Press Release: Robert Millar of Winooski Announces Candidacy for Vermont House

Winooski, VT – Robert Millar is excited to announce his candidacy as a Progressive candidate for the Chittenden 6-7 House district, which includes the city of Winooski and part of the city of Burlington.

Robert has lived in Winooski for more than seven years. He served two years on the Winooski School Board (one as Board President), three terms as a Justice of the Peace and member of the Board of Civil Authority, and was elected to the Winooski City Council in 2015. Prior to being elected to the Council he served on the city’s Development Review Board. He has represented Winooski on the Green Mountain Transit (formerly CCTA) Board of Commissioners for the last two years.

Robert’s professional background has primarily been in public relations, office operations, and government reform. He was Office Manager for Senator Bernie Sanders’ successful 2012 reelection campaign; Executive Director of the Vermont Progressive Party from 2013-2014; and currently is Deputy Director of Operations for Senator Sanders’ 2016 Presidential Campaign.

On running, Robert had this to say:

“I’m proud to have called Winooski my home for nearly a decade and to have had the opportunity to be involved in my community in so many ways during that time. It has been amazing to be a part of the recent renaissance in Winooski. As the city continues to grow and thrive, I look forward to remaining involved and I feel one of the best ways I can do that is to run to represent our district in Montpelier.”

A kickoff event for the campaign will be held in mid-June.

Winooski to get hotel on downtown circle

April 2, 2016; Elizabeth Murray; Burlington Free Press

WINOOSKI – In recent years, Winooski has become a destination for restaurants, local breweries and startup businesses — now developers want to add a hotel to the mix.

The City Council has approved a design plan to put a six-story, 97-room hotel in the Winooski’s downtown traffic circle area, and the Winooski Hotel Group LLC will move forward with permits and funding.

The design, approved by a 3-1 vote during the council’s meeting Monday, would place the hotel on a parcel of land at 4 Winooski Falls Way. The Winooski Hotel Group LLC bought the land in 2014 for the purpose of developing a hotel and restaurant, according to city council documents.

Read the whole article >>

Background

A little bit about me:

I’m very proud to have called Winooski my home for more than seven years. In that time, I served two years on the School Board, three terms as a Justice of the Peace and member of the Board of Civil Authority, and last year I was elected to the City Council. Prior to being elected to the Council I was on the city’s Development Review Board and I have represented Winooski on the Green Mountain Transit (formerly CCTA) Board of Commissioners for the last two years.

My career background has primarily been in public relations and office management. I worked as Office Manager for Senator Bernie Sanders’ successful 2012 reelection campaign and was Executive Director of the Vermont Progressive Party from January 2013 to June 2014. In June 2014 I left the Executive Director position to pursue work as an independent consultant, which is what led me eventually to work for Senator Bernie Sanders 2016 Presidential Campaign, where I have been employed since June 2015.

My focus in my career has been a dedication to local government, community development, and empowering people. I am passionate about fighting for economic, social, and racial justice, working to end poverty, and helping people take charge of their political institutions and future. Although my experience of campaigns has primarily been behind the scenes, I can think of no better way to continue to advance these goals at this point in my life than to take the plunge and run for office myself.

Have specific questions about my background? I’d love to hear from you, so please feel free to email me.

Volunteer & Community Experience

Councilor, Winooski City Council
(March 2015 to Present)

● Elected to the Winooski City Council March 2015
● Serve as Administrative Liaison

Winooski Representative, Board of Commissioners, GMT (Formerly CCTA)
(July 2014 to Present)

● Appointed to represent Winooski on the Chittenden County Transportation Authority’s Board
● Serve on the Board’s Finance Committee.
● Served on General Manager Search Committee in 2014.

Justice of the Peace, Member, Winooski Board of Civil Authority
(January 2011 to Present)

● First elected Justice of the Peace Nov 2010.
● Serve on the Board of Civil Authority, which oversees elections.

Member, Winooski Development Review Board
(November 2013 to March 2015)

● Served on the primary decision making body for all potential development in the city.
● Became a full Board Member in April 2014 after serving as an Alternate for five months.

Board Member, Winooski Board of School Trustees
(March 2010 to March 2012)

● Elected to Winooski School Board Mar 2010.
● Served as President (Chair) of the Board from Mar 2011 to Mar 2012.
● Led efforts to shift the Board to a Policy Governance leadership system.
● Worked with administration and fellow Board members to help the district secure a multimillion dollar Nellie Mae School Improvement Grant.

Vermont’s elected Progressives endorse Sanders for president

June 12, 2015; VTD Staff; Vermont Digger

Elected officials of the party that claims Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., as one of its own made it clear Friday that he is their choice for president in 2016.

The Vermont Progressive Party, whose origins date back to Sanders’ surprise victory 34 years ago in the Burlington mayoral race, endorsed Sanders’ bid for the Democratic nomination Friday in a news release.

Fifteen elected officials who ran on the November ballot as Progressives, including State Auditor Doug Hoffer, the only statewide Progressive officeholder, signaled their support for Sanders.

Read the whole article >>

Winooski voters hand Seth Leonard, 32, the mayor’s chair; Weinberger handily beats opponents in Burlington

March 4, 2015; Erin Mansfield; VT Digger

With five mayoral elections across the state Tuesday, four of those seats went to incumbents over age 40. But Winooski voters took a fresh track and promoted 32-year-old Seth Leonard from city councilor to mayor.

Leonard bought a house in Winooski in 2011 and was elected to the city council in 2013. On Tuesday, he defeated Bill Norful, who had been mayor from 1991 to 1999, by a 627-408 vote. Leonard raised just $1,138, according to a Feb. 21 campaign finance report, and spent $972. Incumbent Michael O’Brien did not run for re-election.

The part-time mayor of Winooski serves as the chair of the city council, and Leonard said he will keep his job as the outreach coordinator at the Vermont Housing Finance Agency in Burlington.

Read the whole article >>

Winooski: Leonard wins mayor, F-35 question approved

Mar 3, 2015; Elizabeth Murray; Burlington Free Press

WINOOSKI – Bill Norful shook Seth Leonard’s hand, congratulating the mayor-elect before leaving the Winooski Senior Center with his wife.

Norful, who had served previously as mayor from 1991 until 1999, offered no comment other than to congratulate Leonard on his election to a three-year seat.

Town Meeting Day voting in Winooski resulted in Leonard’s victory, 627-408 votes, the approval of an F-35 lawsuit question and both town and school budgets. In all, 1,065 residents of the 5,496 registered voters in Winooski cast ballots.

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Seth Leonard Wins Winooski Mayoral Race by Big Margin

Mar 3, 2015; Mark Davis; Seven Days

Seth Leonard, a Winooski resident for four years, was elected the city’s mayor today, beating defense attorney Bill Norful 627-408, according to preliminary results.

Leonard, 32, campaigned as a uniter who could bring together Winooski’s diverse groups — young professionals, refugees and families who have called the Onion City home for generations. An Indiana native, Leonard moved to Winooski in 2011. He served on the city council for the past two years, and said he helped to stabilize the city’s finances while in office.

Leonard said he had spent more than 12 hours outside today at the polls today greeting voters.

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Two upsets in legislative primaries

August 27, 2014; Nancy Remsen; Burlington Free Press

A tiny percentage of Vermont voters settled 11 legislative races — one Senate and 10 House contests. These are races in which candidates from the same party were vying for the opportunity to compete again in November.

A newcomer to politics pulled off an upset in the only primary in Chittenden County.

Diana Gonzalez tallied the most votes — 267 — in a three-way contest in Winooski for the Democratic nomination. The district includes a sliver of Burlington.

Read the whole article >>