Quality-of-Life Issues and the Sanders Administration
During his tenure as mayor of Burlington, Bernard Sanders left an indelible mark on the city's quality of life. From art to youth to baseball, Sanders took initiatives that have changed the atmosphere in Burlington.
In this chapter, we will explore the mayor's initiatives in several diverse areas. By examining the work of the Mayor's Council on the Arts, the Mayor's Youth Office, the Burlington Women's Council (formerly known as the Mayor's Council on Women), and the Mayor's Task Force on the Elderly, as well as the administration's track record on the issue of gay and lesbian rights, we will have an opportunity to see how Sanders fared on quality-of-life issues. We will conclude this chapter by taking a brief glance at one of Sanders's more passionate concerns--the bringing of a minor league baseball team to Burlington.
Sanders has played a pivotal role in supporting the arts in Burlington. He set up a task force on the arts soon after he was elected mayor in 1981, which was to inform him about the arts situation in Burlington. According to Doreen Kraft, 1 executive director of the Mayor's Council on the Arts from 1981 to 1985, Sanders reportedly said after seeing their report:
Yes, there's a lack of access for artists in the community, there's no performance space, there are beautiful outdoor spaces that are never used, there [is] Battery Park that [is] [a] park of great beauty