Operation Phoenix


We are poised to make a transformation in the City of Burlington that will be the first of its kind.  We must lean into the transformation that we know is right for our community and this nation.   Though we stand at the intersection of pandemics of systemic racism and COVID-19, all is not lost if we have wisdom to see the opportunity that presents itself  in the midst; the courage to seize this moment; and, the commitment and integrity to see it through.  Now is the time for the City of Burlington to lead the nation in transformation to a place where for once all people are afforded equal protection and an opportunity to prosper.  We at the Racial Justice Alliance implore you to transform this city for us and our posterity. We call upon you to RISE!

Operation Phoenix Mission:

Transform the lives of black and brown people by investing in their lives, holding space for their culture, providing them opportunity and ensuring the equity they deserve to thrive.

Restructuring Public Safety
Implementing Cultural Empowerment
Securing Equal Opportunity
Expanding Racial Equity, Belonging and Inclusion



  1. We call upon the Mayor and or the City Council to declare racism a citywide health crisis. 
  2. We further call upon the City Council to resolve that a “task force” be established to consider an apology and a proposal for reparations for the role that Burlington has played in Chattel Slavery.  
  3. We call on Burlington to make a moral statement by prioritizing the  eradication of systemic racism in the creation of the budget.


Restructuring Public Safety
As we are committed to shifting our moral narrative to one that values the lives of all, we must ensure that everyone enjoys safety and protection under the law.  Our current system does not afford that.  It is for this reason that we call for an immediate restructuring of the entire public safety apparatus in the city of Burlington. 

  1. There must be immediate and sustained re-focussing on who, what and where we are policing.
  2. Our civilian oversight of law enforcement must place a priority on the wellness of our peace officers. 
  3. The department must undergo An immediate 30 percent reduction in uniformed officers (release offices that hurt and kill people).
  4. The department transition must be accomplished with maximum community engagement.
  5. The department must undergo a full operational and functional assessment.
  6. A complete realignment implementation must take place upon completion of assessment and analysis.
  7. The City Council must grant the Police Commission the authority to oversee this transition.

Implementing Cultural Empowerment
Our communities-of-color are at the core of our values because this is where we live and interact.  We call on the City to partner with people-of-color led business and community in the implementation of a Cultural Empowerment Community Collective.  Located central to those it serves, the CECC will serve as a bastion of hope, purpose and vision for the disempowered communities. 

  1. Community Center
  2. Youth Activities Center
  3. Education/Training and Arts Centers of Excellence
  4. Economic Development Community Partnership
    a) Adult Basic Education
    b) Basic Computer Skills
    c) People Development
    d) STEM Development
    e) Entrepreneurial Cultivation Programs
    f) Technical Assistance Grant Fund

Securing Equal Opportunity
Our values also inform us that everyone should be afforded an opportunity to prosper.  This is currently not the case.  The city must immediately establish an Office of Equal Opportunity (EO),

  1. Staffed with an EO Officer with corresponding responsibilities for complaint management
  2. Assigned oversight of a newly formed Minority Owned Business City Procurement Program
  3. Assigned oversight of a newly formed and targeted Economic Empowerment Program
    a) Capital Access Program (grants and loans)
    b) Business-to-Business Incentive Mentorship Program
    c) Technical Assistance Program for disempowered communities and businesses

Expanding Racial Equity, Inclusion and Belonging
We urge you to fund the Racial Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (REIB) function to enable full operational capacity.  

  1. Capacity must include for data and policy analysis, training and outreach
  2. Funding must be made available for a full baseline equity assessment. 
  3. Full commitment must  be made to ensure the implementation of the backend infrastructure required to support the requisite data collection, aggregation and correlation that will be required to support the  data-driven outcomes

Comments are closed.