City County Building Lobby & Renaming

Posted June 21st, 2017 @ 7:39 AM by

Your chance to weigh in on renaming the City-County Building (and part of the jail) after Barack Obama and what your experience is going into the City-County Building and what the lobby should look like will be July 19th at 6:00. More details from Monday night’s meeting here – and an idea of what wrong with the lobby besides seating!

BUILDING NAMING
Wow – that was flubbed, big time. Parisi ruling by press release bites him in the ass again. And bonus, he brings home the point (with flying colors) about how the equity analysis and tools the city and county are talking about using should be used for things like this!!!! This could have been an awesome use of that tool, with community input and engagement and he wouldn’t have egg all over his face . . . but they don’t like community input or sharing credit for their ideas at the county.

Anyways . . . here’s the county resolution.

President Barack Obama is the only sitting President of the United States to ever step foot in the City-County Building. The President held an event outside the building on November 5, 8 2012, drawing thousands of people to downtown Madison.

Through its many years as the central home of government for the County of Dane and City of Madison, the City-County Building has never had a formal name, other than the generic designation which describes its function.

President Obama ended his second term as the 44th President of the United States on January 20, 2017. During his eight years, he served the state and nation with dignity and grace. He advocated for the principles held dear by our community: equality, social justice, and
stewardship for our neighbors, communities, and the environment.

As Americans we benefited from the grace and wisdom of the First Lady, Michelle Obama, and got to watch their daughters, Malia and Sasha, grow from children to the young women they are today.

Caroline Kennedy, the daughter of the 35th President of the United States, presented the Profile in Courage award to former President Obama in March of this year. She stated that “President Kennedy called on a new generation of Americans to give their talents to the service of the country. With exceptional dignity and courage, President Obama has carried that torch into our time, providing young people of all backgrounds with an example they can emulate in their own lives.”

Given the shared values of President Obama and those which Dane County government advocates for, along with the recent end to President Obama’s term in office, it seems appropriate to rename the building that serves as the central home of county and city government after former President Obama.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the City-County Building be renamed the “President Barack Obama City-County Building” as it continues to serve local government offices and functions for the City of Madison and Dane County.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that a copy of this Resolution be presented to the Madison Common Council and the City-County Liaison Committee.

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that a plaque memorializing President Barack Obama’s service and this designation be placed outside the City County Building, to further honor his legacy as America’s 44th President.

The resolution will go to the Public Works & Transportation Committee after a public hearing at the City-County Liaison Committee.

Here’s the city resolution, which is a little different.

WHEREAS, President Barack Obama is the only sitting President of the United States to visit the City-County Building. The President held an event outside the building on November 5, 2012, drawing tens of thousands of people to downtown Madison. The City-County Building was chosen by the President’s staff because of the iconic view it provided and because of the confidence in a Madison welcome. Indeed, it was the largest attendance of any of the President’s events that year; and,

WHEREAS, through its many years as the central home of government for the County of Dane and City of Madison, the City-County Building has never had a formal name, other than the generic designation, which describes its function; and,

WHEREAS, President Obama ended his second term as the 44th President of the United States on January 20, 2017. He served the state and nation with dignity and grace for eight years. He advocated for the principles held dear by our community: equality, social justice, and stewardship for our neighbors, communities, and environment; and,

WHEREAS, as Americans we benefited from the grace and wisdom of the First Lady, Michelle Obama, and watched their daughters, Malia and Sasha, grow from children to the young women they are today; and,

WHEREAS, Caroline Kennedy, the daughter of the 35th President of the United States, presented the Profile in Courage award to former President Obama in March of this year. She stated, “President Kennedy called on a new generation of Americans to give their talents to the service of the country. With exceptional dignity and courage, President Obama has carried that torch into our time, providing young people of all backgrounds with an example they can emulate in their own lives.”; and,

WHEREAS, the values of President Obama mirror those of Madison and Dane County leaders and residents. As President Obama’s term in office has recently ended, it seems appropriate to rename the building that serves as the central home of City and County government after former President Obama,

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the City-County Building be renamed the “President Barack Obama City-County Building” as it continues to serve local government offices and functions for the City of Madison and Dane County; and,

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that a plaque memorializing President Barack Obama’s service and this designation be placed outside the City-County Building, to further honor his legacy as America’s 44th President.
___________________________________________________________________________
Notes and links:
http://host.madison.com/wsj/special-section/obama/obama-make-education-america-s-national-mission/article_fb9a1752-c979-11de-8273-001cc4c03286.html

On the anniversary of last year’s historic election, President Barack Obama on Wednesday (November 4, 2009) told an audience of more than 600 at Madison’s Wright Middle School that he wanted to use more than $4 billion in federal incentives to “make education America’s national mission.” … He was the first sitting President to visit Madison since Harry Truman on [] 1950.

Bascom Hill – October 4, 2012.

6 public visits to Madison – twice as a candidate and 4 times as President.

On the day before the 2012 election in front of the City-County Building, with Bruce Springsteen by his side and 18,000 people in attendance

http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/govt-and-politics/elections/obama-springsteen-rally-thousands-on-eve-of-election/article_46171a2c-275b-11e2-a625-001a4bcf887a.html

The city process is that it will go to the Equal Opportunities Commission, Finance Committee and the City-County Liaison Committee.

This is going to be fun to watch! Maurice Cheek’s article in Madison365 just cracked me up!
Fourty-Four Better Ideas Than The Barack Obama City-County Building. You gotta read it . . . you’ll get the point by number number 3 or 5 but keep reading.

Seems like if you’re inspired to give your input you could give it to allalders@cityofmadison.com and County_Board_Recipients@countyofdane.com to go to all alders and county board supervisors, but don’t forget dear old Joe – parisi@countyofdane.com. Also, there are some mayor and county executive staff on the City-County Liaison Committee who should also here from you. Here’s the emails for the members of that committee that will be instrumental in this decision:
matano@countyofdane.com
schauer.andrew@countyofdane.com
etrags@aol.com
kostelic@co.dane.wi.us
district19@cityofmadison.com
nelson.paul@countyofdane.com
district17@cityofmadison.com
district14@cityofmadison.com

Those members are Supervisor Al Matano, Supervisor Andrew Schauer, Enis Ragland (mayors office), Jeff Kostelic (County Executive’s office), Alder Mark Clear, Supervisor Paul Nelson, Alder Samba Baldeh and Alder Sheri Carter.

LOBBY
Some of the county board office interns came up with this after walking through the building with the county board office staff: (I added the pictures)

Culture Walk: Observation in the work place (City-County Building Lobby)

The purpose of this exercise was to assess and evaluate how the workplace environment—office
decorations, pamphlets and other paper materials on display, web site statements, pictures/graphics, descriptions of programs and services, marketing, and office set-up—shapes
the office climate and individuals’ perceptions of the workplace.
• Indicators that create an inclusive environment and value diversity
– – Anti-discrimination and implicit bias posters
– – Some signs are in multiple languages
– – The newspapers and magazines reflect some of the city/county residents and interests.
• Areas that need more attention
o Directory
o Welcome sign—People may not know where they are
o The space feels cold and detached—It feels like if you don’t have a reason to be there, you shouldn’t be there. This deters citizens from engaging in local government


o Nathan Dane—There is no mention of the anti-slavery work our county’s founder did.
o The MLK entrance of the building doesn’t have any artwork that reflects the people who live in the city/county.
o Sister City/Sister County display
– – Can’t hear what they are saying and there are no captions
– – There is no signage indicating what the space is for
o There are paper signs taped up everywhere. This isn’t very professional, permanent, or attractive. The signs also are not very effective in serving as information sources as they are on flimsy paper and taped up haphazardly.


o The anti-discrimination and implicit bias signs lose meaning and impact because of the location they are posted in and the way they are posted (printed out on paper and taped next to 10 other signs)
o Some translations to other languages, but not done in a consistent fashion
o Cross-department communication not always great (i.e ., county board breakroom -> few interactions among people from different departments there)
o Meeting agendas are not accessible and readable for people with a vision impairment or non-English speaking/reading residents


o The offices where city/county residents go frequently are not on the first floor of the building With how difficult this building is to navigate, this sets up barriers for people to get to child support or other services.
• Action Items
o Include information that describes Nathan Dane’s anti-slavery efforts
o Include a more substantial and permanent exhibit that describes anti-discrimination, that also highlights the lives of citizens in Dane Co. (in collaboration with Dane Arts?)
o Include a digitized directory that is in multiple languages and that describes the organization of the building
o Include more visible, permanent signs that direct citizens where to go (i.e., elevator, offices, etc.)
o “Today in the Union” — type digital meeting schedule instead of the bulletin boards.
– – Replace space used for bulletin board with pictures of Madison/Dane County Citizens
o Welcome sign
o Sister City/Sister County sign and captions on videos in display

The first question everyone had after reading this document was – Who did the walk through?

Items the committee discussed were:
– If you are going to the City-County Building, no where does it actually say “City-County Building” i.e. “if you don’t know where you are, you don’t know where you are.”


– They discussed having a plaque or something to honor Nathan Dane and how it would be paid for, do they need a budget amendment, and who will work on figuring out how much that would cost?
– They discussed the new display in the lobby and how people might walk right past it because they don’t see it – depending upon what door you come in its behind a pole

– They discussed the most frequent reasons people come to the building – parking tickets (basement), municipal court (2nd floor), child support (3rd floor) and then the clerk, treasurer and zoning offices which are all on the 1st floor but probably less common then the first three for people to need to find.
– They discussed where to find out meeting information and most seemed confused about the postings right inside the door and the ones by the clerks offices
– Enis Ragland from the Mayor’s office said that its time to return the seating to the lobby.
– Sheri Carter wants all the most frequented spaces on the first floor to prevent people from wandering around, like they did in her state office building. (Yeah, she said that)
– Enis Ragland also wants to make the building more dog friendly – yeah, not just for service animals, but for all dogs – he’s already done all the research on it (yeah, that’s what they’re doing in the mayor’s office)

After the meeting I was playing with the directory and ran into an alder and then were joined by a county board supervisor and a county staff person and we were discussing that the directory needs some work. If you search for “plan commission” (which was a meeting going on, nothing comes up), neither does “parking ticket” or “child support” – so, there is work to be done. Also, if you look for meeting schedules it gives you the county website (no city) and then sends you to that page where you have to know what legistar is.

Wandered a little further outside the building and discussed with the alder and another engaged resident of the city how terrible the front of the building looks with the notable exception of the lovely flowers planted outside the building.

So yeah, if you have ideas about the city-county building, here’s the names and emails of the committee members again . . . you might want to mention their excessive use of salt on the sidewalks and steps in the winter time . . .

matano@countyofdane.com
schauer.andrew@countyofdane.com
etrags@aol.com
kostelic@co.dane.wi.us
district19@cityofmadison.com
nelson.paul@countyofdane.com
district17@cityofmadison.com
district14@cityofmadison.com

Those members are Supervisor Al Matano, Supervisor Andrew Schauer, Enis Ragland (mayors office), Jeff Kostelic (County Executive’s office), Alder Mark Clear, Supervisor Paul Nelson, Alder Samba Baldeh and Alder Sheri Carter.


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