Two years ago, the voters of District 8 elected me to the Madison City Council because I promised to be a voice for all students. Now, after two years of working every day on behalf of my constituents, I am asking the voters of District 8 to send me back to the City Council so that I can finish what we started in 2015.
Representing Madison’s 8th Aldermanic District has been a tremendous honor, and it has been a pleasure getting to work with and for the residents of Madison’s most unique district. My favorite part of representing the 8th District has been the altruistic, big-picture priorities of my constituents.
In conversations with the students and young professionals in District 8, the issues we have discussed most have been: lack of access to safe, affordable housing for students, climate change and what we as a community should be doing about it, and the importance of having young people at the table as the city makes decisions that will define the community they will inherit. I am proud of my community for prioritizing the aforementioned topics, and I am proud of my work to address them.
One of my first actions after taking my oath of office was sit down with city staff to discuss the present and future of student housing policy in Madison. What I found was a collection of UW-provided data and vague ideas for solutions. Since then, I have worked with Morgridge Center interns to organize on-campus listening sessions, and worked diligently alongside city staff to reshape our student housing strategy to include real ideas like zoning adjustments to allow for micro-unit efficiencies, exploring public-private partnerships, and strategies to allow for more cooperative housing models around campus.
I have also had the privilege of serving on the city’s committee on the environment. This has allowed me to play a leading role in the crafting of our sustainability plan, which aims to power city of Madison facilities with 100 percent renewable energy and hit net-zero carbon emissions in the near future. I have also prioritized small, yet impactful changes, like replacing old water softeners within city buildings, which will reduce both energy and salt use.
As the youngest person on council, I feel I have a unique responsibility to increase the engagement of young people in local government. Now more than ever we need young people to be empowered as the next generation of leaders, and we can’t do that if we don’t have a seat at the table. That’s why I have worked diligently to increase the number of students serving on city committees over the past two years and will continue to do so if re-elected.
Looking forward, there is still so much to do. If re-elected, my constituents can count on me to continue fighting for affordable housing for students and all Madisonians, a more sustainable future, and for a seat at the table for students and young professionals. Furthermore, I will continue to work toward a more equitable community, a more diverse housing stock across the city, and continued investment in our infrastructure.
I am proud to be endorsed by state Rep. Chris Taylor, County Clerk Scott McDonell, The South Central Federation of Labor-AFLCIO, the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce, many of my colleagues on the council and many of my incredible neighbors in the 8th District.
I hope to be able to count on your support on April 4, and I look forward to two more years serving the city I love.