Carousel Bayrd

Carousel Bayrd is a partner at the law firm Herrick and Kasdorf. She practices in both public policy / advocacy and plaintiff-side civil rights litigation including employment and housing discrimination and landlord/tenant law. Carousel is a licensed lobbyist for the State of Wisconsin, and she has successfully advocated for and against many bills at the capitol on behalf of many organizations. Carousel also leads YWCA Madison’s advocacy team, advancing racial justice and housing rights on the local, state, and national level.

Prior to joining Herrick and Kasdorf, Carousel worked as a civil rights attorney in New York City, litigating employment discrimination and police misconduct cases. In Madison, she served as the Prisoner Litigation Staff Attorney for Dane County Circuit Court, working on hundreds of cases annually from Wisconsin inmates alleging civil rights violations. She also taught Legal Research and Writing at UW Madison Law School.

Carousel is an elected official, serving since 2006 on the Dane County Board of Supervisors. On the County Board, she focuses on criminal reform, racial justice, immigrant’s rights, mental health services, and alternatives to incarceration, along with housing and women's rights. She has authored or co-sponsored hundreds of pieces of county legislation.

Carousel also hosts "A Public Affair" an in-depth current affairs talk-radio show every Tuesday on WORT, Madison's Community Radio Station. Carousel expressly aims to bring the voices and perspectives of those underrepresented in the media.

NAMI Dane County awarded Carousel the Community Citizen Award in 2016 for her advocacy to keep people with mental illness out of the criminal justice system. In 2013, Carousel was awarded the Woman of Commitment Leadership Award by the Wisconsin Alliance for Women's Health for her advocacy for women's rights. And in 2011, Carousel was a finalist for top local elected official for the Wisconsin Democratic Party’s Eleanor Roosevelt Award. She was also awarded Advocate of the Year by Madison Dane County Public Health in 2008 for her work on breastfeeding and family leave county legislation.

In addition to her County Board service, Carousel is a Board Member of Forward Theater Company of Madison and an Advisory Board member for the Greater Madison Fair Housing Council. She formerly served as Board Chair and Interim Executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Wisconsin Foundation and as Board Chair of Emerge Wisconsin (which trains women to run for public office).

Carousel is a strong advocate for Madison public schools. She was a co-chair of CAST (Communities and Schools Together), which oversaw the overwhelmingly successful passage of a community referendum in 2015. She is an active PTO board member at Van Hise Elementary School, a Madison Public School, where her children attend.

In 2000, Carousel graduated cum luade from the University of Minnesota Law School. She earned two bachelor’s degrees, in Political Science and in Print Journalism, from Boston University in 1994.

Carousel lives in Madison with her husband Tim Sobota, her two smart daughters Cassandra and Mari, and the family dog Lucky.