Letter: Women Urged to Run for Town Meeting

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Town Meeting is an example of how government can work without political parties. Since 1644, Reading Town Meeting has met to set policy and budget. Reading is the 64th oldest continuously operating democracy in the world according to research done by one of our Town Meeting members. Reading currently has a representative town meeting format. Annually in April, each of Reading’s eight precincts chooses 24 of its residents to send to Town Meeting, in staggered terms.

This year the Reading ballot shows 46 candidates for 64 seats, and only 9 are women! We are reaching out together in our appeal to invite more Reading women to join us and become Town Meeting members. While it is too late to submit your name to appear on the April ballot, you can become a write-in candidate in your precinct. Let your neighbors and friends in your precinct know that you are running for Town Meeting as a write-in candidate. In the past, some folks have handed out reminders the day before the election.
Women makeup 51% of the Reading population and having gender parity in Town Meeting helps to maintain a balance of views and concerns. Traditionally Reading women seem to have required more outreach to join Town Meeting which is in stark opposition to their willingness to serve the community through volunteer hours in the schools and social service programs. Your service to the Town however through Town Meeting maintains the running of the Town and helps to shape its future. An immense contribution! The time commitments are a spring annual meeting focused on the budget over 2-4 nights and a fall subsequent meeting to address other articles, usually 1-2 nights. The only requirement for being a Town Meeting member is an interest in the community you live, Reading.
Please consider our request and become a write-in candidate for your precinct. The Town Election is April 2nd and is held at the High School Field House.
Nancy Docktor and Mary Ellen O’Neil
Precinct 1 and 4
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