I was born and raised in Madison and have been a lifelong east side resident. I am a graduate of LaFollette High School, UW-Whitewater (Bachelor of Arts Degree, 2010) and UW-Madison (Master of Social Work Degree, 2011). The East Buckeye neighborhood has been home to my children and I for the past 12 years. When I’m not working, I enjoy attending my kids’ sporting events, listening to live music/attending concerts, cycling on Madison’s amazing bike paths, and singing karaoke.
I was sworn in as District 16’s Alder on April 20, 2021. Although this is my first appointment to public office, I have always strived to serve and give back to the community that raised me. In high school I participated in a medical career pathway, became a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), and worked in a local nursing home for over 10 years while also studying to become a social worker. After completing my Bachelor’s Degree, I was accepted into graduate school and earned a fellowship in the Title IV-E Child Welfare Training Program. This fellowship and my subsequent Master’s Degree prepared me to work as a Child Protective Services (CPS) worker, where I led investigations to ensure children were safe and families had access to resources to care for their children. I provided after-school tutoring services and resources to youth through community-based organizations and as a private contractor. I currently serve as the Housing Director at YWCA Madison, where I have been employed for 7.5 years. I am passionate about service to individuals and families experiencing homelessness and housing insecurity, and as such, have been a key participant in bringing forth solutions to mitigate Madison’s growing housing and housing affordability crisis.
Throughout my career, learning, growing and developing as a professional has been a priority. I have engaged in many local opportunities intentionally geared to prepare me for public service and leadership. These endeavors include:
- Leadership Greater Madison – Leadership training to help community leaders become more aware of issues affecting our area and opportunities that exist to get involved.
- Charles Hamilton Houston Institute Board of Directors – Service and community empowerment to the Black community through a variety of social, educational and economic outreach programs.
- Urban Triage Supporting Healthy Black Families Workgroup – Leadership program designed to empower and inspire breakthroughs and transformation in Black people, Black families, and Black communities.
- The New Leaders Council – Equips leaders with the skills to run for office, manage campaigns, create start-ups and networks of thought leaders.
- Homeless Services Consortium of Dane County – Facilitated monthly meetings of the membership as chair and provided leadership in accomplishing the goals and objectives of the consortium, as a Board of Directors member.
- Urban League of Greater Madison Young Professionals – Volunteer auxiliary of community leaders ages 21-40 who work to empower communities and change lives through the Urban League Movement.
I am appointed to the Housing Strategy and Common Council Executive Committees, Plan Commission, and Madison Guaranteed Income Pilot Program Advisory Task Force. In April 2022, I was elected by my Council peers to serve as the Common Council Vice President. It has been my honor to serve and represent District 16 on the Common Council. I am seeking re-election to continue building upon the work that’s been accomplished this past term and the knowledge I’ve acquired to assist in making productive change. I would be honored to have your support and hope you will join me in #MovingMadisonForward!
Jael Stands For
Public Health and Safety – We all deserve safety – safety of persons, property and neighborhoods. I strongly believe this sense of safety can occur with and without law enforcement presence. I will continue this work by:
- Continuing to support MPD’s efforts to reduce crime and dangerous driving
- Advocate for adequate and sustainable funding for services which alleviate conditions that foster crime
- Continued support for the CARES (Community Alternative Response Emergency Services) program
- Supporting and amplifying the work of the Madison and Dane County Violence Prevention Coalition, a collaborative public health effort and approach to violence prevention
- Continued investment in the social, emotional and economic needs of our youth
- Investing in quality early education initiatives, community rehabilitative programs, and treatment options
Economic Growth and Stability – I’ve demonstrated strong support for revitalizing and rebuilding our economy. I will continue these efforts by:
- Continuing work to increase economic growth and wealth-building strategies, with a focus on making progress toward addressing disparate racial and socioeconomic outcomes
- Continue supporting the development and expansion of local businesses, especially small business and BIPOC owned/led businesses
- Make fiscally responsible budget considerations in order to sustain reliable, high-quality public services
- Work with residents and CIty staff to identify crucial services created by one-time funding opportunities and advocate for their continuation (pallet shelters/sheltered campground, men’s purpose-built homeless shelter, etc for example)
- Actively work to provide an array of solutions to address our lack of housing stock, especially housing that is affordable for our residents
- Continue assisting in the creation and steering of housing policy to develop varying options of housing choice
Environmental Justice and Protections – Continuing to address the effects of climate change and reduce our carbon emissions is necessary for the health of our community and future generations. I will support these efforts by:
- Continuing to strive towards a balance between urbanization and conserving green spaces
- Ensure that the county meets the highest standards in maintaining its landfill while enhancing education and advocacy efforts through a proposed Sustainability Campus to reduce waste
- Continue to advocate and support collaborative efforts to clean up our lakes and drinking water
- Continue supporting efforts to increase clean energy practices across the board with a focus on supporting implementation at low to no cost
- Continue collaborations with staff and contractors involved in watershed studies in order to provide education and guidance for best practices in flood mitigation
- Investigate more effective use of local ordinances to clean up serious pollution in cases where state and federal agencies are unable to act quickly
- Led efforts to provide funding for ten new paramedic positions needed to staff the City’s 9th ambulance, now serving District 16 and surrounding areas full-time.
- Supported efforts to expand the number of CARES teams available to respond to mental health calls, citywide.
- Supported the development and creation of the City’s first sanctioned sheltered campground on Dairy Drive. This project assisted in closing a poorly maintained homeless encampment at Reindahl Park, and provided unsheltered individuals and households with more secure housing and a path toward safe, stable homes.
- As a member of the City’s Guaranteed Income Program Advisory Task Force, I assisted in the creation of the Madison Forward Fund – the City’s first Guaranteed Income Research Program. This privately-funded pilot will give 155 low-income families in Madison $500 per month for one year and measure the impacts of guaranteed income.
- Supported the creation of a new Tax Incremental District (TID) in District 16 which will be used to create needed industrial in-fill development, generate hundreds of jobs and ensure public works improvements
- Assisted in ensuring that multiple District 16 businesses and non-profit endeavors obtained needed permits and licensing.
- Supported the use of the City’s Commercial Ownership Assistance funds for a Black-owned small business in District 16
- Assisted in securing design and construction services for the new Door Creek Park Shelter that will provide a quality parks facility to the Door Creek neighborhood and Madison community and serve as a year-round space for community and private events.
- Advocated for stormwater utility rate revisions that were ultimately approved. The revision created significant financial relief for recently attached (from the Town of Blooming Grove) residents living on large agricultural parcels of land
- Was featured as one of the 40 Black Madison leaders of the 2022 “ Leaders of Madison’s Black Renaissance” documentary directed by community leader, Dr. Charles Taylor
- Supported several resolutions including $11.3 million in investments in new affordable rental housing developments and $4 million more in homeownership initiatives. The investments allow the City to support approximately 500 units of new rental housing in Madison, of which, 344 will be affordable.
- Supported actions that will improve public transportation frequency, equity and choice in Madison: Bus Rapid Transit, Metro Network Redesign, and a Transportation Demand Management ordinance
- Chaired the Subcommittee to Establish a Common Council Code of Conduct which created an Elected and Appointed Official Code of Ethical Conduct, unanimously passed by the Council