Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Melissa Baldauff
Friday, 07 June 2013 11:56
OCONOMOWOC - As Democratic Party members from across Wisconsin gather this weekend at our annual convention they will do so at an important time for our party. Since there's no such thing as an "off" year when Scott Walker is in power, the Democratic Party of Wisconsin is aggressively building for the future through its 72 County Strategy while celebrating the past, and continuing to learn from it.
The 72 County Strategy is born of an unprecedented number of listening sessions across the state and a thorough review of lessons learned throughout 2011 and 2012. Just one year ago prognosticators could not have imagined a scenario whereby President Obama would win Wisconsin by even more than his impressive margin in 2008 and Tammy Baldwin would knock off former Governor Tommy Thompson, a four time statewide winner, to make history as the United States’ first openly gay Senator. These impressive victories at the top of the ticket bode well for future successes for Democrats up and down the ballot in Wisconsin.
Through careful analysis of the Obama and Baldwin victories, with the input of Party members from each of Wisconsin’s eight congressional districts, the Democratic Party has embraced the following findings of our review of 2011 and 2012.
Wisconsin is a swing state, not a red state, and Wisconsinites cast significantly more votes for Democrats statewide in the last election.
State legislative districts are less favorable to Democrats after GOP-controlled redistricting, but we can win back the state Senate and make significant gains in the state Assembly if we start working in 2013.
Doing this work in 2013 - talking to voters, training our grassroots leaders, recruiting and supporting local candidates and building up a local media presence - will not only help all Democratic candidates win in 2014, but will help us build our long-term strength for 6, 8 and 10 years down the road.
This work has to happen in each and every one of the 72 counties in our state.
In order to capitalize on the success that delivered Wisconsin’s 10 electoral votes for President Obama and sent Tammy Baldwin to the U.S. Senate, the state Party has moved to institutionalize the neighborhood-by-neighborhood, ward-by-ward team approach to organizing perfected by Obama for America, Organizing for America and the Democratic Party of Wisconsin in 2012. Specifically, the Party has already taken the following steps to harness the power of our activists in every single Wisconsin county to build for the future:
A) Placed staff on the ground earlier in the cycle than ever before through our Regional Political Director program which has ensured boots on the ground in the critical Chippewa Valley, Fox Valley and Southwestern Wisconsin regions. B) Committed to, and begun planning for, April 2014 elections in order to continue to build the Democratic “bench” of proven progressive leaders and stress-test our infrastructure in ways previously unaffordable. C) Launched “Red to Blue Badgers” to bolster recruitment, and Democratic performance, in historically deep red legislative districts.
This weekend, as part of the state Party’s renewed focus on the future, we will showcase emerging leaders and “rising stars” both nationally and from the ranks of local Wisconsin electeds. San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, the youngest Mayor of a top 50 city in the United States and the Keynote Speaker at the 2012 Democratic National Convention, will headline Friday night at the State Convention. Saturday, the Party will showcase four rising stars who hold elected office at the local level so they can share their formulas for success.
The 72 County Strategy and emphasis on the future will define Wisconsin Democrats’ work throughout 2013, cementing the foundation already laid for success in the immediate future, 2014, and beyond.
The convention begins with a Democratic Unity Fair, today, June 7th at 2:00p.m.
Media is required to RSVP and sign-in at the event; email
WHAT: Democratic Party of Wisconsin State Convention WHEN: Friday, June 7th and Saturday, June 8th WHERE: Olympia Resort & Conference Center, 1350 Royale Mile Rd, Oconomowoc, WI 53066
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Melissa Baldauff
Wednesday, 05 June 2013 11:32
MADISON – The Democratic Party of Wisconsin today announced a slate of rising stars that will be showcased at this year’s state convention in Oconomowoc, which begins Friday, June 8th. These rising stars all currently hold local office and are poised to play prominent roles as members of the next generation of Wisconsin progressive leaders.
Saturday’s speakers join keynote speaker San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro in addressing Wisconsin Democrats, and underscore the Party’s continued emphasis on building the bench of leaders who will shape the next chapters in our progressive legacy.
Councilwoman Westlund represents the east side of Ashland on the City Council and is an EMERGE Wisconsin alumnae. As a small business owner, she works with local farmers, community groups, and other businesses to invigorate the local economy through creative problem solving. .
Westlund is a passionate conservationist, leading the charge to lessen reliance on fossil fuels and invest in the next generation of renewable energy sources which will power our future. In February, Westlund brought together more than 20 local officials to warn against the dangers of iron mining legislation. Given her proven ability to build coalitions and offer fresh perspectives to the challenges facing northern Wisconsin communities Westlund is a leader to watch.
Manitowoc Mayor Justin Nickels
Mayor Nickels defeated a 16-year incumbent to win a seat on the Manitowoc common council at the age of 18. After a stint as council president, Nickels was elected mayor in 2009, becoming one of the youngest full-time mayors in America.
Now 26, Nickels has worked across the aisle to find bipartisan solutions to problems, winning kudos for showing his commitment to debt reduction by lowering his own salary in order to help balance the books. Nickels strong work-ethic and ability to find common-sense solutions to problems has turned heads in Manitowoc for years and is a prime example of the impact young people can have in building stronger communities across Wisconsin.
Dane County Supervisor Sheila Stubbs
A veteran member of the Dane County Board of Supervisors, Mrs. Stubbs represents South Madison and the surrounding area. Commited to serving every resident, Shelia is playing a leading role in the effort to improve access to healthy food choices in Dane County as a way to reduce health care costs in the community, including working to bring a fresh food market to Madison’s Southdale neighborhood.
The only African-American on the Dane County Board, Stubbs is a champion for under served communities and is committed to tackling inequality wherever it exists. Through her leadership the challenges of economic and racial inequality are moving to the forefront as she and her peers work to solve these issues.
As a strong advocate who is never afraid to stand up and fight for justice and equality, Stubbs is an emerging leader for progressive values.
Racine Mayor John Dickert
A Racine native, John Dickert pours his loyalty to his city into his work every day on behalf of his constituents. Serving both Republicans and Democrats in state government, Dickert's ability to find commonsense, bipartisan solutions to problems is steadily moving Racine forward.
Elected Mayor in 2009, Dickert has brought a fresh new vision to the city. Through innovative thinking and smart outreach to the business community, Racine’s unemployment rate has fallen by 5% during Dickert's time in office. A member of the Board of Directors of the Great Lakes Dickert is passionate about preserving Lake Michigan and harnessing one of our state's greatest resources, our freshwater supply, into economic development.
Through his unwavering dedication to the people of Racine and leadership on issues ranging from smart transportation to economic development, Dickert is a prime example of the profound effect leadership at the local level can have in our communities.
Written by Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee
Monday, 03 June 2013 11:47
WASHINGTON - Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (DLCC) Executive Director Michael Sargeant released the following statement on the submission of petitions to recall Colorado Senate President John Morse (D-Colorado Springs).
“Senator Morse has dedicated his life to public service, having served as a police officer, detective and sergeant in Colorado Springs and as Chief of Police in Fountain. Later, as President and CEO of Silver Key Senior Services, Morse worked to ensure that aging seniors can live independently in their own homes for as long as possible.
“Now, extremists in Colorado want to waste hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars to recall Senator Morse, for the supposed 'malfeasance' of working to make his community safer. Because of Senator Morse' leadership this session, Colorado has enacted common sense gun safety legislation supported by more than 80% of Coloradans, increased the security and convenience of voting, ensured that children of immigrants have access to affordable education, and taken important steps toward equal rights for Colorado’s gay and lesbian couples.
“The DLCC is committed to making sure that public servants like Senator Morse, who have stood up for their communities in the face of powerful special interests, are not intimidated by radical groups who distort his record of improving the lives of Coloradans and making the communities in his district safer.”
MILWAUKEE - Citizen Action of Wisconsin released the following statement against LRB 1763, legislation being circulated by Rep. Jeff Stone (R-Greendale) which would have the impact of making it harder for many Wisconsinites to exercise their fundamental right to vote.
“Representative Stone is attacking the integrity of our elections by sponsoring a legislative package clearly intended to make it harder for many of Wisconsin’s most vulnerable citizens to exercise their right to vote,” said Anita Johnson, democracy and voting rights organizer for Citizen Action of Wisconsin. “We believe the election changes proposed by Rep. Stone, such as reducing the availability of early voting and enabling a voter ID requirement, are deliberate attempts to rig Wisconsin’s electoral system in conservatives’ favor,” continued Johnson.
“Wisconsinites know that voting is one of the most fundamental American freedoms. The denial of the right to vote is a denial of a core element of American citizenship. Given the paramount status of this right, voting should be as accessible as possible,” continued Johnson.
“Sadly, Rep. Stone want’s to take Wisconsin back to the ugly days where being low-income, elderly, homebound, or African-American meant having less access to our democracy. There are many issues that the people of Wisconsin need our legislators to focus their attention on. Wisconsin is 44th in the nation in job creation; we need to fix that. Wisconsin is primed to kick thousands of citizens off of Badgercare, while costing the state more money instead of accepting billions in federal medicaid dollars; we need to fix that. Wisconsin’s incredibly well run electoral system is not a problem we need to fix. Wisconsin has the second highest voter turnout in the entire country, which is an accomplishment we need to protect,” concluded Johnson.