On March 3, 2021, the Monona City Council adopted Resolution 21-3-2470, establishing an ad-hoc workgroup on diversity and equity issues. The charge of this workgroup is to determine a plan to ensure that Monona makes a long-term commitment to racial and social justice and equity both at city hall and in the community at large.
Official Statement on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
The Monona City Council adopted the following city-wide statement on diversity, equity, and inclusion on April 19, 2021:
The City of Monona is committed to welcoming all people - regardless of their race, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or ability - and foster a sense of belonging and opportunity across our community and among our staff. Together we strive to remove barriers to living, working, and thriving in our city because we believe that diverse perspectives make Monona a great place to visit and call home.
Resolution Repudiating Racist Covenants in Local Property Records
On January 18th, the City Council adopted Resolution No. 22-1-2529 which formally repudiated racially restrictive covenant language which still exists in some property deed records in Monona and Dane County. Although this language is morally repugnant and has no basis in law, having been deemed unenforceable by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1948, it remains on the deed records in some neighborhoods. Since property laws are governed by state law, cities are pre-empted from creating any local ordinance that would formally amend these deed documents. Instead, property owners that find this language still existing on their deed records can record a statement of repudiation. The Ad-Hoc Workgroup on Diversity and Equity Issues has been researching this topic, and understands that the Dane County Register of Deed’s Office is working on a free, searchable database for property owners to view their deed documents to determine if racially restrictive covenant language exists on their deed. The Ad-Hoc Workgroup and the City Council will continue to advocate to Dane County and the State Legislature for a change in state law to allow property owners to easily change these documents. We will provide residents with more information on this effort as it is available.
An example of language that property owners could be used to repudiate existing racially restrictive covenant language is:
“We, [name], owners of the property at [address], acknowledge that this deed is subject to an unenforceable, unlawful, restriction or covenant excluding residents based on race, from this neighborhood. We repudiate this clause and state that we welcome with enthusiasm and without reservation neighbors of all races and ethnicities.”