Letters to the Editor

Letter to the Editor: DEI Committee Chair’s Conditions for an Apology from Select Board

The following is a Letter to the Editor from Phil Gallagher:

Over the past several weeks BNEWS has reported the events surrounding the first presentation by the Diversity equity and inclusion committee. The report by the committee was met with a good deal of skepticism and some community members expressed outrage as to what they described as the disrespectful treatment of the committee chair Dr. Barbara Jean Addison Reid.

Members of the select board have apologized individually and Selectboard Chairman James Tigges issued a blanket apology for the entire board.

I received Dr. Reid’s response via a Freedom of Information request to the Select Board’s office.

Dr. Reid’s response includes a lengthy and heartfelt description of her upbringing, family, and friends as well as her impressive list of work and educational credentials.

The letter concludes with the conditions under which she would accept the board’s apology. The following is the exact quote:

“The Select Board owes me an apology for discriminating against me because I am who I am!
I will accept your apology only if the Select Board appoints me to serve on the Select Board, as
an equal partner among the Board members, and I have the responsibility to lead, guide, and
educate the Select Board and the Town to address Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for Burlington.
This appointment assignment will last for as long as I wish to serve in this Town.
Please know that this Select Board’s apology and appointment are not negotiable!”