NAC Update
Wilmington, Vermont Anti-Nudity Ordinance is Repealed

November 6, 2002

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                     NATURIST ACTION COMMITTEE

DATE   : November 6, 2002
SUBJECT: Ledges anti-nudity ordinance is repealed
TO     : All naturists

The Naturist Action Committee is pleased to report that the anti-nudity ordinance of the town of Wilmington, Vermont, has been REPEALED by a public vote. The ordinance, which was passed by the town's selectboard on June 12, went beyond state law to prohibit nudity within the town limits, which include the Ledges, a popular and traditional clothing-optional site on nearby Harriman Reservoir.

The vote Tuesday was 495 in favor of repealing the ordinance to 478 for keeping it.

An earlier attempt to rescind the ordinance before it could go into effect was rejected in an extremely close vote by Wilmington voters on August 27. Only seven votes separated the YES tally from the NO votes in the August election.

Following that defeat, naturists and others who opposed the ordinance redoubled their efforts. Meanwhile, Wilmington police began ticketing naturists for nudity at the Ledges. Vermont law allows towns to hold public votes to repeal existing ordinances, and that is different from the August vote, in which naturists had sought to prevent the ordinance from taking effect in the first place.

The Naturist Action Committee developed and coordinated an ambitious program to contact more than 90 percent of the registered voters in the town of Wilmington. Letters were sent to those who had requested absentee ballots. NAC Area Representatives and board members from across the country were given lists of Wilmington voters to call by telephone. Based on the responses by voters to those calls, NAC sent approximately 600 first class letters to targeted Wilmington voters shortly before the election.

NAC also took out local newspaper advertising before the November election, as it had done before the August election.

The Naturist Action Committee acknowledges and thanks local Friends of the Ledges stalwarts Phil Markham and Joanne Ruppel, who have been central to this success. Phil, who is also a NAC Area Representative, has served as local coordinator for the effort. NAC also extends its grateful appreciation to the dozens of NAC volunteers who played a direct role in this success.

New England's most popular inland skinnydipping spot has been saved!

Additional information about the defeat of the Wilmington anti-nudity ordinance is available on the web site of the Naturist Action Committee:

Select LOCAL ISSUES and then "Vermont: Wilmington."

As NAC board member Morley Schloss has pointed out, " This may have been NAC's most intensive campaign to date with newspaper ads, an opinion poll to identify supporters and get out the vote, letters to the editor, speaking at hearings, a web site with information, extensive one-on-one communication within the community, development of alliances, an educational campaign, directed mailings - real political activism."

But the effort to save the Ledges has been expensive. We budgeted for one election and ended up having to pull out all the stops for two, and it has left our war chest depleted.

NAC has no membership roster on which to assess dues, and it relies entirely on voluntary contributions from concerned and involved naturists like you. Won't you take a moment to help NAC by sending a generous donation? You may send your donation to the address below, or you may call (800) 886-7230 to donate by phone, using your Mastercard or Visa.

   PO Box 132
   Oshkosh, WI 54903
Thank you for choosing to make a difference!


Bob Morton
Chairman and Executive Director
Naturist Action Committee

Naturist Action Committee (NAC) - PO Box 132, Oshkosh, WI 54903
Executive Dir. Bob Morton      - <>
Board Member Morley Schloss    - <>
Online Rep. Dennis Kirkpatrick - <>

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