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HELLO

And Welcome!

Thank you for the opportunity to serve on Monona City Council. I’m humbled to have my community’s support, and I’m also aware of my privilege and responsibility.  This first term has flown by. I’ve enjoyed learning more about how our city operates, getting to know our hardworking staff, and building new relationships with my council colleagues. I'd like to keep learning and serving, and I hope I’ve earned your trust and your vote for a second term.  

Early in-person voting is underway now at City Hall through February 16

Tuesday, February 20 - Spring Primary
Tuesday, April 2 - General Election​

 

I’ve put together this very simple site to share a bit about me and my work, both on and off council. If you’d like to make a donation, get in touch, or just host a yard sign, use the form at the bottom of this site. You can also reach out via email at tradformonona@gmail.com.

MOM, NEIGHBOR, IT ANALYST, CITIZEN

Since 2007, my daughter and I have made Monona our home, with our pup Marco joining in 2020. Yep, we got a COVID dog.  Our modest 1950s ranch is more than what we need, with beautiful trees, caring neighbors, kids of all ages, and the best block party in town. 

By day, I work on a small team of about 20-ish to provide network, hardware, software development/ support, and consulting services to all Wisconsin District Attorney offices. This includes a custom, state-standard case management used in all counties, with interfaces between law enforcement, courts, and other justice partners. I'm truly proud of the work we do to help support our state prosecutors and my customers are some of the most appreciative there are.  Wisconsin District Attorney IT Program

Over the years, I’ve learned about Monona and many who live here by getting involved and helping out where I can. Volunteering for causes I support is in my DNA, something I've done since student council. And I believe our communities and organizations are better when we all pitch in.  

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WHY I'M RUNNING

Opportunities Ahead

I don't have a list of complaints or axe to grind; instead, I see some real and exciting opportunities ahead, and places where I can help. My leadership style is collaborative, cooperative, educational, and I'm confident I can work with others to build understand, and find workable solutions in a respectful and professional manner. 

Some of the decisions that have or will come before council, which I support, are related to: the need for repair and/or replacement of aging public facilities, including a public safety building; compensation adjustments for retention of city staff; the need to pass an operational referendum; meeting the need for more housing that is affordable and accessible; implementing DEIB recommendations related to housing, communications, and city operations; operationalizing sustainability and tracking our progress toward 100% clean energy; approving a master plan for San Damiano, and connecting Monona to regional transportation through Madison Metro.

Concurrent with all of this is the reality that Monona’s geographic proximity to Madison means we have big-city wish lists and challenges on a small-town budget. This does not mean we cannot advance initiatives we care about, only that we must identify them as values, prioritize them (budget), and ensure we stay on track to meet them. 

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LEARN ABOUT ALL YOUR CANDIDATES

Each year, the League of Women Voters surveys candidates and publishes their answers online and in printed materials. This year, city council candidates were asked these four questions. My answers are below. To see how ALL your candidates responded, go to https://www.vote411.org/ballot

(1) What actions or programs would you propose or support to improve public safety in your city?

I’ll continue to support our department leaders' ability to hire, train, and retain competent, caring police and fire professionals, as well as those who keep our streets, waterways, air, and drinking water clean and safe; invest in bike/ped safety infrastructure and modern safety facilities, tools, technology, and best practices; support our wildly successful MG SRO; and continue DEIB learning for all city leaders and citizens, recognizing that the ability to feel safe in a community, to feel that you belong, is also built on education, awareness, sensitivity, and building relationships. 

(2) What is your vision for development and redevelopment in your city?

Five words: More, Taller, Taxes, Variety, Sustainable. We need more development, esp housing, to accommodate exploding populations, keep supply up and demand/associated costs down. Let’s build up, with tall buildings in designated corridors along Monona Drive. We’re land-locked, not “air-locked,” Want to lower your individual tax burden? Share it with more people. We need a variety of developments to suit diverse needs, and address the “missing middle.” And we need to do it all more sustainably, with green design that conserves energy, preserves natural infrastructure, and saves money. 

(3) Are there specific actions your city should take to increase the availability of affordable housing?

Absolutely. Again, start by increasing the supply to bring down demand and cost. Next, support zoning changes to allow ADUs, greater housing density, lower parking requirements, and prioritize this over resource-intense single-family homes. Support Plan Commission’s work to attract developers with experience and interest in affordable housing. And from my DEIB Committee work, let’s re-prioritize TID extension funds to reach those in most need, re-enforce our housing commitments through strategic/comprehensive planning, and build in reporting measures to track progress and accountability. 

(4) Tell us your priorities for your term in office and your specific qualifications to address those issues.

Thank you for this opportunity to serve and learn. I hope I’ve earned and can count on your continued support. My priorities remain focused on initiatives to advance social equity and environmental sustainability, which are inextricable to most all problems and solutions we face. We’ve made good strides, and I’ll keep working to advance our stated goals in these areas. Qualifications include years of volunteer work, self-education, formal training, and a deep passion, drive, and energy. Additionally, I look forward to seeing through the solutions in progress related to: fair home appraisals, short-term rentals, linking Monona to regional public transit, new and more affordable housing, green updates to our aging facilities, and equitable compensation for all our municipal employees. 

PAST COMMUNITY WORK

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MG SCHOOL DISTRICT SUSTAINABILITY COMMITTEE

Helped install the largest rooftop solar array on any Wisconsin K-12 school facility.

In 2019, a number of citizens and I petitioned the MG School Board to form a workgroup of local experts who could look for opportunities to reduce our district's environmental footprint and energy costs. The board agreed, and an ad-hoc sustainability committee was formed.  Over the next two years, we worked with the district's existing energy manager, McKinstry, to understand and analyze energy use data, identify a project at the HS, and recommend to the board that the district "go big". We wrote a grant and were awarded the highest dollar amount of over 100 applicants. In March 2022, construction began at the High School on the largest rooftop solar array on any K-12 facility in the state. To put this into perspective, Wisconsin has over 2000 school facilities in over 400 districts. 

The array is sized to generate approximately 50% of the building’s electrical needs, cutting our utility bills enough to put the project into a cash-flow-positive status the very first year. And over its 30-year lifetime, the array will save or district an estimated $1.5 million, or more, if the cost of electricity rises, which it likely will. From an environmental perspective, our clean, solar-generated electricity is expected to reduce our use of traditional coal-fired electricity enough to prevent the burning of over 16,000 tons of coal and its associated harmful air emissions and pollutants. 

Once the HS Solar Project wrapped up, the work of this group paused, but our school district leaders continue to move the needle on reducing carbon emissions. The district is now planning for a ground mount array in Cottage Grove, next to the new elementary school! 

Being a part of this project was tremendously rewarding, with lessons that translate directly to opportunities than can be applied to our city's sustainability goals so we too can reap similar benefits. 

 

​Learn more about the MGHS Solar Project at: https://www.mononagrove.org/welcome/mghs-solar-project.cfm  

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MONONA ARC

Founding Member

I'm humbled to be included among the small group of organizing members of Monona ARC, and for the opportunity to co-facilitate some of the earliest ARC conversations in our community.  


By meeting with our neighbors, having difficult conversations in a safe space, developing and deepening our Awareness about systemic racism, building Relationships around this meaningful and critical topic, and making Commitments to do our part, we can start to build a better, more inclusive, and equitable Monona where everyone is welcome and thrives.

Sustainability is often thought of in an ecological, natural resources sense. That is certainly part of it. However, the most truly sustainable communities, organizations, families, are those where all members are valued, safe, healthy, and where access to opportunities, resources, and services is equitable.   


One of the goals of Monona ARC is to empower non-elected community members, and so I'm stepping away from this work that has been a privilege. I invite you to learn more about Monona ARC at: https://sites.google.com/view/monona-arc/home.  And if you’re so inspired to join an upcoming circle, please do. You’ll be happy you did. 

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CITY OF MONONA SUSTAINABILITY COMMITTEE

Citizen Volunteer

Since 2014 I've worked together with a number of other committed citizen volunteers and city alders to help increase awareness of sustainable practices, and influence the city's movement toward a greener future. With no standing operating budget nor authority to dictate procedure, we affect change through relationship building, collaboration, outreach, education, and leading by example. 


One thing I’m particularly proud of is our work to research, author, build support for, and ultimately help pass through City Council our community's first-ever resolution to achieve 100% clean energy. Our targets are 2040 for municipal operations and 2050 for residential. Through a combination of reducing our energy consumption (diet) and transitioning to clean, renewable energy from solar, geothermal, wind, etc. instead of harmful fossil fuels (exercise) we can become a healthy and sustainable community - and save money while we do it. 

As alder, I'm 100% committed to helping keep us on track to meet our clean energy goals.

Learn more about (and get involved with!) the City’s Sustainability Committee at: http://www.mymonona.com/1244/Sustainability-Committee.  

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DARK STORE AWARENESS CAMPAIGN

Former Organizer, Team Member

This citizen-lead group was formed in response to lawsuits being filed against municipalities all over the country by big box stores who argued that their properties should be assessed and taxed as empty or "dark" stores would be.  Our campaign included public listening sessions, education through social media, and coordinated work to petition legislators.

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WINNEQUAH / MONONA TERRACYCLE

Founder, Former Program Coordinator

When my daughter was in elementary school (oh so long ago) this recycling program was flailing and in danger of being shut down.  I worked wth other interested parents to revive it, eventually partnering with the library as a drop-off site. This program is now also part of a green team initiative at United Methodist Church.

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MONONA SWIM AND DIVE

Former Sustainability Projects Coordinator

When Monona hosted the annual All City Swim Meet, we did something no other team had ever attempted - a Zero Waste event. And we did it with scores of volunteers, over three days, 25+ acres, and thousands of visitors.  A truly remarkable achievement. 

MONONA SUPPORT

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"I trust Teresa completely to accomplish any project she is involved with (i.e. Terracycle, Monona's 100% Renewable Energy Resolution, Monona Grove School District's Sustainability Committee, and the High School solar array).  We all benefit from her talents and passion for Monona.  Teresa's leadership and commitment to get the job done has already improved our community in countless ways. I can't wait to see her impact on Monona as an Alder."

Beth Esser
RENEW Wisconsin Board of Directors, citizen volunteer

YOUR SUPPORT

If you'd like to make a financial contribution to my campaign, any donation of any size is appreciated. 
And if you'd like to host a sign or just get in touch, feel free to use the form below. Thank you!

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CONTACT / HOST A YARD SIGN

You may use this form for general questions or contact.  If you'd be able to host a yard sign, indicate below and include your street address. I'll drop off and pick up.

Thanks for submitting!

LET'S GET TO WORK. TOGETHER.

On a final note, it takes community support, not just elected leaders, to achieve our goals. Volunteers are the heart of a healthy, engaged, and thriving community and our city committees are almost always in need of citizens to step up and offer their expertise, experiences, and ideas. You are qualified. 

Maybe you’ve got time to volunteer on a standing committee or help with a short-term project.  Whatever your interests and availability, I urge you to find your fit and help build an even better Monona for all who are drawn here. Apply for an appointment to a city committee here: http://www.mymonona.com/FormCenter/Committee-Application-11/Citizen-Application-for-Appointment-to-a-53 


To stay up to speed on what’s happing in Monona, sign up for the My Monona Newsletter. https://lp.constantcontactpages.com/su/LiAxWwM


Additionally, you can sign up for email and text alerts about news flashes, upcoming events, various city services, and the agendas of the city council and various boards and commissions on the Notify Me page of the city’s website, at:  http://www.mymonona.com/list.aspx#agendaCenter.

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