Dear Editor: Madison’s Common Council must represent its citizens, but the salary limitations and high work expectations make that representation impossible. When I ran for Madison’s District 19 last spring, I knew my family would need to make sacrifices to perform the duties of an alder and live within the confines of the salary. Imagine working a 30-50 hour work week for less than minimum wage, spending “all of your waking hours” working in public service. How can we expect more diverse voices to take their seats at the table if we undervalue their time, expertise, and commitment?

As a former candidate for District 19, a working mother living in Madison, and a dedicated advocate for more elected women and mothers serving at every level of government, I strongly support the Task Force’s suggestion for full-time elected alders. Only when we support our citizens can we expect them to support us by running for and serving in elected office.

Allison E. Martinson


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