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Mayor Miro Weinberger Announces Environmental Plan

Miro Weinberger

Stands with Environmental, Community Leaders to Share Actions to Achieve Net Zero Energy City Vision, Lake Clean-Up Initiatives

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact:  Jordan Redell
                Campaign Manager
                802.391.0115

Burlington, VT – Today, Mayor Miro Weinberger, standing with environmental and community leaders, announced a three-year environmental plan (full plan attached) that prioritizes the following goals: 

  • Taking steps to help Burlington become a Net Zero Energy City across electric, thermal, and ground transportation sectors over the next 15 years by implementing a district heating system, strategic electrification, and investing in e-buses and e-bikes.
  • Advocating to create a new Vermont Stormwater Authority through leadership on the Vermont Mayors Coalition and the Vermont League of Cities and Towns.
  • Expanding the impact of the Vermont Climate Pledge Coalition by hosting an annual summit to track climate pledges and by creating a system for tracking and reporting cumulative progress towards pledged goals.

“In 2014, Burlington achieved a remarkable milestone by sourcing 100 percent of its electricity from renewable generation,” said Mayor Weinberger. “We have had an overwhelming response to that achievement, and now we are doubling down on that effort by taking major steps to becoming a Net Zero Energy City over the next 15 years and by championing bold action to clean up and protect Lake Champlain.”

The following state and local environmental and community leaders attended the announcement and shared the following thoughts:

Gabrielle Stebbins, Chair of the Burlington Electric Commission and Senior Consultant at Energy Futures Group, stated: "Mayor Weinberger follows up his words with action. During his tenure as Mayor, I've been impressed with his call for the Burlington Electric Department to lead on energy innovation by specifically taking steps to transition Burlington into a net zero energy city. And his net zero call has been coupled with his push for strategic electrification throughout our City. The Mayor has challenged our community to use electricity instead of fossil fuels, leading BED to offer innovative electric vehicle rebates and financing programs helping more Burlingtonians drive electric, to help Green Mountain Transit secure enough funding to order its first four electric buses, and to offer electric bike incentives to help our community members move away from gasoline-powered vehicles.

Scott Johnstone, CEO of Packetized Energy and immediate past Executive Director of Vermont Energy Investment Corporation, said, “Mayor Weinberger has an impressive record on the environment and energy. The progress has been both incredible and accomplished with an eye toward affordability. Best yet, he understands there is still much to do and offers the vision needed for Burlington to remain livable and a champion of sustainability moving forward.”

Chad Nichols, Director of Project Development and Construction at Encore Renewable Energy, stated: “As someone who has chosen to live and work in Burlington for nearly 10 years, I have witnessed under Miro’s leadership the establishment of Burlington as an environmental, sustainability-focused leader in the 21st century restoration and climate economies, raising the bar for cities across the region and our nation. At Encore Renewable Energy, we have worked with Burlington Electric, the Airport, and the City on unique efficiently scaled solar projects, which serve both our community and our planet, as well as create local jobs and municipal revenues. We hope to see Miro continue to position Burlington as a magnet for other young folks who want to find meaningful work in a City that values its environmental and energy resources, all while being a cool place to live. Thank you, Miro, for your leadership.”

Burlington State Representative Mary Sullivan, who serves as Vice Chair of the House Committee on Natural Resources, Fish, and Wildlife, was unable to attend today’s announcement but stated: "Mayor Weinberger consistently has exhibited strong leadership on legislative issues in Montpelier through his leadership of both the Vermont Mayors Coalition and the Vermont League of Cities and Towns. Miro's support of a statewide stormwater authority to meet Vermont's water quality standards demonstrates his understanding that the time to get moving on water clean-up is now, or Vermont will start to see our clean, green reputation go down the tubes fast."

Matt Moore, Chair of the Burlington Conservation Board, who was also unable to attend today’s announcement, stated: “Miro has been steadfast in his support for open space conservation and increasing public access to recreation and the outdoors. He understands the importance of conserving and preserving open space, and the link between economic development and our ability to afford conservation. Miro has led a successful effort to lay much groundwork toward our conservation goals through use of the City’s Conservation Legacy Fund. For example, use of the Fund has helped preserve the 12-acre corridor on the former Catholic Diocese property permanently protecting public recreational access from the Old North End to the bike path and waterfront. The next three years offer incredible conservation opportunities that depend on leadership continuity in City Hall.”

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Burlington Leads the Way on the Environment

Environmental Accomplishments + Three-Year Plan

Burlington has a long history of leading on environmental issues. Mayor Miro Weinberger has continued this legacy as aggressively as his predecessors and set even more ambitious goals for the years immediately ahead.

The Next Three Years of Environmental Leadership

 Implement plan to become Net Zero Energy City – In 2016, Burlington created a strategic plan to become a Net Zero Energy City across electric, thermal, and ground transportation sectors over the next 15 years. The next three years will be critical to meeting this goal. We will pursue this goal through:

  • District Heating System – After decades of unsuccessful efforts, the City is on the cusp of building a system to significantly lower the City’s greenhouse gas emissions by tapping into heat from the McNeil biomass facility. In 2018, the City will complete feasibility assessment efforts and, if cost-effective for customers, break ground on the new system by 2020.
     
  • Strategic Electrification – The City will pursue numerous efforts to shift automobiles and buildings onto the renewable electric grid through programs, such as:

o   Creating new Electric Vehicle (EV) incentives. In the last six months, the City has begun offering best-in-the-state rebates for Burlingtonians to purchase EVs, as well as innovative financing approaches by partnering with local credit unions. Further, in 2018, the City will seek regulatory approval for lower electric rates for charging EVs during off-peak hours – cutting the fuel cost to less than $1.00 per gasoline gallon equivalent.

o   Converting the municipal vehicle fleet to electric power. The City is conducting a comprehensive assessment of its vehicle fleet with an eye toward converting to EVs whenever practical, beginning in fiscal year (FY) 2019.

o   Offering incentives to increase the use of electric heat pumps. For certain customers, electric heat pumps are a cost-effective, renewable alternative to fossil fuel for heating their homes. The City will continue efforts to promote the switch away from oil, propane, and natural gas.

  • Empowering Burlingtonians to control energy future – The City is committed to making the power of our renewable electric grid accessible to all residents and businesses through programs at Burlington Electric:

o   E-Buses: In 2018, the first all-electric busses will roll out through Green Mountain Transit as a result of City incentives, giving transit riders the benefit of the energy revolution.

o   E-Bikes: In the coming year, the City will ramp up a program to incentivize the purchase of electric bikes, moving Burlingtonians away from fossil fuel powered cars and making the hill ascents from Battery to Prospect a little more manageable for riders of all ability levels.

o   2030 District: The City will join Burlington’s “2030 District” – a unique partnership among local businesses and institutions to reduce building energy consumption, water use, and transportation emissions by 50 percent by 2030. Burlington is one of only 16 communities in the nation to host a 2030 District, and the City has been instrumental in its start-up and growth in our community.

  • Create new Vermont Stormwater Authority – Mayor Weinberger supports the creation of a statewide Stormwater Authority to implement Vermont’s total maximum daily load (TMDL) plan in a way that is effective, efficient, and fair. He will advocate for its creation by the state as Mayor, and through his leadership of the Vermont Mayors Coalition and Vermont League of Cities and Towns.
  • Expand the Impact of the Vermont Climate Pledge Coalition – In 2017, Mayor Weinberger co-founded the Coalition and hosted with the Energy Action Network a successful 200-person summit in Burlington where more than 25 organizations made pledges. Going forward, Mayor Weinberger will make the summit an annual event, work to secure additional pledges, and create a system for tracking and reporting cumulative progress towards the pledged goals.
  • Continue era of new investment in City Parks and Land Conservation – The last six years have been an era of remarkable investment in new City parks (see below). This era of public investment will continue over the next three years with the building of a new park west of the Water Plant in 2018, the rebuilding of City Hall Park projected for 2019, and new investment in Oakledge Park planned for 2020.

 

 

Past Accomplishments

As a first-time candidate for mayor in 2012, Mayor Weinberger released an environmental sustainability plan. Six years later, the City has addressed many of the goals of that plan, and more. Environmental highlights of the last six years include:

Energy Efficiency + Renewable Energy
·      Burlington becoming, in 2014, the first city in the nation to source 100 percent of its energy from renewable generation following the purchase of the Winooski One Hydro Facility.
·      Passing, with voter support, new zoning for the downtown core, and later the entire downtown, requiring all major new buildings to meet very high-energy performance standards (LEED Gold or other ambitious standards).
·      Increasing total solar installations in the City from 25 in 2012 to more than 160 now and creation of the innovative Solar Shopper “one-stop shop” program to improve Burlington Electric Department (BED) customer access to solar installers.
·      Weatherization of 247 apartments through the energyChamp Challenge partnership between BED and Vermont Gas.
·      Creation of the energyChamp portal to empower BED customers to understand and better manage their energy consumption.
·      In the FY18 budget, the City institutionalized this type of investment by reinvesting budgetary savings in a new $500,000 Green Revolving Loan Fund.

Sustainable Transportation
·      After many unsuccessful efforts, strengthening the bus system through the opening in 2016 of the Transit Center in the St. Paul street right-of-way.
·      Increasing the annual rebuilding of sidewalks from approximately one mile a year to three miles a year.
·      Passage in 2016 of an ambitious planBTV Walk Bike Masterplan that will shift Burlington’s transportation patterns away from vehicle trips over time. The City has begun implementing the plan with expanded bike lanes and Burlington’s first protected bike lane.
·      Rebuilding and enhancement of five miles of the City’s waterfront Bike Path.
·      Increasing the City’s Electric Vehicle (EV) charging ports from 0 to 26.

Protecting Lake Champlain
·      Increasing annual investment in the lake-protecting stormwater utility by over 60 percent.
·      City successfully advocated for progressive, integrated stormwater planning to be included in the state’s new TMDL plan.
·      Passing, with voter support, new zoning for the downtown core, and later the entire downtown, with the toughest stormwater requirements in the state.
·      Securing 2016 voter support for up to eight blocks of new downtown infrastructure that will include one of state’s leading Green Infrastructure installations (stormwater run-off protection that also improves street trees and plantings).
·      Created new Great Streets standards that codify Green Infrastructure installations for all future downtown street right-of-way work.

Advocacy on Climate Change
·      Co-founded in 2017 the Vermont Climate Pledge Coalition to rally municipalities, businesses, educational institutions, and others to continue Vermont’s commitment and progress towards the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement.
·      Mayor Weinberger is part of the Sierra Club Mayors for 100% Clean Energy.

Park Improvements and Land Conservation
·      Purchased new 12-acre park as part of Cambrian Rise project.
·      Created new public beach and park at northern end of Urban Reserve.
·      Purchased and created new Archibald Street Community Garden.
·      Completed 99 Penny For Parks improvement projects, including rebuilding of Leddy softball field, rehabilitation of Calahan soccer fields, building the new Starr Farm playground, and creating new facilities in Roosevelt Park.

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Miro for Mayor Campaign Finance Disclosure Demonstrates Broad Support

Miro Weinberger

Momentum Strong in Final 10 Days
 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Jordan Redell
                Campaign Manager
                802.391.0115

Burlington, VT - The Miro For Mayor Campaign Finance Statement submitted on February 24, 2018 demonstrates broad support for Mayor Miro Weinberger’s re-election campaign. The report also highlights strong backing from Vermonters and small dollar contributors.

With 10 days remaining in the race, the Miro for Mayor campaign has received:

  • The most total campaign contributors (473) of any campaign by a wide margin.

  • The most contributions under $100 (312).

  • More birthday wishes on all social media platforms than any other campaign (hundreds and more still coming in).

Of further note, 86% of all funds contributed to the Miro For Mayor have been made by Vermonters.

“We are grateful for the support of the hundreds of people who are supporting our campaign – making phone calls, knocking on doors, hosting house parties and more – who believe in this campaign’s vision of Burlington as a city of opportunity for people of all backgrounds, ages and incomes," said Mayor Miro Weinberger. "We will be working very hard over the final days of this campaign to make good on this support and to keep Burlington Moving Forward.”

# # #

Labor Unions, City Councilors, State Legislators, and Students Stand Together to Support Miro for Mayor

Miro Weinberger

Three City Employee Unions Reaffirm their Endorsements of Mayor Weinberger;
Long-time New North End City Councilor & State Representative Kurt Wright Announces Support

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jordan Redell
               Campaign Manager
               802.391.0115

Burlington, VT – Today labor unions, City Councilors, State Legislators, and students stood with Mayor Miro Weinberger on the front steps of City Hall to show the broad support for his campaign to keep Burlington Moving Forward. 

Three of the four unions that negotiate contracts with the City of Burlington – the Burlington Police Officers’ Association (BPOA)International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 300 (IBEW), and the Burlington Fire Fighters Association (BFFA) – reaffirmed their strong support for Mayor Weinberger’s re-election.  In the most recent round of collective bargaining, the City reached agreements with all four unions without resorting to an arbitrated settlement for the first time in at least 15 years.    

Long-time New North End City Councilor and State Representative Kurt Wright released a statement announcing his support: “While I have many differences with Mayor Weinberger regarding North Avenue and transportation issues in general, and I know and greatly respect Carina Driscoll, I have decided that on that balance, I am endorsing the Mayor on the basis of issues such as fiscal responsibility, growing our economy, renovating the bike path, permit reform, and his unwavering support for the Vermont National Guard and the basing of the F35s.”

Mayor Weinberger has now received the endorsement of 7 of the 12 members of the current City Council. The Mayor’s other Council endorsers are: East District City Councilor Richard Deane, North District City Councilor Dave Hartnett, Ward 5 City Councilor Chip Mason, Ward 6 City Councilor Karen Paul, South District City Councilor Joan Shannon, and Ward 8 City Councilor Adam Roof.

The Plumbers and Pipefitters UA 693, the Vermont Building Trades Council, and the UVM College Democrats also reaffirmed their support for Mayor Weinberger based on his record of securing downtown and public infrastructure investments and his vision for the future. 

Members of Burlington’s legislative delegation also announced their support for Mayor Weinberger’s re-election, including Senator Phil Baruth, Representative Joey Donovan, Representative Jill Krowinski, Senator Ginny Lyons, Representative Curt McCormack, Representative Carol Ode, Representative Barbara Rachelson, and Representative Mary Sullivan.  

Other current and past public officials who have endorsed Mayor Weinberger’s re-election but were not present include:

  • Former Governor Madeleine Kunin
  • Former Governor Howard Dean

“I’m grateful and honored to have the support of such a broad coalition, representing so many Burlingtonians and City employees,” said Mayor Weinberger. “The support of many different interests and leaders from across the political spectrum reaffirms that we are going in the right direction, and the need to keep Burlington moving forward.”

Public Employee Union Endorsements of Mayor Weinberger Demonstrate Inaccuracy of Candidate Driscoll’s Claim that “City Workers Unanimously Endorse Change”

Today’s press conference comes the week following mayoral candidate Carina Driscoll’s February 14 press release, falsely claiming in its headline that “city workers unanimously endorse change, support Driscoll.”  

This claim is false. The three public employee unions that have endorsed Mayor Weinberger represent approximately 250 City employees in the Police Department, Burlington Electric Department, and Fire Department. 

Further, the February 16 Seven Days story “Union Members Dispute Claims of ‘Unanimous Driscoll Endorsement” identifies several questions that surround the one labor union endorsement Driscoll has received and touts in the press release. 

“I was extremely concerned when I read Carina’s announcement characterizing her union support as ‘the unanimous endorsement of the city's workers,’ a statement that as you can see here is patently untrue,” said South District City Councilor Joan Shannon. “Having the support of the City’s workers is critically important to doing a good job as Mayor. I am proud to be standing here today with the vast majority of the City’s unions in support of Miro Weinberger for Mayor.” 

Jordan Redell, Miro for Mayor campaign manager said, “In a rush to score political points, Ms. Driscoll was loose with the facts. She should acknowledge her false statements so that the citizen dialogue around who will serve as Burlington Mayor can be based on facts, not false or misleading statements.”

Quotes from Endorsing Organizations

“The Burlington Police Officers’ Association can say from experience that we have an effective leader in Mayor Weinberger guiding our City,” said Dan Gilligan, BPOA Interim President. “We endorsed Mayor Weinberger in support of his re-election effort three years ago because of the way he and his team have continued to make themselves available to the BPOA like no other Administration in the past. In the past three years, we have worked hard with the Mayor to reach a number of accomplishments with mutual benefits for the City and rank and file police officers. Most important to us is the Mayor’s leadership in expanding the number of sworn officers to levels not seen in more than 10 years. That’s good for public safety and for the safety of our members. We appreciate being involved in an extensive and well-organized search process for a new Burlington Police Chief, and the successful negotiation of a three-year labor contract without the need for arbitration. The BPOA also appreciates focus on addressing the opioid crisis, and the way in which he has addressed the concerns of the union on many other issues. The interests of management and labor sometimes differ, and we don’t expect to agree with any Mayor on every issue. However, it is very important to have an open dialogue in order to resolve these differences in a fair and responsible way. We look forward to continuing this cooperation between the BPOA and the Mayor, and the BPOA wholeheartedly supports the re-election of Mayor Miro Weinberger.”

“IBEW has endorsed Mayor Weinberger in his past two elections, and we are proud to endorse him for a third term,” said Jeffrey Wimette, Business Manager for IBEW, which represents unionized public employees at the Burlington Electric Department. “Because Mayor Weinberger is a good listener and follows through on his commitments, the Burlington Electric Department employees are now working under a contract negotiated without going to arbitration for the first time in 15 years. That contract took on big challenges, including a successful reform of the City’s retirement system that strengthened it, and reduced the pressure on taxpayers.”

“We are supporting Mayor Weinberger for a third term for the same reasons we supported the bond for the City’s Capital Infrastructure Plan,” said Tim LaBombard, President of the Vermont Building Trades Council, which includes UA 693 and IBEW Local 300. “Investing in the City’s infrastructure is good for construction jobs and good for quality of life in Burlington. Mayor Weinberger is a hard-hat mayor who is getting stuff done, whether it be building new homes or investing in the City’s streets, sidewalks, and water mains. Mayor Weinberger is committed to giving the unions a seat at the table to ensure that we are creating good jobs for Vermonters with good wages and benefits.”

“The Burlington Fire Fighters Association, IAFF Local 3044 is proud to support Mayor Weinberger as he seeks a third term,” said Sean Ploof, President of BFFA, IAFF Local 3044. “As a long-time Burlington resident, I am proud that recent years have seen investment and improvement in the Department due to the partnership between the Mayor and Burlington’s firefighters. Mayor Weinberger takes the time to understand our issues, and tries to find solutions that include the safety of firefighters, residents, and visitors in our City. We look forward to working closely with Mayor Weinberger over the next three years to ratify a new collective bargaining agreement to address remaining staffing and training challenges.”

“The University of Vermont College Democrats are proud to endorse Miro Weinberger as he seeks a third term as Mayor of Burlington,” said Sam Donnelly, President of the UVM College Democrats. “From now until election day on March 6, the UVM Democrats will work with Mayor Weinberger in support of his re-election by recruiting volunteers from UVM and encouraging students to vote on Town Meeting Day. Mayor Weinberger is committed to issues that students care about, including housing affordability, fiscal stability, and equity. Students are active members of the Burlington community and we care deeply about the future of the city. We appreciate Mayor Weinberger’s focus on addressing the opioid crisis, and his commitment to fighting climate change.”

# # # 

Burlington Fire Fighters Union Endorses Mayor Miro Weinberger for a Third Term

Miro Weinberger

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 31, 2018

Contact: Jordan Redell
               802.391.0115
               jordan@miroformayor.com

 Burlington – The Burlington Fire Fighters Association (BFFA), International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) Local 3044 has endorsed Mayor Miro Weinberger in support of his upcoming re-election effort on Town Meeting Day, March 6, 2018. This is the fifth labor endorsement for Mayor Weinberger, who recently was endorsed by the Burlington Police Officers’ Association, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 300, Plumbers and Pipefitters UA 693, and the Vermont Building Trades Council.

“The Burlington Fire Fighters Association, IAFF Local 3044 is proud to support Mayor Weinberger as he seeks a third term,” said Sean Ploof, President of BFFA, IAFF Local 3044. “As a long-time Burlington resident, I am proud that recent years have seen investment and improvement in the Department due to the partnership between the Mayor and Burlington’s firefighters. Mayor Weinberger takes the time to understand our issues, and tries to find solutions that include the safety of firefighters, residents, and visitors in our City. We look forward to working closely with Mayor Weinberger over the next three years to ratify a new collective bargaining agreement to address remaining staffing and training challenges.”

“I am grateful and honored to receive this endorsement from the BFFA,” said Mayor Weinberger. “I’m proud to serve the City alongside such dedicated public servants who work hard, day in and day out, to protect Burlingtonians. Our firefighters are on the front lines of our community’s most serious challenges and work professionally and admirably in times of enormous pressure and stress. I’m committed to find a way to support the necessary resources the Fire Department needs so that we can keep Burlingtonians and our employees safe.”

Key accomplishments of the last six years regarding the Fire Department include:

  • Creation and growth of a new paramedic program within the Department that provides new and better service to Burlingtonians in emergency situations;
  • Approximately $1.8m of overdue investment in our Fire Stations;
  • Replacement of six fire apparatus over a three year period;
  • Addition of four new positions to the Department to reduce the use of overtime, the first staffing additions in 15 years; and
  • Investments in new technology, including the purchase of a Computer Aided Dispatch system. 

 

# # #

Mayor Miro Weinberger Endorsed by the UVM College Democrats

Miro Weinberger

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 30, 2018 

Contacts:   Jordan Redell – Campaign Manager, Miro for Mayor
                   802.391.0115

                   Sam Donnelly – President, UVM College Democrats
                   802.324.3708

Burlington, VT  -- The UVM College Democrats endorsed Mayor Miro Weinberger today in support of his re-election on Town Meeting Day, March 6, 2018. The UVM College Democrats met with all three mayoral candidates and voted to endorse Mayor Weinberger. 

“The University of Vermont College Democrats are proud to endorse Miro Weinberger as he seeks a third term as Mayor of Burlington,” said Sam Donnelly, President of the UVM College Democrats. “From now until election day on March 6th, the UVM Democrats will work with Mayor Weinberger in support of his re-election by recruiting volunteers from UVM and encouraging students to vote on Town Meeting Day. Mayor Weinberger is committed to issues that students care about, including housing affordability, fiscal stability and equity. Students are active members of the Burlington community and we care deeply about the future of the city. We appreciate Mayor Weinberger’s focus on addressing the opioid crisis, and his commitment to fighting climate change.”

“I am grateful to receive the endorsement of the very organized and active UVM College Democrats and to again have students working hard on our campaign,” said Mayor Weinberger. “Many of my top priorities as mayor are directly relevant to all Burlington students. Our administration is committed to keeping Burlington a vibrant city of opportunity—a place where people from all backgrounds and ages can make a home and career.

# # #

Mayor Miro Weinberger Announces Three Labor Endorsements

Miro Weinberger

International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 300, the Vermont Building Trades Council, and Plumbers and Pipefitters UA 693 Endorse Mayor Miro because he listens and gets things done 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 11, 2018
Contact:  Jordan Redell, Campaign Manager
                802.391.0115
                jordan@miroformayor.com

Burlington, VT – The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 300 (IBEW), the Vermont Building Trades Council, and the Plumbers and Pipefitters UA 693 today endorsed Mayor Miro Weinberger in support of his upcoming re-election effort on Town Meeting Day, March 6, 2018.

“IBEW has endorsed Mayor Weinberger in his past two elections, and we are proud to endorse him for a third term,” said Jeffrey Wimette, Business Manager for IBEW, which represents unionized public employees at the Burlington Electric Department. “Because Mayor Weinberger is a good listener and follows through on his commitments, the Burlington Electric Department employees are now working under a contract negotiated without going to arbitration for the first time in 15 years. That contract took on big challenges, including a successful reform of the City’s retirement system that strengthened it, and reduced the pressure on taxpayers.”

“We are supporting Mayor Weinberger for a third term for the same reasons we supported the bond for the City’s Capital Infrastructure Plan,” said Tim LaBombard, President of the Vermont Building Trades Council, which includes UA 693 and IBEW Local 300. “Investing in the City’s infrastructure is good for construction jobs and good for quality of life in Burlington. Mayor Weinberger is a hard-hat mayor who is getting stuff done, whether it be building new homes or investing in the City’s streets, sidewalks, and water mains. Mayor Weinberger is committed to giving the unions a seat at the table to ensure that we are creating good jobs for Vermonters with good wages and benefits.”

“I’m grateful to receive these endorsements from the IBEW Local 300, the Vermont Building Trades Council, and Plumbers and Pipefitters UA 693,” said Mayor Weinberger. “I am proud that we were able to bring a new approach to public employee negotiations that resulted in successfully negotiated contracts with IBEW and the City’s other unions that made progress on our health care and pension system challenges. I also welcome the support from Vermont Building Trades and Plumbers and Pipefitters, and I look forward to continuing our work together on projects that improve our quality of life and housing opportunities for Burlingtonians while also creating good job opportunities for our hard-working construction tradespeople.”

*Mayor Weinberger was also endorsed by the Burlington Police Officers Association on December 20, 2017.

# # #

Mayor Miro Weinberger Speech from Democratic Nominating Caucus and Miro for Mayor Re-Election Campaign Kick-Off

Miro Weinberger

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 7, 2018
Contact:  Jordan Redell, Campaign Manager
                 802.503.7664

                 jordan@miroformayor.com


Burlington, VT – Mayor Miro Weinberger today attended the Democratic Nominating Caucus at Burlington High School and delivered his 2018 re-election campaign kick-off speech. 

In his remarks, the Mayor set forth three main themes and related goals of the City’s work ahead: 

“In a third term, this Administration will remain focused on protecting Burlington as an equitable and inclusive City; continue to invest in our public spaces, core infrastructure, and public facilities; and lead on the environment.”

The Mayor also laid out three core strategies to achieve these ambitious goals:

“How will we get all that done? By staying true to the same core principles that have gotten us this far together: fiscal responsibility; public engagement and responsiveness; and resistance to President Trump when he attempts to undermine Burlington values.”

In his speech, the Mayor addressed criticisms heard on the campaign trail and set the record straight:

“One of my opponents is trying to reuse the old campaign slogan that “Burlington is not for sale,” suggesting that Burlington Democrats are recklessly selling off the City’s assets.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  We aren’t selling Burlington. We are responsibly, ambitiously, and – because Democrats know how to manage the City’s money right – affordably investing in our public spaces, public infrastructure, and public facilities as never before.

In short, this is an Administration that knows it is impossible to get anything done without strong public trust, and that will never stop working hard to earn and make good on that trust.”

Please see the complete text of the 2018 Democratic Nominating Caucus speech below:

“Six years ago, I came to this Democratic caucus as a first-time candidate for elective office.  I did not have name recognition, deep government experience, or much of a history giving speeches when I stood before you that day.  I did have two things: clarity that our great City had lost its way with its finances and was no longer able to get big things done; and a commitment to set things right.

I will always be grateful that this caucus took a chance and voted for a Fresh Start and the opportunity to forge a new direction together.

At the beginning, we faced some large challenges, and the work has not been easy.  The City was downgraded to the edge of junk bond status two months after I started, as we teetered on the edge of fiscal crisis.  Our wonderful airport had the lowest airport credit rating in the continental United States. Our water, sewer, and traffic funds were all in the red, and our core infrastructure was in serious decline.  One of the largest banks in the world came after us for tens of millions of dollars and attempted to tear the Burlington Telecom fiber-optic cable out of the ground.  We had to grapple with big, tough questions about the future of our waterfront and our downtown.

However, with challenge after challenge over the last six years, the Administration, the City Council, and the people of Burlington have stuck together. And, we have made great progress:

Together, we have earned three credit rating upgrades over the last three years that will save City and school taxpayers and ratepayers more than $12 million dollars.

Together, we successfully fought off more than $15 million of CitiBank claims, kept the BT fiber in the ground, and saved high-speed internet choice for Burlingtonians.

Together, we righted the ship for all our City enterprise funds, passed the Sustainable Infrastructure Bond, and now our core infrastructure is on the mend.

Together, we have transformed the northern waterfront from an eyesore into one of our best places to walk, exercise, or simply marvel at the beauty of Lake Champlain.

And, after a three-year community debate and continuous improvement of our plans to redevelop the downtown core, the construction of a new, vibrant, mixed-use neighborhood is now underway.

In doing this critical work, we have built a foundation for even greater successes in the next few years.  In a third term, this Administration will: remain focused on protecting Burlington as an equitable and inclusive City; continue to invest in our public spaces, core infrastructure, and public facilities; and lead on the environment.

How will we get all that done? By staying true to the same core principles that have gotten us this far together: fiscal responsibility; public engagement and responsiveness; and resistance to President Trump when he attempts to undermine Burlington values.

I will say more about both what we are going to get done and how we will do it.

First, we will remain focused on protecting Burlington as an equitable and inclusive City.  Burlington must remain what it has been for over 150 years – the place in Vermont where people of all backgrounds can launch their career, start a family, and grow a business.  

This vision of Burlington was at risk six years ago when the average Burlingtonian was spending 44% of his or her income on rent, and large numbers of young households were being pushed out of the downtown by wealthier, older households.  We were in danger of becoming a boutique city accessible only to the rich.

One of the ways we are turning this around is by doubling down on our commitment to permanently affordable housing.  I have a deep belief in the transformational power of safe, quality housing for our most vulnerable.  Just after I finished college, I moved to the rural town of Americus, Georgia.  There, I worked as part of a small Habitat for Humanity crew that coordinated hundreds of community volunteers to build a new home for an elderly couple that had played by the rules, but had fallen on tough times when the husband got hurt on the job at a peanut processing plant. On the day we dedicated a brand new home to this sweet couple, their adult children had come home from around the country to carry in the new furniture they were giving their parents, volunteers clapped and cried, the family fed the whole community to celebrate, and I was hooked on a career in affordable housing.

For the next 15 years, I built affordable homes in New York, New Hampshire, and Vermont.  I never saw a move-in day again quite as dramatic as that first one, but I never got tired of seeing families and seniors in need move in to high-quality homes. 

I brought this commitment to helping our most vulnerable to the Mayor’s Office and have converted it into action on many fronts.  We doubled the annual investment in the local Housing Trust Fund and used the City’s federal housing resources to help protect permanently affordable housing at the Bobbin Mill and South Meadow, and to help our non-profit partners build the new Bright Street Co-op and new COTS housing on North Avenue.  We helped the residents of the Farrington Mobile Home Park take control of their future and create the resident-owned North Avenue Co-op.  

This work is far from done. Earlier tonight, we welcomed first-time voters to this caucus.  If we want Burlington to remain a City that welcomes New Americans from around the world and to remain a place where our kids can start their careers and raise their families, we must get our housing and land use policies right and continue to build as much housing for households of all backgrounds as we can. 

Protecting Burlington’s equitable and inclusive character also means doing more as a City to support our most vulnerable.  In the years ahead, we will: pilot the expansion of the seasonal low-barrier warming shelter we created with partners four years ago into a year-round facility; grow the new Burlington Early Learning Initiative that will make its first-ever grants in the next few weeks so that all Burlington kids – including those born into poverty – have the opportunity to thrive; and turn the tide on the opioid crisis.  We will talk about each of these initiatives more in the weeks ahead.

Second, we will continue to invest in our public spaces, core infrastructure, and public facilities.  Stewarding our core infrastructure and other physical public assets is one of the most important responsibilities of local government.  Public infrastructure supports our economic vitality and quality of life, and the public spaces where we gather for recreation and to advocate for important causes define us as a community.  

Improving our infrastructure and public assets has been a top priority since the very beginning of this Administration.  We repaired and re-opened the flood-damaged Bike Path so the Vermont City Marathon could be returned to its traditional course in our first 60 days in office, and we completed dozens of Penny For Parks projects in our first construction season.  

Since then, we have completely rebuilt more than five miles of the Bike Path, created a new park at the north end of the urban reserve, built a world-class skate park, purchased 12 acres of the former Burlington College land for a new park and public beach, made long-overdue investments in the library, fire houses, and Leddy Arena, tripled our historic level of annual sidewalk construction, and are proactively replacing our water lines for the first time. 

And, all that is just the beginning.  The voters of Burlington have mandated with multiple votes additional, historic investments in a new lakefront park west of the Water Plant, more than $30 million of additional investment in our streets, sidewalks, water lines, and other core infrastructure, and the rebuilding and improvement of 12 blocks of our downtown, including the reconstruction of the segments of Pine Street and St. Paul Street lost during Urban Renewal.  And, in the months ahead, we will create a plan for voters to consider to restore and re-open Memorial Auditorium as a successful 21st Century public assembly space.

One of my opponents is trying to reuse the old campaign slogan that “Burlington is not for sale,” suggesting that Burlington Democrats are recklessly selling off the City’s assets.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  We aren’t selling Burlington. We are responsibly, ambitiously, and – because Democrats know how to manage the City’s money right – affordably investing in our public spaces, public infrastructure, and public facilities as never before.

The work of City government for the next three years will, in large part, be about successfully implementing the plans the voters have recently approved by getting tens of millions of dollars of contracts, design details, and construction oversight right.  This work takes sustained discipline, focused commitment, and experience.  The City has the right team in place to get this tough work done and, if given the chance to keep leading our City, I promise that we will deliver on these plans just as we have made good on so many past commitments.

Third, we will lead on the environment, particularly with respect to climate change.  Burlington has long been a leader on the environment, and this work reached an important milestone in 2014 when we became the first US city to source 100% of its electricity from renewable generation.  I look forward to detailing in this campaign how we will build on this work and making great strides in the next term towards becoming a Net Zero Energy City across electric, thermal, and ground transportation sectors over the next 10-15 years and reaching other environmental goals. 

That is what we are going to do.  Here is how: we will continue to put financial responsibility first because, without that base, nothing else is possible.  During the years when our finances were a mess, our community dreams were stalled, and we were in no position to advance our values and beliefs.  Together, we cleaned up our finances, reformed our internal controls, and methodically rebuilt our financial reputation, and now we are getting big things done. 

One of my opponents has applauded our financial successes and expressed her intent to move on to other matters more in line with Burlington’s goals.  That is not the way it works.  Fiscal responsibility is not a checkbox on a to-do list to be marked and then forgotten.  Fiscal responsibility is a work ethic either strengthened through ongoing vigilance or quickly lost.  Let’s not risk going back to the days when City government was careless with our resources and squandered them instead of advancing our highest community priorities.

We will continue to be proactively engaged with, accessible, and responsive to the public.  This has been a focus since Day One.  This is the Administration of SeeClickFix, the BTV Stat Dashboard, and the Public Investment Action Plan for the northern waterfront.  This is an Administration of weekly public coffees that has taken 17 different ballot initiatives to the voters in six years and worked with the City Council and stakeholders to pass every single one.

In short, this is an Administration that knows it is impossible to get anything done without strong public trust, and that will never stop working hard to earn and make good on that trust.

And finally, we will resist President Trump whenever he pursues efforts that are in conflict with Burlington values.  

To the surprise of no one in this room, the first year of the Trump presidency has been harrowing.  Almost every day, we learn of new ways in which this federal Administration is attempting to undo the policies and norms that have strengthened and bound us together as a nation.

The most encouraging moments of the last year have been the times when State’s Attorneys, Governors, and Courts have stood up to the President, and the checks and balances of the system have held (thank you for your leadership in so many areas, TJ).

Often, this work of checking a reckless federal Administration falls to Mayors.  In the first year of the Trump presidency, defending Burlington values included taking legal action to oppose Trump’s draconian immigration policies, co-founding the new Vermont Climate Change Coalition so that our state can continue to contribute to the Paris Climate Agreement, and joining an amicus brief in support of the gay couple that was refused service at the Masterpiece Cakeshop, and much more.

We cannot know which Burlington values our impulsive, lying President will attack next, but there is no doubt that more assaults are coming. If given the chance, I will continue to stand up to Donald Trump whenever he comes for us, as I have since his first, out-of-control campaign visit to Burlington in 2016.

Over the next eight weeks, I will make the case I just laid out to you to the people of Burlington. If you support the vision of an equitable and inclusive City full of opportunity for all, with great public infrastructure and public spaces that leads on the environment, I ask for your help talking to all the people who are not in the room with us today. 

You can help by signing up for phone banking and canvassing, with your social media posts, and through conversations with your neighbors.  Together, this caucus has brought Burlington so far during the last six years.  Now is not the time to turn back.  Let us leave here tonight and work hand in hand to elect City Councilors and a Mayor who will keep Burlington Moving Forward!”

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Burlington Police Officers Association Endorses Mayor Miro Weinberger For Re-election

Miro Weinberger

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 20, 2017
Contact: Jordan Redell, Campaign Manager
                 802.391.0115
                 jordan@miroformayor.com

 Burlington – The Burlington Police Officers’ Association (BPOA) today endorsed Mayor Miro Weinberger in support of his upcoming reelection effort on Town Meeting Day, March 6, 2018.    

“The Burlington Police Officers’ Association can say from experience that we have an effective leader in Mayor Weinberger guiding our City,” said Dan Gilligan, BPOA Interim President. “We endorsed Mayor Weinberger in support of his reelection effort three years ago because of the way he and his team have continued to make themselves available to the BPOA like no other Administration in the past. In the past three years, we have worked hard with the Mayor to reach a number of accomplishments with mutual benefits for the City and rank and file police officers. Most important to us is the Mayor’s leadership in expanding the number of sworn officers to levels not seen in more than 10 years. That’s good for public safety and for the safety of our members. We appreciate being involved in an extensive and well-organized search process for a new Burlington Police Chief, and the successful negotiation of a three-year labor contract without the need for arbitration. The BPOA also appreciates focus on addressing the opioid crisis, and the way in which he has addressed the concerns of the union on many other issues. The interests of management and labor sometimes differ and we don’t expect to agree with any mayor on every issue. However, it is very important to have an open dialogue in order to resolve these differences in a fair and responsible way. We look forward to continuing this cooperation between the BPOA and the Mayor and the BPOA wholeheartedly supports the re-election of Mayor Miro Weinberger.”

 

"I am grateful every day to serve with one of the best police departments in the country,” said Mayor Weinberger. “Burlingtonians demand a lot from our police, and our officers have stepped up again and again to take on new challenges and make Burlington one of our nation’s safest cities.  Over the past three years, my office has been very focused on addressing the opioid crisis, updating our use of force and de-escalation policies, and increasing neighborhood trust and safety through expanded foot patrols.  During this period of innovation and change, I am proud to once again receive the endorsement of the BPOA, a group of women and men who put themselves on the line every day to protect and strengthen Burlington.”

BPOA
The BPOA was established in 1969 and has a membership of approximately 70 rank and file officers of the Burlington Police Department. The BPOA “is committed to promoting the ethical practices, policies, and standards befitting the Law Enforcement profession.” To learn more about the BPOA, please visit its website

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Mayor Miro Weinberger's Statement on Carina Driscoll and Infinite Culcleasure Entering the Mayor's Race

Miro Weinberger

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 4, 2017
Contact: Jordan Redell, Campaign Manager
802.391.0115
jordan@miroformayor.com

Burlington, VT - Mayor Miro Weinberger released the following statement today in response to the announcements of Carina Driscoll and Infinite Culcleasure:

"I welcome Carina Driscoll and Infinite Culcleasure to the mayor's race. Burlingtonians deserve healthy democratic debate and real choice at the ballot box. Over the next three months, I look forward to discussing the progress we've made over the last six years — progress that has made our city more equitable, environmentally sustainable, and stronger and has built a foundation for even greater successes to come. We have shown again and again that it is possible to make Burlington better for the middle class and our most vulnerable while also keeping tax rates low and restoring the city’s finances. I welcome a spirited debate about the best way forward for our city, at a time when the institutions and beliefs that have bound us together and strengthened our nation are under attack. The thoughtful, steady, decisive leadership that has guided us through so many challenges in recent years is needed now more than ever.”

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