Good morning, Madison!

It's Tuesday, but more than that, it's National Voter Registration Day. In celebration, the Madison City Clerk’s Office and partner organizations are hosting voter registration drives across town today.

Two "community hubs" — one at United Way of Dane County’s parking lot at 2059 Atwood Ave. and another at Urban League of Greater Madison’s Park Edge Park Ridge Employment Center at 1233 McKenna Blvd. — will provide other resources in addition to voter registration. They'll be open 12-4 p.m.

In addition to these hubs, registration drives will be held at Madison Public Library and Dream Bus locations, and on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus. For a full list of locations and their operating times, check out the city clerk's website here.

Don't you love civic engagement?

— Hayley


💉 It's official: Madison schools staff must be vaccinated by Nov. 1

  • The School Board unanimously voted to pass the new MMSD policy, making the district the second in the state to mandate staff vaccines (so far, only Milwaukee Public Schools have passed a similar mandate).
  • Every employee will have to submit verification of vaccination or a request for an exemption with supporting documentation by Nov. 1. The district plans to host events to get any unvaccinated staff their shots.
  • Individuals with medical or religious reasons for not getting the vaccine will be tested twice a week. Unvaccinated, nonexempt staff will face employment termination the week of Dec. 20.

🎒 Speaking of schools, the Verona Area school board is looking for a new member.

  • According to The Verona Press, this new member will finish out former board president Noah Roberts’ term, which has six months remaining. Roberts resigned from his seat and moved out of the district to "represent the state as a part of Gov. Tony Evers’ administration at the federal level in Washington, D.C."
  • This is the third time in less than a year and a half the board has sought new members.

🗳️ We've got a runner.

  • State Sen. Patrick Testin announced Sunday he is running for lieutenant governor. The Republican from Stevens Point was first elected to the Senate in 2016. According to AP, since Testin is already midway through his second term, he does not have to give up his Senate seat for the 2022 campaign.
  • Former aide to Republican U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, Ben Voelkel is also running, as well as David Varnam, the mayor of Lancaster.

🧠 Dane County Executive Joe Parisi wants to allocate $10 million to a new crisis triage center.

  • The center would be a resource for people experiencing a behavioral health-related crisis, and would be an alternative to law enforcement intervention in such situations.
    • From the Cap Times: "The goal of the 24-hour crisis triage center is to divert people with behavioral health challenges from the criminal justice system and to extend the available network recovery services in the community. Residents could stay for up to 23 hours before being directed to other programs. They can access services by walking into the center, with a referral from a community partner or be brought in by law enforcement."

⚕️ GHC is partnering with UW and Meriter clinics to provide more primary care options.

  • Group Health Cooperative of South Central Wisconsin members will soon have twice as many primary care providers to chose from, the State Journal reports. Under a new partnership with UW Health and UnityPoint Health-Meriter, members will be able to go to 12 UW clinics and seven at Meriter, in addition to GHC's own 19 participating clinics. When the partnership takes effect in January, about 300 doctors and other primary care providers will be in the HMO’s network, up from the current 145.

⚖️ The U.S. House of Representatives approved Sen. Baldwin’s abortion rights protection bill.

🌳 A Wisconsin pastor is fasting for climate change.

🐦 Your lunchtime read: New group seeks to bring diversity to birding.

  • From the Wisconsin State Journal's Molly DeVore: "Jeff Galligan and Dexter Patterson created the BIPOC Birding Club of Wisconsin. Both avid birders, Galligan and Patterson were often some of the only people of color at various birding events throughout Madison. Then on Juneteenth of this year, they got together and decided to form an organization dedicated to making birding more accessible."

🦠 Covid-19 Resources

Wisconsin Vaccination Rate: 53.5%

Dane County Vaccination Rate: 70.8%

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.