Toriana Pettaway

Madison is among the greatest cities in the United States to call home and one of the nation’s most racially disparate cities. If we’re going to solve our racial equity and social justice problems, we need to elect a racial equity and social justice expert. We need Ms. Toriana Pettaway.

As an equity expert setting the 5-year plan for Madison’s 26 city departments, Toriana Pettaway has already begun to address Madison’s deep-seated social justice issues in real and concrete ways; but the need is bigger than her current leadership role. In a city where more than 80% of the population has the privilege to ignore race-based issues, with a current mayor who admittedly doesn’t believe in the city’s racism, it’s no wonder that our gross racial disparities continue to persist. Tori is changing all that.

Candidates have professed dedication to making Madison equitable without expertise in the areas of racial equity and social justice. These are connected to the root of Madison’s issues. Toriana is a proven expert in these areas, consulting cities nationally on bias, engagement, analysis and implementation practices. If we’re serious about addressing social justice issues, we need an equity and social justice expert in leadership.

If you’ve been active in the city, you know that Tori is a multi-degree holding racial equity and social justice expert who has spearheaded human services structures, union support and collaborative initiatives that have changed our city. You know of the barriers she’s faced leading 26 city departments with a 5-year vision, and uncovering heaps of nuanced internal barriers that it’s taken years to identify and will take a knowledgeable mayor willing to address.

Toriana built the Emergency Response Services of Forward Services from the ground up and it’s still supporting marginalized families many years later.

She helped organize a group of people of color led contractors to make larger construction contracts more accessible; and today the group is still thriving.

She spearheaded and launched the city’s first and only racial equity analysis toolkit which is now required in the decision making at all levels of the city’s departmental decision making.

She’s a servant in her church and a well-known leader in engagement and grassroots organizing.

Toriana is the only candidate who is a nationally sought Racial Equity and Social Justice expert. She’s the only candidate leading the City’s 26 departments with that expertise. She’s the only candidate who has spent years investigating the deep departmental barriers that are thwarting our change initiatives. Good ideas are great, but without this specialized and intimate knowledge and expertise, those good ideas are likely to fail like the great ideas that came before them.

It’s not enough to say that we’ll listen better this time. The leaders need to be different this time. Together, we could all revolutionize Madison and defeat the status quo rather than defeating ourselves.

Early in her term, Toriana is prepared to diversify the Boards, Commissions and Committees to elevate unheard voices. She is prepared to refine and enforce equity principles within all city contracts and ensure that capital budgets go through an equity process.

Toriana is prepared to help eliminate exclusionary zoning that impairs affordable housing and mixed-use opportunities while focusing on establishing more low income/ renter-oriented policies.

Toriana will change the officer discretion for the use of incarceration alternative programs and focus on building awareness in the community about violence prevention initiatives and opportunities.

Within the first 100 days, she’s prepared to increase and redistribute public transportation based on a racial equity analysis that incorporates collaborative travel and includes the outskirts.

Studies show that, due to intersectional issues, improving life outcomes for Blacks also improves outcomes for other marginalized groups. But Madison craves white leadership and male leadership, and these don’t represent our most marginalized.

Our habitual consideration of male or white leadership of the most disparate city is part of the reason disparities persist.

If we need someone who can investigate layers of roadblocks, activate networks in community and government, design, train and implement collaborative solutions across a range of sectors with expertise in racial equity and social justice – if we need someone bringing truth, accountability and results to processes, then we need to write in Toriana Pettaway for Mayor.

With your help, we can make history – we can make real and lasting change by electing Madison’s first Black Woman Mayor as a write-in candidate. Learn more at