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District 19

Alder Keith Furman

Image of Alder Keith Furman,
Council President

Alder Keith Furman,
Council 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

District 19 Blog

October Office Hours, Be a Watershed Steward, 6145 Mineral Point Road, Voting, and Public Safety

October 1, 2020 7:20 PM

I will be hosting office hours in October virtually on Wednesday, October 14th (rescheduled from Thursday, October 15th) in the afternoon and Thursday, October 22th in the morning. I will be using Zoom (with video). 

I'm introducing a slightly different process this month. Please use the registration links below to get the Zoom link. When you register, you'll also get an e-mail reminder on the day of Office Hours. You can register in advanced or the day of.

Note: I have set it up so I can only meet one person at a time. If I'm meeting with someone else, there will be a small waiting period in a meeting lobby. If you don't want to use Zoom, I will be answering calls (608-912-0000) during this time as long as I'm not speaking with someone else. 

Virtual Office Hours: Wednesday, 10/14/2020 @ 04:30 PM - 6:30 PM

Register for 10/14/2020 Office Hours:

If you don't wish to use your PC for your audio or use Zoom at all, you can call me: 608-912-0000

Virtual Office Hours: Thursday, 10/22/2020 @ 07:30 AM - 9:30 AM 

Register for 10/22/2020 Office Hours:

If you don't wish to use your PC for your audio or use Zoom at all, you can call me: 608-912-0000

If you have a question, concern, or topic of interest that you would like to discuss, but the times above don't work for you, you can e-mail me.

Be a watershed steward, try a new rain barrel, compost bin this fall

Anyone who wants to help the environment by being a better watershed steward should consider adding rain barrels and compost bins to their home this fall.

Rainwater harvesting systems, such as rain barrels, collect and store rainfall for later use.

Harvesting rainwater for plants saves water and reduces stormwater run-off into local waterways. The more we manage water where it falls, the more the local waterways will benefit.

"Composting and using a rain barrel are two simple actions all homeowners can take to help the lakes," Clean Lakes Alliance  founder and Executive Director James Tye, said.

Compost bins help create nutrient-rich soil by turning yard waste and select food scraps into organic nutrient-rich soil amendment fuel for lawns and gardens.

Buying on a budget is possible thanks to a local rain barrel and compost bin sale this weekend.

The annual Madison compost and rain barrel sale begins Oct. 10, 2020 at a new location: Garver Feed Mill, 3241 Garver Green, off S. Fair Oaks Avenue near Starkweather Creek. The new location provides easy pick-up and experts will be on hand to answer questions.  

Compost bins and 50- and 100-gallon rain barrels with diverters are available at discounted prices. Pre-orders before Oct. 2, 2020, receive an additional $10 off.

Pre-order online prior to Oct. 2, 2020 on the Rain Reserve website by searching for "Rain Reserve rain barrel and compost bin sale Madison."
Rain barrel options
Rain barrel and compost sale Facebook event 
Information regarding traffic flow and how to pick-up your rain barrel will be provided after your pre-order.

*NOTE: This is not a City of Madison event. Rain Reserve is the official host of the event. Any questions regarding the rain barrels purchased from previous sales should be directed to Rain Reserve 

Upcoming Urban Design Commision (10/7/2020) Meeting on Proposed Development at 6145 Mineral Point Road (Gorman - Oakwood Village - AgeBetter)

Gorman & Company's plans and application for their Oakwood Village - AgeBetter, Inc. project at 6145-6301 Mineral Point Road is on the agenda for UDC's Wednesday, October 7, 2020 at 4:30 p.m. meeting. You can learn more about this meeting including how to attend virtually and register to speak at

The development is proposed to be a four-story, affordable senior living apartment complex comprised of 77 one- and two-bedroom units, 64 underground parking spaces and 13 outdoor spaces. The plan has been updated to include feedback from residents who attended the neighborhood meeting on August 6th.

You can review the application at

The City of Madison Plan Commission will consider the application on Monday, October 19, 2020 at 5:45 p.m.

The Common Council will consider the application on Tuesday, October 20, 2020 at 6:45 p.m.

Voting Update

Last week's Democracy in the Park Event was a huge success! The City received over 10,000 ballots! It's back this weekend.



Reimagining Public Safety - Progress and Budget Priorities

I'd like to share a 10/1/2020 blog post from Mayor Satya. I'm disappointed to hear the police union has declined to re-open discussion about their contract. Police received a 3.25% salary increase in 2020 and are scheduled to get a 3.75% salary increase in 2021. With a big operating budget deficit due to COVID, this increase makes lowering the deficit difficult. I haven't seen the operating budget yet, but look forward to reviewing it when it's released next week. In August, I posted my views on public safety and will have more to say during Budget discussions.

A Message from Mayor Rhodes-Conway

The murder of George Floyd, the shooting of Jacob Blake, and the Black Lives Matter movement have renewed questions about the role of the police in our communities. We know that the Black community has been harmed by racial bias in policing and the criminal justice system. I am committed to both improving policing in Madison, and working with the entire community to reimagine what public safety means to our city.

I want to share what we've worked on so far, where we are heading next, and how the 2021 Executive Operating Budget I release next week will continue to support these efforts.

First, we are in the process of multiple changes that we hope will help create stronger relationships between the community and the police and help build trust. The Police and Fire Commission is in the process of selecting a new police chief with input from the community. The PFC has received over 40 applicants from across the country and I am hopeful that they will be able to hire a chief to be in position to start work in January.

We are also in the process of standing up Wisconsin's first Civilian Oversight Board on policing, which will soon hire an independent police monitor. The Civilian Oversight Board and police monitor have long been advocated for by the Ad Hoc Committee on Police Policy and Procedure. Our initial appointments to this board were announced recently and the Common Council will add two more names this week.

I am hopeful that the added transparency created through these efforts will help increase trust between the community and the police.

Additionally, the City is strengthening its response to the surge of violence that we've been experiencing this year as a result of the COVID-related economic turmoil. We are seeing significant increases in shots fired, auto thefts, and burglaries from 2019 to 2020, and we must do all we can to stop these trends. Our residents are rightly concerned about this spike and the police are keeping their focus on responding to and investigating reports of violent incidents in the City.

We continue to support the efforts of the Community Safety Intervention Team, which brings together multiple levels of government (City, County and school district) to work in partnership with community organizations to reduce gun violence in the community. We will build on this effort by partnering with the County on a major new investment creating a Violence Prevention Unit at Public Health Madison Dane County aimed at identifying and addressing root causes of violence. We'll also be expanding contractual support to community organizations focused on violence prevention and interruption in the community. You can read more about these new efforts here in the Wisconsin State Journal.

Finally, we are starting to reimagine public safety and think deliberately about what jobs are best performed by police and what jobs might best be performed differently. You'll see some of these changes in the 2021 Executive Operating Budget I am releasing on Tuesday. It will show up in Public Health, Community Development, Transportation, and in the Police budget. This is a very tough budget year, and nearly every department is facing cuts. The Police Department is no exception. Reduced revenue (due to COVID) compounded with contractual obligation from the previous administration to raise pay in MPD, make our job harder this year. We have asked the police union to come to the table to reconsider their contract, but they have not yet agreed. Nonetheless, we are moving forward.

We started this work a year ago when we began the process of moving parking enforcement operations from Police to our Parking Utility. This year, my budget will show that we've continued to identify these opportunities to shift programs and responsibilities off of police and onto more appropriate responders.

Community groups made the case that our schools are over-policed and the data shows disparate results. This summer, in a big win for the advocates who had been working on this for so long, the school board worked with the City to cancel the contract for officers in schools as they work to envision a new way of providing safety in the school system.

This fall we are partnering with the County to investigate a models of responding to behavioral health crises with social services instead of law enforcement. The City is informed by successful models of this program in Eugene, Denver, and elsewhere. This model can not only create a better support system for those in crisis; it also significantly reduces calls to the police which helps them to focus where they are most needed – on violent crime.

In 2021, my focus will be on building the City's support for violence prevention and alternative response models, which will take calls and responsibilities off MPD, while at the same time keeping the police focused on responding to dangerous and violent crime.

I invite you to share your thoughts on this topic. As always, you can contact me at or (608) 266-4611.


As always, if there is anything I can do to help, feel free to reach out:

-Keith F

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