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District 1

Alder Barbara Harrington-McKinney

Image of Alder Barbara Harrington-McKinney

Alder Barbara Harrington-McKinney

Contact Information

Home Address:

1209 Dayflower Dr

Council Office

Common Council Office:
210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd
Room 417
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: (608) 266-4071
Fax: (608) 267-8669
WI Relay Service

Alder Harrington-McKinney’s Updates

Let's Begin the Healing

May 13, 2016 4:43 PM

This has been a very difficult week:

At a gas station in the Town of Madison another shooting.  Two shootings in two days.  Three in two months.  I am sure you have been asking "what are my elected officials doing to stop this violence"?  I am sure you have experienced and expressed both fear and frustration over these senseless acts of violence.  Some may think more police is the answer.   The violence must stop.  These have been sad days for our community.  At a press conference called by Chief Mike Koval on Thursday to address the recent surge in gun violence,  I stood along side three other elected officials from the southwest corridor -  Alders Matt Phair, Maurice Cheeks and Sheri Carter.  We stood in solidarity to say:  THIS VIOLENCE MUST STOP!  But we recognize that we must be prepared to go further than merely calling for a cease fire in our neighborhoods.  When shots are fired, stray bullets have no name on them.  Targeted bullets aimed and intended for a targeted victim(s) too often hit others who then become the unintended innocent victims.  We all want our communities and our city to be safe.  We will not accept becoming a community nor a city under siege.  The ripple effect of this increased gun violence leaves our community in fear and harms us all.  These events impact not just the southwest corridor of our city, but impacts our entire city.  This is not just a black and brown problem it impacts us all.   We must speak out on things that matter.  

It can't be valid thinking that "all African American males are violent criminals".   But how do we change the perception that "all African American males are violent criminals"?  As a start we invest in the grassroots work of restorative justice and early intervention practices.  We start by adopting a two-generational approach that works to stabilize families.  Officer Alvarez of the South Madison Police District said it best during a training Thursday evening for Restorative Justice Peacemakers: "we must invest more in pre-habilitation and less on rehabilitation.   As I stood at Thursday's press conference, my heart was not only saddened by the senseless gun violence...but also because those involved in this surge of violence were all black males well known to police.  As an elected official, who is also African American, I was elected to serve all the Constituents of District 1.  Why should this matter?  As we address economic disparity, as we address racial disparities, as we address creating safe and accessible spaces we enrich the healthy stabilization of the entire community.  As we address the MidTown Police station, Jeffy Trail, traffic calming, building/not building sidewalks and curbs, trash and snow removal, new development, school bullying, dogs on-leash/off-leash....we must also address our social and human capital.  I have come to realize how critically important the closed Griff's restaurant will be to the stabilization of this community when it reopens as the new ParkEdge ParkRidge Employment and Training Center,  in bringing employment and training opportunities into the center of our district.  How critically important it will be to have a strong effective southwest neighborhood association that works toward shared value initiatives that supports and strengthens a community where all feel represented, included and welcome.  There is much work for all of us.  When we divide ourselves and work against our best selves, the work feels heavy and impossible.  It feels as though we are trying to swim upstream. 

Saturday,  at noon Mayor Soglin will hold a press conference to address the gun violence in our city.   There are no quick fixes.  I am committed to serve District 1 to the best of my ability.  This work is too enormous to take on alone.  If we share the load we all benefit and we strengthen our core community.

I will be announcing the locations for the series of listening sessions entitled:  When Communities Talk, Prevention Is Possible.  Thank you, and be sure to take care of yourself.
Alder Barbara Harrington-McKinney






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