The chair of the University of Vermont Progressives announced Thursday that he would challenge Adam Roof (I-Ward 8) for his Burlington City Council seat next March.
Sophomore Carter Neubieser, 20, declared his candidacy on the steps of UVM's Bailey/Howe library, a backward baseball cap snugged over his shaggy blond hair.
"Our generation has been handed quite the mess," he said, citing high tuition, low wages, climate change and a growing drug epidemic. About 15 students turned out for the announcement, as did Isaac Grimm, the political engagement director of Rights and Democracy, and, briefly, city Councilor Max Tracy (P-Ward 2).
Neubieser, of New Britain, Conn., said that if elected, he would work for increased affordable housing, including co-op housing for students on campus, and improved walking and biking routes across the city.
Neubieser will seek the endorsement of the Progressive Party. He's never served in government, he said, but did volunteer for Bernie Sanders' 2016 presidential campaign.
He jabbed at Roof for supporting Tucows, a private Toronto company, over the co-op Keep BT Local as a buyer for Burlington Telecom.
On Facebook, Roof congratulated Neubieser on the announcement. "I've always believed that competitive elections are healthy for democracy," he wrote. Roof, 28, also attended UVM.
Environmental activist James Ehlers, who has said he will run against Gov. Phil Scott in 2018, introduced Neubieser. "About 20 years ago, we could only dream about having young people involved," Ehlers said of the Progressive Party. "People of my generation, we're here to support you."
Ehlers solicited help from students for his own campaign, saying he would be seeking volunteers — but only after Neubieser's victory on Town Meeting Day.