Our Wisconsin Revolution - Dane

meet the candidates

County Board District 11

Nancy Bogue

Why are you running? What are your top two policy objectives?

#4 has the answer to the first part of this question. Water pollution and farm issues are a major concern to me, and they play out in a bigger picture of urban/rural relationships. This urban/rural schism has also played out in national and state voting, of course. I think it's time that we understand each other better. I have gone to about 6 county meetings in the last few weeks to get the "state of the state" and the relatively new "Healthy Farms/Healthy Lakes" task force is doing great work. I would like to see a committee set up similarly to the city/county committee - an urban/rural committee - devoted to better understanding. In addition to that, I am not seeing much on any party's platform about disabled issues (my niece is in a wheelchair), children's rights to not be returned to family of origin after being taken out of the house for abuse by said family, grandparent's adoption rights or the state of the elderly in the county. It would be nice to see DC get national certification to be a Dementia Friendly County.

What qualifications and/or experience make you a strong candidate for elected office?

I have not run for public office before, but was involved in politics in the 90s. I have wanted this seat for the past 16 or so years, waiting for our 4 kids to grow up. I work for MMSD as an AVID tutor, and even though I have a few degrees from the UW-Madison, I study math at the awesome Madison College just because I like math. We are also fairly active in the Ethiopian adoption community as our 13 yr old is adopted. We are 30 year residents of the lovely Westmorland. I also sit on the board of Historic Madison. In the past, I was an elected delegate to the South Central Federation of Labor, chaired the first Dane County Environmental Council, former board member of the Business and Education Partnership, volunteered with Bootstrap, Briarpatch and the SPRITE program (for boys in the DOC program). I worked at CUNA Mutual Ins Co for 17 years, mostly in HR - Training, Diversity and Organizational Development. I have also worked with youth in various settings for 18 years.

I am a candidate who will actively work across differences of opinion looking for the interface on issues, and who will represent the interests of my constituents by seeking input as often as possible.

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/

I have cut and pasted a few issues from your platform that I am especially interested in and would work on those in a bilateral way. I believe it is the only method to have long lasting solutions.

Strengthen the Violence Against Women Act #Promote “complete streets” and accessible multimodal transportation options in all communities, while everywhere encouraging active transportation and electrification of all motorized transportation#Strengthen protections for residential tenants#Enable local districts to develop their public schools by increasing state funding and local control#Provide a healthy ecosystem for species with whom we share the earth#Implement a living wage (minimum $15 per hour, as well as an annual cost of living adjustment)# Establish a right to vote in the Wisconsin Constitution and automatically register all citizens to vote

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 against an incumbent and another candidate. I don't expect to win. I have committed a small amount of my own money for flyers to be delivered by friends and family (my campaign team). I have an extremely simple FB page that I ask my kids to explain to me. (Nancy Bogue County Board Supervisor Candidate) I have endorsements that really matter to me, mostly from other front line kinds of politicians I know from board work, etc. I am running, not to win, but because it is important to be part of the democratic process...because in so doing, I am doing something.

Would you be willing to fight to suspend Voter ID laws in Dane County? How would you do this?

I have read all of your bullet points under "A Real Democracy" in your platform. They all sound good. I have been a poll watcher which was quite interesting.I don't know everything about what's going on in county gov because I don't have the job, of course.Before I'd vote for anything I would want to know both sides of the issue, and I don't know enough about this issue to be willing to fight for or against it.

What (if any) alternatives to incarceration will you support as County Board supervisor?

I would support any reasonable alternative to incarceration. In terms of the jail issue: I believe that step 1 is for a supervisor to poll his/her district on significant issues and vote in such a way as to represent them. I believe that Dane County has a "progressive" model for a new jail compared to other places in the U.S. and in the world. I wish that no one had to go to jail, but I think jails are needed to keep society safe from some people who are too damaged. Working on root causes is the way to go, but the manner in which organizations work on those causes can either damage or help.

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 first need to know a list of all possible strategies and funding options (and I don't currently know those), work with professionals to fully understand those options, work with other supervisors on both sides of the aisle to come up with the top two or three options and poll constituents if it made sense. And, then I would vote the way the majority of constituents want me to.

Finally, it would be a true honor to serve our district. We need to increase communication with constituents and actively seek their thoughts. Public servants represent not themselves, but the people who believe in them.

 

Al Matano

Why are you running? What are your top two policy objectives?

I am running for re-election to the County Board because I have served on the body for a number of years, I am proud of my record of achievement, and there is still work to be done.

Two policy areas I am focused on are transit improvements and services for the homeless.

A long term goal of mine is to bring transit improvements to Dane County. The current vision is for bus rapid transit (BRT), which involves buses that run on streets, but operate in some ways like a rail system.

I served for some 10 years on the Transport 2020 commission, which came up with a locally preferred alternative for transit in Dane County. From that finding, the County was able to get the Wisconsin Legislature to provide authority to establish a regional transit authority. Regrettably, with Scott Walker's election as Governor, he got the Legislature to repeal that authority.

The earlier vision was for commuter rail, but BRT provides some of the same benefits. BRT will provide backbone service on two routes. One will be an east-west route from East Towne to West Towne through the isthmus. The second route will run north-south from Warner Park and the north transfer point to the south transfer point, with a possible extension down Fish Hatchery Road in Fitchburg.

Along with BRT, we will need to maintain and enhance local Metro bus service, with some reorientation of local routes to BRT stations. In addition, regional bus service will be provided to outlying communities like Oregon and Stoughton, Sun Prairie, DeForest, and Waunakee.

Improving the lives of our homeless brothers and sisters in the short term and in the long term means providing temporary shelter coupled with services, as well as permanent housing. A few beneficial projects are currently underway:

— The Messner building, which was purchased for a homeless resource day shelter, is the subject of a request for proposals for affordable housing.

— The Affordable housing development fund allocates $2 million per year for years 2015 through 2018. Six projects were awarded funding in 2017. The Capital Times described this in an article dated June 25, 2017.

— The day resource center, The Beacon, opened this fall. Like the temporary facility we had a few years ago, it provides a place for people to go and attend to their basic needs. We have developed an attractive and comfortable facility. The staff are poised to help people seek employment or obtain resources available to them, such as veterans' benefits.

While many in Dane County enjoy great prosperity, others are left behind. It is my desire to use my voice in Dane County government to ensure that we assist people in need. While we have taken some positive steps to do so, there is much more to do.

What qualifications and/or experience make you a strong candidate for elected office?

My strengths on the Dane County Board are several:

— Knowledge and understanding of the workings of Dane County government and the issues we decide.

— A willingness to provide clear commitments on issues, along with a rationale for those positions.

— Relationships with many players in County government or who interact with County government.

In addition to 18 years of service on the County Board, I am an attorney by training. I have taken on some pro bono assignments over recent years, defending protesters and, currently, assisting a homeless individual with quality of life charges that arise from living on the streets.

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/

The philosophy I have advanced in my tenure on the County Board is consistent with OWR's platform. I picked the following few items out of the platform to highlight my actions.

Complete streets. The regional Transportation Planning Board, which I chair, has incorporated the goal of complete streets in the criteria it uses to evaluate transportation projects for possible funding. When the Wisconsin Legislature moved to repeal complete streets requirements, we incorporated complete streets as previously described in Wisconsin statutes into our criteria for evaluating local projects.

ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement). When the Dane County Sheriff appeared to be cooperating with ICE some years back, I introduced an amendment to cut the Sheriff Department's budget as a way of highlighting opposition to this action.

Criminal justice. Prior to and during the debate on jail construction, I spoke out in favor of reforming Dane County's criminal justice system.

Environment. When the Enbridge Corporation came before the Zoning and Land Regulation Committee with a permit application to triple the capacity of its tar sands pipeline, I led the initiative to impose requirements for environmental liability insurance to protect the citizens of Wisconsin, at least fiscally, in the event of a catastrophic spill.

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 have been knocking on doors since October. I sent out a district wide mailer, in newsletter format, in November. I held a fundraiser in early January with County Executive Joe Parisi and County Board Chair Sharon Corrigan. In addition to County Executive Parisi and County Board Chair Corrigan, I have been endorsed by previous county executives Kathleen Falk and Rick Phelps, numerous county supervisors and Madison alders, and several current and former members of the Wisconsin Legislature. With a primary ahead, I plan to front-load my efforts with multiple mailers pre-primary.

Would you be willing to fight to suspend Voter ID laws in Dane County? How would you do this?

I support the efforts of the Dane County Clerk, Scott McDonell, to commission a study of the impacts of voter identification laws on voter turnout. We heard from Professor Ken Mayer about his work on the study. The County Board adopted a Resolution calling for the suspension of the voter ID law.
http://host.madison.com/ct/news/local/govt-and-politics/dane-county-board-to-call-on-state-leaders-to-suspend/article_e4ddd5f2-0f57-5dbc-b345-b9be8d26a0c7.html

The study commissioned by Dane County estimated that as many as 23,000 individuals were prevented from voting by the voter ID law.

What (if any) alternatives to incarceration will you support as County Board supervisor?

A few items that I have cited in needs for criminal justice reform are as follows:
— Increase diversion programs, including a review of 97 recommendations for diversion in a 2007 report.
— Review an earlier (~2002) study on a possible alcohol and other drug abuse (AODA) and mental health facility.
— Increase mental health services in the current jail and any future facility.
— Provide community based services, including those supporting re-entry.
— Find and implement ways to reduce racial disparities in the population of the jail.
— Eliminate solitary confinement in almost all instances.

A recent newspaper article spoke of a suggestion to implement a countywide Community Restorative Court. The pilot court on Madison’s South Side has offered young and generally low-level offenders a chance to take responsibility for their actions through community service and, sometimes, financial restitution, but also avoid jail time and a criminal record.

It also reiterated many well-discussed diversion tactics, including court date text message reminders, bail monitoring program expansions and creation of a mental health “restoration center.”

A 2010 report focused on alternative sanction programs. These programs are administered by the courts or Sheriff’s Office and are intended to more effectively deal with current and would-be jail inmates with alcohol and other drug abuse (AODA) problems, rather than focusing on punishment.
https://danecountyhumanservices.org/aoda/dox/aoda_focused_alternative_sanction_programs.pdf

These are a few of the actions I support to provide alternatives to incarceration.

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?

This question overlaps the previous one. I believe that we should be spending money on treatment, rather than punishment. As long ago as 2002 we had a study of the possibility of an AODA facility to divert people from incarceration. If we are able to spend money on treatment rather than incarceration, we will be able to work within the limits of our budget, as defined in part by levy limits imposed by the state legislature. In addition, we should work to leverage Medicaid monies as possible, including the comprehensive community services benefit.

https://www.danecountyhumanservices.org/ccs/clnt/default.aspx
 

 

Kelly Danner

Why are you running? What are your top two policy objectives?

I’m running to protect and prioritize the social safety net, continue Dane County’s work on environmental initiatives, and bring some energy, hard work, and citizen engagement to District 11.

Within the human services and safety net areas, I’d like to focus on mental health services, youth care, and public health. I will approach each of these areas with an eye towards reducing racial disparities in the health and achievement gaps that currently exist in Dane County.

Regarding community engagement, there are many cities and counties trying new, creative, and effective engagement strategies that can be put to use in Dane County. I’d like to see the County Board of Supervisors focus on not just making information transparent and accessible to the public, but making the whole process more engaging. When the public is engaged in a constant, diverse, low-barrier form of communication, accountability and trust will be built between government bodies and neighbors. Some strategies for community engagement in Dane County should include creating jargon-free committee meeting summaries; scheduling meetings and votes in a variety of times and locations in order to facilitate worker, youth, family, and senior participation; and using art and active programming to enhance interaction in community sessions.

What qualifications and/or experience make you a strong candidate for elected office?

Professionally, I manage a small business, an equine veterinary practice, and know how to creatively tackle big projects with small budgets. My work is primarily based in rural Dane County, making me particularly capable of advocating for issues affecting our rural neighbors. Like everyone who works in a small business, I am a jack of all trades project manager. I manage the accounts receivable, HR, budgeting, marketing, project planning, IT, and events for our office. Prior to my current work, I worked with diverse hospitals on their tech implementation projects. I worked with a large academic hospital focused on research and improving patient care, a small indigent care hospital trying to manage a limited budget and improve the daily lives of their community, and an international physician group. As such, I have a strong background in a variety of business settings, and will bring effective leadership to District 11.

Personally, I have long been an advocate for an expansive social safety net for our neighbors in crisis. I grew up in a solid middle class family, but when I was a child, we went through a crisis. We depended on the safety net - things like food stamps and Medicaid - and I am so grateful that when we were in crisis, our county services were there to soften the blow. I want to bring my personal experience with utilizing these important county services to the policy making table. It is important to have people with lived experiences making decisions about prioritization of services, particularly when we’ll be looking at a lean budget. I’m ready to use my unique perspective to help the human services department provide the best service possible to our neighbors in need.

Finally, I have been active in serving Madison in a variety of capacities for years. My community service spans the range of issues - I help provide therapy for kids with physical and mental challenges; foster dogs with rehabilitation needs; assist students learning English as a second language; chair the Resolution Committee for the Dane County Democratic Party; and serve on the Youth Commission for Dane County. This variety of focus gives me a great perspective on the work that our local government needs to do in order to support our community.

Altogether, I am a hard-working, collaborative, transparent, and research/solution oriented leader, and all of my professional, personal, and community service experience positions me to be particularly effective as Dane County Supervisor for District 11.

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/

There are several OWR platform items that are closely aligned with my policy objectives. For example, OWR’s platform lists the sustaining and improving of coverage for all necessary health services. I am committed to using county programming to help low income families access health insurance, and supporting reproductive rights in whatever way we can. I will fight for the collective bargaining rights for everyone in Dane County and throughout Wisconsin. I appreciate your commitment to criminal justice reform, and am eager to work with our district attorney’s, sheriff’s department, and circuit court judges to determine how we can reduce sentencing, revocations, and the incarceration of the mentally ill. Your transportation goals are in line with mine – we need to take into account not only the structural and environmental benefits of public transit, but the importance of looking at transit through an equity lens.

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’m working hard to win the vote of my neighbors for the Dane County Supervisor of District 11. When I’m not working my day job, I’m meeting neighbors at events, knocking doors, and having in depth conversations about our priorities in Dane County.

I’ve earned the endorsement of many current Dane County Supervisors and Madison Alders with whom I share similar values and work ethic, including Alders Shiva Bidar-Sielaff, Arvina Martin, Mark Clear, Sara Eskrich, Zach Wood, Matt Phair, and Denise DeMarb, and Supervisors Robin Schmidt, Nick Zweifel (Vice-Chair of Health and Human Needs) and Jeremy Levin (Chair of Health and Human Needs Committee). Local community leaders such as Susan Schmitz and Raj Shukla (Chair of the Sustainable Madison Committee) are also endorsing me.

I’ve created a grassroots fundraising campaign from people who share my values and believe in my abilities in order to get my message out to as many voters as possible.

Would you be willing to fight to suspend Voter ID laws in Dane County? How would you do this?

Wisconsin’s Voter ID laws are a tragedy and cause great harm to our democracy. I was pleased to see the County fund the Voter ID impact study through the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and am very happy to see Supervisors Stubbs, Pertl, and Kuhn authoring and successfully passing a resolution to suspend the photo ID laws. I will continue the fight for every citizen to have the ability to vote.

What (if any) alternatives to incarceration will you support as County Board supervisor?

I think that one of the most important improvements we can make is to expand the use of the Community Restorative Courts. While the court has seen great success with the cases they have handled, there hasn’t been widespread use of this court, from either the district attorney’s office or law enforcement personnel.

The use of a mental health court has been utilized in similar cities around the country, and I am eager to do more research about its viability. The idea was rejected by Dane County in 2003, but we would do well to reassess if it would do good here. Similarly, the mental health crisis center study launched by County Executive Joe Parisi should be revealing of another strategy to reroute individuals in mental health crisis to treatment instead of incarceration.

Finally, we need to expand our partnerships with community organizations assisting inmates in transitioning back to their communities. With the appropriate food, shelter, clothing, employment, transportation and treatment options encircling the newly released, we can reduce revocations and keep people healthier, families united, and communities safer.

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?

In this political climate, we’ll be hard pressed to increase our budget much. I will help the county board and county staff prioritize programs that best help those in mental health or substance abuse crises, specifically focusing on providing immediate assistance to those who ask for help and eliminating waiting lists for treatment. I will aggressively pursue creative private and public grant options – such as the grant assisting in the funding our Community Restorative Court.

Affordable housing is a complex situation that requires extensive, long-term planning and work. We have many county supervisors and Madison alders who have been working on this for years, and I look forward to supporting their previous work and expanding the scope of that work. There are many cities across the country we can model after which are using innovative funding and development models to increase affordable housing availability. Some regions are using public/private partnership funding models to provide below-market loans to low income housing developers, which establishes a revolving capital fund for developers. We should look into the safe and healthy rehabilitation of existing properties with green materials and low-energy planning, in order to keep costs low for future tenants. I’m eager to look at more creative funding models, in addition to the traditional low-income housing tax credits.