Mayor’s Neighborhood Roundtable 2019 discusses Madison housing challenges

Community members gathered Saturday to discuss strategies to empower their neighborhoods, specifically in housing, at the Mayor’s Neighborhood Roundtable 2019.

People brainstormed a call to action that focused not only on housing challenges they’re presently facing, but also ones they predict they’ll see in the future.

“Learn to live together, learn to work together, learn to be together,” said Jean-Rene Watchou, the deputy director of Madison International Partners. “That sends a strong message to the rest of the world that, yes, together we can make this world a better place, starting here (in Madison).”

Beyond housing, the event welcomed conversations on employment and accessible public transportation. It focused on tackling local neighborhoods’ greatest challenges and forming opinions on what can be done to fix them.

“(The event) is also about expression — showcasing some of the coolest placemaking projects, applauding creative ways neighbors achieved desired changes, and celebrating the work that residents do to make their blocks and neighborhoods better places to live,” Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway said in her blog.

She said while Madison is building affordable housing, some people living in it don’t feel like they’re a part of the community.

“For me (what is) most important about building community is that everyone feels like they’re a part of their neighborhood,” Rhodes-Conway said. “And that means all of us have to do a better job of reaching out to our neighbors and getting to know each other.”

City staff at the event listened to what people had to share in an effort to gain insight on what matters most to the community.

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