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District 16

Alder Jael Currie

Image of Alder Jael Currie,
Council Vice President

Alder Jael Currie,
Council Vice President

Contact Information

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 Currie’s Updates

Update Regarding Permissible Encampments Plus Meeting & Event Highlights for the Week of August 30, 2021

August 29, 2021 2:45 PM

Greetings friends and neighbors,

I hope this message finds you well. This week the Council will be voting on a couple resolutions that directly affect D16. The Alcohol License Review Committee was not able to meet during their last meeting scheduled on August 18th. The meeting has been rescheduled to occur Monday August 30th at 7pm and will allow for recommendations (regarding license applications) to be made from the floor. As a reminder, Red Rooster and Odilon Ford Winery are both in-district businesses with applications that will be considered for approval. 

Additionally, discussion and voting on Agenda Item #23 will determine whether or not City staff can begin making preparations to establish an alternate temporary encampment to be located at 3202 Dairy Drive, which is in D16. The resolution linked here is titled, "Declaring that the continued threat of COVID-19 spread, lack of adequate accommodations for unsheltered homeless persons, and unsafe conditions at the Reindahl Park encampment constitute a state of emergency there, and authorizing City staff to prepare an alternative location at 3202 Dairy Drive for use as a temporary campground." 

Our community was under a different state of CDC & Public Health orders back when individuals experiencing homelessness first started camping in Reindahl Park. Unfortunately, we find ourselves in a near similar state 5 months later - dealing with rising numbers of COVID-19 cases and the prevalence of the Delta variant as well as the growing encampment and issues at Reindahl. The health and safety conditions at Reindahl have significantly deteriorated. The number of persons using the site has grown substantially and that growth has contributed to increasing levels of tension and conflict among campers as well as between campers and other park users and neighborhood residents. It shouldn't be this way but this is the severely complex situation we have at hand - we must shift our efforts to working together to restore safety, wellbeing, peace and dignity of those impacted by this issue. This is why I have sponsored and am in support of the above mentioned resolution. 

Do I think the location of the proposed site is perfect?  No. 

Am I worried about the impact on potential residents of the site as well as city services and resources? I am. 

Are there many more ideas, thoughts and fears that keep me up at night about this? Absolutely! 

However, it is clear that no park, parcel, plot or location will ever meet the needs of all who are living unsheltered at this time and spending countless hours trying to accomplish this feat is not beneficial for anyone. While any action that is taken on this resolution Tuesday evening will not lead to immediate changes come Wednesday morning, if approved, it will give permission to proceed forward with preparing the site, as well as continuing to identify additional sites. Furthermore, it directs city staff to develop, agree and implement plan(s) that focus on the safety and well-being of campers and can help bring an end to the use of Reindahl Park as an encampment.

It is my full intention to continue working with city staff leading these efforts to ensure efficiency, proactive planning and transparent communications as plans progress. This also includes gaining feedback from campers, service providers, as well as neighbors of nearby residences and businesses. It is my hope that you will join me, my peers on the council, and city staff in efforts to work together on this issue that affects us all. Please reach out to me - district16@cityofmadison.com - if you would like to discuss this issue more.

In community,

Jael

dignity


Meeting and Event Highlights for the Week of August 30, 2021

Zoning for Tiny House Villages, Portable Shelter Missions, and Mission Camps

The City-County Homeless Issues Committee will be discussing proposed zoning text amendments related to tiny houses, portable shelter missions, and mission camps at its meeting on Monday. 

Final Report of the Digital Inclusion Task Force

The Education Committee will be discussing the final report of the Digital Inclusion Task Force at its meeting on Wednesday.

For additional information about additional meetings scheduled for this week, please consult the City Meeting Schedule online here


Events, activities, seminars, etc.

  • Library Takeover is a program created to support communities to make their idea happen at the library! Teams of 3-4 people can pitch their idea via an online application from September 1-October 1. If accepted, the team could receive a $2,000 event budget, free space at the library, a $400 stipend for each member of the team, a 4-workshop event-planning course and help from an influential local mentor.  They're looking for first-time event organizers, diverse communities, LGBTQ+ communities, etc. Learn more and apply here.
  • The third event in the Live Well @ Your Library series is a collaboration with two fantastic events in south Madison's Penn Park (2101 Fisher Street) on Sunday, August 29, from 1pm-4pm. Live Well @ Your Library is joining the Black & Brown Unity Picnic and the Latino Chamber of Commerce's La Plaza Market for an exciting outdoor event that approaches wellness in an interactive way.  It is a multicultural, multigenerational and multisensory event that will include live music, dancing, food carts, acupuncture, reiki and more.  Learn more here
  • IRONMAN Wisconsin returns to Madison on September 12. Volunteers are critical to the success of this event and are needed throughout the day in a variety of areas.  Sign up now to be a part of the action.  If you're involved with a non-profit that can put together a team of 15 or more volunteers, there may be grant funding opportunities available. If you are interested, please email imwisconsin@ironmanvolunteers.com for more information.
  • In light of the recent Supreme Court ruling blocking the Centers for Disease Control's moratorium on evictions, the Homeless Services Consortium is hosting two information sessions  to give a basic overview of the eviction process in Dane County, tenant rights, and some FAQs

English sessionSeptember 2, 1:00pm

Register in advance for this meeting.  After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Spanish session Proceso de Desalojo para Dane County: September 3, 10:00am

Register in advance for this meeting.  After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.


Announcements, press releases, press conferences, etc.

  • Your feedback is being sought as part of the Connect Greater Madison: Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) 2050 Update process. The Greater Madison Metropolitan Planning Organization wants to know how well the current area transportation network is serving your needs. Use the interactive mapping tool to post comments on the network, identifying specific gaps and challenges, as well as what you love and what's working well. This commenting tool is open and available from August 23 to October 3, 2021.
  • The City of Madison Engineering Division is sharing a new, interactive map and tool for the community to learn more about flooding impacts, stormwater infrastructure and potential flooding in the City of Madison.  Learn more here.
  • The City of Madison Engineering Division and Olbrich Botanical Gardens are proud to announce an award the City earned for work on Olbrich's recent expansion.  The Olbrich Botanical Gardens', Frautschi Family Learning Center (FFLC), earned the 2021 US Green Building Council's Leadership Award -West North Central Region. The USBGC Leadership Awards highlight green building projects, companies and individuals over the last year and recognize commitment toward creating healthy, sustainable spaces.
  • Included as part of the Vision Zero initiative roadway improvements, upcoming speed limit reductions are scheduled for several Madison streets identified as having a high level of injury causing crashes. The first one to occur, on South Park Street between Regent Street and Badger Road, begins on Monday, August 30, and will reduce the speed limit to 25 mph.  Read more and see additional streets that will have speed limit reductions later in 2021 here.
  • There are many options in Dane County to get tested for COVID-19.  Read more here.  See a list of testing partners here, and request a test kit be mailed to you here.
  • A new initiative designed to provide alternative emergency response for individuals who are in crisis is set to launch next week. The Madison Fire Department's Community Alternative Response Emergency Services (CARES) team will begin responding to 911 calls effective September 1.  Learn more here.
  • On August 26, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Centers for Disease Control exceeded its authority, thereby blocking the temporary moratorium on evictions. Read more here.  While this is concerning for many renters, the Tenant Resource Center wants to remind renters and property owners alike that there are still millions of dollars available in assistance funds via the Dane CORE program. They urge you to apply now, even if it is for September's rent. Assistance requests are being processed in real-time, and staff are available to help if you find the online application challenging.



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