I met Paul Soglin in the fall of 1968. I was newly located in Madison as the Peace Corps public affairs officer (read recruiter) assigned to the University of Wisconsin and the surrounding region. My first official project was to arrange a panel discussion on volunteerism and, ignorant of local personalities, heeded the recommendation that the campus firebrand Paul Soglin be on the panel for street cred. And so he was.
This was the period when he had first made a name for himself with his campus activism and parlayed that into an aldermanic seat. Two terms and four years later he became mayor of Madison and a media lightning rod, both locally and nationally, as the "radical mayor" or "hippie mayor." He portrayed a different persona in those years.
It is many turns of the electoral cycle later, and Paul Soglin is mayor again, but a different kind of mayor than he was then. The times have changed; Soglin has changed; the problems have changed. Staff writer Joe Tarr updates our vision of Paul Soglin in this week's issue by dint of a one-on-one interview with the once and present chief executive of the city. At least one thing comes through for sure - Paul Soglin is his own man.
And speaking of independence, it's time for the annual Isthmus Indie Awards, sponsored by Isthmus and Heartland Credit Union. You can find the list of eight winners who exemplify the indie spirit in local business and civic involvement in the daily section of TheDailyPage.com. We'll be doing a cover story on them in the issue of Nov. 10. The awards ceremony follows on Monday, Nov. 14, at Steenbock's on Orchard. The general public is encouraged to attend. Tickets are $25 and are available at the Isthmus office or by phone at 608-251-5627. The Isthmus Indie awards are supported by Dane Buy Local.