With so much attention at the national level this year, it has been easy to lose track of issues and events in our own community. Now is a great time to re-engage in local issues affecting our neighborhood, our downtown and our city and to rediscover the people and things that make Madison a great place to live.

It can sometimes be difficult and overwhelming to consider the number of important issues affecting our daily lives in Madison. In our downtown, issues such as new development, homelessness, clean lakes, safety, parks and tree canopy, local business growth, and transportation continue to be at the forefront. The good news is that our community is making progress on a number of those issues, such as saving trees in Brittingham and Law Park from the emerald ash borer, working toward a new day resource center, and completing a market analysis study for downtown businesses.

However, much work remains to be done as we continue to grow, diversify, and improve as a downtown and as a city. Over the coming months, I encourage you to find one or two new ways you can contribute to our community, whether with time, money, or other resources. Focusing on a few specific action items, large or small, is a great way to make a real difference in our community.

A helpful starting point is to recall the famous saying: “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” The holiday season naturally brings a spirit of kindness, giving, and community we can carry through the rest of the year. Every action makes a difference, and the result of our combined actions can truly change a community. Now is the time to focus on our neighbors and fellow community members and to seek ways to work together as we approach the new year.

Please plan to attend the annual Capitol Neighborhoods holiday party on Thursday, December 15, 6:00- 8:00 p.m., at The Rigby, 119 East Main Street (second floor). Let’s celebrate another successful year for our neighborhood association, enjoy the company of friends and neighbors, and talk about what we can do, with what we have, where we are!

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