Contrary to the Editorial Board endorsement of Dave Cieslewicz, we need Paul Soglin as Madison’s mayor more than ever.

Working with Paul in the private sector before coming back to the University of Wisconsin for graduate and law school and subsequently studying under him, I know him and his deep commitments to our city. Paul Soglin is the right vote for students and members of the UW community.

As mayor, Paul revitalized Madison and built not only the foundation, but also the structure for what makes this city great. His record as mayor evidences the best in the quality of “pragmatism” so lauded by the Herald. He took his vision for a dynamic university town and made it into a reality. New problems have emerged in the years since he last led city government. Once more, we need Paul’s vision and ability to get the right things done the right way.

The challenges that face our city today, growing in recent years, are expressed in ways that directly impact students. We need a city leader who understands them at a deep level – deep enough to know the problem and deep enough to identify and execute solutions.

Poverty grows in Madison as we become more like our big city cousins. Affordable housing continues to lag behind its need. Big developments like the Edgewater proceed, while vital human needs like a new library go unaddressed. These problems impact student lives in this city tremendously, and they must be dealt with now. When similar challenges faced former Mayor Soglin in his previous service to Madison, he not only bested them, he went far beyond to create a world-class city. What makes Madison great stems directly from Paul’s leadership. What challenges Madison once again needs his leadership so we move along a forward path.

As a student of Paul’s in public affairs, I marveled at his ability to cut through a problem, identify a solution and then implement that solution with broad engagement from diverse stakeholders. He can make the bureaucratic bore of public administration into an exciting world of problem-solving and creation of a better city. Precisely this ability, along with a commitment to the traditions of citizen governance – inclusive of students – are needed now more than ever at this turning point in Madison’s evolution as a 21st century city.

Finally, no one will say more emphatically than I how imperative it is that cities like Madison fight back against Gov. Scott Walker and his disastrous agenda. Our uniqueness and advantages in the global context must be protected and advanced. Paul Soglin has the temerity and fortitude to stand up to the attacks on Madison by Gov. Scott Walker, while at the same time bringing to the table a willingness to work even with those with whom he disagrees. He has done it before, and I am confident he will do it again – to the betterment of our city and its residents.

I know and like Mayor Dave Cieslewicz. He, Paul Soglin and I all love this city. Paul’s leadership is what we need right now to build and develop the Madison we all want to see. All people in this city, from students to the working poor to young professionals, will be served well by Paul Soglin as mayor. On Tuesday, I encourage you to join me in voting for Paul Soglin for mayor.

Peter Rickman

UW Law & Graduate Student

Chair, TAA Political Education Committee

Chair, Democratic Party of the 2nd Congressional District