In the race for Madison City Council, 13th District, Ald. Sue Ellingson faces Edgewood College student Zach Madden and Damon Terrell. The primary is Tuesday, and the general election is April 2.

Sue Ellingson

Job: City Council member

Age: 60

Family: Married, two adult children, two grandsons

Address: 1922 Vilas Ave.

Public service: One term on City Council, six years managing campaigns for progressives for city, county, and state Assembly

Education: Bachelor's degree in economics, Michigan State; master's degree in business administration, UW-Milwaukee

Website and email:;

Zach Madden

Job: Student

Age: 19

Family: Single

Address: 1000 Edgewood College Drive

Public service: President of Edgewood College Democrats; political community organizer on Edgewood College campus; member of Edgewood Student Government; co-founder of Students for a Better Wisconsin

Education: Studying at Edgewood College, political science major

Website and email:;

Damon Terrell

Job: No response

Age: 21

Family: No response

Address: 630 W. Olin Ave.

Public service: No response

Education: Some college

Website and email:;

Endorsements: Progressive Dane; Green Party


Why are you running for this position and what are your goals?

Ellingson: I'm running to advocate for my constituents, to build a better city and to encourage good governance. As of Dec. 31, I'd sent 6,300 emails from my city account, held two neighborhood meetings per month, maintained my website, posted often to neighborhood lists and sent annual newsletters. Goals: continue strong communication, improve pedestrian and bike safety and develop a housing policy.

Madden: I am running for City Council because I feel my neighborhood needs effective representation. District 13 encompasses a diverse range of residents who deserve an alder who will listen to their concerns. My top priority is providing leadership that listens so that all District 13 residents have access to the decision-making processes that impact our community.

Terrell: I am running because I am qualified and passionate. My goals include prioritizing respect for constituent input and background, passage of progressive policies that are forward thinking and respectful of the future generations.

What are the major differences between you and your opponents?

Ellingson: What I bring to my district is experience, dedication and vision. I've worked with groups for the last 30 years, getting people to come together to achieve a goal. I know a lot about how to get things done at the city. I have an MBA, which has been important in understanding city financing.

Madden: Unlike the incumbent, I am willing to reach out for neighborhood input on development and ask tough questions about whether a proposal is the right one for the location. We need sustainable development, but it must fit our neighborhoods and benefit the community. Community input and transparency are absolutely critical. I am committed to going above and beyond to gather input.

Terrell: I am the candidate that has lived in Madison for 21 years, the only candidate with a background in both community organizing and tutoring, the only candidate with extensive knowledge what it is like to walk, bike, ride the bus, study in the public school system and grow up in Madison. I excel at actively advocating for my community.

What are the most critical city-wide issues and how would you address them?

Ellingson: The critical city-wide issue is keeping young, middle-income families of all races living in the city. They keep schools strong and make Madison an attractive place to live. We can't afford to have just rich and poor. I will work on a housing policy to address concerns of cost and taxes. I will support education initiatives.

Madden: The biggest issue Madison is facing is homelessness and poverty. The city desperately needs to expand our affordable housing programs and work with private agencies and developers to ensure a wide range of housing options. Strengthening and expanding the continuum of available services will make us a more humane, just and resilient community.

Terrell: Issues of rights and equity are paramount. The homeless community in this city still has no legal place to exist, the school system is under-resourced, the public transit system needs to become more robust and affordable, this city deserves food sovereignty. There is much the council must do in order to prioritize a positive impact that does justice to the community.

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