Put 5 on it

To celebrate Black History Month, Urban Triage is sharing five facts every day about Black history and innovation.

In this newsletter

Put 5 on it

Good morning, Madison!

To celebrate Black History Month, Urban Triage is sharing five facts every day about Black history and innovation.

The campaign is both educational and a fundraiser for the local nonprofit. The group is looking to raise $25,000 to support its programming, $5 at a time.

“We’re celebrating with this high-five symbolism. We’re celebrating our past, our present, and our future,” Diana Shinall, Urban Triage's director of development, told Madison365.

Urban Triage aims to strengthen Black economic power, self-sufficiency, community leadership, advocacy, and family success in Madison. In 2022, the organization distributed more than $15 million in rental support funds, delivered 7,800 meals to unhoused people, and served more than 7,500 people through its programming.

— Hayley

The cinema shuttered last November but will re-open for eight days this spring. Image via Snyder & Associates

🎥 An encore for the Hilldale AMC.

  • The AMC movie theater at Hilldale, which closed in November, will open one last time this spring to host the Wisconsin Film Festival.
  • The 25th annual Wisconsin Film Festival will run April 13-20 and show 150 films across the UW-Madison campus and Hilldale. Once the festival wraps up, its equipment will be donated to the film festival for future use.

⏳ There’s still time to vote early.

Still deciding on who will get your vote?

The city is hosting interviews with Madison's spring election candidates in partnership with the League of Women Voters. You can check those out here.

Be prepared, take a look at a sample ballot.

Get to know the other candidates on the ballot: State Supreme Court justice, Madison Mayor.

🏘️ Deciding on a definition.

  • The Plan Commission approved a change to the city's zoning code this week that would redefine "family" in single-family neighborhoods.
  • Currently, roughly a third of the city is zoned in ways that prohibit more than two unrelated renters to live in the same home. Owner-occupied houses in the same zones, however, are allowed to house up to five unrelated individuals, according to Cap Times.
  • Changing the definition of "family" would level the playing field for renters and owners by allowing them both to house an equal number of occupants.
  • The arguments: Supporters of the change say Madison's current "family" definition has been used to discriminate against immigrant families, students, and people of color. They say it will provide more people with access to housing and address racial inequities. Those who oppose the measure say the change could increase the cost of housing and lead to more students moving into residential neighborhoods.
  • Next steps: The change requires final approval from City Council. Its next meeting is Feb. 28.
  • Related: Re-define “family” and reduce discrimination against Madison’s low-income renters (Tone Madison)


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🌱 Want to start a native garden?

  • The county is now accepting orders for its annual Plant Dane Native Plant Program, which provides Dane County residents access to native plants at a discounted price.
  • What's so special about native plants? Native plants play a key role in managing water quality and enhancing pollinator and wildlife habitats. Their root systems help soak up rainwater, which keeps polluted stormwater runoff from reaching our local lakes, rivers, and streams.
  • Now in its 19th year, the program has become extremely popular. Due to demand, sales will end March 21 or once the 30,000 plant cap has been reached.
A black-and-white image shows a UW-Madison student protest in the Library Mall sometime in the 1960’s. Image via Wisconsin Historical Society.

🎓 Your lunchtime read: Wisconsin’s long fight over student wages and tuition.

  • Via Tone Madison: "In 1963 the Federal minimum wage was $1.25 per hour. However, the University of Wisconsin—a state institution—paid student workers 75 cents per hour.  

    The UW’s position was that students were paid less because they were students, but like most people, students have to eat. And even though students were paid less they did not get discounts on food, rent, or tuition. So the students organized and formed a union to advocate for the university to pay them the federal minimum wage.

    Today students are again responding to the high costs of education in Madison—and throughout the UW system—by demanding to raise student hourly wages. While the university system has expanded funding for low-income students, student debt and student wages would have been an issue if the original intent of the work-study program and the Wisconsin Idea had been supported by the UW and by the political leadership of the state."
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🎙️ Today on City Cast Madison

Dane County Circuit Court Judge Everett Mitchell

Why this Madison Judge Wants Your Vote

There’s an election next week, one the New York Times said carries bigger policy stakes than ANY other contest in America this year. And that’s for a seat on the Wisconsin Supreme Court. The court currently has four conservative justices and three liberal justices, so the balance of power is riding on this race. Any number of issues including the right to abortion, control of the state’s political maps, and how elections are conducted could be decided by this court.

There are four candidates in the running - and we’ve invited them all on the show.
Today, we’re speaking with Dane County Circuit Court Judge Everett Mitchell.

The primary election is Tuesday, Feb. 21. The top two candidates will advance to the general election April 4.

To look up where you vote - or what you need to do to register- check out My Vote Wisconsin.

📅 Events



Check out even more events on our community calendar.

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Get your ballot in the mail
Today we are officially one week (!!!) away from the primary election.