NO. R-71. JOINT RESOLUTION honoring the 10th anniversary of the Institute for Sustainable Communities.
Offered by: Representatives Osman of Plainfield, Alfano of Calais, Kitzmiller of Montpelier and Sweaney of Windsor.
Whereas, the fall of the Berlin Wall spurred the emergence of new and struggling democracies across the territory of the former Soviet Union and eastern Europe, and
Whereas, these newly-liberated nations were environmentally devastated, and lacked the basic civic infrastructure that is necessary to nourish a democratic society, and
Whereas, in response to these overwhelming national dilemmas, in 1991, former Governor Madeleine Kunin established the Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC), with an underlying purpose to build a better future in both emerging and existing democracies, and
Whereas, originally headquartered in South Royalton, Vermont, the ISCís American operations are now located on the Montpelier campus of Vermont College, and international offices are situated in Bulgaria, Macedonia and Russia, and
Whereas, during the past decade, the ISC has conducted over 35 innovative projects in 14 nations, and it now has an annual budget of $9.5 million, 90 percent of which directly supports the organizationís projects, and
Whereas, ISC projects seek to foster sustainable communities based on an integrated approach that encompasses environmental, social and economic components in the form of training, financial grants and the supplying of expert advice, and
Whereas, this integrated framework translates into five categories of specific projects: education, civil society, environment, community action, and business development, and
Whereas, a typical education project aims at teaching children "to think critically, to cooperate in solving problems, and to appreciate the relationship between actions and consequences," and
Whereas, a civil society project often focuses on strengthening the role of nongovernmental organizations, and
Whereas, an environmental project is designed to reduce sources of pollution, improve public health, and begin the difficult process of repairing ecosystems that suffered severe damage during the post-World War II period, and
Whereas, a community action project encourages citizen participation as the cornerstone of a successful democratic policy, and
Whereas, a landmark ISC civil society project to map a vision of Burlington for the next 30 years represents a major ISC foray into domestic programs, and
Whereas, the objective of a business development project is to nurture innovative environmentally-sustainable and economically-viable new businesses through financial seed grants, and introductions to government officials, nongovernmental organizations, scientists, media representatives and other individuals and institutions with whom the new entrepreneurs can develop partnerships, and
Whereas, ISC is a remarkable organization that represents Vermonters contributing to the birthing of new democracies through the establishment of environmentally-sustainable and economically-viable pilot projects, now therefore be it
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:
That the General Assembly congratulates the Institute for Sustainable Communities on 10 years of internationally-acclaimed democracy building, and be it further
Resolved: That the Secretary of State be directed to send a copy of this resolution to George Hamilton, Executive Director of the Institute for Sustainable Communities in Montpelier.