This summer, WCLRA Board members met via videoconference with current state legislators and the candidates for election. Our intent was to share information about our organization and discuss issues important to our members. The Board members felt it would be helpful to find out each candidate’s viewpoints and goals if elected, as well as hearing about priorities for the upcoming year from our current legislators.
Board members spoke first with Rep. Milroy and State Senator Janet Bewley together on August 14th. Candidates for the 75th Assembly seat Dave Armstrong (R) from Rice Lake and John Ellenson (D) from Shell Lake joined WCLRA Board members on August 26 and 27, respectively. This district encompasses much of the south half of Washburn County. This seat is currently held by Rep. Romaine Quinn, who is not seeking re-election.
Board members also met with Keith Kern from Superior on September 8th. Kern is a Republican candidate for the 73rd Assembly District, which includes much of the north half of Washburn County. (The county is divided almost diagonally southwest to northeast between the 73rd and 75th Assembly districts.) This seat is currently held by incumbent Rep. Nick Milroy, who is running for re-election.
All 99 Wisconsin Assembly seats are up for election at once every even-numbered year. Senator Bewley is serving her second 4-year term, and is not up for re-election until 2022.
As a non-profit organization, WCLRA does not endorse political candidates, but it does its best to collaborate with candidates and legislators to focus attention and inform them on environmental issues. Climate change, tourism revenue, funding county conservation offices, local control for shoreland zoning, protecting wetlands to control flooding, clean drinking water, and agricultural and municipal run-off were among the topics of the wide-ranging discussions.
In all of the meetings, the dialogue was positive and the legislators and candidates appreciated the opportunity to learn more about water issues in northwest Wisconsin. They were all receptive to WCLRA’s offer to continue to be a resource and sounding board on environmental issues after the election.
Please consider how important this election is to the future of our environment and our waters when you vote in this fall’s election!