_____________________archived 3 April 2013 _____________________







Thank you to the Wisconsin State Journal for the opportunity to talk with you about the future of Madison and the 14th district. It was a lively conversation with our current Alder. Our summations drew a stark contrast between the two of us. Mr. Bruer stated he believed that there were many desirable development projects needed on the south side but they were just not able to be supported by the market forces in the district. I believe it is the role of government to identify these vital projects and then use the levers of power we have in government to bend the market forces to make the projects successful. Quality of life should not be dictated solely by the market. I also believe my background in sales is what is needed to show the viability of development projects that are needed and desired in the community. This difference is reactive versus proactive leadership. I want to be your proactive leader in South Madison.





Listen to my radio interview on

"Being Authentic" here:




Thank you to "A concerned citizen's group" for the package of information. I agree with you, there is a concern.  




My name is John Strasser and I am running to represent you on Madison’s Common Council.

For the past several months, I have been out in the District talking to voters and community leaders to hear firsthand how the residents of the 14th District envision the future. Many of you have seen me out in your neighborhood knocking on doors and many of you have invited me into your homes to warm up and talk about the issues of concern to you. Thank you for this opportunity and your kind words of encouragement.

While I have heard about many issues in the community during this process, by far the most common concern has been the systemic lack of communication, accessibility, and responsiveness of the current Alder to his constituents. Nowhere is this more evident than in the section of the former 13th District newly redistricted into the 14th District

The residents here told me that their former Alder did an outstanding job of keeping them informed on issues before the council concerning the neighborhood and was readily accessible. Upon annexation to the 14th District these aldermanic services stopped. The ability of an Alder to effectively represent constituents is predicated on open channels of communication between the Alder and all the stakeholders in the community.

My first priority as your Alder will be to proactively work to re-establish open, effective and efficient lines of communication between city government and the residents of the district.

I believe that South Madison is primed for development and has been for quite a while. For too long our current Alder has ignored the wants and needs of the community and the guidance of the professional city staff. This has lead to wasteful spending on projects that do not meet the needs of the district. We need a proactive visionary leader to work with all stakeholders ensuring that development is comprehensive, equitable and responsible

We need to focus on two major areas of development. We are severely lacking in retail outlets that deliver basic goods to the district such as groceries and apparel. South Park Street was once a retail destination for all of Madison, now it does not even service the retail needs of our district. For decades the professional city planning staff has identified the need and viability of retail redevelopment on South Park Street to provide not only services but goods and jobs for the neighborhood. We need to identify opportunities and act to increase the number of businesses delivering goods to the community.

Secondly, we need to address the aging rental housing stock in South Madison. With more and more rental property choices in Fitchburg, Verona and Monona, we need to proactively act to prevent the migration of our residents to communities offering more modern accommodations than are available in South Madison.

I welcome your input on any issue of concern, from the new water meter system to invasive plant species on the Cannonball Trail, from issues of safety to rules regarding building inspection.

I want to be your voice in city government.



___________________________ Archived 4 March 2013 _________________________

Please find below a copy of the questionnaire sent to me by the League of Women Voters and my answers. They asked that the answers should be limited to less than 100 words.



1 – Please describe your priorities for this term in office and your specific qualifications to address those issues effectively.


First I would repair the lines of communication between the district stakeholders and the alder. The number one issue raised in my canvassing of the district is the lack of response and accessibility of the current alder. Second, work to rebuild and strengthen the neighborhood associations. The participation of the associations is vital. I have made contact with most associations and have found that while some are doing well, others are in need of proactive assistance to reconstitute themselves in order to ensure the vitality of the district. My background in sales and communication is what is needed here.


2- What should be the long-term relationship between the city and the Overture?


There is a conflict between long and short term investment when creating a budget in a underperforming economy. As a general principle, the Overture is unquestionably a strong economic draw to the community. The access to the arts in a modern urban city has real value. When looking at the long term investment of city resources, the Overture is a sound investment. It is difficult to create a budget when long term investment concerns are pitted against immediate need. The Overture should be protected as a long term investment but not at the cost of immediate vital human services.


3- What criteria will you use to balance economic growth, environmental concerns, and land-use planning?


From the outside looking in, I feel Madison has very strong and thoughtful development regulations that balance these concerns. Problems arise when development projects are rushed, where the due diligence is lacking, where sufficient time is not allotted for stakeholder review. Policies of development at any cost lead to underperforming projects, undue environmental impact and cost overruns. I would approach development in a more comprehensive manner. A project that follows established regulations, that is well planned on the front end saves money, land and the environment on the back end. This allows us to do more with less.


 Feel free to submit questions to


____________________ ARCHIVED 25 January 2012 ___________________ 


My name is John Strasser and as you may have seen in the newspapers, I am running to represent you on the Madison Common Council. This is an historic race. It has been nearly 20 years since anyone has raised a strong challenge to unseat our current alderman of 30 years.


I am a 10-year resident of the 14th district, and active in the community as an election volunteer, recently becoming the chief election inspector at the Leopold School polling location. My business background is in sales and marketing. I returned to school to pursue a BA in political science at the University of Wisconsin. I have had a lifelong interest in politics, and was active during the recent recall process. This summer, I was elected to join Wisconsin's 2nd congressional delegation to the Democratic National Convention, an unforgettable experience.


I have been out in the district meeting many of you, the voters, and getting feedback on the issues and concerns of the people. The experience has been very rewarding. My goal in the upcoming weeks is to visit every neighborhood to meet with residents one-on-one at their homes to hear firsthand what issues in city government concern them.


My neighbors say they want an alder that is responsive and accessible to the people. And they want to create a comprehensive redevelopment plan for each neighborhood. These ideas coincide nicely with my vision for South Madison. I will be a proactive, accessible, progressive voice representing all residents of the 14th district.



I hope you will consider me for your vote on April 2nd.

Thank you,



John R. Strasser






Approved and paid for by Friends of John, Kyle Richmond, Treasurer






2905 Irvington Way
Madison, WI 53713

(608) 298-7817


"Strasser brings more

energy and optimism

for the future ..... the

South Side could use

a fresh start."

Wisconsin State Journal

endorsement, 17 March 2013


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