Surrounded by dozens of supporters, faced by a scrum of local media and observers, and in the midst of a frosty wind just after noon today, Dave Cieslewicz formally introduced his campaign to run for a second term as mayor of the city of Madison. Standing on the steps of the City County Building downtown, Cieslewicz delivered remarks in which he promoted his record over the last four years, and identified eight major issues he is looking to address should he get reelected.
A video clip of a portion of his remarks, and a brief interview about whether or not the city is better off than it was four years ago follows below.
Many prominent activists and elected officials within the city stood with Cieslewicz, who was introduced by community leader LaMarr Billups. Various elected officials were present, including state senator Mark Miller, alders Austin King, Paul Van Rooy, Judy Olson, and Brian Benford, and a variety of other community activists and candidates for office.
Cieslewicz's speech strayed little from his prepared remarks, which are available in the related downloads at top right. The mayor started by listing fifteen changes over the last four years he
said have "gotten our city moving again." These include the new city pool, the first new fire station in a quarter century, an automated recycling system, a combined city and county health
department, and the new Department of Civil Rights. His penultimate point was the tavern smoking ban, and promised the city "will never go back" as long as he is mayor. This is the first point in
the remarks at which Cieslewicz was applauded by his supporters, and where the video below begins:
After making his formal announcement, Cieslewicz pointed to eight major issues he hopes to tackle in a second term. He focused largely on the high profile issues of crime, economic development and transportation, but said little in the way of novel proposels. He did specifically mention supporting a second pool at Warner Park, and implementing the proposed economic development and Green Capitol City plans.
Cieslewicz also briefly spoke about campaign he hopes to see over the winter and spring, urging an end to "outright lies" and "intellectual dishonesty," though he did not make any suggestions as to who needs to cease this kind of behavior. He also focused on the state ban on same-sex marriage and civil unions that passed in November, saying that his administration "will vigorously defend Madison's domestic partner benefits and our registry program against any legal challenge."
The mayor subsequently ended his remarks with predictable yet proven nods to "optimism," and asked for another 48 months in office.
After the speech, most of Cieslewicz's supporters high-tailed it for the warmth of the City-County Building as the mayor answered a few questions from media. The most significant comment Cieslewicz
made was that he looks forward to debating about the city's business climate and his record on economic development. He subsequently moved indoors, and answered a couple of questions from The Daily
Page. In the brief interview, Cieslewicz was asked to identify one issue in which the city is not better off than it was four years ago. His comments follow in the video below:
As Cieslewicz hasn't filed his candidate registration forms with the city clerk's office yet, this will be his campaign's first order of business. As for the rest of the campaign between Cieslewicz and his challengers (currently Ray Allen and possibly Dennis de Nure), there are 124 days until the spring election day, on Tuesday, April 3.