Madison Mayor Paul Soglin
Only one Democratic candidate for Governor has got what it takes to lift up Wisconsin, bring down Scott Walker, and stand up to Donald Trump: Madison Mayor Paul Soglin.
Paul Soglin is the longest serving - and most effective - mayor in Madison’s history. He has been Madison's Mayor for more than 20 years, spanning four decades.
Mayor Soglin has always been that rare elected leader unafraid to do what’s right -- breaking ground by hiring more women and people of color; raising the minimum wage; creating record numbers of senior, affordable and low-income housing; standing with Senator Gaylord Nelson on the first Earth Day; getting large public projects built.
Paul Soglin enrolled at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the fall of 1962 as a pre-med student. He graduated in 1966 with honors in history and then spent three years in the UW History graduate program, before obtaining his law degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 1972.
His lifelong dedication to social justice, equal rights, and making government responsive to the people it serves, began early. While in high school, in the spring of 1959, he joined in “sympathetic boycotts” at the Woolworth store in downtown Chicago. While still an undergraduate, he participated in the North Shore Summer Project in 1964-1965, a groundbreaking effort to create open housing in the Chicago suburbs.
On the UW Campus, Soglin participated in the 1967 demonstrations against the Dow Chemical Company, manufacturers of Agent Orange. Beaten by police during the demonstrations, Soglin was elected to lead the subsequent student strike.
As Wikipedia notes, “Much of this demonstration was captured on film, and an interview of Soglin by journalist and author David Maraniss served as the basis for several chapters of the book They Marched Into Sunlight, and for the PBS documentary Two Days in October. Interview footage with Soglin also figures prominently in the documentary, The War at Home (1979), which chronicled the history of Madison in the Vietnam War era.”
Paul was elected to Madison's Common Council in 1968. He was re-elected in 1970 and 1972.
He was first elected Mayor of Madison in 1973. Elected twice more in the 1970’s, Soglin served as Madison's mayor until 1979. In 1975, Mayor Soglin gave the key to the city to Cuban Prime Minister Fidel Castro.
From 1979 to 1980, Soglin was a fellow at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. After working for nearly a decade as a lawyer in Madison, Soglin returned to elected office in 1989, serving three additional terms as Madison mayor until 1997.
He resigned as Mayor in 1996 when taking on the challenge of running against Republican congressman Scott Klug. For the next 15 years, Paul worked in the private sector as a financial advisor at Lincoln Financial; as the administrator at Epic Systems, leading the phased move of Epic’s 2,600 employees to its new corporate campus, overseeing its $23 million investment program and helping developing Epic’s charitable-giving program; and serving as a consultant. He also taught at the LaFollette School of Public Affairs, leading graduate seminars in public finance, public management, and public personnel practices.
In 2011, Soglin again ran for Mayor of Madison, winning a close race against a two-term incumbent. He was re-elected by a record setting margin in 2015. Mayor Soglin announced his candidacy for Wisconsin Governor in January, 2018.