I remember when Wisconsin enjoyed a reputation for clean government. We had faith that the public trust was inviolable. We did not question the integrity of our elections and we did away with impediments to participating in our democracy. Transparency in government was a given and citizens had a voice in how they chose their elected representatives. We respected the collective bargaining rights of workers to set higher standards for worker protections and provide better wages and benefits for all. Trust, transparency, and respect must be restored.
This is a very consequential election in that the next legislature will determine how our electoral districts are drawn. Wisconsin must adopt a non-partisan model for redistricting to ensure that elections are competitive and elected representatives can be held accountable to their constituents. Most importantly, voters must not encounter any barriers between them and the ballot box. Voting is a civic duty and as such, we have a duty to expand voter opportunities.
Public institutions exist for the public good and the move toward privatization cannot continue unabated. Privatizing government entities erodes the trust we place in public servants who make policy judgements based upon science, evidence, and historical perspectives. Reasoned regulations are not inherently “anti-business”; they level the playing field and promote orderly competition. Public and private institutions can coexist if we trust that the common good is always the bottom line.