As I have knocked on doors all over our neighborhoods, I have heard directly from you about what needs to be addressed for our ward. I have put together some of my positions on the following city and Ward 7 issues, which you can read more about here.
- Be a voice for all of Ward 7. There is too little communication from the city council, and the mayor’s office, to the neighborhood.
- Engage youth in healthy activities. In my work with kids and families, I see the power that positive activities and opportunities have in supporting healthy choices.
- Increase access to affordable childcare. Early childhood education is essential for the lifelong success of the next generation.
- Make housing more affordable. Many people of all ages sometimes struggle to find affordable housing options in Burlington, and I recognize that affordable housing, for renters and homeowners, for young families and older Vermonters, is critical to our sense of security and quality of life.
- Fight the opioid epidemic. This is an issue that has already taken center stage in the city and significant resources are being devoted to address the crisis. I want to make sure that resources are maximized for the best outcomes for the many individuals and families impacted.
- Strengthen public transportation to and from our neighborhoods. As the New North End grows it is critical that we be connected across the city, and that means robust transportation options – frequent and affordable public buses, SSTA options, and more.
- Bring more key Burlington events and services to the New North End. As the New North End grows and as more of our elders decide to retire in the neighborhood, we need more opportunities for people to get together and connect.
- Racial Bias. Structural racism exists and is visible in a number of ways: lack of representation in key city or state leadership positions, racial profiling by police, lack of opportunity for people of color to access higher education and employment, and the disproportionate rate of incarcerations of people of color.
- The redevelopment of Town Center Mall. I support the redevelopment on the whole because it will add more housing, which we need. However, I am concerned about whether these new homes will be truly affordable for working families, and whether the inclusionary zoning rules could have been applied better in this case given the size of the project.
- The Moran Project. I really, really support this project. I’ve been meeting with the Moran people since before they took on this project, and I believe they will succeed. I like that it emphasizes the public and private partnership, which is wonderful, and it links to the skate park and will engage the young people more in these public spaces.
- The City’s relationship with its major institutions, such as UVM and the UVM Medical Center. We are lucky to have these institutions in our community because it’s what makes our community so vibrant.
- The sale of Burlington Telecom. I really believe that Burlington is unique in very different ways, and I would like to see more of the institutions in the city use it to help them grow, just like we’ve done with businesses such as Dealer.com. For a sale partner, I would be OK with a public-private approach in this or a local cooperative ownership.
- The North Avenue Pilot. Personally, I think people are starting to rally behind the idea and the project. Change is hard, but as a community, we need to focus on the positives – such as the improved safety on the street, and the bike lanes (which I use). I do believe that we need to wait more until the data comes out, which will show us if the pilot project has improved the overall safety of our street.
Read more in depth positions on all these issues here.