Alder Grant Foster
210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: (608) 266-4071
Fax: (608) 267-8669
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Alder Foster’s Updates
COVID, Budget, Public Safety - D15 Update 9/7/20
- COVID Cases Spike Again - New cases of COVID-19 in Dane County have begun to soar again as UW-Madison brings students together for a "Smart Restart". Two weeks ago, I joined with a number of other elected officials in a Letter of Concern to Director Janel Heinrich and Chancellor Rebecca Blank asking that the plans for in-person classes and use of student dorms be drastically scaled back. The push to bring tens of thousands of students back for in-person classes and dorm living will have a significant negative impact on our entire community. Benchmarks set for a future reopening of our K-12 schools are now even further out of reach. Meanwhile, Interim University of Wisconsin President Tommy Thompson says he has a threshold in mind for when a COVID-19 outbreak would trigger campuses to shut down, but he has yet to say what that threshold may be.
- Independent Monitor & Civilian Oversight of the Police - During a marathon session on Tuesday that ended just before 4 a.m., the Madison Common Council passed a new ordinance creating the Office of the Independent Police Monitor and the Police Civilian Oversight Board. You can read more details here. This ordinance is the result of years of work by committed members of the public and members of the Madison Police Department Policy and Procedure Ad Hoc Committee and was drafted into its final version by Alders Bidar, Kemble, and Moreland. A call for nominations for At-Large Seats on the Police Civilian Oversight Board has been released and anyone interested in applying can find details here.
- Hwy 51 Crash Results in Fatality - Less than a month after the tragic loss of a young girl in our community to gun violence, another young person in our community is killed by traffic violence. On Friday afternoon, three individuals were hospitalized and one killed following a high-speed crash on Hwy 51 near Buckeye Road. While we must remain steadfast in our commitment to reduce gun violence in Madison, it's also important that we not lose sight of other critical public safety issues. Motor vehicle related crashes result in more serious injuries and fatalities in Madison each year than all other crimes combined. In 2018 there were 5 homicides and 1,031 other violent crimes recorded by MPD (96 forcible rapes, 669 aggravated assaults, and 266 robberies). In 2018 there were 8 fatalities and 1,779 injuries (including 100 incapacitating injuries) as a result of traffic violence. Much like the complexity and challenges we face in addressing gun violence, the answers to addressing the needless loss of life and limb on our city streets are also complicated. Addressing both of these challenges will require deep system changes and will take time and commitment. In last year's budget, I authored an amendment to jump start an initiative called Vision Zero that aims to eliminate deaths and serious injuries on our city streets. This summer, the council adopted a resolution to commit ourselves down this path and work is underway to develop an action plan as well as to implement a number of safety improvements across the city including several focused on the E. Washington corridor. You can read more about this Vision Zero initiative here.
- Other city updates
- And as a reminder for Eastmorland residents, the survey for feedback on a proposed off-leash dog exercise area for O.B Sherry or Eastmorland Park can be found here. The survey will be open until September 26th.
- 2021 Executive Capital Budget - On Tuesday & Wednesday of this week the Finance Committee will begin deliberations on the 2021 Executive Capital Budget. Deliberations begin with presentations from city agencies on their proposed capital plans. You can find the meeting details for the 9/8 meeting here and the 9/9 meeting here including links to the agenda and information on how to register to speak. Following these meetings, the Finance Committee will consider amendments to the proposed budget and will ultimately forward a draft budget to the Common Council for debate and approval in November.
- Eastmorland Community Meeting & Metro Route Changes - The Eastmorland Community Association will hold its monthly meeting on Tuesday and will include a discussion with Madison Metro staff about recent route changes that impact area residents. You can find a link to the agenda and virtual meeting here.
- Kids' March for Black Lives & Eastmorland Bike Ride - On Sunday there will be a Kids' March for Black Lives from McPike Park to Orton Park. The Eastmorland Area Antiracism group is organizing a group ride to the march that will leave from Olbrich Park. You can find details for that event here.
- Madison Bike Week - This year's Madison Bike Week will look a lot different than previous years due to COVID. Things kick off next weekend and continue the week of September 14th. You can find more details here.
- Other city meetings: There are a number of other city meetings of possible interest this week and you can find a full schedule here: https://www.cityofmadison.com/clerk/meeting-schedule
Save the Date
- The public hearing for the Demolition and Redevelopment proposal for Cottage Grove Road/Monona will be at the Plan Commission meeting of 9/14/20. I will provide more info on this proposal prior to this meeting.
- This year's HOME COMPOST BIN & RAIN BARREL SALE will be at Garver Feed Mill on 10/10.
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