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Today in an afternoon address, Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway addressed the unique challenges we are facing as a community and actions the City is taking to address each one.

The Mayor discussed the many ways the City is keeping our community safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, ongoing and future efforts to support equitable economic recovery, and she commits to including gun violence prevention efforts in her executive budget, which will be issued in the fall.

Regarding gun violence, the Mayor states:

“Gun violence in Madison is not confined to, or rooted in, any one neighborhood or community. It affects the entire City, fueled by reckless and dangerous acts a few individuals, intent on settling scores and willing to endanger their neighbors or innocent bystanders in the process.

Traditional policing is an important and necessary strategy, and MPD is working hard to hold accountable those responsible for the recent gun homicides and to respond rapidly to “shots fired” incidents. I talk regularly with Chief Wahl to keep apprised of the situation and MPD’s response.

But I agree with Common Council President Sheri Carter that more needs to be done on the prevention side. There are programs working in cities across the country to interrupt gun violence, and we need to find the model that will work in Madison.

One current City effort uses a peer support model, intervening in situations where there is a risk of violent activity, and extending support to people affected by violence. Another prevention effort funded by the City works to help those formerly incarcerated to build better lives and reduce recidivism.

And while we must invest in programs specifically designed to reduce violence in our community, we can’t forget that the best prevention is equitable access to opportunity. Madison is still one of the most challenging places in the country to raise a Black child. That must change. We must provide equitable access to housing, health care, education, employment, child care, entrepreneurism – every opportunity in our community must be accessible for all our young people. Every level of government and all our institutions, public and private, must focus on this work and be part of the solution.”

The Mayor also discusses numerous community investments in her address aimed supporting residents through the coronavirus pandemic, and rebuilding a stronger economy, stating “We are working to create the economy and community we need to allow everyone the opportunity to thrive.” 

A transcript of the address and a link to the gun violence portion of the event are attached.