Kristen has called east Madison her home since 2011. She loves living in such a vibrant and active community and is so honored and humbled to be able to serve as the District 17 representative. Kristen owns a home in Eastmorland that she shares with her dogs and cats, all rescues. Kristen is specifically interested in improving access to community health services, ensuring water quality, reducing homelessness, and promoting collaborative government.
She has her Masters in Public Health (MPH) from the University of Iowa’s College of Public Health, and her Juris Doctor (JD) from the University of Iowa College of Law. While there, she racked up the Jurisprudence Award for Academic Excellence, the Pro Bono Society Award, worked in the Citizen Lawyer Program, was Research Assistant to the Dean of Civic Engagement and a leader in both the Equal Justice Foundation and co-president of the Environmental Law Society. She received her Bachelor of Arts in English from Grinnell College, where she was also a member of the varsity swim team and earned multiple Academic All-Conference awards.
She is an active community member, including serving as: Social Media and Communications Manager, Fundraising Event Coordinator, Foster Home, and Leadership Board Member for Underdog Pet Rescue; Co-Chair, Environmental Law Society, Board Member, Equal Justice Foundation; Treasurer, Heather Driscoll for County Board; Delegate to the State Party, Dane County Democrats.
She currently works for UW Organ and Tissue Donation reviewing federal and state legislation, ensuring compliance, developing policy, providing regulatory oversight- particularly as a liaison with federal regulatory agencies- and navigating the complex relationships between hospitals, medical examiners, law enforcement, the District Attorneys, and eye & tissue banks. She also serves on the UW Health Employee Advisory Council. She loves going to work each day knowing she is helping a fantastic and hard working team save lives.
In the past, she worked as a Safety and Emergency Management Officer for UW Health. She was trained by FEMA and the CDC as an advanced Public Information Officer. She served the Department of Health Services as their Crisis Communications Lead. While working in emergency preparedness she had the opportunity to work with state and local officials, ensuring safety for Madison, Dane County, and all of Wisconsin. As a Population Health Fellow with University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, she started an immunization coalition in southern Wisconsin to address lower vaccination rates in rural health populations. Prior to that, she completed her Master’s thesis at Johnson County Public Health Department in Iowa with a focus on reducing youth smoking.
2021 Redistricting for Dane County is upon us. There are many opportunities for the public to directly participate in the process by drawing maps and attending public hearings (dates will be announced later). Following the 2020 census, every municipality, county, and state must redraw their respective wards or precincts, aldermanic districts, county supervisory districts, state assembly, senate, and federal congressional districts.
One of the criteria for map submission (among others) is to consider communities of interest when creating maps. In order to meet this requirement, the Redistricting Commission will be using a program called “Representable” to ask the public to establish their “community of interest.” Communities of interest are groups of individuals who share common social and economic interests, and who are likely to have similar political concerns. Map your community now!
Departments are busy working on their priorities for the 2022 budget. There will be multiple full board public hearings held this September and October. You can find information about these sessions, how to view the budget, use the budget simulation tool “A Balancing Act,” and how to provide feedback by visiting the 2022 Budget page.
Legislative Information Center
I wanted to provide some information on how to easily access the Dane County legislative Process. Our Legislative Information Center (aka “Legistar”) has a new feature called “Send Agenda” that allows individuals to sign up for alerts about new agendas, minutes, or meetings of specific bodies or committees. Resources to check out include:
Dane County Partnering with Urban Triage for $12.5 Million Emergency Rental Assistance Program
Tonight the Personnel & Finance Committee will be voting on a new initiative to provide emergency rental assistance in our community; the full board will then vote on this initiative at Thursday’s County Board meeting. I look forward to voting in favor of this initiative. Read the press release here. The Cap Times article can be read here.
Last week Habitat for Humanity held a groundbreaking ceremony for new residences being built in Stoughton and on August 18th will hold a similar ceremony in Sun Prairie. I was happy to attend the groundbreaking ceremony along with other members of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Commission and the County Executive to represent Dane County’s support of this program. CDBG grants funds to organizations such as Habitat for Humanity through funding from the federal Housing and Urban Development (HUD) agency.