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Mayor's Neighborhood Conference 2014: Strong Leaders, Healthy Places

Saturday, September 13 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center, One John Nolen Drive, Madison, WI. An informal reception to network with others will take place from 4:30-5:30pm.

Register today for the upcoming city-wide neighborhood conference. Be part of the full day event that brings over 300 neighborhood leaders from across Madison together. The Strong Leaders Healthy Places conference will be all inspiring - a place to learn, share and network with your counterparts across our City.


Don Edwards

Don Edwards, Director of Justice and Sustainability Associates, will be making a trip to Madison from DC with the generous support of MGE. He is well known for engaging marginalized communities, being technologically savvy in capturing community voices, and working tirelessly to ensure conversations among people from different social and economic backgrounds on citywide plans and revitalization projects. His message is to build civic infrastructure, from the bottom up.

Mr. Edwards is considered one of the most deft mediators and civic engagement designers working today. Projects range in the fields of land use, development, and planning, transportation, parks and experience working with economic development agencies, corporations, universities, foundations and community-based organizations. 

His breadth of experience is impressive.  DC’s Strategic Neighborhood Planning Initiative, Anacostia Waterfront Transportation studies, DC’s Transit Alternatives Analysis, District of Columbia’s Comprehensive Plan, Georgetown University’s 2012 Campus Plan agreement, African Burial Ground National Monument in Lower Manhattan, National Museum of African American History and Culture on the National Mall, Detroit Works Project, to name a few. He has had leadership roles in Panos Institute-Americas, U.S. Citizens Network for the UN Conference on Environment and Development, Environmental Justice Working Group of the Sustainable Communities Task Force of the President’s Council on Sustainable Development.

Mr. Edwards is excited to come to Madison.  He plans to arrive and spend a few days getting to know our city’s neighborhoods. Let’s all welcome him, tell him our stories, and hear what insight he might have for us.


Engaging workshops with outstanding local leaders will provide valuable information, describe successful neighborhood projects, and share lessons learned. You will take away:

  • Tips on kick starting and maintaining a dynamic neighborhood association and tips to become a stronger, more effective neighborhood leader
  • Creating healthier, walkable neighborhoods and growing neighborhood businesses
  • An understanding of what the City’s Racial Justice and Social Equity Initiative is, and how it’s being used to make City policies more representative of all our citizens
  • Best ways to work with elected officials, City government and neighborhood resource teams
  • Neighborhood success stories, lessons learned, and practical tips for making your neighborhood a happier, healthier place to be

placemaking:\PLACE-mak-ing\ verb

Community-inspired, creative, quick and easy enhancements that immediately connect people and place.

A surprise is coming...


Many of your peers will be at this conference. This is the time to re-connect with long-time friends and colleagues, and to forge new relationships with other community leaders.


Go to the registration form (en espanol), complete it, print it, and email or mail it to us with your registration fee of $15. Early-bird registration ends at 4:30 p.m. September 5th. Scholarships/Fee waivers are available by checking a box directly on the registration form. Inquire about coverage of day care cost by calling 608-261-9121,

Day of Conference

Conference registration will begin at 8:00 a.m. at the Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center, One John Nolen Drive. Mayor Soglin will commence the event with opening remarks at 9:00 a.m. Twenty workshops will be held at Monona Terrace throughout the day.

Language Translation and Access Accommodations

If you need language translation, or any other accommodations to access the conference site, or workshops, please contact Linda Horvath of the Planning Division, 608-267-1131,

Share your Favorite/Least Favorite Place

We asked Madisonians to tell us what was their favorite and least favorite places in Madison. We used this input as part of several workshops. We'll continue the conversation on how we can make places more engaging for residents and the business community.