FOSTER INCLUSIVE GROWTH
No one should be forced out of their own neighborhood by skyrocketing rents or development. Every time I walk along the streets between Church and the Waterfront, I imagine the homes and long-standing communities that were bulldozed by an out-of-touch group of decision-makers during the Urban Renewal project of the 1960’s. Today the threat is similar, though the bulldozer is more often economic than literal. I am committed to fighting to protect our historic communities and to keep housing costs truly affordable for all of our residents and local businesses.
But we also know we cannot remain stagnant. If we don’t actively define how to meet our challenges, then our challenges will define us. By protecting our public lands, strategically developing affordable housing, and expanding access to public transit, we can move forward without leaving anyone behind. Burlington should be a city where everyone — regardless of income, color, gender, profession, or background — can find a home and be a part of our vibrant community.
PROTECT OUR ARTISTS
Artists give meaning to our lives and energy to our culture. They take our minds off the banal and inspire us to see the world more beautifully. And their impact is felt far beyond the South End —all the way up to the New North End, through UVM, and beyond.
That is why it's so important to support them. We must protect the affordability of artist’s studios and housing, and sustain the South End Arts District and Enterprise Zone as a haven for creators of all kinds.
SUPPORT LOCAL BUSINESS
In addition to our artists, we are fortunate to have a lineup of great local businesses in the South End. Their stories are inspiring: a passion turned into an idea turned into a valuable contribution to the world. Ethical local businesses which put the good of their community, employees, and environment over minute boosts in profits deserve to be celebrated, and these are the kinds of businesses we have in the South End. They are an essential building block of a thriving community that is a fulfilling place to live, and we must work to ensure that they can continue to grow along with our city in a way that is beneficial to us all.
Relatedly, our social systems must also be structured in a way that ensures everyone has a chance to pursue this dream of creation. It is essentially impossible to start a businesses when you are a single mother trying to raise a child on a minimum wage job with insufficient paid family leave and no options for affordable childcare. We cannot ignore this truth, and we must come together to support our neighbors and fellow human beings so that everyone has a chance to reach their full potential.
EXPAND OPPORTUNITIES FOR WALKING AND BIKING
People have a right to get to get where they are going safely — whether by boot, bike, or car. In general, I support directing our focus on expanding opportunities for walking and biking, including connecting more of our neighborhoods along Pine Street with paths directly to the waterfront.
But we also have serious traffic concerns which must be addressed. I support options that will help alleviate traffic congestion while remaining environmentally, fiscally, and community-conscious. This includes a modified version of the Southern Connector / Champlain Parkway project as proposed by the Pine Street Coalition, connecting Battery and Pine Streets through the rail yard, and other common-sense solutions.
PRESERVE OUR ENVIRONMENT
Protecting our environment is protecting ourselves. We need to move forward in a way that is respectful of our natural landscape. While Burlington is technically a 100% renewable energy city, much of that power is supplied by far away and environmentally destructive forms of generation. I support moving toward more local, sustainable, and democratic forms of energy production.
Further, in all development we need to be mindful of our impact on our beloved Lake Champlain — including addressing stormwater drainage issues arising with the development of impermeable surfaces, protecting local habitats like Engelsby Brook, and continuing to nurture the safe rehabilitation of brownfields like our scarred but nonetheless beautiful barge canal site.
Paid for by Jesse Warren for City Council