Community Partnership Helps People Get a Good Night’s Sleep

Gwendolyn Diemer, 69, the vice president of Triangle Neighbor Organization, had been sleeping on an air mattress for almost a year before she landed in an apartment at the Community Development Authority’s Triangle complex, just south of downtown Madison, six years ago. 

“You have to light it up, put it down and you have to sink all the way on the floor to get on it,” said Diemer, “It was just not comfortable.” 

Fortunately, Diemer was able to get a bed through a partnership between CDA’s Triangle complex, UnityPoint Health-Meriter and Steinhafel’s which is providing beds for residents on a monthly basis.

Madison Commons Media Digest, August 18, 2019

Madison and Dane County

Madison Flooding: Another deluge like 2018 would bring 'deep trouble' to area, Chris Hubbuch, Wisconsin State Journal, August 18. More than 1,000 Madison homes would be 'incompatible for residential use' with F-35 jets, Shelley K. Mesch, WSJ, August 11. Performance Review: Critics acknowledge Koval's challenges, describe him as defensive, emotional; 'I feel outnumbered': An interview with Mike Koval, Abigail Becker, Capital Times, August 14. Community

Ten reports of Klan propaganda in and near Madison, Robert Chappell, Madison365, August 15. A Wisconsin group leading efforts to bring supplies to Mississippi immigrants families torn apart by ICE, David Dahmer, Madison365, August 15.

The Bus Stops Here: For Belt Tightening

A counterintuitive way to reduce congestion is to go on a road diet or, in this case belt-tightening. The common view? No. On July 24, 2019 officials involved in a Wisconsin Department of Transportation project called US 12/18 Madison Beltline Improvement Alternatives held a well-publicized public involvement meeting1 on a ten mile stretch between Whitney Way and I- 39/90 . The stretch had to be upgraded, the perfect time to consider modifications to the current arrangement.

Artist Jenie Gao Seeks “Uncommon Ground” in New Exhibit

Full time artist, creative director and entrepreneur Jenie Gao said when opinions, clash people often want to find common ground to bare solutions. 

Gao, however, sees it differently. 

“From personal to professional to political spaces, I have paid attention to disputes between people who plead for common ground yet gloss over perspectives and leave issues unresolved. I have wondered that if instead of common ground, we should advocate and claim space for identities and representations that are rare,” Gao said. 

Madison Commons Media Digest, August 11, 2019

Madison and Dane County

'Extraordinarily Disappointing': Madison police union calls out Rhodes-Conway over comments, August 10; Madison City Council approves initial recommendations from police committee, August 7; Rhodes-Conway offers next steps to address mental health crises, August 6, Abigail Becker, Capital Times; Madison mayor condemns police response to June arrest, Chris Rickert, Wisconsin State Journal, August 7. State to triple size of Mendota Juvenile Treatment Center on North Side, Dean Mosiman, Wisconsin State Journal, August 8. Community

Women allege they were sexually abused a kids at Calvary Gospel Church in Madison, Katelyn Ferral, CT, August 9. Community leaders speak out against ICE raids, rally at Capitol, Ruth Conniff, Wisconsin Examiner, August 9. Education

Jennifer Cheatham hopes she positioned Madison School District to get to the 'next level' on racial equity, Logan Wroge, WSJ, August 11.

Mellowhood Foundation Gets Big Grant for “People on Premises” Program

Mellowhood Foundation, a non-profit organization nestled in Madison’s Meadowood neighborhood, received a grant to empower youth and create deep understandings of the community. 

In early July, the Madison Common Council awarded close to $120,000 as a part of a U.S. Department of Justice grant to the organization for its “People on Premises” initiative. 

“I feel blessed but also a major responsibility,” said Tutankhamun “Coach” Assad, the executive director of Mellowhood Foundation. 

Under the “People on Premises” initiative, the organization will hire community members and a supervisor to cultivate positive engagement between adults and youths through particular training. Though it is the first time the Mellowhood Foundation has received a federal grant, its initiative is not new. 

Beginning in 2015, the Mellowhood Foundation launched the “Parents on Premises” as a pilot initiative. Parents from the neighborhood were hired to monitor activity in the Meadowood Shopping Center areas. 

“We were able to employ five to six people for the entirety of the summer,” Assad said. “People on Premises works so well that (Madison Police Department) Captain Mike Hanson actually wrote a letter and support to us stating that when the ‘Parents on Premises’ were around, we saw a 40 percent reduction of police and youth contact.”

Located in southwest Madison, the Meadowood neighborhood has problems that concerned surrounding businesses and city officials have felt the need to take aim at reducing incidents of violence. 

At one point, security professionals were hired from JBL Patrol and Protection, but that just triggered further tension within the neighborhood. 

“I am sure they did a good job, but they still don’t have any cultural competency to redirecting or even engaging with children that they know nothing about,” said Assad “At the same time, we want to convey to our children that it is important to have respect (for) everybody, everywhere, whether you know them or not.”

Now, realizing the necessity for addressing the problems from within the neighborhood, Assad said the new iteration of “People on Premises” is more diversified and inclusive. 

“People in the community make the community, not just parents. The entire community are stakeholders,” Assad said.

Madison Commons Media Digest, August 4, 2019

Madison and Dane County

Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway focusing on building relationships, staff, Dean Mosiman, Wisconsin State Journal, August 4. Madison City Council launches Twitter account, Abigail Becker, Capital Times, August 3. City faces costly choice on low-cost housing for Judge Doyle Square, Dean Mosiman, WSJ, August 1. Community

Marginalized communities would be most impacted by jets at Truax Field, Olivia Herken, WSJ, August 3. Support Staff: New network offers support for all pregnancy options, including abortion, Steven Potter, Isthmus, August 1.

Short Stack Eatery to support Just Bakery with percentage of proceeds for August

For the month of August, Short Stack Eatery in downtown Madison is partnering with Just Bakery to bring some of its signature goods to the table. 

Madison-Area and Urban Ministry’s Just Bakery program, a 12-week employment training program, combines commercial bakeries with culinary education and jobs for formerly incarcerated people to build community ties. The program is mainly intended to aid former inmates with employment and ease their way back into community life. Short Stack Eatery, a local restaurant located on the State Street, has been known as a bustling hub is famous for its all-inclusive brunch since 2015. This month, something different is on their menu. “For OTM (Organization of the Month) this month, Just Bakery, we are going to sell some of their ice-cream sandwiches and include their food” on the menu, said Short Stack shift managerIsabel Mchugh. 

As MUM’s Just Bakery Program and Short Stack Eatery got together, they found that they had common goals in serving and supporting the community, thus forged a collaboration.

Badgers United to Legislature: Lift Tuition Freeze

Badgers United, a new nonprofit organization, launched in June to undergird the financial position of the University of Wisconsin’s flagship campus.

Executive Director Amber Schroeder said the organization hopes to highlight how UW-Madison helps the entire state succeed.

“We look forward to sharing information with citizens and stakeholders alike to create a greater understanding of the powerful economic value of UW-Madison and help folks understand the wealth of data out there and what it is telling us to do,” Schroeder said.