Recognized as a leader in criminal justice reform, mental health, and
fair housing; Bayrd has served for 16 years
Supervisor Carousel Bayrd has announced she will not seek re-election this spring.
First elected in 2006, Bayrd has been a leader on the board in criminal justice reform, access to mental health services, and affordable housing. Bayrd is one of the Board’s longest serving women members. Among her numerous legislative accomplishments are:
- Chaired Fines and Fees Subcommittee, one of the first efforts in the nation to take a comprehensive review and intentionally dismantle fines and fees in civil/criminal system that keep individuals in debt. Authored ordinances to eliminate burdensome and counter-productive fees in the juvenile and adult criminal justice system
- Expanded community court, drug court, and community service alternatives to sentencing in order to help reduce the jail population
- Helped pilot and create independent, racially neutral bail assessors to reform the bail system
- Supported mental health first responders as alternatives to policing, including training and support for 911 staff to dispatch mental health first responders
- Instrumental in the Board’s work to create and fund a Mental Health Crisis Center.
- Advocated successfully for the expansion and creation of affordable housing to replace Westgate mall
- Authored Dane County’s right to breastfeed Ordinance
- Authored Dane County’s policy ensuring county staff did not coordinate with ICE and deportation efforts during the Trump Administration
Bayrd has held a number of leadership roles on the Board. She served as Vice Chair of the Board under two different Board Chairs and was a member of the Executive Committee for 10 years. She chaired the Fines and Fees Subcommittee in addition to several other subcommittee. She has also been the Board’s representative on the Dane County Housing Authority Board, Community Action Coalition, Dane Arts, Mental Health Workgroup, the City of Madison Education Committee, and more.
“It has been an honor to be a Supervisor and I am grateful for the opportunity to help make Dane County a more just and equitable place,” said Bayrd. “There is more always more work to do on the issues I care deeply about, and I am looking forward to continuing to serve in other capacities.”
Bayrd is a civil rights and tenant rights attorney with Community Justice where she works as part of a team of lawyers supporting tenants and providing legal representation against evictions. She also serves as President of the Board of Jewish Social Services (JSS) the only agency in Madison actively engaged in resettling Afghan Refugees. Bayrd is also the host of “A Public Affair,” a weekly talk radio show on WORT 89.9FM.
“Carousel has been an integral part of the Board’s work in critical areas,” said former Board member and State Representative Dianne Hesselbein. “Her commitment to equity and her ability to find a path forward on difficult issues has made a difference in the lives of our neighbors and in the future of our County. I am excited to see what she does next, and I know she’ll never stop making positive change happen.”
Bayrd was recognized with the NAMI Dane County’s Community Citizen Award (2016) and the Woman of Commitment Leadership Award by Wisconsin Alliance for Women’s Health (2013). She was also the recipient of the Dane County Bar Association Pro-Bono Award (2020) for her volunteer legal representation of students facing expulsion.
Candidates for County Board have until January 4, 2022 to submit nomination signatures. If more than two candidates run in a district, there will a primary on February 15, 2022 with the top two vote-getters advancing to the primary on April 5, 2022. The election is non-partisan.