Madison City Council to welcome Indian American college student

MADISON, Wisconsin--Donald J. Trump's election to the White House in 2016 confirmed anyone could win the office of the American President. Avra Reddy, a 19-year-old college student at the University of Wisconsin, extended the "anyone can win" credo to local politics, as the young lady won a seat on the Madison City Council, April 2. She is the first woman of color to ever represent the district (and first woman to represent the district in almost 30 years, according to the Badger Herald).

Reddy, an Indian American, reportedly defeated Matthew Mitnick to claim Madison's District 8 Alderperson seat; the final vote was 887-735 (55 percent to 45 percent) in favor of Reddy, according to published results. Both candidates are freshmen at the University of Wisconsin, which is located in Madison. Wisconsin's largest public university is within District 8.

The University of Wisconsin student, in a statement published on her campaign's official Facebook page, stated listed affordable housing, campus safety and sustainability as her top issues.

"I ran for City Council because we need a passionate student voice at the table. Solutions to issues like affordable housing, campus safety, and sustainability to ensure we can thrive in the future cannot be discussed without all voices participating in the debate," Reddy stated. "This campaign was never about one person — it is the start of a political movement."

The new City Council member moved to Wisconsin from Chicago three years ago, with hopes of gaining work experience on the campaign trail. Madison is Wisconsin's capital city. She told the Badger Herald, in a December 2018 interview, the District 8 seat last elected a woman to the council in 1992.

Extending bus operation hours and expanding public transportation options overall were among the solutions she hopes to implement, particularly as a measure to improve campus safety for women, according to the interview she gave the Badger Herald a few months ago.

Reddy was not the only person to make history on the Madison City Council; voters also elected Satya Rhodes-Conway, the second woman to ever serve as Madison's mayor. Rhodes-Conway will also be Madison's first-ever openly gay mayor.

Madison is located in Southern Wisconsin and is the state's second largest city, behind Milwaukee. The city is traditionally known for its progressive politics.

Photo Credit: Avra Reddy for City Council Facebook page