Tag Archives: Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway

March 22: Madison Mayoral Candidates Weigh In

–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

Mayor Rhodes-Conway: How Madison is Responding to COVID-19

submitted by Dave Mollenhoff

Satya+Rhodes+ConwayIn Rotary’s first live Zoom meeting, Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway, against a backdrop of red tulips and the capitol dome, provided a comprehensive 30-minute overview of Madison’s responses to COVID-19.

“Our goal,” she began, “is to keep people safe, reduce the number of COVID-19 infections, and not overburden our health care facilities.  Our initial focus was to help the most vulnerable, especially the homeless and those faced by food insecurity.”

To achieve that goal, she said the City has taken dozens of steps. One third of city employees are teleworking, most city committees have been paused, and the City’s IT department is working overtime to facilitate virtual meetings. The library and Monona Terrace are closed. Bus schedules have been changed and riders enter by the back door. Parking regulations have been relaxed so that businesses can provide curb service.

“But be warned,” she continued, “the economic impact of the pandemic will be drastic.”  It has inflicted substantial increased operational costs and we have already lost $35 million in revenue, so coming up with a balanced budget will be incredibly challenging.

She reminded everyone that our extraordinary parks system is open and available with only a few new restrictive policies.  Then she added wistfully, “How I wish I had time to get out there and enjoy them. In fact, I spend so much time attending Zoom meetings that my Fitbit thinks I’m dead.”

The mayor ended her talk about a long list of “hard and depressing” topics with hope and optimism.  “Madison,” she reminded everyone, “is amazing, and I believe we will emerge with a city that is more accessible, equitable, sustainable and affordable.”

Club member Jason Ilstrup provided a spirited introduction and posed members’ questions to the mayor at the end.

If you missed our meeting this week, you can watch the video here.