Updated as of June 28, 2021 at 5:44 p.m. to include information from Ian Baltutis.
BURLINGTON — City of Burlington Mayor Ian Baltutis will run for reelection this November. The Elon alumnus was first elected at age 30 in 2015, becoming the city of Burlington’s youngest mayor. He has served three terms as mayor.
“I got into politics with a very roll up your sleeves and get the work done attitude,” Baltutis said. “My focus has been on looking around our communities for the opportunities and then helping our community embrace these opportunities and make things happen.”
Baltutis said he decided to run again to continue work on key priorities he has held since his first run for mayor in 2013, including transportation, job equality, economic prosperity and affordable housing.
“There's still work that we need to do in the community,” Baltutis said. “Affordable housing in particular is one that we're trying to stay ahead of a crisis.”
While serving as mayor, Baltutis helped expand the growth of downtown Burlington by launching Link Transit, a public transportation system, and establishing additional bikeways and greenways. He also helped lead the revitalization of historic mills at the Lofts at May Hosiery.
In 2013, Baltutis focused on face-to-face campaigning during his first bid for mayor, and he plans to do so again this year. Baltutis said his campaigns have always been focused on building relationships and engagement, and now will be an “even more critical time” to be in person.
“In addition to our normal work of getting out in the community and asking people what they want, what do they love about their community, I think we’re also doing a tremendous amount of just general communicating and connecting with people,” Baltutis said. “We may be some of the first people to show up at their door and interact with them from the city.”
Baltutis graduated from Elon in 2008. Currently, he manages global operations for The Vibrant Solution LLC, a product design and manufacturing company he founded during his time at Elon. He also helped found Burlington Beer Works and owns Persnickety Books.
Baltutis is campaigning alongside Dejuana Bigelow, who also announced her campaign for Burlington City Council. If elected, Bigelow will be the first African American woman to serve on Burlington City Council. Baltutis said the lack of diversity and representation on the city council is a theme he has talked about throughout his tenure as mayor.
According to the United States Census Bureau, 27.9% of the population of the city of Burlington is Black or African American, 3.3% of the population is Asian, 19.9% of the population is Hispanic and 56.2% of the population is white. The Burlington City Council has four white members, three of which are men and one of which is a woman.
“Geographically our council doesn’t mirror the community, diversity wise we don’t mirror the community,” Baltutis said. “I have been working diligently to try to encourage new candidates to step up and run so that they can bring their perspective and their experienced life lessons to our city council and improve the depth of conversations that we have.”