–submitted by Sharyn Alden
Mayoral Candidates Satya Rhodes-Conway and Gloria Reyes Offer Insightful Views for Madison’s Future
At Rotary on March 22, both Madison mayoral candidates showcased their positions, often punctuated with deep feelings, for the future of Madison.
Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway pointed out several areas of progress. She pointed out she was proud of Dane County’s vaccination rate (during Covid-19) as being the highest in the country.
Priorities for her administration have included increased housing and transportation choices. Another focus has been on police safety, which she gives credit to Chief Shon F. Barnes, and the 911 mental health program which was implemented during the Mayor’s term in office.
She said housing challenges have been a top priority. “We were under producing housing for years.” Recently Madison has approved 15,000 units of new housing.
She added, “Beyond just having more housing, we need to have affordable places for everyone who wants to live here.”
Mayoral candidate Gloria Reyes expressed concern for the city-wide improvements that didn’t take place when the current administration headed by Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway took office four years ago. “The perceived changes didn’t happen,” she said.
Reyes, who proudly noted she grew up in Madison, framed her views around the need for a more diverse perspective and improved communications between Madison leaders in government and other sectors.
She pointed out policy projections are one thing, but there’s a need to build real-world better on-the-ground, collaborative relationships. “Plus, we need to get away from the narrative of defunding the police.”
“We need more diverse perspectives so decisions work better for those who are impacted,” she said.
She pointed out the following example around transportation decisions. “They moved the bus stop that was in front of Briarpath in Madison, exactly where young people need it.”
If you missed our meeting last week, you can watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQLjAA4xYtU&t=2410s