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Tori Pettaway

Candidates for mayor professed dedication to making Madison equitable without expertise in the areas of racial equity and social justice. These are connected to the root of Madison’s issues. I’m a proven expert in these areas, consulting cities nationally on bias, engagement, analysis and implementation practices. If we’re serious about addressing social justice issues, we need an equity and social justice expert in leadership. I’m that expert.

Madison is the worst city to live black in — where black babies have higher rates of low birth weight and mortality than other races, where achievement gaps are among the largest nationally, where three of four black children live below poverty.

Studies show that, due to intersectional issues, improving life outcomes for blacks also improves outcomes for other marginalized groups. But Madison craves white leadership and male leadership; and these don’t represent our most marginalized.

Our consideration of male or white leadership of the most disparate city is part of the reason disparities persist.

It’s insanity, and if we want different results, we have to do more than just be passionate and politically courageous about action. We have to DO things differently with direct expertise, and that’s me when it comes to Madison’s deepest intersectional issues.

If my fellow candidates were passionate experts in the equity we want, they would by my allies. Instead, we collectively produce a mayoral race that is racially disparate. Madison and its “leaders” perpetuate challenges. It’s structural. Madison is challenged with internal barriers at all levels of government and community that prevent change.

Great people are doing great work to improve lives; still, we’re the most racially disparate due in part to a lack of truth and accountability.

In guiding the city's 26 departments in equity and justice, innovating design theory in community engagement, elevating "lost" voices, training city and community leaders in collaborative improvements, I’ve uncovered deep internal practices, hidden relationships and even illegal activities that cripple Madison's social good initiatives.

It’s taken years of investigation to unravel mysteries that thwart our goals. Without this knowledge, other candidate plans will fail to reach the mark, just like the plans that came before them, because there’s a lack of intersectional understanding, expertise and experience with the nuanced layers of local government. I’m the only candidate with this level of perspective and the proven expertise necessary to effectively address it.

Many favorite faces have been privy and party to backward and hypocritical activities and it’s a tragedy that we rely on them as leaders and change agents — meanwhile, their actions continue to marginalize. When these "leaders" are mayoral candidates, we’re in a state of emergency.

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I'm running for mayor because my years of investigation and knowledge of deep injustices force me to pursue real change at all levels of government, from a place of authority.

I am a racial equity and social justice expert with degrees in legal administration as a paralegal, in political science and sociology, and an MS in business management with emphasis in HR.

I’ve spearheaded human services structures (like Forward Services Emergency Response), union support and collaborative initiatives that improve Madison. I lead the city’s 26 departments (broader responsibility than alders) with a five-year vision for equity and social justice, and have been uncovering internal barriers for years. I serve on the Task Force on Government Structure. 

If we need someone who can investigate layers of road blocks, activate networks on community and government, design, train and implement collaborative solutions across a range of sectors with expertise in racial equity and social justice — if we need someone bringing truth, accountability and results to processes, then we need to write in Toriana Pettaway for mayor.

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