The neighborhood that James and I call home is featured on the front page of the Wisconsin State Journal. The Williamson-Marquette neighborhood won a national honor as one of the Great Neighborhoods for 2013. There is much to be proud of when it comes to the vibrancy of this part of Madison, as I noted when the honor was first made public.
There is no doubt that this neighborhood cares about issues, both local and national, and makes a point for clearly spelling out where we stand. When it comes to politics some of the wards in this area have the most liberal voting records in the state. (I am proud to live in one of them.) On local issues there is a continuing push back when it comes to senseless development at the expense of quality of life issues for those who call this place home.
I have been most impressed with the local interest in a wide variety of issues that turn people out to the local Marquette Neighborhood Association meetings. During board discussions it is most common to have feedback from locals who sit around the room, adding perspective and at times emotion to the matters up for a vote. Since this area is really a destination place both to live and play the development issues at times have become more heated, but the resolve of the community to make sound decisions never falters.
It is another feather in the cap of Madison that one of its neighborhoods has national recognition. It makes for smiles to see this story make the paper, as so many have worked to see this area thrive and become even more dynamic.
Eclectic, engaged and evolving, the Williamson-Marquette neighborhood on the Near East Side has long been known by Madisonians as a special place.
Now, the neighborhood that once prevented a freeway from passing through its core and still sponsors some of the city’s most popular summer festivals is getting national recognition.
The American Planning Association has designated Williamson-Marquette one of ten Great Neighborhoods for 2013, joining places including San Francisco’s Chinatown, Downtown Mason City, Iowa, and the Historic District of Beaufort, S.C.
Williamson-Marquette was chosen for its location, walkability, revitalization efforts after decades of decline and strong community engagement.
“Everyone in Madison knows of the Marquette neighborhood,” Mayor Paul Soglin said in a statement. “It is our SoHo. It has the beauty of the lakes, the vibe of new, emerging business risk-takers and a home for persons from all walks of life.”