This campaign has been and will always be about putting people and community first. It’s the core reason why I chose to run–when we’re working together, we all thrive, and I saw first hand this type of togetherness during my doorknocking with neighbors. 

For example, Carmel on West Road was telling me about how her street has a community snow plow that folks use to keep their driveways clear.  Martha in Appletree Point told me about the book club and community supper that her neighborhood puts together every week.  These types of community gatherings are unique and special to the New North End, and it’s why one of my platforms is increasing community resources and activities in our neighborhood.  We have so many great micro-communities–I think it would be even better if each community were interconnected so that folks knew not only their neighbors on their street, but also their neighbors up the road and across the avenue. 

I also had an incredible time door knocking with Max Tracy–his work on the Council, particularly around addressing housing affordability resonated with many of the neighbors we spoke and met with.  We consistently heard that the Council needs to be strategic about what new services and projects are being brought online so as to avoid even more increases in property taxes.  A number of folks, and I agree, spoke about the need to upgrade our infrastructure when new developments take place so that our piping and waste-water processing facility can keep up with the new demand.  

Finally, I spoke with April Howard and a number of other neighbors who were excited that we received the Rights and Democracy endorsement because it shows our commitment to people and community.  The next Council will have a lot of challenging issues to face, but as neighbors repeatedly told us, by working together, we can find common ground and common solutions that will continue to build upon the foundation that makes Burlington and the New North End so great to live–its people.  

-Kienan

Kienan Christianson, Burlington Vermont