Front Porch Forum

Front Porch Forum: 2018-02-01

Dear Neighbors,

It’s with great pleasure that I connect with you via Front Porch Forum. I hope that you are having a great winter and looking forward to a wonderful spring.

Instead of having our bi-weekly Dumplings with Councilor Dieng, I have decided to hold a meeting at Simple Roots on Thursday, February 8th from 5:30-7:00 pm. We will enjoy some drinks as well as some boca woodfire pizza made right here in our backyard in the New North End Ethan Allen Shopping Center.

On January 29th we had a long and interesting City Council meeting with an extended public forum. Many Burlingtonians came and spoke in support of two resolutions: 1) adding the ballot question around the F-35’s and 2) exploring the legal ramifications of the future of the ‘Everyone Loves a Parade’ mural in downtown. Both resolutions passed.

Burlington is the most diverse city in Vermont, with over 35% students of color in our school district. The downtown mural is used by schools as an opportunity to teach students about Vermont. It is important, as a city, that we look at all we do with an equity lense.

In addition to the ballot item questions I shared with you on my last FPF post (which you can find on my website,, the following questions will also be on the ballot on Town Meeting Day, Tuesday, March 6th:

1- ADVISORY BALLOT QUESTION: “Shall we, the voters of the City of Burlington, as part of our strong support for the men and women of the Vermont National Guard, and especially their mission to ‘protect the citizens of Vermont,’ advise the City Council to:
1.) request the cancellation of the planned basing of the F-35 at Burlington International Airport,
2.) request instead low-noise-level equipment with a proven high safety record appropriate for a densely populated area?”

2- ADVISORY BALLOT QUESTION: “Shall the City Council be authorized to issue general obligation bonds or notes in one or more series in an amount not to exceed Six Million One Hundred Thousand Dollars and 00/100 ($6,100,000.00), to fund capital improvement infrastructure projects of the City and its departments in furtherance of the City’s ten-year capital plan, with the expectation that the University of Vermont and Champlain College will make contributions to the City in support of such ten-year capital plan that will reduce the amount of property taxes needed for future debt service on such bonds or notes?”

I recently had the chance to attend a breakfast with the staff and friends of the Fletcher Free Library. We have so many friends of the FFL residing in the New North End as well as four full time library staff as our NNE neighbors. They are providing valuable insight on how a satellite library of FFL in the NNE should be designed to meet our 21st century needs.

I am seeking re-election on Town Meeting Day for a full term in order to accomplish my campaign promises from last spring. It is truly an honor representing you at the Burlington City Council. It is great to see the level of positive engagement from both Ward 7 and Ward 4 residents. I respect and value everyone’s perspective and will always get back to you whether you contact me via email, phone or Facebook message.

I hope to see you at Simple Roots on the 8th from 5:30-7:00 and look forward to continuing our community conversations and healthy discussions about the New North End and our city that we cherish, where we live, work, and raise our children.

Best regards,


Front Porch Forum - Burlington, VT

Front Porch Forum: 2018-01-12

Dear Neighbors,

Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a happy holiday and may 2018 bring peace, love & Joy to our world.

Please join me in appreciating the hard work of the Burlington Public Works snow removal team! They have been working hard to help keep our streets and sidewalks accessible this winter.

As you may know, Town Meeting Day is Tuesday, March 6th and fast approaching. There are a few ballot items introduced so far that I wanted to be sure to share with you: 1.) BALLOT QUESTION RE INCREASING AGE TO LEGALLY PURCHASE TOBACCO PRODUCTS FROM 18 TO 21: Shall the voters of Burlington advise their representatives to the Vermont General Assembly to support increasing the age to legally purchase tobacco products in Vermont from 18 to 21 years of age?

2.) BALLOT QUESTION RE FORMATION OF A UNION MUNICIPAL DISTRICT: Shall the City of Burlington enter into an agreement for the formation of a union municipal district to be known as the Chittenden County Public Safety Authority for the purpose of providing regional emergency dispatch?

3.)BALLOT QUESTION RE CLIMATE ACTION: Shall the voters of Burlington urge the Governor of the State of Vermont to: a. Actively pursue more policies and programs that will lead to achieving the goal of 90% renewable energy for all people in Vermont, with firm interim deadlines; and b. Ensure that the transition to renewable energy is fair and equitable for all residents, with additional support for low-income people, people of color, or rural communities?

The Burlington Democratic Caucus was held on Sunday, January 7th with over 250 residents participating. Ward 7 held the largest caucus meeting, where I secured the Democratic endorsement. Many thanks to the approximately 65 Ward 7 residents who braved the cold to come out and vote.

I am writing this message just after my bi-weekly “Dumplings with Councilor Dieng” gathering at Pho Thao Vietnamese Restaurant on North Ave. Today we welcomed and heard from two Ward 4 and Ward 7 School Board Candidates, Martine L Gulick and Monika Ivancic respectively, who shared their platforms and priorities and neighbors asked questions.

Each time we meet people share their ideas, hopes and concerns for our city, and I share updates from the city and the work of the city council. I hope to see you at a future Dumplings discussion!

Many of you are likely aware of upcoming events around MLK Day. But I wanted to be sure to invite you to join me at the 2018 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Remembrance where Mayor Weinberger will be providing opening remarks, the keynote speaker will be Louis Gossett Jr. and I’ll be doing the closing remarks. This free event is at 3pm on Sunday the 14th at the First Unitarian Universalist Church (more details can be found here:

Whether I see you at the Dumplings discussions, I hear from you via email, I see you at a council meeting, or we chat on the phone, I greatly appreciate each conversation and everyone’s input. Please, let’s keep the conversation going as we seek to build a welcoming, inclusive and thriving Burlington community. I look forward to hearing from you.

Stay warm and dry!

Best, Ali Dieng

Front Porch Forum

Front Porch Forum: 2017-11-20

Dear Neighbors,

I am writing this message to you from the Airport in Washington, DC to provide some updates around the sale of Burlington Telecom. I was attending a conference this weekend: the New American Leaders Elected to Office Power and Policy Conference. This conference was a huge opportunity for me, as I had the chance to interact with elected officials from immigrant backgrounds and learn how state and local governmental systems are set up around the nation, what are some challenges in other states and cities, how elected officials interact with the communities they serve, and most importantly, I shared the greatness of my city and state, our values and aspirations. It was truly an incredible experience for me. Thanks you Kesha Ram for expanding my horizon and exposure to other possibilities.

At the October 6th City Council meeting, after two tied votes, the council adopted a motion requesting the two final bidders, Keep Burlington Telecom Local group (KBTL) and Tucow/Ting the to create a joint venture proposal. Both parties worked together but could not come to a mutual agreement. Therefore, the council invited the original final four bidders; Keep Burlington Telecom Local (KBTL), Tucow/Ting, Schurz and ZRF to again submit their Letters of Interest by Monday, November 20th in order to allow the council time to review them before the final vote scheduled to take place on Monday, November 27th. During this process, we have an agreement that no councillor will contact any of the four bidders about their bids, and any questions we have for any particular bidder should go through Terry Dorman from Dorman & Fawcett. Mr. Dorman is helping the city with the negotiation and transaction of this sale process.

I would like to express my gratitude for the amount of engagement and respect despite the different points of views from community members on this issue. I truly hope that the community will keep staying involved, especially as we get closer to this finish line.

I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving. I am so grateful to be able to live, work and raise my family in Vermont. I have much gratitude to all Burlingtonians, especially New North Enders/Ward 7 residents for your trust and support in electing me as your representative. Have a wonderful holiday and hope to see some of you at the council meeting on the 27th at City Hall.

Please reach out with any questions

pin Hide Map Robert Miller Community and Recreation Center - Burlington, VT

Community Forum: Sale of Burlington Telecom

Robert Miller Community and Recreation Center

Thursday at 5:30 PM

130 Gosse Ct, Burlington, Vermont 05408

The New North End Councilors (Dave Harnett, Kurt Wright, and Ali Dieng) are cordially inviting to join us for an information and feedback session about the sale of Burlington Telecom.

This will be an excellent opportunity to learn about the three final bidders and to ask questions about them or the sale process.

Check out the Facebook event.

Front Porch Forum

Front Porch Forum: 2017-10-02

Dear Neighbors,

I hope that you all had a good summer and wishing you all a great fall season in our great city and state. Like many of you, our thoughts and prayers with the people of Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico. I was very proud to learn of the amount of support our governor and the people of Vermont provided to support those in need in our country and beyond.

Locally in the Queen City, we have so much work happening simultaneously. In almost every part of town good projects are taking place, from new construction downtown, UVM Medical Center, Cambrian Rise on North Avenue, not to mention updated infrastructure, such as sidewalks, water pipes on Ethan Allen and more. I know it is not easy with school in session, but I am glad that these projects are moving forward in a timely manner. Thank you for your understanding, patience in sharing the road, and being flexible for the greater good.

We are working on some other issues such as the future of the memorial auditorium, the redevelopment of Burlington Town Center, and implementation of the Walk/Bike Master Plan and mobility infrastructure recommended by my constituents in the New North End.

The Burlington Greenway paving work on the bike path is nearing completion on the northern segment from Shore Road to Winooski River edge.This entire section is scheduled to be open the first week of October, 2017. Chapin Spencer, Director of Public Works, and his team are doing an incredible job in order to meet the timeline.

Congratulations to the Burlington Police Department for their recent accomplishment in fighting the opioid crisis by addressing it from its roots.

The Burlington City Council alongside the mayor are working tirelessly on the final phase in choosing the best bidder to keep on operating Burlington Telecom. We encountered some hiccups along the ways around transparency and communication. As there were four final bidders, one rescinded their application due to conflict of interest. Despite the attempt to encourage them to continue their bid, ZRF decided to withdraw their bid. There are three bidders remaining: Ting/Tucows Inc., Schurz Communications Inc., and Keep Burlington Telecom Local (KBTL).  I truly value the many emails, calls, and requests I have received on this issue.  Thank you for sharing your voice and engaging in this process!

On this Monday, October 2nd, there is a City Council meeting at 7:00pm in City Hall with an important discussion about the Letters of Interest (LOI) from the three final bidders for Terry Dorman. Public forum will begin at 7:30. I hope to see you there!  The vote to narrow the bids to two will take place at the City Council meeting on October 16th.

The New North End Councilors (Harnett, Write, and Dieng) are cordially inviting you to join us for an information and feedback session about the sale of Burlington Telecom on Thursday, October 5th at the Robert Miller Community Center at 5:30 pm. Looking forward to see you there!

Front Porch Forum

Front Porch Forum: 2017-08-23

Dear Neighbors,

First of all, this is a reminder that you are cordially invited to attend the “Good Conversation” event at the Robert Miller Community Center on Thursday, August 24th at 5:30 pm. Snacks and refreshments will be served. During your lifetime, have you ever been a victim of discrimination (any type of discrimination), and if so, what was that feeling like for you? In an ideal world what should an inclusive community look and feel like? Please join me, staff from the Community Economic Development Office of Burlington, Spectrum Youth and Family Services, Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program, educators, faith based leaders and community leaders and many Burlington residents in creating a safe space for healing, understanding and positivity. We hope to see you there!

The next city council meeting is next Monday, August 28th at 7pm in Contois Auditorium at City Hall. The agenda will be posted here:, which will include a public forum at 7:30. I have received many emails about the sale of Burlington Telecom, and I thank you for reaching out. I hope you will come to the public forum to share your perspective on this important issue.

Burlington Parks, Recreation and Waterfront has a new director. Please join me in welcoming Cindi Wight! Over the past 15 years at Rutland Recreation and Parks Department Cyndi has added a significant number of new programs, increased partnerships, connected with the community, expanded parks and modeled enthusiasm and passion with the staff.

Hope to see many neighbors at the Good Conversation!

Thank You, Ward 7 Voters!

Neighbors –

I am deeply grateful to each and every Burlington Ward 7 resident who came out and voted yesterday to elect me as your representative on the City Council. Thank you for your support, your engagement, and your voice in this movement. Thank you for talking to me on your doorsteps, donating to my campaign, volunteering to help in so many ways, and most importantly, turning out to vote. This victory would not have been possible without all of you!

I am committed to honoring my campaign promise to stay engaged, listen carefully to everyone’s ideas and concerns and bring your voices to the city council. I will work hard everyday to strengthen our community and deepen our connections. Let’s keep on engaging together – reach out to me any time at or 802-318-2527.

Thank you!


Thank You Ward 7 Honk and Wave 6/29

We are just getting started connecting Ward 7 to each other and the city.

Join Ali and your neighbors to thank Ward 7ers at a lively Thank You Honk & Wave on Thursday, June 29 from 5:15pm-6:15pm at the corner of Rte. 127 and North Ave. Rain or Shine! Bring your handmade thank you signs and energy.