Progressive Dane Stands with Wanda Smith
In Spring 2017, Progressive Dane endorsed Wanda Smith’s candidacy for Fitchburg City Alder based on her commitment to public service and strong record of leadership within the Fitchburg community. As Founder and President of the Peace Network, a local mental health service provider, Smith serves area youth and adults through one-on-one group workshops and seminars to equip them with the skills necessary to fulfill their potential as individuals in the community. At the Peace Network, Smith runs a homework club, which meets three times per week to provide students with academic supports, meals, and a safe environment. She also works with youth in the Middleton, Cross Plains, and Monona Grove school districts as a substitute teacher, and has mentored hundreds of youth throughout her career. As a locality that harbors some of the worst racial disparities in the country, Dane County needs to support more service providers led by people of color such as the Peace Network, and support progressive leaders like Smith, to begin counteracting the systemic racism that plagues our Greater Madison community.
Progressive Dane appreciates Smith’s work in the Fitchburg community, especially her compassion for youth and ongoing commitment to their success. We also support her advocacy for the restoration of 2018 budget funds to support local non-profit organizations that provide local services to many children of color in the King James Way area and Fitchburg at large. Progressive Dane has been working with our members in Fitchburg, including Smith, to draft a City of Fitchburg platform. Similar to our other policy platforms, we are drafting a Fitchburg platform that strongly supports civil rights, including the rights to assemble and protest, making decisions with an equity analysis, funding safety net programs, affordable housing, and neighborhood organizations, and economic development planning that prioritizes neighborhoods most in need of investment.
Progressive Dane is committed to racial justice, equity, and inclusion throughout Madison and Dane County. Any elected official endorsed by Progressive Dane is expected to support and demonstrate these values and implement policies laid out in our platforms. Progressive Dane electeds who fail to do so should expect to be held accountable by the elections committee and membership.
Photo courtesy the Wisconsin State Journal.