On December 27, 2014, Brandi Grayson addressed a crowd of almost a thousand as they blocked traffic on Madison’s East Washington Avenue. The Young Gifted and Black Coalition organized dozens of similar protests in the wake of a Race to Equity report that condemned racial disparities in Madison and Dane County and later, in response to the shooting of Tony Robinson by Madison Police officer Matt Kenny. Among the group’s demands: the cancellation of plans to build a new Dane County jail, which disproportionately houses black residents. Two and a half years later, we can look back and say that YGB partially succeeded — Dane County dropped jail expansion plans from its capital budget, but the jail study went forward. Architects Mead and Hunt released their Dane County jail study last month, which calls for closing the 1954-vintage jail cells in the City County Building and consolidating jail services in the newer Public Safety Building. Brandi Grayson spoke to Monday Buzz host Brian Standing on May 30, 2016.
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