Thirty years ago, I moved to Madison to attend grad school at the UW, where, concerned by the threat of global environmental crises, I studied natural resource economics. 

Five years later, I began promoting concerts. In the 25 years since, it’s been my great joy to build community and bring people together around music.

I’m running for Common Council in District 13 because I believe I can play a key role in building community and bringing people together around ideas and policies that will improve the lives of all who call Madison home.

By 2040, if current estimates prove correct, Madison will become home to 70,000 additional residents. The South Park corridor is targeted for significant development. The redevelopment of the Triangle brings enormous challenges to the vulnerable populations who live there. The tarnished legacy of our city’s failed urban renewal of Greenbush demands we not make the same mistakes again. 

I will insist on democratic processes with respect to planning. Voice does not mean veto, but voice is definitive of democracy. It is my belief outcomes improve when buy-in is sought early and often.

Madison is routinely recognized as a great place to live for a variety of reasons – a great place to raise kids, to enjoy the outdoors, to locate a tech start-up, to be LGBT+. Not so great, however, if your skin is black or brown..

It’s only by committing ourselves to what Martin Luther King, Jr. referred to as the “fierce urgency of now” that we’ll break free from being a city that talks a good game on racial equity and become a city that actually advances it. 

Advancing racial equity requires addressing related equity issues such as affordable housing. Access to housing, as well as health care, mass transit, quality fresh food and jobs that pay a living wage – how do we grow inclusively, building community and strengthening the bonds of compassion?

Climate change is a global threat with increasingly local implications. We must work with other jurisdictions to bring a climate resiliency lens to our decision-making and act as proactively as possibly. Bus rapid transit, energy retrofits of existing structures, and green development of new projects are all critical as we live up to the challenges facing us.

As a community, we are smart enough and wealthy enough to solve our problems. The problem is our wealth and education are bound up with privilege, and privilege breeds indifference. It’s critical the city hears the lived experiences of those impacted by racism. A few people at the table does not lead to inclusive solutions. If I’m elected, I won’t be found only at downtown meetings or talking only to people who look like me.

The time is now to face these issues head on, bringing our best selves to the table, rolling up our sleeves and working to improve the lives of all who call Madison home. 

I can’t do it alone. None of us can. I’m asking for your support, your ideas, your vitality. Together we can make a difference.

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