Antioch alum wins Vermont council seat

Perri Freeman, a 2015 graduate of Antioch College , was elected this week to the Burlington, Vt., City Council as a Progressive candidate, defeating a longtime incumbent who ran as an Independent.

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Freeman said after winning the election that she engaged in a grassroots organizing and ran on a platform that included addressing climate change at the city level and affordable housing.

On her campaign website, she states that she “began organizing around community and environmental issues in 2013 while studying history at Antioch College.”

In the election held Tuesday, March 5, Freeman defeated Independent incumbent Jane Knodell 54 to 37 percent, while Democrat Jared Carter earned 8 percent of the vote.

Freeman received a Horace Mann Fellowship from Antioch, a competitive fellowship that guaranteed free tuition for her four-year degree, and graduated with a bachelor’s in history.

One of 35 students who entered Antioch College in 2011, Freeman was selected from among 3,000 applicants looking for admission to the institution.

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During her time at Antioch College, her Cooperative Education Program placements included an organic farm in the US and a community center for street children in San Cristóbal de las Casas in Chiapas, Mexico.

Freeman also worked as an administrative assistant at Yellow Springs Home Inc. and an academic tutor for Yellow Springs Public Schools, where she helped lead a new literacy program for at-risk students and instructed an introductory Spanish course for middle school students.

Chair of the Writing Program and Assistant Professor of Writing and Digital Literacy Brooke Bryan served as Freeman’s Co-op advisor.

“Perri’s approach to local politics is entirely Antiochian in spirit — a commitment to social change and a willingness to work on big issues in small places, achieved through a boots-on-the-ground sense of inquiry and collaboration,” Bryan said.

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