Rhodes-Conway returns from national conference of mayors, touts infrastructure law’s benefits for cities

MADISON, Wis. — Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway is back in Madison after spending the week in Washington, D.C. for the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

The conference gives mayors a chance to meet up and exchange ideas.

Rhodes-Conway said it has gotten more important in the wake of funding through the American Rescue Plan.

She also touted the new bipartisan infrastructure law and its impacts on Madison.

“That law is just going to be absolutely transformative for cities, and it’s important that as the federal agencies work on the guidance for the different programs that they take into account how these funds can actually really make it into communities and be supportive of the work we’re doing,” she said.

Despite Madison’s relatively small size compared to other cities, Rhodes-Conway said federal agencies are making sure cities large and small receive funding.

“They are really, honestly interested in what all of us mayors have to say and they are eager to make sure that every city is getting access to federal funding,” she said. “And I think you saw that in the American Rescue Plan Act, where the aid was delivered directly to cities, which in part was because mayors advocated for that, but the administration listened.”

Rhodes-Conway was one of more than 140 mayors to sign a racial equity pledge this week amid the conference. The pledge’s stated goal is “to advance racial equity in our cities by individually and collectively committing to act to dismantle institutional racism and systemic inequities in measurable and sustainable ways.”

In an interview with News 3 Now on Friday, Rhodes-Conway also addressed the court proceedings seeking to limit the use of ballot drop boxes in Wisconsin. During the interview, which occurred before a Waukesha County judge refused to stay a ruling restricting the boxes’ use, she said they are an “excellent tool” in helping make voting accessible.

“I’m not planning on getting rid of Madison’s drop boxes any time soon,” she said. “I think they’re a safe and secure way to vote and I guess we’ll see how it plays out in the courts, but I think they’re a very important tool for our elections.”