Alder Brian Benford
210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: (608) 266-4071
Fax: (608) 267-8669
WI Relay Service
Alder Benford’s Updates
At least we are better than the State! Maps, new districts are on the horizon
Hello Friends and Neighbors
I hope that this note finds you all well and finding joy. As I write this post, the City of Madison's redistricting process is moving, compared to other city processes, at light speed. I attended last Thursday's Redistricting Committee meeting, and I recognize that these folks are undertaking a complex task under extremely, difficult time restraints. If you missed my last posts about this issue, here is the webpage and Legistar detailing this committee's work. Okay, let me be transparent, I believe as alders, we should think of the process of redrawing maps as what's best for the city and underrepresented people, not our electability.
During their meeting last evening, the Ad Hoc Redistricting Committee had a strong preference for Alder District Concept 7a. Concept 7a was one of three new Alder District Concepts developed in response to community feedback received. Both Concept 7a and Concept 7b calls for adding the Tenney Lapham neighborhoods in District 2 (joining the isthmus neighborhoods across East Washington International Speedway) to District 6 and ending the eastern boundaries of District 6 at Division Street (drawing me out of my seat), and placing SASY and a large swath of Atwood into District 15.
BIAS alert! Just me speaking from the heart - throughout the redistricting process, other concepts called for splitting the student district (8). I was deeply distressed about this because I think that UW-Madison students need to have their voices heard; and be properly represented. It was absurd to think that a non-UW student could represent the interests of students living in residence halls and around campus. Seeing Concept 7a and Concept 7b mostly keeps District 8 intact gave me solace. That is, until I saw the foundations of what I would call, a "Mega Privileged and White District" (MPWD). I had to smile thinking that this new District 6 would lead the State of Wisconsin in voting and so called progressivism. By taking the Darbo-Worthington neighborhood out of District 6, I grimace as this new mighty district will be virtually all white.
Being drawn out of my seat truthfully does not bother me as it might some alders. I am one of those rare birds that believe that any political leader worth their salt should never serve in office for too long. I honestly feel that it is incumbent upon me to seek the next generation of leaders and to support their development; and to step aside so that others may serve. That is why I have always believed in term limits. With the proposed boundary lines, I would be living in District 15, in which, other than the chunk that is firmly, currently entrenched in District 6, I know little about. Once again, not considering the fact that I will only be able to serve one term, MPWD or the new District 6 might have some advantages. Maybe neighborhood associations from across the speedway can come together to address the dangerous, reckless and inconsiderate driving on East Washington.
Staff is developing proposed Wards and Polling Places based on Concept 7a. This will be posted to the webpage/Legistar by Monday morning. The Committee will review the proposed Wards and Polling Places during their Oct. 4 (2pm) and Oct. 7 (4pm) meetings. Please know that while formal public input has ended, you can attend the remaining meeting and offer public comment or write to firstname.lastname@example.org
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