Emily Kuhn For WI Middleton Mayor

Vote Emily Kuhn for Mayor, April 4th!

Experience in Leading People and Projects

If elected Mayor, I want to focus on

  • The Environment

    • The Conservancy & Parks
    • Mass Transit
    • Biking Commuter Trails

  • Housing & Jobs

    • Affordable starter homes & condos
    • Host a conference on Housing & Jobs

  • Public Safety

    • Supporting Firefighters, EMS, & local police

Emily Kuhn For WI Middleton Mayor My name is Emily Kuhn and I am running to be the next Mayor of the City of Middleton. I am running because I care about our neighbors that live and work in the city. I work as a Project Manager for the federal government; I have over 20 years of federal budget experience and managed both people and projects. I serve as a City Councilwoman for District 4 - Lakeview Park area. I moved to Middleton with my husband, Sam, to raise our children, Tom and Annika.

The Committees that I serve on include the Stormwater Utility Board, Commission on Aging, Personnel Committee, Finance Committee, and Public Safety Committee; previously I chaired the Public Safety Committee. I have also served on the Arts Committee and Workforce Housing.

My volunteer work includes

  • Treasurer of the Sauk Trail PTO,
  • A Sunday School Teacher at Middleton Community Church,
  • A member of the Chamber of Commerce,
  • A volunteer at arts events in the city.

Emily Kuhn is endorsed by

  • SCFL and the WI AFL-CIO
  • State Senator Dianne Hesselbein
  • State Representative Alex Joers
  • State Representative Mike Bare
  • Sheriff Kalvin Barrett
  • County Supervisor Holly Hatcher
  • Former Mayor Judy Karofsky
  • Former Candidate for Mayor Kurt Paulsen
  • Jessica Katzenmeyer
  • Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin (PPAWI)

The Environment

I am running to support the environment, both everyday conservation and to ensure flood mitigation techniques systematically across the city.

For everyday conservation, we all need to live by our goals to reduce our carbon footprint, recycle more, use less energy, and help our neighbors out. Our family went from a 2 car family to a 1 car family. My husband bikes our daughter to music class and to get groceries. I walk for groceries and to coffee meetings; my goal in 2023 is to bike to City Council meetings routinely.

The 2018 flood brought the floodwaters from across the city to the Lakeview Park area creating millions of dollars of damage for the city along the creek corridor and for residents alike. In order to prepare for the next 1,000 year flood, we need to look at storm water utility and ensure mitigation is occurring across the city. There are many neighborhoods that were affected by the 2018 flood and share the same concerns.

The Conservancy & Parks

My family and I often hike the north loop of the Conservancy and visit Orchid Park, as well as other parks all around the city. We live near Lakeview Park and enjoy it throughout the year. I would like to ensure that we continue to support the Conservancy and the park system to celebrate the community’s walking paths, tree canopies, and greenspace. I want to ensure we are continuing to invest funds in planting more prairie grass and oak savannas and removing invasive plants.

Mass Transit

Mass transit is very important part of sustainability to ensure a growing city can absorb new residents and not add lanes to roads or pollution with added cars to streets; the right design protects the environment and saves tax dollars long-term. The bus line needs to be well designed for workers that live throughout the community in balance with the need to quickly move throughout the city to obtain local services.

I recommend that the city request adding a commuter rail option at the county level for UW games and encourage riders to park and ride at Greenway Station, pick up visitors downtown Middleton to ride to the games on campus, reduce traffic on University and quickly and safely bringing residents to the games and returned. I would support the county to have the UW game commuter rail continue on to the Isthmus and Sun Prairie to reduce traffic and pollution across the county on game days. Furthermore, I support a long-term usage of the commuter rail for daily commutes to the UW Campus, the Isthmus, future Amtrak station, the airport, and on to Sun Prairie to increase ridership across the county; reducing congestion on University to allow local bus, BRT, and car traffic on the road. Both bus service and commuter rail are a part of multi-modal transportation.

Biking Commuter Trails

As a part of multi-modal transportation, I feel the city needs to commit to safe biking commuter trails. The current University bike path is not safe enough for me to ask my children to ride on it. For everyday commuters, I assume they have the same issues in trying to get to work safely and return. I feel that we need to mimic the commuter bike path on Allen Boulevard with a separated bike path from the road. I would like a biking commuter trail going north and south on the western side of the city to parallel Allen Boulevard. The current bike paths are wonderful and tend to be inside the Conservancy, sharing the trail with walking and biking enthusiasts. I feel biking commuters need a more direct route and separating out the biking commuters may relieve some walking and biking traffic in our beautiful hiking paths.

Notably, I would like the Allen Boulevard bike path to be completed, as it ends near the Mid-Town Pub. As a mom with a running double Burley, I can tell you it is challenging to navigate the end point of Allen Boulevard’s bike path; new users of the path may be surprised and try to find the next bike path on Century, either moving to the road or continuing on the sidewalk.

To learn more about Bike and Pedestrian Friendly Neighborhoods, click Bike Pedestrian.

Housing & Jobs

Emily Kuhn - Jousing & Jobs

I have been talking to a lot of residents about housing and jobs, particularly jobs for young people seeking careers. Many residents are wanting to move from the apartments into starter homes, due to lack of housing available, they are considering moving to other nearby cities.

Many residents are noting their concerns of the many apartment complexes being built throughout the city in the last 5 years. In balance with these buildings, I feel that sustainability practices include high density development is critical to sustainable and fit in neighborhoods like transit corridors on Allen Boulevard and University Avenue (eastern border near Madison). At the same time, I feel the city should review the buildings developed in the last 10 years to ensure affordable housing was created. Meanwhile, the city should pivot to encouraging developers and landowners to move towards affordable starter homes, duplexes, townhomes & condos.

Senior housing is also in demand across the city as many seniors want to stay in the community and near their neighbors. Encouraging developers to build quality senior apartments and condos or small homes in the next 5 years; near community resources will help our seniors engage in the city and with neighbors, and help provide options. Those that choose to move into Senior housing, when available, will create a vacancy chain for working families and young couples looking for a home.

Host a conference on Housing & Jobs

I want to host a conference for stakeholders to discuss affordable housing, including business leaders, real estate agents, transportation planners, workforce housing experts, senior housing experts, city staff, & elected officials at the city & county level to work together to communicate and create robust housing options in land use planning.

Public Safety

Emily Kuhn - Public Safety

The city needs to continue to support our firefighters, EMS, & local police. I am grateful for the resident’s support of our public safety staff and initiatives, including the annual Battle of the Badges and National Night Out, as well as the K-9 program and recent referendum passing to add 2 Middleton police officers. As a city, we need to maintain services and work cooperatively.

In 2002, I presented on my survey research at the National Transportation Research Board (NTRB) on emergency responders, use of technology, and communication after the first hour of a car accident; working cooperatively demonstrated greatly improved outcomes.

In 2015, I became a MOMS Demand activist hoping to increase awareness on gun safety and went to the State Legislature on the activist day to request support along with hundreds of other moms, dads, uncles, aunts, grandmas, grandpas, and neighbors. I went again on or around 2019 and attended online in 2020.

Emily Kuhn - Volenteer

In 2018, I chaired the Public Safety Committee as part of my City Council duties. I worked with the former Police Chief, Chuck Faulke, to set the agenda and work with the members during the meeting. Members asked for more data and reports evolved; many member shared a concern about inequality. The local police shared training topics, use of video cameras, trend analysis, and welcomed ways to communicate with our residents. In raising my children, I asked them to consider donating their piggy bank funds to the new K-9 program in support of Szeci. It is an annual event in our household.

The Flood of 2018 greatly impacted the majority of the city on that day; in the district it continued to impact residents for many weeks and months after. I saw the great efforts to ensure safety by our emergency responders on that day and asked residents of the district to send in “thank you” notes to them and to city staff that provided other services during the 1,000 year rain event and in the days after clean up.

In 2018, after the active shooter incident in Middleton, I asked the Mayor to sign the “Mayor’s Proclamation Against Illegal Guns.” The Mayor agreed and held a ceremony that I attended, along with activists and the former Police Chief Chuck Faulke. I also organized a town hall with county and state representatives, along with other Moms Demand Activists, to help concerned residents learn more information.

Emily Kuhn - Emergency Workers & Fire Department

In 2021, I met with the County Sheriff Kalvin Barrett on speeding in the transit corridor; requesting county collaboration, data analytics, and nearby municipalities to work together on car thefts in the county. The car thefts dropped in Middleton in the weeks and months after our meeting.

I continue to serve on Public Safety Committee and appreciate the hard every day work of our firefighters, EMS, and local police. On Finance, I keep a keen eye on the needs to keep technology up to date, resources & training, and staffing. When emergencies arrive, I want our emergency responders ready.

Bike and Pedestrian friendly neighborhoods

I went to grad school at the Humphrey Institute at the University of Minnesota where I received my Masters is in Public Policy with a focus on Economic Development. During the day, the professors sat me alongside Urban Planners to learn the latest in city planning and street design. It was here that I learned that policy and the funding of the policy needed to be prioritized for bike paths, walking paths, and traffic (car) calming solutions, along with support for mass transit on main corridors with the goal of sustainable transportation modes (environmental friendly) and calming traffic corridors to ensure livable neighborhood for residents in the area. I gravitated to this multi-modal transportation concept, as I was an exchange student in Madrid, Spain in high school for a summer. I was surprised at how much more Europeans walk, bike, and use mass transit than in the Midwest. I was also surprised at how much more connected I was to my new community when I walked around daily and seeing others walking too.

In the Lakeview Park area, I requested as Alder to slow down traffic on Allen Boulevard:

  • Updated signs for speeding (the county manages this road and responded that Allen was missing 50% of the signs; they installed these missing signs about 6 months ago; traffic is slowing as a result);
  • Flashing speed signs (solar - allowed within so many # of feet of a school) to notify drivers of their current speed versus the speed limit (this seems to be a great tool to slow speeders);
  • Kids at play signs (residents put them up themselves, but we should circle back as the city to install); crossing lights at big intersections without traffic lights (on Allen – at Lakeview Park and at Marshall Park).

Currently, I feel that Middleton is very car centric in its current layout and I envision an adoption of the “Complete Streets” policy for the main traffic corridors to encourage mass transit usage, wider walking paths, and bike commuter trails for riders. An example is uniting Greenway Station to Downtown Middleton in a pedestrian friendly manner. I recently walked this corridor at rush hour and felt unsafe trying to cross High’s on-ramp and walking under the very loud overpass; crossing again the off-ramp to Greenway Station. I think that redesigning the underpass to move the sidewalk further away from the road would be step 1 in the process. Step 2 is creating a true bike path moving traffic from High to Greenway Station so that we create a shopping corridor for residents on both sides of the Beltline.

University Avenue

I want to slow traffic down by design on University Avenue; creating a real bike lane (separated by grass, etc.) and have the walking lane wide enough for a double stroller and walked to pass. As part of my vision for the city, I am asking for a tree line boulevard design on University to slow traffic down naturally, just as I requested adding trees to Mendota Avenue in Lakeview Park to mirror the trees on the other side of the street to create a canopy. This boulevard concept would slow car traffic by design, encourage walking and biking, and create an atmosphere where residents can meander to small businesses, restaurants, and cafes along University, as more apartments are being built towards the Madison border; bridging the edge and high density area towards downtown. Newer residents want to walk to get coffee or go for dinner; a strolling corridor would pull residents towards downtown Middleton to support the local economy. I would also like it to be a destination for residents living in the northern and southern parts of the district; strolling University would create less pressure on people to drive downtown and park on streets nearby; allowing the residents that live in and near downtown the neighborhood that is safe and beautiful for their children to play and to walk and bike around.

Bike Lanes on Elmwood

I think that Elmwood Avenue is the obvious choice for an east/west bike lane, since University Avenue is not safe for bikers in current conditions. Elmwood Avenue has speeders on the eastern side coming from the Madison border with parking on the street infrequent. I would recommend adding a painted bike path to Park Street (eastern 60%) – or all the way to downtown to normalize biking expectations for drivers. Notably, Bike, Pedi, Transit Committee recently denied the bike lane on Elmwood (100% of the road) due to the need for parking, except the parking demands are only in the 5 block radius of downtown, not the entire avenue. The “Complete Streets” policy notes that there should be a flexible approach; not 1 size fits all. I feel that if the parking is a need for say – downtown – then the bike path can turn southbound and connect to another bike lane. Again, if the parking garage is designed well downtown and is prioritized, then the parking reason that impedes the bike lane on Elmwood downtown will no longer be an issue; the bike lane can occur all thru the Elmwood corridor.


At doors, I have talked to families that live on the northeast side of the city; some of them informed me that they plan to move with the loss of the bus line, except that they are struggling to find affordable housing within walking distance of the bus line here in Middleton. The next idea to drive to downtown Middleton and park and ride. With parking already challenging downtown, the city needs to plan for increased parking demands.

The suggestions for these bike and pedestrian upgrades should be applied in other parts of the city for main corridors, like north/south roads, with thoughtful planning and citizen input, particularly biking and walking enthusiasts.