Wednesday June 19, 2019

Forward with Education & Reason

Elections, Elected Officials and Political Parties
We Need to Stand Up for Public Education PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Sam Erickson   
Monday, 11 July 2016 10:29

middle-school-studentsRHINELANDER, WI – Recently, a memo from the Legislative Fiscal Bureau detailed that general school aid to public schools has been cut by $210 per pupil over the last six years. The memo also detailed that private school voucher funding has increased by $911 per pupil over the same period. These funds disproportionately go to the Milwaukee area, where roughly 85% of the vouchers are sent.

bryan-van-stippen“Public education has traditionally been a high priority in Wisconsin statewide, yet in recent years our public schools have been abandoned by legislators in Madison,” said Van Stippen in a statement on Wednesday. “Our representatives in Madison have left rural schools behind while funneling hard-earned taxpayer money into Milwaukee’s private schools. We must reverse this dangerous trend by reinvesting in our public schools so that every child can receive a quality education.”

Because of these education cuts, dozens of school districts around the state were forced to include referendums on their ballots in the recent April elections.

“Our families should not be forced to decide between paying more in local property taxes and cutting school resources. While it is good that local communities care about investing in quality education, the tragic part is that this money is not improving their school districts. Instead, this money is merely allowing the districts to stay afloat after Gov. Walker and the Legislature have cut so much of their funding,” Van Stippen said.

“It’s time for a complete reinvestment in public education so that we can attract and retain the state’s top talent, fill teaching vacancies across the state, and give our students the great education that they deserve,” Van Stippen concluded.


Bryan Van Stippen is running to represent the 12th Senate District in northern Wisconsin. Residents can learn more about Bryan at:

Update from DPW Chair, Martha Laning July 8 PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Martha Laning   
Saturday, 09 July 2016 08:22

martha-laningMADISON - This week I will address the multiple senseless killings we saw this week, an interview I had with WGTD, the continued efforts of Planned Parenthood, the importance of investing in early childhood education, properly funding Wisconsin's infrastructure, and Donald Trump's continued bigotry.


It’s been an emotional week for all of us as we seek to cope with the past three days of senseless violence that has gripped our nation and dominated news headlines.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile who joined a long list of law abiding African Americans unjustly killed by police solely for the crime of having darker skin. Again and again, we have seen the systemic racism in our country played out on the evening news in the form of another member of our community having their life taken for no reason.

Throughout our nation's history, we’ve taken to the streets, marching and protesting to highlight the need to transform policing in America. Last night in Dallas, people of all colors and creeds joined together to demonstrate the urgent need for justice, transparency, and accountability. The peaceful demonstration ended abruptly due to the actions of a lone gunman targeting caring police officers, killing five officers and injuring six others.

Police put their lives on the line each and every time they report to duty - their job is not an easy one. We grieve for the families of the Dallas police officers who were targeted while serving their community. The demonstrations happening around the country have been peaceful and focused on highlighting an important issue. We implore others to remember that violence is not the answer to the problems we face at this time.

Please, let me be clear, what we saw in Baton Rouge was an act of terror; what we saw in St. Paul was an act of terror, and what we saw last night in Dallas was an act of terror. We cannot abide by the status quo, continue to stoke flames of racial division, and turn a blind eye to the important business of making sure that our country is one that stands by its promise to ensure justice and equality for all.

To truly honor the lives of those taken from us through senseless violence this week, we need to come together to summon the political will to recognize injustice and to ensure that justice is truly for all.


This week I sat down with WGTD, an affiliate of NPR, to discuss our party’s goals going into the Democratic National Convention. Democrats across the state are standing strong and unified behind our shared common values, poised to win races up and down the ticket this November. The general election will pose a new challenge, but we are confident that Hillary Clinton will be the next President of the United States. The national convention will be an exciting opportunity for Democrats from all 50 states to come together in unity and show an outpouring of support for our nominee and the principles we all hold as Democrats. The nation will see our strength and dedication, and join us on this journey toward progress. The interview will air next week, and I will be sure to share a link with you all in next week’s update!


Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin and Democratic legislators are calling to repeal a section of Wisconsin’s abortion laws, which are nearly identical to those in Texas that the Supreme Court struck down for being unconstitutional. Just last week, the Supreme Court rejected Wisconsin’s appeal to reinstate a law requiring doctors who perform abortion to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals, with multiple justices citing our state’s law were almost the same as those in Texas. While the Supreme Court rejected Wisconsin’s appeal and the law is not legally binding, the law remains on the books. As stated by Planned Parenthood legal and policy associate Mel Barnes, the allowance of the law to stay in the books violates the civil liberties and dignity of Wisconsin women. The Supreme Court’s decision reminds us why it is so important we support Hillary Clinton and other Democrats. It is critical in order to protect women’s constitutional rights to safe and accessible contraceptive and reproductive health care and moving our society forward.


Psychology professor Seth Pollak and economist Barbara Wolfe recently conducted a study focusing on socioeconomic brain research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, which highlights the importance of early education. The study found that lags in the critical area of the brain, responsible for learning, memory, and comprehension, are linked to the 20 percent gap in test scores of low-income children. These findings suggest student’s ability to succeed in Elementary and Middle School relies on the student’s early education environment. Children that do not have a structured early education early in life, especially those growing up in poverty, could experience delayed brain development that significantly harms their educational progress. As we all know, a major key to success later in life is receiving a quality education when you are younger. It is imperative that regardless of a child’s zip code or their parents’ income they receive the quality education they deserve. Instead of slashing education budgets like we have seen over the past several years, we should be making the necessary investment in our future by properly funding our public education system. These findings prove the importantance and need of proper government funding to support early education programs, and ultimately, the prosperity and successful future of Wisconsinites.


Earlier this week, State Senator Janis Ringhand released an excellent statement demanding expansion of and investment in state infrastructure. Criticizing Scott Walker and legislative Republicans' do-nothing strategy concerning our roads, bridges, and highway system, Sen. Ringhand warns when we ultimately fix and upgrade our roads and bridges, the price tag will be much larger, to the tune of an excess of  $700 million that taxpayers will be on the hook for. Instead of being responsible and making the proper investments, Scott Walker and the Republicans are playing chicken with Wisconsinite’s safety and are ultimately going to cost the state far more money.

I agree with Sen. Ringhand: investing in Wisconsin's infrastructure shouldn’t be a partisan issue. Sen. Ringhand calls for us to adopt the local government model in order to work together and solve this crisis while simultaneously improving road safety and creating economic opportunities. For Governor Walker and legislative Republicans to let our crumbling infrastructure continue to deteriorate while motorist safety suffers and economic development opportunities are lost is simply irresponsible.


This week, Donald Trump tweeted out a picture of our presumptive presidential nominee for President, Hillary Clinton, using anti-Semitic imagery of money and the Star of David to call Secretary Clinton “corrupt.” After months and years of Donald Trump’s racism, anti-Semitism, misogyny, and bigotry, we now expect this from the Republican Party’s presidential nominee. What is surprising is that prominent Wisconsin Republicans continue to support such an abhorrent candidate. Gov. Walker, Sen. Johnson and Speaker Ryan can denounce Trump’s comments all they want, but at the end of the day they still support him as their nominee for President. In the case of Governor Walker, that will also mean speaking in support of Trump at the GOP convention, which he agreed to earlier this week. Wisconsinites know better than to support Donald Trump, so why don’t our elected leaders?

Ron Johnson's Lecture at the Milwaukee Rotary Club PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Russ for Wisconsin   
Tuesday, 05 July 2016 17:39

ron-johnsonMiddleton – In response to Sen. Johnson's lecture today at the Rotary Club of Milwaukee, RFW Communications Director Michael Tyler released the following statement:

"In a single conversation, Sen. Johnson reminded Wisconsinites that on the issues that matter most, he continues to side with the corporate interests and Washington Republicans and refuses to listen to this state’s middle class and working families.

"Sen. Johnson praised the disastrous TPP trade deal while blatantly admitting that he won't come clean with his position until after the election. He ducked and dodged his way through every question over his support for Donald Trump. He doubled down on his intention to jeopardize retirement security for Wisconsin’s seniors by privatizing Social Security and turning Medicare into a voucher program.  And he continued to advocate for another massive, reckless ground invasion in the Middle East.

"Sen. Johnson failed to connect with the people of Wisconsin today. The only thing he accomplished was reminding Wisconsinites that he’s all Washington."

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