Budget Veto Response from House Caucus Chair Chesnut-Tangerman

DC politics moves to Montpelier?   Phil Scott was elected as a “down to earth” moderate. We can now safely throw those labels out the window. It is neither down to earth or moderate to demand a budget that doesn’t raise taxes, get what you asked for, praise it, and…

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Progressive House Caucus: Our Take on the State Budget

The following is a letter from the Progressive House Caucus to the Progressive State Committee explaining their position on the state budget.    Hello Progressive State Committee   Last week the House of Representatives almost unanimously approved the proposed FY 2018 budget. By all accounts it was an austerity budget…

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Progressive Statewide Meeting

Sunday, February 19th  1 pm to 4 pm Location: Edmunds Elementary  School (299 Main St, Burlington)  The Women’s Caucus will meet for a potluck lunch at 11:30 am at Emma Mulvaney-Stanak’s house (79 Front St, Burlington) before the meeting. The Labor Commission will meet immediately following the meeting.  All are welcome.…

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Misdirected Criticism

Emma Mulvaney-Stanak
State Chair, Vermont Progressive Party
Former Burlington City Councilor

 
On January 12th, Mayor Weinberger addressed the Burlington City Democratic Caucus and took direct aim at the Progressive Party. He toggled between praising current Progressive City Councilors for their collaborative nature and then harshly labeling local Progressives as divisive, reactionary and fringe. The Mayor also declared Progressives as anti-environment and anti-worker, among many other distorted labels. He went on to claim Democratic credit for recent pro-environment and pro-worker efforts in the city, yet neglected to note that virtually all of these efforts were started by Progressives. Progressives initiated Burlington’s move towards 100% renewable energy sourcing by positioning the Burlington Electric Department to purchase the Winooski hydro plant and by creating the McNeil plant. It was Progressives who pushed recent pro-worker efforts such as supporting the Howard Center workers and maintaining livable wage standards for contractors/businesses at the airport while the Mayor opposed both measures. Clearly, the Mayor’s critique of the Progressive Party is misplaced and his efforts to give the bulk of the credit to Democrats for Burlington’s successes ignores the efforts of 30 years of Progressive leadership in Burlington.

 

 

The Mayor was exactly what he criticized local Progressives to be – reactionary. Many residents recently organized and opposed a major development project at the downtown mall and two related ballot initiatives in November. The Mayor chose to label these residents and anyone who agreed with them “fringe and reactionary.” What the Mayor sees and labels as “fringe” opinions is democracy in action. These residents represent the underrepresented voices and neighborhoods in the city. The Mayor should embrace differences of opinion and find ways to convene underrepresented residents, not push them away. For Burlington to be a stronger, better community, everyone in Burlington should feel welcomed and encouraged to participate in matters that impact our community.

 
More importantly, attacking the local Progressive Party and labeling the Party as fringe based on recent city council endorsements represents the Mayor’s poor knowledge of who our 2017 council candidates are and why they are running for local office. While any council candidate should have formed an opinion of the high profile recent development projects, labeling someone who disagrees with the Mayor fringe or reactionary is out of line. The 2017 Progressive endorsed candidates include: City Council President Jane Knodell, a champion of those exact development projects as well as many neighborhood revitalization projects, Charles Winkleman, an early educator and dedicated activist looking to address affordability issues for young people in Burlington, and Charles Simpson, an academic and champion of public transportation and strengthening neighborhood communities.

 
While Winkleman and Simpson disagreed with aspects of the mall development project, they do not deserve such reactionary labeling by our Mayor. These candidates are running on more than one single issue. Moreover, there are various opinions on the development project within the Progressive Party. Disagreement and discourse is healthy in a democracy within a city and within a Party. It is the job of elected leaders to take the high road and be defenders of good process and stronger communities. Elected leaders should also expect to be criticized and challenged. It comes with the territory. It is the job of leaders to go high in these moments. The Mayor went low.

BURLINGTON STILL NOT FOR SALE; OPPOSE MALL PROJECT Support thoughtful, community-based planning process

This is a press release from the Burlington Progressive Committee.  CONTACT: Charles Winkleman, 802-448-0183, BTVProgressiveParty@gmail.com BURLINGTON – Today the Burlington Progressive Party announced its opposition to the current Burlington Town Center proposal and proposed zoning changes. Progressives understand that although the project would bring some benefits in additional housing and…

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Press Release: Burlington Progressive Party Endorses Goodkind for Mayor, Candidates for City Council

Sunday evening Progressive Party members voted at their Burlington caucus to endorse Steve Goodkind as the Progressive candidate for the 2015 mayoral race. The Party also endorsed candidates for at least half of the upcoming city council races. Prior to the vote, Goodkind addressed the approximately 60 caucus participants, speaking about…

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Opponents of F-35 fighter again appeal to Burlington City Council to oppose basing

September 4, 2013; John Herrick; VTDigger Progressive members of the city council will introduce a resolution to oppose the F-35 on Oct. 7. The current draft of the four-page resolution requests that the Air Force not base the jet at the airport. The resolution was circulated to council members Tuesday.…

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F-35 Battle Moving to Burlington Council as Key State Dem Joins the Opposition

September 4, 2013; Kevin Kelley; Seven Days The battle over local basing of the F-35 will soon return to a familiar arena — the Burlington city council. Last summer, councilors passed a resolution asking for more information about the planes without supporting or opposing the basing. But now F-35 opponents…

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Progressives on Burlington City Council to pursue resolution against F-35

August 13, 2013; John Herrick; VTDigger BURLINGTON — Supporters wore green ribbons and opponents raised signs Monday night as both groups filled Burlington City Hall to voice their positions on the Air Force F-35 basing project. According to an informal tally of public opinion taken at Monday night’s City Council…

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Passions Flare on a Summer’s Night as Locals Debate the F-35 — Again

August 13, 2013; Kevin J. Kelley; Seven Days Opponents, who outnumbered supporters 32-5 on Monday night, offered arguments that were alternately analytical and emotional. Their objections focused on the F-35’s impact on public health and safety, local real-estate values, environmental quality and “brown-skinned people” in other countries who would be…

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Skeptics challenge Burlington City Council to re-assess F-35’s value

August 12, 2013; Joel Banner Baird; Burlington Free Press Most, but not all of the Burlington residents who spoke during the public comments period at Monday night’s City Council meeting argued against the basing of advanced F-35 fighter planes at the Vermont Air National Guard.Detractors of the “bed-down” proposal cited…

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Protesters rally in Burlington against the basing of F-35s

July 13, 2013; Matt Ryan; Burlington Free Press Fighter jets, be they F-16s or F-35s, aren’t going to protect the United States from terrorism, state Sen David Zuckerman told people crowded outside on Saturday Burlington City Hall. “When I look at what our planes did on 9/11, they flew over…

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