October 2018 Backyard Heroes

Community Shares, a partner of Madison Commons, recognizes two volunteers each month. The volunteers come from Community Shares' member groups and are selected for their service to the community and to community issues. Tim Radelet, Project Home

Tim Radelet has been a great contributor to the goals of the Madison non-profit organization Project Home. For nearly 50 years, Project Home has worked to improve homes and make housing more affordable for low-to moderate income residents in Dane and Green County, WI. Over the last 20 years, Radelet has supported Project Home’s cause by volunteering his legal expertise pro-bono, and also served on the Board of Directors of the Rodney Scheel House.

Madison toward 100 percent renewable energy and net-zero carbon emissions

A resolution was adopted in July at a City Council meeting that will transition Madison to a 100 percent renewable energy. Madison is one of three Wisconsin municipalities that adopted a 100% renewable energy goal. The other cities are Eau Claire and Middleton. In 2017, Madison established a community-wide energy and carbon goal of 100 percent renewable energy and net-zero carbon emissions, and the city selected Sustainable Engineering Group LLC to provide a plan for city operations to achieve goals of 100 percent renewable energy and net-zero carbon. The resolution allowed the city to enter a contract with OneEnergy Renewables, an independent developer of community and utility-scale solar energy projects across North America, with a focus on commercial, institutional and utility customers, for the annual purchase and sale of renewable energy credits (REC) from 2019 to 2023.

Regional planners seek input from community members on their “Greater Madison Vision”

A regional planning commission is surveying Madison-area residents to discover how communities would like the city to change in the future. The project, called “A Greater Vision Madison,” was unveiled on September 12 and will ask residents of Dane County and other bordering counties what their priorities for the future are related to society, the environment, population and technology, according to Alder Larry Palm, Chair of the Capital Area Regional Planning Commission. A primary goal of the project, Palm said, was to emphasize the community’s values and visions rather than looking for quantitative information. “We want to understand where the differences in the community lie based on demographics and where people live,” Palm said. “Then, we can better understand where people align and differ.”

As part of the survey, respondents are first asked to rank their priorities for four types of change: society, technology, environmental changes and population.

Real Life Library promotes empathy and understanding with live “books”

Walking into Goodman South Madison Library on Saturday afternoon, visitors are greeted by two friendly staff members. “Are you here for the Real Life Library,” a staffer asks? After signing in, a volunteer directs visitors to the back of the library, where another staffer awaits. “What book would you like to checkout,” he asks? After an unsure pause, the volunteer hands-out a checkout card.