Tomorrow, February 19, we urge you to join us in voting to re-elect Paul Soglin as our mayor.

Soglin‘s list of accomplishments is long. His history in the civil rights and antiwar movements is inspirational and documented in the bestseller They Marched Into Sunlight, the Academy Award-nominated documentary The War at Home and the PBS film Two Days in October.

But his past is not the reason to vote for him tomorrow. It is what he is doing now and what he can and will do over the next four years that makes him the best choice to lead this City.

A nationally respected think tank, the Brookings Institution, did a study of the top 100 metro areas in the Country last fall. The findings show that Madison is only one of 11 cities where income and wages have risen for all people, across racial and ethnic lines. Madison “achieved inclusive economic growth and prosperity by posting improvements across every measure.”

Paul’s focus on reducing poverty and inequity is making a difference. Under his leadership, Madison has created and funded initiatives to support minority entrepreneurs; is bringing fresh food and groceries to underserved areas; has expanded restorative justice initiatives and other efforts to keep people out of the criminal justice system; made equity and inclusion a part of every budget for every City department; increased the number of people of color and women in City government leadership; and is putting roofs over the heads of previously homeless families and veterans.

We are moving forward under Paul Soglin’s leadership. Some specific examples are:

Paul helped create and increased funding for the effective Peer-Support program that reduces gun violence and strengthens community. It reduced homicides involving young African-American men by almost 300%.

A partnership with the City, County and nonprofits is helping reduce the use of jails for young adults between the ages of 17-24 through innovative strategies to provide Officers with options to divert young adults for support rather than jail.

Under Paul’s leadership, Madison began a restorative justice program in Madison Schools and in partnership with the Timebank resulting in a reduction of arrests in the public schools.

Madison began the Madison Addiction Recovery Initiative (MARI) initiative that refers individuals who overdose or are stopped for non-violent offenses and offers them a referral to medication-assisted and behavioral drug treatment as an alternative to jail. No charges are filed as long as the person meets program requirements as of six months after the incident. The absence of a criminal record improves an individual’s chances to obtain housing and employment.

Mayor Soglin collaborated on behalf of the City with the County, UW, and the Rennebohm Foundation to create the Northside Early Childhood Zone that gives expectant moms and kids a healthy start.

He has expanded programming at community centers and is building new ones.

He fought tirelessly on behalf of Dreamers and went to Washington D.C. to personally confront ICE.

Finally, Paul Soglin is a very effective manager for this City. That’s an under-appreciated skill.

From leading the City’s response to the flooding last August that kept people safe and the City open, to guiding the city through this record-breaking winter weather, to his backbone and courage in standing up to ICE when they made their unnecessary and disruptive raids in Madison, there is no candidate in this race who can match Paul’s ability to get things done or his tenacity in doing the right thing.

Mayor Soglin has said that while we are making improvements in equity, reducing poverty, and closing gaps we are not done. The challengers in this race are fine people. But what they say we should do, Mayor Soglin is already doing. And, Paul Soglin is doing it like no other mayor in our nation.

Paul Soglin has earned re-election. He is a strong leader who is moving us into the future, as a stronger, more inclusive, and fair City. Please join us in voting for him.

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