Dear Burlingtonians -
It has been a great honor to serve as your Mayor for the last six years. We have accomplished a great deal together, and, with major challenges now behind us, the next three years will be exciting and even more productive.
As you consider which candidate to vote for next Tuesday, I would like to make sure several factual points about my commitment to protecting the most vulnerable members of our community are clear:
1) Virtually my entire professional life before serving as Mayor was spent in roles focused on building housing for low-income families and seniors. When I was 23, I volunteered for Habitat for Humanity in Americus, Georgia, building a home for an elderly couple that had fallen on hard times. Almost all of the next 15 years was spent working for or with non-profits building much needed homes for low-income seniors and families in New York, New Hampshire, and Vermont.
2) This experience and support for low-income housing has directly informed my actions as Mayor. Our administration’s budgets have nearly doubled the local Housing Trust Fund for creating and preserving low-income housing. We have strongly supported our housing non-profits as they have created and preserved more than 300 permanently affordable homes for low-income families and seniors over the last six years.
3) Our administration has consistently acted to protect the most vulnerable. This record includes: 1) championing the creation of the City’s first low-barrier winter warming shelter; 2) leading the region’s efforts to combat the opioid epidemic; 3) funding a new $500,000 Burlington Early Learning Initiative to help fund new childcare slots for low-income infants and toddlers; 4) helping the Champlain Housing Trust create the Old North End Community Center that is now serving seniors, kids, and New Americans; and 5) supporting and helping to fund the creation of the new COTS Daystation that serves the homeless.
4) I have said clearly and in more detail than the other campaigns how I intend to continue the work to help our most vulnerable. If re-elected, over the next three years I will: 1) support the creation by our great housing non-profits of approximately 160 new homes for low-income families and seniors in the Cambrian Rise project; 2) expand the low-barrier winter warming shelter into a year-round facility; 3) leverage additional funding from other partners for our new Burlington Early Learning Initiative; 4) champion the creation of new mental health resources; and 5) do everything in my power to free Burlington from the grip of the opioid crisis.
No other candidate for Mayor offers this combination of personal, long-standing commitment to our most vulnerable, public accomplishment on equity issues, and detailed plans for further progress. A vote for our campaign to keep Burlington Moving Forward is a vote for progress on our most pressing local equity issues. I ask for your vote on March 6.