Op-Ed: Read the Resolution

On Tuesday, you have the chance to decide whether this town should adopt a proposed resolution on racism and public health.  Read the resolution on the town website before you head to the polls.  Consider what it says and decide whether you feel it is the right resolution for our community.

For background, a Hartford-based advocacy group called Health Equity Solutions drafted a resolution for cities and towns to consider as a template to highlight disparities in health outcomes due to race, ethnicity, culture and socioeconomic status.  We need to decide if this is relevant to Easton. Comparing the template and the proposed resolution on the ballot, you’ll see most of the same sentences and phrasing. It was not modified to meet our specific community needs, concerns or circumstances. There were no public forums or sessions to solicit input on a resolution or its content.    

For comparison, Westport passed a resolution regarding racism.  The town’s Representative Town Meeting debated and modified the proposal to make it reflective of Westport.

The woman who proposed the resolution here in Easton said at the annual Town Meeting “that if the town referendum does support upholding a resolution of this nature in the town of Easton, that we revisit the language, consider what really is most appropriate for Easton, update some of the clauses in the resolution.” (about 1 hour and 16 minutes into the Town Meeting Video) However, the question on the ballot is not “do you support a resolution on racism and public health, to be drafted at a later date.” The ballot question is on this specific resolution. To present the resolution as written is misguided.

If you do not support the proposed resolution, it does not mean you support racism or deny its existence in our town.  It means this resolution, as written, does not apply to our community.

Please remember to vote on Tuesday.

Kristi Sogofsky

Easton Board of Selectmen