The harsh wages of Madison’s ‘better life’

So many services, such poor results

The “unmet needs” panderers have their work cut out for them. Three case histories:

1) Ten years ago, Diane Gibson escaped Chicago’s mean streets with her two young grandsons for a better life in Madison. She called her brother in Madison. The city was a great place to raise kids, he told her. She and [grandson] Treveon could live with him until they got on her feet.

That is how the Isthmus weekly recounted their story ten years ago. Long story short, grandmother and young Treveon hit the Salvation Army family shelter on E. Washington Ave. A social worker from the Madison Metropolitan School District makes contact. Clothing and school supplies and support for Treveon’s “multiple behavioral disorders.” Not too much later, permanent housing. The Isthmus article concluded:

“He’s a different child,” Gibson says, citing big changes in Treveon’s behavior since [the school social worker] stepped in. 

“I’m grateful to Madison,” she says. “We wouldn’t have this in Chicago.”

Well, not too much different. You may remember the grandson’s name. Treveon Thurman was the poster boy The Wisconsin State Journal’s eye-opening journalism, “Trouble down a one-way street.” 

We wrote here:

Now age 18, Thurman’s record of home invasions and 11 car thefts is impressive. We count 29 criminal charges listed on the State circuit court access site! All since last June! The only reason we know about them is because they’re now in adult court. Juvenile records are confidential, a big secret. Which is part of the problem. 

Not a success story

Mayor and Khari

Khari Sanford, Mayor Rhodes-Conway, and social service activist Katy Farren

2) Or take another case.

Minority kid from Allied Drive given every opportunity, a starring role on the high school football team. Vice president of the West high school Black Student Union. Beneficiary of a City of Madison-funded social outreach program called “The Brotherhood,” providing organized team sports AND social justice training. Internship at city hall. Picture with the mayor. 

Upper middle class white couple provides keys to their car, the car he allegedly drove until  it is charged in criminal court —the point-blank execution-style murder of the doctor and her husband, clothed in their night clothes in the deep woods sometime the night of March 31. 

Truly, it does not get much colder.

A $20.3 million nuisance

3) Finally, “a little more than a year after its opening, a Far East Side Madison low-income housing complex has been declared a chronic nuisance, and its owner could face fines and other charges if it doesn’t make changes to improve quality of life and public safety there.” (Reported here.)

That would be the 94-unit Harmony at Grandview Commons — “noise, disturbances and occasional violence almost since its opening in March 2019,” a 4-year-old shot in the foot, another kid shot in the leg.

Chicago’s Cabrini-Green? Hardly! Harmony at Grandview Commons, partially funded with state taxpayer money, boasts a community clubhouse with a library, computer lab and meeting space, fitness center, playground, picnic area with grill and private garages.

Residents have access to various services and programs such as health and nutrition classes, higher-education courses, financial training and after-school activities, among others.

Yet, still, it’s a nuisance. And we haven’t even mentioned more new construction: the $11.7 million wet drunk refuge at Tree Lane. (Taxpayers are subsidizing Madison’s crime zones.”)

Blaska’s Bottom LineNo, we’re not giving up on anyone. No, we do not expect one hundred percent success. But wouldn’t local leaders like to know what is working and what isn’t? It is time for a performance audit. Who will call for one? City, county, school district?

How much better is YOUR life?

About David Blaska

Madison WI
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12 Responses to The harsh wages of Madison’s ‘better life’

  1. Balboa says:

    David, aren’t they building another one right in your neck of the woods. Tore Down Babe’s and up goes another with easy on\off ramp access to the beltline. I know what Madison is missing, a trolley system that connects all the added these together. A trolley would show these folks that Madison cares about their unmet needs.

    Liked by 2 people

    • patrickmoloughlin says:

      They need to be on the bus lines so that they can boost cars in all the neighborhoods. Equal opportunity.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Batman says:

      I’m afraid trolleys move to slow making them vulnerable to ambush hold-ups similar to stage coaches of the old West but indeed would symbolize Madison’s deep concern for the unmet needs of certain minorities by providing easy targets for easy pickins.

      Let us pray

      Liked by 1 person

    • Brenda says:

      Wow Jason,
      Misogyny, fat shaming and hateful politics all in one concise sentence. Is there anyone you missed demonizing and demoralizing?

      Since your IQ is higher, your Body slimmer, and your politics superior… surely you spend your time improving our community with donations of your time and money in a superior plan.

      Please share the groups you volunteer your time and donate your money to in Madison… so we may all learn from your example on how to contribute correctly.


  2. patrickmoloughlin says:

    No need to check results, Dave. The intentions of the Madison Left have been thoroughly vetted and have been found to be in strict compliance with the most caring, and thoughtful intentions that have ever been intended, anywhere. These policies are so chock full of good intentions, that they could pave a road all the way to hell with them.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Jason Oleston says:

    Fat, white, liberal women–is there anything they *can’t* get wrong?

    Liked by 2 people

  4. georgessson says:

    RE: All the free stuff and extra consideration. As a young father, my twin bro Tommy once said, (of his 4 boys born one upon the other), “Ya give ’em books, but they just eat the covers…” Years later, “Tough Love” triumphed -A well known CA geologist, 2 attorneys and a PHD chemical engineer. It can and does happen; guess ya gotta start w/ the “tough love” thingie.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Batman says:

      Inculcating the notion that anything is possible with persistent application of one’s innate talents/abilities as opposed to “I am a victim here me roar!” is also useful.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Balboa says:

    Batman, see that just sounds like work. Why would anyone want to work when they can be coddled and given everything instead? That way if things don’t go right or a person’s way, they can just blame it on lack of money, love, food, shelter, transportation, “fill the blank” and finally racism or privilege of the ruling class or past ruling class.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Crawford says:

    Father-Less-Ness + Handouts = Same result as we’ve seen since the Great Society. Well-meaning family matriarchs and social do-gooders cannot provide what only a loving (tough) Father can.


  7. madisonexpat says:

    What you subsidize you get more of.


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