Rights & Democracy members have voted to endorse Carina Driscoll, independent candidate for Burlington mayor.
Driscoll was the clear favorite among the active, voting Rights & Democracy members in Burlington, earning 63 percent of the vote to independent Infinite Culcleasure’s 33 percent of the vote, who had also sought RAD’s endorsement. Mayor Miro Weinberger, who did not seek RAD’s endorsement, received two write-in votes.
"I am very pleased that as a group of voters we have chosen to endorse Carina Driscoll for Mayor of Burlington. Her previous experience on the Burlington School Board, Burlington City Council, as a Vermont State Representative, and as a business owner prepares her very well to manage our city departments and employees. She also has a proven track record of working for social justice and environmental conservation," said Grant Taylor, an active Burlington RAD member and leader who took part in key one-on-one candidate interviews.
Before voting, members had a chance to review candidate questionnaires submitted by Driscoll and Culcleasure, as well as watch a livestream of member-led, one-on-one interviews with the candidates (or watch a recording of those interviews).
This endorsement process represented a new approach for Rights & Democracy by opening up the decision to through an open, member-led, democratic process. Previous endorsements came from a smaller group of active member leaders.
"I had a great time participating in the Rights & Democracy endorsement process. I found it incredible that we were able to include over 200 RAD members to make the decision for the endorsement," said Taylor. "This has increased the democratic involvement in our endorsement process as an organization, and that is what we are all about."
In the questionnaires and the interviews, candidates were asked about their support of the Burlington People’s Platform, an effort to unify our shared values and vision for a healthier and more inclusive Burlington that lifts up ALL voices and people. These issues aim to break down structural oppression and create a society that empowers all Queen City residents.
For three decades, Burlington was at the forefront of municipally-led activism that put people and the planet before short-term profits. City officials partnered with nonprofit organizations, citizens, and employee-owned companies and cooperatives to build a resilient local economy that has become a model for other communities around the country. In the wake of several political and economic shake-ups in the mid-2000s, a pro-privatization, pro-development agenda has taken hold in the Queen City. This culminated with the election of Democratic mayor Miro Weinberger in 2012 who, despite promises to live up to the legacy of his predecessors, has undermined citizen input and collaboration, walked back Burlington’s commitments to lower- and middle-income families, and has abandoned our city's core value of placing people at the center of policy decisions.
The People’s Platform, and this year’s two strong mayoral challengers, makes it clear that a growing majority seek to return Burlington to its core values and enact a clearer vision of the future that includes everyone in our community.