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Eli's Goodbye Letter to CANA

Hi Neighbors!

I will no longer be the President of CANA and will be taking on a new role this fall. I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to you all for caring about the Campus Area Neighborhood Association’s success and growth. I would like to wish CANA all the best as the new Exec Board starts a new chapter in the CANA book. I have deep faith and trust in the new board as they embark on their journey leading CANA. You got this Tanner, Jason, Tyler and future appointees!

Over the past three years at CANA, I have had the joy of seeing CANA go from the seedling in the brains of a bunch of ambitious students to a prominent name in the downtown advocacy sphere in Madison. The past years have not only brought tremendous growth for CANA but tremendous growth for me as a person. This was only possible with the amazing teams I have been a part of and the motivation and energy people bring to every meeting. I would be remiss not to acknowledge the previous President, Amol Goyal, who encouraged me to take on this role and Cleo who has been my CANA rock as we somehow carried this organization through the pandemic to where it is today. Neighborhood engagement work is not always easy and can be a thankless position at times but seeing the joy and power in people's faces at events and their first times speaking at city meetings continues to fuel my fire to this day.

CANA created a space for me and other neighbors to think critically about our community while having fun and experiencing many emotions in the process. It is surreal to think we collectively have seen and stewarded through our neighborhood steering committees over a HALF A BILLION dollars worth of real estate development over the past three years. The campus area is growing and we are all a part of that. This role in the pandemic felt like an immense and daunting task at times but you all made it a lot easier. I credit the tenacious people of the Campus Area who balance busy lives that include work, school, advocacy, and fun while giving back to the community through volunteering with us. I am proud to have made many new friends over the years and help strengthen community partnerships to help our downtown community move toward a more healthy downtown that celebrates art, community and culture.

Do not worry! I will not be leaving downtown just moving over to the First Settlement Neighborhood. 😅I will be taking a new volunteer position as President of Capitol Neighborhood Inc. and will continue to help us push downtown to become a more healthy place where people can live their best life. I will be around to help support the transition of leadership at CANA so the coming board is successful and feels prepared to embark on their new journey, too. I will also support the existing steering committees because as you all know development doesn’t seem to end.

CANA will always have a special place in my heart and you all will too. There is now doubt you will see me around downtown, so feel free to say hi and indulge me with your thoughts about our neighborhoods.

Finally, I would like to share this with you all. I was lucky enough to have a full circle moment this past week as my final interview with The Badger Herald was eerily familiar to my first interview as President in the Cap Times/ Wisconsin State Journal in 2021 (see articles below). We set out on a mission to make students and young people heard and made it happen together. 🤝Please, help me in keeping up the energy and community power we share! Always remember the people make up downtown and we have the power to build our collective future together.

Cap Times/ Wisconsin State Journal (2021):

Badger Herald (2023):

Thank you all for everything! There have been so many people who have supported me with mentorship and advice that do not go unseen from all various downtown business owners and champions who accepted CANA with open arms to our seasoned neighbors of Madison who provide us immense historical knowledge of the city. Please, know I am forever grateful to you all and am excited to continue to partner with you in my next role!

All the best,

Eli Tsarovsky

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