Mayor&Rsquo;S Office

Mayor Emma Mulvaney-Stanak Convenes Community Safety Advisors


May 28, 2024 

Mayor Emma Mulvaney-Stanak Convenes Community Safety Advisors 

In the coming weeks, the group will be tasked with providing input and recommendations to strengthen the City’s approach to Community Safety.  


Burlington, Vt – On Tuesday, May 21, Mayor Emma Mulvaney-Stanak convened a group of advisors with lived and professional community safety experience. This team of advisors will provide input on the City’s current approach to community safety and offer expertise and recommendations for immediate and long-term improvement. The team will play an advisory role to the Mayor and City staff responsible for implementing community safety systems, who will retain final decision-making power. The goal of this work is to ensure that our approach to community safety reflects the needs, values, and priorities of the City and its residents. 


Mayor Mulvaney-Stanak offered the following in a statement:  


“Improving Community Safety is a top priority for my administration. We will work to break down silos to create a comprehensive system built on collaboration to efficiently and effectively serve Burlington residents.  

“This team of Community Safety Advisors will work together in the coming weeks to share their perspectives and provide recommendations to support the City’s ongoing efforts to improve safety in Burlington.  

“I’m deeply grateful for the twenty-three community leaders who have stepped forward to support the City in this way. I am confident that through their collective thinking and collaboration with City staff, we will make meaningful progress.”  


The Mayor’s Team of Community Safety Advisors Includes:  


Al Gobeille – Gobeille brings experience as a long-time Burlington business owner and the former Secretary of the Vermont Agency of Human Services. Gobeille is representing the Burlington Business Association. 


Ali Dieng – Dieng is a community builder and a former Burlington City Councilor.  


Brent Demers – Demers works at City Market Downtown and is member of the Co-op's safety team. 


Drukhshan Farhad – Farhad is a Program Officer with the Vermont Afghan Alliance. 


Elissa Johnk – Reverend Johnk is a Burlington Faith Leader currently serving as Senior Minister at the United Congregational Church.  


Ingrid Jonas – Major Jonas (ret.) was the first commander of the Office of Fair and Impartial Policing and Community Affairs for the Vermont State Police. Jonas was the first woman to reach the rank of commander within the VSP.  


Jeff McKee – McKee is the CEO of Community Health Centers of Burlington. 


Jess Kirby – Kirby brings years of professional experience in harm reduction, currently working as the Client Services Director at Vermonters for Criminal Justice Reform. 


Jill Martin Diaz – Martin Diaz is a practicing attorney and the Executive Director of the Vermont Asylum Assistance Project. 


Kathrynn Titus – Titus is the Operations Director for Cathedral Square.  


Kathy Fox – Professor Fox has years of experience as an educator and researcher focused on criminal justice reform. Fox recently retired from the University of Vermont where she co-created the Justice Research Initiative. 


Melo Grant – Councilor Grant represents Burlington’s Downtown and Old North End. Grant formerly served as Burlington Police Commissioner and as a member of the special committee to review policing policies.  


Michael Monte – Monte is the CEO of Champlain Housing Trust, and a former Director of Burlington Community and Economic Development Office.  


Mikey Van Gulden – Van Gulden is the owner of Chocolate Thunder Security.  


Nathan Virag – Virag is an immigration attorney at the Association for Africans Living in Vermont (AALV). 


Paul Decelles – Decelles is a former Burlington City Councilor and currently works with the Howard Center Street Outreach Team.  


Peter Hiskes – Hiskes is the Senior Director of Retail Sales at Outdoor Gear Exchange. 


Selene Colburn – Colburn is a former Vermont State Representative, and currently serves as the Co-Director of the Vermont Council on Domestic Violence. 


Shabnam Nolan – Nolan is the Executive Director of the King Street Youth Center. 


Steve Murray – Murray is the Executive Director of Burlington Housing Authority. 


Dr. Tess Morrison – Dr. Morrison is a resident at the University of Vermont Medical Center and a member of CIR/SEIU, a national labor union representing Interns and Residents. 


Tim Doherty – Doherty represents Burlington’s East District and brings experience as a former Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Vermont.  


Victor Prussack – Prussack is the Engagement Director for the Burlington School District.  


The team of Community Safety Advisors will also include two Burlington High School students. 



Press Release Date: 
City Department: 
Mayor's Office