Welcome to (a warm) November

Morning update: Tuesday, Nov. 1

In this newsletter

Welcome to (a warm) November

Gooooood morning, Madison!

Did you miss me?

Sam and I were in Austin last week to attend the Independent News Sustainability Summit. We had a great time learning from industry professionals and can't wait to get started working on all the new ideas swimming in our brains.

The cherry on top of the weekend happened Saturday night when Sam won a surprise award and was recognized for his community engagement efforts (!!!).

Since we've been away for a while, we've got a lot of news to catch up on. Let's get into it.

— Hayley

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Doctor Holding Cell Phone. Cell phones and other kinds of mobile devices and communications technologies are of increasing importance in the delivery of health care. Photographer Daniel Sone
Photo by National Cancer Institute / Unsplash

🩺 Today marks the start of health care open enrollment.

🚔 The city has named its independent police monitor (again).

  • Who? The Police Civilian Oversight Board has named Robert Copley as Madison's independent police monitor. Copley has a law degree from Marquette University Law School and has served as a legal adviser on public records with the city of Milwaukee.
  • Having déjà vu? You're not alone. In October, the city concluded its second search to fill the job when it named former Wisconsin Parole Commission Chairman John Tate II to the position. Tate later withdrew his acceptance to take a job in Racine. Prior to that, Madison civil rights administrator Byron Bishop was the lone finalist for the job but later withdrew from consideration.
  • The Independent Monitor is tasked with investigating complaints against the Madison Police Department, recommending policy changes, and engaging with the community. The city first created the position along with the Police Civilian Oversight Board following the Black Lives Matter protests in 2020.

👻 A Halloween without Freakfest.

Image via Charlie Berens

🧀 Ope! UW-Madison announced its winter commencement speaker.

📣 Workers at another local company have announced a union.

  • Workers at Noble Knight Games in Fitchburg announced Monday they’ve formed a union. The retail company sells "the world’s largest selection of tabletop games" and employs roughly 75 people according to the Cap Times.
  • At least 70% of eligible workers signed union cards with Communications Workers of America. The group is seeking higher wages, affordable benefits, and more transparent work policies. According to Cap Times, most workers make between $13 and $15 an hour.
  • The bigger picture: The unionization announcement follows the successful unionization efforts at Middleton’s Raven Software and an increase in unionization efforts across Madison (from UW Health to Crushin’ It Apparel).
  • Dig deeper: Support for labor unions in the U.S. is at a 57-year high (NPR)

👋 The town of Madison is officially gone.

  • On Oct. 31, the Town of Madison ceased to exist. It's not part of a Halloween scare, but rather the conclusion of a years-long process to dissolve the town, which covered less than four square miles.
  • The dissolution of the town means hundreds of residents are changing their addresses right before the midterm elections. According to the Wisconsin State Journal, all town residents previously voted at the Town Hall on Fish Hatchery Road. That facility is no longer a polling place.
  • To find your polling location, enter your address at MyVote.wi.gov.
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.

Chalk writing outside of Fiddlesticks reads "Trans rights are human rights." Photo by Hayley Sperling

🏳️‍⚧️ Your lunchtime read: A case of calcified hate: Madison’s anti-trans chalk wars.

  • Via Tone Madison: "This past spring, on an evening stroll that I had made ritual during those first few weeks of warm Madison weather, I stumbled upon some street art behind the Willy Street Co-op. 'Protect Trans Kids,' it read, scrawled in pink chalk, accompanied by a blue and pink heart meant to resemble the transgender pride flag. It was an unsurprising albeit symbolic message for the Marquette neighborhood, whose lawn signs share sentiments of inclusivity, and I was glad that more community members were expressing their support during Pride month. I went on with my walk, grateful for the fresh air and sun. But on my way back home, I noticed the message had been altered, taking on a completely opposite stance."
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✅ Early voting is in full swing and we've got answers to your election questions.

What you need to know about voting in Madison
The election is Nov. 8 and you probably have some questions.