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“Now more than ever, the Madison Common Council needs to embrace common sense solutions in reducing the epidemic of gun violence, gang shootings, burglaries, sexual assaults, road-rage and auto theft, which are impacting the public safety of our neighborhoods.” – Nino Amato 

When it Comes to Public Safety, Experience Leadership Counts!

“Nino Amato has a successful record of building bridges between local law enforcement and communities of color. As Chair of the Madison’s Special Task Force on Race Relations & Racial Profiling – it was Nino’s leadership and collaborative recommendations, which received numerous endorsements and support from the Madison area business and civil rights leaders – along with a vote of confidence by 19 of the 20 members of the Madison Common Council and the Mayor. That’s why we are endorsing Nino Amato for 9th Dist. Alder.”

David Couper & Nobel Wray – Former Madison Police Chiefs

NOTE:  Alder Conklin voted against six new neighborhood police officers!

FACT: During the 2023 City of Madison Budget process, Alder Conklin was the deciding vote that prevented Madison’s Police Chief Shon Barnes from hiring six new neighborhood police officers, which would have been funded through the federal COPS Grant Program for 2023, with minimal financial impact to the City of Madison 2023 Budget.  

“Please be assured, if elected as your new 9th District Alder, public safety for all our neighborhoods, will be one of my top priorities.” – Nino Amato

“The City of Madison’s Engineering Departments’ stormwater project for Sauk Creek Woods, is environmentally destructive, over-engineered and does not address the source of the stormwater run-off issues, caused by the massive commercial big-box store development and asphalt parking. It’s time for these multi-national big-box stores like Menards, be required to install underground stormwater holding tanks and natural stormwater run-off pools.”  

Nino Amato, Co-Chair, Sauk Creek Woods Preservation Working Committee

We must protect and preserve the City of Madison’s unique 26.4 acres, Sauk Creek Woods Natural Wildlife Habitat and Greenway, with nearly 6,000 trees and natural urban wildlife.

Unfortunately, the City’s unresponsive City Engineering Dept., have estimated approximately 4,500 trees will have to be cut down and removed –will destroy the Sauk Creek Woods and natural habitat and with increase the Co2 greenhouse gas emissions.  

This unprecedented action runs contrary to Madison’s longstanding values and dedication of Madison being an environmental leader on protecting our natural urban environments and trees, which naturally remove Co2 greenhouse gas emission and turn it into oxygen.

Unfortunately, our current Alderperson (Nikki Conklin) has consistently failed to intervene on behalf of concern residents in six area neighborhoods. Not only has she ignored the expert testimony by residents and UW-Madison professionals, at the November 2022 City Council meeting, she has made NO EFFORT to work with area residents, so we can mitigate the stormwater runoff and preserve the Sauk Greek Woods and Natural Habitat.

Worse yet, Alder Conklin also failed to recognize and even acknowledge the 600 plus signatures, opposing the city’s over-engineering project for Sauk Creek Woods and their opposition to the unwarranted bike paths for Walnut Grove and Sauk Creek Woods.

This is one of the many reasons why I am running for the 9th Aldermanic District, so area residents have a real voice at the common council and not someone who simply ignores and outright disrespects, her constituents concerns and efforts to find common ground with the City Engineering.

Vote Nino Amato for 9th District Alder

“As a community, we can no longer ignore the growing threats from climate change which has already impacted our community and our neighborhoods and is causing an increase in annual food costs – and most of all, is a growing threat to our children’s future and the next generation.”    – Nino Amato

How can Madison do more in reducing Co2 Greenhouse Gases?

We Must First Recognize Our Own Failures & Ongoing Mistakes:  Since the City of Madison is falling behind in its goal to reduce community energy usage by 50% by 2030, according to American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) –and contrary to Madison’s recent improved ranking of #39 cities out of 100 for energy efficiency – it has a long ways to go, since the mayor and Alder Conklin are betting on reducing Co2 emissions by buying all-electric buses and other city vehicles.

What Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway, Alder Nikki Conklin and most of our current city council members have yet to realize, that vast majority of the electric generation in Wisconsin comes from fossil fuel generation, which represents approximately 75.8% of the total electricity generation for the State of Wisconsin’s (51.5% Coal & 24.3% natural gas).

Currently the Mayor and City Council Members are focusing on buying electric city buses and other city electric vehicles and trucks, which all sounds like good public policy – but the net-impact in lowering Co2 greenhouse gas emissions for electric city buses and other city vehicles, is minimal at best. That is why we need the City Council to focus on proven policies and practices that many cities have adopted to lower greenhouse gas emissions.

Worse yet and as crazy as it may sound, the Mayor and Alder Conklin and City of Madison Engineering Dept. are planning to construct an over-engineered stormwater construction project – that would cut down and remove over 4,500 trees in the Sauk Creek Woods and natural habitat greenway.  Not only is this bad environmental public policy – there construction project doesn’t even fix the source of the stormwater run-off problem, coming from the “Big Box Retail Stores” asphalt parking lots on Madison’s far westside.

Nino Amato will bring several decades of practical experience to the Common Council, in renewable energy policy and developing green energy alternatives with wind, solar and hydro generations. Since January of 2015, Nino Amato has been teaching electrical and mechanical engineering students about the practical applications of lowering greenhouse gas emissions for industry and communities — as a UW Adjunct Professor in Sustainability Public Policy & Best Practices and Energy Consumption and the Environment Impact on Society.

Madison’s City Council needs to adopt a nature-based Climate Mitigation Plan for reducing C02 greenhouse gases!

The Madison Common Council needs to adopt the recommendations from the “2021 Assessment Report: Wisconsin’s Changing Climate.”

The 2021 WICCI report recommend, the following actions for all municipalities, towns, villages, and small townships. Since Madison is lagging in reducing its greenhouse Co2 gas emission goals by 2035, we to:

(1) Maintain, preserve, and expand city forest tree cover in city greenways, neighborhood parks, tree islands and boulevards, and urban tree canopies along our city streets, which offer the greatest potential for reducing C02 greenhouse gas emission and the continued carbon storage and sequestration.

(2) The City of Madison agencies (Engineering, Parks, Streets, Forestry) need to understand and practice, maintaining natural vegetation, trees, and natural habitats, in all city greenways and tree islands, which help improve the natural causing filtration of flood events, which cause nutrient and sediment runoff into our lakes.

(3) The City Council need to “preserve and protect large tracts of land for further tree plantings, urban wildlife and implement tree and natural habitat management practices that will reduce not only Co2 greenhouse gasses, but will lower the urban heat temperatures in our neighborhoods, which are aligned with future climate conditions.”

(4) “Large canopy trees can play a big role in helping urban areas become more resilient to climate change. A diverse tree canopy, both in terms of age and species type, can not only make cities more resilient as the climate changes, but can also cool urban landscapes and capture and slow runoff during extreme rain events.”

 (5) Urban Forests like Sauk Creek Woods, “provide a unique opportunity for Madison to address climate change and reduce concentrations of greenhouse gases, while simultaneously providing essential social, environmental, and public health benefits. Tree Forests are a natural carbon sink that absorb 10-15 percent of our nation’s greenhouse gases.”

PFAS – Forever Man-Made Toxic Chemicals

Continue to Be a Threat to Madison’s Drinking Water!

Immediate City Action Is Still Needed: It’s time for the Madison Common Council to provide the needed financial resources to guarantee safe drinking water in all of Madison’s drinking wells – with the goal of reducing PFAS toxins (man-made forever chemicals) and help set new safe drinking water standards, in collaboration with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency EPA and the Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources.

Experienced Environmental Leadership That Counts!

Experience vs. No Experience: Unfortunately, our 9th District Alder, Nikki Conklin does not have the experience or the in-depth environmental knowledge, to effectively deal with the ongoing threat of PEAS contamination to Madison’s drinking wells throughout our city and county artisan wells and aquifers.

Decades of Environmental Leadership: During my tenue as a senior executive at WP&L Holdings (now Alliant Energy), I worked closely with U.S. EPA, the WI. Dept. of Natural Resources officials and environmental scientists, in identifying and cleaning-up health threaten chemical toxins is several communities in south central Wisconsin. 

Not only was our environmental leadership initiative successful, but it also helped establish new environmental standards for cleaning up toxic chemicals, leaching into our soils and threaten our ground water aquifers in cities and small towns.  

Below Is Q & A Summary: What you can do to help?  What are PFAS toxic chemicals?  Where do PFAS come from?  Why they are harmful to our health? What can we do to protect our Madison and Dane County residents from them?

*What are PFAS?

“PFAS” is short for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances. Chemicals in this class of more than 5,000 substances are found in products like nonstick pans (e.g. “Teflon”), food packaging, waterproof jackets, and carpets to repel water, grease, and stains. They’re also used in firefighting foam often used on military bases and at commercial airports. Even personal care products like waterproof mascaras and eyeliners, sunscreen, shampoo, and shaving cream can contain PFAS.

PFAS don’t easily break down, and they can persist in your body and in the environment for decades. As a result of their pervasiveness, more than 95 percent of the U.S. population has PFAS in their bodies, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

According to one senior CDC official, the presence and concentration of PFAS in U.S. drinking water presents “one of the most seminal public health challenges for the next decades.”

DESIGN BY STUART COX, JR. SOURCE DATA: TOXIC-FREE FUTUREEPA

*What do we know about the harms associated with PFAS?

Individuals across the country are fighting for accountability, sharing their stories through social media and meeting with their elected officials to demand action.

Chemical manufacturers like DuPont and 3M have covered up evidence of the negative human and environmental impacts of PFAS since the 1960s.

But mounting research links PFAS to a wide range of health problems. Studies of the best-known PFAS, called PFOA and PFOS, show links to kidney cancer and testicular cancer, as well as endocrine disruption in humans. Scientists have also discovered unusual clusters of serious medical effects in communities with heavily PFAS-contaminated water, many of which are near military bases. Finally, several recent studies have shown a link between COVID-19 and PFAS, suggesting that PFAS exposure may increase the risk of contracting infectious diseases like COVID-19 and reduce the effectiveness of vaccines.

First-generation PFAS are so toxic, in fact, that U.S. manufacturers largely phased them out by 2015, though U.S. law doesn’t prohibit companies from importing them. Now, against the advice of more than 200 international scientists, chemical companies have replaced first-generation PFAS with other chemicals in the PFAS family.. Early studies show that they are similarly dangerous.

*How am I exposed to PFAS?

Drinking water is one of the most common routes of exposure. PFAS have so far polluted the tap water of at least 16 million people in 33 states and Puerto Rico, as well as groundwater in at least 38 states.

PFAS contaminate water supplies through two main sources: firefighting foam and industrial discharges. For decades, the U.S. military has used firefighting foam containing PFAS in training exercises at hundreds of bases around the country. Commercial airports can also use PFAS-containing foam, though they’re no longer legally required to. A Department of Defense report released in March 2020 shows that more than 600 military sites and surrounding communities could be contaminated with PFAS.

The industrial release of PFAS is another major source of water and air contamination. In 2016, researchers discovered troubling levels of GenX and other next-generation PFAS in North Carolina’s Cape Fear River. The source is a chemical manufacturing plant owned by The Chemours Company, a spin-off of DuPont. Communities in New Hampshire and elsewhere are also struggling with releases of PFAS into the air.

PFAS can also accumulate in the human body through food and food packaging. A study in 2017 found PFAS in one-third of all fast food wrappers, where it can easily migrate into greasy foods.

*PFAS are everywhere. How do I avoid them?

Avoid items that tout “nonstick” or “waterproof” properties, as they can contain PFAS; reduce or eliminate fast food and carry-out items; and check beauty product labels for the term “fluoro,” which indicates a fluorinated chemical. Even dental floss can contain PFAS.

Consumers can also contact brands to tell them to stop using PFAS in their products. Companies including IKEA, H&M, and Crate & Barrel are already eliminating highly fluorinated chemicals like PFAS from their product lines. In addition, major restaurant chains like Chipotle and Taco Bell have pledged to remove PFAS from their food packaging. However, we need stricter government regulation of PFAS in order to be truly protected.

Eliminating PFAS from consumer products not only reduces demand for production, but it also protects our air and water from contamination.

*What are regulators doing about PFAS?

State governments are taking the lead on protecting people from PFAS. For example, Wisconsin has passed a law restricting the use of firefighting foam containing PFAS, and similarly measures have been adopted in several states. New York passed a law banning state agencies from purchasing food containers that include PFAS, and Maine and Wisconsin have also passed similar laws, though theirs are contingent upon finding safer alternatives before a full ban.

At the federal level, the Environmental Protection Agency has announced a roadmap for setting enforceable drinking water limits on the two best-known classes of PFAS, PFOA and PFOS, by 2023. It plans to designate PFAS as a hazardous substance under the nation’s Superfund law and propose a rule that will require manufacturers to fully report on its release.

Various agencies are assessing the impacts of PFAS around the country, with a goal of publishing an assessment in 2023. The government’s plan does not include a ban on every form of PFAS.

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for FY 2020 included PFAS-related provisions that significantly restrict the use of these chemicals by the Department of Defense (DOD), a major source of industrial-scale PFAS contamination. These provisions also expand requirements for disclosure and information gathering related to PFAS beyond the military context.

All these efforts are good first steps, but regulators and legislators must do more to protect communities from PFAS. The EPA has known for decades about the dangers of these toxic chemicals. Yet the agency only recently jumped into action, largely due to pressure from lawmakers in states like MichiganNew York and North Carolina, where PFAS water contamination is widespread. Even with the EPA’s new roadmap for regulating two major classes of PFAS, states are leading the way in establishing water and cleanup regulations and the EPA continues to drag its feet.

What can I do Help?

Besides voting for me as your next Aldermanic Representative for our 9th District, please contact the White House on-line, and urge the Biden Administration to immediately implement stronger protections from PFAS chemicals with more aggressive timelines. Many of the actions the administration is promising are too far in the future and don’t offer enough protection. 

* The Q & A information is from the U.S. EPA and Environmental Non-profit Organizations.

Government Transparency & Accountability: There is a growing need for strengthening Madison’s ethical standards, checks and balances, and the conflicts of interests by our city elected and public officials. Government transparency and accountability are essential elements of American Democracy, in order to ensure good government practices, while holding city agencies accountable to city residents’ concerns, which impact their  neighborhoods.  

In recent years however, there is a growing trend by city department heads to treat public hearings and citizen feedback as nothing more than a box to check off,” while ignoring neighborhood concerns and constructive feedback. 

Over the last four years, 9th Aldermanic District residents have witnessed first hand, the lack of transparency from city agencies “procedural processes which are tightly controlled by their department heads or senior staff – who have a propensity to control on-line citizen input during ZOOM Public Meetings. Worse yet, at a May 2022 on-line public zoom meeting for 9th District Residents, agency staff were trying to prevent citizens’ from speaking, if their opinions would likely run contrary to the recommendations being proposed by that city agency.   

Therefore, government transparency and accountability with city agenciesstarts with early neighborhood citizens feedback on agency construction projects at the beginning of the approval process and during every aspect of the decision-making process – including all operational and capital budget requests, long before it reaches the Common Council for final discussion and debate.

If I am fortunate to be elected as your new Common Council representative for the 9th Aldermanic District, I will strengthen the City’s “Ethical & Professional Standards” and “Conflict of Interest Requirements,” that will improve greater transparency for city department heads, all elected officials and staffing positions for the Mayor’s office and Common Council Staff. 

How the Wisconsin Idea at UW-Madison influenced my life and professional career & public policy solutions!

First, I am a proud graduate of our believed UW-Madison (Bachelor’s Degree College of Education) and from the Robert M. LaFollette School of Public Affairs (Master’s Degree in Public Policy), which has made a profound impact on my life and career. Which is why I am forever grateful for a quality education and for helping me develop critical-thinking skills. Secondly, the UW- SystemWisconsin Idea” has inspired me to embrace evidence-based policy and business decisions throughout my entire professional career and civic engagement on government committee, boards, commissions, and gubernatorial policy task forces; and If you and the people of the 9th Aldermanic District elect me as your next aldermanic representative on the Madison Common Council – I will continue to embrace and engage an ongoing collaborative partnership with UW research faculty and the City Council, in finding evidence-based solutions to the many challenges facing our City of Madison.

What is the UW-Madison Wisconsin Idea?

One of the longest and deepest educational tradition surrounding the UW-Madison and UW-System, is the educational principle, that “education should influence people’s lives beyond the boundaries of the classroom,in solving societal problems and global challenges facing humankind. The of University of Wisconsin has a long and successful history working with citizens to address local, state and federal issues that include but limited to: providing technical assistance to Wisconsin’s dairy industry, to ensuring fairness in commerce, to UW experts working with the Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau, to UW researchers sharing knowledge with government, to developing public/private partnerships, which create new jobs, and to innovative medical and health saving solutions for people.

What are Nino Amato’s credentials and leadership positions, within the UW System and in Wisconsin’s public, private and non-profit sectors?

Nino Amato has a distinguished and respected leadership record for “walking his talk” on increasing renewable energy resources through new wind and solar energy generation; advocating for affordable and accessible college education; and addressing the urgent need to reverse the growing racial disparities in our communities and state.

Current Professional Leadership Activities:

  • UW-Platteville, College of Engineering, Adjunct Professor: “Sustainability Policies & Best Practices” & “Energy, Environment & Society (2015 to Present)
  • Public Policy Chair, “We Are Many United Against Hate”, Non-Profit, Non-Partisan 501c3 (2017 to Present)
  • Honorary Board Chair, Coalition of Wisconsin Aging & Health Groups, Former President & CEO (2010 to Present)
  • Voter Accessibility Advisory Committee, Wisconsin Election Commission (2016 to Present)
  • National Council of Consumer Organizations, Representing Wisconsin 1.4 million elderly and citizens with disabilities (2014 to Present)

Governmental Appointments & Leadership

  • Former President – Wisconsin Technical College System Board 
  • Former Member – University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents
  • Former MemberUniversity of Wisconsin Hospital & Clinic Authority Board 
  • Former President/CEO – Forward Wisconsin Inc., Public-Private Economic Development Partnership & Wisconsin’s Economic Marketing Organization
  • Former Chair – Madison Mayoral Task Force on Racial Profiling and Race Relations
  • Former President & VP – Madison Equal Opportunities Commission
  • Former Committee Co-Chair –  Doyle’s (D) Task Force on Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy
  • Former Co-Chair w/Mark Pocan, City-County Task Force on the Unification & Merger of Madison’s & Dane County’s Public Health Departments
  • Former Co-Vice Chair –  Tommy Thompson’s (R) Special Commission on Developing Wisconsin’s Quality Workforce (Staffed by DPI)
  • Former Advisory Board Chair. – UW Madison, School of Education Hope Lab College Homelessness and Tuition Affordability
  • Former State Chair – Wisconsin Dept. of Health Services “United for Mental Health” (Eliminating Mental Health Stigma & Advocating for Mental Health Parity)
  • Former Chair – Madison Economic Development Commission & Dane County Leadership Council – Career Ladders (CNA’s) Health Care Development, Business Retention & Expansion, Small Business Development & Entrepreneurship 

Former Public, Private & Non-Profit Leadership Positions:

 Public and Private Sector Executive Leadership & Local, State and Federal Public Policy Development
  • President/CEO Coalition of Wisconsin Aging & Health Groups(CWAG), Wisconsin’s statewide non-profit legislative & legal advocacy for Wisconsin’s 1.4 million elderly and people with disabilities (2010 to 2021)
  • Founder & Pres./CEO Nino Amato & Associates, Health Care Advocacy, Strategic Planning, Cultural Change Leadership, Environmental & Health Care Development & Sustainable Economic Development Consulting Firm (2002-2010)
  • Vice President & Senior Executive Chief Marketing Officer, Meriter Health Services, Meriter Hospital & Retirement Center, and Meriter Home Health Services Health Care Advocacy Clinical Business Development, Physician Relations, Governmental & Community Relations, Institute of Medicine Liaison-Healthcare Safety & Reducing Medical Errors, Clinical Marketing, UW Hospital Clinical Business Partnerships, State & Federal Regulatory Relations (1998-2002)
  • Senior V.P. Wisconsin & Economic Development Director for Wisconsin Power & Light Company, WPL HOLDINGS: Strategic Planning, Economic & Community Development, Pricing & Regulatory Rate Design, Environmental Advocacy in Collaboration with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Water Utility Regulatory Oversight, President of WP&L Foundation Charities, & Local, State and Federal Public Affairs (1985-1998)
  • President/CEO, Forward Wisconsin Inc. (WP&L Loan Executive) State of Wisconsin Public-Private Economic Development Marketing Corp., Business Retention & Expansion, Biotechnology and Forest Products Industry Development (1987-1988) & Member of Forward Wisconsin Board of Directors (1987-1992)
  • Director Technology Transfer, UW-Whitewater College of Business & EconomicsDirector of Business Outreach, Small Business Development Center, UW Technology Transfer, Business Protype Development and Wisconsin Innovation Service Center (1982-85)
  • Executive Vice President & Business Manager, First Reality Group, Inc. Residential & Commercial Development, Fire Prevention Policy Development, Home Energy Efficiency & Conservation, Community & Governmental Relations (1977-1982)

I am running for the 9th Aldermanic District to:

  • Create safer neighborhoods by reducing Madison’s crime rate, and by investing in neighborhood community policing and mental health interventions and services (CARES intervention Program).
  • Listening to 9th District residents and their concerns on neighborhood and city issues – and then representing their voice on the Madison Common Council – so collectively, we can improve the quality of life and public safety in all Madison neighborhoods.
  • Provide the needed resources to guarantee safe drinking water in all of Madison’s drinking wells, by reducing PFAS toxins (forever chemicals) and achieve the highest quality of safe drinking water in the nation.
  • Protect and preserve Madison’s greenway tree forests, tree islands and street tree canopies, which provide cleaner air, lowers urban heat rates, and reduces Co2 greenhouse emissions – and incorporate nature-based climate solutions, through the city’s agency planning approval process.
  • Develop an environmental and economic sustainability future for Madison’s children and all residents – through nature based de-carbonization programs, new energy-efficiency technology, and aggressive policy Climate Crisis goals, in achieving net-zero Co2 emission’ goals by 2050.
  • Working collaboratively with UWMadison and Bioscience Researchers to create new business start-ups and business spin-offs from existing biotech and UW medical research companies, in collaboration with local chamber of commerce organizations and the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority.