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« Isthmus Annual Manual: Test Your Madison IQ. Oops | Main | Mercury Marine and IAMAW - The Other Shoe(s) Drops »

August 24, 2009


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Lisa Subeck

The Bill of Rights is posted here:

It is definitely a bill of rights and not a social contract. I'm not sure exactly to whom these rights belong as there is quite a bit of vague language referring to "neighborhood" and "citizens". Actually, it is more a list of demands that, should they be enacted by a governmental entity of some sort, would likely violate some basic civil rights along the way.

You are right, Paul, that groups did not come together to create this. It is one groups list of demands based on their expectations of another group. Dialogue would go a long way toward better resolution of the problems.

After reading the list, I'm left wondering:
1. Who determines the top 25 problem tenants and how do they define "problem"? And what happens once their names and addresses have been published?

2. Where does the District Attorney's office get the resources to prosecute every case brought forward by the police? And are all cases brought by the police deserving of prosecution?

3. Which residents should be informed of the outcome of arrests made by police in their neighborhood? How does one inform the "neighborhood"?

4. Who within the "neighborhood" should be involved with establishing behavioral norms for our schools?

5. How shall we each express our input about the appropriate quantity and location of Section 8 housing? Do we also have the right to limit other housing arrangements? Or other groups of people?

6. What is a meaningful curfew vs. the non-meaningful one already defined by law?

7. Which "citizens" may be involved in setting the rules of appropriate conduct and behavior for all residents? And why shouldn't the city or police be involved?

8. Who gets to pick the Top 25 bad landlords?

9. Will I be in trouble if I swear in public?

10. Isn't loud noise already limited at night?

11. "All parents or legal guardians be cited and prosecuted under..."? Seriously, we want to cite all parents and guardians? Why? That must be mis-written.

12. What is the appropriate limit for number of persons on probation or parole living in a neighborhood?

13. What exactly should I do upon receiving an alert that someone on probation or parole moved into my neighborhood?

14. Who will determine the Top 25 police calls each month? And what must one do to be included among the "Top" calls?

I understand the intent, and I know folks are desperate for a solution. I'm afraid they are going about it all wrong. Writing up a "Bill of Rights" at an invite-only meeting of those formally involved as "leaders" of established neighborhood associations doesn't really get us anywhere. Until there is more diversity at the table (just waiting for Blaska to comment on my use of the "race card" - But to clarify, I mean diversity of income strata, living situation - homeowners and renters, age, background, length of time in the neighborhood, and more in addition to racial diversity), all we have is a list of unrealistic and unproductive demands.

I hope a more diverse group than those involved in creating this list makes it to the meeting Wednesday night. And I hope the meeting is an opportunity for real dialogue rather than a presentation of these demands.

We can definitely do better than this.

PS- Sorry to hijack your blog, Paul. I still feel the occasional need to rant and no longer have a blog of my own on which to do so.


"in conjunction with a public affairs organization"

That public affairs org is a right-wing front group. Look at their board.

I hope you weren't taken Paul.

Jackie Woodruff

I am an active resident in the described Greentree neighborhood for 40+ years and in the Falk PTO. I agree with Lisa's comments, but I take offense that a group (SWAN) that has no involvement with the Falk School PTO or Greentree Neighborhood Association can step in and hold a meeting at my neighborhood school. Many of the people holding the meeting do not live in and are not a part of the Hammersley/Teresa Terrace neighborhood, nor the Russett/Balsam neighborhood, yet they are trying to dictate how we as resdients should interact with eachother.

As per Channel 3000: What (Dave) Glomp and his group SWANS, which has no official neighborhood association backing, presented at the meeting Wednesday night is a general "Code of Conduct," upholding "what is acceptable conduct or behavior." If a group does not seek the help of the neighborhood associations and other local groups such as the PTO, and the residents that live in the area then how to they proport to effect change?

Families and Communities Unite has begun a similar effort to tackle problems in the area and is led primarily by black residents, area church members, the Mdaison Police Dept neighborhood officer and Wisconsin Youth. I have had some cotnact with the group and I am trying to aid them in their efforts to be a postiive role model in my community by donating items for their Aug 29 Elver Park event.

I hope that SWAN will put their money where their mouth is an try to engage all residents and the Madison Police Dept neighborhood officers to solve the problems we face. Paul, I think you hit the nail on the head when you said that the key is for eveyone to work together.

Jackie Woodruff


Neighborhood Event: Sat. Aug. 29, 11 am – 4 pm
United We Stand - At Elver Park
A huge all-community event designed to bring us together!

Free food! (hot dogs, hamburgers, drinks, desserts)
11 am – 2 pm Basketball tournament and Games for All Ages
Noon – 2 pm Talent Show
2 pm – 3 pm Guest Speakers
3:30 pm – 4 pm Prizes and Awards
Sponsored by churches, businesses of our community, and county efforts.

The organizers are still happily accepting volunteers and dessert donations. Can
you bring a dessert? If so, please call Kimberly Lawrence (957-6322) to let her
know what you’re bringing. Willing to volunteer? Please contact Dawn Knudtson
at 608-622-0887 or [email protected]

Even if you can’t volunteer or bring a dessert, please DO come! The event will
be from 11 am – 4 pm. We’d like to see the entire community come out! (even if
you can only stay a little while). See you there!

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