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Uppity Wisconsin - Progressive Webmasters

« Cieslewicz Pulls A Giuliani in Meadowood | Main | 50+ Things You Won’t Hear on Talk Radio »

August 11, 2007


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Hah, Paul - I sent you the podcast for your own personal enjoyment but hey - having you post it here is better than a sharp stick in the eye.


Brenda Konkel

OK - I'll bite?
How does the Common Council make it hard for landlords to evict tenants?
Eviction is governed by state laws, not local ones.


Born in Madison 1965, went to Emerson and moved to the Prairie Rd/Birch Hill area in 1974. This was a newly built house, the majority of our neighbors worked for the city/county- Sheriff, MPD, MFD and other city departments. My own parents worked for the city, pop in a division of the DPW and mom in a dept. at the CCB. Offhand I'd figure that 35% of those '74 neighbors are still there, kids gone, retired or close to.
There is a rough square, the borders being Frisch Rd. to the west, Loreen Dr. to the east, Jacobs Way to the south and Hammersly Rd. to the north which were mostly duplexes filled with the kids I went to school with at Falk Elem. and then Orchard Ridge Middle.
This was my neighborhood, and it was far from homogenous. I benefitted from going to school with boys and girls from many different cultures that I didn't see at the school to the south (Huegel). I realise that it was a different time, but those duplexes were filled with people who also had families, jobs, and now that I am thinking about it, dads... yes, dads, who were out mowing lawns on Sat., taking us kids to West Towne for shopping, movies or just to hang out. I knew in my gut at times when I visited friends that they had a tougher time providing for their kids the things I took for granted. That being said, I learned more about resourcefulness
and family togetherness from them than from my more 'middle class' friend's families. The Lucy Lincoln Heistand Greenway wasn't a Maginot Line then, we had softball games, cookouts and (gasp) fireworks at the small park behind Jacobs Way.
Not everything was all hunky dory though. I saw my share of single moms, alcoholism, delinquency and petty crime. There did however, seem to be an overriding sense that things were looking better and not worse. Good neighborhood, good schools, good kids.
I visit my retired parents often. They still live in the same house, many of the same neighbors, but I now feel a sense of entrenchment, putting up a bullwark against that same area I had been able to find friends so long ago. There are still many young families in our immediate area, but i feel that the unobtrusive fencing that my parents put up to 'keep the grandkids in' also served to keep that 'square' of neighbors out.
My mom and I have always believed in and supported the liberal progressive positions, we volunteered at the Civic Center, and Tues. night was always our night for popcorn and the common council.
That is why our conversation today was so unnerving. I was there to mow the lawn and she cornered me about my views on how crime is at it's core a reflection on poverty and opportunity, education,etc. She made a comment that blew me away... "If they are so impoverished, why do they have the most expensive shoes, the most expensive clothes and then can't pay rent?" "Why do I see people milling around their shiny cars, loitering in the middle of the street when I am trying to simply go to the grocery?" " They must use all that welfare to be able to buy those fancy rims and fancy clothes."
I was ASTOUNDED. So much so that all I could do was meekly shut up. Here was the progressive role model I had always looked up to, someone who worked for and believed in the most progressive and effective mayor our city has known... The worst thing about it was she had a point. We were driving the neighborhood and I was a witness... To her point.
This city is my life and my love, I have traveled and lived in other countries and states, am a disabled vet, but would never think of going far from the capital of Wisconsin. It just pains me to hear from those in the trenches of the Meadowood neighborhood just giving up.

Something Verbose

Aren't eviction laws done on the state level, not the city level, so the Madison common council would have nothing to do with that...even if their views would favor that, how could an alderperson affect state law?

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