Our platform is an evolving and living document. As our campaign continues to develop relationships and build connections across the city we will continue to adapt and grow. Our campaign understands that no one person is capable of meeting the needs of an entire community, and we look to our community for leadership and inspiration.
The Challenges Faced by Our Community
While Burlington has earned a reputation of a progressive, livable city, too many community members lack the economic resources needed to meet their basic needs including safe and affordable housing; affordable health care; food security; access to quality early care and education for infants, toddlers and preschoolers; access to safe and engaging after-school opportunities for older children; job training; and addiction treatment. The city also faces environmental challenges, such as water pollution in Lake Champlain and lead exposure in older homes.
As of 2010-2014, the per capita income of Burlington, VT was $25,234, which is lower than the state average of $29,535 and lower than the national average of $28,555.
Although some of the solutions to these challenges lie with the State legislature, it is within the power and purview of the City of Burlington, with leadership from the Mayor, to reallocate and redeploy resources to address these needs.
If elected, Infinite will pursue the following strategies to help meet the needs of Burlington residents, including those with the fewest economic resources:
#1: Increase Community Decision-Making Power
Empower and expand upon existing Neighborhood Planning Assemblies
Resource boards and commissions that are representative of and accountable to needs of the community
Develop new community bodies that draw on the skills and values that Burlington residents have to offer
Sustain year-round voter registration efforts
Click to read more about specific agenda items including: Neighborhood Planning Assemblies, Neighborhood-Based Budgeting and Benefit Agreements, Memorial Auditorium, City Hall Park, and the Champlain Parkway.
#2: Build a Local and Regional Economy that Prioritizes Social and Environmental Needs
Make a greater public investment in cooperative ownership and workforce development, such as cooperative housing and Youth Build
Support workers’ rights by strengthening relationships between the Mayor’s office and unions, as well as expanding Burlington's Livable Wage ordinance
Develop Community Benefit Agreements to hold public officials and real estate developers accountable to the needs of the community
Tie economic development to programs that serve youth, homeless populations, seniors, and people seeking substance use treatment.
Click to read more about specific agenda items including: Livable Wage, Burlington Telecom, F-35s, Moran Plant and the Mall.
#3: Serve and Nurture the Leadership of the Most Vulnerable Members of Our Community
Continuously develop our platform through local assemblies and listening campaigns to learn from people working hard to get their needs met despite structural barriers such as classism, racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and xenophobia.
This campaign is about working closely with community members who experience different forms of vulnerability, as well as those who work alongside them. We recognize that we all hold multiple identities, and some people live in and among many of these communities. Our platform and agenda is a living document that will grow and adapt as we work alongside people living these identities and experiences daily.
Click to read more about specific agenda items including: the Opioid Crisis and Fair and Impartial Policing Policy.
#4: Education System that Meets the Needs of Working Families and Respects Youth from All Backgrounds
Vermont’s public school system is undergoing major changes to how students graduate from high school and are preparing for careers and/or college. Re-designing our schools must be led by classroom teachers and paraprofessionals on the front lines who reflect and come from the communities they are serving. Schools must engage in meaningful ways with families who are the most directly impacted by inadequate schools.
For the past few years, Infinite has worked with families, educators, administrators and school board members to improve student outcomes in our public schools. He will advocate for a more transparent collective bargaining process and a budget that invests in robust summer and after-school programming and addresses the root causes of poverty and structural barriers to equity.
While student enrollment may be decreasing in some areas of Vermont, that trend has not been the case in Burlington, where student needs are increasing.
As Mayor of Burlington, Infinite will:
Collaborate with the Burlington School District to create pathways that hire city and school staff who reflect the whole community.
Support the Burlington School District in eliminating out-of-school suspension and closing the achievement gap.
Advocate in Montpelier to institute income-based school taxes and eliminate school property taxes on primary residents.
- Budget PILOT funds for expanding access to quality after school and summer learning programs, trauma informed support staff, and restorative practitioners.