cwinklem | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Member since Apr 24, 2017



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Re: “Burlington's 13 Percent: New Americans Seek Political Representation

If the mayor was serious about creating boards and commissions that accurately reflect the community there are lots of things he could do to make the process more fair.

Not currently seeing any of the following things happening:…

Who can forget the time the Accessibility Commission quit because the mayor wouldnt meet with them?…

If a handful of marginalized voices are given seats at the table while most other marginalized voices are ignored, thats neither diversity nor inclusion, and thats assuming the commissions have any influence or oversight...

3 likes, 10 dislikes
Posted by cwinklem on 02/07/2019 at 6:22 PM

Re: “Will of the People? Advisory Questions Offer High Hopes but Get Few Results

It is disingenuous for Councilor Shannon to complain about the wording of the ballot item when, for example, many of us who voted to support a TIF-funded marina on the waterfront would never have supported a private marina. On top of this, ballot items and school budgets are often incredibly confusing in their wording.

I am all for making every ballot and city document easier to read and understand (if any city councilors want to take this issue I would be happy to help). It is hard to trust politicians at their word when they only complain about wordings and confusing language (and conflict of interests too!) when it goes against their personal and party politics.

Maybe if we had public attorneys or ombudsmen,
or an independent oversight committee to represent citizens in these matters, we would run into these conflicts less.

23 likes, 14 dislikes
Posted by cwinklem on 01/23/2019 at 11:38 AM

Re: “Daycare Pinch in Franklin County Adds to Statewide Crisis

McLaughlin said staff shortages plague many daycare centers, though she noted that the decline in childcare slots started long before the 2-year-old rule was implemented.

Reeva Murphy, head of DCFs Child Development Division, said something similar:

This reduction in family child care trend is national and particularly exacerbated in rural areas, she said.

Where is Lets Grow Kids or other early education leaders on this issue? Most early educators and directors have been saying this for years and have been ignored - even Mayor Weinberger and the head of his Early Childhood Initiative, Brian Lowe, have been told about this problem numerous times over the past several years and seem unable or unwilling to grasp how serious this problem is.

Stop passing the buck. Murphy, McLaughlin, Weinberger, Lets Grow Kids are all claiming to be on the front lines. If theyre not listening to workers and directors maybe its time we need some new leaders.

9 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by cwinklem on 12/20/2018 at 12:02 AM

Re: “One Year After Building Second Store, City Market Exceeds Goals

Mack said she measures the co-op's success in a number of ways. These include financial strength and sustainability, impact on the community, expanding access to wholesome foods, supporting local food producers, and growing membership.

Just so folks know:

1) Starting wage is $11.20/h in one of the most expensive cities in the country. Work for a few years and you may make it up to a whopping $13/h. How much money from Rally for Change ends up going to the workers when they have to access these services?
2) Coop members have no ability to bring up issues for
votes or organize to change policy.
3) The CEO maintains all power regarding operations.
4) It took workers and their union years and a petition, a refusal to be heard by the CEO and the board, before city market fired a manager who regularly harassed employees. Is that being pro-union?
5) City Market management has refused to write up a boycott policy so that they dont have to deal with problems when local biz owners abuse workers and tenants, like Samosaman or Boves.

Weird how none of those issues seems to matter regarding impact on the community or sustainability?

19 likes, 16 dislikes
Posted by cwinklem on 11/27/2018 at 1:39 PM

Re: “Marketplace Futures: How Burlington Aims to Reorganize 'Downtown'

Why would we want to privatize more of our city and downtown and leave even less accountability in our downtown than currently exists? Why do we keep giving so much power and influence to the wealthy lobbyist group Burlington Burlington Association instead of the actual citizens (the Church Street Commission is made up of mostly business owners anyway, not regular citizens and patrons and residents of Church Street)?

Why not come up with new and interesting ideas, like removing cars from our downtown and opening up all the streets to pedestrians and bicycles, or better bus service from the edges of the city to downtown? Why not have more warming stations on Church Street with hot chocolate etc like you see in most Quebec cities?

This is a tired old idea that other cities have tried and failed, that have punished low income and homeless residents. The Burlington I knew 11 years ago when I first moved here, one of inclusivity and community, is a ghost of the current iteration where wealth and profit matter most.…

12 likes, 18 dislikes
Posted by cwinklem on 11/22/2018 at 11:46 AM

Re: “Uprooted: Burlington Farmers Market Seeks a New Home

I have an idea - why not use a section of the 220 acre Burlington Country Club, which constitutes nearly 10% of all buildable land in Burlington, currently reserved for Vermonts wealthiest 10%, many of whom dont even live in Burlington, as the site for the Farmers Market.…

Then, eminent domain the land (only valued at $6 million!) and build low-income housing since we seem to have a particularly bad low-income housing problem in this city, to the point where Mayor Weinberger told me on the record he would rather some poor person pay full market-rate rent to live in a slum than have even one Slumlord lose their rental license.

If Farrell can fit 700 units of housing on only 12 acres of land, imagine how much housing could be build even on just 100 or 50 acres!

Imagine a city where everyone had a home and the wealthy could not segregate themselves from their workers and the poor by using zoning laws and 300 acre elite country clubs to protect themselves from the masses!

30 likes, 28 dislikes
Posted by cwinklem on 10/31/2018 at 12:52 PM

Re: “About Turner: Republicans Bet Big on Lieutenant Governor Race

Its been really disappointing to see that no major Vermont news outlet have shown interest in covering the Boves Boycott (, where female tenants have shared stories of the Boves turning a blind eye to drug dealers (Almighty Peaks Painting) and sexual solicitation by a building soup, so reading this about VPR doesnt surprise me.

I have even offered to connect journalists with multiple low income renters, single mothers willing to risk eviction and homelessness to share how they have been preyed upon by the Bove Brothers. And yet, so far, crickets.

Kudos to Luskin and The Commons for showing bravery. Seven Days, youve got the chance to not only criticize other outlets but lead by example.

9 likes, 18 dislikes
Posted by cwinklem on 10/24/2018 at 10:07 PM

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