I am seeking re-election to continue to represent District 14, and to serve the residents of south Madison. I am proud to represent a district that is diverse both in language and ethnicity. Throughout the past two years, we have worked hard to improve services to the district, but our work is far from over. It would be an honor to continue to bring the voices of my constituents to the table, working together with the city, community leader, residents, and private partnerships to find solutions.
As the city continues to grow, we must work on several fronts that affect our community: community sustainability, racial inequities, environment preservation, and homelessness. With your support, we can continue to increase economic development, pathways to higher education and career assistance, and entrepreneurship in District 14. This is what motivated me to run in 2015 and still drives me to continue to serve my district.
I am proud to be an alumna of both West High School and University of Wisconsin-Madison. My roots in the community spans over 20 years. I am a former member of the Rainbow Project board, current Porchlight, Inc. board president, former Arbor Hills Neighborhood Association president, former South Metropolitan Planning Council chair, and provided citywide service as a former member of both the Madison Public Library board and Zoning Code Rewrite Advisory project prior to becoming the District 14 alderman.
I know that in the next few years, Madison is going to come to a crossroad. I am ecstatic that our community continues to grow and diversify. However, we cannot have development at the cost of out-pricing residents from their neighborhood. I am deeply committed to have community engagement between neighborhoods and developers. In addition, I want to ensure that our public transportation meets the needs for the residents who want to reduce their carbon footprint as well as the residents who use public transportation exclusively. I am ready to continue the discussion on how we can develop a transportation system that serves every resident.
I have supported and will continue to support the city’s "housing first" initiative for the chronically homelessness residents. As part of that initiative, in 2016 I was proud to support Rethke Terrace, a four-story, 60-unit complex that opened its doors to our veterans and qualifying homeless individuals. It was the city’s first permanent supportive housing site and a collaboration between federal, state, county, city and community agencies with supportive services for the residents.
I support seeking educational achievement options, including career readiness in both the local school level and higher education institutions. There needs to be an internal assessment of what is working or not working, and outreach to those who are impacted by the system. Incorporating trade unions pre-apprenticeship programs will only help our kids achieve their goals.
I have worked for years in support of the Southside Madison College campus and will continue to support the expansion of Madison College South Campus. I have advocated for degree-related courses and certificate programs at our campus. However, I also understand the importance of providing educational services to all Madison residents who live in the central city as well in south Madison. Madison College is vitally important to the economy as they provide work readiness proficiencies.
Every day we see the effect of poverty, education, safety, health/wellness, disparities and inequalities. We need thoughtful, progressive leadership in our community. For far too long, District 14 has been represented by outside interests without equal representation of the people who need us the most. For the past two years, I have worked with our neighborhood associations, business leaders, community leaders, African-American leaders, Latino/a leaders, and individual constituents to bring open dialogue to the 14th District that has been overlooked from previous council members.