Civic Engagement & Govt. Responsibility

Why I’m a Candidate for Aldermanic District 9?

Without question, Madison, our state and nation are facing historic social and economic challenges, unforeseen since the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918; the growing unemployment rate and economic crisis, that could replicate the Great Recession of 2008; and the growing economic and food insecurities, that more and more Madison residents are facing.

Combined this with Madison’s unprecedented, epidemic of Madison gun shootings, the growing gang violence, the day time shooting and tragic homicide of 11 year-old Anisa Scott, and the increase in burglaries and auto theft (88% increase from 2019); has exposed the strengths and unfortunately, weaknesses of too many of our officials in our city.

Given this perfect storm and the need to balance the public health crisis, with a growing economic crisis, and the inequalities that have plagued our city – I feel personally and professional compelled to enter public life as a candidate for the 9th Aldermanic District.

The Need For Civic Engagement

No one person can solve the multitude of challenges and issues facing our beloved city and our neighborhoods. That is why we need to have you and other citizens in our district to engage collectively and work together, in making our neighborhoods and city safe for our children and our community – and making Madison a more inclusive city for all our residents.

Full-Time City Alders vs. Part-Time City Alders

I am opposed to the newly proposed, full-time city council proposal by the Task Force On The Structure of City Government, which would increase the annual salaries from $16,000 to $67,000 per year, plus full benefits & pension and reduce the aldermanic seats from 20 to 10.

I see no added value that full-time alders would bring to the table or would enhance the effectiveness of our city’s legislative process. Worse yet, reducing the Common Council to from 20 to 10 elected members, would destroy the current citizen-public-service-neighborhood-representation – and would likely decrease the number of citizens of color on the Common Council, at a time, when the city needs to be more inclusive in creating opportunities for citizens of colors to serve, as a city alder. Besides, the last thing Madison needs, is full-time career politicians.

Do We Need Aldermanic & Mayoral Term Limits?

I support Term-Limits for part-time City Council Members (5-terms-10yrs.) and Term-Limits for the Office of Mayor (2-terms/8yrs). The current District 9 Alderperson (Paul E. Skidmore) was first elected in April 2005. If he servers out his current term until April 2021, he will have served 16 years in office.  I believe term-limits, will result in fresh candidates and new ideas – and in times of crisis, we cannot afford, the complacent “business as usual” type of politics, that does more harm than good.

The Need For Government Accountability & Transparency

As a former member of the Board of Directors of Common Cause for Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, we must start with exposing the “dark-hidden-money” from special interest groups that are now operating at the local levels of government.  Given the current and tragic “pay for play” politics by the Wisconsin state legislature, we must strengthen the City of Madison Code of Ethics and Conflict of Interest requirements for all City Council Members, the Mayor and staff, all city department heads and their deputies.