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Alder Scott J. Resnick

Alder Scott J. Resnick

Home Address:
661 Mendota Ct # 1404
Madison , WI 53703

Phone: 608-807-7962
Common Council Office:
210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd
Room 417
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: (608) 266-4071
Fax: (608) 267-8669
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Young Professionals and Madison's Investment Opportunity

October 2, 2011 11:20 PM

Recently, Madison was named one of "10 Great Cities for Young Adults" by Kiplinger Personal Finance, and 3rd best city for young adults by Forbes. This is no surprise. Compared to cities like Chicago or New York, Madison enjoys a relatively low cost of living, including reasonable rents and inexpensive dining. Our city also has strong economic generators, such as Epic Systems, that require well-educated employees and provide jobs that pay first-year employees well. Because of these factors, coupled with beautiful lakes and miles of bike paths, Madison is a destination for young professionals.

There are a number of things the City of Madison can do to strengthen the attraction of our community for young professionals. Here are several suggestions:

  1. Promote an active downtown – A thriving downtown requires a strong mix of bars, restaurants, and shops. We need to be looking for methods to encourage better entertainment venues, and decrease attempts to regulate new establishments. We should be attempting to attract trendy cocktail bars and live music to our downtown.
  2. Increase affordable downtown living options – The rental vacancy rates in Madison are at an all-time low and housing options for many young professionals are surprisingly limited. Many are forced to forego their first choice of living downtown and instead find housing in Fitchburg or Verona. We need to continue to look for infill opportunities to keep our newest residents downtown. This would strengthen our downtown economy and boost the city tax roll.
  3. Foster new networks and active calendars – Transitioning from living in Madison as a student to living in Madison as a young professional can be difficult. This is important because a successful transition increases the likelihood that a young professional will say in Madison long-term. Groups such as the Madison Ultimate Frisbee Association and Madison Magnet help smooth the transition and provide a fantastic way to create new friendships post-graduation.
  4. Encourage entrepreneurship – The University and Madison businesses attract some of the most innovative talent in the world. However, without venture capital and angel investment, much of this talent leaves for larger investment communities when new ideas ignite. We must attract new early stage investment for budding Madison companies in order to spur the next Epic trend.
  5. Provide a gateway from our university and colleges to the Madison workforce – "Brain gain" has been a more recent trend for Madison (ie we have been retaining educated students in Madison). As a community, we need to find ample opportunities and internships for students. Moreover, we need to track how our city retains graduates and look for methods of improvement.

Madison should continue to invest in our young professional workforce. City leaders must place a larger emphasis on young professionals when discussing new downtown development and ordinance amendments. Through an increased tax base, this demographic will continue to play a major influence role in the growth of our community and provide a new resource for the City of Madison.

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