Madison’s Juneteenth Will Be a Week-Long Celebration This Year

Madison’s annual Juneteenth will be celebrated for a whole week this year and will culminate with a parade and party at Penn Park. The Juneteenth Day Celebration 2018 will take place Saturday, June 16, noon-6 p.m., at Penn Park. Juneteenth in Madison is now in its 29th year. Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, a day when African-American slaves in Texas were told by Union forces that they were free. They were the final group of slaves to realize their freedom.

What You Need to Know about the Spring Election

On April 3, Dane County will hold Spring Elections to elect state offices for Supreme Court Justice, Court of Appeals Judge, District IV, Circuit Court Judges, and two school board seats. Here is a brief overview of the positions and candidates voters will elect on Tuesday. 

Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice

The Wisconsin Supreme Court is the final judge for cases in the state. The seven justices receive thousands of requests for hearings each year. The Court's job is to check the actions of the Governor, state assembly, the state police, and other government officials to make sure they do not overstep their powers. A justice would help to resolve national issues that reach the court systems such as women’s right to abortion or means of U.S. Citizenship. Michael Screnock

Campaign Website: https://www.judgescrenock.com/

Rebecca Dallet

Campaign Website: https://www.dalletforjustice.com/

Court of Appeals Judge, District IV

Appeals courts consist of three judges and do not use a jury.

One-on-One with the candidates for the Madison Board of Education: Gloria Reyes

Madison Commons reporter, Lauren Thill, interviewed three candidates for the Board of Education in Madison. We present the interviews unaltered in transcript form as part of a three-part series. In part three, we present the comments of Gloria Reyes who is running for Seat 1 against current board member Anna Moffit for the Spring Primary election on April 3. Reyes is currently Deputy Mayor for Public Safety, Civil Rights and Community Services. Can you talk about yourself and your experiences?

One-on-One with the candidates for the Madison Board of Education: Anna Moffit

Madison Commons reporter, Lauren Thill, interviewed the three candidates running for the Board of Education in Madison. We present the interviews unaltered in transcript form as part of a three-part series. In part two, we present the comments of Anna Moffit, who currently holds Seat 1 on the school board, and has served on the board since 2015. Moffit is running for re-election against Deputy Mayor Gloria Reyes for the Spring Primary election on April 3. Moffit works as a Parent Peer Specialist with Wisconsin Family Ties.

One-on-One with the candidates for the Madison Board of Education: Mary Burke

Madison Commons reporter, Lauren Thill, interviewed the three candidates running for the Board of Education in Madison. We present the interviews unaltered in transcript form as part of a three-part series. We begin with Mary Burke who currently holds Seat 2 on the school board, and has served on the board since 2012.  Burke is running unopposed for the Spring Primary election on April 3. Burke is the current CEO and founder of Building Brave, a nonprofit organization.

The Bus Stops Here: For Poetry

What helps break the boredom of riding the bus from point A to point B? A poem of course! And what better way to share your talent with others in your community than to have one of your poems displayed on the bus! From modest origins less than a decade ago, and with the involvement of Edgewood College’s Graphic Design program, Metro Transit has teamed up with Madison’s Poet Laureate to sponsor a “Bilingual Bus Lines Poetry Contest.”1 Anyone of any age is invited to send short poems, haiku, prose poems, or excerpts of 3-5 lines from longer poems to the Bus Lines 2018 open call for poetry.  Submissions can be made in English or Spanish. The theme this year is home: “What is that special thing (event, person, place) about Madison that makes you call it ‘home?’”

The Poet Laureate wades though the submissions and picks the top poems (30 poems were selected last year).

SSFP: Three Simpson Street Reporters Receive Outstanding Young Person Awards

This story originally appeared in the Simpson Street Free Press. The story was written by Jacqueline Zuniga Paiz, an Assistant Editor at SSFP. 

Every year, over 800 Wisconsin parents, youth, teachers, school faculty, and community members come together to attend Urban League’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Youth Recognition Breakfast. Held at Edgewood High School this year, the annual event celebrates local students’ academic achievement, extracurricular participation, and commitment to community service. About 200 middle and high school students of color from Dane County receive Outstanding Young Person awards at the event, which is one of the state’s biggest youth and family-focused celebrations of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Simpson Street staff and students are proud to announce that three of our young reporters were among those who received awards at this year’s community celebration. from St.

The Bus Stops Here: For a Participatory Democracy

 

One of the many examples of the disconnect between public transportation and land use in Madison that has been disenfranchising transit-dependent people for years is the impending relocation of the state’s Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) Service Centers on the west side. The new location will make it more accessible to car travel but less accessible to bus travel. One must go to a DMV Service Center to obtain the photo ID card now necessary for both voting in Wisconsin and receiving many federal services (i.e. a “Real ID,” passports can also be used at federal agencies, but are more expensive). Governmental and non-governmental organizations have for decades been relocating offices from oftentimes cramped quarters downtown to more spacious accommodations in car-centric and sprawly fringe areas of Madison. The Madison Area’s own Transportation Planning Board (MPO) moved its meetings from downtown to a location with limited transit access some years ago.

The Bus Stops Here: For A Downgraded Paratransit Program

 
Madison’s leadership in the transportation of disabled people may be coming to an end. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) requires public transportation agencies to provide a complementary “paratransit” service for disabled people who cannot use mainline transit. However, more than a decade earlier, Madison adopted a special transportation program for elderly and handicapped people that provided service “over and above” the lower bar stipulated by the ADA. Madison is now looking to shed those “over and above” services. And while Metro will continue to contract rides out to other vendors, it will cease to operate its own in-house fleet of paratransit vehicles.

The Bus Stops Here: Reporting on Public Transit

The reason for this column is the supposed lack of newsworthiness of transit issues in Madison. We say “supposed” because what journalism students are taught in a for-profit media market and what the situation might be in another context could be very different. Currently however, though public transit is an integral part of what makes Madison, Madison. It is usually just ignored or taken-for-granted, either way under-reported.  The only times it may appear in mainstream media are when fares rise, an accident occurs or service gets cut, as most recently appears to be the fate of our beloved “above and beyond” paratransit service for disabled people. Such negative exposure conveys the notion that public transit is problematic rather than the treasure it really is. This was brought home recently when listening to a UW-Madison journalism student speak about transportation equity.