Joe Maldonado, co-owner of Luna’s Groceries, announced his campaign for Fitchburg’s Common Council yesterday.
The announcement took place at Luna’s Grocery, a full-service grocery store he opened alongside his wife Mariam Maldonado on Madison’s southwest side this summer. Luna’s Grocery offers accessible fresh food within the Allied Drive – Dunn’s Marsh neighborhood.
“I’ve got three priorities in my run for Fitchburg Alder District 1, Seat 2. The first is youth development. I believe strongly in our young people and I believe they’re assets, not liabilities,” Maldonado said.
He said his vision for young people includes cultivating a safe community which allows opportunities for leadership development. Maldonado, who brings over a decade of experience working with youth, hopes for youth to succeed academically.
In his current position, Maldonado works as the Director of Community Impact – Academic Success at the United Way of Dane County where he collaborates with more than 20 local agencies and oversees a $2 million budget. Maldonado also spent five years at the Boys and Girls Club of Dane County as a coordinator for the AVID (Advancement via Individual Determination) and TOPS (Teens of Promise) programs.
“Fitchburg is one of the most diverse cities and one of the wealthiest that refuses to serve people of color,” said Wanda Smith, who is supporting Maldonado and who previously ran for alder.
She ran a campaign for the same seat, now held by Fitchburg Common Council member Anne Scott, about two years ago. Smith said she is excited to see the support for Maldonado’s campaign.
Maldonado said his second priority is collaboration and that he would like to see schools work together with non-profit agencies, businesses and local government agencies to help students succeed.
“I’ve been in many different spaces and had the blessing of being in places where different institutions are collaborating together to make positive results for young people,” he said.
Lastly, Maldonado would like to see economic development for people of color. When he and his wife opened Luna’s Groceries, the business was able to carry products made by locally owned businesses. He said he would like to see more community members of color own their own businesses as well as have access to good-paying jobs.
“When families succeed and have a stable way of life, we all win again,” he said.
The election will take place on Tuesday, April 7, 2020.