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Lamoille County Libertarian party holds annual convention

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Lamoille County Libertarian party holds annual convention

Henrique Cezar

Henrique Cezar

courtesy of Henrique Cezar

Henrique Cezar

courtesy of Henrique Cezar

courtesy of Henrique Cezar

Henrique Cezar

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This year’s Lamoille County Libertarian Annual Convention was held on Tuesday, Feb. 12, in Johnson. The 12 people in attendance were made up of current party members, as well as prospective members who were attending the caucus to see what the party had to offer.

While 12 members may not seem like a large crowd for a political convention, County Chair Will Angier noted that membership has more than doubled since September of last year. Angier also noted that many people were not in attendance due to sickness or other obligations.

“Since last year we’ve done a considerable amount of outreach in Lamoille County. Since our first convention in September we have new members looking to organize town committees in Morrisville, Hyde Park, and Stowe. I think we offer an attractive alternative to the duopoly,” said Angier. “I think it is [also] safe to say that many people doing their own research are drawn to the philosophy of our party. I think young people especially are willing to explore new ideas.”

Twenty-year-old Johnson resident Brandon Jones was one of these young people in attendance.
Jones said he has not previously been active in politics, because he didn’t feel that either major party had his interests in mind. Jones attended the caucus just to see what the Libertarian Party had to offer. By the end of the night he was committed on joining.

“I thought everything said was just common sense. There were views that protect personal rights, and I really liked hearing what members of the party had to say. Some of their idea’s made a lot of sense, and would work better than the system we have now,” Jones said.

NVU professor Henrique Cezar, who is the current secretary of the Lamoille County Libertarian Party, suggested that an outreach program for other young people in Lamoille County would be beneficial to increasing membership. “There are a lot of students and young people here that hold Libertarian values who would benefit from the party. As a professor I can’t recruit them because of professional and ethical reasons,” Cezar said.

Local hemp growers were also a topic of discussion. With the legalization of marijuana in Vermont a few local growers have reached out to the party and expressed interest in membership. During the meeting this was attributed to the belief that Libertarian concepts of legalization closely align with these business ventures.

Lamoille County Vice Chair Everett Fryman was quick to note that extending invitations to these start-up businesses was beneficial.

“Naturally, we as Libertarians embrace the freedom for individuals to do as they please, provided that no individual harm another or their property, [we] promote all forms of agriculture which enhance the economic viability of our state and the residents,” Fryman said.

Lamoille County Rep. Dan Noyes (D) was also in attendance to answer questions members of the convention had about this year’s legislative session.

One of the major topics of concern was the new gun control bill that now resides in the Vermont Senate. The bill would require an additional waiting period of 48 hours to purchase a firearm from a licensed dealer, as well as requiring gun owners to keep all firearms under lock and key inside their home. Libertarian opponents of the bill question the storage restrictions and argue that regulating how arms are stored inside the home is a “gross intrusion” on personal property rights.

While Noyes stated he would probably not vote for the new measures, he was not optimistic about the bill’s outcome once it reached the House.

“I believe in the house it will get about 100 votes,” Noyes said.

“Then you think it will pass?” a member of the crowd asked.

“Without a doubt. It only needs 70,” Noyes said.

The Lamoille County Libertarian Party meets quarterly in conjunction with the Johnson Libertarian party. Meeting venues and membership details are available on the party’s website: https://www.lplamoille.org/

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Lamoille County Libertarian party holds annual convention