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We accept guest blog posts!

Did you know that I Vote Madison accepts guest blog posts? If you have an opinion or concern or want to share your knowledge of a topic relating to Madison, writing for our blog might be the right outlet for you.

Skip to blogging guidelines

From the beginning, I Vote Madison has encouraged residents to speak out about matters that are important to them. For example, by delivering public comments at City Council meetings and communicating with their councilperson. We have also taken steps to amplify those voices.

I Vote Madison has encouraged and amplified the voices of residents by:

  1. Advocating that city meetings be recorded and archived and then filling gaps ourselves

  2. Making meeting minutes more accessible

  3. Advocating for remote public comments at City Council meetings

  4. Providing additional ways for residents to voice their opinions

Advocating that city meetings be recorded and archived and then filling gaps ourselves

Before we started our work, the only way the community could access the public comments given by other residents at City Council meetings or Board of Education meetings was to attend those meetings in person or watch them remotely in real-time via the city's livestreams. I Vote Madison took action so that the community could access public comments given at meetings in their entirety at any time. We advocated that the city begin recording meetings and archiving them for four years.

Since the city was not doing that and was providing resistance to our requests for them to do so, I Vote Madison decided one of our main roles was to fill that gap in accessibility and transparency ourselves. We began re-livestreaming City Council meetings and Board of Education meetings to Facebook, recording those livestreams, and then placing them on our YouTube channel indefinitely. The city is now recording City Council meetings, Zoning meetings, and Planning meetings and archiving them for four years. We will continue to encourage the city to make more meetings accessible.

Making meeting minutes more accessible

Residents can access the City Council meeting minutes via the city's website, but minutes are only required to reflect actions taken during the meeting and not what is communicated. One would be able to see who spoke during public comments and the subject of those comments, but sometimes not much more. We requested that meeting minutes include additional information so that they more accurately represent public comments.

Before I Vote Madison took action, if someone wanted to access meeting minutes from Board of Education meetings, they would need to submit a records request. Meeting minutes from main Board of Education meetings are now available on the district's website and date back to January 2022.

Advocating for remote public comments at City Council meetings

Allowing residents to contribute remotely during the public comment portion of City Council meetings is also something I Vote Madison has encouraged the city to do. During the pandemic in 2020 when many people were refraining from being around others, especially around others indoors, we thought the city should create ways for citizens to speak publicly without having to attend meetings in person. The city then began utilizing Zoom for this purpose, but it was only done for a few meetings.

Technical issues and a lack of human resources have been cited as reasons this did not remain an option. As of now, it appears that at least some of the technical issues have been fixed. Also, the latest city budget accounts for an additional communications position. An alternative to Zoom is allowing residents to call into council meetings via a phone system. The city utilizes this capability to communicate with consultants and other city leaders during meetings. I Vote Madison plans to revisit this issue and continue to encourage the city to make this available to residents.

Providing additional ways for residents to voice their opinions

When we re-livestream city meetings on Facebook, citizens have another avenue to publicly share their opinions. Residents can watch the meeting, comment, and chat with others in real time. Residents can also look back at the comments and discussions, and even leave additional comments after meetings since they remain on our timeline.

Welcoming guest posts for our blog is another way we can amplify the voices of residents. If you want to contribute to our blog by expressing your opinions, sharing your concerns, or advocating for or against an issue related to Madison, we want to hear from you.

Please read the guidelines below before submitting.


Guest Post Guidelines

The blog is an extension of our organization and reflects our values; therefore, guest submissions must:

  • Relate to Madison, Alabama

  • Be nonpartisan in nature (not from a stance of one political party or another)

  • Avoid polarizing language such as broad labels like "liberal" and "conservative"

  • Not contain defamation or ad hominem

  • Not include discriminatory statements about someone or a group of people based on their race, ethnicity, sex, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, or religion, and do not support a cause that negatively targets anyone or any group based on those things listed

If you are interested in submitting your writing for publication, please take these steps:

  1. After reviewing the guidelines above, please submit your blog post to (please use "guest blog post" in the subject line). You may include it in the body of the email, in a PDF attachment, or in a link to a Google Doc. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions.

  2. We'll get back to you if we have any concerns, and we'll contact you to let you know when we are publishing it or if we have denied your submission.

  3. Your blog will be published on our site and will be tagged as a guest post and have a disclaimer at the beginning making it clear that it is a guest blog post and does not necessarily reflect the views of I Vote Madison.

  4. We will announce on Facebook, Instagram, and Nextdoor that a new blog post has been published and provide a link.

Note that I Vote Madison may choose if and when to publish guest blog posts.

If you have any questions, feel free to email us or message us on social media.

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