State Rep. Emma Mulvaney-Stanak, leader of the Vermont’s House Progressive Caucus and former Burlington City Councilor, says she will run for mayor of the Queen City.
Mulvaney-Stanak hinted at a mayoral campaign within hours of Mayor Miro Weinberger’s announcement that he would not seek a fifth term. On Monday, she made it official, saying the city is at a crossroads.
“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 Burlington deserves today.”
Mulvaney-Stanak said she her priorities as mayor would be addressing the city’s homelessness crisis, affordable housing and the opioid epidemic – issues she says have shaken Burlingtonians trust in city leadership.
“I will focus on three core policy areas — community safety, affordability and climate resilience.
She said her work in the State House and the relationships she has made with lawmakers shows her ability to reach across the aisle to tackle the city’s challenges. And she says it would be an honor to become the first woman elected mayor of Vermont’s largest city.
No other candidates have entered next year’s mayoral contest, although City Councilor Joan Shannon, a Democrat, has expressed her interest.
On the Republican side, state GOP chair Christopher Allen Felker said the party is recruiting candidates for both mayor and City Council. The party will caucus in early December, he said.
He would not confirm if anyone had expressed interest yet, but like Mulvaney-Stanak, he says the city’s next mayor will have to be relentless in the face of pressing issues.
“A strong leader, one that is capable of stepping up and tackling the major problems that Burlington faces today,” he said. “That starts with a profound lack of housing, an affordability crisis when it comes to housing. We have an increase of quality-of-life crimes, a depleted police force, and truly a rise in hopelessness attached to the drug crisis that I’ve never experienced before.”