Mayor of Winooski invites public to city council meeting with Governor & Air Guard Commanders

The mayor's letter encourages the public to speak up at the September 7 meeting and tell the governor and commanders what the F-35 is doing to you and your family

Winooski Mayor Kristine Lott invited Governor Phil Scott and Vermont Air Guard Commanders to the September 7 City Council Meeting to hear from members of the public who are harmed by the F-35 training in a city. The mayor’s letter encourages residents to “share their experiences living with F-35 operations.”

Mark your calendars: This Winooski City Council meeting starts at 6:00 pm on Tuesday, September 7. The F-35 comes up on the agenda within the first half hour. The meeting will be both online and in-person, as indicated in the Mayor’s letter to the governor.

Spread the word: Share the meeting date and time with your friends and neighbors, on Front Porch Forum, and on social media.

Reach out: If you would like to work with me and others to help reach out to community organizations, unions, students, religious, new Americans, BIPOC, social justice, and other groups to build participation in this city council meeting contact me at jolly39@gmail.com. Together we can build a winning campaign to halt the F-35 training in a city.

All are invited: You need not be a Winooski resident, worker, student, customer, or business owner. The governor and Guard commanders need to see you and hear from you no matter which of the affected cities and towns you are in.

Be present: Whether you speak is up to you. Your mere presence makes a difference.

Whether you are old or young. A parent or a child. A teacher or a student. A worker or a business owner. A renter, a landlord, or a homeowner. An old Vermont family, a new American, indigenous or immigrant. Black, brown, or white. Come to the meeting, either online or in person, on September 7.

If you speak describe the effect of the F-35 on yourself, your family, your job, your business, your pets. Give the facts. Tell commanders and governor what happens to you and members of your family when assaulted by the 115 decibel F-35 hundreds of times a month. What it’s like to be outdoors when F-35 jets come over. What happens to you and your family when 115 decibel F-35 noise invades your home. Your school. Your workplace.

Don’t pull punches. Give the gruesome details of your exposure to the F-35.

Talk about the pain. The injury. The distress. The suffering. Give the details. Don’t downplay. Talk about your worry about hearing loss. Tell the governor that the AARP just published an article saying that exposure to such noise increases the risk of stroke and heart disease. And tell him about the pain, injury, distress, or fear you experience when those F-35 jets take off or land so close to you. Talk about your internal organs shaking. Impaired learning. Mental health issues. Impaired cognitive development of your children. About the tinnitus. About long term effects of hearing damage. About how hearing damage can lead to dementia as you get older.

The Air Force acknowledged disproportionate impact on low income and minorities: Tell the governor its worse: working class and BIPOC communities are the only ones in the Air Force designated noise danger zone. None of the tony leafy neighborhoods, like the Hill Section of Burlington, are impacted. Injustice on steroids.

Tell commanders and governor how your family, your business operations, your teaching or your learning is affected by the F-35 training in a city. Tell them to get the F-35 training out of any populated area. Tell them that nobody, including the governor and the commanders, has offered a single justification for training with F-35 jets in a city. It’s just a matter of convenience. The governor and the commanders need to hear the full extent of the unnecessary suffering of civilians from their F-35 training flights over cities. Don’t forget to tell them to stop the F-35 training flights in a city now.

Include a demand (an “ask”) whenever you speak to a public official. Everyone who speaks can ask for what the voters of Winooski called for by a 2 to 1 margin at town meeting: the voters urged the state to halt the F-35 training flights in a populated area, such as Winooski. The mayor mentioned this in her letter to the governor.

If you are a new American: A fundamental part of being an American is speaking out. But if you are not ready to speak at this public meeting, come, watch, and listen. Perhaps next time, or the time after, you will be ready to speak. Even if you don’t speak your presence is powerful.

Tell the governor that hurting people is wrong and illegal, no matter whether done by an individual or by the governor and people in uniform. Tell him that no cost-benefit analysis justifies hurting children and elderly. Tell him it’s wrong to hurt thousands of civilian families.  And tell him to stop the F-35 flights over Winooski now.

Tell the governor that he is responsible. He has both the constitutional authority and the constitutional obligation to stop it. Tell him to halt the F-35 training flights in a densely populated area now.

This September 7 Winooski City Council meeting is a huge opportunity to talk about the harm training in a city with F-35 jets is doing. An opportunity to tell commanders and governor to use the state’s constitutional authority over the training of the Vermont National Guard to order a stop to the F-35 training flights in a densely populated area now.

So let’s make the most of this opportunity. Mark your calendar for September 7 at 6 pm. And spread the word.

Write or call your public servants:

Governor Phil Scott 802-828-3333 Chief of Staff <Jason.Gibbs@vermont.gov>

Vermont National Guard's Complaint Line: 802-660-5379

Add your own report & complaint to the online F-35 Spring-Summer 2021 Report & Complaint Form: https://tinyurl.com/4zjjn39x

See the responses to the F-35 Spring-Summer 2021 Report & Complaint Form (so far 441 responses): https://tinyurl.com/3svacfvx

Senator Patrick Leahy 800-642-3193 Chief of Staff <john_tracy@leahy.senate.gov>

Senator Bernie Sanders 800-339-9834 <Senator@sanders.senate.gov>

Congressman Peter Welch 888-605-7270 Chief of Staff <patrick.satalin@mail.house.gov>

Burlington City Council <citycouncil@burlingtonvt.gov>

Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger <mayor@burlingtonvt.gov>

Winooski Mayor Kristine Lott <klott@winooskivt.org>

S. Burlington City Council Chair Helen Riehle <hriehle@sburl.com>

Williston Selectboard Chair Terry Macaig <macaig@msn.com>

VT Senate President Becca Balint <bbalint@leg.state.vt.us>

VT House Speaker Jill Krowinski <jkrowinski@leg.state.vt.us>

Attorney General TJ Donavan <DonovanTJ@gmail.com>

States Attorney Sarah George <Sarah.fair.george@gmail.com>

Vermont’s Federal Prosecutor <usavt.contactus1@usdoj.gov>

Adjutant General Brig Gen Gregory C Knight <gregory.c.knight.mil@mail.mil>

Major J Scott Detweiler <john.s.detweiler.mil@mail.mil>

Wing Commander Col David Shevchik <david.w.shevchik@mail.mil>