|Bernie Sanders at a Los Angeles rally|
A Facebook post by one of Blogger's friends inspired today's post on Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont). Said friend bemoaned the current presidential nominee choices. Speaking of which, just a reminder that Governor John Kasich (R-Ohio) is in the Candidate Forum tomorrow. This led yours truly to quote House of Cards's Frank Underwood, "we get the leaders we deserve." It made Blogger wonder about Senator Sanders. Specifically, what were the circumstances that brought the Gentleman from Vermont to the forefront of the national conscious? Richard Florida explains in his CityLab article, "How Burlington's Creative Class Explains Bernie Sanders," that it was city's long held values of education, innovation, and tolerance that helped propel Sen. Sanders to the national stage.
|Map of Scandinavia|
Burlington, Vermont is the state's largest city and an important university hub. It is also where Sen. Sanders served as mayor from 1981-1989. The city is home to the University of Vermont and private schools Burlington College and Champlain. As a metropolitan, Burlington, despite its small population, is a talent attraction. An article published in August 2015 in the New York Times declared that like the Senator, Burlington
...has long embodied the earthy progressivism and can-do independence that define the state's spirit.
Mr. Florida points out, "In fact, the city was the first in the U.S. to fund a community land trust and run entirely on renewable energy."
|Richardson Building (1895)|
The number of creative workers living in Burlington exceeds the national average in professions such as: architecture and engineering; arts, design, entertainment, sports and media; business and finances; computers and mathematics; education; and healthcare. Burlington also seems to have a more sporty population, ranked 8th in the number of people that walk to work and 334th in the number people that share rides or drive to work alone.
|Burlington, Vermont downtown|
However, despite Sen. Sanders's affections for Scandinavia, the indicators of widespread property of his home town is less inclusive than Denmark, Sweden, and Finland. To quantify this disparity, Burlington's income inequality (based on the Gini coefficient) competes with the U.S. as a whole (about .45), "...it is substantially worse than in Sweden, Denmark, and Finland (with Gini coefficients of around .25 to .30) making these countries far more equal places to live."
|Ben & Jerry's in Burlington, Vermont|