Contact: [email protected]tunitywisconsin.org

Opportunity Wisconsin aims to inform Wisconsinites about the destructive economic policies championed by President Trump

MADISON, Wis. — Today, a growing coalition of working Wisconsinites launched Opportunity Wisconsin, a statewide issue advocacy campaign focused on highlighting the impact President Trump’s economic agenda has had on everyday Wisconsinites. Over the past three years, the Trump administration’s policies have actively hurt the Badger State by putting Wall Street first and leaving working and middle-class Wisconsinites behind. Opportunity Wisconsin will focus on sharing the personal stories from people across the state who are worse off because of these economic policies.

Over the coming months, the Opportunity Wisconsin coalition will continue to grow. Initial members of the group’s Steering Committee include:

  • Kirk Bangstad, Owner, Minocqua Brewing Company
  • Anna Landmark, Co-Owner and Cheesemaker, Landmark Creamery
  • Chantia Lewis, President, My Lewis Company.; Alderwoman, City of Milwaukee
  • Maiyoua Thao, Vice President, Tongxeng Homecare, LLC
  • Mark Westphal, Industrial Electrician, Essity Tissue Corporation; President, Fox Valley Labor Council

“With a record number of family farms facing bankruptcies, Wisconsin’s farmers are hurting enough as it is. Whether it’s the no-winners trade war or elected officials playing politics with our livelihoods, we can’t afford this continued uncertainty,” said Anna Landmark. “Unfortunately, the president’s economic policies aren’t helping this uncertainty. Between rigging the tax code in favor of the wealthiest, and getting rid of the rules that kept big banks from discriminating against and harassing borrowers, it doesn’t seem like our leaders in Washington have working Wisconsin’s interests first.” 

Under the 2017 tax law championed by President Trump and his allies, 1 in 4 Wisconsinites will ultimately see a tax increase. The tax law also drastically reduced the corporate income tax rate, providing a massive windfall for large corporations. Instead of the benefits trickling down to workers, companies like Wisconsin’s own Kimberly-Clark enriched their shareholders while laying off 74 workers in Neenah and shutting down a once profitable plant.

“Between rising housing costs, wages not keeping up with the cost of living, and nearly non-existent benefits, too many folks in Milwaukee and around the state are just barely getting by,” said Chantia Lewis. “As a local elected official, I need a partner in Washington who is going to help grow our economy and support the economic engines of our state. Unfortunately, the president’s economic policies aren’t doing that.”

Wages have been stagnant in Wisconsin for decades — adjusted for inflation, the median wage in Wisconsin has only risen 73 cents since 1979. Instead of giving hard working Wisconsinites a boost, President Trump blocked a federal minimum wage increase, a move that denied more than 800,000 Badger State residents a pay increase and resulted in $3 billion in lost wages.

As a small business owner in northern Wisconsin, many of my customers and neighbors were excited about the prospect of a president that promised to bring jobs back to our part of the state. Instead, all we have to show for the last three years are depressed wages and increased economic anxiety.“  said Kirk Bangstad. “The bottom line is that policies like the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act have actively hurt us. It’s time our leaders in Washington put Wisconsin families over Wall Street when deciding their economic priorities.”

 Opportunity Wisconsin will be launching on-the-ground efforts the week of February 10, with statewide events highlighting the damage President Trump’s economic policies have caused for working Wisconsinites. These events will be advised to the media and open to the press.

To learn more about Opportunity Wisconsin, visit OpportunityWisconsin.org or stay connected on Twitter at @OpportunityWI and on Facebook at Facebook.com/OpportunityWI.

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