This evening community members in Johnstown gathered in response to potential plans by Vision Together 2025 to resettle Afghanistan refugees in the area.
According to organizers local leaders as well as lawmakers were invited to attend an open discussion about the civic group.
Vision Together 2025 recently became the topic of controversy after plans to bring Afghan refugees came to light with little to no input from the public.
Since then the group has also discussed bringing legally vetted Ukrainians and other immigrants to the area.
Organizers tell us the purpose of Tonight’s event was for the community to be able to voice their opinions.
State Representative Jim Rigby and Former Cambria County Commissioner Doug Lengenfelder were among those attending Tonight’s event hearing from community members on both sides of the discussion.
“So often these decisions seem to be made behind closed doors and then once the decision is made and people find out about it, they’re like, ‘how come we weren’t informed,’ and then all you get is a bunch of run around and people are tired of that and I think that’s what you’re seeing here.”
As far as refugees from Ukraine are concerned, where millions are fleeing following Russia’s invasion, Bill Polacek, Board Chairman of Vision Together 2025, said
“At vision we will not be the ones bringing Ukrainian refugees here, but we will welcome all legally vetted ones with open arms tying them to unfilled jobs so that we can help them become taxpayers and not tax burdens.”
“As far as the folks protesting this, everyone has the right to free speech. But everyone also has the right to freedom!”