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Meet Emma Mulvaney-Stanak

I am a mom to two small kids, a small business owner, the wife of a city employee, a former Burlington city councilor, and a Vermont state representative. I have spent years as a labor and community organizer working to make our world more equitable while ensuring that everyone is safe and everyone feels a sense of belonging.

My Vision for Burlington

I have lived in Burlington, Vermont for nearly my entire adult life. It is an incredible city. It offers tight knit neighborhoods, strong public schools, vital economic assets, a thriving artist community, and unparalleled accessible outdoor space. Yet we also face serious challenges which have unraveled our sense of community in recent years. We have seen a rise in substance use disorder and people visibly unhoused on our streets, and a lack of mental health care. This means that many in our community are suffering while many feel unsafe. 


This election for mayor of Burlington represents a turning point for the city. We have the opportunity to make a change, address these challenges and rebuild relationships between our city leaders and residents. We have an opportunity to invest in resources and collaboration so that every Burlingtonian can thrive.


We each have a role to play. I am a collaborator, a deep listener, and a problem solver. As a longtime community organizer, I know that meaningful community engagement and involvement is at the core of what creates equitable and safe communities. We can’t afford divisiveness in our community - the stakes are too high.  We need a mayor who will convene stakeholders, experts and community members to develop solutions together. We need a mayor who understands how to rebuild trust in our community. We need a mayor who will not only listen, but act with an urgency that comes from a deep love and commitment to this incredible city. 


Vermont politics require bridge builders and visionaries who value collaboration and community voices. It is the only way to maintain a healthy democracy. 


I am ready to be the next mayor of Burlington, Vermont. I have the experience, partnerships, and dedication to lead this city forward.

Why Progressive?

I am a proud Progressive with a long history of collaborating with Democrats, Republicans, and Independents at the state and local level to make progress for our neighbors and our neighborhoods. 


My first statewide political job was as the Field Director for Democrat Scudder Parker’s 2006 Gubernatorial run. When elected to the Burlington City Council in 2009, I worked with Democrats, Republicans and Independents to pass policy ranging from immigrant rights to updating Burlington’s  livable wage ordinance. During my tenure as a legislator, I served on the Republican chaired House Commerce Committee. I have been a proud member of this historically moderate committee which passed multiple major policy initiatives on unanimous committee votes. As the only Progressive on the committee, I worked to develop productive relationships with members of all parties to advance historic legislation to support BIPOC owned businesses, support for Vermonters reentering the workforce after incarceration, and solutions to fix our inadequate unemployment system.

I currently represent Chittenden-17 in the Vermont House of Representatives where I received both the Progressive and Democratic endorsement. It is a hybrid district including neighborhoods in Old North End and the New North End. I work to engage voters from all party affiliations and independents around the common policy priorities we all share for our city. 


I chose to seek the Progressive nomination for mayor because I believe that the core economic, social, and environmental justice values of the Progressive Party are the values that our city needs today and into the future. As a former organizer, I understand that collaboration rather than partisanship, builds community. This approach will bring those most impacted by the issues facing Burlington forward to build solutions. I will lead by bringing together those with the knowledge, skills, and experience to find solutions, regardless of their politics.


& Experience

I am a mom, legislator, organizer, and small business owner. I currently serve as a state legislator for Chittenden-17 (Old North End and New North End) and as Caucus Leader of the House Progressive Caucus. I am a member of the House Commerce & Economic Development Committee, Social Equity Caucus, Women's Caucus, Labor Caucus, Rainbow (LGBTQ+) Caucus, and Climate Solutions Caucus. 


First elected to the Vermont House of Representatives in 2021, I led the Burlington legislative delegation to successfully advocate for the passage of 8 out of 9 Burlington charter changes supported by voters, ranging from all resident voting rights, to rank choice voting, to thermal energy regulation. I successfully took the lead developing new policy in collaboration with Republican and Democratic colleagues to allocate first-time investments to support BIPOC owned businesses, create a COVID Worker Relief Fund for employers, and pilot a workforce transition program for formerly incarcerated people. I advocated for workers trapped in a broken unemployment system to ensure they could access unpaid claims while proposing legislation to improve oversight and modernize the state’s unemployment system. 


In my first year as a legislator, I won the Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility’s Legislator of the Year Award (2021). In past elections, I have been endorsed by Planned Parenthood Vermont Action Fund, Rights & Democracy, Victory Fund, LPAC, Vote Mama, Vermont-NEA, AFL-CIO, Vermont-AFT, Sierra Club, Vermont Conservation of Voters, VPIRG, EveryTown, Moms Demand Action, and Gun Sense Vermont.


I was the lead sponsor on several key pieces of legislation, many of which were the result of collaboration with Burlington constituents to make state government work better for Vermonters. These include: 

  • H.98/Act 45 - Common sense gun regulation to require waiting times, licensing, safe storage, and prohibiting guns in bars and restaurants (2014 Burlington charter change item supported by 61% voters) (passed as part of Act 45)

  • H.243 - Trauma-informed school safety policy (passed as part of Act 29)

  • H.116 - Expansion of Vermont’s Equal Pay law to include racial and gender identity (passed as Act 80)

  • H.92 - Modernization of the state’s unemployment system and expansion of unemployment eligibility for workers experiencing a loss of child care or family long-term illness (passed as part of Act 76)

  • H.286 - Modernization and better protections of workers using workers’ compensation (passed as part of Act 76)

  • H. 254/H.349 - Regulation of crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) for inaccurate reproductive health care information and the creation of a practical support abortion fund for low income Vermonters (CPC component passed as part of Act 15). 


I have been a champion of affordable, high quality child care, progressive funding solutions to our education funding system, and humane-solutions to Vermont’s homelessness, substance use, and mental health crises.

I spent most of my professional career as a labor organizer at Vermont-NEA supporting teachers and support staff across the state to improve their working and advocate for strong public schools. Earlier in my career, I directed the Vermont Livable Wage Campaign and successfully advocated for the passage of a permanent cost-of-living adjustment to the state minimum wage. 


In 2018, I founded a social change strategy consulting company, EMStrategies LLC, to support nonprofits, school districts, and local governments in building equity-informed strategies.


I served as City Councilor from Burlington's Old North End (2009-2012) and led efforts to strengthen the city livable wage ordinance, pushed to create environmental standards for private-public partnerships and worked to create a city-level project labor agreement for development projects. 


In addition, I have served on several community non-profit boards including the Vermont Women’s Fund, Haymarket People’s Fund, Governor’s Institutes of Vermont, and the Robin's Nest Child Care Center. I graduated from Smith College with a degree in political science and am a graduate of the Vermont Leadership Institute. Originally from Barre, Vermont, I have lived in Burlington for nearly 20 years. I now live in Ward 3 of the Old North End with my wife, Megan and our two small children. 

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