One of three candidates seeking to replace retiring alder Santiago Rosas in Dist. 17 on Madison's far east side, Sarah Florino stands out among Madison aldermanic candidates in sporting a campaign MySpace page. In fact, she currently boasts more "friends" than mayoral candidate Peter Muñoz.
Florino, 29, works as assistant to the director of the IceCube Project at UW-Madison, which is leading and coordinating the construction of a neutrino telescope at the South Pole. She is also a member of the UW Diversity Oversight Committee, and is the secretary and a steward-in-training for AFSCME Local 2412. She has lived in Madison since 1997, and recently bought a condo in Dist. 17, where she has lived for one year.
A brief interview follows.
The Daily Page: What steps would you take to ensure that the city of Madison provides safe water? Do you approve of the city's two-track process for Well 29?
Florino: The Water Utility is finally taking the right steps in order to alleviate the problems with Well 29. Once the findings are presented an informed decision can be made.
You are a steward in training with AFSCME Local 2412 and identify "worker's rights" at the top of your list of campaign priorities. What would you do on the council to pursue this goal?
I would champion initiatives like best value contracting and a sick leave ordinance.
Best value contracting is important because it trains workers for the future. In addition, it will provide more openings, which in turn could mean the hiring of more minorities and women into good paying jobs.
A sick leave ordinance is important in that it is meant to protect workers from unreasonable strife. No person should ever be made to feel bad or intimidated for staying at home when they or a family member is sick.
What can the city do to support and enhance transit options for residents of Dist. 17?
The city should expand the routes and provide more frequent service. A partnership could be developed with existing businesses to create park-and-rides with direct shuttle service, during peak hours, downtown.
As a new homeowner in the city, how would your experiences influence your decision when it comes to city policymaking for affordable housing? What should the city begin doing, and what policies should it discontinue?
There have been successful affordable housing developments in the last few years. The city needs to tout these successes and encourage developers to take on these projects.
Inclusionary zoning (IZ) is a policy that needs to be looked at again. IZ is not reaching the people that it intended to, mid-median income. To be able to afford an IZ place you would still need to make approximately 80% of the area median income in order to live comfortably.
As the city grows into the town of Burke, how should development of these spaces proceed?
The city needs to work closely with current residents in the area. A plan needs to be developed to contain and control growth.
How can the city better approach traffic enforcement within the district, both on East Washington Avenue and on adjacent streets?
A bigger presence on East Washington Avenue during heavier traffic hours and at night. Creating speed bumps or roundabouts, like the ones near Vilas Park, could help slow traffic down on adjacent residential streets.