Our Wisconsin Revolution (OWR), a state affiliate of Our Revolution (OR), supports OR’s national policy platform and the following program for state and local government in Wisconsin.
A Real Democracy
We aim to take Wisconsin government back from corporate elites and make it by and for the people. To achieve this, we should:
- Establish a right to vote in the Wisconsin Constitution and automatically register all citizens to vote.
- Secure the voter-verified paper ballot and citizens’ right to verified election results before they are declared final.
- Support adequate (fully competitive) public financing of all elections and a national popular vote for President.
- Create and ensure a nonpartisan, transparent process for the redrawing of all election districts that requires local public commentary from diverse communities, including public hearings, and ensure independent, nonpartisan election administration.
- End partisan gerrymandering and move to an election system of proportional representation and ranked-choice voting.
- Enforce and expand prohibitions of discrimination based on race, ethnicity, language, religion, creed, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender expression, national origin, age, familial status, pregnancy, veteran status, disability, and varying cognitive abilities.
- Expand local control over revenue and government regulation.
- Require full compliance with Government Accounting Standards Board directions for public accounting.
- Honor treaty rights, consultation rights, jurisdiction, and sovereignty of native nations in local and state decisions.
- Address racial disparities in areas such as education, employment, and the justice system by applying an “equity lens” to all planning, budgeting, and other public decisions.
- Work to increase informed citizen participation in government affairs, including reinstatement of a robust K-12 civics curriculum and the Office of Public Intervener to assert and defend the public’s interest.
- We support the national and state U.S. Constitutional amendments stating that money is not speech and that only human beings have U.S. Constitutional rights.
Quality Public Goods and Services for All
We must restore and improve the quality and fair distribution of Wisconsin public goods and services, and do our part in addressing the existential crisis of human-created global warming. To achieve this, we should:
- Establish cheap, reliable, high-speed internet and wireless access, aiming at 100Mbps, throughout the entire state of Wisconsin.
- Make internet access a public utility.
- Vigorously defend and restore the clean water and air we all depend on, including limits on high capacity wells, CAFOs (concentrated animal feeding operations), mining, and other environmentally-harmful practices.
- Adequately fund the DNR and insist on the independence of its scientists from political control.
- Show leadership on climate change with the goal and plan to decarbonize Wisconsin energy production by 2030.
- Provide a healthy ecosystem for all species with whom we share the earth.
- Press for universal single-payer (“Medicare for all or BadgerCare for all”) in Wisconsin.
- Sustain and improve current coverage for necessary health services, including comprehensive reproductive health services, and ensure coverage of pre-existing health conditions.
- Require transparency by providers in health care costs and outcome quality.
- Require access to quality treatment on demand for alcohol, drug, and mental health services.
- Define dental, vision, and hearing aid services, as well as chiropractic and osteopathic services as essential health services.
- Increase support for high-quality in-home and assisted-living home services.
- Recognize housing as a human right and adopt and implement a plan to realize that right for all residents.
- Significantly increase resources to expand affordable housing stock, or require mixed-income developments.
- Remove constitutional and statutory barriers to affordable housing creation.
- Strengthen protections for residential tenants, including, but not limited to requiring good cause for eviction and increasing tenant remedies for landlord abuses or violation of habitability standards.
- Enable local districts to develop their public schools by increasing state funding and local control.
- Provide additional funding based on low-income, special needs and minority share of the student population.
- Protect and provide a resident tuition fee-based education opportunity to qualified youth who, through no fault of their own, still lack resident or citizen documentation.
- Provide salaries, benefits and working conditions that attract and retain the most capable teachers.
- Halt public financing of vouchers and privatized charter schools and protect academic freedom.
- Transition to “free” (publicly funded) tuition for all UW and Technical colleges and universities.
- Support refinancing of student loan debt and enactment of uniform, reasonable exceptions to the bankruptcy prohibition.
Public Saftey and Criminal Justice
- Oppose efforts to turn local law enforcement into an extension of immigration and customs enforcement.
- Refuse compliance with federal efforts to harass or deport undocumented immigrants.
- End police brutality and government violations of civil and human rights.
- Reward high-quality community policing in all communities by tying funds and advancements to use of community policing strategies.
- Diversify law enforcement including the Sheriff’s Department, FBI, and local police departments.
- Work to end mandatory minimum sentencing requirement, truth-in-sentencing laws, abuse of prosecutorial discretion, excessive detainment, poverty-inducing court and jail fees, school to prison pipeline, limits on retroactive expungement of criminal records for all non-violent offenders upon release, and all racial disparities in arrest rates for like behaviors and time of imprisonment for like crimes.
- Reinstate parole board.
- Make prison truly rehabilitative by creating a greater opportunity for treatment, counseling, and education.
- Ease re-entry through addictions and mental health treatment housing, social assistance, training, and job search assistance, “ban the box,” and full funding of pardon and parole boards.
- Reassert public control over the criminal justice system, reversing decades of privatization and profit-seeking rather than investments in public safety.
- Ensure access to justice by adequately funding Legal Aid and the Public Defender’s office.
- Bring probation/parole under the control of local government.
- Enforce the right to vote for all those under the control or supervision of the criminal justice system.
- Strengthen the Violence Against Women Act and related state programs to combat domestic and sexual violence.
- Promote the safe use of firearms with a ban on retail sales of assault-style weapons.
- Close the gun-show loophole and require a background check and waiting period before any sale or transfer of any firearms or ammunition and limit firearm purchases to one per person every 90 days.
- Give localities the authority to impose further safety standards on gun acquisition, fabrication, or use.
Security and Care
- Along with all of the above, maintain and strengthen programs of assistance to our elderly, disabled, children, immigrants, people of color, and members of the LGBTQ community; explore the feasibility of a state basic income guarantee, and enact a state-sponsored retirement plan for private workers.
- Support universal child-care by increasing the number of childcare centers that are culturally appropriate, increasing nighttime childcare options, and reducing the cost of childcare.
- Support a universal long-term care policy.
- Encourage the development of pre and post-natal care, outreach, and services.
- Promote “complete streets” and accessible multimodal transportation options in all communities, while everywhere encouraging active transportation and electrification of all motorized transportation.
- Promote the fair and sustainable development of all communities, not just the wealthy.
- Upgrade this multimodal system’s quality and enact a vehicle mile traveled (VMT) tax.
Our Path Forward
OWR has a platform consisting of four core aspirations — 1) a real democracy, 2) an economy that works for all, 3) quality public goods and services for all, and 4) fair taxes — and many “planks” or proposals for action.
For each of these planks, we have short statements — what we refer to as Our Path Forward (OPF) — which explain the plank proposal:
- First we state the issue,
- then we show what problem it’s intended to address,
- then we show how our proposal addresses it,
- then we explain what other states are already doing it or something like it,
- and finally we explain what implementing it for would require.
Our hope is that these OPFs give our members and supporters and the general public a better understanding of how we intend to use public power as we gain it and the bases of our advocacy. Each OPF is about the length of a long op-ed.
They are not copyrighted, so feel free to “steal” them for your own use in writing articles or explaining OWR to friends, neighbors, and your community-at-large. Together let’s chart Wisconsin’s path forward.