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Bill McCoshen Misses Mark About Downtown Madison

October 25, 2020

Everyone in Madison wants to see a vibrant and back-to-normal downtown. We need to have our downtown percolating so to create tax revenues, put workers back into their jobs, and again allow for customers to shop and the concertgoers to applaud. Sunday in the Wisconsin State Journal Bill McCoshen wrote a column containing portions which all readers could find agreement with about the downtown.

For instance, it is absolutely essential that a stronger and more aggressive law enforcement structure be in place to protect businesses and those who will visit and spend cash in the downtown. McCoshen is perfectly toned with his thoughts about the disgusting violence in our city this year.

But McCoshen is simply not grounded when he ticks off other items that should happen downtown.

  • Bring customers back Downtown.
  • Keep UW-Madison open and students on campus.
  • Gradually bring state, county and municipal employees back Downtown.
  • Safely bring events back — Overture performances, UW sports, Concerts on the Square — to give people a reason to come Downtown.

And I want a gold lame jacket for Christmas.

McCoshen’s hopes would be marvelous except for the fact most of that can not happen until the COVID pandemic is brought under control. And why is the virus so out of control?

Cases are surging in Wisconsin, hospitalizations rates are climbing, and methods to stem the virus are lacking. That is because of a complete and total lack of federal planning and oversight from the Trump White House against this virus. The problems in Wisconsin is also due to the lack of any involvement from the Republican controlled legislature.

The Republicans have paid for lawyers to fight medically-prescribed safety measures and sided with the Tavern League to further increase the spread of the virus. But to actually do anything of substance to stop the spread of the pandemic or work to alleviate the legitimate fears among the populace has not been of interest to the GOP.

McCoshen means well with his column, as the bottom line he pushes is what we all agree with regarding the downtown. We want it to come back and we want to be there for fun and food.

But McCoshen would have been more credible had he included a paragraph about the need of his party to do the work that the state is crying out for as we head into what medical professionals call a dark winter of sickness. He should have called upon the ones he helps raise money for and endlessly promotes to do their job at battling Public Enemy Number One.

The pandemic.

Here is a tip for Bill. No one is going to sit for the Madison Symphony Orchestra or cozy up for a leisurely meal–even on a safe and spruced-up State Street–until patrons and customers know they are not going to be served up a virus with Beethoven or pasta.

And so it goes.

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