Dane County Board of Supervisors district 6 candidate
Criminal Justice System
We absolutely must address racial disparities and over-incarceration in Dane County. I support alternatives to incarceration such as mental health and drug courts and fully utilizing and expanding restorative justice programming and diversion. Our criminal justice system is also creating and perpetuating cycles of poverty through failure to appear process (i.e. what happens when someone doesn’t show up for court), lack of front-end services to help people navigate court processes, cash bail bond, and lengths of stay, and my top priority as a County Board Supervisor will be to reform these processes that disproportionately affect persons of color, low-income persons, and persons experiencing homelessness.
I do not support Act 10, so-called “Right to Work,” or any other policies that inherently limit the opportunity for workers to collectively act or bargain.
While working for State Representative Melissa Sargent in the Legislature, I’ve worked on issues like increasing the minimum wage to $15, which is something I support at the county level; fought against dangerous proposals that eliminate protected classes from employment (and housing, etc.) discrimination;
I also serve on the City of Madison’s Affirmative Action Commission, where I’ve worked to ensure the City is proactively seeking persons of color and LGBTQ-identified persons, among other minorities, for city employment opportunities. We also work to hold contractors accountable for to Madison’s affirmative action policies that seek to ensure a more diverse workforce and that we’re actually employing people in our community.
Investing in and facilitating public transit isn’t just good for the environment; it’s an economic equity issue. Public transit is a mechanism by which we can address poverty by making employment, job training, child care, education, social services, medical care, and other necessities more accessible. Lack of reliable, efficient transportation is a predictor of income disparity and opportunity inequity, so promoting transportation access—especially outside of urban areas—is critical. Specifically, I’m committed to pressing the Legislature to allow regional transit authorities, which foster collaboration between local governments to address, jointly govern, share costs, and plan for regional transit needs.
I’m passionate about affordable housing and providing additional funding for services for persons experiencing homelessness and homeless and unaccompanied youth. I think we need to create more permanent supportive housing for persons experiencing homelessness–Dane County’s homeless problem is chronic, so it is critical that we provide supportive housing wrap-around services in things like health care, mental health, and alcohol and substance abuse treatment.
As for housing vis-a-vis students and graduate workers, I think we have to do more to ensure housing is affordable and accessible. Especially in District 6, housing is getting increasingly expensive, which is forcing many people out of their homes. I’m committed to addressing this to the extent I am able as a county board supervisor and working with the City to ensure we have accessible, affordable housing in Madison and greater Dane County.
– During the 2016 election, I worked on the statewide legal team helping to raise awareness and inform voters about voter ID. I have been and continue to be troubled by UW-Madison’s unwillingness to make student IDs that are compliant and usable for students to vote. I’m committed to working with the Dane County Clerk to advocate for and pursue voter-ID-compliant student IDs at UW-Madison.
– I’m committed to promoting transparency and accountability on the County Board. Committee meetings at the county level should be televised and available for viewing if we’re going to have an engaged and educated electorate, and I’m committed to working to ensure this is a reality. I am also the only candidate to commit to hosting standing office hours and regular listening sessions in District 6 if I’m elected. It is important for elected officials to proactively seek input and engagement from constituents, and not just around election time or whenever there’s a controversial issue, but on a consistent basis.