This campaign is about re-establishing Burlington as a state, national, and international leader in municipal government. This “Burlington Leads” campaign advocates three simple principles: (1) Invest in People; (2) Protect Public Assets and Public Spaces; (3) Re-establish City Council as a co-equal branch of government.
Invest in People
Burlington became an exceptional community by investing in people, not Wall Street. From CEDO to Burlington City Arts, what made us stand out as a national leader was our commitment to investing limited City resources in City residents. Let’s get back to that. Let’s get back to a bold vision for our neighborhoods. A vision that encompasses investing in the New American Family opening a business in the Old North End or the struggling student or working family trying to make rent in a downtown apartment. From entrepreneurship training to micro-lending or public/private partnerships, Burlington needs to re-assert its title to municipal leadership by investing in the people who live here. We can’t continue to invest in development projects that are “too big to fail” or Wall Street like schemes to privatize our hard earned public assets. We must get back to investing in ourselves. Burlington Leads.
Protect Public Assets and Public Spaces
Burlington is at a critical juncture. For years, we’ve invested our limited resources and sense of community in revolutionary public assets like Burlington Telecom, the Waterfront, Church Street Marketplace, and public parks. The wholesale liquidation of these vital public assets is a moral travesty. Rather than selling ourselves off to the highest bidder, we should be re-investing in public assets – not privatizing them. Not only will our constitutional rights be eviscerated by the privatization of spaces like Church Street, but our ability to control and improve vital public assets as a community will be significantly diminished. The time for hand-wringing is over. The time to act is now. We must protect Public Assets and Public Spaces if we want our City to grow and prosper for our children and our children’s children. Burlington Leads.
City Council as a Co-equal Branch of City Government
The basic premise of our constitutional democracy is that each branch of government plays an important role in policy making and in checks and balances. City Council must get back to playing this important role. The tribalism and inter-party warfare on City Council has left it ineffective and dysfunctional. City Council should not reflect Washington D.C. We should be an example of what constitutional democracy is all about. It is time to restore balance to City Council and re-establish its role as a functioning co-equal branch of government. Burlington Leads.