Photo of Syed Abbas, Madison Common Council Alder

“As a community member and a parent, I know the importance of investing in education and supporting our school system. These improvements and expansions for the MMSD schools are critical, and this referenda provides an opportunity for our kids to thrive.”

Syed Abbas
Madison Common Council Alder

Photo of Allen Arntsen, Retired Partner and Trial Attorney, Foley & Lardner LLP

“My family has been so well served by so many Madison public schools: Hawthorne, Franklin, Randall, O'Keeffe, Hamilton, East, Shabazz, and West. We owe such a debt to our wonderful teachers and schools. Paying it forward by supporting both referenda seems like a small repayment of this debt. Please join me in voting Yes on November 3.”

Allen Arntsen
Retired Partner and Trial Attorney, Foley & Lardner LLP

Photo of Adam Barr, Public Policy Manager of the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce

“Madison is a place of incredible opportunity for those that are prepared to seize it. For too long, too many of our black and brown children have been left behind by our dynamic economy, contributing to our infamous racial disparities. This investment in our public schools is a bet on our young people and the future of our city. Inclusive economic growth is an imperative for Madison to fulfill its promise, and for that, we need all of our children to reach their full potential.”

Adam Barr
Public Policy Manager of the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce

Photo of David J. Benforado, President of the Village of Shorewood Hills

“Schools are the bedrock of a community. Children are the future of our community. Major investment in our schools is needed now. We will reap the benefits for decades to come. Please join me in voting YES on both MMSD questions on the November 3 ballot.”

David J. Benforado
President of the Village of Shorewood Hills

Photo of President of the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce Zach Brandon

“These referenda represent a much-needed strategic investment in Madison's public schools and our students. Putting resources into facilities, technology and programming now will help address pervasive disparities exacerbated by the COVID-19 outbreak.

“We need strong public schools to develop, retain and attract a talented workforce and maintain our economic competitiveness. This investment is important to our students and to ensure Madison as a community is future-ready. I am grateful for the opportunity to co-chair this campaign, and the Chamber is proud to lend its organizational support.”

Zach Brandon
President of the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce

Photo of MMSD BOE Member Savion Castro

“Here in Madison, our education system has effectively disenfranchised Black and Brown students for generations. While we have incredible educators and staff that help students learn and overcome adversity, we need systemic change. I believe both the building referendum and the operating referendum together provide an important opportunity for our community to make these changes.”

Savion Castro

Photo of Nada Elmikashfi, Chief of Staff for Assembly Candidate Francesca Hong

“I absolutely stand in favor of the referendum proposed by the MMSD school board. You can’t have Black Excellence without schools fully funded, much less at the bare minimum that this referendum would enable. It’s time for the entire community to step up for the children.”

Nada Elmikashfi
Chief of Staff for Assembly Candidate Francesca Hong

Photo of Melinda Heinritz, Foundation for Madison's Public Schools

“I benefited from a great public K-12 education, which set me up for future success. Now, I have a 9th grader at West. I want him to have the best facilities, programs and teachers, of course. But I also want the same for his classmates and the generations that will come after him.”

Melinda Heinritz
Foundation for Madison's Public Schools

Photo of Candidate for State Assembly Francesca Hong

“I join several community leaders in endorsing these referenda. Madison West High School has not seen a renovation since I graduated in 2007, which is unacceptable. Schools need as much help as they can get, especially during a pandemic.

“Education in Madison and the rest of the state is the most important investment for this community. These referenda are a bare minimum of what is needed to support students in the district, and I am confident the voters will agree.”

Francesca Hong
Candidate for State Assembly

Photo of Ed Hughes, Partner, Stafford Rosenbaum LLP

“I support the referenda because it should be up to Madisonians – not the state legislature – to decide through our elected school board how much we want to invest to pay our teachers, upgrade our buildings, and enhance the possibility of brighter futures for all our students.”

Ed Hughes
Partner, Stafford Rosenbaum LLP

Photo of Jason Ilstrup, President of DMI

“Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen just how vital our schools are to our city and our families. These referenda represent a generational opportunity to invest in our kids and our community. We can think of no greater priority than funding our great public schools.”

Jason Ilstrup
President of Downtown Madison, Inc.

Photo of Michael Johnson, President and CEO, Boys & Girls Club of Dane County

“Madison’s public schools are part of the fabric of our city and an essential partner to the Boys & Girls Club of Dane County. While COVID-19 has exacerbated many of the injustices being faced by the communities we serve, it has also demonstrated a great need for meaningful investments in both our educational facilities and programming. We have a tough hill to climb when it comes to closing the achievement gap, but these referenda represent a collective commitment to a more equitable and just MMSD.”

Michael Johnson
President and CEO, Boys & Girls Club of Dane County

Photo of Yvette Jones, President, designCraft Advertising

“My daughters received an excellent education at Madison West High School and I want the same opportunity for all other students. Investing in our public schools is a good way to start leveling the playing field.”

Yvette Jones
President, designCraft Advertising

Photo of Jill Jokela, Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development

“Our neighborhood schools are one of our most important community assets and the children who attend those schools are our future. A thriving Madison requires strong, well-funded public schools. These referenda represent our opportunity to make a transformational investment in our schools and our kids. That's why I'm voting yes to invest in Madison's public schools. Our kids deserve it!”

Jill Jokela
Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development

Photo of Jeff Mack, First Vice President, Business Development, Park Bank

“As a proud MMSD alum, I have benefited greatly from the education and experiences I received in Madison's public schools. In particular, I was fortunate to have several teachers that looked like me and helped direct my path in life - whether it was on the football field with the Badgers or in the boardrooms at Park Bank. Unfortunately, this is not the case for many students today. I'm proud to support the MMSD referenda which, among many other commendable efforts, will make a meaningful investment in recruiting and retaining educators of color. This is a critical opportunity to make a significant commitment to all of our students and their futures.”

Jeff Mack
First Vice President, Business Development, Park Bank

Photo of Sarita Mannigel, Chair, Board of Directors, Wisconsin Latino Chamber of Commerce

“The Chamber of Commerce supports this referendum because we believe that strong education leads to better jobs, a better future, a better workforce, and creates and sustains a better economy for all. Our collective future depends on today’s investment of educational experience for tomorrow’s leaders.”

Sarita Mannigel
Chair, Board of Directors, Wisconsin Latino Chamber of Commerce

Photo of Oscar Mireles, Latino Consortium for Action

“The missing piece in my children's education puzzle was having a quality facility to match the learning they received in their classrooms. I support the passing of these referenda which provide the financial resources necessary to address these long-standing challenges.”

Oscar Mireles
Latino Consortium for Action

Photo of Dan Nerad, Former Superintendent, Madison Metropolitan School District

“Our unprecedented time calls for us to evermore focus on ensuring that the needs of our kids are met. The MMSD referenda questions carefully address notable needs for the learning of our children and ensure a greater focus on equity as a community. Careful planning has gone into prioritizing needs and as a former superintendent I feel these needs must be met and now is an opportunity to do so. Please vote yes on the two referenda questions.”

Dan Nerad
Former Superintendent, Madison Metropolitan School District

Photo of Gail Nordheim, President, 350 Madison Board of Directors

“The Madison School Referendum includes measures that will significantly increase energy efficiency in the schools. This is an example of the type of local action that will be essential if we are to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and fight climate change. The Madison School Board has already committed to transitioning to 100% renewable energy—the referendum is an important step in that direction. An added benefit is that utility savings can be redirected to improving educational quality and achieving equity in educational outcomes for all students.”

Gail Nordheim
President, 350 Madison Board of Directors

Photo of Satya Rhodes-Conway, Mayor of Madison

“Strong public schools are the foundation of a prosperous and thriving community. The two MMSD referenda questions represent a historic opportunity for our city to make meaningful investments in a more equitable and inclusive future for Madison's students. COVID-19 has exposed some harsh realities about our economy and education system, but it has also demonstrated the critical need to support our public schools now more than ever. I hope you'll join me in voting Yes 2 Invest this election.”

Satya Rhodes-Conway
Mayor of Madison

Photo of Wisconsin State Senator Fred Risser

“I am proud to endorse the referenda to support Madison public schools, their students, and staff. The time is now to invest in our students' futures while supporting them through the COVID-19 pandemic, and together these referenda provide the crucial investment to do so.”

Fred Risser
Wisconsin State Senator

Photo of Francesca Rodriquez, Nuestro Mundo, Inc. Board President

“I am supporting the referenda for many reasons, but here are three in support of the operating referendum: 1) hiring well-trained teachers; 2) retaining talented teachers and 3) supporting our teachers' to stay at Madison Schools.”

Francesca Rodriquez
Nuestro Mundo, Inc. Board President

Photo of Candidate for Wisconsin State Senate Kelda Roys

“As a parent and public servant, I know Madison's schools are the heart of our community. Nothing is more important to invest in than our kids – and these referenda are a crucial investment in our kids and our community.”

Kelda Roys
Candidate for Wisconsin State Senate

Photo of Wisconsin State Representative Melissa Sargent

“As a proud MMSD graduate and the mother of four boys who have attended MMSD schools, I know firsthand the vital role of our community’s K-12 public schools. Public education serves to strengthen our community, and directly provides an investment in our youth, ensuring that they have a successful path forward.

“We must work to invest our schools, and ensure equitable opportunities to learn and thrive for all students. These referenda provide critical investments for Madison public schools, students, and educators, and I am proud to support them.”

Melissa Sargent
Wisconsin State Representative

Photo of Melissa Scholz

“Madison's public schools are at the heart of our city's ability to thrive and to achieve the true equity and justice we seek. New funding through this referendum is essential to that agenda. We have different opinions on priorities but we have to give our leaders funding to work with or the gig is up! We are grateful for the extraordinary education our daughters have received. Everyone deserves the opportunities they have had but we have to invest in our schools NOW to ensure that happens. The referendums are critical to that investment. Support the referendum and tell your friends, family, and colleagues to do the same!”

Melissa Scholz
Scholz Nonprofit Law

Photo of Judith Stadler

“My husband and I have four grandkids in the district. For their futures, I especially support plans for installing PV solar on the roofs of four high schools. That and all the HVAC, lighting, and energy management plans included in the upgrades to all schools will help assure the District that it will cut all future energy bills, and meet its commitment to a clean energy future.”

Judith Stadler
Madison grandparent

Photo of Nicki Vander Meulen

“I strongly support the MMSD Operating and Facilities referendum because our students, teachers, and staff deserve to work and learn in accessible buildings with modern equipment. Our teachers and our staff deserve to be paid a living wage and this operating referendum helps MMSD to achieve this goal.”

Nicki Vander Meulen
MMSD Board Member and disability advocate

Photo of Michael Walsh

“Our schools are the heart of the Madison community. I’m voting YES and YES on the school referenda questions to deliver essential investments in our public schools so Madison’s children have excellent opportunities to grow, just as my kids had. I’m proud to advocate for the well-resourced public schools our children deserve.”

Michael Walsh
WEAC member and public school advocate

Photo of Camille Zanoni

“I support the school referendum because our schools represent the heart of our community, and any investment in our schools and students will further the greater health and well being of our city and home.”

Camille Zanoni
Crestwood Elementary School mom

Photo of Bert Zipperer56

“The schools are the heart, soul and foundation of our community. The State of Wisconsin and the U.S. Federal Government have attacked public schools mercilessly, cutting funding and refusing to support the equal access to a full public education that is the right of every single child and youth in this community.

“As it is said, 'We are the ones we've been waiting for.' Thus it is up to us. We must stand up and do the right thing – and work to assure that other levels of government do the same. The future of our community and the education of our children today depend on us all.”

Bert Zipperer
School counselor and civil rights advocate

100% Renew Madison

350 Madison

Building Trades Council of South Central Wisconsin

Downtown Madison, Inc.

Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce

Latino Chamber of Commerce

Madison Black Chamber of Commerce

Madison Teachers Incorporated

South Central Federation of Labor


Theater renovations at three high schools would be among MMSD's capital referendum projects, Scott Girard, The Cap Times, October 30, 2020

What ‘yes’ vote means for Madison schools referenda, WKOW, October 28, 2020

The Madsplainers podcast: What should I know about the Madison schools referenda? The Cap Times, October 27, 2020

Daniel Allen Sims: Educational excellence for MMSD is not a spectator sport, The Cap Times, October 27, 2020

Christina Gomez Schmidt: Referendums will invest in readers, Wisconsin State Journal, October 24, 2020

Julianna Baldo: Vote 'yes' to invest in greener Madison schools, Wisconsin State Journal, October 23, 2020

MMSD superintendent explains why they’re asking for a referendum during a pandemic, Channel 3000, October 23, 2020

Nada Elmikashfi: Our students and teachers deserve this: Voters should pass the Madison school district’s referendums, Isthmus, October 22, 2020

The Latino Consortium for Action urges 'Yes' votes on school referenda, Madison365, October 21, 2020

MMSD asking Madison voters to approve historic referendum, Channel 3000, October 20, 2020

Real Talk with Henry Sanders: Sandy Morales and Sheri Carter, Madison365, October 19, 2020

Gloria Reyes: Vote ‘yes’ for our students, Madison365, October 15, 2020

How $317 million MMSD referendum could impact West High School, Sanika Bhargaw, NBC 15, October 13, 2020

Change the future: Why young Black Madisonians are voting to support public education, Madison365, October 8, 2020

Editorial: Vote 'yes' and 'yes' for strong, safe and equitable public schools , The Cap Times, October 6, 2020

'The time is now': Madison School District seeks $317M from voters to upgrade high schools, Logan Wroge, Wisconsin State Journal, October 5, 2020

Ali Muldrow and Cris Carusi: Let's get to work, The Cap Times, September 24, 2020

Dean Ryerson: Vote 'yes' on MMSD referendums, The Cap Times, September 16, 2020

Allen Arntsen: Vote 'yes' on MMSD referendums, The Cap Times, September 9, 2020

Jonathan Gramling: The Time is Now Capitol City Hues, August 24, 2020

Beth Esser: Investing in Madison Public Schools now will help meet mid-century climate goals, The Cap Times, September 9, 2020

Savion Castro: Why Madison Needs Referenda 2020, Madison365, July 28, 2020

Campaigning starts to support $350 million Madison schools referendums as re-vote needed, Logan Wroge, Wisconsin State Journal, July 23, 2020

Melinda Heinritz and Mo Cheeks: Vote 'yes' for Madison schools in November, Wisconsin State Journal, July 19, 2020