when ballots are being counted, our Town Clerk will notify the write-in candidates with the most votes that they’ve won the seat. (There is no minimum vote threshold for Town Meeting seats, and there is a 50-vote threshold for townwide seats like Library Trustees and Housing Authority.) That’s why it’s really helpful if you (a) include your phone number along with your address on your sticker, and/or (b) notify the Town Clerk’s office prior to Election Day so they can have a number where they can contact you if you win. That way, you can save our Clerk the work of going through a worksheet to find your number and contact you on Election night.
I highly encourage you to run as a write-in, especially if you’re interested in filling any of the open seats mentioned above. And, as you surely know by now, Town Meeting is a great way to get involved with the town without making a huge time commitment. As always, if you have any questions about this or any other election or voting matter, you can contact the Town Clerk’s office!
I literally can’t with the recaps today. At one point there were four concurrent meetings I wanted to be at. I ended up going to two, one of which was the Equity Audit Town Hall, because I wanted to see what it was all about.
The team who was presenting talked very little. They did explain at a couple different points that the purpose of the Equity Audit is to listen in and understand. There are some arenas where students might not all have equal access to opportunities. There might be blind spots where the district doesn’t see inequities that exist. If there are, the aim is to know so opportunities can be made more equitable.
Most of the time was spent listening to community members’ responses to questions asked by the team. Some questions included:
What does BPS do well?
What do you hope to learn about the district through this audit?
What stakeholders should be involved in this process?
Has the education quality been consistent throughout your kids’ time in BPS?
Some strengths that were mentioned:
Teachers seem to genuinely care about kids
Community is friendly
Some questions that were brought up:
Are there discipline disparities?
Where is curriculum pulled from?
What kind of training to teachers get?
Lots more was discussed, but I just wanted to give you a few bullets in case you’re curious what this Equity Audit thing is about.
I did *not* go to Conservation, and it was still going on when I went to bed, but I anticipate there was some hot debate. So be sure to watch if you’re interested, particularly in the discussion around stormwater bylaws.
Thanks to Asheen for this one. If you have a meme, gif, or other funny you’d like to share one Friday, just email it to me!
Take it easy, Burlington. See you tomorrow.