This week the campaign has picked up some serious steam.  We went doorknocking with volunteers and met more neighbors interested in joining our campaign.  A constant theme for this weekend was the state of our roads in the New North End.  Whether it’s potholes, un-plowed walkways, or icy roads, it seems City Hall can be doing more to better prepare our roads for the winter and better maintain them when the winter comes. 

This is important because we spoke to a number of older neighbors who could not leave their homes or walk as they normally would because of the iciness of sidewalks and roads.  We can do better. 

We also spoke to a number of neighbors about the lack of transparency in the status of various projects around the City.  While there are strong opinions both for and against the downtown redevelopment, many neighbors agree that there needs to be better transparency in where the project the stands.  The City Council and Mayor should be asking the developers for clear timetables and a construction schedule.  

In addition, neighbors expressed concern over the lack of infrastructure upgrades to accommodate the new units (and people) who will be using the water and sewer systems.  Affordability remained a top concern as well, particularly rising property taxes and rents.  We need more housing and if we’re adding new development we need to ensure that it will be affordable and accessible to a broad swath of people, and not just those who are wealthy or who live out of state.  

Finally, I spoke to a number of older neighbors who were interested in expanding bus routes or finding other means of transportation to and from downtown.  One older neighbor told me about how she loves to visit the Flynn, but can’t see shows because she doesn’t have a ride back after the buses stop running.  We as a community can work together to find a solution to this problem.  (A ride share or carpool share seems like an easy way for neighbors to help one another out while also getting to know one another).  

Also, if anyone is available, our neighbors at the Heineberg Senior Housing need help this Wednesday clearing their cars off after the storm.  I’ll be there around 6:30 am and I encourage more folks to join if you’re able.  

Also, if anyone is available, our neighbors at the Heineberg Senior Housing need help this Wednesday clearing their cars off after the storm.  I’ll be there around 6:30 am and I encourage more folks to join if you’re able.  

Special thanks to Chris Pearson for chatting with me at the Bagel Cafe! I’m looking forward to more door knocking, more chats, and more great conversations with my neighbors. 

-Kienan

Kienan Christianson, Burlington Vermont