More than three years after forming, city committee close to releasing recommendations for police reform

A city committee will release recommendations for police reforms, including the recommendation for an independent monitor and civilian oversight board, in the next few months. The committee, referred to as the Madison Police Department Policy and Procedure Review Ad Hoc Committee, was formed in 2015 to conduct a review of MPD and address concerns over police brutality in Madison. In particular, the group was formed to respond to the death of Tony Robinson, a 19-year-old black man, who was shot and killed by police officer Matthew Kenny. In June 2016, the committee spent $400,000 for an outside consulting group, OIR, to conduct an independent review the Madison Police Department. OIR looked at MPD’s policies, practices, culture and training and came up with 146 recommendations on reforms for the department.

Madison Commons Media Digest, Week ending May 19, 2019

Madison and Dane County

Plenty of challenges in bringing bus rapid transit to Madison, Dean Mosiman, Wisconsin State Journal, May 19. Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway names Nan Fey interim planning director, Abigail Becker, Capital Times, May 15. No more coin-only parking meters in Madison; now take cards too, Bill Novak, WSJ, May 15. City opens door for new member to be added to police review committee, Emily Hamer, WSJ, May 15. City fair housing report: Typical black households have limited apartment options, Lisa Speckhard Pasque, CT, May 13.

The United Way of Dane County Announces Partnership with Forward Madison FC

The United Way of Dane County, a public organization that strives to bring together the voices of Dane County, publicly announced last month an official partnership with Forward Madison FC. This partnership allows for a new community building projects, such as organizing  a soccer clinic at United Way’s Seasons of Caring that begins in August. Forward Madison FC is a new professional soccer team, founded in 2018, based in Madison.. The team is led by Daryl Shore, the head coach and technical director. They began inaugural season in 2019 and played their first competitive game on April 3rd against the Chattanooga Red Wolves SC where they were closely defeated by a score of 1-0.

The Multi-Talented Taylor Wright Rushing, Artist-In-Residence at The Bubbler

Taylor Wright Rushing, a Masters of Fine Arts student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is an artist of many talents. From March to April, he shared these talents - including woodworking, painting, drawing, and music - as the Artist-In-Residence at the  Bubbler at Madison Public Library

“Philosophically, I’m really on the same page as the folks here.” Rushing said. It’s all about accessibility, completely unpretentious art-making, and it’s free to the public. The Bubbler has had such a great roster of other artists-in-residence that I’m proud to say that I’m friends with a bunch of them, and I’ve been able to work with them in a variety of capacities. For me, the opportunity to participate in the art residency program was something that I just had to do.”

During his residency, Rushing led multiple workshops on the subject of wood carving and whittling.

Say Hello to Springtime at Troy Farm’s Annual Plant Sale on Saturday

Troy Farm will offer over 20 types and 75 varieties of vegetables and herbs Saturday at their annual spring sale. All items are certified organic plants that are grown on-site at the Troy Farm.  The plant sale will be held on the Northside of Madison, at 502 Troy Drive, between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Community GroundWorks Troy Farm, Madison’s first urban farm, is a nonprofit organization that produces organic vegetables and herbs while promoting community and sustainability. The organization focuses on education by providing internships and opportunities for young community members to learn about urban agriculture. If you wish to get involved with Troy Farm, you can apply for membership or attend Thursday Nights at Troy, a community event that includes a farm stand, pizza, live music, and activities.

A Day Without Latinx and Immigrants Draws Supporters from Across Wisconsin

Individuals across Wisconsin participated in a state wide strike last Wednesday as as part of an effort to urge legislators to restore drivers license to immigrants. Voces de la Frontera, a community organization based in Milwaukee, organized a Day Without Latinx and Immigrants general strike across the state of Wisconsin. Immigrants, their families and supporters participated by not attending work, school or purchasing anything. Over 100 businesses closed and community members from around the state converged to rally at the State Capital to voice support. 

“These events like May 1 are opportunities for people to be part of history by demonstrating their solidarity, showing our collective economic power to have an impact on the political process, and to say that Wisconsin is a welcoming state for immigrants,” Christine Neumann-Ortiz, the Executive Director of Voces de la Frontera, said. The organization has a long history of activism in Wisconsin, and more recently are focused on building coalitions in an effort to restore the right to obtain driver's license to immigrants.

April 2019 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. Judy Skog, Sierra Club Foundation - John Muir Chapter

Judy Skog is a founding member of the Tar Sands Team, a joint effort between the Wisconsin Chapter of the Sierra Club and 350-Madison to halt the expansion of pipelines that threaten Wisconsin’s land and water. The Tar Sands Team is working to protect Wisconsin’s water, land and air. Skog brings positive energy, hopefulness, humor and adorable pictures of her grandchildren everywhere she goes.

Madison Spring Arts Guide

Spring is now here and with it are many opportunities to enjoy art in Madison. For those looking to make the most of their springtime, here is a selection of outdoor art, indoor exhibitions, screenings, and performances for residents to enjoy. Public Art in Madison 
As the weather gets warmer, those looking to enjoy art and fresh air can find a variety of murals around Madison. Our interactive map below locates where to find these murals, and charts a great art-inspired walk or bike ride around town. With your help, this interactive public arts map can be an ongoing project.

United Way to invest $19.5 million into Dane County community

United Way of Dane County will invest more than $19.5 million dollars in programs that focus on reducing poverty. As a part of their campaign “Champions for Change,” United Way raised funds from over 30,000 donors, business and partner agencies in 2018. A total of $19,526,101 dollars will be invested in to the Dane County community, focusing on programs and strategies that address areas of education, income and health. “The goal of investing this money is to provide support for programs proven to help stabilize families and ensure that every person in Dane County can succeed in school, work and life,” said Martha Cranley, the Executive Vice President of Community Impact at United Way. In a year round process, hundreds of volunteers including experts, business leaders, and key stakeholders read proposals submitted by community agencies.

Who will be Madison’s next mayor?

Soglin aims to hold on to position, Rhodes-Conway pushing for a change

We asked the candidates running to be Madison’s mayor the same five questions to understand their vision for the future of Madison. The answers we received show differences in scope, detail, and logic for where the candidates think Madison is, and where the city is going.

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