What Ryan believes about the biggest issues facing our community.
Housing is more than a home.
Securing permanently affordable housing with connected wraparound services for all Burlingtonians should be our number one priority as a community.
Housing is the most foundational element to security, healthcare, vital services, and dignity. Too many of our neighbors are without reliable housing or are dangerously close to losing it. Addressing this is a moral and economic imperative. We must empower and support under-resourced organizations, reimagining existing physical infrastructure, and most importantly, recognize the human experience of our neighbors who are without a home. With the statewide eviction moratorium being lifted, many of our community members will be at an even greater risk of losing their housing than ever before.
Not only can we end chronic homelessness in Burlington—we have obligation to do so.
Investing in our students and educators.
There is no greater symbol of the misguided values that has been driving growth in our city than the current status of Burlington High School.
Just a couple of blocks away from our thriving, pedestrian thoroughfare, our most precious resource is housed in a windowless, abandoned department store. Alongside fast-tracking the construction of a new high school, the students, teachers, and staff of BHS need more support — immediately — to deal with the emotional, educational, and logistical toll that this challenge is taking on them.
We only have one chance to get this right—for our young people, and for ourselves to take pride in giving them every tool and opportunity to thrive.
Reforming our police department for a safer city.
When those who are most vulnerable to abuses by our criminal justice system tell us that they do not feel safe, we must believe them.
We can only reform the Burlington Police Department through exhaustive transparency, and a truly diverse oversight apparatus. Acknowledging past and ongoing failures is a necessary step, but we must fundamentally change culture of policing in this city. Time and time again, it is BIPOC folks in our community who do not feel safe or protected. That is nothing short of an emergency, and we need to act accordingly.
The BPD should be beholden only to the people of Burlington, and we demand to see our collective values of equity and inclusion reflected in their practices and leadership.