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District 8

Alder Juliana Bennett

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Alder Juliana Bennett

Council Office

Common Council Office:
210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd
Room 417
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: (608) 266-4071
Fax: (608) 267-8669
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Alder Bennett’s Blog

I'm Peeved - Reindahl Park Update and NIMBYs

July 6, 2021 4:48 PM

I'm Peeved.

As many of you know, housless encampments are a continued issue in Madison. It is a problem that existed before the pandemic, was exacerbated by the pandemic, and will continue to persist following the pandemic. I will not go into too much detail about the background of the sitation at Reindahl; however, here's a pretty good summary from Tone Madison.

I wanted to use this space to air my frustration with Agenda Item #22, Legistar 66239 "Directing City Staff ot Enforce Ordinances Within Reindahl Park". This is the thrid blow against Reindahl campers in the form of a resolution, the first two being an alcohol ban at Reindahl and finding a location for another tiny house village, which stated "the continued use of City parks or other City property by those experiencing unsheltered homelessness is not a viable solution to providing this vulnerable population with safe and humane housing". All three of these resolutions point to an utter disregard, on behalf of the sponso, to understand the needs of this vulnerable community and find the best solution for these folx. 

One of the main pints of not takingaction at reindahl, until we have a solution that best meets everyones needs, was that we must stop shuffling folx from park to park. Shuffling people around causes cycles of trauma and creates further mistrust between the city and the houseless population. Agenda Item #22 completely disregards this fact, as it attempts to push folx out to the far Eastside, near Monona. The location was not fully discussed with city staff, the alder of the proposed district, and committees. Furthermore, it is not anywhere near the resources that these folx need. 

Agenda Item #22 completely undermines the work that has been put into finding a solution and the committee structure the city operates under. Myself, some fellow alders, the mayor, city and maoral staff, service providers, community organizers, and most importantly folx at Reindahl have been dilligently collaborating to find a solution that best meets everyones needs. WE have the committee strusture in place For. A. Reason. -- everyone deserves a voivce in this important matter. Pushing to adopt a resolution that would deeply impact the housless community (a community that is a protected class), speaks volumes to whom the resolution is truly targeted to appease.


So let's talk about whom this resolution is truly trying to appease. This resolution does not operate in good faith with those at the encampment. This resolution wants to do the opposite of what houseless folx, community organizers, and service providers have been asking for. Clearly, the houseless community was not in mind during the formation of this resolution-- so who was?



Let's be real, the folx criticizing Reindahl Park wouldn't think twice about the encampment if it weren't in their backyard. Instead of an alder feeding into NIMBY concerns, they should be working with us (not agaisnt us) to find a solution. An alder should use their privilege as a platform to uplift the needs of the houseless community. An alder should build bridges between neighbors and the houseless community. 

>>>>Breaking up an encampment and shoving them on the very edge of the city, with no access to resources is Precisely the Definition of NIMBY<<<<<<<<

I will neither entertain suspending the rules nor approving this incredulous resolution. I urge my colleagues to do the same. Once again, thank you to everyone coming out to speak on this issue--your time, your attention means so so much. See you on this item at 6:30p!


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