Monday, August 28, 2017 - 11:21am

Addressing Safety, Equity and Opportunity Issues in 2018 Budget

It has often been the case that cities create solutions to our society’s most pressing challenges. In this time of unprecedented national uncertainty, and political divisiveness at the state level, Madison must once again take the lead. Our local challenges mimic those at the national and state levels. The difference is we are ready to lead. Over the past few months, we have listened closely to our constituents’ concerns, apprehensions and demands. Consistent themes emerge across the city and provides an increased emphasis on work that the Common Council has long valued. While we will never abandon our commitment to quality basic services like snow removal, trash pickup and road maintenance, we believe it is time to strongly, and intentionally, codify our residents’ feedback into a long-term vision for the city of Madison that provides higher levels of safety, equity and opportunity for all of our residents.

Through a series of 2018 budget listening sessions, we want to hear from as many of our constituents as possible. We hope to hear from people how they believe our city can and should be prioritizing, safety, equity and opportunity for all residents. We look forward to a robust discussion through this budget process. Dates and locations for these budget listening sessions will be maintained on the city council website, and we look forward to collaborating with our colleagues on the Madison Common Council and Dane County Board to ensure your voice is heard.

We must build and maintain safe neighborhoods via both immediate and long-term investments designed to prevent violence and crime.

  • Madison requires smart investments into equipping law enforcement to adequately address gun violence and other crime.
Example: The Council supported a DOJ grant proposal submitted to fund 15 new officers. If this is not funded, we will work with command staff to ensure we can responsibly invest in supporting their work to make our community safe from gun violence.
  • We need to implement a sustainable public health strategy or violence prevention.
Example: Establish a new “Office of Violence Prevention within Department of Public Health”.
  • Modern solutions need to be pursued regarding serving people who require mental health services or are otherwise in crisis.
Example: Work with County officials and other stakeholders to begin an exploratory phase of the development of a Restoration Center.

We must take bold actions to improve access to housing, promote family supporting jobs, and invest in well-connected communities.

  • Madison needs to seriously improve access to quality affordable housing.
Example: Acknowledge our housing cost crisis, and double our capital investments intended to spur affordable housing development.
Example: Pursue recommendations from the 2016 Housing Development Toolkit presented by the Obama White House.
Example: Ensure that the homeless day resource center has funding to succeed.
  • Madison should be a model for other cities, and for businesses in our community with a funded Paid Family Leave policy.
  • We ought to pursue imaginative neighborhood resources that bring together agencies and resources while creating community-gathering spaces. The Meadowridge Library, Neighborhood Center and Commons is a successful and replicable model for neighborhood centers.

In order to ensure that economic opportunities exist in our regional and global economy for today’s Madisonians, as well as our children, investments in people and infrastructure are both essential.

  • We must prioritize youth mentoring as a community development funding objective in order to spur the success of our next generation.
  • We need to train people with the skills necessary for a new economy.
Example: Invest in public and nonprofit programs that provide STEM skills or computer programming training for youth and adults.
  • Our city must push to improve access to quality affordable transportation via better connectivity, more routes and more efficiency. Aggressively pursuing federal funds, and other funding options for Madison Metro.
  • Madison should focus investments that support small businesses and entrepreneurs. Providing emphasis on supporting early stage women-owned or minority-owned businesses.

The first two dates and locations for the 2018 Budget Listening Session are:

Wednesday September 6, 2017
5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Meadowridge Library
5726 Raymond Road
Madison, WI 53711

Saturday September 9, 2017
10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Sequoya Library
4340 Tokay Blvd
Madison, WI 53711