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District 10

Alder Yannette Figueroa Cole

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Alder Yannette Figueroa Cole

Contact Information

Home Address:

4327 Milford Rd

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 Figueroa Cole’s Updates

Marsy's Law & General Fund 2022 Crisis Allocation

January 23, 2022 11:44 PM

Budget Season is Over!

Yes, the 2022 budget season ended but the 2023 season will officially begin in just a few months. 

Back in November, we finalized the 2022 budget, one of the areas that continue to trouble me is the funding allocation for Community Services.  27 local agencies applied for funding to cover 48 programs, for a complete list of Request for Proposal (RFP) click here.  An unprecedented $7,275,944 was received on requests to cover the dire need many in our community continue to experience. CDD Community Service staff had a little over $2M to cover the RFP's.  They worked diligently to divide the limited funding among the established priorities of Crisis Intervention Services, Prevention Services and Activities & Recovery and Stabilization Services.

Out of the 27 agencies, six focused on human trafficking, adult and child sexual assault, domestic abuse, prevention, education & intervention. The limited funding called for tough decisions to be made, as shown below these agencies didn't get fully funded, the additional agencies that applied met similar faith.  On January 18, Chief Barnes's blog highlighted 17 calls in its report, 7 were associated with domestic abuse.  Ironically on the 18 we also heard from leaders in our community, who have dedicated their lives to advocate for victims and survivors.  They are calling out to policymakers to solidify support to victims by properly funding Crisis Services. 

I couldn't agree more!  We as policymakers and as a community must do better for those who need our protection and support.  Covid19 has exacerbated a pandemic that has been plaguing our city for years.  We cannot continue to look the other way while people including children continue to suffer abuse, sexual assault and continue to live in fear.

Please read the article below about how Marsy's Law has given a voice to the victims of abuse.  Continuing to underfund Community Services is equivalent to silencing the voices of the most vulnerable.  I urge you to pull together as a community and to advocate and demand a budget increase to support organizations focused and centered on "Crisis Intervention Services", "Prevention Services and Activities" & "Recovery and Stabilization Services".

Thank you!!!

____________

"Marsy's Law is working, but crime victims need more resources

Wisconsin residents on April 7, 2020, overwhelmingly approved Marsy's Law, a constitutional amendment for crime victims. An impressive 75% of Wisconsin voters and all 72 of Wisconsin counties voted "yes" for Marsy's Law, providing strong, enforceable rights for victims of crime.

Marsy's Law has changed the culture in our courtrooms to one where victims and their rights are at the forefront. That in and of itself is why Marsy's Law has such broad support.

But even with Marsy's Law taking effect, that doesn't mean more resources aren't needed to help crime victims become thriving survivors.

The State Journal's recent article "Prosecutors, public defenders in 'staffing crisis'" highlighted some of the funding challenges facing victim service providers. Across the state, funding for victim services was stretched for a variety of reasons. The necessary closings with the pandemic increased the already enormous workload on our courts and victim services. The oversight of designated funding to ensure the rights afforded to victims in our constitution directly impacted victim services.

Despite these challenges, Marsy's Law has led to significant positive impacts. Just days after it went into effect:

  • A Kenosha area victim of sexual assault and attempted homicide exercised her new right to be heard in court at a bond hearing to ask the judge not to allow her attacker to be released.
  • The grandmother of a murdered newborn in Green County was able to petition the court to keep the confessed killer of her granddaughter in custody for the safety of her family.
  • The mother of a young murder victim was able to exercise her right to be heard in a Dane County courtroom to express concern over a plea deal.
  • In a Columbia County case, a murdered woman's family was able to protect the victim's identity from being made public.
  • These are just a few of the many examples of Marsy's Law at work.

Each of these cases represents a victory for victims' rights in Wisconsin and demonstrates the commitment of our courts, law enforcement, district attorneys' offices and victim services to "give crime victims additional rights, to require that the rights of crime victims be protected with equal force to the protections afforded the accused while leaving the federal constitutional rights of the accused intact."

Those who work in the victim services field are true heroes and help make the rights of Marsy's Law a reality for many survivors. It is clear Marsy's Law has elevated the rights of Wisconsin crime victims. It is also clear that the expansion of services and access for victims cannot be maintained without proper funding. While it is encouraging that some progress has been made on that front recently, additional resources should be allocated to victim-witness coordinators and victim services in general. This is a longstanding issue that predates Marsy's Law. The overwhelming support shown for the new crime victims' amendment should serve as a catalyst for enhanced investment.

We are grateful to the more than 1.1 million Wisconsin residents who cast votes in favor of Marsy's Law. We are also grateful to the countless victim witness coordinators, the Department of Justice's Office of Crime Victim Services, victim service agencies, prosecutors, law enforcement and everyone else who has contributed to the implementation of the constitutional amendment. We know implementing this measure has required hard work from all of you -- particularly as the state continues to navigate the effects of the pandemic. Dane County, state attorneys face 'staffing crisis' amid pandemic backlog

Wisconsin supports victims' rights. Policymakers should take note. 

Figueroa-Velez is the former executive director of UNIDOS Wisconsin: artmvfdesign@gmail.com. Pellebon is co-executive director and director of client services at the Rape Crisis Center of Dane County: dana.pellebon@thercc.org.

Marsy's Law workload Emily Hamer | Wisconsin State Journal" | Link to Article

2022 General Fund allocation 

CrisisBudgetAllocationsGF

Agency

Agency Description

Amount Requested via RFP

General Fund Allocation for 2022

ARC Community Services

Project RESPECT addresses domestic sex trafficking and local prostitution, offering services for survivors of sexual exploitation and human trafficking. Project RESPECT works to empower survivors and promotes prevention and early intervention. Project RESPECT provides services consistent with our mission of supporting survivors' efforts to change their lives. The project utilizes knowledge of survivors with life experience and encourages leadership building

$58,827

$58,000

Domestic Abuse Intervention Services

DAIS strives to empower those affected by domestic violence by advocating for social change through support, education, and outreach. To make this happen, we offer a wide array of crisis intervention and community education/prevention programs, including a 24-hour Help Line, programming for children from violent homes, legal advocacy, support groups, and emergency safety planning. DAIS is also the only domestic violence shelter in all of Dane County.

$473,888

$299,354

End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin/Rise

RISE is a law office providing legal services in immigration, family law and protective orders, founded and led by women of color. Its core client base are immigrant victims of crimes. With this funding source, RISE will continue to provide services under the Recovery and Stabilization priority area.

$292,986

$60,000

Rainbow Project

Rainbow Project collaboration with Safe Harbor Child Advocacy Center, Journey Mental Health Center, Canopy Center, and Family Service Madison provide prompt trauma assessment and support for a child and the non-abusing parent following a Safe Harbor forensic interview for child abuse, child sexual abuse, neglect, or domestic violence.

$375,000

$150,000

Rape Crisis Center

RCC is the only comprehensive sexual assault center for the City of Madison and Dane County. RCC provides 24-hour helpline support, emotional support, system advocacy, personal advocacy, short-term counseling and therapy, community education and outreach, youth programs centering on sexual violence prevention, and programs promoting self-defense and bystander intervention. All client services are available in Spanish and English and, in conjunction with other agencies, in other languages including ASL. RCC provides education on sexual assault and consent in middle schools and high schools, supports gender equity clubs in high schools and provides primary prevention through our youth advisory group called Game Changers. RCC's prevention programs are based on best practices, and target populations most at risk.

$180,000

$116,667

UNIDOS Against Domestic Violence

UNIDOS started as a result of social action research conducted with migrant farmworker communities in central WI.  This early research indicated that, although domestic violence (DV) was a serious problem within the Latino migrant and immigrant community, local DV services did not have the resources to work with this group of abused women. Staff from local agencies needed assistance to learn about Latino culture and how the problem of domestic violence was uniquely experienced by our community. To that end, UNIDOS has become a leader around the state as a resource for training and technical assistance to a variety of agencies around the state working with abused Latinas.

 $433,809

 $75,000

 

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2022 GF - Other Organizations:

Other RFPs




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