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Smart Growth Madison

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This article is part of the Center for Media & Democracy's spotlight on front groups and corporate spin.

Smart Growth Madison represents realtors, landlords, homebuilders and business interests in Madison, Wisconsin seeking to prevent local adoption of ordinances that promote affordable housing.

The term "smart growth" has been traditionally associated with the sensible land use / environmental movement that grew out of Governor Glenending's land use reform in the State of Maryland. In Wisconsin, Madison mayoral candidate Dave Cieslewicz (as Executive Director of 1000 Friends of Wisconsin) was instrumental in getting the state's own "Smart Growth" law passed, modeled after similar laws in Maryland and Oregon.

By adopting the name of "Smart Growth Madison," local business interests are apparently hoping to co-opt the term on behalf of their agenda, as they oppose Madison city council adoption of ordinances to promote affordable housing, such as mandatory Section 8 housing voucher acceptance and inclusionary zoning. Membership in Smart Growth Madison requires a $4,000 entry fee. Sources in the Cieslewicz campaign speculate that the group chose the name deliberately to confuse voters in the April Madison mayoral election.

Mission

According to their website:
"Smart Growth Madison, Inc. seeks to cooperatively assist the City of Madison, Wisconsin and surrounding communities in achieving a balance between the economic vitality and growth of our communities and the promotion of comprehensive planning, diverse housing, mixed-use development, creation of meaningful open space, and the protection of environmentally sensitive areas."[1]

Leadership

As of January 2008, Smart Growth Madison is headed by Executive Director Carole Schaeffer, who was a former staff person for the Wisconsin State Senate Joint Finance Committee. She was also a budget and policy analyst for the Governor's State Budget Office for three years. [2]

On their 2004 IRS 990 filing, available for download at guidestar.org [3] their then Executive Director was Delora Newton, and the president was Terrence Wall. Wall was the founder of Smart Growth Madison, and is the is the founder and President of T. Wall Properties in Madison, Wisconsin.

No other officers were listed.

Contact Information

Smart Growth Madison
701 East Washington Avenue
Suite 107
Madison, WI 53703

Phone: (608) 663-2005
Fax: (608) 663-2008
Email: cschaeff@smartgrowthmadison.com
http://www.smartgrowthmadison.com/

External links

  • For more information, visit the Isthmus Daily Page website at:

http://www.thedailypage.com/features/docfeed/docs/document.php?intdocid=11