Shumlin, Scott Issue Joint Pledge to Defend ‘Rights and Freedoms of All’ | Off Message

Shumlin, Scott Issue Joint Pledge to Defend ‘Rights and Freedoms of All’

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Gov. Peter Shumlin (left) and governor-elect Phil Scott met last week in Montpelier. - TERRI HALLENBECK
  • Terri Hallenbeck
  • Gov. Peter Shumlin (left) and governor-elect Phil Scott met last week in Montpelier.
Vermont’s departing Democratic governor and incoming Republican governor issued an unusually harmonious statement Thursday.

Gov. Peter Shumlin and governor-elect Phil Scott pledged to defend the rights and freedoms of all in the wake of a turbulent national election.

Without mentioning the name of president-elect Donald Trump, the joint statement said it was in response to the “presidential election and recent events across the state.”

The governor and governor-elect did not give specific courses of action they envision or cite specific examples of Vermont events that triggered their statement.

“At this time of national discord, Vermont can present a united voice urging compassion, commitment to community, and fierce dedication to equal rights and justice,” the statement reads. “The example we set for the nation can help guide us forward through this turbulent time.”

They concluded: “Together, we’ll defend the rights and freedoms of all; set an example for the nation to follow; and stand united in our commitment to move forward. The nation is counting on us to do our part — and we will.”

The full statement:

Montpelier, Vt. – Governor Peter Shumlin and Governor-elect Phil Scott today issued the following statement on concerns raised by Vermonters following the presidential election and recent events across the state.

“At this time of national discord, Vermont can present a united voice urging compassion, commitment to community, and fierce dedication to equal rights and justice. The example we set for the nation can help guide us forward through this turbulent time.

“Vermont’s reservoir of goodwill is deep and our national leadership well documented. Our history is of being first to stand up for equality, inclusiveness, and tolerance is well known. Even in the face of the ugly, sometimes discouraging, reminders of how much further we must go in our pursuit of equal rights and a just and tolerant nation, we will not be deterred. Instead, we will be more resolved to help where there is need; listen where there is frustration; and act where there is injustice.

“As President Calvin Coolidge said so many years ago, and as it is carved into the walls of our State House, ‘If the spirit of liberty should vanish in other parts of the Union, and support of our institutions should languish, it could all be replenished from the generous store held by the people of this brave little state of Vermont.’

“Vermonters know how to weather the storms. When times are toughest, we always come together to focus on what’s important — each other.

“Together, we’ll defend the rights and freedoms of all; set an example for the nation to follow; and stand united in our commitment to move forward. The nation is counting on us to do our part – and we will.” 



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