Saturday, March 12, 2011

On Wisconsin

It is really hard to find the right words to describe today. Lots and lots of people came together to stand up for the rights of Wisconsin's working people. It was the largest rally yet. The day started with a tractor parade around the Capitol. Farm families came from all over the state and brought their tractors with them.

I have had the pleasure of working with many members of the Wisconsin Farmers Union. They are good, good people. Many (most?) are conservative. But they will be badly hurt by the proposed budget. Under the proposed budget, rural Wisconsin communities will see their school districts destroyed, as the cuts to Badgercare and the earned income credit further decimate their standard of living.

This afternoon, there was another huge rally as the 14 Democratic Senators returned to Madison. I understand there were some celebrities around, as well, but the people of Wisconsin only wanted to hear from the Fab 14. My kids were spellbound as they spoke. (well, until we got cold and ducked into Capitol Kids for a warm-up break. It is still very much winter here in WI!)

It's also hard to describe the absolute diversity of the people out today. People in wheelchairs. The elderly. Small babies. Students. Trash collectors. Teachers. Firefighters. People with signs in Spanish. Union members. Private sector. People with dreadlocks. A woman in a fur coat and high heels. Teenagers on stilts. Truck drivers in leather. All races, all ages, both genders.

We've been here for 15 years now and up until today, I have continued to refer to DC as "home." Just yesterday I said, "Oh, at home, we start to get nice weather in March."

But I think it is safe to say that from this moment on, the only place that will ever be home for me again is Madison, Wisconsin. I have never been more proud to consider myself a Wisconsinite. I even bought Davis a cheesehead hat today. Thank you Wisconsin.


Anonymous said...

On Wisconsin!

Harry Brighouse said...

This is just fantastic. The passing of the bill was never in doubt. But rather than just take it, circumstances have conspired to prompt the crucible for a mass movement. I'm not an optimist -- I've been a left activist of sorts for 32 years and can name exactly one victory -- but the possibilities here are significant.
Nice to get to know you online through it, Kristen.

Queen B said...

We couldn't be happier to have you Kristen! Welcome Home!

Tammy said...

Just like a fierce blizzard, bad political weather can bring people together, and help tighten the bonds to place and home.

(But how is it they manage so well at dividing people, such that voters are willing to go against their own interests? Why does this keep happening?)