I’ve been talking a lot about mayors (and councils) lately because I believe that we can’t count on the DC swamp being drained anytime soon. Our focus should be close to home and making sure local elected officials aren’t working secretively with big businesses and federal agencies and their contractors to change America (your town) by changing the people.
And, as I said the other day, I’m compiling a dirty dozen list of mayors*** who need to go. But, LOL! this one in Rutland, VT is already gone thanks to Rutland First.
Recently one of the leaders of Rutland First was honored for his hard work by ACT for America at its annual conference.
Don Chioffi, a retired Vermont state legislator, educator and Vietnam veteran, has been named “Citizen Activist of the Year” by Washington, D.C.-based ACT! for America.
Chioffi, a resident of Rutland Town, co-led the formation of Rutland First, a coalition of local citizens opposed to less-than-transparent efforts by Rutland Mayor Christopher Louras to resettle 100 Syrian refugees in the area starting in early 2016.
Chioffi was presented the award by ACT! for America founder Brigitte Gabriel at a special ceremony in Washington earlier this month. Gabriel is a prominent Lebanese-born conservative journalist and immigration activist. Earlier this year she took part in a national security briefing with White House officials.
Under Chioffi’s leadership, Rutland First was credited for bringing the secretive refugee placement program to light, which ultimately resulted in the defeat of Louras on Town Meeting Day in March. Louras spearheaded the resettlement effort with support from the Obama administration and U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, among others. Another local group, Rutland Welcomes, worked with Louras to help refugees find housing and job opportunities.
“It’s a tremendous honor to receive this award,” Chioffi told True North Reports. “It was a humbling and surreal experience. For somebody that’s steeped in Vermont and the trees here, it’s tremendous. But I accepted the award not for myself but for Rutland First. There are several of us who are founding members.”
Chioffi said the honor really recognizes Rutland First for shining a light on the secret government program sprung by the mayor.