Morning update: Thursday, Sept. 15
In this newsletter
Goooood morning, Madison!
We have so so SO much news to cover so I won't drone on too much here.
First, thanks to everyone who sent us newsletter recommendations yesterday!
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Second, I'm going on vacation this weekend (nice!), which means Sam will be writing the newsletter, so get excited.
Have a great weekend, y'all.
P.S. If anyone here is going to Riot Fest, come find me in the MCR pit. 🖤
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⚖️ Following threats and vandalism, Ald. Gary Halverson is resigning from City Council.
- Some context: Halverson's name appeared on a leaked list of Wisconsinites who belonged to the Oath Keepers, a far-right extremist group known for playing a major role in the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection. When that news came out, Halverson, who represents the far east side District 17, said he joined the group without properly vetting it and terminated his membership after two months in August 2020.
- The response: Several members of city leadership, including the mayor, City Council President Keith Furman, and Vice President Jael Currie, publicly condemned Halverson's association with the group. Halverson claims this condemnation led to threats, physical attacks, and vandalism of his home.
- The State Journal now reports Halverson will resign from his seat on City Council. He told the outlet his wife suffers from PTSD and these events have been triggering for her. "I am unwilling to put her or my family through this any longer," he told the State Journal. "I am deeply saddened that our current state of politics is filled with fear and intimidation tactics. The ends do not justify ANY means."
🖼 UW group stands by Black artists.
- A group of alumni, faculty, and students from UW-Madison's art and art history departments is rallying around the Black women artists who pulled their works from the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art's 2022 Triennial.
- The group has planned a public reading of a letter in support of the artists today at 4 p.m. outside the museum at 227 State St., Cap Times reports. The letter currently has 45 co-signers.
- Some context: Following concerns over how their work was handled, allegations of racism, and the mistreatments of fellow artist Lilada Gee, a group of Black women artists participating in MMoCA's 2022 Triennial pulled their art from the exhibit and have called for the resignation of the museum’s director. The artists are also looking for restitution and to start an open dialogue with the museum to ensure accountability moving forward.
- Get involved: Next week the Madison Arts Commission will host a panel titled “Black Women Artists Speak,” which will feature artists speaking on how local institutions can better support them. Get the details on that here.
- Related: “Is Black art safe at MMoCA?” Lilada Gee’s exhibit defaced, and museum officials aren’t talking (Madison365)
- Libraries are more than just books, and Madison Public Library plays host to some pretty amazing events in the community. Library Takeover is a way for novice event planners or even just community members to take big ideas from initial stages through to a finished event.
- Each year, Madison Public Library selects three teams of 3-4 people and provides training, money, space, and resources to host an event at the library. Get a team together and submit your application before midnight Oct. 15 to be considered.
- Learn more + apply online at madpl.org/librarytakeover.
🚨 The police chief has no intention of getting rid of tear gas.
- Some context: In June, Ald. Juliana Bennett, who represents the heavily-student-populated District 8, introduced a resolution banning the police use of tear gas as a means of crowd control. The council is set to discuss the proposal at its Sept. 20 meeting.
- Madison Police Department Chief Shon Barnes weighed in on the proposal Wednesday issuing a statement calling the proposed ban on chemical munitions and indiscriminate weapons "punitive and regressive."
- A University of Pennsylvania Law School analysis that examined six nights of protests in Madison following the deaths of George Floyd and Jacob Blake in 2020 issued nine recommendations to MPD on how to better handle such situations. One of the recommendations included avoiding the use of tear gas whenever possible.
📋 Remember that UW System free speech survey?
- If you'll recall: A privately funded survey seeks to ask UW System students "what they know about First Amendment free speech rights, how much they value them and whether they've felt pressured by a professor to agree with a political or ideological opinion in class," according to WPR. The survey drew major criticism from many UW System leaders.
- In a recent appearance on WKOW, UW System President Jay Rothman confirmed that after being delayed for months, the survey will be sent out to students before the end of the year.
- Some context: The stated goal of the survey is to get measurable data from students about how colleges regulate free speech and expression on campuses. This is at a time when many Republicans claim university faculty show bias against conservative viewpoints, WPR reports.
- Have you met Madison Public Library's Naturalist-in-Residence yet? John C. Newman is a neurodivergent Wisconsin Master Naturalist. He's been a lifelong forager, a giant science nerd, a passionate educator, and the kid who would excitedly start sentences with "Hey, did you know that ___?"
- This Friday, Sept. 16 he'll co-lead a program about Sustainable Gardening! Register to learn more about sustainable garden practices and the ways community gardens foster equity, community, and food production with a guided tour of the Meadowood Community Garden.
- Registration required. Sign up at madpl.org/naturalist.
🥡 Keeping track of Madison restaurants.
- It has been a busy — like really busy — past few months for Madison's restaurant scene. Keeping track of what's opening, closing, and changing across the isthmus could be a full-time job. Thankfully, the folks at Madison Magazine exist and wrangled all of the restaurant news you need to know into one convenient article. Take a look to see what's opened recently (like Turnkey, SASS, and Diamond’s Cafe), who closed their doors for good (like The Heights, Cafe Brittoli, and Liliana’s), and what's coming soon.
☕️ Your lunchtime read: The slow drip of Madison’s coffee-shop unions.
- Via Tone Madison: "Workers at four Madison coffee shops face a long uphill battle ahead as they negotiate their first union contracts following successful organizing efforts over the past year.
All three of the city’s Colectivo locations and the Starbucks on the Capitol Square are local examples of a burst of barista unions cropping up across the country involving hundreds of stores. [...]
Despite its progressive self-image and its outsized array of restaurants and bars, Madison lacks any major presence of service sector unions. Baristas may be leading the charge toward a brighter future wherein the community actually embodies the values it claims to hold."
🦠 Covid-19 update
🔗 Related links
📅 Events: Thursday
- Brews and Q's Taproom Trivia at Karben4 Brewing
- Comedy at the Cabaret at North Street Cabaret
- DELVON LAMARR ORGAN TRIO at The Barrymore Theatre
- El Mercadito at Centro Hispano
- Gin Mill Hollow at Come Back In
- Mackenzie Moore Album Release Party at High Noon Saloon
- Peter Von Kant (2022) screening at UW cinematheque
- Revolver Open Mic Comedy at The Rigby
- Ricky Montgomery at Majestic Theatre
- S. Carey with Special Guest Courtney Hartman at The Bur Oak
- Trivia Night at Madison's on King Street! at Madison's
- Words with Nerds at Crucible
- The Astronomers & Emmett Mulrooney at The Bur Oak
- Jeffrey James & Kelly Hepper at Cargo Coffee
- IMMIGRÉ at North Street Cabaret
- J. Jeffrey Messerole at Karben4 Brewing
- Live On King St: Karl Denson's Tiny Universe at Live on King Street
- Tone Madison Office Hours at Giant Jones Brewing Company
- WORT & WISCO's Willy St. Fair Warm-up ROCK SHOW! at The Wisco
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