By Mark Wachtler
March 19, 2015. Madison, WI. (ONN) Seven is the lucky number for the Wisconsin Green Party this year. That’s how many local candidates the state affiliate is running for Mayor and City Council in two Wisconsin cities, including the state capitol Madison. Illustrating how successful the Wisconsin Greens have been, and are assured of continuing to be, two of their candidates are incumbents, three are running unopposed and one is a current City Council member challenging the incumbent Mayor.
Steve Arnold, 10-year City Council member & top vote-getter in first-round 4-way race for Fitchburg Mayor. Image courtesy of Arnold.us.
Turning Wisconsin Green
This author has always said, sometimes the timing and the office are more important than the candidate and the message. In other words, you can’t lose if you’re running unopposed. The rest of America’s political opposition could take a couple lessons from the Wisconsin Greens when it comes to running for local office. They’ve done a number of things right, the two most successful being running for open seats and running for offices where fellow Party members have already won, because the voters there have already proven they’re not afraid to vote for opposition candidates. That’s the case in Madison and Fitchburg, Wisconsin.
There’s a statistic being circulated by members of the Wisconsin Green Party in their campaign for next month’s municipal elections. For anyone active in America’s political opposition, it’s as hard to believe as it is eye-poppingly impressive. Wisconsin Green Party candidates have won 60% of the elections they’ve ever entered in the Party’s history. At first, that seemed nearly impossible. But after seeing the way their candidates choose races to enter, it’s not so crazy after all.
Meet the Candidates
The below information is from the Wisconsin Green Party:
Samba Baldeh (Madison District 17)
Samba Baldeh is a software engineer and community activist in Northeast Madison. He is running on a platform that includes expanding community policing and addressing the shortage of affordable housing. See Samba's website here.
Rebecca Kemble (Madison District 18)
Rebecca Kemble is a worker-owner at Union Cab and President of the United States Federation of Worker Cooperatives who lives on Madison's North side. Her platform includes neighborhood-oriented development, access to affordable healthy food, keeping neighborhood schools open, preserving green spaces, and more. See Rebecca's website here.
Ledell Zellers (Madison District 2) (unopposed)
Ledell Zellers is seeking a second term on Madison’s City Council. In her first term, she has been a leader on issues such as sustainable development and historic preservation, protecting water quality, expanding public transit, and working to end homelessness. See Ledell’s website here.
Marsha Rummel (Madison District 6) (unopposed)
Marsha Rummel has served on Madison’s City Council since 2007. She has been a progressive champion on many issues, and has been instrumental in ensuring that development of Madison’s East Side has been sustainable, affordable, and vibrant with lots of green space. See Marsha’s website here.
Steve Arnold (Fitchburg Mayor)
Steve Arnold has served Fitchburg as an Alder for 10 years, and is now challenging an incumbent mayor who works as a lobbyist for corporations like Wal-Mart. His platform includes more transparency in local government, sustainable development with walkable neighborhoods, and expanding public transit and bike lanes. See Steve’s website here.
Michael Childers (Fitchburg Alder District 1, Seat 2)
Michael Childers is a professor at the University of Wisconsin School for Workers. He is running on a platform that includes expanding public transit, protecting environmentally sensitive areas from development, and working to reduce racial disparities through policies like “Ban the Box”. See Michael’s website here.
Jake Johnson (Fitchburg Alder District 4, Seat 7) (unopposed)
Jake Johnson is a small business owner and member of the Fitchburg Parks Commission. His positions include support for sustainable development without corporate welfare, expanded public transit, and more bike trails. See Jake's website here.
Read the Wisconsin Green Party’s entire press release or follow all the news and announcements from the Wisconsin Greens streamed live 24/7 on the Wisconsin Page of the Opposition News States Section.
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