Mayor Paul Soglin is the 51st, 54th and 57th Mayor of Madison, elected for tenures in 1973, again in 1989, and 2011. He is now serving in his 22nd year.
Mayor Soglin was raised in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago, received a BA with honors in history in 1966 and a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from the University of Wisconsin. Following his first tenure, Soglin was a fellow at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.
Whether it was the Lake Monona bicycle path, the Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center, or neighborhood centers and community gardens, under his guidance, the City focus is on equity and a tax base that can support human services
His tenure is noted for a major commitment to public transit with record setting Madison Metro ridership levels, the design and construction of the State Street Mall, resulting in one of the strongest downtown locally owned retail sectors, and the development of Madison's Civic Center, which evolved into the Overture Center for the Arts.
Mayor Soglin’s priorities include measuring city projects against the finest standards for livability, equity, and sustainability, and ensuring that all basic needs are within walking distance of every neighborhood. He believes that a healthy city with a strong inclusive economy is based on creating a sense of place, walkability, and social cohesion. Mayor Soglin is a strong proponent of using Tax Incremental Financing (TIF), as a development tool but is reluctant to provide any tax breaks as an incentive to attract business. He believes that public investment in infrastructure, the arts and active and passive recreation is what attracts private investment.
During his tenure Madison was ranked the best city in the United State by Money Magazine, Livability and the AngelouEconomics (AE) 2015 Community Progress Index;
“Madison’s first place ranking on the 2015 AE Community Progress Index is no fluke. The city has achieved broad spectrum social success and its residents should be proud of their progress.”
In addition, in 2016 The League of American Bicyclists awarded Madison Platinum status, the fifth city to reach the ranking.
Madison is committed to creating a food accessible community, building public markets and food hubs, eliminating the critical racial and ethnic disparity in educational achievement, income, jobs, housing and incarceration.
Mayor Soglin currently serves on US Conference of Mayors: Transportation and Communications Committee, Vice Chair for City Livability/Bicycling, the Advisory Board and is the chairman of the Food Policy Task Force. Mayor Soglin also serves on the Project for Public Spaces Placemaking Leadership Council.