Happy Thursday, Madison!

Just for fun, here's Jack Black singing about Giannis Antetokounmpo at a recent show in Milwaukee. (Side note: Who knew Tenacious D was still touring?)

You're welcome.

β€” Hayley


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βš–οΈ Gov. Evers wants voters to decide on the state's abortion laws.

  • Gov. Tony Evers is calling the Legislature into a special session Oct. 4 to "create a pathway for Wisconsinites to repeal Wisconsin’s 1849-era criminal abortion ban" by creating a statewide binding referendum process.
  • Some context: Wisconsin does not currently allow voters to change state laws via referendum. For Wisconsinites to introduce referendums, the state would have to change its constitution. Republican lawmakers almost immediately rejected the idea. As the Journal Sentinel reports, 26 states currently allow referendum questions driven by the public.
  • Evers called a special session back in June to repeal the law but the Legislature took no action, gaveling in and out of the session almost immediately. This special session almost certainly faces the same fate.

🍜 No fair wages, no Noodles.

  • Employees at the Noodles & Company on State Street didn't come into work Friday and posted a sign on the door that read "Closed Until Fair Wages."
  • WORT reports the store was closed Friday and operated on reduced hours over the weekend. The workers told the outlet they want higher pay, personal time off, and no retaliation for workers exercising their rights.
Photo by Colin Lloyd / Unsplash

🚨 The city won't ban tear gas.

  • At their meeting Tuesday, City Council considered a proposal to ban police use of tear gas as a means of crowd control. Ultimately, the council opted not to ban the chemical agent but did approve part of the initial proposal that requires a report by an independent police monitor following the use of tear gas.
  • Some context: This is the second time the council has considered a tear gas ban. The first time was in July 2020 in the wake of protests following the murder of George Floyd.
"This ordinance is so much bigger than tear gas. This ordinance is just about trust. Some of you might want to call it micromanaging; I call it transparency.” β€” Ald. Juliana Bennett, District 8

πŸ€‘ The mayor wants to give city employees $1,000.

  • Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway wants to use some of the city's surplus funds to give each city employee up to $1,000 to help ease the stress of inflation.
  • According to the State Journal, full-time employees would get the full $1,000 while part-timers would receive a prorated amount. Elected officials are not eligible for the payments. In all, roughly 2,900 employees would receive a payment if the mayor's proposal is approved by City Council.
Photo by Anna Kolosyuk / Unsplash

🎨 Key takeaways from the Black Women Artists Speak forum.

  • Some context: At a panel Tuesday, five Black women artists in Madison discussed the challenges of living and working on the isthmus. The discussion was spurred by recent controversy surrounding the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art's Wisconsin Triennial but also looked at bigger-picture issues in the community.
  • Funding: Black artists need funding and support from the community in order to thrive, writer and theater artist Catrina Sparkman said.
  • Space: Former Madison poet laureate Fabu Carter noted the need for physical space that serves Madison's Black communities. She said having a makerspace in south Madison specifically for women artists of color is essential, Isthmus writes.
  • Acknowledgment: The panelists stressed the need for community support and acknowledgment of their work and accomplishments. They emphasized the importance of sharing stories of local Black history and culture.

🎀 Your lunchtime read: LessWork works to establish an incubator space for rap artists.

  • Via Isthmus: "Madison rapper and artist Breyon Sommerville hopes his concept for the second floor of the building at 1444 East Washington Ave. will provide affordable artistic development space on Madison’s east side.

    Sommerville, via his brand LessWork Local Lifestyle, is raising money to buy the building, or another space if necessary. He would like to transform the space above the Parched Eagle Brew Pub and Aftershock Classic Arcade into a hub for rehearsal, production and retail."
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🦠 Covid-19 update

πŸ’‰ Need a boost? Here's what you need to know.

Bivalent Boosters have Arrived! Why They’re Important & Where to Find Them | Public Health Madison & Dane County

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