Describe a time when you felt like a part of your identity (your race, your gender, your job) was being profiled or stereotyped. What was the experience and how did it make you feel? That was the question for residents and police who attended a listening circle on the North Side of Madison on Wednesday night. As the night wore on it became clear that everyone has a story about how they’ve been made to feel profiled. Stereotyped.
The City of Madison's Oscar Mayer Strategic Assessment Committee has completed phase one of potential special area plan elements of the strategic assessment for the reuse of the former Oscar Mayer headquarters and food production facility. The initial phase consisted of regional positioning analysis, public participation on the key issues, future vision and redevelopment objectives of the location, and examination of the existing conditions in the area of the Oscar Mayer plant. The Oscar Mayer plant was forced to end production in 2017, and the plant employed more than 4,000 workers in Madison at its peak. The vision developed by Madison officials leverages the corridor’s “unmatched infrastructure capacity and location between the airport and downtown to rise as a regional economic hub. Physically and economically woven into the diverse surrounding neighborhoods, the transit-oriented, employment centered, mixed-use district is now the inclusive gathering hub of the northside.”
The redevelopment objectives from of the area are to maintain housing affordability and minimize displacement, to leverage the corridor’s existing infrastructure and building stock, and to ensure economic recovery boosts diversity in ownership and local businesses.
The Northside Planning Council (NPC) began with the dedication of one employee and a board of directors made up of neighborhood residents and quickly grew into the Northside’s primary organizing force. NPC is now celebrating 25 years of transformative community action. NPC’s 25th Anniversary Celebration will take place Friday, Sept. 7, 6-8:30 p.m. at Warner Park Community Recreation Center. Residents and community partners are invited to enjoy dinner, live music and the Northside Changemaker Awards while participating in the launch of the 2020 Northside Vision process.
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.
United Way of Dane County announced this fall a $25,000 investment grant to be divided between seven local organizations working in areas of social equity, community organizing and civic engagement. Positive Women for Change, the Northside Planning Council and the Community Immigration Law Center are among the seven awarded organizations, who received grants ranging from $1,200 to $5,000. The grant renews United Way of Dane County’s support for groups that build leadership capacities in disadvantaged communities, and especially among communities of color. “As our communities face increasingly uncertain futures, it’s more important than ever to keep social justice and equity as two of our topmost priorities,” said Nolan Brown, Co-Chair of United Way’s Community Engagement Capacity Building Team. Another grantee, The Middleton Outreach Ministry received $1,200 to support their work with local business, schools, and religious communities.