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The Mayor’s Neighborhood Roundtable that will take place on Saturday, Oct. 7, 8 a.m.-noon, at Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center.

This year, the Mayor’s Neighborhood Roundtable will offer a platform on which people will be able to discuss a wide array of topics that are relevant to Madison’s neighborhoods. Deputy Mayor Gloria Reyes will share the stage with four panelists that have been actively involved in one the most concerning challenges that the City is working on right now: how to reduce violence and ways to prevent it and how to respond and implement a variety of activities which build resilience and heal community trauma.

Nancy Saiz and Deon Carruthers from the Community Development Division, Captain Wheeler, Community Outreach Madison Police Department, and Anthony Cooper from Nehemiah Center for Leadership Development will talk about City’s current efforts and strategies to address violence and community trauma. This session will ask community members what strategies should be considered for future funding.

This city-wide event is an effort by the City to build healthier and stronger neighborhoods. Active community leaders, business owners, neighborhood-based organizations and many Madison residents from different backgrounds will participate in the event. The event will be kicked off by Mayor Soglin at 9 a.m. followed by Q & A session with the Mayor and Natalie Erdman, director of the Department of Planning & Community & Economic Development. “City’s Update – Violence, Trauma, Resilience, and Actions” will occur from 10:15 a.m to noon.

“The City of Madison will give an update about what is being done to prevent and respond to the increasing violence we have experienced lately in our community,” Reyes said. Reyes added that last spring, the mayor assigned a team consisting of community leaders, Dane County and City staff to start working on rapid response strategies to prepare ourselves to respond to the increasing violence in the spring and summer months.

The mayor has also assigned the team to research long-term strategies that focus mainly on poverty, education, and employment to prevent future incidents. This effort is called the Rapid-Response Violence Prevention Team. While this program was being unveiled, safety incidents began escalating in the community. The partnership needed to act quickly to respond to these more immediate concerns. For this reason, in early August the Madison Police Department (MPD), started to work on a Violence Reduction Program targeting individuals who were associated to the violent incidents, who had warrants and probation holds.

Gloria Reyes, Deputy Mayor to Public Safety, Civil Rights and Community Services
(Photo by Kate Kostsina)

“Since then, shootings and other major incidents have decreased. However, this is not a long-term solution and we need to invest in responding to the root causes of violence” Reyes said.

Deputy Mayor Gloria Reyes would like to see a very dynamic conversation among the panelists and the audience.

“The main idea is also to ask people how we can move forward and work with high-risk individuals in a more effective manner,” she said. “There will be an opportunity for us to get the community’s perspective about how the City is doing and how we all could prepare for the future.” The Community Development Division will also gather feedback from community members on what community building and engagement means and what does that look like in Madison.”

The Mayor’s Neighborhood Roundtable will offer seven other workshops that will address a wide variety of topics such as Racial Equity and Social Justice Initiative (RESJI), housing trends, challenges, and solutions, working effectively with alders and staff, buildings community through parks and other conversations about transportation. Some local artists will inspire residents on how to create unity in their neighborhoods through arts. There will also be a snippet of what some Madison’s neighborhoods have done to help improve their communities by implementing creative projects.

The event will be very accessible for all. There will be childcare and language assistance in Hmong, Mandarin, Spanish and ASL. Other languages could be requested prior to the event. Register for the event here or call the Planning Division at 608-267-8727.

Written by Angela Puerta

Angela Puerta

Angela Puerta, originally from Colombia, works for the City of Madison Planning Division, assisting with various neighborhood plans that are being developed around the city. She is an advocate for inclusive neighborhoods and eliminating discriminatory urban environments.

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