To the Editor:
This letter was sent to the Martha’s Vineyard Commission.
As the LUPC begins its analysis of the benefits and detriments of the high school athletics complex application, which includes plastic grass fields, please ask yourselves the following questions:
What influence do private, anonymous donors of $11 million have on our school committee, administration, and faculty? Can we consider the judgment of our school officials as independent and unbiased when a large sum of money is being dangled in front of them? On whose behalf are school officials operating? Are they looking out for the best interest of the Island for generations to come, or is it possible that the private, anonymous donors will want a return on their investment, and our school administration will bend the rules to accommodate their wishes?
And why would it be permissible for a public school to accept private, anonymous money while overriding the local town’s ordinances with the Dover amendment?
Why is it that we live in a country coming to terms with the deeply painful and brutal legacy of racial inequity and violence, and there are still, as I write this email, in May 2021, no representatives of BIPOC [Black, indigenous, and people of color] communities on the school committee or on the M.V. Commission?
Are you, the M.V. Commission, aware of the PFAS contamination in Wayland?
Have you, members of the M.V. Commission, studied the pervasive nature of PFAS and made yourselves aware that PFAS contamination is the upcoming crisis to water supplies in the U.S.?
Do you, the M.V. Commission, have the courage to protect our water by telling powerful interests that we will not approve their plans because our well-being is at stake?
Have you, members of the M.V. Commission, asked yourselves with depth and sincerity if you are operating in any capacity in self-interest, and if you have asked yourselves that, how do you hold yourselves and each other accountable?
We will remember this time — either because the people on the M.V. Commission tasked with being the voice of the environment succumbed to pressure and sold our health and the life of all beings on the Island for $11 million and a plastic field, or we will remember this time because a group of people on the M.V. Commission recognized what is priceless — our water, our environment, our health, our lives — and told the applicants that any plan that could jeopardize the well-being of our Island is not being approved.
You, the M.V. Commission, will be remembered. This is a time unlike any other. We know too much about the effects of plastics on our oceans and our own bodies. And if you have not done the research and you are on the commission, you should step down. The stakes are high.
We are watching, and supporting you in making the decisions that courageous stewards of the well-being of the Earth would make.
Peace, love, and blessings.