Why are you running? What are your top two policy objectives?
I am running to improve services in Dane County, especially treatment for persons with drug dependence and who are struggling with mental health issues. These people do not belong in our jails. They need help with these issues and treatment options. I also am a strong environmental advocate and am involved with plans to clean up our lakes.
What qualifications and/or experience make you a strong candidate for elected office?
I am an openly gay man and have been an advocate in the LGBT community for almost 40 years, serving on many non profit boards and working as a volunteer at the Madison AIDS network. I am a pharmacist and have spent almost 40 years working at Community Pharmacy (formerly WSA Pharmacy), a workers coop in Madison. I have been on the Wisconsin Mental Health Drug Advisory Committee, worked to provide hundreds of thousands of clean needles to people struggling with heroin usage, and worked to make health care affordable for our most vulnerable citizens by providing low cost medications. I am currently on the Dane County Board and am a member of The Health and Human Needs Committee, Equal Opportunities Commission, and The Land Conservation Committee.
Will you help us implement OWR’s policy objectives at the local level? How? You can consult OWR's platform at: https://ourwisconsinrev.com/program/
Yes I am a staunch opponent of the Wisconsin Voter ID law and any barrier that prevents people from voting. I am working with Land Conservation Committee to decrease pollution and runoff in our county watersheds. I voted against funding for the new jail because I feel too many our of citizens are ending up in the criminal justice system when they should be getting help with treatment and housing.
What is your plan to win? Feel free to list (or provide web links to) any endorsements you have already received, the size of your campaign team, your fundraising strategy, and any other relevant information.
I am running unopposed, but have a long list of people who endorse me on my website. www.RichardKilmerForDane.com
Would you be willing to fight to suspend Voter ID laws in Dane County? How would you do this?
Yes I think voting is everyone's right. Laws to prevent people from voting are deplorable. I will work against the states plan to make sites for persons getting voter ID cards more accessible. I think allowing people to get ID cards at the City County building might be an option. The Dane County Board last year voted to allow homeless people to use the job site as their permanent address, allowing them to get an ID card.
What (if any) alternatives to incarceration will you support as County Board supervisor?
I will continue to work to keep people out of the criminal justice system. We need more drug, alcohol and mental health treatment in Dane County. Dane County should provide a mental health urgent care center (a restoration center) to keep people who have committed minor crimes out of the jail. I attend MARI meetings (Madison Area Recovery Initiative) a committee that has a grant to keep people who are arrested for drug violations out of jail and get them into treatment. Ron Johnson's Dane County Restorative Justice Program is a great pilot to help keep our young people out of jail and needs to be expanded and utilized more. The Dane County District Attorney needs to refer more young offenders to this program, which works to keep young people with minor offenses out of the criminal justice system by their community service.
What strategies would you pursue to increase the funds for community-based mental health and AODA Services and improve the availability of affordable housing across the county?
I would vote to increase the funding to treatment facilities like Tellurian and Journey Mental Health, so people have more treatment options. Lobby the state of Wisconsin to improve funding for programs in the state and Dane County. Money for these services are often from federal and state funds and grants. Work to have less money spent on incarceration and more on treatment.