Alder Rebecca Kemble
210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: (608) 266-4071
Fax: (608) 267-8669
WI Relay Service
I'm honored to have been elected by the the people of District 18 to represent them on Madison's Common Council. I will work hard not only to represent the concerns of the Northside, but also to serve the city as a whole with a thoughtful, collaborative approach toward developing public policy based on principles of equity and sustainability.
I live on School Rd. with my husband, Adam Chern, and the youngest two of our three children. Our oldest son Ndegwa is serving in the British Army, having graduated from East High School in 2008. Our next son Kibuna just graduated from Keene State University in NH and our daughter Hannah is a sophomore at East. Two years ago Adam renovated the house next door to us to accommodate my sister and parents (87 and 81 years old) so we could be close together as my parents' need for support grows.
I currently work at several jobs, in addition to being a small business owner. I am a 15-year worker-owner at Union Cab Cooperative and work as a driver on the weekend night shift, and as Co-Captain of the Workers Council. I have held many other positions within the coop over the years and played a leadership role in developing strategic planning and worker evaluation and accountability systems for the business. Adam and I have fully bonded, insured and city-licensed snow removal business with 22 commercial and residential clients on the Northside and Isthmus. We have no employees and do all the work ourselves. Adam and his partner John Young own Accipiter Properties, an east side property development and management company that renovates and re-purposes industrial buildings. They own the building that houses with Will St. Coop off site kitchen, Winnebago Studios, the building next to that which houses Sector67 and the Madison Circus Space, for example. I do bookkeeping and janitorial work for Accipiter Properties. For the past four years I have been writing for The Progressive magazine covering state politics.
I earned a BA in Anthropology from UMass - Amherst and a MA and PhD (abd) from UW-Madison. I worked for three years as an academic policy dean at the UW College of Letters & Science. What I loved about that job was being in a position to work with policy from the basis of students' real-life experience of "the system." The work was challenging but very rewarding, especially when I could work with the student and the policy to make changes that had an impact on how the college served students more broadly.
My work history is admittedly unconventional. Twelve years ago, I turned away from an academic career to devote my time and energy more fully to my kids and to my community. The burning question that informed my shift in focus was this: How are we going to take care of ourselves, one another, and the air, water, and land we depend on in the face of deepening ecological, social, and economic crises?
Years of study and living abroad in Mexico and Kenya convinced me that my efforts would be most effectively spent by building relationships in my community, relationships based on trust and mutual respect, and on supporting people's capacity to participate in local democratic processes.