Spring 2019 Political Platform

The Madison Area Democratic Socialists of America (MADSA) want Madison to be a place where all people, regardless of their race, gender, sexual orientation, ability, immigration status, and class can live with dignity and have an equal voice in government. With that goal in mind, these policies are aimed at creating near-term relief from present injustice while also increasing Madisonians’ ability to organize and fight for their interests over the long term.

People First Transportation

MADSA calls for a transportation policy that puts people before cars by:

  • Providing fare-free bus transit to Madison residents
  • Expansion of the State Street car-free zone to the entire isthmus
  • Developing a Transit Demand Management (TDM) land use policy requiring developers to build or fund better transportation solutions that minimize the need for cars and to reduce total vehicle miles traveled, including:
    • on-site childcare
    • first-and-last-mile connections to high-capacity transit
    • subsidized transit passes for building workers
    • building bike barns with showers and lockers for commuters

These improvements will pave the way for free bus transit and a car-free isthmus by 2028.

Housing Justice

A person working for minimum wage would need to work almost three full-time jobs in order to afford rent on the average two-bedroom apartment in Madison. To stabilize this crisis MADSA calls on the city to guarantee free eviction counseling to every renter in the city and implement rent control.

To look beyond this crisis to a future when our city offers fair and secure housing to all, we call for a social housing program. To build truly democratic and affordable housing, the City of Madison should take the $25 million it has in the Affordable Housing Trust and use it to directly buy or build truly affordable housing, rather than handing that money to developers as subsidies.

Equitable Schools

The City of Madison and Madison Metropolitan School District should be putting our education money exclusively towards the education and wellbeing of children. We follow Freedom Inc. and other community groups in calling for counselors – not cops – in our school and ending MMSD’s $360,000 contract with the Madison Police Department. That money – and more – should be used to prioritize student learning and family wellbeing by instituting:

  • Universal Pre-K programming
  • Free breakfast and lunch available to every student
  • Expanding after-school enrichment programs to make them available to all students until at least 6:00PM every school day.

These programs would help students and working families succeed together.

Humane Approach to Addiction

MADSA calls for a sane and effective approach to substance abuse by prioritizing medical care over criminalization. Currently, people caught possessing controlled substances face immediate criminal charges rather than medical treatment for their disease. They will frequently not receive treatment until they have been incarcerated for months or years, or as a condition of parole. This system is wasteful, counterproductive, and cruel. Drug treatment is far cheaper than incarceration as it costs about $45,000 annually to incarcerate a single inmate in the Dane County Jail.

MADSA calls for city and county officials to offer treatment as the primary and default method of addressing of controlled substance abuse. By providing people living with addiction the same treatment they would be ordered to undergo if convicted in criminal proceedings, we could provide more humane treatment to individuals while efficiently using community resources.