Arvina Martin

Age: 37

Immediate family members: 8-year-old daughter, Nicoletta

Occupation: Policy Analyst for Wisconsin DOT

Political experience: Chair, Democratic Party of WI American Indian Caucus 2012-Present, At-large member, Dane County Democratic Party, 2013-Present

Other public service experience: Wisconsin Indian Education Association Board Member 2005-2007, NARAL Pro Choice Wisconsin Board Member 2012-Present

Education: BA, Native American Studies, Dartmouth College, 2002

Why are you running for the City Council?

After growing up in Madison, I made a conscious decision to raise my daughter here. I’ve always made a point to work at making my community better, and I’ve worked hard to do so in my professional career. I’ve worked in education and in policy, specifically with underrepresented communities. I care a great deal about Madison and its potential. I don’t want to see us rest on our laurels. There is much progress that we can make, and I am running so I can help move us forward together.

Why are you the best candidate for your district?

I have professional experience in the creation and implementation of policy at all points in the process. I’ve worked with diverse communities and populations identifying issues, researching them, writing policies and plans to address those issues, and working on them through passage and implementation. I am a woman of color, an enrolled member of the Ho-Chunk Nation, but I am often presumed to be white. That has given me unique insight and perspective that has aided my work, and will serve me well on the Council. An alder needs to be able to listen and collaborate with colleagues, constituents and other interested stakeholders to put together policy that benefits the most people. I know that my skillset and my temperament will serve the people of the 11th District well.

What are your top concerns for your district?

District 11 is doing well, and I want to make sure that continues. There is room for improvement. We have an ongoing responsibility to maintain and update our infrastructure including roads, sewers, and water supply in a responsible and sustainable manner.The city has done a great job with projects like the Midvale-Mineral Point intersection, and I'd like us to continue those kinds of improvements. The Midtown District Police Station must be built on its current schedule to alleviate the capacity concerns of the West District station. This will set us up for better law enforcement coverage, not only in District 11, but the entire west side. We need to continue smart development in the 11th District. We’ve seen it in the Hilldale area, but there are large projects still to come at the DOT site and near Hilldale itself. I will ensure that District 11 residents continue to be active participants in the public processes for these projects, and that the recommendations of our neighborhood plans are followed.

How do those concerns fit in with your citywide priorities?

These all fit into citywide priorities, as they affect more than just the 11th District. Infrastructure maintenance is an issue affecting the entire city. Completing the Midtown District Police Station on time will help alleviate capacity issues for the west side’s law enforcement, especially as the city grows. Smart development will use the space and resources we have available in an efficient and sustainable manner. An additional priority, which applies city-wide, is addressing racial disparity in our community. It is vital that the Council strives to reduce our economic, and health disparities across the board, because those disparities cost us. They reduce everyone’s quality of life, especially for the poorest among us. They increase our costs for human services as we strive to provide support that has a high return on investment but also high need. They strain the fabric of our community by exacerbating implicit racism. And they impact our public safety. These are tough challenges, but they are the challenges I have been working on throughout my career.

If you could reverse one recent action taken by the City Council, what would it be?

I disagree with the decision to again delay the southeast side fire station (#14) in the last budget. Public safety and roads are basic services that the City must prioritize. Sadly, capital spending for such items frequently gets kicked down the road in favor of other projects.

How would you describe the council's relationship with the mayor and is there anything you would change about that dynamic?

The relationship appears hardly perfect from the outside, but the City’s business is mostly getting done in a timely manner. That is the most important thing. Instead of dwelling on who is at fault, I would simply lead by example and not allow the political debate to become personal. My decisions will be made on the basis of what I conclude is best for my district and for the City.

What do you like to do for fun in Madison?

I enjoy time with my daughter, taking her to a park, the Hill Farms pool, or anywhere we can play and have fun. We both like spending time outside when the Wisconsin weather allows it. I play roller derby with the Mad Rollin’ Dolls, which is a great athletic outlet, and it has introduced me to a lot of strong women. I also catch sporting events, such as Badger games or strongman competitions, and I often check out events hosted at the University.

Bradley Campbell

Age: 37

Immediate family members: Jennifer Campbell (spouse) Adli Campbell (son) Wills Campbell (son)

Occupation: Energy Efficiency Program Consulting

Political experience: None

Other public service experience: City of Delafield Administration, Ozaukee County Administration, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Wisconsin Department of Commerce - Housing Division, Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, Private Consulting – advising utility-scale, publicly mandated, energy efficiency programs (similar to Focus on Energy in Wisconsin); City of Madison University Hill Farms ad-hoc Neighborhood Planning Committee and Sustainable Madison Committee member

Volunteering experience: Cub Scout Leader, Boy Scout Leader, Neighborhood Association Volunteer, Co-Founder, University Hill Farms Neighborhood Watch

Education: B.A. University of Wisconsin, Madison (Philosophy, Portuguese, History and History of Science, Integrated Liberal Studies), Master Public Affairs, UW La Follette School

Why are you running for the City Council?

I believe that Madison’s city must have both the skills and demonstrated commitment, most especially in a time when cities and Progressive values are under attack from both the Walker and Trump administrations. I have trained in public policy at our UW’s La Follette School for Public Affairs. I have worked housing and homelessness with Housing and Urban Development and the Wisconsin Department of Commerce, labor issues and economics at the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, and with city and county administrators on many more issues. I currently evaluate and advise utility-scale energy-efficiency programs throughout North America.

My dedication to local issues - to our neighborhoods, to our city, is demonstrated by:

  • Leading youth with both the Cub and Boy Scouts.
  • Volunteer for the University Hill Farms Neighborhood Association.
  • Co-founding Hill Farms' Neighborhood Watch.
  • Working as a member of the City of Madison Hill Farms Neighborhood Plan, working with other neighborhood leaders to guide growth and development of our area for the next 10-20 years.
  • Actively leading our city as a member of the City of Madison Sustainability Committee, working to develop our 100% Renewable Energy Plan – fighting Global Climate Change locally in Madison

Why are you the best candidate for your district?

I am the candidate who has demonstrated real commitment to our city, dedicating my time and energy to my neighborhood and city – volunteering for scouts, working for my neighborhood, serving on City committees.

I am the candidate who has dedicated his career to public policy – earning a Master’s Degree from our La Follette School in Public Affairs where I focused on local governance, budgeting, and statistics. I have worked on housing issues, juvenile justice, labor economics, energy policy, homelessness, workforce education and more.

I am the candidate who has demonstrated real Progressive values – from living the Wisconsin Idea to fighting for our environment with Madison’s 100% Renewable Energy Policy, fighting global climate change through my career, prioritizing busing, biking, and walkability in our neighborhood development, and working on homelessness and affordable housing.

I am the candidate with the direct experience and local commitment to lead our amazing progressive city at a time when the state and federal governments, led by Walker and Trump, are working against us and our values.

I am the candidate who has already worked to move Madison Forward.

I am the candidate to keep Madison moving Forward.

What are your top concerns for your district?

Walking the neighborhoods, District 11 has expressed numerous priorities:

Strong schools. Our public schools are the foundation for our city’s economy and the centers of our neighborhoods. From our strong elementary schools and middle schools, our leading high school, and access to our amazing university.

Development. Development projects are happening all over the district, and of various types. University Hill Farms faces a nexus of projects with the DOT redevelopment and Hilldale area projects. Sunset Village has street upgrades planned for streets for this and upcoming years. We are looking at a new district police station situated on Mineral Point – right between Sunset Village and Westmorland.

Caring for all our residents. District 11 worries about all of Madison’s residents. We worry about our immigrant community that is under persecution. We worry about finding solutions for our homeless population. We worry about providing housing outside of luxury housing, affordable housing for all Madisonians.

Sustainability. District 11 residents are smart and understand that science is real, that Global Climate Change is happening. They are concerned about maintain our beautiful parks, and understand that our well water is being degraded and needs to be dealt with.

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How do those concerns fit in with your citywide priorities?

Above all: we must defend Madison from aggressive state and federal actions. Every day, Trump or Walker launch a new attack on our values – dismantling the DNR and EPA, ending funding for housing issues, attacking immigrants, stealing funding from our public schools.

Schools: I am invested in our public schools, being a product of public schools, a UW graduate, a parent of two students, and a homeowner. Attacks on public education concern me. Madison will thrive only if our schools thrive, failing if our schools aren’t defended. As alder, I will actively look for ways to work with the school district to strengthen, support, and defend our schools.

Development and Affordable Housing: On the Neighborhood Plan Committee, I viewed the wave of growth and development our district faces. Already involved, I understand the will expressed in our Neighborhood and Comprehensive plans. Our city lacks sufficient affordable housing; I understand of tax credits, demographics, zoning, and other difficult issues - I’ll provide informed leadership.

Sustainability

  • The 100 percent Renewable Energy Plan from the Sustainability Committee
  • Madison's tree canopy being devastated by the Emerald Ash Borer
  • Walkability, biking, and transit
  • Water quality (well #14)

If you could reverse one recent action taken by the City Council, what would it be?

At this moment, I feel that there is a larger issue than any single action. There is a sense of discord; a lack of cohesive leadership. I am not pointing the finger at any individual, merely identifying the consequences of the lack of vision.

We have downtown development issues that are coming from the lack of cohesive leadership and vision. Examples include the repeated failed attempts at Judge Doyle Square and a lack of responsibility over the Municipal Building overbids.

We are a capital city under constant ridicule from the rest of the state, yet our leadership has not come together to build bridges, to defend our city right here in Wisconsin.

We have ordinances and proposals coming to the floor of the Council that aim to make panhandling a crime, not even mentioning the real problem that there are homeless that need help — a lack of united vision to solve our homelessness instead of criminalizing it.

I see many issues that indicate to me of a lack of leadership, professionalism, and clear vision. Our city leadership — all our leadership — needs unite on clear vision and focus keeping Madison the amazing city it is and making it ever better.

How would you describe the council's relationship with the mayor and is there anything you would change about that dynamic?

I won’t describe the relationship – it's not mine to describe; doing so participates in hearsay, speculation, gossip. I acknowledge that the relationship is seen as strained and argumentative. If my district trusts me to be alder, ask me after six months and I’ll describe MY relationship with the Mayor and MY relationship with the Council.

I build relationships with real understanding and conversation, not on what I am told through gossip- spoken or printed. Working on City Committees, I’ve worked with numerous members of the Council. I’ve gone to see the department leaders in their offices and agencies, their turf, to understand their points of view. During this campaign, I’ve sat with Alders to get to know them. I’ve shared coffees and as a good Badger I’ve shared beers. District 11 knows this; I’ve demonstrated this by meeting regularly and publicly for coffee and will continue to as alder.

I’ve worked on difficult neighborhood issues, working for solutions with people I agree with and those I don’t. That’s the leadership Madison needs, working on issues to find solutions. I'll work as I always have – I'll work hard, work on issues, and I’ll work for solutions, regardless of personalities.

What do you like to do for fun in Madison?

Too many things in Madison! My commute is often walking Hill Farms to downtown, enjoying different neighborhoods in different seasons or biking the campus lakeshore or the Arboretum. I love MSCR softball, even though I usually injure myself.

Confession: sometimes our fun isn’t in Madison. Our favorite summer place is Devil’s Lake -swimming, picnicking and trying to beat our time up and down BOTH cliffs (the kids claim we do under 2 hours).

We walk Randall (our UW stadium named dog) and visit the local dog-park. If the boys want mac & cheese pizza, we take the hour-long hike to Ian’s. My wife and I are suckers for Opera in the Park – picnicking with 15,000 of our closest friends a block from our home. We work on our home and garden- my wife and I laid a new patio and are restoring the amazing gardens the former master-gardener owner established but fell into neglect. We love leading the family games for hundreds at the annual July 4th neighborhood picnic.

We love our alma mater– Badger football, basketball, and hockey games and recently visited our beautiful Chazen with Scouts (thanks Leigh!).

And who doesn’t love a Memorial Union sunset?

 

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Abigail Becker joined The Capital Times in 2016, where she primarily covers city and county government. She previously worked for the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism and the Wisconsin State Journal.