"I’m not surprised that without any of that background information or context that voters would not support these changes."


Said Eileen Harrington, "former chairperson of the now-dissolved Task Force on Government Structure," quoted in "Madison voters widely support City Council term limits; reject full-time body, longer term lengths" (Wisconsin State Journal). 

[Harrington's] work prompted the advisory questions.... In a report to the council in early 2020, the task force concluded the current system is “fundamentally unfair,” particularly for people of color and low-income residents, and one that favors people with the time, resources and knowledge to participate.

Harrington said she felt there wasn’t a “meaningful effort” from the council to educate the public on the task force’s work before the vote. Among its various recommendations, the task force suggested moving to a full-time, 10-member council with members paid $67,950 annually and elected to four-year terms.

The one thing that passed — by a lot (71% to 29%) — was the proposal for term limits. The article doesn't make it clear, but I don't think term limits was one of the committee's ideas. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it looks like everything the committee wanted was soundly defeated. And I think what Harrington is implying is that the Madison voters hadn't gotten the message that we needed to vote for the proposals to be anti-racist. We weren't meaningfully educated, so we just ambled into the polls, read the referendum questions as written, and decided city council members shouldn't have higher pay and 4-year terms. And then we went for term limits!

Was that racist? The article quotes former mayor Dave Cieslewicz: “I hope Madisonians don’t just see this as something they rejected but also as something they support. I hope there’s a renewed appreciation for their neighbors who step up to work on the council for little money or recognition, but just to serve the community.” 

As a CRT-steeped Madisonian, I've got to ask: Is that white supremacy? Is the low-pay, part-time service ideal part of whiteness? And would we have voted the other way if only we'd been sufficiently educated on that score? Or did we know we were voting for systemic racism and that's why we did it?

***

There is no comments section anymore, but you can email me here.

[Author: [email protected] (Ann Althouse)]


Tags: Law, City Council, Madison, White Supremacy, Harrington, Wisconsin State Journal, CRT, Ann Althouse, Racial Politics, Mayor Dave, Critical Race Theory, Eileen Harrington, Dave Cieslewicz

Source:  http://althouse.blogspot.com/2021/04/im-not-surprised-that-without-any-of.html



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