Genese is an author, editor, educator, translator, artist, and community organizer who has rented in the Old North End for twenty years. She knows what it is like to struggle to pay the rent and bills, to rely on bicycles and public transportation, and to feel like her interests and values are not being considered by the people in power. Genese believes that the residents of Wards 2 and 3 should be the primary decision-makers about the future of their neighborhoods and that City Councilors should act as delegates of the will of the citizens.
Genese on the Campaign Trail
Genese fought with The Coalition for a Livable City for a human-scaled, affordable Burlington Town Center, in harmony with Vermont ecological and social values, in keeping with Plan BTV, our community-driven comprehensive plan, and in defense of affordability for all residents of Burlington.
Genese fought for real community participation in decision-making, against an administration mired in conflicts of interest, driven by external agendas and outside consultants, and intent on fast-tracking projects without the informed consent of the citizens.
Genese has a BFA from The Cooper Union in painting and an MA and PhD in Germanic Literatures and Languages from the City University of New York Graduate Center. She was on the board of The Fools' Gold Artists' Fund, giving small grants to local artists for 15 years; Garden Leader for The Avant Garden on Myrtle Street; theater arts teacher and set designer for The Very Merry Theater; and instructor at Burlington College, Community College of Vermont, and Saint Michael's College.
Genese worked with fellow artists, local businesses and residents as part of The South End Alliance to save the Arts and Enterprise District from rezoning that would have priced out artists, small businesses, and manufacturing.
Genese and Tony Reddington
Genese will work toward:
Increasing participation by making the Ward 2/3 Neighborhood Planning Assembly a venue where citizen opinions are translated into real representation by the district councilor, whose rightful role is giving voice to citizens’ concerns and judgments;
Creating real solutions to the problem of housing affordability, instead of continuing with the discredited trickle-down model, which makes housing less affordable for Ward 2/3 residents;
Infinite Culclesure and Genese in the Old North End
Ensuring that socially and environmentally fair development is an opportunity, not an obstacle;
Challenging the legality of the recent Downtown Overlay District Zoning Change, which allows 14-story buildings without public benefits. This zoning change was opposed by a majority of Ward 2/3 voters in the November election, but promoted by the incumbent against the wishes of her constituents;
Stopping the demolition of the historic public asset, Memorial Auditorium, and preserving of its historic programs;
Halting the destructive redesign of City Hall Park, which, in its current form includes an increase of pavement, the introduction of privatized areas, and the removal of the historic fountain;
Fostering and protecting important local spaces like The Family Room, where residents’ needs come first;
Fostering solutions/treatment for drug addiction, mental illness, homelessness, and disenfranchisement, through community-driven initiatives;
Making the needs of Burlington residents a priority over tourist interests by transforming the Church Street Market Place into the Church Street Meeting Place, a true town center with public meeting areas, green spaces, and local businesses, a shared public space where community engagement and democratic participation can flourish.