I am often asked, during my campaign for 57th Assembly:
- What do you hope to accomplish?
- What are your “big things”?
This is such a tough question, really. It’s like someone asking you “what will you do when you grow up?”, or “what would you change if you were king for a day?”.
For me, the short, easy answer is: anything positive. There is a lot of work to get done. We, as a people, as a state, need to pick one item we can agree on and move it forward.
I would be very fiscally focused. I would ask what are the net costs and what are the net benefits. How many people would be positively impacted, and at what cost?
It really doesn’t cost anything to be a good person and to make good decisions. The costs come in the form of staff, contractors, departments and agencies. Our government costs a lot of money to run. Just to name a few:
- Health Care
- Fire Departments
- And a plethora of other departments with numerous critical functions within our state.
These overhead costs bring to mind questions on how each department is run, organized and handled:
- How much do they cost and who do they benefit?
- Are they operating efficiently, are they serving the customer, are we the taxpayer getting a good value?
- Can we streamline the process?
- Can we cut out some middle management?
- Is it an antiquated system?
- Is it customer friendly?
- Is our legislature doing a good job?
It boils down to this idea: are they getting the job done, or are they fighting amongst themselves? Are they pitting the opposition as the enemy rather than an ally? After all, the departments, agencies, and legislature work for Wisconsin, not the other way around.
I would put a lot of effort into education training and job skill programs. I’d push to get more work programs into schools, along with job training programs and workforce development programs. Wisconsin should have a competitive education program, other states should look to us as an example of how Wisconsin does it right!
I would put a lot of effort into our housing and ensure everyone has a place to sleep that is better, cleaner, safer and more affordable. I would take care of our disabled, elderly, young mothers/fathers and, of course, the children. I would encourage the family structure and family investment.
I would encourage small business. I support entrepreneurs, people who provide the goods and services we need daily.
I would engage in the difficult conversations. We need to have those hard discussions over taxes, spending, marijuana legislation, criminal reform legislation and more.
I would resist all tax hikes and fight to reduce the number of fees – income, payroll, sales – that make it hard for households to get by. The lower you are on the economic ladder, the more significant a slight raise in taxes are. A $100 tax hardly affects a household earning 100K per year, but significantly affects a household earning 20k per year.
I will fight for efficiency of government. Our families have been greatly impacted by Covid-19, especially in terms of household income and expenses. Our government can make those same sacrifices. Agencies and departments can decide how to shift workload and services. If our families have to make due with smaller budgets so can our government – even if it means pay cuts for our politicians. Just because the job is hard doesn’t mean we don’t get it done.
In the spirit of our state motto, let’s move Wisconsin forward.