Posted by Priscilla Thain

November 19 speaker Jason Ilstrup, President, Downtown Madison and Bruce Harville, Program chair.

Jason Ilstrup, President of Downtown Madison, Inc. , has a law degree from Minnesota,  and is the former general manager of Hotel Red.  Downtown Madison, Inc.  (DMI) is a not-for-profit, membership organization and the voice of the central city.  Formed more than 45 years ago, DMI advocates for the health and vitality of downtown Madison and exists because of and for its members.  Businesses, residents, non-profit organizations and local government agencies provide their expertise to help accomplish DMI’s mission and work on projects, initiatives and membership programs.
Downtown Madison extends from the Yahara River to Hotel Red.  The Central Business District Improvement is a sister organization.  More people are moving downtown, Jason said and retail space and the number of hotel rooms are growing.  Among the challenges are transportation, especially for the service sector, affordable housing, and the quality of life and safety.  The parking ramps are never full, he said.  DMI has seven standing committees working on these and other problems.   They look to other models in similar cities, such as Grand Rapids, Greenville, North Carolina, Austin, Texas, Pittsburgh, and Minneapolis.
Our thanks to Jason Ilstrup for his work caring for our central city and for his presentation.