Green incumbent Konkel debates challenger before election

In Madison, Wisconsin, local elections are coming up on April 7.  While they are non-partisan, Brenda Konkel is an active member of the Green Party and has held her seat on the City Council since 2001.

Earlier today Konkel faced off with her opponent, Bridget Maniaci.  Konkel stressed her experience and use of blogging to promote transparency and engagement, while Maniaci rhetorted with an assurance that she would be very responsive to all different types of constituents.  The district has a large college population, and that was addressed, among other issues:

Konkel stressed the best way to address safety issues on campus would be to encourage students to drink responsibly. She also added the city’s money could be well spent by increasing the number of police officers patrolling the streets at night.

However, Maniaci said she wants to focus on establishing better nighttime transportation by expanding SAFEride and increasing the number of buses that would run throughout the city late at night. Additionally, she wants to install security cameras on streets and near parking lots to aid in police investigations.

Aside from safety, both candidates focused on homelessness in their district. Konkel said she helped put $25,000 in the county budget that will be used to help fund job assistance programs. She added she helped the city reserve money to aid people at risk of losing their homes.

“Once people lose their homes, it takes so much more to be able to get them back into another home,” Konkel said. “So we are trying to spend our money on preventing homelessness more than just dealing with the homeless.”

If elected, Maniaci said she hopes to see affordable downtown housing that will give residents easy access to resources.