Incumbent Mayor Dave Cieslewicz blogs about bringing the "Cleveland Model" to Madison. "So far they've developed worker-owned co-ops to supply dry cleaning, vegetables, and solar installations. The co-ops are overseen by an umbrella organization that provides guidance and technical business knowhow. It's an idea I want to explore here in Madison." He makes a publicity speech from local cooperative Isthmus Engineering.
John McNamara, worker/owner of Madison cooperative Union Cab, responds: "the synergy of these ideas is exciting and hopefully this tiny ember of an idea can blossom into a bona fide campaign discussion. We can only hope. Madison has a growing movement of worker co-ops. There are about 9-12 democratic workplaces that I can name off the top of my head and it seems that each year another one pops up. We have a long way to go to match San Francisco or Winnipeg for the title of most worker co-ops per capita (Winnipeg apparently owns it). But our movement should be seen as a means for the next Mayor of Madison to build a sustainable economy and they need to talk about it in the campaign."
Fred Schepartz, another worker/owner of Union Cab, adds a proposal: "I propose that the City of Madison establish the Madtown Worker Cooperative Incubation Center. And I know the perfect place: Union Corners on the east side of Madison. For those not familiar with Madison, Union Corners was where Rayovac had a manufacturing plant before corporate flew down south. A local developer had big plans for the site, but the financing fell through. Now it's the most infamous blight in town. There have been various alternatives plans for the site, but none have come to fruition. Most recently, the city has proposed buying the land in order to be able to make sure that there's at least a little rhyme and reason when it is eventually parceled off."