Dave Cieslewicz (chess LEV ich) was first elected Mayor of Madison in April, 2003, re-elected to a second term in April, 2007 and served until 2011. As Mayor, Cieslewicz has focused primarily on public safety and provision of quality basic services for Wisconsin's fastest-growing city.
Cieslewicz used his Taxpayer Relief through Innovative Measures (TRIM) initiative to improve the quality of city services while reducing costs to taxpayers. He implemented Madison Measures, a performance measurement and benchmarking system to frame policy discussions, make budget decisions and illustrate the success of City programs. This sound fiscal management has resulted in Madison being one of the few cities in America with a "Aaa" bond rating.
Cieslewicz has also focused on getting results to resolve long-standing debates. After 60 years of discussion, he got Madison's first public swimming facility - the Goodman Pool - built, with the generous help of the Goodman Brothers and numerous other community donors. He also led the fight to unify the City and County Health Departments to improve the quality of service to city residents, after 15 years of debate on that issue.
Public safety has been a top priority for Mayor Cieslewicz. Recognizing that public safety is not only a law enforcement concern, he championed initiatives to prevent crime. His Emerging Neighborhoods Fund provides early resources to help neighborhoods address the root causes of crime and poverty before they become more serious. The Fund provides grants for youth centers, job training and other activities.
Madison has one of the strongest economies in the nation, and Cieslewicz has pursued many initiatives to build on that strength. He reinvigorated the Economic Development Committee, is developing a "one-stop shop" to simplify the development process, and provided startup funding for job training programs to ensure local employers have access to the skilled workforce they need. He organized the city's first-ever Small Business Conference, connecting local entrepreneurs with information and city leaders to help them prosper and grow in Madison.
Promoting Madison's environmental activism, Cieslewicz was one of the first mayors in America to sign on to the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement to reduce Madison's greenhouse gas emissions. He has developed the "Building a Green Capital City" plan for sustainability, purchased the city's first hybrid diesel-electric buses, and created a new position in city government focused solely on sustainability issues. Under the Mayor's leadership,
Madison was one of the first cities in the nation to adopt "The Natural Step" program to enhance the sustainability of City operations and facilities.
Cieslewicz has embraced the growing dynamism and diversity of Madison. He championed creation of a Department of Civil Rights to raise the profile of diversity issues in the community. In conjunction with members of the Commission on People with Disabilities, he pursued major initiatives such as the Summit on Accessible Housing.
Before becoming Mayor, Cieslewicz was the co-founder and first executive director of 1000 Friends of Wisconsin, a non-profit research and advocacy organization focusing on land use and transportation. Before that he was Director of Government Relations for The Nature Conservancy, which followed his service as chief of staff in a state senate office and work for the Assembly Natural Resources Committee.
Born in 1959 and raised in West Allis, Wisconsin, Cieslewicz is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin in Madison. About once a month you can find him playing Sheepshead with friends at the Memorial Union. He lives in the Regent Neighborhood on Madison's west side with his wife Dianne.