I’m a first-time candidate, but I come from a political family.

My mother, Frances Reed Evers, ran for state legislature in Ohio while still a single woman in the 1940s. That was unheard of back then.

My father, Martin Evers, got involved in politics after WWII, volunteering in Jack Kennedy’s 1946 congressional campaign. In 1962, Dad ran for Congress in Dayton, Ohio, my hometown, running as a Democrat with Kennedy’s endorsement.

Before the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Medicare/Medicaid Act of 1965, Dad ran on a platform of civil rights and health care for the elderly and the indigent. More than once, Dad was called a communist and a racist slur I won’t repeat. My father didn’t win, but he stood up for his values, and in so doing shaped the conversation, shifted the narrative, and helped lay the groundwork for change.

I’m running for City Council with that same spirit in mind.

Madison’s rapid growth has brought many challenges to our city.

District 13 is a microcosm of these challenges. The district is typically thought of as affluent and, yes, parts of the district certainly are. But we also have more affordable housing for residents facing a diverse set of challenges than any other district in the city.

Much of our affordable housing lies in the Triangle, an area bounded by South Park, Regent Street, and West Washington. Redevelopment of the Triangle represents the city’s largest undertaking of its kind. Given the misguided destruction of the old Greenbush neighborhood on the same site half a century ago, Madison has a moral responsibility to get it right this time.

As a candidate, I’ve been attending the meetings of the Monona Bay Triangle Steering Committee. As your alder, I will be 100 percent committed to protecting the rights of all our district’s residents, no matter where they live or what their life circumstances are.

During this campaign, I’ve knocked on over a thousand doors and held several listening sessions. Here are the issues that keep coming up:

Development: How do we balance our rapid growth with the need to honor our close-knit neighborhoods? Increasing density, building up and not out, makes sense environmentally and from an equity standpoint. But not all development projects are equal. As your alder, I will place a premium on affordability, transit access and green infrastructure, and I will insist on informed and meaningful neighborhood participation in the planning process.

Schools: We must address the racial disparities in our schools. The city’s education committee is completely ineffective. As your adler, I will support a reorganization of this critical city, county, district committee to include participation from teachers, parents/guardians and students. Outside issues, including hunger, housing instability, poverty and trauma, need to be jointly targeted and solutions adequately resourced.

The environment: Last summer’s floods were an abrupt wake-up call. Climate change is bearing down on us like a speeding train. Rapid growth threatens our lakes and drinking water. As your alder, I will see to it that the Lake Wingra Watershed Management Plan is fully implemented. Moreover, I will work with the Friends of Lake Wingra, the Clean Lakes Alliance, Friends of Monona Bay, our neighborhood associations, the Dane County Lakes and Watershed Commission, and vigilant volunteers to protect Lake Wingra, Monona Bay, and the watershed upon which we depend.

Madison is ready to take a giant step forward to truly become one city — a healthy and vibrant place for everyone. We’ve done the studies, and we know the numbers.

Now it’s time to act.

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