Madison Alder, District 12

Two-year term
Vote for one

(Find your district here)

Candidates:

District 12
James Stansfield
[candidacy withdrawn]
Lydia S. Maurer
Syed Abbas
Mark-Anthony Whitaker
Diane Farsetta


James Stansfield

Madison, WI 53704

[James Stansfield withdrew his candidacy on 1/7/2019.]


Lydia S. Maurer

Madison, WI 53704

[NO REPLY]


SyedAbbas.jpg

Syed Abbas

Madison, WI 53704
syedfordistrict12@gmail.com
www.syedfordistrict12.com
Facebook: Syed for District 12

Watch the Know Your Candidates interview with Syed Abbas.

1. What in your professional and community background qualifies you for this elective office? Over the past three years I have volunteered on several committees and actively advocated for the community. I have served as Co-Chair of the Eken Park Neighborhood Association, Vice Chair of the Public Safety Review Committee, member of the Oscar Mayer Strategic Assessment Committee, and the Task Force on Equity in Music and Entertainment. I have also worked at the United Nations. With all these experiences, I have been able to work with diverse group of people who might have different backgrounds, different priorities, or different opinions. I also work as an energy efficiency project manager for an independent nonprofit.

2. How would you plan to prepare Madison for predicted consequences of climate change? We see severe flooding in Dane County and dangerously cold weather across Wisconsin. I will work with county and city services to improve infrastructure and create policies to fight climate change. Collectively, cars and trucks account for nearly one-fifth of all US emissions, emitting around 24lbs of CO2 for every gallon of gas. I pledge to work with Metro Services to improve public transportation, so people ditch their cars, reducing CO2 emissions. In my job, I tackle problems related to renewable energy. I will bring smart and renewable solutions to the district’s energy concerns by focusing on green energy.

3. Are any changes needed in Madison’s public transit system, especially for people with disabilities? In District 12, our bike system is broken and there are many dead ends. There are not enough pedestrian signals that are audible to individuals with visual disabilities. Similarly, our Metro system is outdated, causing trouble and strain on the people who use our transportation system as well as the services that rely on them. With the recent focus on the Oscar Mayer development plans, we have an opportunity to create recommendations to improve connections for people who work and live in District 12 to safely reach all parts of the city with an effective and environmentally conscious transportation system.

4. What other important issue faces Madison, and what could the Madison City Council do to address it? We need to find housing for everyone. The shortage of affordable apartments has driven rent in the city to rates that are unaffordable. Currently, there is not sufficient housing for middle class and lower income people in our city.

Public safety is another big concern for me. Safety concerns such as the opioid crisis and increasing gun violence are damaging the social fiber of our society. People are not feeling safe in their own neighborhoods and we need to work with community members, city policy makers, and local law enforcement to create a mechanism that will help everyone feel safe in their community.


Mark-Anthony Whitaker

Madison, WI 53704
anthonyforalder@gmail.com
Facebook: Anthony for Alder
Twitter: @AnthonyforAlder

Watch the Know Your Candidates interview with Mark-Anthony Whitaker.

1. What in your professional and community background qualifies you for this elective office? I’m running for Alder because I believe we need new, fresh voices to our city council and to help shape the future of all our communities and all our families. As a Veteran, I understand that we can never leave a person behind. That’s why I believe we must work together to find solutions to tough problems and implement those solutions. On the Common Council, I will be an advocate for our district and our neighbors; I will demand transparency, accountability and results.

2. How would you plan to prepare Madison for predicted consequences of climate change? Renewable energy and green design are not currently a priority for Madison. The City’s Climate Protection Plan has not been updated since 2002. The Green Capital City Status Plan has not been updated since 2004. I will commit to develop annual reporting requirements for the city and for each department to measure progress in implementing the Sustainable City Program and preparing Madison for the coming changes in the climate.

3. Are any changes needed in Madison’s public transit system, especially for people with disabilities? Madison should expand access to public transit and invest in regional public transit. We have seen in the past what can happen when state and federal funding levels decrease. By working within the county and across the Madison region, we can expand access to more people by sharing the cost burden between our neighbors. We can improve access, frequency, and routes by building regional transit. This will allow us to create both a rapid transit system and more interconnected neighborhoods.

4. What other important issue faces Madison, and what could the Madison City Council do to address it? Madison continues to struggle to contain the opioid crisis that has consumed the community. While we are currently taking some steps to combat the issue, we lack adequate community health centers (and adequate funding for community health programs), to properly combat the problem. The Council should advocate for low-cost neighborhood health centers and increase our focus and funding on mental health, substance abuse, and addiction counseling. These neighborhood health centers could provide health and dental care services to residents, as well as reducing rates of STDs and emergency room visits.


Diane Farsetta

Madison, WI 53704
dianefor12@gmail.com
dianefor12.org
Facebook: Diane Farsetta for District 12 Alder
Twitter: @Dianefor12

Watch the Know Your Candidates interview with Diane Farsetta.

1. What in your professional and community background qualifies you for this elective office? My experience includes decades of grassroots activism, policy work and community engagement. At the UW-Madison School of Nursing, I build campus-community collaborations to support older adult health. I’ve been an officer or council member of the Emerson East Neighborhood Association since 2007. I volunteer with the Occupy Madison Tiny Homes Village and Madison’s East Timor solidarity group, serving multiple terms on the city’s Sister City Collaboration Committee. I’m a graduate of the Wisconsin Women’s Policy Institute. As past director of the Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice, I worked with member groups to advance their priorities at the state level.

2. How would you plan to prepare Madison for predicted consequences of climate change? Climate change is already impacting Madison, as last summer’s flooding made clear. However, some areas of District 12 have experienced flooding for the past decade. Stormwater management is key. In addition to lowering lake levels, we must increase the gradual infiltration of surface water following heavy rains, through landscape design and reductions in impermeable surfaces. Last year, Madison committed to financing community-scale solar projects, to achieve renewable energy goals. We can further reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by strengthening transportation alternatives and local food systems. The Oscar Mayer redevelopment and Public Market provide exciting opportunities for both.

3. Are any changes needed in Madison’s public transit system, especially for people with disabilities? As Madison grows, our roads and some bus routes are increasingly stressed. Public transit must be accessible and convenient across the city. Bus rapid transit would improve local and regional transportation options. All Madison Metro buses but only two-thirds of bus stops meet Americans with Disability Act (ADA) standards. The city must prioritize making bus stops ADA compliant. Madison Metro should be commended for working with local groups to provide dementia-friendly training to bus drivers. The city must ensure that paratransit services meet resident needs, following the shift from directly operated to contract provided services, due to state Medicaid changes.

4. What other important issue faces Madison, and what could the Madison City Council do to address it? Several key issues facing Madison relate to community health, safety and equity. We should expand work with nonprofit partners to provide services in challenged areas, strengthen public health responses to drug abuse and build neighborhood capacity. Following careful study and wide debate, the City Council will soon review strong recommendations to improve police policies and practices and to address racial disparities. These include strengthening officer training around de-escalation, trauma-informed practices and mental health crises; responding to non-criminal crises with mediation, care and services; and enhancing civilian oversight through an independent auditor’s office and civilian review body.