November 2 brought unprecedented change to Wisconsin and the nation. A tidal wave of frustration and anger threw out incumbents across the country. In Wisconsin, the legislature went from a Democrat Senate and Assembly to a Republican Senate and Assembly. The Governor’s office also changed from Democrat to Republican.
1000 Friends of Wisconsin offers it’s thanks to those who have helped Wisconsin’s landscape by their support for Stewardship, their votes for Smart Growth and their support for transit. Those programs have helped Wisconsin grow in ways that protect the environment and add value to communities. We congratulate those who won their electoral races on November 2 and look forward to working with them.
While the legislature underwent a profound change, our mission remains steadfast. We are committed to supporting programs that help Wisconsin grow in ways that protect our rich natural and cultural heritage. We support programs that add vitality to our communities. We will actively support the following programs in the next legislative session:
1) Smart Growth – Our signature program has been implemented by over 90% of the communities in Wisconsin. This program has enormous local support but the job is not done. Smart Growth plans need to be implemented and plans need to be updated on a regular basis. We will continue to give this program our complete support moving forward.
2) Transit – We will continue to advocate for the creation of Regional Transit Authorities (RTAs.) RTA’s provide a dedicated source of revenues for transit systems that add value to the communities that they serve.
We will also continue our strong support for the development of an intercity passenger rail system in Wisconsin. The rail proposal has long enjoyed bipartisan support and will form an essential link between the largest cities in Wisconsin and Chicago – eventually connecting to the Twin Cities and beyond.
3) Stewardship – This program has preserved over 580,000 acres of the state’s most important natural and recreational lands. We support the continuation of this program that helps keep Wisconsin a great place to live.
4) Water Resources – We will continue our work with local units of government to employ the best management practices on land to reduce polluted run-off into our streams, rivers and lakes. We will build on our partnership with the Southeastern Wisconsin Watershed Trust (“Sweetwater”) to enlist the support of businesses, residents and local units of government to clean the waters of the Milwaukee River water basin.
5) Green Tier Legacy Communities – Our partnership with the Department of Natural Resources, the Wisconsin League of Municipalities, the Wisconsin Conservation Corporation, UW COWS and individual municipalities will continue to help communities develop sustainability programs to save them money, preserve the environment and promote a better quality of life.