To the Editor:

I don’t often write about political races but there is a primary race that I feel is of critical importance to Chittenden County. If you have concerns about the recent upticks in violent and nonviolent crime in our region, vote in the Democratic primary for Chittenden County State’s Attorney.

This race is between incumbent Sarah George and Ted Kenney. I have heard South Burlington retailers’ concerns over retail theft and threats to their employees by the same offenders with no consequences. The same thing is happening in Burlington, as well as much more violent crime involving guns and the like.

There are obviously many reasons for this — pandemic, drug abuse, homelessness, court system not reopening fully yet — as well as the need for more mental health and other support for perpetrators.

However, the lack of prosecution of repeat offenders and the philosophy of George is of great concern to me. She has invoked a stated policy that anyone stopped for a minor traffic violation will not be prosecuted if other criminal activity is found during the stop. So, if someone is stopped for lack of inspection of their vehicle, and illegal drugs or weapons are found, those will be confiscated but no prosecution will occur.

George is also one of two listed board members of an organization called the Women’s Justice and Freedom Initiative. This organization on the face has some worthy ideals. However, as you dig a bit deeper, the organization’s website forwards you to a policy position statement called Critical Resistance Abolitionists Toolkit, which is lengthy, but states that murderers, rapists and child molesters should not be imprisoned or presumably confined in any way. (Editor’s note: The ToolKit does suggest putting people in “safe spaces” away from others they could hurt.)

We all read about what is happening in other cities like San Francisco, Chicago and New York, among others, where these soft on crime and defund the police policies are causing havoc and outrage from citizens.

Ted Kenney has a wealth of experience and is committed to a much more balanced approach to restorative justice, prosecution of repeat offenders, conditions asked for release of perpetrators, and more.

I urge you to vote for Kenney and urge three of our city councilors, Meaghan Emery, Helen Riehle and Tim Barritt to reconsider their endorsements of George.

Michael Keller

South Burlington

(1) comment


Well said.

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