There's never a shortage of things to do in Madison! This past weekend there were so many impressive community events.
On Friday night I spoke at the OutReach 40th Anniversary Banquet. OutReach was one of the nation's first LGBT Community Centers when it was founded in 1973. I was proud to be a part of their event and honor their dedication to fighting for equality in the LGBT community.
I also spoke to the great crowd at Fighting Bob Fest. It was a wonderful opportunity to get people talking about some of today's big issues. It was great to see so many committed folks working together.
The City of Madison Fire Department also held their Achievement and Promotional Ceremony on Friday night and I was able to spend a few minutes there too. This ceremony honored Assistant Chiefs, Captains, Apparatus Engineers, Paramedics, and Fire Code Enforcement Officers alike. Congratulations to all those who were honored!
On Saturday, we held the Mayor's Neighborhood Conference at the Monona Terrace. The all-day conference brought together residents from all parts of Madison to support community leaders and discuss ways to promote healthy and walkable neighborhoods. Conference attendees enjoyed a keynote speech from a very special guest, Don Edwards, the CEO of Justice and Sustainability Associates in Washington DC, on ways to improve engagement in Madison neighborhoods. The conference was an excellent opportunity to bring together the larger Madison community for a discussion on ways to improve our city for everyone!
On Sunday I attended "Taste of Elvehjem" at the Elvehjem Community Garden with Alder Denise Demarb. I enjoyed judging the "Healthy(ier) Recipe Contest". My choice, the Cowboy Caviar, was delicious, and I am proud to say that my alternate choices, the Turkey Chili and Apple Crisp, were also the neighbors' choices! I rounded out the afternoon with Storytime in the Garden, where I read Little Blue Truck Leads the Way to a group of neighborhood children and autographed their books. I enjoyed getting to know my LVM neighbors.
Later that day I headed to the Willy Street Fair. What a great neighborhood. I enjoyed listening to several different kinds of music from three live stages. I also enjoyed visiting the many different food and craft carts and participating in the raffle. As much as this event was for fun, the organizers made sure to remember to give back, donating all raffle proceeds to the Common Wealth's Youth Programs department and donating other funds to the Wil-Mar Neighborhood Center.