Now in its second year, Black Umbrella expands, keeps activism at its core

Black Umbrella Global, a local organization centered around activism, is geared toward supporting the Black community throughout the Madison area. Amid the 2020 Black Lives Matter protest, Black Umbrella surfaced as a resource and network for community members to be supported in various areas of the city. Black Umbrella acts as a safety net for Black people throughout the Madison area who seek out equality and liberation.

Rodney Alexander and Shy Smith, two of the founding members of Black Umbrella, spoke to the organization's mission and goals for the Madison community in addition to the progress the organization has currently made in the community since the summer of 2020. While their transitional housing project, community outreach, and distribution of food and educational resources are major aspects of Black Umbrella's mission, activism is the core value of the organization.

AccessiMingos aim to make the beautiful game accessible to all

“When you have a visible disability, you’re sort of an advocate whether you want to be or not,” says AccessiMingos cofounder Bill Shultz. “That doesn’t change when we’re at the games being soccer supporters. We love Forward Madison. We want people with disabilities to be able to support Forward Madison.”

Madison organizations showed solidarity with Amazon workers organizing in Alabama

Local organizations Socialist Alternative and Our Wisconsin Revolution gathered Sunday, April 12 outside the Amazon Locker location on Johnson Street in Madison to show solidarity with the Amazon warehouse workers voting to unionize in Alabama. Social activists supported the working community fighting for their employee’s rights in one of the largest companies in the country. 

The Bus Stops Here: Voter ID requirement hurts transit-dependent voters

Next week, perhaps for the last time, the City of Madison will elect 20 City Council members for a 2- year period. Among their duties, Council members pass annual budgets that set taxes and determine how those taxes get spent. Those budgetary decisions in turn impact everything, from housing and police, to parks and yes, transportation.

Various politically-minded groups gear up for this event, help with political campaigns and/or endorse particular candidates. Their activity is based on the probably incorrect premise that potential or actual transit riders are as able to vote as others. It should be correct, and the Dane County Voter ID Coalition has assigned itself the task of identifying voters who may not have an acceptable voter photo ID, then arranging for them to receive assistance in obtaining one.

Dozens march for trans rights

On Friday, March 12, more than 50 people marched through the streets of Madison, ending at the State Capitol building, to protest new legislation that would curb the rights of transgender people. The protest was attended by people of all ages, sporting LGBTQ+ flags and signs denouncing the bill, and supporting the rights of Trans-gender individuals. 

The organizers of the Trans Liberation March described that it was to “be a celebration of gender diversity and a way to tell the legislature that we will not let this pass.” In the description of the event on Facebook, they explained that while it is likely that Governor Evers will veto the new bill, “the fact that our existence is up for debate demands a movement for trans liberation.” 

Dane County officials ‘cautiously hopeful’ as restrictions loosen considerably

Earlier this month, Public Health Madison & Dane County issued a new emergency order significantly loosening COVID restrictions, pointing to a decrease in cases and hospitalizations, as well as significant progress in vaccination efforts. Emergency Order #14 went into effect on Wednesday, replacing Emergency Order #13 from last month. One of the biggest changes between the orders is the relaxing of restrictions on gatherings. The number of people allowed at indoor gatherings where food or drink is offered rose from 25 to 150, and the number of people allowed at indoor gatherings with no food or drink offered jumped from 50 to 350, with all restrictions not including employees. 

The number of people allowed at outdoor gatherings increased by nearly 500 percent. Emergency Order #13 allowed 100 individuals at outdoor gatherings with food or drink provided, and 150 individuals for outdoor gatherings without food or drink.