Leaf it be

Morning update: Thursday, Oct. 13

Leaf it be
Photo by Jeremy Thomas / Unsplash

Happy Thursday, folks.

Hopefully everyone has gotten a chance to get outside and enjoy the crisp fall weather and multicolored leaves.

As the weather continues to cool and those leaves start to fall, the city wants you to do one thing: leave the leaves alone.

The city's Leave the Leaf program is designed to improve the quality of soil and lawns, cut down on the amount of labor needed for collection, and reduce phosphorus runoff from leaves.

Piling leaves onto the curb can lead to excess nutrient runoff into storm drains and lakes. By mulching leaves on your own lawn, you can help save the environment and tax dollars. Aside from mulching, leaves can also be composted at home or turned into leaf mold.

Aside from the environmental benefits, less raking means more time for cozy fall activities. Need some inspiration? Sam rounded up a bunch in this week's events email.

— Hayley

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Image via Google Maps

🚫 EatStreet abruptly closed its IRL storefronts.

  • Some context: The Madison-based food delivery service launched a ghost kitchen and grocery venture last year dubbed HungerHub. A ghost kitchen is essentially a restaurant that exists in name only. The food is made solely for delivery and the "kitchen" itself typically operates out of existing restaurants or, like in this case, commercial spaces. For example, Taco Royale and Midcoast Wings are The Great Dane's ghost kitchens.
  • The news: The State Journal reports EatStreet shut down HungerHub and abruptly closed its storefronts last week. EatStreet operated three HungerHub locations. The closure of the hubs also brought an end to the ghost kitchens that operated in them: Papa di Parma, Boxcar Birria Tacos, and Clover Grains + Greens.

💰 A look at the mayor's operating budget.

  • Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway released her official 2023 operating budget Tuesday, totaling $381.9 million.
  • The lingo: The operating budget is what the city uses to fund services, programs, and staff. This is different from the capital budget, which funds infrastructure, buildings, and investments. The 2023 capital budget was released last month.
  • The highlights: At the highest level, this budget focuses on public safety initiatives, public health, and expanding youth programs. The budget also provides wage increases for city staff. It increases overall spending by 6% — the most since 2009, according to the State Journal.
  • Public safety: The proposed budget would expand the Community Alternative Response Emergency Services program (CARES), which responds to behavioral and mental health emergencies. The 2023 budget adds funds to grow the program to a citywide service. The proposal would also grow the city's Public Health’s Violence Prevention Team, specifically bringing on new staff to focus on preventing crime downtown.
  • Public health: The operating budget would fund a "significant expansion" of Public Health’s reproductive health services clinic, allocating $475,600 to provide contraceptives and long-term pregnancy prevention. The mayor also proposed launching the Madison Customer Assistance Program (Mad-CAP), which would offer financial assistance to lower-income households that would help lower utility bills.
  • Youth programs: The budget would give the Community Development Division $250,000 to "expand programs that combine employment and internship opportunities with mentoring and skills development" for those between 18-26 years old.

💉 Schedule your Covid-19 booster now, please!

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💸 The city has distributed the first of 12 monthly payments of its guaranteed income program.

  • The Madison Forward Fund is a guaranteed income pilot program that provides 155 Madison households with monthly $500 payments for a year with no strings attached. The $930,000 program is funded entirely by private donors.
  • The city says it received about 3,000 applications from eligible Madison families. The 155 households were selected from the application pool at random.
  • To qualify, applicants must live in Madison, have at least one child under 18 living in the home, and have a total income less than 200% of the Federal Poverty Line.
"My hope is that a growing group of mayors will lead the way on educating people about the concept, and engage in pilot programs to demonstrate that households really do make wise choices and are best positioned to navigate their way out of poverty." — Satya Rhodes-Conway, Madison mayor

🍰 A new bakery is coming to the north side.

🇨🇺 Your lunchtime read (or listen): Uprooted: Cuban in Wisconsin.

  • Via WPR: "In 1980, there was an exodus of Cubans who left their homes for the United States as part of the Mariel Boatlift. This includes almost 15,000 Cuban refugees who were sent to Fort McCoy in Sparta, Wisconsin. In this podcast, Cubans who remained in the area share untold stories about their early lives, moving to Wisconsin, and what life has been like since they've been living here in limbo."
  • This podcast is a mix of history, politics, and personal stories, so there's a little something for everyone!
🗳️
Are you ready to vote? The election is Nov. 8 and MyVote.wi.gov is your one-stop shop for all election information. We've also pulled a few extra links for specific questions. Happy voting!

Check your voter registration here.
Get the details on voter IDs here.
Meet the candidates here.
Advertisement from Madison Public Library 📅 Remember when we told you about Library Takeover?
  • Don't forget to apply before Saturday, Oct. 15 to bring your idea to the library!
  • 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. Selected teams receive a $2,000 event budget, a $400 stipend for each team member, free space, and mentorship from local event planners like Rob Dz and T.S. Banks to bring their idea to life in Spring 2023.
  • Learn more + apply online at madpl.org/librarytakeover.

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If the duck suit fits...
Morning update: Wednesday, Oct. 12