The 26th Leadership Greater Madison cohort (LGM26) got off to a great start on Tuesday, February 26, 2019. The day was filled with getting to know our classmates and being prompted to start thinking about issues facing Greater Madison, including hunger and poverty, lakes and environment, smart growth and transportation, and homelessness. Click below to read reflections on the first session from class members Marcie Pfeifer-Soderbloom and Scott Mickelson. LGM26 - Session 01 Reflections: February 2019
Madison Metropolitan School District
The Leadership Greater Madison (LGM) Class 26 got off to a great start on Tuesday February 26, 2019. The day was filled with getting to know our classmates and being prompted to start thinking about issues facing Greater Madison including hunger and poverty, lakes, smart growth and transportation, homelessness, and more.
We were joined by speakers Alderperson Julia Aratta-Frata from Fitchburg, Brad Alexjun, Chair of the LGM Alumni Association Council, and Zach Brandon, President of the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce. Growth was a consistent theme throughout the day, whether it be interpersonal growth, learning, and exploration of our leadership styles or the growth of businesses and municipalities. It was interesting to consider growth in Fitchburg that aims to balance growth in housing by income level and type while working to continue to attract businesses. I personally found it valuable to have the opportunity to learn about issues outside of my area of expertise, namely transportation and smart growth, and to discuss them with my classmates.
As we were introduced to each other, we were also introduced to the history of LGM and learned a little bit about what is to come over the next eleven months. We got a glimpse into how our work will unfold to include a community issue project. I have heard about this element of LGM before when my son participated in LGM Youth and when an LGM team from a former class consulted with me on their project to support healthy food choices in the Madison Metropolitan School District. It was heartening to learn from Brad that his project culminated in the creation of LGM Youth, a program that still exists today.
LGM 26’s first session at the Fitchburg Community Center educated me about the numerous development opportunities that the City of Fitchburg is currently pursuing. These ventures are connected to their respective developers and businesses, all of whom are bringing innovative methods and solutions to the Fitchburg of tomorrow.
With these great growth opportunities, I see Fitchburg accepting great responsibilities to take specific steps to ensure more citizens benefit from the developments.
I appreciated learning about the concept of “equity,” as ‘owning a place at the table,’ distinguishable from the concept of “equality,” as ‘being given a seat at the table.’ As a real estate owner, I see myself as owning a place at the table. In contrast, a tenant would then be seen as someone to whom equality might have been given, should have been given, or could yet be given. Those who “own” with equity then can bear a responsibility to have a system of equality that can be felt/appreciated by those who do not “own” equality. (The French Revolution is an extreme example of those without “equity” nor “equality” taking action against those with “equity.”)
By working to promote a system of equality, those who do not yet have equity as “owners” can be encouraged to feel as though they have hope to own in the future, or at least to be treated fairly by those who own when no real opportunity exists for those being given equality when they will not have equity.
When these two concepts are applied to cities, the government uses the funds with those with equity to protect the interests of everyone, including those who only have the actuality and/or the hope of equality.
In Fitchburg’s future, the city strives to bring more equality by requiring developers to plan for and incorporate the needs of those who rent (and not own), including those who are affected by generational poverty, which is that kind of poverty that persists from parent to child, generation after generation, poverty that is inflicted without any fault of or by the child. So, when given further thought, our current lives are all affected by generational poverty.
I can hope that developers see a responsibility and accept it on behalf of their future “land owners” to promote systems that advance more equality so that the effects of generational poverty are mitigated by innovative and traditional ways of promoting systems to give both equality and equity.
OFF TO A GREAT START! LGM26 - February 2019
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