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District 13

Alder Tag Evers

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Alder Tag Evers

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Home Address:

2329 Keyes Av

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 Evers’ Blog

Reindahl Park, Body-Worn Cameras, July 5th Reflections

July 5, 2021 3:51 PM

Hi Everyone.

Common Council Controversies

There are two controversial items on this Tuesday's Common Council agenda: item #22 - Directing City Staff to Enforce Ordinances Within Reindahl Park and #80 - Accepting the Final Report and Model Policy from the Body-Worn Camera Feasibility Review Committee

Item #22 is being introduced under suspension of Common Council rules, foregoing the normal process of introducing legislation at one meeting for referrals and action/discussion at a subsequent meeting. While I understand the concerns of residents near Reindahl Park, I do not support suspending the rules to take this item up on Tuesday.  Moreover, I have issues with the substance of the resolution itself. The Common Council voted unanimously in June to hold on any action against those camping in Reindahl Park. Accordingly, city staff and council colleagues have been working to create an alternative option for those that are currently camping outdoors in Madison. Expect to see ordinance changes to facilitate that in the near future. Meanwhile, work continues on finding an alternate location and support services necessary to make such a site successful.

Item #80 has also been controversial, given issues that have been raised by a former member of the committee. There are also outstanding questions about the full cost of implementing body-worn cameras for MPD. However, the item in front of us on Tuesday is simply to accept the report and that action does not mean that the council agrees with the report findings or recommendations. The Common Council will need to expressly authorize moving forward with a body-worn camera pilot in Madison, but that is not before us at this time.

Bubbler Artist Cohort

This summer, The Bubbler at Madison Public Library is launching a new artist-in-residence program called the Bubbler Artist Cohort. Six diverse teaching artists will work together to create community connections and creative opportunities around a single theme. As part of a larger initiative by Madison Public Library called YOU(th) Belong, the Cohort plans to collaborate over the course of six months to explore the spectrum of "Belonging" with youth (8 - 18 years old).  Learn more here.

July 5th Reflections

Last year, our mood on Independence Day was considerably more somber. The pandemic was still surging and we had no clue as to when vaccines might be available or if they'd work once they were. It was time of collective grief over the loss of lives and livelihoods, compounded by racial unrest and national reckoning over the murder of George Floyd.

Many of us expressed hope that the immense burden we were carrying would result in real transformation, that post-pandemic life would not merely evidence a return to normalcy, but a major step forward in social evolution.

The political chaos instigated by the former president's refusal to accept the results of the election have left us with an unhealthy state of affairs, one that is abnormal and militates against the normal functioning of democracy. The refusal of the Republican party to disassociate itself from the poisoned well of grievance sadly robs us of the collective resolve we need as a nation to take on the enormous challenges we face.

Still, it must be said that it is normal to be grateful, even celebratory, that the pandemic, despite concerns about the Delta variant, is moving toward the rear-view mirror. There's so much to be thankful for, but let's not forget that there's much work to be done, that we must not sit on our laurels, that our greatness as a nation requires that we continually strive toward that "more perfect union."

On July 5, 1852, Frederick Douglas delivered his famous speech, "What to the Slave is the 4th of July."  Click here for a reading by James Earl Jones of these stirring, sobering words.  

Take good care and enjoy the summer.

Tag




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