Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Candidates face off in city races

District 2

Bryan Post

Q: What are the biggest issues facing your district and how would you address them in office?


A: One issue is affordable housing for students and young families and safety on campus. We should focus on additional lighting where incidents are occurring and reinstating the SafeRide program.

Q: What’s the most important issue for the city government as a whole to address?

A: Growth-there’s a lot of demand for housing, services, mass transportation and city amenities, and we need to embrace change to grow the city in a suitable way. We need to balance trying to preserve neighborhood character with affordable housing because if we push back too hard, we will have spikes in rent, which would hurt low-income residents the most. 

Q: Why do you want this job?

A: It is crucial what happens in Madison in the next 15 years. This city could be emblematic of a successful growing city and we need to tackle that in an optimistic fashion.  I also think it’s important for young people to be involved in city government and I want students and young professionals to see me as a relatable person.

Ledell Zellers

Q: How has a background in community organizing prepared you for this role?

A: It’s given me a wonderful knowledge base of the city and how it works. I’ve also been grounded in collaboration with people who also share interests in the city and in the neighborhood.

Q: What are the biggest issues facing your district and how would you address them in office?

A: It’s such a diverse district, so there are a number of things. I strongly believe that Washington Avenue is a gateway corridor for the city, so we need to keep our eye on the ball with developments there and make sure they proceed.

Another issue is that many are concerned about the heritage of the Langdon area and retaining the quirky architectural diversity and maintaining affordable housing for our diversity of residents. I also want to see District 2 remain attractive for families.

Q: Why do you want this job?

A: Because I care. I care about the quality of life of the residents of this district, and I would approach quality of life from one end of the district to the other.

District 4

Mike Verveer (incumbent, unopposed)

Q: What are the most important issues for your constituents?

A: I think the most significant challenge facing the city government will continue to be the tough fiscal atmosphere. Within this framework of city budgeting, significant choices will have to be made. After serving on the city’s budget committee, I look forward to continuing to fight for funding for the arts and increased public safety.

Q:  Why do you think the need for more 18 and older entertainment venues is an important city issue?

A: The thousands of constituents that I represent who are under 21 deserve to have entertainment options. I have worked with owners to utilize the 18 and older entertainment license and today there are more all age’s venues than there ever have been. I look forward to continuing to work with the Associated Students of Madison on its current campaign to expand entertainment options for underage students.

Q: After serving as an alder for 18 years, what motivates you to stay involved in city government?

A: I sincerely believe it’s about public service. I have tremendous satisfaction serving on City Council because the municipal government is the level that citizens can most immediately relate to. It’s extremely gratifying to work for the betterment of the downtown and the city as a whole.

District 8

Scott Resnick (incumbent)

Q: How do you look to build on what has largely been regarded as a successful first term?

A: I’ll be taking on the same mission and focus as the first two years. I want to build on what we’ve done to add pedestrian lighting on Spring and Orchard Streets. I’ll also be focusing on a number of different landlord laws, including on a tenant bill of rights.

Q: What are your key priorities for the district moving forward?

A: There are two projects – the last piece of Library Mall construction, which will be a major project with student input and alcohol policy for State Street moving forward. We also need to focus on what we are going to do about crimes on State Street and addressing campus safety on Spring Street and University Avenue.

For alcohol policy, the Alcohol Licensing Density Ordinance is set to sunset this summer. The new practice will be a business plan that would still allow the city the ability to enforce but allow freedom for new businesses. The last piece is making sure the police are staying out of the bars and in the streets so that we do not prioritize bar raids or threaten the good relationship between University of Wisconsin students and the Madison Police Department.

Q: What role do you think students’ interests should play in city government?

A: UW means a lot to Madison, so students should be able to set their own agenda and their voices on certain policies should be represented on City Council. I will continue to build on the recent tradition of a strong voice pushing for a pro-student agenda. 

District 13

Sue Ellingson (Incumbent) 

Q: What are your top priorities and how would you address them in office?

A: My first job is being responsive and advocating for constituents. After that, I want to make the neighborhoods in District 13 walkable for pedestrians and bikers. I also want to address affordable housing. With a newly formed TIF district in the district, the next step is to develop programs that take money from the districts and put it back into the neighborhood.

Q: What’s the most important issue for the city government as a whole to address?

A: There are two big challenges: middle class families leaving the city and budget financing. Poverty is a challenge the city cannot address alone. The state also keeps cutting money to the city. Between the state’s restrictions and maintaining the city’s current functions, it’s going to be a tough two years to find the money to do the things we need to do.

Q: Why do you think you would effectively represent your district?

A: I’ve learned a lot in this term. The learning curve as an alder is incredible, and now I’m in a position to really do a lot of good talking on this TIF district-it’s not something a newbie can do.

Zach Madden

Q: Do you think being a student is advantageous to representing a district that is not traditionally regarded as a student-dominated district?

A: When I talked to people early on, people told me it would be a disadvantage. But I have found people want someone new and progressive with the energy and passion to get things done for the city. 

Q: What would you bring to City Council that is currently lacking?

A: I would bring a huge sense of community input, which has been my number one priority in this campaign and would be my top priority in office. Right now, people feel they’re being shut out of the process.  

Q: What would be your top priorities in office?

A: In my district, my priorities are pedestrian and bike safety. On streets like Regent, which students are crossing every day to get to the university, it is fairly dangerous during the day. We need to focus on it being safe for people to walk and bike.

In the city, we need to focus on affordable housing-it is an issue we need to get serious about. The city also has to provide services when we have less money to do it, so tough decisions will have to be made. I want to bring people together to figure out what we can do.

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