Alarming racial disparities continue to plague Dane County. The evidence of this can be seen in the disproportionate incarceration rate of the black population, higher eviction rates for people of color, and the highest rates in the nation in the achievement gap for children of color.
Immediately, we need to increase access to mental health treatment, transportation, as well as affordable housing and childcare. Systemically, we need to look at long-term solutions of how the fabric of our county feeds into inequalities in zoning, income, criminal justice, and access to educational experiences and resources.
Caring for all through engagement
I am drawn to the Dane County Board because of the work done in social services. Many of our neighbors in the District are receiving much-needed help from the county. I have heard their stories about struggles with a child with learning disabilities, challenges of navigating foster care, and hopes for better future through job placement. Each time, as their stories are relayed to me, I feel such extreme gratitude to know there is a structure that exists to help fellow Dane County residents who are facing the most challenging situations. Given the racial disparities in our county, it is critical to engage members from diverse constituencies, and not make assumptions about what is needed, because our lived experiences are so different. There is plenty of work to do, and I want to put my time and energy into working on collaborative solutions.
Water & air
We're fortunate to have such beautiful natural spaces in Dane County, and they are in need of our help to handle the legacy of phosphorus load that has led to our most severe blue-green algae blooms. In addition to reducing the phosphorus, we need to ensure that our everyday actions, like storm water management, and agricultural practices protect lakes and other water resources.
As national standards fall, caring for the climate and the air quality is our responsibility at the local level.
A decision to support a healthy environment is an ethical choice, one that allows people to fish our waterways for clean food and provides fresh air to fill the lungs of children throughout the county.
These are complex issues that I look forward to working on together with scientists, activists, policy makers—and you.