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Emma Mulvaney-Stanak Announces Run for Burlington Mayor

The state representative and former city councilor announced her candidacy at a press conference on Monday. She is seeking the Progressive endorsement.

By Patrick CrowleyOctober 16, 2023, 7:43 pm Published in VT Digger BURLINGTON — State Rep. Emma Mulvaney-Stanak became the first person to officially declare a run for Burlington mayor on Monday.

She announced her candidacy at a press conference outside a community center in the city’s Old North End, standing in front of family, friends and colleagues on a chilly afternoon.

“I am running for mayor because this election represents a turning point for Burlington,” she said. “I have built my career on collaboration, deep listening and tenacious problem solving. These are the skills and values that Burlington deserves today.”

Just over two weeks ago, Mayor Miro Weinberger, a Democrat, announced he would not seek a fifth term

Mulvaney-Stanak served as a Progressive on the City Council from 2009 until 2012. She later spent four years as chair of the Vermont Progressive Party. Elected a state representative in 2020, she is now in her second term and chairs the House Progressive Caucus.  In her Statehouse elections, she has won the endorsements of both the Progressive and Democratic parties. But on Monday she said she will seek the Progressive nomination for the mayoral race “because I believe that the core economic, social and environmental justice values of the Progressive Party are the values that our city needs most today.”

Political parties are expected to hold caucuses to choose nominees for city races including mayor and city council later this year. The general election for city offices will be held on Town Meeting Day in March.

“This is an incredible city. It offers tight knit neighborhoods, strong public schools, vital economic assets, a thriving artist community, and unparalleled accessible outdoor space,” Mulvaney-Stanak told a group of reporters, supporters and community members. “Yet we also face serious challenges which have unraveled our sense of community.”

Those challenges include substance use, homelessness and a lack of mental health care, she said. She later identified public safety as her top priority.

“I will propose policies that support smart and responsive needle recovery, evidence-based enforcement strategies that deter crime and deter negative behavior and prompt an appropriate response when people call for help,” she said.

Other policy priorities she mentioned included housing affordability and climate resilience.

“Now is the time to increase community engagement and connection,” she said. “As mayor I will listen to you and ensure you have what you need to thrive in the city.”

Mulvaney-Stanak said she intends to work collaboratively with Democrats, Republicans and independents. 

In an interview before the announcement, she noted that, as one of five Progressives in a chamber of 150 representatives, “you have to learn how to collaborate. That’s the only way and it’s frankly a much healthier democracy.” 

Mulvaney-Stanak also said she hopes to make history by becoming the Queen City’s first woman elected as mayor. 

Other women have also floated the possibility of a run, including consultant and nonprofit board member CD Mattison, business owner Carina Driscoll and City Councilor Joan Shannon, D-South District, who said Monday she was “leaning strongly toward running.”

In addition to her Statehouse responsibilities, Mulvaney-Stanak runs a consulting business. She lives with her wife and children in the Old North End and has spent most of her adult life in Burlington, she said Monday.

She said would continue to serve as a legislator and run her business while campaigning. 

“I’ll be hopefully asking many (legislative) colleagues to maybe carpool with me so I can be on the phone going up and down (Interstate) 89,” she said.


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