Alder Barbara Harrington-McKinney
210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: (608) 266-4071
Fax: (608) 267-8669
WI Relay Service
Alder Harrington-McKinney’s Updates
Ordnance Prohibiting Standing on the Mediums
I think it only fair to hear from your Alder why I voted for the Ordnance prohibiting individuals from standing in the islands. It strongly felt that it was a public safety issue.
I attach the posting from Brenda Konkel following the Council's vote. I have received several emails criticizing the vote in favor of the Ordnance. We do have a serious problem with how we treat our most vulnerable population and how we address solutions to these challenges. Madison has a serious challenge with providing services to our homeless population. As your Alder; I am very concerned about these issues. The percentage of children attached to these families is staggering. I ask that you support me as I wrestle with the problems of lack of security in housing. Because I am concerned about those who are marginalized takes nothing away from my commitment to serve as your Alder. I value and care about what matters to you. Compassion is not weakness and I work to have all voices heard and represented. I am so very honored to serve as Alder for District 1 and want to continue to serve you. I am asking you to consider becoming more engaged in making our neighborhoods, our communities and our City a great place to live, work, play and raise our families; I believe these opportunities should be available for all to choose. It does take a community to change the direction and voice opinions about the priorities for our City. Alders are part-time. However we are fully engaged daily in the issues of public safety, education, training and employment, long range economic development and growth, transportation, re-development, population growth into 2050. Keep informed. Contact me when there are issues you are concerned about. I need to hear from you. What are your thoughts about this Ordnance? We have been working on this Ordinance for several months, it had gone through 4 revisions to make it equitable. My work with passing this Ordnance was for pubic safety: for those standing on the islands, good fokes stopping the traffic to give money and for the aggravated drivers aggressively blowing their horns. As a member of the Public Safety Review Board we will continue to work on how to inform individuals on how to connect with community resources.
Ms. Konkel has been a strong advocate for the homeless for many years. Before being elected an Alder, I also was a member of the Consortium as Associate Director of Madison Urban Ministry.
So, one of my jobs today is to report back to the Homeless Services Consortium about how the council voted on the panhandling ordinance last night/early this morning. The news is bad - the council voted for it 12 - 8, against our wishes.
I testified at the council on behalf of the consortium last night indicating the concerns that were expressed at the meeting yesterday about the difficulties in understanding the ordinance, and indicating that we have a strong desire to be a part of these conversations early on instead of always responding to solutions that did not have our input. I also read portions of the letter we sent last July regarding this ordinance. (see below)
The eight people who voted against the ordinance were
Those voting for the ordinance were:
The ordinance implementation is being delayed for 60 days while they come up with plan to educate the people in violation of the ordinance. When that plan gets filed, I will send it to the group.
If you are wondering how you inform people about what their rights, I guess you have to give them this list and then tell them that they also can't panhandle within 200 feet of any intersection of these streets as well, so you can get tickets even if you aren't on this list of streets if you are within 200 feet of them.
Brandt Rd-CTH AB
Broom St (Between John Nolen Dr & Gorham St)
Cottage Grove Rd
Dayton St (Between N Hamilton & State St)
Dutch Mill Rd
E & W Johnson St
E Springs Dr (Between E Washington & High Crossing Blvd)
E Washington Ave
Fair Oaks Ave
Fish Hatchery Rd
N & S Gammon Rd
Hamilton St (Between Wilson St & Doty St)
High Crossing Blvd
John Nolen Dr
Lien Rd (Between Theier Rd & Thompson Dr)
Maple Grove Dr
McKenna Blvd (Between Gammon Rd & Putnam)
Midtown Rd (Between S Gammon Rd & Woods Rd)
Milwaukee St (Between E Washington & Swanton Rd)
Mineral Point Rd
North Shore Dr
Old Middleton Rd
Old Sauk Rd
Pflaum Rd (Between Monona Dr & Agriculture Dr)
Pleasant View Rd
Putnam (Between McKenna Blvd & Maple Grove Dr)
Randall (Between Monroe & University)
N Sherman Ave (Between Fordem & Northport Dr)
Siggelkow Rd (Between Stoughton Rd & Holscher Rd)
South Towne Dr
Theier Rd (Between E Washington & Lien Rd)
N Thompson Dr (Between Swanton and East Washington)
Vondron Rd (Between Agriculture Dr & Buckeye Rd)
W Washington Ave
Watts Rd (Between Gammon & Junction)
W Wilson St (Between Bassett & Hamilton)
Wisconsin Ave (Between Gorham & Dayton)
Wright St (Between E Washington & Anderson St)
Homeless Services Consortium Opposes Proposals Criminalizing Homelessness
The Homeless Services Consortium (HSC) writes to register its strong opposition to Mayor Paul Soglin's latest efforts to criminalize homelessness and poverty in Madison. The Mayor has proposed two troubling pieces of legislation: 1) an ordinance prohibiting individuals from lying down or sleeping on public sidewalks in the Downtown Madison during daytime hours (Section 23.60) and 2) an amendment to Section 12.325 and 1.08(3)(a) of the Madison General Ordinances to remove references to the purpose for approaching a vehicle and making it illegal to approach the front or side of a vehicle in operation on the highway for any purpose. This amendment is a thinly veiled attempt to criminalize individuals seeking support from their community through panhandling on local roadways. We oppose both of these ordinance amendments and request the Mayor withdraw them. Alternatively, we ask each of the committees to which they have been referred and the city council to vote them down.
As a community, Madison and Dane County have been making some important strides toward ending homelessness. We applaud the City's stated commitments to housing as a human right, Housing First, and new funding commitments and strategies to spur affordable housing development. We celebrate the opening of Rethke Terrace and the street outreach team that efficiently moved so many chronically homeless into permanent housing. It is especially frustrating to see criminalization proposals come from an administration that knows that the real solution to homelessness is permanent housing.
Guidance from the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) compels us to reject criminalization and pursue lawful, effective, and compassionate solutions to homelessness. HUD has released a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for the Continuum of Care (CoC) Program which awards competitive funding for homeless services in communities throughout the nation. HUD's funding application awards points to communities working to prevent the criminalization of those experiencing homelessness. Moving forward with this punitive legislation puts federal homeless services funding--which is desperately needed in our community--at risk.
In 2015, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a statement of interest in federal court arguing that it is unconstitutional to criminalize sleeping in public places without providing adequate shelter space in the area. Regarding the DOJ filing in Bell v. City of Boise, DOJ Access to Justice Director Lisa Foster explained: "No one wants people to sleep on sidewalks or in parks, particularly not our veterans, or young people, or people with mental illness. But the answer is not to criminalize homelessness. Instead, we need to work with our local government partners to provide the services people need, including legal services, to obtain permanent and stable housing."
The people most likely to experience homelessness in our community are disproportionaly people of color--particularly African Americans--and our community's most vulnerable populations such as disabled persons and unaccompanied youth, who are disproportionately LGBTQ. We feel strongly that these proposed ordinances would not hold up under the analysis of the Equity Tools developed by the City of Madison to examine policies for unintended inequitable consequences.
People experiencing homelessness have no other place to go, and often must live in public places. The fact that some of our neighbors are relegated to methods of survival such as sleeping outside or panhandling is an indication of the need for more robust outreach services, as well as enhanced services and housing opportunities. The consortium has been working diligently to continue to identify and implement solutions. We seek to work with you on effective, lawful strategies to end homelessness. Criminalization policies are costly, ineffective, and contrary to our efforts to realize the right to housing for all Madison residents. Please reject them.
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