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Encyclopedia > Dave Cieslewicz

David J. Cieslewicz (IPA: tʃɛs.'lɛv.ɪtʃ) (born on February 17, 1959) is the current mayor of Madison, Wisconsin. For information on how to read IPA transcriptions of English words see here. ... February 17 is the 48th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1959 (MCMLIX) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... A mayor (from the Latin māior, meaning larger, greater) is the modern title of the highest ranking municipal officer. ... Nickname: Mad Town or Mad City Location of Madison in Dane County, Wisconsin Municipality City Incorporated 1848  - Mayor Dave Cieslewicz Area    - City 136. ...


Personal life and early career

Cieslewicz was born in 1959 in the Milwaukee suburb of West Allis, and came to Madison as a student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His wife is Dianne Cieslewicz, chief of staff to state Senator Fred Risser, and resides in the Regent Street neighborhood on Madison's near-west side. Nickname: Cream City, Brew City, Mil Town, The City of Festivals Location of Milwaukee in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin Coordinates: County Milwaukee  - Mayor Tom Barrett Area    - City  97 sq mi (251. ... Wisconsin State Fair West Allis is a city in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, United States. ... The University of Wisconsin–Madison (also known as UW–Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, University of Wisconsin, or UW) is a selective public research university located in Madison, Wisconsin. ... Fred Risser (born May 5, 1927) is a Wisconsin State Senator, representing the 26th Senate District, comprised of most of the west side and central neighborhoods of Madison, Wisconsin, including the campus of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, as a Democrat. ...

Prior to seeking the mayor's office, Cieslewicz served as executive director of 1000 Friends of Wisconsin, a land use advocacy organization that successfully lobbied for Wisconsin's Smart Growth planning law. He had additional political experience as a staffer in the Wisconsin State Legislature, lobbyist for the Nature Conservancy, and as an elected member of the Dane County Board of Supervisors. He also lost a state Assembly race in 1992 to Tammy Baldwin, now representing Wisconsin's second district in the U.S. Congress. The Wisconsin State Legislature, based in Madison, is bicameral and is composed of the Wisconsin State Assembly and the Wisconsin State Senate. ... The Nature Conservancy is an environmental organization, founded in 1951. ... Tammy Suzanne Green Baldwin (born February 11, 1962), American politician, is a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives since 1999, representing the Second Congressional District of Wisconsin (map). ... The Congress of the United States is the legislative branch of the federal government of the United States of America. ...


Cieslewicz was not a household name in Madison when he announced his candidacy for mayor. Although relatively unknown, the prominent support of popular Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk quickly made him a household name, if a mispronounced one (his campaign materials prominently featured phonetic pronunciations of his Polish last name). Dane County is a county located in the U.S. state of Wisconsin. ... Kathleen Falk (born 1951) is the County Executive for Dane County, Wisconsin. ...

Cieslewicz replaced Susan Bauman as mayor of Madison in 2003, after beating legendary activist and former mayor Paul Soglin in a close contest (results). Paul Soglin (born April 22, 1945 in Chicago, Illinois) is a politician and activist based in Madison, Wisconsin. ...

Accomplishments in office

Since his election, Cieslewicz has been an active executive and has implemented many of his campaign's promises.

  • In conjunction with Alderperson Brenda Konkel, the city enacted a mandatory inclusionary zoning ordinance, which requires most new housing development to provide 15% of its units at affordable prices to people of modest incomes in exchange for density bonuses and other incentives.
  • A municipal minimum wage was successfully enacted in March, 2004 with the assistance of Alder Austin King. Scaled to rise to $7.75 per hour by 2008 and thereafter to be indexed to inflation, Madison's wage ordinance made it the fourth city in the country with its own minimum standard. Madison's efforts prompted Milwaukee, La Crosse and Eau Claire to establish their own municipal minimum wages. This resulted in a statewide compromise in May 2005, where Wisconsin's minimum wage rose $6.50 per hour in exchange for prohibiting wage modifications at the municipal level.
  • A number of updates to city infrastructure were also implemented, including new automated recycling and refuse collection programs, a merger of the city's civil rights departments, the creation of a comprehensive city planning process, and the creation of the city's first municipal swimming pool.
  • Cieslewicz started initiatives to build streetcars to fight congestion and urban sprawl, and was a supporter of an initiative that eventually defeated the opening of a casino in Madison.
  • Most notably, Cieslewicz and the city council implemented a citywide smoking ban, that prohibited smoking in any public space, including bars and taverns. The ban went into effect in July 2005.
  • Had a cameo in Episode VI of Blame Society Productions Chad Vader, an internet video phenomenon.

Inclusionary zoning, also know as inclusionary housing, refers to city planning ordinances that require a given share of new construction be affordable to people with low to moderate incomes. ... The minimum wage is the minimum rate a worker can legally be paid (usually per hour) as opposed to wages that are determined by the forces of supply and demand in a free market. ... Location in the state of Wisconsin Coordinates: Counties La Crosse County  - Mayor Mark Johnsrud Area    - City 57. ... Eau Claire is a city located in west-central Wisconsin. ... This article is about light rail systems in general. ... Urban sprawl (also: suburban sprawl), a term with pejorative implication, refers to the unplanned, rapid and expansive growth of a greater metropolitan area, traditionally suburbs (or exurbs) over a large area. ... Look up Smoking in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Bars or bars can mean: The plural of bar. ... A tavern is, loosely, a place of business where people gather to drink alcoholic beverages and, more than likely, also be served food, though not licenced to put up guests. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ...


Cieslewicz has his critics, primarily in the business community. Madison's regulatory climate has been called challenging for businesses, and some view Cieslewicz as keeping with that tradition. In response to those critics, Cieslewicz has unveiled a ten-point agenda for economic development with support from the Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development Commission, Convention and Visitors Bureau, and other business organizations. Chambers of commerce are business advocacy groups which are usually not associated with government. ...

Some members of the African-American community view Cieslewicz with suspicion because of his past proposals meddling with civil rights enforcement. Civil rights or positive rights are those legal rights retained by citizens and protected by the government. ...

Generally, while his roots are in the environmental movement, he has made close allies with organized labor, neighborhood activists, and progressives. The Environmental Movement (a term that sometimes includes the conservation and green movements) is a diverse scientific, social, and political movement. ... A union (labor union in American English; trade union, sometimes trades union, in British English; either labour union or trade union in Canadian English) is a group of workers who act collectively to address common issues. ... Progressivism or political progressivism is any of several historically related political philosophies or political ideologies. ...

External links

  • Website from the City of Madison
  • Campaign website
  • Blog
  • 1000 Friends of Wisconsin
Preceded by
Sue Baumann
Mayor of Madison, Wisconsin
2003 - present
Succeeded by

  Results from FactBites:
WSJ News (731 words)
Cieslewicz, executive director of the nonprofit environmental group, 1000 Friends of Wisconsin, had 51 percent of the vote to 49 percent for Soglin, mayor for 14 years during the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s.
Cieslewicz is poised to "redefine the progressive tradition for 21st century Madison," Kettl said.
Cieslewicz, who launched his campaign with a typically humorous call to elect a mayor with "more creatively placed consonants in his name," spent the early months educating people on how to say it, and wove in a serious theme of new ideas and leadership.
  More results at FactBites »



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