Cast your vote, get free pizza

Morning update: Thursday, Nov. 3

In this newsletter

Cast your vote, get free pizza
Image via Ian's Pizza

Happy Thursday, y'all.

In journalism, there's a longtime tradition in the industry of newsrooms having pizza on Election Day. I couldn't tell you how it started, but I can say there's something comforting about snacking on a cheesy slice while waiting long hours for results to roll in.

Ian's Pizza is bringing that spirit to voters by offering a free slice of their signature mac n’ cheese pizza to every customer on Election Day.

To allow their employees adequate time to vote, all Ian's locations will open at 5 p.m. on Nov. 8.

"‘Vote first, pizza later’ is our motto today," Ian’s Pizza CEO Sarah Karls said in a statement.

Who's hungry for some democracy?

— Hayley

The election is Tuesday, Nov. 8 — AKA next week! Are you ready to vote?

Check your voter registration here.
Get the details on voter IDs here.
Meet the candidates here.

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Rat hiding under a cardboard box. "Peekaboo!"
Photo by slyfox photography / Unsplash

🐀 There's a rat issue on the North side.

  • Local health officials have found evidence of a rat infestation in the Emerson East neighborhood.

  • At a recent public meeting, health officials said the issue had multiple causes. “It’s not just the compost, it’s not just the chickens, this is just a really good, healthy environment for rats," one official said.

  • Ways to ward off rats, courtesy of PHMDC:

    • Make sure your trash, recycling, and composting bins are closed securely.
    • Keep pet food, bird seed, and pet waste out of your yard.
    • Take away rats’ homes by cutting bushes, vines, and tall grasses that provide cover.

🚫 They voted to unionize. Then their employer closed up shop.

  • Workers at Madison screenprinting company Crushin’ It Apparel officially voted to unionize Tuesday. But according to Cap Times, despite a successful union vote, the business' owner Jeremy Kruk closed the part of the company that employed those workers.
  • If you'll recall: In August, workers at the local screen printing company presented the business's owner with a letter demanding timely pay and better working conditions. The workers who signed the letter were laid off then later reinstated after a National Labor Relations Board judge informed the company's owner that it is illegal to retaliate against organizing workers.
  • The allegations: Workers alleged Crushin’ It Apparel's owner regularly gave them late or faulty checks, Cap Times reported. The employees also said their working conditions were too hot and dirty, especially in the summer when the business' owner refused to turn on air conditioning.
  • What's next? The union has filed an unfair labor practice complaint.


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📝 Updates from City Council.

  • Wage increases: Earlier this week, the city's Finance Committee approved a 3% raise for non-union municipal employees, roughly 1,400 people. Police, fire, and bus driver union employees were not included in the wage hikes, as their pay is negotiated separately. The full City Council will review and vote on the final budget later this month.
  • Alder pay: In late October, four Madison alders raised a proposal that would have more than doubled pay for council members from $14,904 to $31,793 starting in April 2023. Supporters of the proposal argued such an increase would make the council more equitable and provide opportunities for underrepresented members of the community to be a part of the civic discourse. The Finance Committee deadlocked 3-3 on the proposal, so it will not appear on the committee's budget proposal but the full council could still vote to add it to the budget.
  • Changing the length of terms: On Tuesday, City Council approved a proposal to add a referendum to the April 2023 ballot asking voters to increase council member terms from two to three years. Despite the approval, the referendum's place on next year's ballot isn't guaranteed yet. According to the State Journal, the referendum's wording and its placement on the ballot will need the council’s final approval later.
  • Dig deeper: What’s Up With These Budgets? City Of Madison And Dane County (WORT)

📣 UW-Madison Economics students are speaking out against sexual misconduct in the industry.

  • More than 160 UW-Madison economics Ph.D. and graduate students signed a petition urging the department to address the widespread issue of sexual violence in the field. The group represents roughly three-quarters of doctoral students in the department.
  • The letter comes amid an influx of accusations of sexual harassment against top economists shared on Twitter.
  • The letter also addresses accusations made against members of the UW-Madison faculty.  In response, UW-Madison economics Department chair Chris Taber urged students to contact the Sexual Misconduct Resource and Response Program, noting the university's policy prohibits sexual harassment.

📚 Reviving the effort to rename Jefferson Middle School.

  • If you'll recall: The district received 42 proposals for new names for the West side school in April. But by June, efforts to rename the school were put on hold after some of the ad hoc committee members left the group.
  • The committee re-convened in late October and started narrowing down their options. According to the Cap Times, the group consolidated repeating proposals and eliminated the following suggestions: A1, Woke, Hugo Blue, Voting Rights, Steve Irwin, Gammon, Parkwood, Fifth of May, Free Speech, Four Lakes, and Pride.
  • The committee will meet again Nov. 8.
Photo by BENCE BOROS / Unsplash

🍺 Your lunchtime read: What happened to Wisconsin breweries during prohibition?

  • Via WPR: "Every state is known for something.

    New York has Broadway. California has movie stars you’ll only see in Hollywood (or on Instagram). Maine is known for its lobster, and Iowa has corn. Here in Wisconsin, we’re known for a lot of products — including beer.

    It's the state's history with the beer industry that made one WHYsconsin listener wonder what happened to Wisconsin's breweries and alcohol production during prohibition."
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Look at all those pumpkins
Morning update: Wednesday, Nov. 2

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