Madison Alder, Districts 16-20
Vote for one
District 16 (click to jump to this district)
Michael J. Tierney, Incumbent
District 17 (click to jump to this district)
James Creighton Mitchell Jr.
Samba Baldeh, Incumbent
District 18 (click to jump to this district)
Rebecca Kemble, Incumbent
District 19 (click to jump to this district)
Allison E. Martinson
Keith Furman, Incumbent
District 20 (click to jump to this district)
Erica L. Janisch
Michael J. Tierney
Madison, WI 53558
1. What in your professional and community background qualifies you for this elective office? I have over 30 years of experience working with state, local and federal officials and agencies. During this time, I have developed extensive knowledge and expertise in drafting and analyzing legislation. These skills enable me to effectively assist residents of the district when they have questions or concerns and to better understand the impact a proposal could have on individual residents, my district, and the city.
2. How would you plan to prepare Madison for predicted consequences of climate change? We must do our part to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, invest in renewables, conservation and green city fleet vehicles. Encouraging the use of rain barrels and rain gardens to manage storm water on private property is also vital. I recognize extreme rain events are going to be far more common and we need to commit to making significant, comprehensive, long-term investments in infrastructure to cope with these rainfalls. My plan, as such, is to continue to work with, and support, the efforts of city engineering staff as we move forward with flood prevention and storm water management efforts.
3. Are any changes needed in Madison’s public transit system, especially for people with disabilities? As a Metro rider, I know we need to take basic steps such as having concrete pads at all stops and more sheltered stops in a larger number of locations. We also need to join with neighboring communities to make sure all individuals, especially individuals with a disability, can use mass transit to travel throughout the greater Madison area with confidence there will be routes that take them where they need to be at times that meet their needs. In order to do this, we need to have a Regional Transit Authority. Right now, RTAs are being blocked by the majority in the state legislature.
4. What other important issue faces Madison, and what could the Madison City Council do to address it? Years have passed since the Race to Equity report was released, but we still have a long way to go to address racial and geographic disparity in the city and our economy. Attracting and retaining businesses that pay living wages, building affordable housing, and increasing summer programming for youth are a few of the goals the Council should support. Space limitations do not allow as complete and thoughtful an answer as I would like to provide, but I believe this is an issue area that needs to be recognized as a priority for our entire community.
James Creighton Mitchell Jr.
Lindenhurst, IL 60046
1. What in your professional and community background qualifies you for this elective office? I have held elected and appointed government offices in Illinois since completing 7 years active duty in the Navy, 1974. President of a Drainage District, President of a Mosquito Abatement District, Lake County Board, Lake County Forest Preserve Commissioner, Lake Villa Public Library District Trustee, Lake County Regional School Board, employment by City of Highland Park as a Potable Water Operator, Ill Class A Lic. Board Member of a HOA, Coach for community sports
2. How would you plan to prepare Madison for predicted consequences of climate change? Reduce reliance on fossil fuels. Plant more trees in deserts. Stop clear cutting rain forests for crop production.Increase food production with intense aqua cultural. Education.
3. Are any changes needed in Madison’s public transit system, especially for people with disabilities? Based upon new housing construction, employment and recreational needs, survey the number and type of disability needs by riders on a route basis every 3 years to take advantage of changes in technology, infrastructure maintenance or capital improvements.
4. What other important issue faces Madison, and what could the Madison City Council do to address it? Wellness for Madison and the State of Wisconsin. Everywhere in America respective residents face the same problems, just the regional approach to problem solving is unique.
I would like to use the early 1900's Wisconsin Progressive approach to problem solving. That method of civic engagement made it possible to apply for this Alder seat.
Banning the sale of tobacco products in Madison and the State of Wisconsin will be my "Wellness" priority. Not consumption,because behavior is an individual choice.
1. What in your professional and community background qualifies you for this elective office? I have served District 17 for two terms now, drawing on diverse personal, professional and community experiences such as small business co-owner, software engineer & project management, immigrant, and community volunteer. Over the years i have held series of community meetings on all the issues residents face – development projects, new businesses, and concerns about public safety and recently the issue of PFAS in well 15. For the past two years I have also served in leadership roles; as vice president and currently president of the council. For the next two years, I will continue listening and involving people.
2. How would you plan to prepare Madison for predicted consequences of climate change? As you may note the city and to a large extend the county and the state this year experienced heavy floods. In my opinion this has a lot to do with global warming, the level of our lakes and storm water planning that is getting out dated. All this needs a lot of money to fix. This past budget season I supported efforts to increase city engineering budget to help address this. Working with the mayor and the county leadership to address the lakes levels but also advocate for renewable energy to help curb global warming.
3. Are any changes needed in Madison’s public transit system, especially for people with disabilities? There is always room for improvement and I committed to improving public transportation system particularly for people with disability but generally a system that is user friendly to all metro and transit users. This is why I support the reduced fares for people with disability. One are I think there is need for improvement is ‘Door-to-Door’ service for people with disability, where a driver can assists a disable passenger from the first door encountered to the vehicle.
Madison metro is also running out of parking space for additional buses. It is becoming a challenge to add more buses.
4. What other important issue faces Madison, and what could the Madison City Council do to address it? The low graduation rate of students of color continue to be an issue within MMSD. This past summer we also experienced spike of random gun shooting around the city. I am committed to working with the MMSD, mayor's office and MPD to address these challenges. The council can appropriate funds for mentoring and work with law enforcement to come up with common sense solutions but also solutions that are sustainable, equitable and fair.
Public access to city government can be challenging, I am working with colleagues and the city Technology department for feasibility study for a 311 center.
Madison, WI 53704
Allison E. Martinson
1. What in your professional and community background qualifies you for this elective office? My professional background in program management in the nonprofit sector makes me uniquely qualified to work as a liaison, advocate, and legislator for the City of Madison. For the last five years, I have worked for the Girl Scouts of Wisconsin Badgerland, leading initiatives in girls' STEM education. To best accomplish my goals, I worked diligently to grow my skills in public engagement, media and communications, and project management. In the community, I am an active volunteer and currently serve on the Madison Food Policy Council.
2. How would you plan to prepare Madison for predicted consequences of climate change? Flooding significantly impacted District 19 in August, demonstrating our city's need for a more comprehensive understanding of the health of our watershed. As alder, I would work to ensure that, in addition to the work that is completed on watershed management by city staff, the City Council works diligently to prepare citizens for future flooding emergencies. Public outreach is essential to ensuring the safety of people and property. I am further committed to a sustainable energy future.
3. Are any changes needed in Madison’s public transit system, especially for people with disabilities? The City of Madison's Transportation Budget has not kept up with the growth of our city and cannot adequately meet the needs of new and existing ridership. The Bus Rapid Transit system along Madison's east-west corridor will ease transportation woes for workers, create more space opportunities for riders with disabilities or special needs, and bring more riders downtown where job growth is expected to continue. Additionally, I strongly support a job ride-share program, which, when working in conjunction with workforce development, can improve the lives of young families seeking economic and personal growth.
4. What other important issue faces Madison, and what could the Madison City Council do to address it? Currently, the Affordable Housing Fund in Madison only supports the development of affordable units for extremely low income citizens. As a community, we must also focus on housing solutions for young families seeking safe and welcoming neighborhoods. The Madison City Council must examine potential solutions for all types of housing, including multi-use buildings, community land trusts, and the potential restriction of single family zoning.
1. What in your professional and community background qualifies you for this elective office? As a small business owner and technology consultant, I succeeded by building effective partnerships, stewarding limited resources carefully and finding creative solutions to both large and small issues.
As chair of the Hoboken, NJ Planning Board, a strategic advisor to the Mayor of Hoboken, and interim Alder for District 19 of Madison I developed a strong understanding of how municipal governments function and what is and isn’t within an Alder’s purview. Understanding who to engage for solving different problems and keeping constituents informed has earned me a reputation for getting things done as transparently and efficiently as possible.
2. How would you plan to prepare Madison for predicted consequences of climate change? We are already seeing the consequences, like the flooding caused by the 8/20/2018 storm that caused millions of dollars of damage and some tragically lost lives. Events like these are becoming more common will get worse over time. We can make our community more resilient by updating our development ordinances to incentivize the use of green roofs, rain gardens and solar power and upgrade our public infrastructure with better drainage solutions.
I’d continue to work with stakeholders at City Hall, Dane County, UW-Madison and neighborhood associations to make sure we take serious and prudent steps toward addressing this crisis.
3. Are any changes needed in Madison’s public transit system, especially for people with disabilities? Madison must continue to invest in our public transit system. I’m hopeful the state allows for the creation of a regional transportation agency that would help us fund additional service. I support efforts to implement a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT). BRT would add high-frequency, limited stop service provided by large buses. Additionally, the system would include frequent all-day service, direct routing using fewer stops, transit signal priority, dedicated bus lanes, and off-board fare payments.
In 2017, Madison lost federal funding for paratransit which impacted services for people with disabilities. We need to work to restore that funding.
4. What other important issue faces Madison, and what could the Madison City Council do to address it? While Madison is thriving, there are still people left behind. Inequality was detailed in 2013 Race to Equity report. Madison is a great place to live for many, but we also have some of the highest racial disparities in the country.
Additional support programs since 2013 have been launched to help reduce inequity, but it’s important that Madison continues to invest. We must continue to evaluate what is and isn’t working so we can continue to improve.
1. What in your professional and community background qualifies you for this elective office? In 2015, I was appointed to serve on the Madison Police Department Policy and Procedure Review Ad-Hoc Committee and served as co-chair the first 2 years. City committees play a key role in shaping policy and informing the council during the decision-making process. This and other experience confirmed that I am ready and prepared to serve District 20 and be a part of the larger conversation/decision-making process on the common council. Other experiences include: Board Member, Meadowoood Neighborhood Association; County Executive Appointee, Dane County Arts and Cultural Affairs Commission; Board Member, Latino Chamber of Commerce of Dane County
2. How would you plan to prepare Madison for predicted consequences of climate change? It is first important to acknowledge that climate change is real and rooted in scientific findings. I am committed to the following three priorities. First, working with our partners at the County to create proactive plans on how to handle increased precipitation to avoid the type of flooding that we experienced this past summer. Second, storm water management by ensuring new development and current spaces do a better job of retaining water during rainfall. Third, promoting alternative modes of transportation by incentivizing residents of the city to utilize public transportation and other forms of commuting such as cycling and carpooling.
3. Are any changes needed in Madison’s public transit system, especially for people with disabilities? Recently, the city has experienced challenges around this issue, including a decrease in allocated resources from the state that supported paratransit transportation services. It is key that city leadership and members of the Madison Common Council collaboratively work with the state to secure adequate funding to support this very important service. It is important that we continue investing in our transportation infrastructure to ensure we are meeting the needs of our growing, diverse community.
4. What other important issue faces Madison, and what could the Madison City Council do to address it? Public Safety & Equity
It is important that we work with law enforcement to reduce crime and promote safe neighborhoods. Further, it is crucial to make strides on improving police and community relations through meaningful initiatives as this can enhance public safety. I am motivated to work with the city council and Mayor to ensure that the resources of the city are equitably distributed to District 20 to support community centers, neighborhood initiatives, community building, after school programming, and youth/family engagement. Second, I plan to proactively address root causes that may be fueling crime such as poverty and unemployment.
Erica L. Janisch
Madison, WI 53711
1. What in your professional and community background qualifies you for this elective office? The professional and community background that qualifies me for Alder include my work as an AmeriCorps VISTA. I worked with low-income families and at-risk youth and learned the importance of social programs. I have also worked for the Department of Veteran Affairs and understand the needs of veterans, especially those with disabilities. I currently serve as the Vice President of the PTO at my children’s school. As Vice President I serve as a liaison between the school and families and I fundraise so we can provide events and programs for free.
2. How would you plan to prepare Madison for predicted consequences of climate change? I believe crop destruction and an increase in precipitation are the 2 largest consequences of climate change for Madison. Crop destruction would happen because of a longer frost-free season. This could hurt farmers because their crops may not grow according to schedule and may be more susceptible to pests. We would plan and prepare for this by using chemical free pest removal processes and crop planning.
An increase in precipitation can wreak havoc on communities. We can plan and prepare by ensuring the cities drainage systems can flow properly and irrigating areas that easily collect water.
3. Are any changes needed in Madison’s public transit system, especially for people with disabilities? Major changes are needed in Madison’s public transit system for people with disabilities. Transportation is needed for most activities and appointments, however, public transportation takes much longer than taking a car. We need to increase funding so additional routes can be added and hours can be expanded.
We also need to work with the Governor so additional funds can be allocated to Paratransit services. The previous decrease in funding meant it cost more and the Paratransit would go curb-to-curb versus door-to-door. This isolates those with disabilities and needs to be reversed.
4. What other important issue faces Madison, and what could the Madison City Council do to address it? The main issue facing our district is crime, especially crime committed by juveniles. Our community members feel unsafe and violated. I believe the council can help eliminate this issue by funding current social programs and working with the community to create social programs that aren’t meeting the needs of youth and families.