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Uppity Wisconsin - Progressive Webmasters

« Mayors and Public Schools: Another Collision | Main | Net Neutrality Bill Introduced »

January 09, 2007


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Don't forget that the not-so-progressive-quasi-left, like Zach Brandon and His Band of Merry 'Moderates' couldn't design their way out of a box when it comes to economic program policy.

I agree that there's been a lack of attention from the left in Madison in working on economic opportunity (we've been too busy making our city so darn wonderful a place to live), but the right has been even worse for the city in its obstructionism.

Someone should remind Mayor Dave that being the most progressive city in America starts with economic justice for all of our resident.s

Dan Sebald

I think that city officials and past city officials have a good understanding of the problems and solutions, but for some reasons they don't get addressed. And for me it comes back ultimately to the same thing I've been harping on for a long time: sprawl. In the big picture, as money leaves the city there has to become pockets of depression. (Probably could have said that better.)

I recall a few years back when the lease cycle came around I decided to see how much monthly rent is in the Allied Drive area. To my surprise, it wasn't much less expensive than anywhere else. So, what Paul says about the area never really intended for low income housing makes sense. Then, I will guess that if people of lower income are living in non-low income housing, it's a problem. There are probably multiple families in one dwelling, people unable to make ends meet as the lease period goes on, that sort of thing.

It's no secret that people in any given area need jobs. The Allied Community has said this loud and clear whenever plans came up for revitalizing areas there. However, it is always an outside developer who wants to keep profits within their company that get these contracts.

Lastly, I don't think Allied Drive is as bad as people make it out to be. It's one of the few neighborhoods where children are out playing during the day. Reminds me of the way most neighborhoods were thirty years ago. Geographically, it is a nice area, but I would say, a lot of rental units as original designed don't enhance the esthetics of the area. Lastly, there is that Verona Road which fits the category of highway; highways that create island neighborhoods have been a problem since New York started dealing with the interstate system in the 50s and 60s.

I'm going to defend the left on this one a bit. (And this isn't meant as a rebuttal to Peter because he is making some good points.) Would an increased minimum wage help or hurt stabilizing the rental community in the Allied Drive area? Did (as someone pointed out the other day) demands for more than just a Whole Foods off University Ave do more or less for business in Madison?


Allied Drive seems to me to be a case where community benefit agreements are sorely needed. The concept is that a developer gets a fast-track to approval on their project by bringing in community stakeholders and working out an agreement on issues that matter to improving the area in which the development occurs.

Harold Meyerson's article in the American Prospect from November is a pretty good introduction. You can find it here:


Also on a seperate line of thinking, Paul could you lay out some of the things that you think are important for economic development? Policies perhaps, generally ideas for sure, definitely more specifics. Thanks.

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