Op/Ed

Letter to the editor: Thomas would help Middlebury build community

A couple of years ago, I posted a question on social media to the effect of, “How do you build community?” It was something I was pondering as I watched what seemed like the destruction of our democracy. I was slowly coming to the realization that democracy is fragile, that it must be nurtured, and that we all need to be serious in our role as its stewards.
I received a number of responses to my query, from a variety of people, and they were all a little different. After thinking things over, I realized what they all had in common was that they all required action. Community isn’t something that just happens, it’s something we build, intentionally, together. At that moment I realized I should be doing more for our community, and I eventually threw my hat in the ring to run for selectboard, despite being fairly terrified.
Some time later, I received the wonderful gift of being introduced to Esther Thomas. She had arrived in Middlebury with her two kids, and despite being at a real turning point in her life (having just separated from her spouse), she was full of warmth and positive energy. I went home that day and told my husband “I think I made a new friend today.”
From that moment I have watched Esther build community, intentionally, together with all her old and new friends. It is something that comes naturally to her. She is genuine and kind in her actions. She is a wonderful listener, and has an amazing ability to connect with all sorts of people. She has a vision for our community, and the energy, intelligence, and purposefulness to make it happen.
Esther’s voice is needed in our community. I hope you will join me on March 2 and vote Esther Thomas to the Middlebury selectboard.
Lindsey Fuentes-George
East Middlebury

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