By Michael Bielawski
The first candidate for mayor of Burlington is a state legislator who co-sponsored a bill to allow hormone treatments for minors without parental notice. She also supports safe injection sites for public drug use.
Mulvaney-Stanak serves as a House member for the Chittenden-17 district as a member of the Progressive Party. Before that she had been a Burlington City Council member and chair of the Vermont Progressive Party. She is the current House Progressive Caucus leader. She is also the daughter of controversial Barre diversity committee chair Joellen Mulvaney.
H.659, introduced in January 2022, “proposes to allow a minor who identifies as transgender to consent to receiving hormone blockers and other nonsurgical, gender-affirming care and treatment without requiring parental consent.”
Another part states, “A minor who identifies as transgender may give consent to receive hormone blockers and any other legally authorized nonsurgical, gender-affirming care or treatment from a licensed health care professional working within the health care professional’s authorized scope of practice.”
State GOP Chair Paul Dame issued a press release labled “VTGOP Chairs says Mulvaney-Stanak is among “the worst” choices for Burlington Mayor.” He spoke with VDC on Wednesday morning and he mentioned his concern regarding her support for the gender-affirming care bill.
“It definitely includes hormone therapies that can start in children as young as 8 or 10 years old,” Dame said. “And those treatements are irreversible sterilization and Emma is the kind of unserious person in my opinion who would sign onto a bill like that because it’s the trendy thing to do.”
Dame added that the Queen City needs someone “who is more responsible and thoughtful with what they support and get behind.”
Mulvaney-Stanak on social media has been outspoken against Burlington’s investigation of Tyeastia Green, the city’s first director of Burlington’s Racism, Inclusion, Equity and Belonging (REIB) Department.
The city investigation found large cost overruns during Green’s work on one of the city’s Juneteenth celebrations, similar to cost overrun controversies when she did similar work in Minneapolis. The city, however, did not formally accuse her of any crimes.
Mulvaney-Stanak rejected any notion that Green’s business dealings were suspect and she implied that the city was not supporting black women.
“The #btv Juneteenth audit is deeply concerning because of what it DID NOT analyze: bias, harm, and the Mayor and City’s poor support of Black women leaders. Plus what is happening to our REIB department? This $41K audit was harmful. Now we need accountability. #vtpoli 1/2,” she posted.
She continued with her next post.
“I sent this open letter to @MiroBTV and the full city council. We need to repair the harm and set up well resourced racial equity work in this city with true partnership from the Mayor. Not misplaced investigations focused on the wrong things.”
Dame commented on these posts.
“Once again that’s an example of Emma doing sort of reflexively what the social media trend is, the reality is that there are legitimate concerns in the previous position and so it was worth looking at,” he said.
Another controversial position she has taken involves safe injection sites for using hard drugs that require needles.
“Yes, I would be happy with safe injection sites. It saves lives. We can’t prosecute ourselves out of an opioid crisis. And look at the police budget. The city increased funding for a more comprehensive community safety model by adding skilled mental health professionals,” she wrote.
WCAX reports that according to Mulvaney-Stanak’s campaign speech, her “focus will be public safety, affordability and climate resilience.” Her X profile is here. She posts about once a month.
The author is a reporter for the Vermont Daily Chronicle
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