Progressives Question Scott’s Plan to Merge Departments

Contact: Josh Wronski Executive Director, Vermont Progressive Party (802) 229-0800   Montpelier, VT – Some Progressives are questioning Governor Phil Scott’s executive order combining the Departments of Labor and Commerce.   “Efficiency in government and consolidating departments and agencies makes sense when they have overlapping missions,” said Progressive Party Chair…

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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 Progressives Stand With Historically Marginalized Communities

This is a press release from the Burlington Progressive Steering Committee   Contact: Charles Winkleman Burlington City Chair Phone: 802-448-0183 Email:   Burlington, VT- The Burlington Progressive Party issued a statement in support of protecting Burlington’s historically marginalized residents under a Trump Presidency. The statement came on the heels…

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Contact: Emma Mulvaney-Stanak Phone: 802-999-6723 Email:   Josh Wronski Phone: 518-810-6978 Email:   BURLINGTON, VT-The Vermont Progressive Party is pleased to announce Josh Wronski as the Party’s new Elections Director.   Mr. Wronski comes to the Progressive Party with a strong background in labor and community organizing, having…

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Shumlin’s Decision to Scrap Single Payer a Betrayal of Vermont’s Working Families

Governor Peter Shumlin abandoned single payer healthcare yesterday right when political leadership was needed most to push Vermont and the country forward. He broke five years of campaign promises to Vermonters that he would not rest until we had single payer healthcare. Yet when things got tough and politically challenging,…

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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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Progressive Senator Named Legislator of the Year

    I’m excited to have been recognized by Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility (VBSR) as Legislator of the Year! I’m being honored for my work in passing laws that support socially responsible businesses and my leadership role in the passage of the GMO labeling law. When announcing the award they wrote:…

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2014 VPP Platform Proposed Amendments (no track edits)

PREAMBLE: The Vermont Progressive Party offers this platform to preserve and sustain democracy, guarantee inalienable rights, and promote the general welfare of the citizens of the State of Vermont.   CURRENT PLATFORM COMMITTEE PROPOSAL Healthcare Progressives believe health care is a human right, and support single-payer health care, birth to…

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Vermont Progressive Party State Committee Meeting Minutes 5/31/2014

Vermont Progressive Party State Committee Meeting Minutes Statehouse Cafeteria, Montpelier, VT 5/31/2014 Meeting called to order at 1:00 pm. Approximately 80 state committee members and VPP members were in attendance. Coordinating Committee Vacancies The Chair, Emma Mulvaney-Stanak, explained the vacancies and the process under VPP bylaws for filling the seats.…

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