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The quote at the end of this otherwise good article was taken completely out of context, or misunderstood by Ms. Jickling, whose work I usually admire very much. Of course I wanted to win and I am deeply disappointed at the outcome of the race. Those of you who choose to scoff from the comfort, safety, and anonymity of your homes can have no idea what it takes to run an election campaign, to go door to door in the freezing cold, to have meetings every day and night, to have to listen to nasty unfounded attacks by people. You also have no idea of the joy of working with neighbors for something to believe in. Of course I wanted to win. The point is, I am not a career politician and running and serving as a City Councilor, had I won, is a sacrifice I was willing to make because the need, in my opinion and the opinion of the 47% of the people who voted in 2 and 3, was so great as to make that sacrifice worth it. I am so grateful for all the people who worked to get us as far as we did, and to all the people who donated money, time, advice, encouragement. Those of you who want to scoff will just keep scoffing. The rest of us will keep working for a better democratic process that welcomes more and more people into the discussion. Onward!
Just because Wieiberger somehow managed to get non-profits like AARP, Conservation Law Firm, and the Champlain Housing Trust to endorse his out-sized zone-busting overlay zone (in opposition, I may add, to their members's and staff's opinions in many cases), does not mean that voters who didn't support his project oppose the values espoused by these organizations!
The real question is why these organizations endorsed a project that creates a special zoning giving away leverage for more affordable and senior housing in exchange for height bonuses, includes a gigantic parking garage, does not require an obligation for LEED certification, is in opposition to community-driven Plan BTV,, plans to use 22 million dollars of tax payer money to subsidize a millionaire, and will have only 50 apartments that are called affordable, but will be $1000 a month for a one-bedroom! These organizations owe their members an explanation!
Many people who voted FOR the zoning change did so because they were lied to about the benefits and the process (any environmental changes can be made without a 14 story playground for the rich; the few "affordable" units are not affordable, and 80 of the other units are for students, the process was rigged from the beginning, City Councilors voted against Max Tracy and Sharon Bushor's attempt to raise the "affordable" housing percentage a mere 5% because they feared breaking the pre-development agreement!).
I also hope that Council President Knodell, given the Democratic nomination during the Mayor's attack on his citizens, will stand up for the majority of her constituents in Wards 2 and 3 who voted against the zoning change. Please tell the mayor that the people who live in wards 2 and 3 are not anti-environmental, anti-senior, anti-labor, etc. Sincerely, Genese Grill
Also: who is it running a negative campaign here? We are not the ones calling people who voted yes on the mall vote anti-environmental, anti-senior, anti-labor, anti-affordable housing. We are not the ones calling almost half of the citizens of the city a "reactionary fringe". Criticism where criticism is due is a duty of all citizens. Negative smear campaigns are something else.
Excuse me, " Know Your Assumptions," my Sud End name happens to be connected to an old Facebook account which has since been changed to my real name. But it comes up this way on the comments...I don't know why. As anyone who knows me knows, I am happy to express my criticisms, have done so on my campaign page, in the newspaper, and openly at city meetings, and have been doing so for years. My first comment came after reading about the Mayor's speech. I was reacting to quotes in the newspaper. The second came after watching the speech. Have a nice day.
After having watched the mayor's speech (link above thanks to CCTV), I am appalled by his tactics. The mayor says that Progressives who opposed his hi-jacking of public process and community zoning are against the environment, against seniors, against the homeless, and against equity. His logic is as twisted as his methods. He somehow managed to convince organizations like the Conservation Law Firm, the AARP, COTS, and The Champlain Housing Trust to endorse the mall project, so now anyone who was against that project is against the things these organizations claim to defend! Wild. The real question we all should be asking is: Why did these organizations support this project?
The mayor's definition of the word "reactionary" is as confused as his definition of the word "progress". A reactionary is someone who hearkens back to older, more politically-conservative processes, like limiting public engagement or ruling in an autocratic way. Progress is something that should mean doing things in new ways that are sustainable and visionary, not just pushing through business-as-usual agendas that damage neighborhoods, our environment, and our democratic processes. He is the reactionary, as Michael Long says.
To paint Progressives who oppose his pro-business agenda as opponents of affordable housing and equity is flagrant Orwellian doublespeak. No one with any sense will buy it.
Please watch this 3 minute video on why TIF is a bad deal for Burlington tax payers:
Part II: https://youtu.be/7x9CBp68cmQ on the TIF Subsidy.
You can find out more about the dangers of TIF at http://www.coalitionforalivablecityvt.org/ !
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