Rutland, VT: Activist group forms to support refugee resettlement. Rutland First website states:

We are a group of sympathetic and deeply concerned Rutland residents, who understand the sufferings and displacements not only of Syrians but of other in strife-torn areas of the world. While we recognize that resettling a hundred or several thousands of refugees will never solve the problems of millions that have to be left behind, we appreciate the good will of those who want to help at least a few.

Nevertheless, we do not think this decision should be based on feelings of kindness. We are aware of burdens experienced by some communities who have accepted refugess as well as difficulties of those resettled. We think we must understand facts that have not been forthcoming and must consider the consequences of refugee resttlement in our City. Rutland has numerous unaddressed problems. We are asking the City of Rutland to hold a public vote on whether to:

A – Go forward with the Mayor’s proposed refugee resettlement beginning in October 2016


B – Decline the opportunity for resettlement for the present time

Until city officials and the public feel assured of the vetting of refugees and are clearly informed of the process, the economic impact on Rutland and surrounding communities, details of the role of the contractor placing refugees here, the obligations the contractor has or does not have to the City, and the financial and legal responsibilities left to Rutland after the contractor completes its task.

We are not bigots or racists. We are not un-American. On the contrary, we are Americans who value others, American or not, and demonstrate it by seeking open dialog and the truth about matters at hand.