Somehow, a failed Minneapolis Black History Expo is an issue in a Vermont mayoral race?

All politics are global. Our story so far: Twin Cities’ native Tyeastia Green worked for a spell as the City of Burlington, VT’s Director of Racial Equity, Inclusion and Belonging.

While there, she produced the city’s 2021 Juneteenth celebration. Hired away in March 2022 by the City of Minneapolis for an identical position, Green worked at producing the first-ever Minneapolis Black History Month Expo at the downtown convention center.

That event failed spectacularly in late February 2023, generating national headlines, and prompting Green’s exit from the Minneapolis position she held for just a year.

The lightly-attended Expo ending up costing Minneapolis around $500,000 to produce, and generated a new cottage industry in investigations and official reports. The most recent report on the fiasco was issued in June by a prestigious accounting firm hired by the city.

The publicity around the failed Minneapolis event prompted the City of Burlington to re-examine Green’s tenure there. Burlington’s report was issued back in August.

The unflattering report caused Green to accuse the Burlington mayor of “white supremacy.” Burlington’s CBS outlet, WCAX, quoted Green back in August,

“White supremacy does not mean that you have a hood and a robe in your closet. That’s not what that means. It means that you’re going to do everything that you can to make sure that whiteness is the standard. And that’s exactly what [Mayor] Miro [Weinberger] does. He makes sure that whiteness is the standard, look at his leadership team,” Green said.

For unrelated reasons, Weinberger has decided to not seek a fifth three-year term as mayor and will be stepping down next year. His departure has opened the field for new candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for mayor.

The latest candidate to announce cites the Green affair as one of the reasons behind her run. Local activist C D Mattison announced her candidacy last week, becoming the fourth to join the Democratic race. Mattison is quoted as saying,

Mattison told Seven Days last year that Weinberger divided the city by pushing a narrative that Burlington is less safe with fewer cops. And she said he mistreated Tyeastia Green, the city’s first and former racial equity director, who left the city after reportedly not feeling supported in her role.

Burlington’s election will be held on the quaintly named Town Meeting Day, next March 5.