City meetings continue to be mostly virtual with details listed in City Meetings of Interest below. Common Council meetings are hybrid so the public can attend in person or via Zoom. Stay in touch with your neighbors through either Capitol Neighborhoods, Inc.  or Campus Area Neighborhood Assoc .

There are three sections to this week's update:

  1. Common Council Agenda and Other Committee Meetings
  2. Downtown Updates
  3. City Updates

Common Council Agenda and Other Committee Meetings


Common Council
Today, May 16th we have a Common Council and yet again we are faced with a remarkably light council agenda. I am sure our agendas will start getting more intense soon as we get further into the term. Nonetheless, here are some agenda items of note:

Agenda Item 1: Recognizing and honoring Leslie Watkins for her exceptional contributions to the community

Agenda Item 4 and 5: Amending the City of Madison Official Map to establish mapped reservations for future Streets and Highways in the City of Madison consistent with recommendations in the adopted Greater East Towne Area Plan. 

Agenda Item 6: changing the zoning code for the Johnson & Bassett Project, a new Core Spaces development
The Johnson & Bassett Project Steering Committee requested the Plan Commission to defer approval of the project with concerns about lack of public engagement  and lack of adequate community input for the development. If approved, the development will result in the demolition of about 75 units of naturally occurring affordable housing primarily occupied by students. Further there are concerns that the rushed public engagement process led to a project that does not meet expectations of downtown and Mifflin St residents. I find it quite unfortunate that these concerns were relayed by residents and future developers need to do better with public engagement rather than dismissing downtown and student residents. 

Agenda Item 14: Common Council Present submitting alder committee appointments to the Common Council Executive Committee (CCEC)Alder Evers, Alder Govindaraja, Alder Madison, and Alder Conklin have been appointed to CCEC. I have been appointed as a non-voting alternate. 

Agenda Item 32: Temporary Class B Retail License for Madison Festivals Inc. on the 700 Block of State St for the Run Madtown Event
Madison Festivals Inc has submitted this license application to pass out beer after the Run Madtown Event. I am frustrated that the applicant has routinely turned in applications late, meaning Common Council must take up the application without neighborhood and Alcohol License and Review Committee (ALRC) review. This is problematic because that means there is not ample time for public engagement with the neighborhood and a lack of fairness to other applicants that do not receive special accommodations for late applications. I wonder if a small business were to consistently submit late applications, would they receive the same privileges of bypassing the neighborhood input and ALRC. I will be making a strong note that future applications must be submitted with ample time for approval. 

Agenda Item 36: Amending the 2023 Apoted Mayor’s Office Sustainability Improvements Project Capital Budget to accept a $429,746 grant from the U.S. EPA to enter non-competitve contracts with the Foundation for Black WOmen’s Wellness, Inc., Latino Health Council, The Hmong Institute Inc, and the UW-Madison Building Sensor and Community Partnership Networks for Air Quality project.

Agenda Item 44: Chief of Police 1st Quarter ReportAgenda Item 69: A resolution adopting a Public Participation Plan for the City of Madison Comprehensive Plan Interim Update (2023) and authorizing the Planning Division to draft amendments to the text and maps in the 2018 Comprehensive Plan. You can review the draft plan here

Economic Development Committee and Madison Food Policy Council to make a recommendation on the Final Report of the Task Force on Farmland Preservation 
Economic Development Committee details: May 17th, 5p
Madison Food Policy Council: May 17th, 5:30p

Downtown Updates

Cars on State June 3rd: the 14th Annual Classic Car Show will take place June 3rd. This is a family friendly event where people can see cars across the decades. There are already 110 vehicles registered for the event. To learn more check out Downtown Madison’s website.

Bucky on Parade is Back through Sept. 15th: It’s been five years since Bucky has been paraded around the city. This is a public art event celebrating our mascot, Bucky Badger. Sign up is free if you would like to join in on the fun. 

Imagination Celebration 2023 on May 19th: Join the Children’s Theatre of Madison for yard games, BBQ, cocktails, and entertainment. 

City of Madison Updates


East Side Farmers' Market, Tuesday, May 16, 2023: The Eastside Farmers' Market is Madison Wisconsin’s finest weekday farmers' market. Our goal is to bring the freshest Wisconsin grown food direct to the heart of the East side. Our vendor members are agricultural producers and food artisans who make value added products from Wisconsin's agricultural bounty. 

Movin' Out Financial Literacy Series (#2 - Budgeting), Tuesday, May 16, 2023
: The City of Madison, in partnership with Movin’ Out, invite South Madison residents to participate in Movin’ Out’s financial wellness series! This six-session financial literacy program covers a range of topics to provide a solid understanding of the fundamentals of personal finance. In between sessions, interested participants can work with Movin’ Out’s Counseling staff on their own financial goals toward homeownership. 

Dane County Farmers' Market - Wednesday Market, Wednesday, May 17, 2023: The Wednesday Dane County Farmers’ Market is located on the 200 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, in between the Madison Municipal Building and the City County Building. While more intimate than the Saturday Market, you will still find many of your favorite Dane County Farmers’ Market members, as well as a full array of fruits and vegetables, eggs, cheeses, honey, maple syrup, bakery items, cut flowers, plants, and many specialty items.

Edna Taylor Volunteer Day, Wednesday, May 17, 2023: Madison Parks and the Friends of Edna Taylor Conservation Park are seeking volunteers in conservation to assist in removing invasive plants in the park. Participants will learn plant identification, conservation methods, and help remove garlic mustard. Bags, gloves and instructions will be provided. 

Voices of Color with Host Melvin Hinton, Thursday, May 18, 2023Our community is a rich mix of many different cultures. Being an inclusive community means learning about and appreciating our differences. It means unlearning stereotypes and ideas that we may have of one another; some of which are ingrained in the fabric of society. Join us on the third Thursday of each month at 10 am to learn about and meet individuals whose diverse leadership is shaping the future of our community. A virtual presentation sponsored by the Madison Senior Center.

Wright Design Series: Taliesin Then and Now, Thursday, May 18, 2023: Ryan Hewson has been a preservation staff member at Taliesin since 2008.  In his current role, he is responsible for the oversight and planning of preservation. Hewson received his Master’s degree in Architecture from The Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture.
You’ll learn about the history of the buildings on the Taliesin property that served as Wright’s architectural laboratory.  And Hewson will discuss preservation techniques and plans that are underway, and share different ways to engage with what’s happening at Taliesin now.

Annual Spring Break-A-Way 3on3 Basketball Tournament Series, Friday, May 19, 2023: After March Madness, the real tournament begins with the Annual Spring Break-A-Way 3on3 Basketball Tournament Series. Northside teens compete in a double-elimination tournament while enjoying a free meal. With on-site registration, players simply have to show up with two friends, or we will find a team for drop-in players. The tournament series is held on Friday nights: April 28, May 19 & May 26 (5pm-8pm), and includes middle school and high school divisions.

Volunteer Day at The Glen, Saturday, May 20, 2023: The Glen Golf Park is establishing an ongoing volunteer program that helps volunteers learn, grow personally and gain professional experience. Projects vary and include land management of natural areas - weeding, planting, seed collection, woody plant removal; Horticultural detailing - maintaining landscape beds, mulching, weeding; and more!

HUD-Approved Homebuyer Education, Saturday, May 20, 2023: Take the first step to owning a home, and join us in this Home Buyer Education Workshop. This FREE HUD-Approved homebuyer education workshop takes place in person and lunch is provided. 

Heritage Sanctuary Volunteer Day, Saturday, May 20, 2023: Madison Parks is seeking volunteers in conservation to assist in removing invasive plants in Heritage Sanctuary Conservation Park. Participants will learn plant identification, conservation methods, ecological restoration efforts and methods, as well as park history. 

Bird & Nature Adventures – Starkweather Creek Area, Saturday, May 20, 2023: Explore the Creek with James Winkelman ~ Join James Winkelman and Friends of Starkweather Creek for a free fun family-friendly canoe outing or take a healthy nature walk, bike ride or canoe outing any day in May along Starkweather Creek!  Some canoes will be provided, bring your own canoe or kayak and vest and paddles if you have them. Join the Friends to help support preserving this amazing urban waterway ecosystem! 

Edna Taylor Volunteer Day, Saturday, May 20, 2023: Madison Parks and the Friends of Edna Taylor Conservation Park are seeking volunteers in conservation to assist in removing invasive plants in the park. Participants will learn plant identification, conservation methods, and help remove garlic mustard. Bags, gloves and instructions will be provided.

Picnic in the Park, Saturday, May 20, 2023: Step back in time to a 1950s cocktail club as we re-create the Madison Park and Pleasure Drive's Annual Banquet which brought private citizens together & sparked the creation of our public parks as we know them today. The tradition continues at Burrows Park & features an expertly crafted, themed event that includes lavish food & drinks as well as live music to help us celebrate 128 years of Madison Parks!

WORTstock, Sunday, May 21, 2023: WORTstock is WORT 89.9 FM Community Radio's multicultural live music festival with food and craft vendors, info tables, prize raffle, and children's activities.

Bird & Nature Adventures – Warner Park, Sunday, May 21, 2023: Looking for Lichens with Steven Ansorge ~ Join Naturalist Steven Ansorge to look for and learn about the fascinating world of Lichens!  These simple-looking growths on rocks and trees are surprisingly complex hybrid organisms based on a symbiotic (mutually beneficial) combination of fungus and algae.  Their ability to grow on bare rock and break down minerals helps create the foundations of life for other organisms. Lichens only thrive when the air is clean and are used as a scientific indicator of air quality.

Movie at The Glen – Moana, Sunday, May 21, 2023: Grab a blanket or bring a lawn chair and head over to The Glen for yard games and a movie! All are welcome!SAVE THE DATE!Meadowlands and Tree Lane Resource Fairs: Does your organization provide activities, resources, or services that could benefit the children and families living in the Meadowlands and Tree Lane Apartments this summer?  Public Health Madison & Dane County is hosting resource fairs at each of these locations in May.

Meadowlands Apartments – 6810 Milwaukee St., Saturday, May 20th 12-3pmTree Lane Family Apartments – 7933 Tree Ln., Wednesday, May 24th 3-6 pm

If you would like to attend one or both of these fairs, please complete the following survey to assist with planning. Or contact our team at

Lake Monona Waterfront Design Challenge Team Selection: Madison Parks is pleased to announce the team selection in the Lake Monona Waterfront Design Challenge! 

Introducing the New City of Madison Forester Ian Brown
: The City of Madison is happy to announce Ian Brown as the new City of Madison Forester.