Madison Alder, Districts 11-15
Vote for one
District 11 (click to jump to this district)
Arvina Martin, Incumbent
District 12 (click to jump to this district)
District 13 (click to jump to this district)
District 14 (click to jump to this district)
Sheri Carter, Incumbent
District 15 (click to jump to this district)
1. What in your professional and community background qualifies you for this elective office? As a lifelong Madisonian, I’ve dedicated my career to improving my community, and empowering others to take active roles in doing the same. As the Ho-Chunk Nation Legislative Chief Communications Officer, I worked to get information to tribal members, employees and other stakeholders. While at the Department of Transportation, I coordinated with state, federal, and tribal agencies and organizations to improve road conditions on tribal land, as well as to provide job training and opportunities in the road construction industry. I have been able to work with disparate groups, to collaborate and come up with, and implement solutions.
2. How would you plan to prepare Madison for predicted consequences of climate change? We need to take a serious look at our infrastructure, and how it will manage future major weather events. After the August 20 rains, I worked with the Engineering Department to add funding to the budget so that we can improve the system’s capacity in case of further, similar storms. We need to take the time to study what our infrastructure can handle, and use that evidence to improve what we have. I would also work with the city’s Sustainability Program Coordinator to see how we can improve energy efficiency in both public and private spaces in Madison.
3. Are any changes needed in Madison’s public transit system, especially for people with disabilities? We have started the East-West Bus Rapid Transit Planning Study, which will provide us with the information we need to make our transit system accessible to all. The funding previously used for paratransit service in Madison has now gone to Managed Care Organizations. When that funding went to the county, we were able to work together to exceed the Americans with Disabilities requirements, and provide curb-to-curb transportation for those who need it. I would like to see us return to this model, to make it possible for many differently-abled Madisonians to access employment, and their own independence.
4. What other important issue faces Madison, and what could the Madison City Council do to address it? We need to continue to address racial disparities throughout Madison. This includes working through different levels of engagement and intervention so that all our residents have the same practical access to information and services. We know that climate change affects communities of color at far higher rate. Because of this, we must work with our counterparts at the county and state levels in order to address disparities in health, food access, housing, law, and social service outcomes. The problems that exacerbate these disparities are complex, and more collaboration will help us identify them as well as work to solve them.
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.
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.
1. What in your professional and community background qualifies you for this elective office? I started my own business promoting concerts in the early 1990’s. In the years since, I’ve organized over 2500 events in Madison, working with artists of all sorts and programming for diverse audiences. My business helped build community in Madison and raised tens of thousands of dollars for local non-profits. I have experience navigating big egos, learning from others and finding common ground. Having spent the last 25 years bringing people together around music, I’m running for city council to bring people together around the ideas that will make Madison a place where everyone can thrive.
2. How would you plan to prepare Madison for predicted consequences of climate change? Climate change is a planetary crisis, a crisis that knows no boundaries. In the short term, facing the probability of more catastrophic flooding, we must work with other jurisdictions in the Yahara watershed to mitigate disasters before they happen. Lake level management and down-river waterflow require a better, more effective city-county relationship. In the long term, to accelerate our transition to 100% renewable energy and net-zero carbon emissions, we should do energy retrofits of all city properties and extend the same to residents, funding the latter with a new Small Cap TIF Fund.
3. Are any changes needed in Madison’s public transit system, especially for people with disabilities? We’re on an isthmus and moving people through a tight space is no easy task. Federal funding favors highway construction over light rail, and the state took away our ability to form a Regional Transit Authority. The good news is Bus Rapid Transit is coming, but full implementation is years away. In the meantime, traffic congestion keeps getting worse. It’s an equity issue when those in low-income areas of our city are poorly served. We need to restore funding to para-transit services to make it easier for our disabled friends and family members to use the bus.
4. What other important issue faces Madison, and what could the Madison City Council do to address it? Twenty years ago, I participated in the study circles on race. Two decades later we’re still talking. All that talk has not changed the fact that Madison remains a tale of two cities. Will our equity issues continue to hold us back or will we move forward, not just with more talk, but real action? As a member of city council, I will work to expand affordable housing, pursue policies that create family-supporting jobs, and push for public-private partnerships committed to eliminating racial disparities in our schools and criminal-justice system. It’s time to translate this moral imperative into moral action.
1. What in your professional and community background qualifies you for this elective office? I am a Madison native who has a graduate degree in Public Policy from Stanford University. I have spent four of the last five years serving as the president of a Madison neighborhood association, currently in my second year as the president of the Dudgeon Monroe Neighborhood Association. Through this work I have become familiar with the concerns of my neighbors and the city processes in place for addressing them, and established a reputation as a leader who listens first and seeks collaborative solutions that honor as many perspectives as possible.
2. How would you plan to prepare Madison for predicted consequences of climate change? August 20, 2018 showed us that the effects of climate change are already here and it is time for us to adapt. While this may have technically been a “100-year event” by today’s standards, events like this will become increasingly common in the coming years. Therefore, we need to update our design standards for water management, and invest in updating existing infrastructure to meet those standards. City Engineering already has identified several priority projects; my first focus would be on providing sufficient funding to get these projects completed in a timely fashion.
3. Are any changes needed in Madison’s public transit system, especially for people with disabilities? In order to reduce congestion on our roads, we need to take our public transit system to the next level, increasing frequency and the number of express routes so that using public transit is the best transportation option for more of our residents. Increasing frequency is also an important improvement for users with disabilities: with only two wheelchair slots per bus, right now some disabled riders can be left waiting for the next bus, introducing a significant delay in their commute. I am also interested in finding ways to make paratransit more convenient and affordable.
4. What other important issue faces Madison, and what could the Madison City Council do to address it? Madison is in the midst of an affordable housing crisis: average rent is now more than a first-year teacher can afford, Lutheran Social Services is no longer resettling refugees due to a lack of affordable housing stock, and more and more people are simply living on the streets. The City Council should recommit to another 1000 affordable units over the next five years, and increase annual funding of the Affordable Housing Fund from $4.5 million to $6 million to keep up with the rising costs of construction.
1. What in your professional and community background qualifies you for this elective office? My professional experience is in administration within the following areas the legal system, health services and social service industry. My community experience spans over 20 plus years serving with various community organizations, boards, and initiatives (Porchlight, Inc. Board President, Nine Springs Health Impact Assessment Community Advisory Committee, Arbor Hills Neighborhood Association President, Leopold and Arbor Hills Neighborhood Plan Committee, South Metropolitan Planning Council, and several City Committees/ Commission). I have worked tirelessly for both my community and the greater Madison community. I believe the span of my experience qualifies me to continue to serve as Alder for District 14.
2. How would you plan to prepare Madison for predicted consequences of climate change? Identify the broad consequences and strategic risk. Then develop a granular view of the risk including individual locations that are in greater impact of a weather event. (flooding, hail, extreme weather). Establish an action plan for the City, businesses and residents to reduce the impacts of the event. In the long run we need to continue to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, invest and implement alternative burning fuels, clean energy technology. In addition, we need to educate both business and residents about sustainable practices.
3. Are any changes needed in Madison’s public transit system, especially for people with disabilities? The City transit system cannot meet the needs of a growing City unless the transit infrastructure is expanded to accommodate the needs of the customers and businesses. Both the East Washington and Nakoosa facilities budgeted for renovations/ improvements. The Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system will increase the capacity of the current system while decreasing the ride times. We must support the desire of people with disabilities to live an independent life by providing them with transportation options.
4. What other important issue faces Madison, and what could the Madison City Council do to address it? Growth will be the City’s biggest challenge in the years to come. The challenge will be how the City and Council manage the expansion of our infrastructure, transportation, and other basic services at the same time as growth is occurring. Our long-range plan will need to be reviewed annually with a closer look at the districts that have the potential of growth. Other challenges are income inequality, racial disparity, affordable housing, walkable employment, homelessness, etc. The City will continue their commitment to funding affordable housing, working with community organizations to provide individuals the path to entrepreneurship, and supporting our most vulnerable residents.
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? 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.