The Trusted Community Voices Program

The Trusted Community Voices Program 




The Trusted Community Voices (TCV) program was launched in April 2020 by the City of Burlington/CEDO. Led by CEDO's Community Engagement, Neighborhoods and Workforce Development Team,  the TCV program seeks to enhance community engagement efforts, build trust, and foster dialogue between Burlington’s immigrant and refugee communities and local government.  

Program History

The Trusted Community Voices program builds on years of CEDO's community engagement programming and other similar successful initiatives in the City of Burlington, such as Burlington Parks, Recreation, and Waterfront's Nutrition Program Outreach. In Burlington's 2019 Equity Report, the City endorsed a model of establishing trusted advisors within its workforce structures. This implied hiring established members of Burlington's immigrant and refugee communities to help strengthen relationships with City departments, including advising on program design and outreach.

CEDO initially identified five Trusted Community Voices from key demographic groups in Burlington. This initially included: Nepali, Somali, Swahili, Congolese and Karen communities. The program has since expanded and adapted to seven TCV part-time city staff members and also now serve the Burundi, Vietnamese and Arabic communities. 

What Are We Working On? 

Over the past two years, throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic, the Trusted Community Voices shared crucial public health and safety information with their respective communities. Specifically, during the height of the pandemic, the TCV were instrumental in distributing more than 1,000 adult and children's face masks, sharing covid testing information, and delivering flyers to ethnic businesses and community members. Additionally, Trusted Community Voices provided direct support to community members facing technology and other barriers in obtaining COVID-19 tests and vaccines. Critical input was also provided to CEDO on the design and implementation of programs supported by COVID-19 federal funds.

The TCV team engages their respective constituent groups in numerous ways, including What's App, Facebook, Messenger, text, phone, community/religious spaces, radio, and TV broadcasts. 

With a view to capacity building and strengthening the work of the TCV team, a series of presentations have been offered over the last five months on various topics. Between the months of April 2o21 to December 2021, the TCV team engaged with an estimated 2,800 persons. 


The Trusted Community Voices have had presentations on the following topics: 

- Burlington Fire Department - May 2023

- Burlington Electric Department - May 2023

- Sailing Center Diversity Access - April 2023

- All Legal Resident Voting - February 2023

- Department of Permitting & Inspections - January 2023

- Champlaing Housing Trust - December 2022

- Early Learning Initiative - November 2022

- CVOEO: Tenant's Rights - October 2022

- City of Burlington Charter Change Committee: All Legal Resident Voting - August 2022

- American Red Cross: Safety and Emergency Preparedness - May 2022

- Burlington Electric Department: Climate Change and Burlington's Net Zero 2030 Energy Goal - May 2022

UVM Medical Center: COVID-19 Vaccines, Testing and Travel Information - April 2022

- Champlain Housing Trust: Affordable Housing - March 2022


Get in Touch!

For inquiries on the Trusted Community Voices program, please email CEDOFD@burlingtonvt.gov or call 802-865-7144.