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District 3

Alder Erik Paulson

Image of Alder Erik Paulson

Alder Erik Paulson

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 Paulson’s Updates

Week of Sept 19: Honoring Wayne Strong, US 51 studies upcoming, and more City updates

September 17, 2022 1:44 PM

A posthumous honor for Wayne Strong from the City, a quick update on two D3 development projects, US 51 WisDOT studies upcoming, the Lake Monona Waterfront Design Challenge calendar for the fall, and many other City meetings, events, and announcements in this week's update.

  • 2022 Rev. James C. Wright Human Rights Award: Wayne Strong
  • Development Project Updates
  • US 51/Stoughton Road WisDOT Studies starting this fall
  • Lake Monona Waterfront Design Challenge events this fall
  • City Meetings: Common Council, Plan Commission, Board of Public Works, Alcohol Licensing, Water Utilty Board, and more
  • Events: Field trip to Donald County Park, Viva México Festival, Black Women Artists Speak, and more
  • Announcements: Madison Fleet Service to accept international award for Vision Zero safety work, "Library Takeover"- Create a program at the Library, and September is National Literacy Month

2022 Rev. James C. Wright Human Rights Award: Wayne Strong

At the Tuesday Common Council meeting, we will start the meeting with the presentation of the 2022 Rev. James C. Wright Human Rights Award.

The Reverend James C. Wright Human Rights Award honors the late Reverend James C. Wright who served as Executive Director of the Equal Opportunities Commission from its inception in 1968 until his retirement in 1992. The award is given to an individual who best exemplifies the Rev. Wright's dedication and compassion for civil and human rights and conducts their daily life consistent with these values. The Equal Opportunities Commission has selected Wayne Strong (Posthumously) as the recipient of the 2022 award.

Unfortunately, Wayne passed away earlier this year, and the award will be presented to Wayne's wife, Terri.

Wayne was passionate about all forms of justice. He knew that young African American men needed positive role models and activities to succeed in spite of the racism and barriers that they experienced. Thirty years ago, as a neighborhood police officer, Wayne got involved in the Southside Raiders Youth Football and Cheerleading Program. He kept the program going long after he left the force. He was there for all youth, even those who were justice-involved, had trouble in school, or had fallen through the cracks in other ways.

There are not enough words that can describe how Wayne Strong positively impacted our community. With this award and for keeping in the tradition of what Reverend Wright stood for in our community, The Equal Opportunities Commission and Department of Civil Rights - Equal Opportunities Division would like honor Wayne Strong and say thank you for his service to our community.

Development Project Updates

I missed this in last week's update, but at the Sept 6th Common Council meeting, the last part of the 102 S Sprecher (160 unit, 4 story apartment building at the corner or Milwaukee St and Sprecher) was approved by the Council. There will be some remaining paperwork to finish and permits for the project to get, but they could start construction later this winter or spring. 

The Plaza Hotel/Plato Madison conversion project (3841 E Washington Ave - the hotel next to Hy-Vee) which will convert a 197 room hotel into a 190 unit apartment building is still working its way through the approval process. It received initial approval from the Urban Design Commission last week, and will be at the Plan Commission on October 3rd  

Highway 51/Stoughton Road studies by WisDOT

In addition to the recently-kicked-off study of the I39/90/94 Corridor from Madison to the Dells, the Wiscosnin Department of Transportation is also starting a multi-year study of the US 51 corridor, from just south of the Beltline all the way north to Highway 19 in DeForest. 

This was originally planned for 2017, but due to budget constraints WisDOT pushed it off for a few years. This time around, rather than one big study, WisDOT has structured this as two concurrent but separate studies:

  • A North Study, which runs from Highway 30 north to DeForest
  • A South Study, which runs from Highway 30 south to Voges Road in McFarland just south of US 12/18.

Like the Interstate study, this is very early in the process and the point is to gather data and feedback, consider some design alternatives, and start environmental impact studies. There are no construction dates yet, and there probably won't be any until at least the end of the decade. 

There are not yet any public meetings scheduled - WisDOT says "sometime in the fall of 2022" but on the two links above, you can sign up for email notices and updates about the project, as well as provide comments to WisDOT. I'll be sharing more information as I learn it.

Lake Monona Waterfront Design Challenge Events

Madison Parks is holding a public event series for the Lake Monona Waterfront Design Challenge!
The event series is an opportunity to learn more about the design challenge, the selected teams, their progress in plan development, and the final master plan proposals. The three events include a design challenge kick-off, midpoint check-in, and team presentations of their proposed vision for the Lake Monona Waterfront. Below is further information on the Parks-led public events.
Design Challenge Kick-Off
Monday, October 3, 2022 @ 6:00 pm CT
Madison Central Library, Rooms 301-302, 201 W Mifflin Street
Design teams will live-stream to the event and introduce themselves and their team's unique perspective on master plan development.
Design Challenge Check-In
Monday, November 7, 2022 @ 6:00 pm CT
Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center, Lecture Hall, 1 John Nolen Drive
Design teams will virtually present initial thoughts and concepts in developing a master plan vision for the Lake Monona Waterfront.
Design Challenge Master Plan Presentations
Thursday, January 26, 2023@ 6:00 pm CT
Olin Park Facility, 330 E. Lakeside Street
Design teams will present in-person their proposed master plan for the Lake Monona Waterfront.
The events will also be streamed to the Madison City Channel for remote viewing.
More information on the design challenge is available on the project website: Lake Monona Waterfront Design Challenge.



  • Field trip to Donald County Park: On Saturday, September 24, 10am-12:30pm, you are invited to hike and explore Donald County Park, located in the Town of Springdale. All ages are welcome, and a free picnic lunch will be provided. Transportation is available – meet at the Catholic Multicultural Center, 1862 Beld Street, at 9:15am. If you are interested, please contact to register.
  • Homebuyer education classes: The City of Madison, in partnership with the Home Buyers Round Table of Dane County and Consumer Credit Counseling Service, want to share with you these HUD Approved Homebuyer Education classes occurring monthly through the rest of 2022. Find all the events here. The next class is September 24, 8am-3pm, at the Villager Mall, Atrium entrance (2300 S. Park Street). You will learn more about what it takes to buy your first home, securing a mortgage, and down payment assistance programs. Hear from content experts like realtors, lenders, insurance agents, home inspectors, and housing counselors. Register for the free class here. If you have questions, please contact Maria Davila-Martinez at or 608-266-6557.
  • Estate Planning: Getting Started at Any Age. Tuesday, Sept 20th Noon-1pm. Sponsored by the Madison Public Library Foundation. It's never too early to begin making a plan for your estate! Join us on Tuesday, September 20, at noon for our next Educational Series event, Estate Planning: Getting Started at Any Age. Leading the presentation will be three Stafford Rosenbaum LLP staff members: Johanna J. Allex, Partner; Rachel Snyder, Senior Associate; and Danielle Becker, Attorney. They will guide you through all things estate planning -- including information about the differences between wills and trusts, the probate process, basic estate and gift tax concepts, how to plan for incapacity, and more. 
  • Viva México Festival: On September 18, you're invited to an event celebrating Mexico's heritage and history at the 21st Annual Viva México Festival. There will be plenty of delicious Mexican food, traditional Latino folk dance, exhibits, face painting, tables with cultural information, and much more. The festival takes place from 12pm-8pm at Breese Stevens Field, 917 E. Mifflin Street. Learn more here.
  • Black Women Artists Speak: On Tuesday, September 20, there will be a panel discussion about how Madison can support Black Women Creative Workers. Black women artists from several artistic genres to share their true experiences in Madison and what should be done to ensure equity and fairness in the Madison art scene. The discussion will center on ways in which art institutions, funders and philanthropic communities can be supportive.


  • Lenin Fierro Vision Zero Fleet Advocacy Award: The City of Madison is being recognized with an international award on September 21 by the United Nations-affiliated Together for Safer Roads, the leading global NGO focused on Vision Zero and eliminating the 1.5 million traffic deaths around the world annually. Mahanth Joishy, Superintendent of Fleet Service, will accept the Lenin Fierro Vision Zero Fleet Advocacy Award  at the TSR Annual Meeting on September 21 in New York City on behalf of the City of Madison and Madison's outstanding Vision Zero program launched by Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway in 2020. Read more here.
  • Water stewardship course: Four Madison-area water organizations and a local nonprofit have developed a brand-new Water Steward course and certification for the public. The Water Steward course offers three hours of in-person instruction over two sessions. Held on September 20 and September 27, 2022, each 90-minute session provides in-depth education on the local water system: how it works and the human impact on water. Course participants will gain practical skills in water conservation, protection, restoration and advocacy for local water systems. A certification component is also available to participants completing a water-focused project in partnership with Sustain Dane. The Water Steward course is based on the organization's award-winning Master Recyclers project model. Tuition for the Water Steward course is $15, but full and partial scholarships are available. You can learn more about the sessions and enroll here.
  • Library Takeover returns: From September 15 - October 15, 2022, Madison Public Library is accepting applications for the Library Takeover program. Teams of 3-4 people can apply to participate in the program, which includes a 4-session course on event planning and culminates in a finished and fully-funded program at the library in the spring of 2023. The library will choose three teams to participate for 2022-2023 and will provide $2,000 for each team to use in planning their event. Each individual team member will also receive a $400 stipend and a certificate of completion from Madison Public Library. No previous event-planning experience is necessary - all that's needed is a great idea for community engagement! Learn more here.
  • National Literacy Month: September is National Literacy Month. Here are a couple of ways you can celebrate by supporting adult literacy:
    • Volunteer as a tutor. Volunteer tutors make programs possible. Volunteers work one on one with students to help improve their literacy skills. Training is provided. Learn more about volunteering. 
    • Sign up for classes. The fall semester has started! Contact Literacy Network at 608-244-3911 if you or someone you know is interested in improving English reading, writing, and/or speaking skills; becoming a U.S. citizen; or earning a high school diploma.

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