Bernie's Burlington: The Spark That Spread Around the Country Bernie Sanders shocked the political establishment when he won an election in 1981 by just 10 votes to become mayor of Burlington, Vermont. As mayor, he ...
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Sanders was elected mayor of Burlington by just 10 votes in 1981, defeating a five-term establishment incumbent, and would go on to lead the city for eight years. The video, which is narrated by local elected leaders and constituents involved in his mayorship, illustrates Sanders' radical leadership to take on corporate power and establishment politicians and create a bold, progressive agenda.
As mayor, Bernie fought off real estate developers to revitalize the lakefront for public use, established various community and economic development programs, including Burlington's Community and Economic Development Office (CEDO). Under Sanders, Burlington became the first city in the country to fund community-trust housing, helping to preserve affordable housing for low-income residents in Northgate. During the same period, unemployment was historically low, support for small business and community health centers was expanded, and voter turnout doubled.
The ad closes with a refrain from Sanders from over 30 years ago: "I don't think this revolution is going to happen overnight but I do think it's important that in Burlington, Vermont, and in cities and towns all over this country, workers and people who are interested in true democracy begin talking about these ideas. And maybe in Burlington, Vermont, we will strike a little bit of a spark that might spread around the country."
Watch the full video HERE.