Before Shelia Stubbs, Democratic candidate for State Assembly, ever had politics on her mind, she lived her life immersed in activism. Community was — and still is — a central tenant in Stubbs’ life, both politically and personally. Years before she was elected to the Dane County Board of Supervisors, Stubbs and her mother founded the NAACP Madison Branch Youth Council. This commitment to community advancement outside the political sector shows Stubbs’ passion for public service and making Madison a better place for everyone.
Within the political sector, Stubbs’ is even more esteemed. After beating a three-term incumbent for her seat on the Dane County Board of Supervisors, Stubbs was reelected six times. Not only has her presence on the board added much-needed representation, but Stubbs’ success as supervisor proves what an effective leader, representative and advocate she will be for state Assembly District 77.
This track record shows Stubbs is in touch with our district’s greatest, most relevant issues. Stubbs was responsible for implementing mandatory sexual harassment training for all county employees, not only raising the standards of behavior for Dane County government, but making it a safer workplace.
Through her experience as a parole and probations officer, Stubbs understands the complexity of the issues facing the criminal justice system. Though the Dane County jail is being updated, the renovation ignores systemic problems within our criminal justice system. Recidivism is high in Wisconsin, more so for people of color. In fact, the communities in which they reside are over-policed and over-jailed, which only compound systemic inequalities.
Wisconsin’s high rate of black imprisonment compared to lower white imprisonment characterizes one of the worst black/white incarceration disparities in America. Not only is Stubbs experienced within the criminal justice system, but she’s also responsible for initiating the development and implementation of measurable equity goals in county government. Given that Wisconsin is often called the worst place to raise a black child in America, or to be black in general, Stubbs’ experience and activism make her the leader we need to bridge the gap in incarceration rates, improve racial equity and move Madison and Wisconsin forward again.
Racism does not overlook those running for office, however. Last month, while Stubbs, her mother and daughter were canvassing, she was stopped by police after a local resident had called and reported her for dealing drugs. An experience like this is outrageous and humiliating, yet Stubbs handled it with the utmost grace and dignity. Though her canvassing days are done, Stubbs left the situation only further motivated to mend Madison’s racial tensions.
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To explain the situation to her daughter, Stubbs said “Mommy’s working hard to make this a better community.” And that’s exactly what Madison needs — a mother, a fighter, an advocate. As a dedicated social organizer with a breadth of experiential knowledge of the Madison community, Stubbs will work to heal the city’s racial divides, improve our criminal justice system and add much-needed representation to Wisconsin’s government. For these reasons, The Badger Herald Editorial Board proudly endorses Shelia Stubbs for Wisconsin State Assembly.
The Editorial Board serves to represent the voice of The Badger Herald editorial department, distinct from the newsroom, and does not necessarily reflect the views of each staff member.