Beyond Coal, Jail Reconstruction, and Inspirational Message

At every County Board meeting, there is a prayer / inspirational message. The supervisors deliver this message in alphabetical order and it is my turn next. I am going to talk about my experiences as a first generation American and the concept of belonging in America.

My parents sacrificed so much for the opportunities that I have and I constantly asked myself if my efforts are worthy of everything they gave up. I am happy my mom and dad will be there in person as I address my colleagues and neighbors. It would be great to see you there this Thursday at 7:00 in City-County Building room 201. If you can't make it, I will post video of the meeting in a future update.

Recording Meetings

County Board meetings are recorded but standing committee meetings are not. Lots of the work of the County Board is done in these standing committee meetings. I am going start a pilot project to do audio recordings of the standing committee meetings that I sit on. (The Environment, Agriculture and Natural Resources committee and The Land Conservation Committee). 

I purchased a high quality digital recorder used by many musicians and cinematographers. You will see these recordings soon on my candidate youtube channel.

Wisconsin Beyond Coal Rally

Photo courtesy of Wisconsin beyond coal

Photo courtesy of Wisconsin beyond coal

I was honored to speak at the Wisconsin Beyond Coal Rally and March this last Saturday. The event started with a teach-in a the Wil-Mar Center followed by a March to MGE headquarters. My remarks can be found here:

Climate change is an immediate threat to our planet and our survival. I am encouraged by the work the county is doing to innovate to fight climate change.  However, government and private industry must do much more if we are going to solve the daunting climate issues we face.

Public, Protection and Judiciary (PPJ) Meeting and Jail tour

On Tuesday May 8th, I attended the PPJ meeting and Jail tour that followed. I am opposed to the jail reconstruction however the issue is moving forward. The county has approved a contract for an architect to begin with the planning phase and I will have more specific timelines for construction as they develop. This will be a joint effort between PPJ and the Public Works Committee.

I am going to emphasize maintaining all three forms of visitation (in-person contact, in-person no-contact and video visitation). In the Public Safety Building, there are a number of tables set up for in-person contact visitation. There are also phones and glass set up for in-person no-contact visitation. There is also a pod of video booths where you have phones and video screens for video visitation. It is important for those in custody to maintain strong relationships to their support structures and the committee and sheriff have committed to support all of these forms of visitation.

There will also be a jail oversight commission forming that will consist of elected officials and members of the public. As the details of this commission develop, I will let you know about them.

This is one of the largest capital expenditures ever in Dane County and it deals directly with our many struggles with racial disparities in our criminal justice system. It is imperative that the County Board and public provide strong oversight of this process.

Community Events and Neighborhood News

photo courtesy of jackson street plaza facebook group

photo courtesy of jackson street plaza facebook group

  • Congrats to the SASY neighborhood association, community partners and Jason Tish in particular for their work on Jackson Street Plaza. It is a great community space and the result of the hard work of our neighbors. I hope to see you over there.
  • Dane County is having a Parks and Trails Unite Festival at Lake Farm County Park and McDaniel Park on clock Saturday, June 2 from 10 AM - 7 PM. If you haven't seen the Lower Yahara Trail yet, this is a great opportunity to check it out. Full details are available here:

  • On Saturday May 19th, I will be participating in Forward 2018: A Day of Workshops and Discussions at the Havens Center. I will be on a panel discussing the relationship of social movements and electoral politics ("From Europe to November 2018: The Promises and Pitfalls of Elections for Social Movements"). This event is free and open to the public: