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Burlington Progressives Hold Nominating Caucus For Town Meeting Day Races

The Black Lives Matter flag flies in front of Burlington City Hall
Pat Bradley/WAMC
Burlington City Hall (file)

On Burlington, Vermont’s Town Meeting Day ballot on March 2, voters will choose their mayor and four city council seats. Burlington Progressives held a virtual caucus Tuesday night to nominate their candidates for the Town Meeting Day races.

Progressives currently control the city council and hope to wrest the mayor’s office from incumbent Democrat Miro Weinberger, who announced on November 10th he will seek a fourth term.  Two Progressive candidates are seeking their party’s endorsement to challenge Weinberger.  Current Ward 1 Progressive Zoraya Hightower formally nominated council president Max Tracy for mayor.   “I believe Max can win this election and build our party into the diverse and inclusive party we have always sought to be and foster change that makes all of our lives better. Max Tracy has been a Progressive voice on the council for nearly a decade but he can also bring the systemic change our party and the city of Burlington deserve and that we really desperately need.”

UVM Professor of Economics Stephanie Seguino offered Ward 3 Brian Pine’s nomination for mayor.  “Brian has the skills, the experience and the emotional intelligence to rebuild this city in a way that repairs the social fabric and the economy. But Brian more than that leads with his heart and with his values and he inspires and motivates people precisely because he is a bridge builder and a problem solver.”

Both candidates accepted their nominations. Tracy has been on the council for eight years.  “I promise that if I am elected I’ll bring a more grassroots people-powered approach in building a more inclusive Burlington that lives up to its progressive reputation. A Burlington that isn’t afraid to be the first. A Burlington that leads the nation on climate action, on truly affordable housing, on racial, economic and social justice and on so many other issues that we deeply care about. Now is not the time to seek moderate and slow changes or to try to address these problems around the edges. We need dramatic, structural and transformational changes and we need them as quickly as possible. I’m ready to serve our city as mayor and I offer a vision and a record that speaks to where our city needs to be.”

Pine said Burlington residents are seeking a change.  “As your mayor I will shift our city’s focus to a truly progressive economic development agenda. I will drive city resources to those who have often been neglected, too often been neglected, by the current administration.  Our party and my campaign is about fighting for climate justice. Our progressive agenda must also center on racial justice. It is not acceptable that our low-income, BIPOC and LGBTQ neighbors do not feel safe in our community. We must always center our decisions around the needs of those for whom our white supremacist culture have failed. We must bring all voices into the political process to create a stronger community for generations to come.”

The more than 1,400 people who pre-registered for the caucus were sent an email with a secure link for online voting. Electronic ballots must be submitted by 7 p.m. Thursday. In person voting can be completed at the parking lot of the Old North End Community Center today until 7 p.m. and Thursday morning from 8:30 until 11. 

Progressive Party Executive Director Josh Wronski plans to have the votes tabulated and nomination results posted by 9 p.m. Thursday.

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