President Barack Obama, addressing the threat of global climate change, once told our nation, “Let that be the common purpose… A world that is worthy of our children.” His wise words resonate as I seek to make our community the best place it can be for all of us. As a local elected official, my purpose is to build a Madison worthy of the next generation. As a new father, my goal is the same for my daughter. Let that be our common purpose in Madison.
To do so, we must foster inclusivity, equality and opportunity. I am running for re-election to the Madison City Council because I know that we can indeed live up to our own ideals in this especially trying time. We can’t ignore the reality that we live in a place where Walker is governor and Trump is president. Yet that is no reason to slow down for those of us who are determined to move our city forward.
We must be the resistance. I have stepped up to lead that charge and will continue to do so, without concern that this leadership resulted in me being one of just a few alders who drew an election opponent.
In the days of shock following the Nov. 8 election, I felt that we needed to be reminded of our agency to control our fate in Madison. So I founded Leading Locally to unite and empower all of us who opposed the recent agenda of division, hate and fear. Together we are working toward positive change through active grass-roots resistance.
Following the success of bringing hundreds of Madisonians together to create the Leading Locally agenda for progress, it was a highlight of my time in public life to be asked to speak about our forward-looking activism to 100,000 fighters at the Women’s March on Madison.
Over my past four years on the City Council, I’ve focused on three key strategies I believe are critical to the future of our city:
1. Work to eliminate equity and opportunity gaps. To do this I’ve implemented affordable broadband, improved public transportation and invested in closing the food desert in parts of my district like Allied Drive.
2. Increase citizen engagement in our busy, constantly connected society. Several examples include: founding Leading Locally, taking budget meetings out into the district and, a personal favorite of mine, holding constituent meetings on the bus.
3. Design with the intent of fostering growth and welcoming diversification. City plans must account for safety, affordability, transportation and upward mobility as we grow. I have created affordable housing, championed creation and funding for a public safety plan, overseen the Madison in Motion transportation plan and worked to create summer youth jobs.
I am asking for your support because this exciting work is far from finished. With a federal grant that utilizes UW-Madison experts, this year we will implement the paid family leave policy that I spearheaded. Our city can improve and modernize its social safety net while other levels of government seek to dismantle it.
Having a healthy community relationship with police is vital in a diverse and vibrant city. I believe it must be built with open conversation that fosters improvements. It is detrimental to community policing to create an us-versus-them attitude, which has been the cornerstone of my opponent’s campaign.
If you honor me with another term of leadership in this city, I’ll continue to pursue progressive policy ideas that will position us to lead by example for our nation. We absolutely cannot be a city that is the best for some, and the worst for others. Instead, let’s create a world that is worthy of our children.
In addition to serving on the City Council, I am vice president of business development at MIOsoft, board member of the Foundation for Madison’s Public Schools and a founding executive board member of the Wisconsin chapter of the New Leaders Council.