If University of Wisconsin students have learned anything from all the difficulties of the last year, it is that if we want to see real, impactful change on campus– it is up to us to make it happen.
From university administrators failing and faltering to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and the financial hurdles currently facing undergraduates, to the woefully inadequate response to demands set forth by students of color, need for student engagement in important decision-making processes has never been more evident.
This election season sees two UW candidates running for the District 8 alder seat on Madison’s Common Council — a district encompassing the majority of campus and some surrounding neighborhoods.
Though this will undoubtedly be a close race, The Badger Herald Editorial Board believes one candidate’s broad experience from community to student activism, in addition to her recent efforts to alleviate financial insecurity on campus, is exactly what District 8 requires. As such, we proudly endorse Juliana Bennett for District 8 alder.
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This summer, in response to increasing calls for racial justice nationwide as Black Americans reeled from the loss of George Floyd and countless others at the hands of police, Madison community leaders and student activists were at the forefront of the movement.
In late August, Bennett organized a March on Madison to demand the university, city and state be held accountable for enforcing racial equality.
Most notably, Bennett has been instrumental in ASM’s collaboration with the BIPOC Coalition to pass a vote of no confidence in the University of Wisconsin Police Department, as well as ongoing efforts to advocate for students further disadvantaged by the pandemic.
Still, Bennett promises comprehensive plans to improve the livelihoods of those residing in District 8 with an emphasis on environmental justice, affordable housing and overhauling public safety.
It’s abundantly clear from Bennett’s experience both as a resident of Madison and now as a UW undergraduate that she knows what students’ needs are and how to give a platform to marginalized voices in our community.
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Bennett’s dedication to issues on campus and the larger Madison area is essential to ensure those who need help the most are not further disenfranchised by policymakers and institutions which have gone too long without listening to their constituents’ demands.
The Badger Herald Editorial Board is excited to endorse Juliana Bennett for District 8 alder and encourages everyone to vote on April 6.