Alder Samba Baldeh
210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: (608) 266-4071
Fax: (608) 267-8669
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Alder Baldeh’s Blog
Post Election and Budget
Update – Post Election and Budget
Dear Neighbors -
The election results from the city clerk's office show that there was a diversity of opinion about the presidential race in every ward in the district. Everyone knows the election has been divisive, but the truth is we must continue to live together with respect for each other, and to continue working for better ways to do that.
We must be together
I pledge to do everything possible to bring us together better. As an immigrant to this country, and as a citizen who loves this country, and this community, I know something about how vulnerable many people are feeling. I am saddened by the reports of discriminatory actions that have taken place since the election. I know none of my neighbors condone them. The greatness of this country is the promise of opportunity for all. Please don't hesitate to contact me with any concerns or ideas about how we can move forward together. I am already in contact with the immigrant community and their leadership and working with them to address some of their post elections concerns.
Library and Community Space - Our District 17 Forum in September brought up many concerns that residents have and provided me direction to work with city staff and my Council colleagues on these. I proposed two budget amendments to address our lack of city services in District 17. Both were focused on continuing to move the library in the Reindahl Park area forward. The public library's study, released earlier this year, called for Reindahl to be the site of the next library in the city. This is one thing everyone can agree on, that we need a library and public space. We need that to come together as neighbors and develop ourselves as a community.
Unfortunately, one of the amendments failed and the second was amended and moved to 2020 at the Board of Estimates. The library is still in the city's plans, but it is a good five years out. It is my position that we should not have to sit here and wait for five years for the city to have a positive presence in our neighborhoods.
Last month I called together city staff from many departments to review the findings from the forum and to discuss how they will meet the needs in our district. Following up on this meeting, I took a tour of the district with the Director of Planning and a deputy mayor. Most recently, I met with Council leadership, the mayor, and the Director of Planning and Economic and Community Development.
I want to thank everyone who took the time to write to me, the mayor, and our county supervisors after the forum. It makes a difference.
Some positive results
Although we do not have a budget amendment to address our immediate needs, I am hopeful by the end of the year, there will be a plan to address the urgent needs in the district. We want to be proactive in addressing these needs. We see the signs of problems with needles in parking lots and families having to reside in hotels, struggling to cross East Washington with strollers and young children. The city needs to have a presence and services here and I look forward to sharing the plan with you.
Traffic Calming and Safety; Parks
Following series of meetings with constituent members and traffic engineering, traffic calming and safety for some parts of the district (Portage & Donald Drive, American Center off American parkway and few streets to the south east of Glacier Hill Park) is part of the budget for 2017. This program improves traffic safety and accessibility for pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit users. Specific initiatives includes geometric improvements such as realignments, construction and reconstruction of corner radii, traffic islands, median breaks, turn lanes, guardrails, and safety and other traffic control devices.
Glacier Park is also scheduled to get a water fountain that was requested by neighbors of the park.
Let me know if anything.
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