Attend a Local Government Meeting in Late January/Early February
Our league suggests that members attend a local governmental meeting of their choice during late January/early February, and then discuss what they learned at their February unit meetings.
By attending or viewing local governmental meetings we learn a lot about how our elected officials and committee members think, and about how our local governments operate. We learn about hot issues.
Also, it is important that local governmental committees understand that the public is watching. Agenda materials should be available on-line ahead of time for interested members of the public. Copies should be available at the meetings for observers. Committee members should speak clearly enough to be heard by observers.
We suggest that league members attend as interested citizens, not as official representatives of the league. Official league observers are not authorized to speak to committee members about an issue without prior approval from the League President or Executive Committee. However, interested citizens can talk to committee members during breaks or after the meeting and can present their point of view during public comment periods of the meeting. Anyone who wants to be free to comment should not wear a league button or identify himself or herself as a league member.
Here are some options for meetings:
Local School Board
Check with your local school district. Each has a website.
For residents of the Madison Metropolitan School District, the School Board will meet at 6 p.m. on Monday, January 30, in McDaniels Auditorium at the Doyle Administration Building at 545 W. Dayton St. (ample parking available in back of bldg.)
Attending: Barbara Arnold, Carol Carstensen
Check your local city, village, or town website for meeting information.
For City of Madison residents, some options are listed below. The closest parking ramp to the City-County Building is Government East, 215 E. Pinckney St. On-street parking is free after 6 p.m.
Pedestrian/Bicycle/Motor Vehicle Commission: Tuesday, January 24, 5 p.m., City Council Chambers, City-County Building, 210 MLK Blvd.
Attending: Edith Sullivan, Caryl Terrell
Housing Strategy Committee: Thursday, January 26, 4 p.m., 30 W Mifflin St, Room 1002.
Attending: Gail Bliss, Cara Lee Mahany Braithwait
Madison Police Policy and Procedure Review Ad Hoc Committee: Thursday, February 2, 5:30 p.m., Urban League, 2222 S. Park St. The large parking lot is free.
Attending: Mary Anglim
Madison Common Council: Tuesday, January 17 and February 7, 6:30 p.m., City Council Chambers, City-County Building, 210 MLK Blvd.
Attending: Marian Matthews on January 17; Mary Anglim on February 7
Board of Park Commissioners: Wednesday, February 8, 6:30 p.m., Olbrich Botanical Gardens
Attending: Mary Bean
Early Childhood Care and Education Committee: Thursday, February 9, 8 a.m., Madison Senior Center, 330 W. Mifflin St. The parking ramp is adjacent.
Board of Estimates (powerful finance committee): Monday, February 13, 4:30 p.m., Room 354, City-County Building, 210 MLK Blvd.
Attending: Karen Gunderson
Public Safety Review Committee: Tuesday, February 14, 5 p.m., Central Library. The committee is scheduled to take up the mayor's proposal to ban sleeping on downtown public sidewalks between 7 am and 10 pm A similar ordinance was introduced last summer or fall but met a lot of resistance.
Attending: Mary Anglim is a member of this committee
Dane County Board
Environmental, Agriculture, and Natural Resources Committee (joint meeting with Land Conservation Committee and Lakes and Watershed Commission): Thursday, January 19 (Room A/B) and February 2 (Room 121), 6 p.m., Lyman Anderson Center, 5201 Fen Oak Dr., Madison
Attending: Caryl Terrell on January 19 (More information about this meeting).
Health and Human Needs Committee: Wednesday, January 25 and February 8, 5:30 p.m., Room 354, City-County Building, 210 MLK Blvd.
Attending: Katie Mulligan
City-County Homeless Issues Committee: Monday, February 6, 6:30 p.m., Room 357, City-County Building, 210 MLK Blvd.
Attending: Cara Lee Mahany Braithwait
Lakes and Watershed Commission: Thursday, February 9, 5 p.m., Room 354, City-County Building, 210 MLK Blvd.
Viewing in your home
Madison City Channel covers the County Board (which generally ratifies recommendations of committees, where the substantive discussion occurs), Madison Common Council, and some other meetings. You can watch on your TV or your computer. Find the broadcast schedule and streaming links here:
Sun Prairie: KSUN covers some and other community events: http://www.sunprairiemediacenter.com
Your local community may have some similar option for viewing a meeting without braving snow and ice.