The Madison City Council is considering passing a resolution that would require alderpersons to get vaccinated against COVID-19 or provide a weekly negative test.

Madison and Dane County passed a similar resolution this past August, requiring vaccination proof or a weekly negative test for city employees. But the proposal allowed for city council members to decide their own rules regarding COVID-19 vaccinations and tests.

The idea to consider the same resolution for alderpersons was sparked from an email sent to Ald. Regina Vidaver, who represents the 5th District. The email, which contained directions on providing vaccination status information to supervisors, led Vidaver to question if the message applied to city council members. 

Vidaver emphasized the importance of the council’s vaccination statuses and believes alders should lead by example with their advocacy about staying safe and keeping others safe during the pandemic, according to the Cap Times.

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In an email statement to The Badger Herald, Ald. Yannette Figueroa Cole, who represents the 10th District, had similar thoughts on why this resolution would benefit the City Council.

“As Alders we have an opportunity and responsibility to set an example,” Cole said. “The safer we can make the environment around us the sooner we can regain some sense of normalcy.”

Cole also said this resolution is the least Alders can do to give back to the community.

Cole pointed out requiring the vaccine or weekly testing would be no different than regulations going into effect in many other workplaces.

“I am in full support. This is no different than the rules at my regular job,” Cole said. “In both settings, I have had the privilege to work from the safety of my own home while essential workers are coming into the office or going to the field, continuing to provide services. This resolution is a small token of appreciation and ensures we don’t cause them unintended harm.”

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Along with Cole and Vidaver, other alderpersons have come out in support of the resolution. City Council President Syed Abbas and Vice President Arvina Martin sponsored the resolution with Vidaver.

According to The Cap Times, Abbas said alders should follow the same rules as city staff, especially since the council will meet again in person soon. The council originally planned to delay meeting in person again this past August due to a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases.

In an email statement to the Badger Herald, Abbas said the City Council will consider passing this resolution in the weeks to come.  The Common Council will discuss and consider more feedback when they meet on Oct. 19.