On Thursday, April 28, members of the League of Women Voters of Winchester and NFSJ presented Article 8, “An Act to Extend Local Voting Rights to All Adult Residents of the Town of Winchester,” before Winchester Town Meeting members. The article allows the town to send a Home Rule Petition to the state legislature for its and the governor’s consideration to extend local voting rights to legally documented non-US citizens.
We were thrilled when the warrant passed. According to US Census Data, just under 8% of those living in Winchester are foreign-born adults who are non-US citizens. Town meeting members heard from some of these individuals, who explained that they own homes, pay taxes, and enroll their children in Winchester Public Schools, yet lack a say in who represents them and how their tax dollars are spent.
Approval of Article 8 is reflective of the values espoused in Winchester’s Human Rights Statement. Should it receive approval by the legislature and governor, it will go a long way toward making Winchester a more inclusive community.