“If Fascism Ever Comes to America, It Will Come in the Name of Liberalism.” ~Ronald Reagan
People across America are screaming “treason” after the latest move by city council members in Burlington, Vermont. On Monday, they passed a resolution in a 10-2 vote that will let non-citizens to vote in local elections.
Councilman Adam Roof sponsored the resolution. His argument? That people here illegally are still residents of the city. He said they should be allowed to vote regardless of whether or not they are U.S. citizens.
“The right to vote is more important now than ever before,” Roof said. “All residents have the right, in my eyes, to participate in the local democratic process, and the highest level of participation in that process is being able to cast your vote.”
Council President Kurt Wright voted against the bill. He’s one of only two council members to do so. According to him (and anyone who actually gives a damn about America), voting is a privilege reserved for American citizens.
“I think that’s important. I would not expect to move to another country and not become a citizen and expect to be voting in their elections,” said Wright, a Republican.
He said it blatantly disrespects the will of the people.
“We voted on this just a few years ago and the citizens of Burlington voted significantly against it so I’m not supportive of this proposal.”
Burlington is the hometown of 2020 Democrat presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).
It’s also considered the largest city in Vermont, with estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau putting it at about 42,000 people. It’s also the home of the University of Vermont, which hosts at least 10,000 undergraduate students.
Before it can become law, the resolution needs approval from the state legislature.
In the meantime, a city councilor there is also pushing to disarm police officers in the Queen City.
“How much is the lethal force — is it really causing at the end of the day, more harm than benefit?” said Perri Freeman, a self-proclaimed progressive representing the city.
She floated the idea at a recent council meeting. Her suggestion was that communities should be thinking about new ways of policing in the United States.
According to Freeman, she spent lots of time in Iceland and police are unarmed there.
Where is the “eyeroll” emoji when you need one?
She tries to make the argument that there are only a few times that police need weapons.
You know, like the recent “mass shootings in Dayton and El Paso and such”.
She also added that “the day in and day out of police work is not engaging with that”, and so they apparently don’t need guns.
She argues it’s time to change the culture of policing. She argues that current policing a reaction to “systemic problems like inequality”.
Here’s the good news.
Right now, it’s only conversations she’s having with other local politicians or police leaders – but apparently she’s trying to gauge support from the Burlington community.
According to the head of Burlington’s police officers union, such a plan “wouldn’t fit” in any American city.
“There are a lot of guns around, and we as the police try to put ourselves in the position of advantage all the time, and to show up to an armed incident unarmed? I can’t think of anything more disadvantaged than that,” said Dan Gilligan, president of the Burlington Police Officer’s Association.
Translation: go back under the rock you’ve been hiding under.
Don’t take it personally, Freeman wants cops to know. Her goal is simply to “keep everyone safe”.
“It’s not an overnight thing. It’s a gradual program. It’s talking about how to we really shift and talk about doing things maybe differently in a way that might be better in the long run,” she said.
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She’s not the first genius to push for unarmed police officers.
Last year in Portland, Oregon, Mayor Ted Wheeler pushed for unarmed police officers. They’d be “Public Safety Support Specialists”, or PS3s, who would be non-sworn officers who do not carry guns.
“They will be engaged in the community in non-emergency calls, so that’s things like property crimes, break-ins,” Wheeler tells WW.
The concept came from a proposal in the 2016 police union contract approved under then-Mayor Charlie Hales. The idea was to create Community Service Officers who would respond to minor property crimes and nuisance calls, among other things.
So where did they find the money? By cutting the Mounted Patrol – or cops on horseback – from the 2018-2018 city budget.
The actual deadline was set for January 1, 2019 to implement the PS3s – but it was a date that they didn’t anticipate having the PS3s hired by.
The Portland Police Bureau says it would begin processing some background checks for potential hires in January.
But there remained a dispute about how autonomous the unarmed officers will be.
Portland Police Association president Daryl Turner, a police officer and staunch supporter of law and order, says the PS3s will not respond to calls for service without a sworn officer. That said… they might provide support by manning the front desks at precincts or waiting for tow trucks at car accidents.
It’s a much smaller and less public role than what Portland mayors have pledged.