I pledge to:  
  • Act with integrity
  • Educate myself, learn, and listen
  • Be respectful
  • Treat others with dignity
  • Represent my constituents by doing what is right and not necessarily popular
  • Be responsive
  • Focus on improving our community, valuing our diversity, and creating a more humane society

I pledge to focus my attention and support on the following issues:

Allied Drive Community: It has been one of the honors of my life to work with the Allied Drive community to move forward, not out. We have made a lot of changes in the last four years and, working with the neighborhood association, the Allied Task Force, residents and service providers, the Allied community continues to grow and strengthen. The problems that remain are not easy to solve: intergenerational racism, discrimination, and poverty are not problems that can be solved overnight. But job training, basic needs, quality jobs, community empowerment, and equal opportunity can be the first steps. Working together, we can keep moving things forward, one step at a time.

Quality Economic Development. As Madison changes and grows, it cannot count merely on government and the University to employ its residents. The recent recession has once again proved how critical it is to maintain and support a strong business culture. However, as we engage the private sector, we’ll face difficult decisions. I will continue to support advancement of the “high road economy,” where investments and decisions (especially public investments such as TIF and infrastructure improvements) benefit those companies who respect the environment, supporting our community, and invest in their employees through family supporting wages and quality benefits.

Additionally, job training and workforce preparation are key elements to any economic development plan. Madison continues to have too many residents and families who reside outside the economic mainstream. This taxes our resources and forces increased investments in public safety. Investments in our families improve our economic development climate, our overall quality of life, and our tax base.

Transportation. I led the fight against a bus fare increase because transportation is such a critical issue in our city. Public transit remains the most critical investment we can make in protecting our beautiful community, reducing our capital budget expenses on road maintenance, bridging our communities, and connecting people to jobs. Transportation is economic development. Through the RTA and strategic investments in Madison Metro, these investments will create new employment opportunities and expand our economy.

Affordable Housing. Affordable housing remains a critical leg in the economic development foundational stool. I’ve seen too many Madisonians live on the brink of eviction because of rental rates. The constant fear of eviction and relocation is bad for our city. It results in instability of families and children, problems for our schools, and a downward cycle for our housing stock. It is simple: unstable housing makes it impossible for children to learn and for parents to succeed. This vicious cycle will continue until we address it.

Economic Justice and Equal Opportunity. Madison is one of the best cities in America for many reasons. But one important reason is our commitment to economic justice for all Madisonians. When our citizens are educated and employed, there is a decreased need for prisons, jails, police, and other services. Our tax base increases, health care costs decrease, and our economy flourishes. Our commitment to economic justice needs to be reiterated in every discussion regarding the quality of our schools, the affordability of our housing, the accessibility of transportation alternatives, the availability of quality jobs with family supporting incomes, the cleanliness of our environment, and the magnitude of our high-quality employment opportunities.

Madison and Wisconsin both have always stood for what could be. Wisconsin was the first state to offer unemployment, offer workers compensation, and outlaw discrimination against women. The Madison Equal Opportunities ordinance was one of the first passed and remains one of the strongest in the nation. Equal opportunity is about valuing diversity but also about far more than that. It is about ensuring that all of our citizens have access to the same quality of life, regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, gender, or age. Too many Madisonians still do not have a voice and remain unempowered to improve the lives of themselves and their families.

Land use. I’m older than I was four years ago, but there are still few things I enjoy more than getting on my bike and, in only minutes, being surrounded by rolling farmland. However, the geographic features that make Madison such an incredibly beautiful place also present distinct challenges. As we expand and grow, development pressure continues to intensify. Good land use planning will be critical to ensure that we maintain those qualities that make Madison such a great place to live. As we grow, that may mean building up instead of out. But it also means respecting long term values over short term gain.

Authorized by Friends of Brian Solomon, Ken Golden, Treasurer