Progressive, community organizer Freeman announces city council run

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Fri, 01/04/2019 - 8:27am -- Denise Sortor

Perri Freeman, a community organizer and home care provider, is announcing her candidacy for Burlington’s Central District city council seat. Freeman, 27, will seek the Progressive Party endorsement for the council seat at the party’s January 6th, 2019 caucus. The caucus is from 6-8PM at the Sustainability Academy on North Street in Burlington.

Having attended nearly every city council meeting over the last year, Freeman is concerned with the stagnation and absence of visionary thinking on the council. “There’s a distinct lack of progress for the majority of people living and working in this city and I’m running in solidarity with all of us not being invited to sit at the table. Whether it’s low wages, high rents, or fast-tracked development projects whose benefits never trickle down to working people, City Hall needs to shift its priorities to make Burlington a city for the many and not just for the few.”

She believes Burlington should:

• Expand its public transportation system, moving toward free mass transit

• Ensure a livable wage and support for collective bargaining rights

• Address structural inequalities imposed on historically marginalized communities

• Invest in more publicly owned, rent stabilized housing, and

• Commit to a 100% renewable energy and zero waste initiative by 2025

Freeman began organizing around community and environmental issues in 2013 while studying History at Antioch College and brought her commitment to justice and movement building to Vermont in early 2017. In Burlington, she is known among political activists for her work leading Rights & Democracy’s successful canvass to elect Rep. Bob Hooper in 2018 and unseating Rep. Kurt Wright, a 15-year incumbent Republican state representative in Burlington’s New North End. She also serves as a Steering Committee member for the Ward 2 & 3 Neighborhood Planning Assembly and volunteers with various local projects and organizations.

As a council member, Freeman would particularly focus on the intersection of environmental action and socioeconomic issues. “We should consider how to leverage public funds through progressive taxation in order to build environmental policies that meet socioeconomic needs. For example, Burlington should work toward a free public transit system. This kind of collective action would support the necessary changes to address environmental impacts while lifting a burden for working and low-income people.”

Freeman looks forward to having her platform be further informed by all the residents of the Central District and intends to approach the interlocking challenges facing our community by tapping into the creative and innovative thinking that Burlington does best.