Opinion

Avra Reddy will bring progressive representation to Madison City Council

Avra Reddy is a freshman running for Madison City Council who aims to fill the seat currently held by Zach Wood in District 8. 

Avra Reddy is a freshman running for Madison City Council who aims to fill the seat currently held by Zach Wood in District 8. 

Image By: Mark Koehler

Madison is unique in the fact that it has a history of youth activism and engagement with politics. There are so many opportunities afforded to students and young people that help them get involved in the political process, and I’m lucky that I have been able to take part in them and help push for change.

However, we can make that better. We can make it more accessible to marginalized communities. We can make our government more representative of the diverse and vibrant community Madison hosts.

That's why I’m running.

My name is Avra Reddy, and I’m running for Madison’s Common Council in the eighth district to bring progressive representation to city hall. 

The young people of this moment are set to be the most diverse generation in American history.

In an increasingly connected world, we have an a deeply held empathy for those who are different from us. We overwhelmingly support progressive policies, and we are vocal about our desire for change in this direction.

So why then are we derided in the media for low voter turnout, civic apathy and general ignorance of the political system?

It’s no secret that younger people tend to vote less on average than older citizens.

I would argue that young people vote less not because we don’t care about the direction our country is headed in, but because we don’t see candidates that represent our increasingly diverse identities or progressive positions. Why vote if you can tell the candidates will never try to appeal to your deeply held beliefs on how our government should work?

We made major strides in participation during the 2018 midterm elections, where young, diverse and progressive politicians rode a surge in youth turnout to incredible victories that will shape what Congress looks like for years. 

More women and people of color are serving in our nation’s highest legislature than there ever have been in history. In an increasingly depressing national political situation, the victories of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib give us all hope for a brighter future.

But the successes of young progressive candidates don’t have to be limited to national politics. We can replicate them here on our campus, and that is what I aim to do with the support of the students of UW-Madison.

I’m running to increase the supply of affordable housing on campus and keep rents down because students of all incomes deserve to come here and learn at a world-class institution. We can do that by incentivizing housing cooperatives and prioritizing high-density housing developments.

I’m running to bring the voices of women and people of color to the table when we talk about safety because, for 26 years, District 8 has not been represented by a woman. When I’m on council, I’ll push for increased lighting in dark areas of campus and for extending late night bus service.

I’m running on environmental sustainability because massive failure to act on the national level means that cities have to take the lead when it comes to taking responsibility for the climate disaster that is fast approaching. It is crucial that Madison takes the most aggressive approach to getting the city to run on 100 percent renewable energy, and I’ll fight for that initiative if elected. 

But most importantly, I’m running to give every student on this campus the opportunity to have their voice heard when the city we all call home makes decisions. This campaign isn’t about organizing for any particular candidate so much as it is organizing for a generation. On April 2, I would be proud to receive your vote for City Council.

Avra is a freshman running for District 8 Alder. What do you think about the policy positions of the candidates? Send all comments to opinion@dailycardinal.com.

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