There will be a primary election for alderperson in at least one Madison district. On Friday, Dec. 8, Mark Deadman announced his candidacy to run for the District 12 seat located at the intersection of the city's north and east sides. He is the third candidate seeking to replace outgoing Ald. Brian Benford, with Michael Basford and Satya Rhodes-Conway having announced their candidacies in November. Mark Deadman has been a homeowner on the north side for 35 years, and is the owner of Busse's Markway, a tavern located on North Sherman Avenue.
A brief interview with Deadman follows below.
The Daily Page: You say you share the "values" of residents living in the 12th District. What do you mean?
Deadman: I am glad you asked about values. If you examine the history of Madison, you will note that it was designed such that those of us who "work for a living" live on this side of town. We value hard work, family, the American dream of self-improvement, supporting and returning something to the community without necessarily having public recognition. Many of us think it is important to be team members for the common good as opposed to always being the leader who gets the recognition. Those of us with children hold high the value of raising positive, honest, contributing individuals who will respect others who may not be exactly like them.
What will you do to create a second pool at Warner Park?
Regarding the pool at Warner Park, there is only one thing between the dream and reality -- money. Supporters need to participate in the efforts of The Circle of Friends. The search for lead sponsors and contributors must continue. And we must aggressively encourage and support city-sponsored logistical support in specific site preparation and operation of the facility such as the Westside pool has received. People tell me, "We would like our share of the pie!"
In your campaign press release, you suggest that the whole of the 12th District has not been represented over the last several years. How do you, and will you inform yourself about the concerns of the neighborhood residents?
Many residents and especially business people with whom I have spoken have suggested to me that our interests have not been taken into consideration. Rather, the agenda of a particular group has prevailed. I intend to meet regularly with neighborhood associations, business people, police and fire, and other citizens with concerns to assure all voices are represented.
You have displayed the old flag of the Soviet Union outside Busse's Markway Tavern as a protest against the city ban on smoking in taverns, comparing that policy to those enacted by the Politburo and Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Would you elaborate on your concerns about how the council operates?
In order to deal with the public, you need to sometimes have a sense of humor. The replica of the old Soviet flag was a tongue-in-cheek effort to give the over 85% of my customers who smoke a small catharsis or emotional release as they acclimated to the current law. We follow the law and the city council has spoken. In this vein, I have made the pledge not to introduce any legislation to overturn the smoking ban in Madison taverns.
What's the biggest improvement you feel you could make to District 12 as its alderperson?
The biggest improvement that I could make in representing our district would be listening to the diverse voices that make up this district. We have, perhaps, the most diverse group of citizens in the city in terms of socioeconomic mix, age, ethnic background, religious beliefs, and political orientation. That is our strength and a particular challenge to be certain that those voices are heard, not just the few that one might agree.
You face two opponents in the primary, Mike Basford and Satya Rhodes-Conway, who are considered to be strong community activists and progressive in their politics. What's the primary difference between you and your opponents?
An essential difference between me and my opponents is that my wife and I have lived, worked, and played on this side of town all of our lives. We have paid our taxes, raised a family and been involved in the community that is the northeast side of Madison in so many different ways. Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, United Way, March of Dimes, Hospice, Upward Bound, Warner Park Fireworks Committee, coaching youth sports teams, booster clubs and neighborhood charity drives have all been important to me.
As any other parent can attest, most involvements are lower in profile than those which make the news. I intend to represent everyone as best I can, not a political agenda; this is a non-partisan office, not a stepping-stone for a political future.
Note: Mark Deadman does not yet currently operate a campaign website, but intends to have one online soon. His campaign announcement is available in the related downloads at top right.