Amherst for All's Ageism Must be Rejected
By Thadeus Dabrowski
Wednesday, January 24, 2018, Daily Hampshire Gazette, Letter to the Editor
The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution took effect in 1868. It provides that no state shall deny to any person “the equal protection of the laws.”
On Jan. 11, the Amherst Democratic Town Committee sponsored a two-hour debate at the Jones Library on the proposed charter change (“Lively debate on proposed Amherst charter,” Jan. 12). It was shocking that ageism permeated remarks by the team from Amherst For All. Apparently it believes that advancing age is a disqualification for participating in Amherst’s political process.
Amherst For All would exclude senior participation by abolishing Town Meeting. While the average age of Town Meeting mimics the average age of the Amherst voters, Amherst For All makes no secret of how it links Town Meeting participation to age.
This effort to shut out old people has been Amherst For All’s lead talking point since it started its campaign to change Amherst government. Amherst For All’s theme and ploys are outrageous as it cloaks innuendo in polite language. But make no mistake, the intent is to suppress citizen participation by class.
Amherst For All’s ageism must be met with nothing but denunciation, by all. Its ageist conceit would have Amherst abandon our town’s commitment to inclusion and diversity. It must explain at what age do we become unfit, as a class of people.
Amherst For All’s ageist tactic will be rejected at the voting booth. Our vote will be “no” to ageism and “no” to the charter.