Kristie Goforth wants to “flip over our development process” in an effort to create more affordable housing in Monona.
That was one of several priorities the mayoral candidate laid out in an interview for the It’s Only 10 Minutes podcast.
“Instead of just letting the developers drive the bus and come in and tell us what they want to give us … what we should be doing as a city is brainstorming what we need, what do we want to see, then putting out a (request for proposals) to developers, where we’re in control a little bit, telling people what our vision is,” she said.
Listen to the interview here:
She also said transit is an important issue as the city contemplates merging its bus system with Madison’s.
The former alder said she hopes to address these and other issues brining her experience as a nonprofit executive. She was executive director of the Monona East Side Business Alliance and now runs Free Bikes 4 Kidz Madison.
“I’m a community builder,” she said. “My leadership style is one of community building, lots of communication and lots of transparency.”
If elected, it’s believed she would be the first Indigenous mayor in Wisconsin history. She is a member of the Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians.
“I bring a lot of unusual identities forward for a position like this. I’m a first generation college student,” she said. “Both of my parents dropped out of high school. I was raised by a single mom, we never rose above the poverty level. My Ojibwe background, I’m a single mom myself, and I have a child with a disability. I think these are really interesting perspectives, because what you find is that there’s just a lot of voices that are not being represented. And I want to give voice to the voiceless. I’m big on public engagement, and I want everyone to feel like they’re a part of our community, and their decisions aren’t being made for them, without them being considered.”
Goforth ran a write-in campaign in 2019 and made it on the ballot in 2021, earning 42 percent of the vote.
“I was naive, and I didn’t expect it to get quite so personal and nasty,” she said. “I actually am a sensitive person. I’m going to try harder to not take things personally. I’m really going to try to rise above the nastiness and just stay positive and get my vision out there.”
Incumbent Mary O’Connor announced on Facebook that she will seek another two-year term, and no one else has announced a campaign. If more than two candidates qualify for the ballot, a primary will be held February 21. The general election is set for April 4.
This story has been updated.