My name is Joe Magee, I identify as queer and use he & they pronouns. I live on North Champlain Street in the Old North End, and have been a Burlington resident for the past eight years.
I grew up in Vermont and came to Burlington to attend UVM. My lived experiences and those of my family have formed my core beliefs and my commitment to progressive movement building. My grandmother came to America in 1948; and like so many immigrants, she couldn’t go home for nearly two decades. What little money she made was sent back to her family and when my grandfather, who was a Boston firefighter, was killed in the line of duty on June 17, 1972, she was left a widow and a single mother of six. Had it not been for the pension and other city support fought for and won by the firefighters’ union, my grandmother and eight other widows would have been left with no safety net.
So when I talk about economic justice, and the idea that the issues we face, like income inequality, housing or child care, are interconnected, I’m speaking not just from theory, but reality. We will not achieve racial justice, without economic justice, without environmental justice, or without social justice; we must fight for all of them together. Those beliefs are why I’m proud to be a capital P Progressive; they’ve driven my work on both of Sen. Sanders’ presidential campaigns; they’re why I supported Max Tracy’s campaign for mayor; Rep. Mulvaney-Stanak’s campaign for State House; and so many other Progressive campaigns over the years. And, these are the beliefs that will guide my work if I’m fortunate enough to be your next city councilor.
I’m running for city council to be a voice for working families in City Hall. Like many, I’m a renter and have faced the challenges of finding housing and employment that make it possible to stay in Burlington. For too long, the city has responded to the concerns of the wealthy and well-connected, while working people shoulder a burden that gets heavier year after year. Now is the time to reverse that trend… support workers, uplift marginalized communities, and deliver true racial equity. I am committed to challenging the white supremacy that is inherent in our governing structure, and working to ensure that BIPOC folks are involved in every policy making process, from city council, down to our boards and commissions, and our NPAs.