The Bus Stops Here: For a Participatory Democracy

 

One of the many examples of the disconnect between public transportation and land use in Madison that has been disenfranchising transit-dependent people for years is the impending relocation of the state’s Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) Service Centers on the west side. The new location will make it more accessible to car travel but less accessible to bus travel. One must go to a DMV Service Center to obtain the photo ID card now necessary for both voting in Wisconsin and receiving many federal services (i.e. a “Real ID,” passports can also be used at federal agencies, but are more expensive). Governmental and non-governmental organizations have for decades been relocating offices from oftentimes cramped quarters downtown to more spacious accommodations in car-centric and sprawly fringe areas of Madison. The Madison Area’s own Transportation Planning Board (MPO) moved its meetings from downtown to a location with limited transit access some years ago.

Changing lives through adult basic education

There were 12 people in the classroom of the former Wingra Clinic in the afternoon on October 26. They were separated into six student-tutor pairs. Some pairs read simple passages, pronounced and spelled words, while others used laptops to go on Google, use Microsoft Office, or email in an attempt to improve their literacy.  The process went on for two hours in a friendly and enthusiastic manner. This is how most classes are in the Literacy Network.

A Madison nonprofit is fighting to make Wisconsin schools inclusive for all members of the LGBTQ+ community

Shawn Fredricks, a former health and physical education teacher at Beloit Memorial High School in Beloit, described always separating her students between boys and girls. Though she considered herself a pretty accepting person, Fredricks said until she went to a training hosted by the organization Gay Straight Alliance for Safe Schools (GSAFE), a Madison based nonprofit advocating for LGBTQ+ youth, she was not aware about how much she did not understand about identity. “I would say ‘boys over here and girl over there’ without giving it much of a second thought,” she said. The small staff at GSAFE has been training Wisconsin educators for the past decade in creating a safe and supportive educational setting for students who do not fit into gender conforming labels. In the past five years, the educational sessions shifted its focus to highlight the experiences of transgender students as well as LGBTQ+ students of color.