Madison Commons Media Digest, February 28, 2021

COVID-19

Supply shortage delays COVID-19 vaccination clinics for teachers in Dane County, Chris Rickert, Wisconsin State Journal, Feb. 26. As UW-Health reschedules COVID-19 vaccine shots, state adds groups eligible, David Wahlberg, WSJ, Feb. 26. Wisconsinites with chronic medical conditions feel left behind in vaccine distribution, Madalyn O'Neill, Channel3000, Feb.

Madison Commons, Media Digest February 21, 2021

COVID-19

Teachers to get priority for COVID-19 vaccine, Dane County public health department says, Chris Rickert, Wisconsin State Journal, Feb. 20. Wisconsin's 7-day COVID-19 positivity rate lowest since June, Shelby Evans, Channel3000, Feb. 20. Worrisome COVID-19 variant found in Dane County, David Wahlberg, WSJ, Feb.

Early Dane County data shows racial disparity in COVID vaccines

Recent data from Public Health Madison & Dane County shows racial disparities for those that have received the COVID-19 vaccine so far, but health experts say this is likely reflective of the state’s limited eligible populations and that organizations across Dane County are working to achieve racial equity.

According to the data, more than 14 percent of Dane County’s white population has been vaccinated so far, while approximately 7.4 percent of the Black population, 5.4 percent of the Hispanic population and 7.2 percent of the Asian population have been vaccinated. 

Shiva Bidar-Sielaff, Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer for UW Health, said that it’s important to put these statistics into context, as vaccines are only available to a limited population of Dane County residents. 

Bidar-Sielaff said that given the restricted nature of the vaccine, “it’s hard to arrive at many main conclusions at this point.”

Nikki Conklin looks to bring diverse community voices to the table in District 9

“I believe that District 9 needs a new, young, fresh community leader at the table. All too often, Black, Indigenous people of color are the topic at the table but yet, we’re never at the table,” said District 9 Common Council candidate Nikki Conklin. “And so now, I really feel like this is my chance to shine and break all the odds and be at the table and actually bring the voices of the community to the table so we can be heard.”

Conklin has lived in Wexford Ridge for the last 10 years and has been deeply involved in community engagement including working as a volunteer for the Lussier Community Education Center and as an acting AmeriCorps in which she was both a staff member and sat on the board of directors. She is currently the Communications Consultant for Neighborhood Organizing Institute (NOI).

Council candidate Doug Hyant: communication is top priority

Doug Hyant, the current Chief of Staff for State Representative Mark Spreitzer, is running for Alder of Madison’s Ninth District, representing the far west side. With past experience in electoral politics, and a sharp focus on communication, Hyant says that he is qualified and ready to listen to and represent the voices of district nine. 

“I’m somebody who has been spending my time in my career working to elect people who make government work for people,” Hyant said, “I have the experience of working with communities to come together around a cause or a person, and I want to really take that and apply it to the Madison city council to bring our neighborhoods together and help people feel like our district is the community that it should be.” 

Madison Commons Media Digest, February 14, 2021

Top Story

Madison School District will reopen for in-person kindergarten March 9, phase in other grades, Scott Girard, Capital Times, Feb. 10. Superintendent Elections

Six state superintendent candidates speak at forum focused on Black and brown communities, Scott Girard, CT, Feb. 12; Deborah Kerr leads in state superintendent fundraising, spending, Scott Bauer, Associated Press, Feb. 11.

University neighbors welcome students back to town, despite COVID spread

Following a month-long break, UW-Madison students started a new semester on the 25th of January, with a mix of online and in-person classes. The University established new protocols for COVID-19 testing and tracking this semester, including a new app and guidelines for students to get tested twice a week. These safety measures are aimed not only at keeping students safe throughout the spring semester, but also to avoid a rapid spike in cases, similar to what happened at the beginning of the fall semester. While Dane County Executive Joe Parisi would rather see all instruction happening virtually, UW's neighbors don't mind students being back.

The Bus Stops Here: Madison Needs to Improve Public Transit Without Displacement, Part I

Transit advocates in Madison and elsewhere are quick to point out that traveling with one less car can save a household on average over $9,000 a year (based on national 2019 figures for traveling 15,000 miles), whether that household goes from having two to one car, one to no car or just not getting a car in the first place. Transit advocates also tout the socially inclusive nature of a public system that serves people of all ages, incomes, ethnicities, and physical abilities. And they argue that even riding diesel, rather than electric, buses can substantially cut down on one's carbon footprint while enabling road diets and the reclamation of public space disproportionately allocated to car parking. After all, the city's 2018 Comprehensive Plan's No. 1 transportation strategy (p.

Amato seeks to leverage long history in Madison in Common Council race

At the beginning of 2020, Nino Amato had no intention of running for common council. After a successful career in the private sector, in which he held roles such as the CEO of the Coalition of Wisconsin Aging and Health Groups, the Public Policy Chair for United Against Hate, as well as the President of the Madison Equal Commission- to name a few- Amato planned on stepping back, focusing on teaching, and taking time to be with his family. 

However, after seeing crime and racial disparities rise this summer, he decided to run for alderperson in Madison’s 9th District. 

Madison Commons Media Digest, February 7, 2021

Top Stories

Doctors warn about frostbite, hypothermia risk over next seven days, Adam Duxter, Channel3000, Feb. 5. Covid-19

Many Wisconsin businesses likely to require masks regardless of statewide order, Shelley K. Mesch, Wisconsin State Journal, Feb. 6. Wisconsin legislature approves first COVID-19 bill since April; Tony Evers vetoes it, Brianna Reilly, Capital Times, Feb.