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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

Lots of Info and Updates to Share!

April 17, 2022 5:30 PM

Greetings friends and neighbors,

I hope this message finds you well. Happy Easter, Ramadan and Passover for those who observe. There is a lot of information in this update so I've provided an overview:

  • April Office Hours
  • Brief overview of items of interest that will be heard, discussed and/or voted on at this week's Common Council meeting
  • Update about MPD's Traffic Enforcement Priorities
  • CARES Program Updates
  • Upcoming In-District/District Specific Events
  • City Highlights for the Week of April 18, 2022

Be well!

Jael


OHAlder Currie's Office Hours

  • Thursday April 21st, 7-8:30pm (in person)
    • This will not be formal office hours. However, I will be attending a meeting at the McFarland Municipal Center (regarding the new landfill proposal) and would love to meet you there!
  • Sunday April 24th, 1-3pm; virtual, Register Here
  • Tuesday April 26th, 6-7:30pm;virtual, Register Here
  • Wednesday April 27th, 6-7pm (in person)
    • This will not be formal office hours. However, I will be attending a dinner at the Ho Chunk Nation's Community Center and would love to meet you there!

Meeting of the Common Council - Tuesday 4/19/22

The Common Council will be voting in new council leadership (President and Vice-President) and taking up several items of interest at this week's meeting.

Register for the virtual meeting HERE

Note – In order to register, you will need to know the agenda item(s) you are interested in. The agenda can be viewed online HERE

Agenda Item 93
Creating Section 4.097 of the Madison General Ordinances to Create a Resource Recovery Special Charge

This special charge will be a flat fee of about $4.10/month per household. The charge is not based on the volume of recycling collected and therefore, will not be a disincentive to recycling. This amounts to an annual fee of approximately $50/year per household and will produce an anticipated $3M in revenue.

I am incredibly sympathetic to the fact Madison's property taxes and fees continue to rise, especially at this time. While many city services are covered by property tax revenues, state imposed levy limits make it difficult for local governments to cover services, especially as costs to maintain these services rise. This results in our costs increasing more than our revenues, leading to the difficult work of finding efficiencies and cutting costs to balance the budget each year. This fee is one of those efficiencies. 

If the fee is not approved Tuesday, we will need to make up for the significant budget difference elsewhere. Looking forward, the 2023 budget season has just started and I am appointed to the finance committee. I commit to being more diligent in understanding resident and service taxes/fees and prioritizing a budget that seeks to mitigate rising costs to residents, while also adequately funding public services. This year, I unfortunately see no other path forward than to approve this special fee – I will be supporting this item.

If it is of interest, feel free to check out a short blog on strategies municipalities are using statewide to mitigate the impact of inflation. https://www.ruekertmielke.com/blog/2022/how-municipalities-can-mitigate-the-impact-of-inflation

Agenda Item 96

Approving the selection of the property located at 1902 Bartillon Drive as the site for a permanent shelter facility serving men experiencing homelessness, authorizing the City's Engineering Division to undertake a competitive process to select an entity to provide architectural and engineering design services, subject to Common Council approval, and authorizing the City's Community Development Division to undertake a similar effort to select an operator for the facility, again, subject to Council approval.

Early last month, Mayor Rhodes-Conway and County Executive Parisi announced the selection of the site of the next permanent shelter for men. This resolution will allow the City to begin the work of selecting vendors to design the site and its services. I will be supporting this item.

Agenda Item 114

Implementing Body-Worn Camera Pilot Program

The proposed resolution implements a Body-Worn Camera (BWC) Pilot Program in the Police Department (MPD). The 2021 capital budget included $83,000 in GO Borrowing for approximately 48 body worn cameras, related equipment and training (which was adopted as a carryforward appropriation in the 2022 capital budget). The project funds a one-year pilot program in the North District for Patrol Officers, Sergeants, and the Community Policing Team. The capital project assumed purchasing the cameras, however, after further investigation MPD anticipates securing cameras on loan without cost. This resolution updates how the pilot will proceed, including the use of the budgeted funds for costs associated with implementing the pilot project.

This resolution was before the council in early January of this year but was re-referred due to the resolutions oversight of GMO 23.63, Use of Surveillance Policy. This ordinance details a public approval process before any new surveillance technology, such as BWCs, can be used. Despite the 3 month delay and public input meetings held by MPD, the revised resolution is still inadequate. In particular, the resolution does not meet all 10 pre-conditions of the Body-worn Camera (BWC) Feasibility committee nor recommendations from the Quatrone report. Furthermore, MPD is relying on the possibility of underutilized overtime fees to absorb this cost. "An appropriation to MPD may be necessary later in the year to cover these costs. Their ability to do so depends on the number of extraordinary events that may require overtime and unknown events that may occur in 2022." I will not be supporting this item.


MPD Making Roads Safer

Makings roads in our community safer continues to be a top priority for the Madison Police Department. Traffic enforcement has increased nearly 135% on high-injury roads in the city, such as E. Washington Ave., the Beltline and Mineral Point Road. These roads were identified by city partners through the Vision Zero Network. They also account for around 1/3 of all citations and warnings issued city-wide. Hear more on this topic from Chief Barnes.


CARES Program Updates

  • As of March 18, 2022, CARES has responded to 257 total calls mental health emergencies that the CARES team responds to are time intensive, requiring an average of 53 minutes per call.
  • September 2021 through February 2022, the program has averaged 38 calls per month, with this number ranging from a low of 21 calls in November 2021 to a high of 57 calls in February 2022. The lower number of calls in the first few months of the program's implementation is in part because prior to December 22, 2021, the CARES program only responded to calls in Madison's central district. Since that time CARES has expanded services to all Madison Districts.
  • Patient Characteristics
    • 64% previously served by Journey Mental Health
    • 18% previously served by CARES
    • 18% experiencing homelessness
    • While CARES has served all age groups, 39% of its patients have been between 25 and 44 years of age
    • 52% of CARES patients are male and 43% are female (5% blank data)
    • The majority of CARES patients have been white (67%)
  • Outcomes After Intervention
    • For example, 32% of calls involved the CARES team treating the patient and then transporting them
    • Three percent of the calls involved the CARES team treating the patient and then transferring the care of the patient to another EMS unit
    • Three percent of the calls involved CARES treating the patient and releasing them (i.e., no transport to services needed).
    • Two percent of calls involved the patients refusing evaluation/care and transport by CARES.

cares


District Specific Upcoming Events

Sustainability Campus Public Meeting Seeking Feedback

When: Thursday April 21st, 6:30-8:30pm

Where: Village of McFarland Municipal Center, 5915 Milwaukee St, McFarland, 53558.

The meeting will have a hybrid option so those unable to make it in person, can attend virtually. Register for virtual attendance here.

Please join myself, District 34 County Board Supervisor Patrick Miles, County and City staff for an opportunity to share your comments and questions about Dane County's proposal for a Sustainability Campus on a portion of the Yahara Hills Golf Course, located just to the south of the existing landfill at 6701 US Hwy 12/18.

Earth Day Challenge

Celebrate Earth Day, Saturday April 23rd, with neighbors and friends by volunteering to clean up your neighborhood park during the #EarthDayChallenge! Assist with trash pickup, raking, weeding, removing sticks, and more. All ages are welcome to participate. Advanced registration is required for anyone 10 years and older: https://www.cityofmadison.com/calendar/earth-day-challenge-2022 Cleanups at most of the parks will be from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. unless otherwise noted on the registration page. Parks already full and with no volunteer openings are not listed.

Annual Madison Bird and Nature Festival

Please come to the free Bird and Nature Festival, Sunday April 24th at the Warner Park Rainbow Shelter to help celebrate Earth Week, Arbor Day and International Bird Day as a Community! Bring friends, families and kids to enjoy live raptors, hayrides, music, food carts, nature group exhibits and kids nature activities. Meet some of the hundreds of Parks, Friends group and Nature group volunteers who help make Madison a Naturally Beautiful and Welcoming Place!

birds

Teejop Hocira – Youth Outreach Event, Dinner & Resource Fair

When: Wednesday April 27th, 3:30-7pm

Where: Teejop Hocira (Ho Chunk) Community Center, 4724 Tradewinds Pkwy, 53718

Attention area youth and families – we invite you to participate in activities designed to connect and discover ways to get involved in issues that affect our daily lives and are especially relevant to Indigenous communities. There will be a seed planting and land restoration activity, community resource fair and dinner catered by Elena Terry and Wild Bearies. Register for the event HERE


Highlights for the Week of April 18, 2022

Events

  • Madison College's 2022 Annual Spring Pow Wow will be held on Saturday, April 23, at Redsten Gym, 1701 Wright Street. Doors open at 11am, and Grand Entries will be at 1pm and 7pm. Find more information here.
  • Madison Print & Resist Zine Fest is a day-long festival of political print media, zines, experimental publications, and prints related to the world of art, do-it-yourself culture, and political action. This year's fest takes place at the Central Library, 201 W. Mifflin St. on Saturday, April 16 from 11 am to 4 pm. Learn more here.
  • Monona Terrace is excited to announce its free summer Concerts on the Rooftop series is back with an exciting line up of local and regional artists for its 25th Anniversary! The public is invited to enjoy great music, a family-friendly setting, and gorgeous views of Lake Monona and downtown Madison. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. with America's Pub Quiz hosted trivia from 6pm-7pm. Concerts are from 7pm-9pm. Find concert dates and artist line-ups here. Free tickets are available at www.mononaterrace.com/concerts.
  • On April 14, Dane County Health Council  and The Foundation for Black Women's Wellness  announced a major step forward in local efforts to improve health outcomes for Black women, birthing persons and babies. Learn more about the care coordination system centered on Black women and birthing persons to reduce Black infant mortality here.

Announcements

  • Madison Parks and Madison School & Community Recreation (MSCR) are partnering to offer preschool, youth and adult aquatics programs this summer at the Goodman Pool, 325 W. Olin Avenue. Learn more here.



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