Mayor Paul Soglin Visits Madison Media Institute
Big thanks to Mayor Paul Soglin for coming to visit us this week at Madison Media Institute. The Mayor is in his third stint as the Mayor of Madison. I say stint because his first time around was in 1974. I know, I didn’t let on that I was 1 the first time he was elected.
We got a chance to hang out for about an hour and a half this week and it was a pleasure to show him what we do at the Media Institutes. It’s funny because he didn’t say very much while we were walking through our 3 buildings. He of course shook hands and took pictures with a couple of students that were supporters, but he didn’t say very much about what we were doing when we walked through.
I was wondering about that and it can be a bit off putting when you’re driving your hardest pitch about how great your school is and you think it might not be going over so well. While trying to “read” the mayor on our trip, I learned why he is Madison’s most re-elected public official. The Mayor is a connector, a networker of people who might not otherwise cross paths.
He asked few questions when we were walking through the buildings, but his lack of engagement was not due to lack of interest. I learned when we sat down at the end of our tour that the entire time he was putting avenues together for us to get integrated with city initiatives and infrastructure. He laid out housing projects that our EAV students might be able to get in on the ground level with as well as possible housing initiatives for our underserved populations.
Two weeks prior to his visit, the Mayor had sent a church pastor to me who was in need of technical assistance for his new building. Based upon the Mayor’s referral I wrote them a development plan that not only covered the technical aspects of the facility but the growth of a community center and a clear-cut road map to its completion.
That’s paying it forward. When the mayor came and shared his experiences about student housing with me, it was a reward for the school. This is how he connects and unites the City of Madison. I am happy to serve as an Arts Commissioner for the city and glad that the Mayor and Karin Wolf sought to appoint me. Relationships like this are key for any business and good business, feels great.