Media Digest, August 18, 2018

Top Story

Madison Water Utility applies for 30% rate hike, Bill Novak, WSJ, August 18. City/County

Long-time Dane County Human Services Director Lynn Green to retire, Abby Becker, CT, August 17. Mo Cheeks launches mayoral campaign, Kayla Huynh, Madison365, August 17. Former Grambling State President joins Boys and Girls Club to open skilled trades center, Nicholas Garton, Madison365, August 17. Aluminum tariff raises price of dog tags in Dane County, Amanda Quintana, Channel 3000, August 15.

Madison’s Startups Show Off During Startup Showcase

On Tuesday, August 21, five startups will present at the sixth annual Forward Festival Startup Showcase at the Memorial Union in Madison. The showcase, part of an eight-day celebration of innovation and entrepreneurship called the Forward Festival, and features early-stage startups from the Madison area. Each startup will have five minutes to pitch their business to an audience of business people, entrepreneurs and community members. Forrest Woolworth, one of the organizers of the Startup Showcase, said they looked for startups that highlight a variety of different industries and stages. “It’s the best ROI [Return on Investment] of your time to see the exciting things happening in the Madison startup and tech community,” Woolworth said.

City of Madison After School Services Initiative Criticized for “Lack of Transparency”

Local watchdogs and litigators say a City of Madison initiative and its multiple committees should provide the public with greater transparency. In a unanimous 2017 decision, the Wisconsin Supreme Court held that committees created by local governmental bodies in Wisconsin are themselves governmental bodies subject to the state's open meetings law. Wisconsin open meetings law states: “All meetings of all state and local governmental bodies shall be publicly held in places reasonably accessible to members of the public and shall be open to all citizens at all times unless otherwise expressly provided by law.”

Public bodies are required to give notice of the time, date, location and general agenda of all meetings at least 24 hours in advance. Even when, “for good cause such notice is impossible or impractical…in no case may the notice be provided less than 2 hours in advance of [a] meeting.”

Madison-area Out-of-School Time, or MOST, is a City of Madison initiative. According to the City’s website, the group was started by Mayor Paul Soglin.

League of Women Voters publishes voter guide for August primary

The League of Women’s Voters of Wisconsin has launched their online voter guide for the state primary elections on August 14. The online resource, called, aims to provide voters with nonpartisan candidate information, important voter registration and polling details and other helpful election day information, according to a League of Women Voters press release. “The most important thing [about the guide] is that there’s information there so people can make their own informed decisions on who they want to vote for,” Eileen Newcomer, Voter Education Coordinator for the League’s Wisconsin chapter, said. “There’s all this information out there on different candidates and it’s hard to find one site that has all the information.”

To ensure the guide is nonpartisan, the League collects information on candidates’ positions through a questionnaire and posts their responses verbatim. According to Newcomer, the League publishes voter guides on VOTE411 ahead of each election as early as possible.

August 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. Jenifer Cole, Wisconsin Women’s Network

Jenifer Cole is the Past President of the Wisconsin Women’s Network, an organization that promotes the advancement of women and girls in Wisconsin through communication, education, advocacy, and connections. Cole has served on the board since 2013 and currently works as a Program and Policy Supervisor for the Department of Children and Families. She has been committed for the last 20 years to gender and social justice and has worked at many nonprofit and government organizations around the U.S. Cole holds a BA in Theatre and Gender Studies from the University of Southern California and a MPA from Cornell University.

Take a Historic Walk around UW-Madison and the Capital

Madison has at been the center of all things ‘Wisconsin’ since before the state joined the union in 1848. Though Madison continues to grow and change every year, much of its history has been preserved, with over 140 nationally registered historic places in the city. With so much history to take in, we narrowed down the list to the top 10 historic places in Madison and into this interactive map.

Madison’s Neighborhood Resource Teams want to shift perspectives, improve quality of life in “pockets” of the city

Mayor Paul Soglin’s Neighborhood Resource Teams are working to tune into Madison residents in order to address their needs by introducing neighborhood-based improvement projects to the city budgets and planning. Soglin created the Neighborhood Resource Teams in 1991 during his second term as mayor after noticing the division between government departments, where the topic-style organization of agencies prevented cohesive collaboration. “It became obvious that we needed a better approach in terms of the needs of specific neighborhoods,” Soglin said. “It was also obvious that the services provided should be in response to the neighborhood identifying priorities rather than the city making those decisions.”

The Mayor’s office identified neighborhoods it felt would benefit and formed teams comprised of city employees across government agencies. The teams focused on small pockets of the city until 1997, when Soglin left office.

$15 million Imagination Center prioritizes community’s input and needs in planning for its construction in 2020

Ald. Samba Baldeh is gathering citizen input to help shape what will be known as the Imagination Center in the Northeast side of Madison. “The City is growing very very fast so it really was overdue for us to have a library in this area. It’s important that we have resources for after school programing that can cater the possibility of people of color who sometimes struggle after school to have a personal place to go,” Baldeh said. The Imagination Center has been a year in planning, receiving a budget of $500,000 last year for outreach to gather information on what citizens want to see in it.

Media Digest, July 21, 2018

Top Story

Paul Soglin will not run for mayor in 2019.  And Rhodes-Conway, Cheeks, and Konkel jump in.  Abby Becker, Capital Times, July 17. More Politics

Michael Tierney recommended to fill District 16 Council seat. Abby Becker, Capital Times, July 19.

Madison Children’s Museum to Host American Girl Doll Sale this Month

As many Madisonians know, the Madison Children’s Museum hosts the American Girl Benefit Sale every year. This year’s sale will take place on July 21-22. All proceeds are awarded to nonprofits throughout Dane County through grants from American Girl’s Fund for Children, a long-time supporter of Simpson Street Free Press. According to the Madison Community Foundation, American Girl’s Fund for Children is a “catalyst for connecting cultural arts and environmental resources with our area children.”

Since 1988, the Fund has awarded over $11 million in grants to organizations throughout Dane County that offer arts, culture, and environmental programs for youth. The annual American Girl sale makes this funding possible.