Maps on maps on maps
Happy Wednesday, Madison.
Today is the first day of the city's Be Bright at Night Campaign, which aims to encourage safety among pedestrians and bikers and lower barriers to accessing bike lights. Pretty neat!
This is the second year the city has run the campaign. It's put on by the City of Madison Traffic Engineering along with Madison Public Libraries and provides free lights and reflective armbands for walkers and bikers. (While supplies last.) City data shows more than 60% of serious and fatal pedestrian crashes and 15% of serious and fatal bike crashes happen after dark, meaning proper lighting gear can literally mean the difference between life and death (and don't forget your helmet, either).
So, again, starting today and running through the month of November (HOW is it already November?!?!), walk or bike over to any Madison Public Library to pick up some gear and stay safe as the days get shorter and the dark, cold grasp of winter lurks just around the corner.
💉 Wisconsin health institutions are gearing up to get kids vaccinated against COVID-19.
- ICYMI: The CDC has officially put its recommendation behind kids ages 5-11 receiving the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.
- Shipments of the child-sized vaccines have already started to arrive at UW Health and SSM Health. National pharmacy chains like CVS and Walgreens have also started getting shipments and can begin vaccinating newly eligible children immediately.
- Will shots be available via PHMDC? This is a great question. The short answer is yes, but it might take a bit longer. In order to set up vaccination sites (like at the Alliant Energy Center, for example), Public Health Madison and Dane County must await guidance from both federal officials and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. Right now, PHMDC is still waiting on state DHS approval and guidelines, once that happens, they'll open up appointments. This will likely take an extra day or two.
🗳️ The People's Maps Commission unveiled their proposed state voting districts with Gov. Evers' approval behind them.
- Who is the People's Maps Commission? The non-partisan group was established by way of an executive order in January 2020. It consists of nine members from around the state chosen by three retired judges. Current members include a school board member, physicians, a nonprofit leader, a tribal board chair, and a business leader.
- What's wrong with the current maps? This is a bit of a loaded question. Wisconsin's current voting maps were created in 2011 when Republicans controlled both the Legislature and governor’s office. The maps have cemented Republican control of the legislature for the last decade and have been called some of the most gerrymandered in the country. There's a lot more to say about this but that would take more than just a bullet point in a newsletter. For a full crash course on the history of Wisconsin's electoral maps, check out the Mapped Out podcast from WPR.
- The commission released their proposal for new state voting district maps Tuesday. The group spent roughly a year gathering feedback from communities across the state on the redistricting process. The commission's maps have the support of the governor, along with the League of Women Voters, and was given an 'A' rating by the Princeton Gerrymandering Project, a redistricting watchdog project.
- Republicans in the legislature released their own maps last month, drawing the ire of Democrats and voting rights advocates — the Princeton Gerrymandering Project gave their maps an 'F.' Evers said Tuesday if Republicans don't change their proposal and embrace the commission's maps, the GOP map will get a veto.
From left to right, here are the People's Maps Commission's proposed outlines for Assembly, Senate, and Congressional districts.
✅ Speaking of maps, the Madison City Council approved new aldermanic districts.
- The council unanimously approved new boundaries for the 20 districts, which could make for some interesting races, come 2023 when City Council seats are up for election. The State Journal reports the new district and ward lines take effect Jan. 1 and council members will represent their newly defined districts — regardless of where they live — until the next election.
🏀 The Bucks shook off a slow start to beat the Detroit Pistons.
- Milwaukee's golden boys needed to snap out of a three-game losing streak and finally got their chance last night. The Bucks managed a comfortable 117-89 win, even with Khris Middleton out of the game after testing positive for COVID-19.
🏘️ The city is actually moving pretty quickly on constructing its first sanctioned homeless encampment.
- Some context: In attempt to essentially shut down the homeless encampment at Reindahl Park, City Council in September approved the use of an industrial area on the Southeast Side to build the first city-sanctioned homeless encampment. The new encampment isn't the first choice for many homeless advocates who say its isolated location will make it harder for residents to get resources they need. Additionally, the city is only building 30 shelters on the lot, there are an estimated 70 individuals who reside at Reindahl.
- Last week, the city announced it had selected Madison Area Care for the Homeless (MACH) OneHealth and Kabba Recovery Services as operators of the site. These organizations will manage the day-to-day operations of the site and provide counseling, medical services, social workers, and more for residents.
- As of Nov. 1, the city has begun tiny homes at the encampment (check out this photo essay from the State Journal). The site is expected to be open for move-in the week of Nov. 15.
😋 Five Madison-area businesses are up for the national Good Food Awards.
- From Madison Magazine: "Products from NessAlla Kombucha, Underground Meats, Uplands Cheese, Quince and Apple, and JBC Coffee Roasters are among the 351 products representing 42 states that made it to the finals out of nearly 2,000 entries to the contest this year."
- The award recognizes companies with "responsible practices and superior taste." Winners will be announced in January.
🗑️ The Dane County landfill is getting full.
- Dane County Waste Management says their landfill will reach its capacity by 2030 and is proposing to address the issue by purchasing 18 of the 36 holes of the publicly owned Yahara Hills Golf Course.
- The first phase of the project is estimated to cost $32 million and Channel 3000 reports it could take up to eight years to complete. Dane County’s Waste Management director John Welch says the space wouldn't just be a landfill, but a "state of the art waste management facility."
🌞 Your lunchtime read: Amid utilities’ resistance, Wisconsin proposal would clear barrier for third-party rooftop solar.
- From Wisconsin Watch: "Wisconsin is the only state where third-party solar ownership has been blocked, advocates say. Legal uncertainty has prevented property owners from using the financing model."
🦠 Covid-19 Resources
Wisconsin Vaccination Rate: 55%
Dane County Vaccination Rate: 71.8%
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.
NEW: Do you still need your flu shot? Start here.
📅 Events: Wednesday, Nov. 3
- Community Gardens: How to Plan for Success with Dane County Extension. 12 p.m. Virtual. Free.
- Forward Madison Garage Sale and Player Sendoff at Breese Stevens Field. Deals on player-worn items and merchandise. Event starts at 4 p.m., player sendoff at 5 p.m.
- Uprooting Racism, Seeding Sovereignty Virtual Keynote with Sierra Club of Wisconsin. 6:30 p.m. Virtual. Free.
- Nerd Nite at High Noon Saloon. Meet nerds, drink and learn something new. Presentations: “A Roadmap to Discovering a Real National Treasure: Nicolas Cage;” “Dumb Watches in a Smart World;” and “Smells & the Microbiome: Are Microbes Controlling Your Sex Life?” 7 p.m. Free.