Celebrating Latino Heritage Month with LPA
Focused on Constituent Service
Christian Albouras is the 20th District Alder for the
city of Madison and an executive director over
some some examining boards at the WI Dept. of
Safety and Professional Services
realizes it is difficult — if not impossible — for him to intricately know everything that is going on in the district. Albouras is counting on his constituency to
keep him informed.

“I’ve learned a lot based on what constituents have brought to my attention,” Albouras said. “I think that is a big opportunity for the council, encouraging
residents of their districts to reach out to them. As an alder, you don’t necessarily know all of the issues. You know what your principles are. You know what
you care about. And you know what you want to see have happen in a positive sense for the district. But you really need that constituent feedback because
there are certain things that you would just not know unless the information is brought before you. What I’ve tried to do intentionally is empower the residents
of District 20. I welcome that feedback. I welcome whatever they want brought to my attention, whatever it is that they are facing. I want them to bring those to
me. I try to be intentional about that because if I am informed of the various issues that are important to my constituents, I can work with city staff to provide
Part 2 of 2
By Jonathan Gramling

Christian Albouras, city of Madison District 20 alder and an executive director with the WI Dept. of
Safety and Professional Services, was born and raised on the city of Milwaukee’s west side, growing
up in a predominantly African American and Euro-American neighborhood while also staying close to
the Latino community through his many visits to his relatives’ south side neighborhoods. All of these
experiences forged Albouras into a congenial person who is able to work with people from many
different backgrounds.

On April 2, 2019, Albouras was elected to Madison’s common council representing a district on the far
side of Madison. And Albouras believes in collaboration as a means to get things done for his district
and the city as a whole.

“We are the policy makers for the city,” Albouras said. “And so I think the opportunity is to have a joint
vision with other alders who say, ‘Okay, what are some key aspects of the community that we want to
change and impact,’ and then rallying behind that. I found working with the alders that are adjacent to
me has been very, very rewarding. What impacts District 19 impacts District 20. Whatever impacts
District 20 impacts District 1. I’ve seen a great opportunity to get to know my neighboring alders, work
on common issues and try to bring resolution to those issues.”

Albouras has especially found common cause with some fellow west side alders.

Albouras represents a diverse district in terms of income and racial/cultural background. And so he
that constituent with more information or bring an impactful resolution to that
concern or it needs to be researched further to see what we can do. I think that is
a big opportunity, empowering constituents not only of District 20, but also all
districts to bring their concerns to our attention. That will make us aware and as
nimble and responsive to those concerns as possible.”

With the council and committee meetings, meetings within his district, meeting
constituent concerns and paying attention to citywide issues, being an alder could
readily absorb all of Albouras’ time leading to quick burn-out. Albouras is trying to
remain disciplined.

“One of the challenges is for someone like me, I like to do a job well,” Albouras
emphasized. “I think there is always the challenge of managing your time and
having a healthy balance in life for your professional career, aldermanic duties
and a present family member. And you also have to take care of your personal
health within that equation. I feel like I’ve gotten a real strong sense as to where
my balance is. I’m continuing to refine that and having healthy feedback from my
family doesn’t hurt. I’ve heard it from some of the other council members as well
that is a tough thing to manage. While the aldermanic pay comes in a part-time
fashion, the actual duties and responsibility can take on a full-time life of its own.
That challenge is always present.

From my perspective, I think it is important that a good alder has certain core
values and principles. They are weighing those with the feedback to determine
where the district is on the issue. It really comes down to having your core
principles and values, but also having the best interests of District 20 in mind
when making those decisions. For me, sometimes that can be challenging when
making a decision. But I think that when you have those two things in mind with
every decision, it should make those tough decisions a lot easier.”

One of the best decisions that Albouras ever made, in his view, was to move to
Madison for love and professional opportunity. And it has been paying dividends
for him.

“I just want to thank the greater Madison community for being so supportive of
the vision that I shared when I ran for District 20,” Albouras said. “I think my
experience in Madison has just been one of a very warm and welcoming
community. From my perspective, it has allowed me to thrive and grow. I just
want to thank our greater Madison community for offering that supportive
environment.”

It’s an environment that he is now partially responsible to nurture as a Madison
alder.