Alder Juliana Bennett
210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: (608) 266-4071
Fax: (608) 267-8669
WI Relay Service
Alder Bennett’s Blog
Weekly Updates (9/19-9/24)
9/18 - 9/24 Updates
First off, Common Council was a doozy last night. The primary issue on the table was banning MPD from using chemical munitions. While we did not succeed in banning chemical munitions, we did make a small step in the right direction by requiring the Independent Monitor to review MPD's use of tear gas to ensure compliance with policy. I hope that this will have the effect of (1) continuing the conversation of building trust, (2) helping MPD to reflect on their past and future use of tear gas, and (3) creating a transparent review process of these dangerous weapons.
To those that opposed the second alternate: it is clear to me that if you can't even get on board with a simple review of MPD's use of tear gas then you don't want any change to modern policing. The vote of having the Independent Monitor review MPD's use of tear gas was both logical and backed by MPD themselves.
To everyone else: Thank you. These conversations are contentious but necessary. Thank you to those that embraced the conversation and supported both myself and organizers along the way.
Happy (belated) National Voter Registration Day!
Election Day is Tuesday Nov. 8th! Yayyyy! There is much and more voter engagement that needs to happen before the November Election. I encourage you all to check your voter registration, especially if you moved this fall. Share voting information with your friends and family.
Here are some other voter resources for the November 8th election:
There are plenty of opportunities to volunteer to GOTV for the November election.
- Become a poll worker
- Volunteer with student groups doing voter outreach, such as Badger Vote Coalition, Rise UW (@riseuwmadison), College Dems (@demsuwmadison)
- RISE UW has an event Sunday Sept 25th 2-4p at Memorial Union to pack clothing and register voters
- Sign-up for lit-dropping/door-knocking in the downtown area (Google form)
Meet Mayor Satya and downtown alders for Community Coffee with the Mayor
Community Coffee with Mayor Satya is next week 9/27, 8:15a-9:30a. You can meet downtown alders, including Alder Benford (District 6), Alder Heck (District 2), Alder Bennett (District 8). So come by grab coffee and talk about what you care about in the city.
Lake St Campus Garage Updates
The city is seeking community feedback on the transportation plan for the Lake St Campus Garage at next week's 9/28 Transportation Committee meeting. Currently the city intends to have the traffic flow go through Hawthorne Court. Some neighbors and downtown businesses have concerns about the plan to use Hawthorne Court as the main thoroughfare for buses and cars, given the heavy pedestrian and delivery driver flow on this street. What do you think? Let us know at next Wednesday's meeting.
The Mayor's Executive 2023 Capital Budget, which deals with infrastructure investments in the city, was released earlier this month. Some areas that I found particularly interesting were including $15 million for the Imagination Center (under library), $1.7 million for the State St Campus Garage, and $350,000 for location and partnering with Amtrak for an inter-city passenger railway service. Check out Mayor Satya's press release on the executive capital budget.
Have a voice on city issues, through becoming a committee member. Here is a list of open vacancies. Of particular note, there are vacancies on City-County Homelessness Issues committee, Disability Rights Commission, and Public Safety Review Committee.
CANA is looking for new members, especially those who are looking for leadership positions. Embrace the opportunity to connect with people in the campus area, learn more about the ongoings of local government, and have a voice on new developments in our neighborhood. Of particular note, CANA is currently hosting steering committee meetings for the 120 N Orchard st development and Lake St Campus Garage. So, hit up CANA if you are interested.
- October 25, from 3:00-5:00 PM, virtual via Handshake
- October 6, from 4:00-7:00 PM, in-person at Gordon Dining and Event Center
- Be sure to check your individual school for career specific fairs! Reach out to your career coach via Starfish for help with resume building, cover letters, mock interviews, etc.
- Apply for Career Development Fund via Wish
The Public History Project is also hosting a Student Night Thursday, Sept 29 at 5p with performances by First Wave!
Last week, ASM met with Chancellor Mnookin (or Mommy Mnookin, as known on campus) for a Q&A and expression of their desires from the Chancellor. A majority of the questions centered around questioning Chancellor Mnookin about her plan to address the desperate need for affordable student housing. Students aired their concerns about UW's plan to demolish affordable and ethnic housing spaces on campus, including Zoe Bayliss, MechadeUW, and WunkSheek. Chancellor Mnookin responded that UW-Madison is constrained by the WI State government from producing any new public on-campus housing. My impression from Chancellor Mnookin's answers was that she is still getting acclimated to on-campus and is willing to continue the conversation.
Some other things to keep our eyes out for with the new administration is...
- Reigniting the conversation about allowing students to use their WiscCards (Campus IDs) for voting. Chancellor Mnookin has a history of supporting the public's rights to vote. So, hopefully she will be interested (unlike the previous chancellor) in changing the current dynamics to allow students to use their WiscCards to vote.
- Divestment from fossil fuels. For the past few years, students have called on campus administration to remove their investments from fossil fuel companies. I didn't get the impression that Chancellor Mnookin was too interested in divestment, but was interested in other ways to boost sustainability on campus.
It's about flipping time! The sad part about UW raising the student minimum wage is that it was done somewhat unwillingly on behalf of campus administration and only to address the issue of lack of student workers. An interesting history to this is that my District 8 predecessor, Austin King, pushed for and successfully raised the minimum wage to $15/hour for city employees almost 20 years ago. Yet, UW staggered behind in raising their minimum wage. In this moment where UW-Housing and Wisconsin Union finally raised their minimum wage, we must commemorate the students throughout history who pushed on this issue. The next step is for UW-Madison to raise the minimum wage to $15/hour for all students employees!
Join Zoe Bayliss Co-op for their Game Night Sat., Sept 24th at 6p
First off, shout out to Zoe Bayliss co-op for finding a new home given that UW-Madison is demolishing their old one!! Woot woot! Let's chill, have fun or whatever this Saturday at their Game Night.
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