Regarding the Sanders Institute's "Gathering," I was surprised to read about it in the paper the day before it took place, and again the day after, having never seen any publicity further in advance, or received registration information by mail or online.

But then, I'm just a progressive Vermont voter from Windham County, where we have helped the senator keep his seat all these many years, and probably the institute's data shows I don't have the $350 ticket price to spare. Interestingly, the "Gathering" website contains not a word about registering for the conference, so I guess the audience was pretty exclusive. Perhaps the Institute espouses the rosy view that all is well in the white-and-blue state of Vermont, and regular Vermonters have no need for conferences.

The "Gathering" appears to have been designed as a gilded frame, intended solely to reflect glory on the senator and align the stars in preparation for 2020. I doubt the Institute will ever publish proceedings or make a meaningful contribution to progressive activism on the basis of this celebrity schmooze-fest.

In the next few years, my support and my votes will go to progressive candidates who work in the here-and-now, exhibit energy, integrity and realism, and can envision a better world. I am not convinced Mr. Sanders is one of these.

Rebecca Bartlett

Brattleboro

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