History & Current Goals

Madison’s Northside boundary (click to download)

History of the Northside Planning Council

NPC began in 1993 with City support and has grown into one of Madison’s most successful and effective community organizations. NPC has won numerous awards for community achievement, including a Neighborhood of the Year Award from Neighborhoods USA and the CDBG 30 Year Madison Community Development Award. NPC works with diverse community leaders from 26 neighborhood, business, senior, faith, school and community center groups. Our citizen leaders, supported by professional capacity-building staff, assess the needs of the Northside community, develop partnerships and actively lead advocacy and organizing efforts to meet our community’s goals and address issues.

For 22 years, NPC has partnered with the City to transform an unorganized, socially fragmented and politically ignored community into Madison’s most engaged, informed and best-organized community with a strong identity and high quality of life. Major accomplishments include organizing 11 new neighborhood associations, partnering with the City to build Warner Park Community Recreation Center, organizing the award-winning Troy Gardens project, successfully advocating for a new grocery store, an expanded library and better schools, publishing the Northside News community newspaper, and developing the “Northside Brand”  and “Community Vision.”

Today, the most significant issues facing Madison’s Northside Neighborhood, center around economic hardship (poverty, job loss, disinvestment, visual blight, etc.). NPC recognizes we must further engage our community to enhance the Northside Neighborhood’s capacity, so as to better lead Community-based Economic Development (CED) opportunities (actively inspiring the rebuilding and investment of our community economically from within).  It is imperative we connect and address the needs of both the residential and business community, to invest in and promote strategies that will enhance the entire Northside community.  These efforts begin with the creation of new partnerships centered on fostering new neighborhood investments to promote betterment opportunities.

For example, a new Economic Development Coalition of community business partners has formed to begin outlining marketing strategies for the Northside.  New jobs will be formed from the creation of FEED Kitchens, our commercial kitchen incubator, (opened in Novembner 2013), and a new partnership with the Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation (WWBIC) is underway, supporting micro-enterprises and strengthening our outreach to small businesses and entrepreneurs.  We are working diligently with the Alders and City officials to execute beautification projects and re-brand the Northside with a community atmosphere that inspires and welcomes residents and visitors. These efforts are part of NPC’s leadership in implementing the City’s Northport-Warner-Sherman Neighborhood Plan. We continue to celebrate our diversity and identity through our Community-wide Council meetings, where participants can connect with other Northsiders, plan solutions to community issues, gain and provide input on community topics, receive updates from Alders and community leaders and sign up to volunteer on NPC project teams. Our bi-monthly 32 page Northside News Newspaper continues to support and represent the pulse of the community as well as communicate with those unable to participate in meetings and project teams.

The NPC Mission’s is to improve the quality of life for all members of the Northside community and to enhance opportunities for businesses. NPC’s priorities are

COMMUNITY – Communication and Connections within the Northside Community

A.    Support and enhance communication for the Northside

  1. Publish and continuously improve the Northside News as the primary communications tool for the Northside
  2. Continue to develop the NorthsideMadison website and use for communication in between newspapers
  3. Integrate print and online media tools such as Northside News, NorthsideMadison.org, Facebook and Twitter

B.    Serve as a key convener of Northside events

  1. Respond to community concerns and ideas as facilitator and organizer
  2. Host the annual North Star Awards to celebrate individuals, organizations, and businesses making a difference.
  3. Co-convene other events as appropriate with partners

C.    Engage with the community to understand the overall needs of Northside community

  1. Promote Northside nonprofits community
  2. Facilitate the Northside United in identifying priorities for action and developing implementation plans

PEOPLE – Individuals and Families

A.    Facilitate awareness of and access to services

1.      Use Northside News, NorthsideMadison.org and other resources to highlight available services

B.    Respond to identified issues and inequities among members of our community

  1. Convene discussion forums, share information and facilitate actions to create equity

C.    Foster development of additional needed services

  1. Advocate for needed services with governmental and foundation funding sources
  2. Partner with service providers on grant opportunities

D.    Work with partners to coordinate youth efforts on the Northside

  1. Facilitate Northside Youth Council
  2. Host annual Northside Youth Empowerment Summit

E.    Support Neighborhood Associations

  1. Maintain up to date information on active neighborhood associations (NA)
  2. Engage with NAs, and support as needed or requested such as:
    1. Serve as fiscal agent for grants
    2. Publish articles and event notices in the Northside News
    3. Attend NA meetings to provide Northside and NPC updates
    4. Convene occasional meetings to support NA leaders

BUSINESS – Economic Success and Growth tor the Northside

A.    Promote the Northside as a great place to live, work, play, start or grow a business

  1. Co-facilitate the Northside Economic Development Coalition
  2. Participate in City planning processes to advocate for Northside development/redevelopment
  3. Develop and use print and video materials to highlight Northside strengths and potential

B.    Support existing businesses

1.   Publish the Northside News and other media tools to support and highlight Northside businesses
3.    Partner with businesses on Northside events

C.    Create and operate the FEED Kitchen project

  1. Assist and support food entrepreneurs
  2. Help promote the Northside as an important area for the local food movement
  3. Develop new partnerships and opportunities for job training