District 4 alder candidates discuss housing, safety at forum

Mike Verveer, Maxwell Laubenstein compete for District 4 alder seat

· Feb 10, 2023 Tweet

Abby Cima/The Badger Herald

Candidates for Madison’s District 4 alder position met for a candidate forum at the Education Building Thursday.

Incumbent Mike Verveer and University of Wisconsin student and former Student Services Finance Committee chair Maxwell Laubenstein discussed housing, safety and economic development at the forum hosted by Badgers Vote, Associated Students of Madison and the Campus Area Neighborhood Association. 

Both candidates emphasized a need for more affordable housing for Madison residents.

“The demand [for housing] is so great, and the availability is so little,” Verveer said. 

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The candidates also agreed on the importance of supporting small business owners.  

Laubenstein said many businesses near the Capitol on State Street have closed down, and he wants to bring businesses back to those locations that are currently empty. Verveer said the COVID-19 pandemic hurt those businesses, and the area is still recovering. 

Verveer, who has been the District 4 alder since 1995, cited his experience on the city council as proof of his ability to pass important policies. One of his recent accomplishments was the ordinance he sponsored that decriminalized marijuana in Madison.

Verveer said he has unfinished business that he hopes to accomplish in future terms if reelected. 

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Laubenstein focused on his community activism efforts and his time as SSFC chair while discussing his candidacy. Laubenstein helped raise the student minimum wage for all student fee funded units on campus from $10 to $12. While SSFC chair, he worked to expand access to mental health services provided by University Health Services. 

Laubenstein said he will prioritize the voices of the community in his decision-making if he is elected to the position. 

The spring primary election for the District 4 alder position is Tuesday, Feb. 21. The general election will be Tuesday, April 4.


This article was published Feb 10, 2023 at 10:54 pm and last updated Feb 10, 2023 at 10:56 pm


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