Student representatives said Tuesday they are currently crafting plans to remove the State and Langdon Street area from a neighborhood association in the wake of a controversial alcohol policy proposal.
Ald. Eli Judge, District 8 � which contains the State-Langdon area � said he has been approached with a large number of complaints from constituents reacting to Capitol Neighborhoods, Inc.�s recent alcohol crackdown proposal, which includes doubling citations for underage drinking, requiring ID scanners in 50 percent of bars and increasing the beer tax.
�The position of State-Langdon in CNI was not as strong as they had hoped,� Judge said. �Their views and voices were not acknowledged as strongly or adequately as some had hoped.�
According to a draft of the letter to CNI obtained by The Badger Herald, �representatives from State-Langdon agree that the members of CNI are unwilling to make logical, reasonable changes to downtown living that can not only increase the safety and prosperity of the community, but the campus as well.�
Judge said he proposed removal from CNI as a possible course of action to members of the Associated Students of Madison involved in the State-Langdon organization.
�The discussion between CNI and students has been lacking as of late, and I hope that after whatever happens, our two groups will be able to communicate in improved fashion from then on,� Judge said.
The State-Langdon area was an autonomous neighborhood association, directed by Jeff Erlanger before CNI rolled it into the larger organization in 2005. Currently, Jessica Pavlic, a member of ASM, chairs the State-Langdon neighborhood area.
Ledell Zellers, president of CNI, said a State-Langdon area representative has contacted her, requesting to raise the area�s concerns with CNI�s alcohol policies as a point of discussion.
�I mean, we took [the State-Langdon association] in a few years ago. If they feel that they would be better served by not having a neighborhood association or by having different organization, that is certainly something we should talk about, that they could certainly do if they wanted to,� Zellers said.
Jeff Wright, chair of ASM�s shared governance committee, does not live in the State-Langdon area but said he is in support of the withdrawal.
�I completely understand their sentiment. They feel CNI is not representing students the way students should be represented,� Wright said.
Since neighborhood associations do not operate under ordinance, Zellers said she does not see State/Langdon�s possible withdrawal as a question of what CNI will or will not allow it to do.
�I don�t see it as a big deal, I guess,� she said. �Neighborhood associations do change periodically.�
State-Langdon representatives plan to present their intentions to the executive board of CNI in writing at a meeting on March 25, Judge said, adding they will present letters from other area constituents.
If the State-Langdon area does remove itself from CNI in light of the Alcohol Issues Committee�s January proposal, Judge said the neighborhood would be doing so with his complete support.
�If State-Langdon does secede, I don�t claim to have a structure in my head, but I�m sure I will be working closely with ASM in recreating and maintaining the new student neighborhood,� Judge said. �I have great hopes it will expand beyond just State-Langdon, perhaps the entire campus.�