MADISON (WKOW) — The city of Madison will have new leaders this week.
Some are calling it an unprecedented transition bringing a new perspective to city government, with nine new alders and a new mayor.
After voters made their voices heard back on election day nearly half of the city council will be new starting Tuesday.
There’s a lot of excitement among them, including incoming District 8 Alder Avra Reddy, a 19-year-old UW-Madison freshman.
“So I’m really excited to: one, challenge myself to speak up for students in this district and two: just bring a new perspective,” Reddy said.
She says her priorities will be providing a student voice on the council and affordable student housing.
Sunday, she and District 5 Alder Shiva Bidar went over Tuesday’s agenda so Reddy could be more prepared for her first meeting.
Bidar says she hopes this new council will focus on increasing access to affordable housing, improving racial equity and pushing for a bus rapid transit system to better connect the city.
“This new council and new mayor are really focused on us really trying to look at things in a different way, to maybe be bolder and come together,” Bidar said.
Bidar is hopeful a new mayor will also bring more cohesion.
“I feel that she is going to be somebody that is really going to have an open door, an open mind and a listener,” she said of Mayor-Elect Satya Rhodes-Conway
Another long time alder, Paul Skidmore in District 9, says the new perspective will be interesting.
He just hopes they can be flexible on their stances once they actually get into the weeds of policy making.
His focus is on public safety.
“A purely ideological approach is not going to work,” Skidmore said. “We have serious problems that have to be addressed and we’re going to need an active police force that has the ability to end the threat.”
He said he agrees with Rhodes-Conway and his colleagues on most, if not all, of their goals.
His only difference is on being able to afford it.
Rhodes-Conway will also take office Tuesday.
She says she expects to find more common ground with the council than her predecessor.
There was sometimes tension between Soglin and the alders, over things like liquor licenses and other alcohol related issues.
Rhodes-Conway said Sunday, she is looking forward to working with the members.
“I think that there’s a lot of really smart people that care about the right things,” Rhodes-Conway said. “We share a lot of the same priorities so I think it’s going to be great, both new alders and old.”
The new city leaders will be sworn in on Tuesday at noon.