Mike Browne, Deputy Director
New Economic Agenda Needed to Engage New Generation of Wisconsin Voters
MADISON — Millennial and Generation X voters now comprise the largest electoral bloc in the United States, and in Wisconsin. They face economic and financial challenges that have never before existed. That’s why, according to One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross, it’s time for a “Tomorrow Wisconsin” economic agenda that speaks to their unique needs and concerns.
“The economic challenges facing Gen X and Millennial Wisconsinites are unique in our history,” said Ross. “But that doesn’t mean they are any less important than those faced by previous generations or any less deserving of solutions.”
Stagnant wages, skyrocketing student loan debt and rising costs for essentials for multi-income families, like child care, are leaving Wisconsin families feeling the pinch and under increasing financial pressure. They’re struggling to save for their retirement, and a extended personal or family illness could mean economic disaster.
To take on these generations’ economic challenges and to help hard working families get ahead, the Tomorrow Wisconsin Agenda focuses on five key issues:
- Student Loan Debt Refinancing
- Paid Family and Medical Leave and Sick Days
- Affordable Child Care
- Job Security and Livable Wages
- Access to State Pension System
State legislation has been introduced in Wisconsin to address concerns including a state based plan to help student loan borrowers refinance their loans, just like you can with a mortgage; a plan to allow private sector workers to participate in the state pension system; the restoration of the state equal pay law for women and men; income tax credits for child care; and lifting limits on expanding the family and medical leave law.
Ross noted that the opposition of Scott Walker and the Republican controlled legislature has stymied action on issue like helping student loan borrowers and restoring state equal pay protections while they pander to the wealthy and corporations. Not only are Wisconsin families poorer for the GOP’s obstruction, but Wisconsin is falling behind while other states that are taking action are benefitting from vibrant economies.
He concluded saying that if progressives are to be successful, they need to offer ideas that speak directly to the concerns of Wisconsinites. “Before you can turn voters out, you need to turn voters on. That’s why we’re proposing an economic agenda that speaks directly to the concerns of Gen X and Millennials and why we’re educating them about how Scott Walker and his fellow Republicans have done nothing, or blocked any progress on these fronts.”