Making the Marquette Neighborhood Better Than You Found It

If you like it here, this is how you can/should help: JOIN MNA

The MNA Board during a meeting in March 2014.

The MNA Board during a meeting in March 2014.

The Marquette Neighborhood Association (MNA) has always been a very active organization but the need for motivated members and leaders is a constant. Our neighborhood, located in the heart of the state capital, is host to many constituencies and their agendas can have stark impacts.

For example, the effects of the demolition of a long-standing industrial building have yet to be fully enumerated and the neighborhood is still trying to get answers from the state.

Additionally, the neighborhood is grappling with development and how to interpret the detailed neighborhood planning that was undertaken only a few years ago. Wounds are still fresh from the shooting of Tony Robinson and the response to a brutal sexual assault on the bike path is just beginning.

The MNA was also instrumental in thwarting an ill-conceived reconstruction of Jenifer Street that would have permanently changed the look and feel of this idyllic yet key transportation artery minor.

If you live here it’s likely that you love the festivals, which are the top four neighborhood events in the city. Our streets, homes and parks makes for destination living. But it took four decades of effort to make it this way and keep it so.

Your neighborhood needs to hear from you through words and engagement.

Friends (left to right) Craig Spaulding, Elijah (last name unknown), Jack Spaulding, Jordan and name unkown) all spoke during the service.

Friends and contemporaries of Tony Robinson will continue to ask us what we will be doing to improve racial relations in our city.

The Marquette neighborhood runs from Blair street on the west end to Division Street and portion of Dunning on the east.

Its northern border is East Washington Avenue and then winds its way toward the lake along First Street and then along Eastwood Drive.

The Marquette Neighborhood Association holds its annual Membership Meeting Thursday October 15, at 6:30 p.m. with an open house at 6 p.m.

The gathering, held this year at the Wil-Mar Center (953 Jenifer Street) accomplishes several goals for the year.

It allows members to pay annual dues, vote on new Board members, hear the yearly state of the neighborhood address from the President and approve the yearly budget. The Board also presents the Good Neighbor Award to individuals or organizations who have made positive impacts on the community.

Each year half of the 12 member board is elected and 10 people are running for the six opens seats including six incumbents. The newly elected Board will meet after the meeting to decide on interim Board officers (President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer) which will be ratified at the November Board meeting.

(Candidate statements appear at the end of this post)

Demolition looms large


Representative Chris Taylor

In addition to the electoral proceedings, Wisconsin State Representative Chris Taylor will speak about her efforts, along with State Senator Fred Risser, to extract more accountability and communication from the Department of Administration (DOA) over their demolition of the CFS building and construction of new state archives.

Despite heightened attention from our legislative representatives, community leaders and the media the DOA has only marginally improved their response to tepid at best. Aside from a web page with FAQs, located in an obscure part of the DOA site, they have forwarded a few names from the DNR who are monitoring the project.

Taylor will update us on any new developments while the MNA ponders further community actions.

Another recent tradition is to present a Good Neighbor Award to fellow citizens for their tireless dedication to neighborhood improvement. At press time the nominations had not been released. Come to the meeting to find out who makes our neighborhood great!


Welcome & Introductions

President’s Address

Board Candidate Presentations and Elections 

Wisconsin State Representative Chris Taylor 

Budget Approval

Good Neighbor Awards & Announce Elections Results 




MNA Board Candidate Statements:

Carl Durocher, Williamson Street (incumbent)

A hundred years ago, typical urban neighborhood environments had a mix of residential, schools, bakeries, grocery stores, churches, butcher shops and general retail merchandise. During the 20th century, most of the U.S. lost that to auto dependent sprawl. New urban design visionaries value returning to the original model. In our neighborhood, we never lost it. It is our challenge to preserve that heritage as we develop for the 21st century.

I raised a son in a house I own on Willy Street that I’ve lived in since 1973. I’m invested in this area where I’ve lived through major transformations over the decades.

I value public transportation, safety on our streets and bicycle paths, one-of-a-kind

entrepreneurialism over chains and franchises, and environmentalism.

I am an incumbent on the MNA Board seeking re-election. It has been an honor and a privilege to serve my neighbors on a Board composed of dedicated, knowledgeable, involved members.

Colleen Hayes, Spaight St. (incumbent)

I love this neighborhood and want it to continue to be a place for all people. It would also complement my role as a Wil-Mar Neighborhood Center board member. I bring with me enthusiasm for the hood and a belief that we could all benefit from more positive energy in the work we do with each other and for the neighborhood. Additionally, I have much experience working with youth here in the Marquette neighborhood and throughout Madison; I want to ensure the terrific opportunities we have for our kids, Eastside Express as an example, stick around.


Lynn Lee, Jenifer St. (incumbent)

I am running for another term on the MNA Board. I have enjoyed the last two years working with the neighborhood, helping to solve the issues that our neighborhood faces, and being part of the discussion of where our neighborhood is heading. The Marquette Neighborhood is a vibrant, diverse, and wonderful neighborhood. My hope is to serve on the MNA Board and help in any way I can that it continues to grow and thrive.


John Coleman (incumbent)

I am committed to helping keep this neighborhood a wonderful and affordable place to live and to raise a family. As a parent of a school-age child in the neighborhood schools I am very aware of how wonderful a place this is. As a long term resident I am also aware that it is faced with challenges, from threats to safety and health to finding the right mix of residential, retail, entertainment and alcohol related establishments. Key to dealing with neighborhood challenges is effective neighborhood input. Communication by the board with the neighborhood has recently grown through a greater MNA presence at neighborhood festivals and a MNA electronic newsletter.

If I am elected, I will work to further enhance the openness of the board decision making process so that everyone who chooses to can effectively participate. For example, I will work to limit the use of electronic votes by the board to situations where the neighborhood has received adequate notice and opportunity to express their opinion. I will also advocate for maintenance of open membership on MNA sub-committees so that neighbors with even limited time can participate.

I currently serve on a MNA sub-committee that reviews proposed new developments and establishments. It is important to incorporate neighbor input on development projects both by turning to the established neighborhood plans and soliciting neighborhood input. I believe that it is only by incorporating neighborhood values into developments that we can maintain the unique nature of this great neighborhood. My committee focus will continue to be the affordability of existing and proposed residential and retail projects and the enhancement of green/public spaces in our neighborhood.

I am also working with an ad-hoc neighbor committee to monitor the demolition of a contaminated Department of Administration (DOA) building in the neighborhood. We are planning a neighborhood meeting and pushing the DOA to better communicate how the State is protecting health and safety during the demolition.


Anne Walker, Merry St. (incumbent)
Our Neighborhood is rapidly growing. How do we balance all the changes? How does a
Business District and a Neighborhood harmoniously exist? How will we balance green
space and infill development? What kind of infill will help to keep our school system
vital? Please join MNA in helping to answer there questions. In addition to those topics, I
am personally interested in participating in the question of how new infill and old can
help to accomodate rain events/stormwater.
I am seeking a 1 year term to help facilitate the Jenifer Street Reconstruction project
scheduled for 2016.

Cheema, Williamson St (incumbent)

I am interested in running again as MNA board member. My skills in organization and my passion to help our community and neighborhood motivates me to be actively engaged making our neighborhood one of the best places and welcoming to new arrivals.

I have served on the board for two years and we have made tremendous progress in how the board operates and the kind of programs we support and issues we advocate for. I would like to continue for another two years and build on past experience to make further improvements.

Dayna Long, Williamson St.

I’m an Illinois transplant to Madison, going on five years of residency, three years in the Marquette neighborhood. I moved up here to work as a technical writer at Epic, but have worked in the non-profit sector for the last two years.

I worked at the Freedom From Religion Foundation as an Executive Assistant, but recently joined the team at the Madison Public Library Foundation as Donor Relations Manager. Outside of work, I’ve been very engaged in organizing around women’s rights. I recently wrapped up a two-year term as president of the Wisconsin chapter of the National Organization for Women, during which time we staged a lot of protests around anti-woman legislation emerging from the Capitol.

I drew upon my experience in feminist organizing in September to plan a march to take back the bike path following a brutal rape in our neighborhood. I love living on Willy Street because it’s such an inclusive environment that really seems to embody Madison’s most progressive values, and because there’s so much to do. I’d really enjoy working to continue cultivating that inclusivity and maintaining the welcoming appeal of the neighborhood as Madison continues to grow and change.

Ross Wuennenberg, Spaight St.

I have lived in downtown Madison most of my life and on Spaight St. for 30 years. I have a wife, children, and neighbors – all amazing! I choose this neighborhood because of the eclectic & open-minded people whose acceptance of diverse populations makes this a great place to live, work & play.

Professionally, I am an Electronics Engineer. From that, I bring a skill set of organizing and managing process improvement teams (Six Sigma & ISO certifications) as well as the ability to drill down into detailed manuals & reports, which may be useful to the board, and committees that I hope to serve on.

Gary Tipler, Jenifer St.

I would like to be a Board member of the Marquette Neighborhood Association. During my 18 years as a neighborhood resident, I have gained considerable experience in working with neighborhood issues concerning parks and open space improvements, historic preservation and development.

I helped develop and maintain Blair Street Gardens (at the Wilson/Williamson/Blair intersection) and have advocated for safety, site and landscape improvements at B.B. Clarke Park.

I spearheaded the research and community work to support the original historic district ordinance and have worked to increase awareness of neighborhood history and historic preservation with the Friends of Historic Third Lake Ridge. I’ve been a participant in the Preservation & Development Committee since it was created.

Since I have worked for numerous developers and organizations alike, I can offer insights with a strong consideration for design, benefit and impact on neighbors.

I will work toward supporting and increasing community education on issues, and improving meeting and communications efficiency.

Thank you for your consideration.

Nilvio Alexander Punguil Bravo, Williamson Street

My name is Nilvio Alexander Punguil Bravo, and I am writing to express my interest in becoming a member of the MNA board. I am originally from Ecuador. I moved to Madison in 2002, and I have been in the Marquette neighborhood since 2010. That year, I graduated from Madison College with an Associates Degree in Graphic Design and Illustration as well as a certificate in web design. Since then, I have been working in the community as a small business owner in the carpentry field.

I want to combine my background in the arts with my understanding of the needs of our community. During my time here, I have helped to improve this neighborhood through many fundraisers, including art shows and music events. In doing so, I have been connected with people of different backgrounds that have shaped who I am now. I hope to improve the community with my natural ability to connect with people to grasp and fulfill the needs of everyone, and to eventually collaborate with other neighborhoods in the Madison area to make our city a better place to live.


Facebook Twitter

One thought on “Making the Marquette Neighborhood Better Than You Found It

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *