Today's Weather: ☁️ Mostly cloudy. High: 51° Low: 27°
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Happy Wednesday, Madison.
A quick housekeeping note: You may be receiving this newsletter at a different time than you did yesterday, or the day before (or the day before...). I mentioned last week that we've encountered some technical difficulties with the platform we use to send out this newsletter and unfortunately, we're still dealing with some issues (the joys of being a beta tester!).
Thanks for sticking with us and being patient as we work to fix these technical kinks. As always, if you have questions or comments about the newsletter, please get in touch by sending a note to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Now let's dig into the news.
👮♀️ Less is more when it comes to cops at protests.
- A new report commissioned by the Madison Police Department and executed by the Quattrone Center (an affiliate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School) recommended 69 changes for MPD to implement when responding to cases of civil unrest, like protests.
- The 132-page report released Tuesday reviewed MPD's response to the summer 2020 protests that escalated into "riots, violence, looting, injuries to protesters and police, and widespread property damage."
- The State Journal reports MPD Chief Shon Barnes plans to adopt all 69 recommendations outlined in the report, but some will require support from City Council in order to be implemented. The recommendations fall into nine major themes outlined below and mostly focus on a need for increased training, transparency, and communication from MPD.
- Related: Madison alder hopes Common Council will take up police body-worn camera conversation again (NBC 15)
🏨 City Council approved the use of a Far East Side hotel for those experiencing homelessness.
- The city will rent up to 35 rooms at Madison Plaza Hotel and contract with Focus Counseling to provide on-site support services for residents. The council authorized using up to $1.5 million in federal COVID-19 dollars to fund the project through June.
- The hotel was originally planned to be converted to low-income housing. But those plans have been put on hold with the approval to use the site for temporary housing.
- Dive deeper: Use of financially troubled hotel to house homeless derails plan for low-income housing (Wisconsin State Journal)
🗳️ Rebecca Kleefisch has filed a lawsuit against the Wisconsin Elections Commission.
- The former lieutenant governor and current GOP candidate for governor filed the suit asking the state Supreme Court to suspend the guidance the commission had previously given to local elections clerks that allowed them to use ballot drop boxes, consolidate polling places, and refrain from sending poll workers into nursing homes during the pandemic.
- An October report on the elections commission from the nonpartisan Legislative Audit Bureau found no evidence of widespread fraud or abuse in the state's handling of the 2020 election.
- If the Supreme Court rejects the lawsuit, Kleefisch still has the option to file with a circuit court.
💉 In less than a week, Public Health Madison and Dane County has vaccinated more than 3,000 people at the Alliant Energy Center.
🖋️ Legislation to watch in the statehouse.
- On Monday, Democrats in the legislature introduced a package of 22 bills aimed at reducing the effects of climate change. As WPR reports, the package of legislation outlines funding for education, research, programs, and policy changes that would support energy efficiency, sustainable farming practices, and more. Republican leaders in the legislature have yet to officially comment on the package of bills but Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) took to Twitter with his mild criticism, calling the legislation an attempt at pandering to "the very liberal base of WI Dems."
- A bipartisan group of lawmakers Tuesday introduced a bill to create statewide laws for marijuana possession in Wisconsin. The bill, which is currently circulating for co-sponsors, would "require local governments to enforce fines between $100 and $250, or 16 to 40 hours of community service, for possessing up to 14 grams of marijuana," the State Journal reports. Currently, local governments are allowed to establish their own penalties for possession. If passed, this law would trump local ordinances, like the one in place in Madison that directs law enforcement not to seek criminal charges for anyone with up to 28 grams of cannabis.
🕹️ A new arcade bar is coming to East Wash.
- Brad Van and Chris Welch are opening Aftershock Classic Arcade, an arcade bar and "family entertainment center," at 1442 East Washington Ave. Dec. 1. The duo plans to offer classic arcade games and carry more than 100 types of beer, Madison Magazine reports.
🦃 Goodman Community Center needs your Thanksgiving donations.
- The center is working to provide Thanksgiving baskets for 4,000 Dane County families in need. They're well on their way to collecting the items needed for the baskets but still have plenty of gaps to fill (they still need more than 6,000 cans of vegetables and 4,000 cans of fruit!).
- Donations can be dropped off in the Goodman Community Center’s gym today through Friday from 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. and this Saturday through Monday from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Learn more about ways to help here.
🏫 Your lunchtime read: A flag raising spotlights UW-Madison’s dismal record on Native relations.
- From Tone Madison: "The UW is actively working on bettering relations, but as so many have said, there needs to be more and sooner. Most students struggling up Bascom Hill will not have noticed the Ho Chunk flag for the brief hours it flew. For those that did, it is not its fleeting presence, but its lingering absence, that will remain with them."
- Further reading: UW celebrates Native Heritage Month with Ho-Chunk flag raising, but some call it “PR stunt” (Madison365)
🦠 Covid-19 Resources
Wisconsin Vaccination Rate: 55.1%
Dane County Vaccination Rate: 71.7%
Here's where to find a COVID-19 vaccine near you.
Need a COVID-19 test? PHMDC has you covered.
Are you eligible for a third dose of Pfizer or Moderna? Find out here.
Do you still need your flu shot? Start here.
📅 Events: Wednesday, Nov. 17
- Panel: “The Impact Of COVID-19 In Prisons” with UW’s Institute for Research on Poverty. 1 p.m. Virtual.
- "Warrior Women" screening at Union South. From IMDb: "Warrior Women is the story of mothers and daughters fighting for Native rights in the American Indian Movement of the 1970s." 6:30 p.m. Free.
- Weekday Beer Flight Wednesday at Growlers to Go. Flights of three different 10oz pours. “That's THIRTY OUNCES for only $10! And the best part: NO RESTRICTIONS! YOU. PICK. THE. BEERS!!!!!” 4-7 p.m.
- Virtual Conversation with Blair Braverman and Quince Mountain, authors of “Dogs on the Trail!” Organized by a Room of One’s Own. 7 p.m.
- VO5 concert to celebrate healthcare workers & show support for UW RN’s unionization campaign. Free. 7:30 p.m.
- Wynonna Judd with the Big Noise at the Barrymore. 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $45.
For more fun, check out our full week's event lineup here.
(Header image via flickr user ken fager)