Joan Shannon – South District Candidate

Joan Shannon


I live in Lakeside with my husband, Ken Grillo, my daughter, Julia, and two rescue dogs. I am so grateful to live in Burlington and enjoy walking and biking to many local events, and frequently, meetings. Thank you for electing me to the City Council for 8 terms. It has been the great privilege of my life and I would like to continue!

My passion for Burlington began the first day I moved here in 1985. At the time, I was a student at Franklin and Marshall College in Pennsylvania pursuing a degree in Government. My sister was already here in Burlington, and she set me up with a summer sublet so I could teach sailing for the summer. But within a matter of weeks it was clear to me that I never wanted to leave and it was my mission to figure out how to stay in this community and make a living. I loved the people I met here and appreciated the positive attitude, “can do” spirit, the tolerance for differences, and the communal gratitude and pride for Burlington.

I am committed to making sure people who work full time can afford basic necessities, protecting quality of life in our neighborhoods, fostering the arts, protecting the environment, historic preservation of Memorial Auditorium, providing a strong public safety net, assuring all of our residents feel welcome and included, helping our most vulnerable including people without homes, those with substance use disorder, people struggling with mental illness, and resolving neighborhood concerns by bringing everyone to the table. Doing this requires that we keep the City on firm financial footing to free up funds to support our social values.

But all of the above is easy to say and much harder to do. Some of the work that I do happens at the Council table through Resolutions and Ordinances such as:

  • Establishing the South End Arts District
  • Shepherding smoking bans including most recently a smoking ban on Church Street and in our Parks.
  • Sponsoring the Resolution that created our community vision PlanBTV
  • Leading the process to resolve the Burlington Telecom crisis
  • Initiating plastics reduction practices in Burlington.
  • Supporting infrastructure bonds to make sure we are not polluting Lake Champlain
  • Supporting fiscal stability initiatives.
  • Initiated Zoning changes that allowed the Women’s Rape Crisis Center (now Hope Works) to open a new location.
  • Proposed Zoning changes that allowed for the current redevelopment of the Soda Plant, ArtsRiot, City Market, and other arts and business investments along the Pine St. corridor.
  • Working with CEDO and other City Staff on saving and renovating Memorial Auditorium

Much of the work also happens right in your neighborhood:

  • Convening neighbors, City Market leadership, City staff to mitigate negative impacts and assure City Market South End moved forward.
  • Following up with landlords who are in violation of City Ordinances.
  • Working with neighborhoods to minimize negative impacts of City street projects.
  • Working with a group of engineers in a neighborhood who wanted to address drainage problems during street repaving.
  • Seeking input from constituents before making decisions on controversial subjects.
  • Making sure I am well informed and decisions are based on facts, public input, and never on partisan politics.

I look forward to the debate ahead as we head to Town Meeting day on March 5. Please call me or email me with any questions or concerns. My email is [email protected]. My cell phone is 802-324-3300. I look forward to talking with you as I go door knocking in the next 8 weeks.