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  • Writer's pictureKaren Young

A great way to get close to your constituents: the survey 

Welcome to Message Monday!


Progressive State Senator Chris Larson (District 7) is well known and loved here in Milwaukee, WI.  I only wish I lived in his district so I could vote for him (I’m in a neighboring district).  I have seen him out and about at public hearings, town halls, and nonprofit fundraisers.  He sent a newsletter recently that I thought was a model of how elected officials SHOULD communicate with their district. 


I’ve been on a number of these mailing lists, and usually they focus on the elected’s recently sponsored legislation and/or statements, and their appearances at events in the district.  Often they’ll tell you who to call in their office if you have some personal issue you need help with.  But ask about OUR priorities?  I don’t think I’ve ever seen that, at least not in a sincere way.  But that’s how Chris rolls.


He got 700 responses to his survey asking constituents to rank ten possible issues by priority (see graphic). 


He focuses attention on where it belongs:  the State Legislature, which is currently a horror show for progressives.  He notes that “all of these [policy solutions] seem so far away with the makeup of our current legislature.”  But then, the “light at the end of the tunnel is that the State Supreme Court is currently in the process of choosing between four fair maps proposals…That means next year several of these policies may actually stand a chance of being acted upon in 2025.”


Long story short, we did secure a fair electoral map, if only for the State Legislature so far.  I personally can’t wait to get to work helping to elect more progressives!


Chris goes on to add more detail about where he stands on the top issues.  For example:


“Public education is my north star as a legislator. I send my kids to Milwaukee Public Schools and I proudly serve as ranking member of the Senate Committees on Education and Universities. I was heartened to see that so many of you valued defending and investing in our public schools so highly. With hundreds of school referendums being pursued across the state in recent years (and no signs of slowing), it’s clear the state needs to do more to support our schools. It’s something I will continue to pursue as long as I am in office.”


You know he’ll keep his people posted on what he’s doing, not on ribbon-cutting, but on what THEY care about.


He ends by inviting people to an upcoming Town Hall Meeting (he holds them frequently), saying, “We’ll recap the 2023-24 legislative session so far, preview the final few floor session days of 2024, and look ahead to what’s next in the redistricting case.” 


Awesome, right?  May all of us one day have a rep like Chris, or become one ourselves!


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