Madison Alder, District 15
Vote for one
1. What in your professional and community background qualifies you for this elective office? My success as Director of Health Information at Dean/SSM was due to many of the same skills needed for an effective community leader: strong communication, collaboration and teamwork, project management and process improvement, and personal accountability, integrity, and hard work.
In addition, I’ve served on the board of Nuestro Mundo (treasurer), Lapham/Marquette PTO (president), Madison Bikes (president), and Eastmorland Community Association. My time as a commissioner on Madison’s Ped/Bike/Motor Vehicle Commission and Long Range Transportation Planning Committee (3 years) provided me with a deep understanding of city governance, processes, and culture.
2. How would you plan to prepare Madison for predicted consequences of climate change? Cities need to take the lead on climate change by reducing carbon emissions. We can do this by aggressively shifting to renewable energy production (beginning with city-owned buildings and fleet) and by reducing overall energy use in buildings and in the transportation sector (shifting mode share from car trips to transit).
In terms of preparing for the consequences of current and future climate change, we need to focus on reducing our vulnerability to flooding by increasing the flow capacity of the Yahara watershed and through more aggressive stormwater management.
3. Are any changes needed in Madison’s public transit system, especially for people with disabilities? Increasing the capacity of our public transit system is a top priority for the City of Madison. This will happen by increasing bus storage and service capacity (new bus barn), implementing Bus Rapid Transit, and extending service to all Madison neighborhoods.
These broader investments will improve access for all, but some features - like platform-level boarding (BRT) - will be especially meaningful for people with disabilities. Last year’s allocation of funding to install concrete landing pads at all Metro stops is another step to improve ADA accessibility. Improving our sidewalk network is another key to ensuring meaningful access for all.
4. What other important issue faces Madison, and what could the Madison City Council do to address it? Housing is another important issue facing Madison. We should look to support long-term affordability through a number of avenues including: cooperative housing, community land trusts, updated zoning, and permit processes and fees that incentivize ADU construction. The City should also work with existing local organizations to develop zoning and other policy changes that make these developments easier. We should consider new funding streams like a zero-interest revolving loan fund and look closely at how we can maximize the impact of Tax Increment Financing in support of affordable housing creation.
1. What in your professional and community background qualifies you for this elective office? In addition to serving my neighborhood as president, a position I have held since elected on the fall of 2015, I also serve on the board of Olbrich Gardens. I volunteer at my children’s public school(s) in various capacities over the years and engage in community building through workshops aimed at strategies exchanges and collaborations. I have led and participated in events promoting STEM education to students of all ages. I’m an experienced project manager with proven records in managing large, complex research and technology projects with certifications in various continuous improvement methodologies; highly transferable skills.
2. How would you plan to prepare Madison for predicted consequences of climate change? Continued advocacy and focus towards 100% renewable energy resolution that was approved in 2017 and working towards the recommended goals set for 2020, 2023, and 2030. Continued partnership with community leaders in promoting sustainable living – improve the city’s public transportation system, energy saving measures, explore other community driven conservation efforts – modify or create policies to ensure measures are being taken, diversify our urban canopies, and land preservation measures. Strengthening the public/private partnerships by reducing barrier to entry due to costs and in reducing the equity gaps such as solar installation training in increasing opportunities for our workforce.
3. Are any changes needed in Madison’s public transit system, especially for people with disabilities? I’d like to see the city’s public transit system transform into an integrated and comprehensive system that serves all members in our communities. The current system is inequitable due to the limited services during the work week and hours as there are many riders, especially the alternate schedules and service industry workforce. Infrastructure upgrades are needed throughout such as lighting at stops, benches or seating area, shelters to protect from the harsh weathers, and general structural updates to ensure that our riders are safe which are key factors for those with disabilities or limited mobilities.
4. What other important issue faces Madison, and what could the Madison City Council do to address it? Equity, accessibility, affordable housing, and expected growth which are highly complex in nature. As a governing body, the council shall reflect the values, needs, and diversity of the communities through representation. It is pertinent for council members to listen and gain inputs from their respective communities and work collectively to maintain our strong and diverse communities as part of the legislative and oversight function. Our communities are evolving and the council has the opportunity to impact the lives of its residents positively and make our beloved city, the best that it can be for all.
1. What in your professional and community background qualifies you for this elective office? As Alder, I will build on my longstanding dedication to community. I will stand up for the interests of the people in the district, champion equity initiatives, and be a careful steward of tax dollars. Currently, I am on the staff of Community Shares of Wisconsin, supporting work addressing social, economic, environmental issues. I grew up in a small town in southeastern Wisconsin in a union family. I began my career working to elect progressive candidates in local, regional, and statewide elections. I also serve on the boards of OPEN (Out Professional Engagement Network) and my neighborhood association.
2. How would you plan to prepare Madison for predicted consequences of climate change? The flooding in Madison last August was not a surprise. The effects of climate change are real. We must do all we can to combat the consequences and the causes. I will support the proactive steps the City has taken in sustainability and advocate for continued progress and planning in this area. For example, Madison has invested millions of dollars in shoreline restoration and improving stormwater management. The City is using bio-diesel fuel and electric vehicles in the City fleet, has purchased electric buses and is and incorporating solar panels into building projects.
3. Are any changes needed in Madison’s public transit system, especially for people with disabilities? I support the creation of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) which Madison Metro describes as “a high-frequency limited-stop transit system that offers faster more direct service using larger vehicles to increase capacity.” We need to collaborate with the State and County to make BRT a reality. We need to invest in infrastructure to strengthen our current system. Public transportation is also an equity issue: we must make sure routes reach areas that are underserved. Paratransit services have been cut due to changes on the State level. I will work with the disabilities community to explore ways to mitigate those reductions.
4. What other important issue faces Madison, and what could the Madison City Council do to address it? Citywide: continuing to close disparity gaps in opportunity, employment, health care, and the criminal justice system; the creation, siting, and funding of affordable housing; equitable management of the City budget; community-centered public safety. In our District: the reconstruction of Atwood Avenue to include multi-use pedestrian paths; redevelopment projects that focus on providing access to affordable housing and opportunities for economic development; improving road conditions with sensible solutions based on neighborhood feedback; utilizing a community-centered approach to local public safety issues; building on public transportation to provide a sustainable, affordable, and reliable system that can be utilized by all.