Legislative survey results
August 29, 2008
By Chris Sinicki, 20th District State Representative
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all those who made time to respond to the survey included in my 2008 Spring Legislative Update. I’m proud to say the response from the 20th Assembly District was much higher than from many of my legislative colleagues’ districts.
We mailed 30,000 surveys. We had 517 responses, a response rate of approximately 1.7 percent, 20 to 50 percent more than predictions. Although this number may seem low, my informal canvassing of other assembly offices that conducted surveys yielded an average response rate ranging from 1 to 1.5 percent. Please visit chrissinicki.net if you would like complete survey results.
There is something wrong with spending more money on an inmate than a student.
It is a great honor to serve in a district where civic participation and awareness of state affairs are important to so many. Although I don’t make my legislative decisions based on statewide or national polls, I do take my survey respondents’ opinions very seriously.
In analyzing the data generated by the survey, it’s clear the economy is foremost in the minds of voters. Respondents resoundingly ranked the economy as their highest legislative priority.
Although Wisconsin ’s economic indicators consistently rank above the national average, we have more work to do. As a state, we can and should decrease the tax burden on families and individuals.
We can do that by balancing the budget deficit, which in turn raises our bond rating. Also, we should eliminate the uniformity clause in the state constitution, which prevents us from giving property tax relief to groups such as senior citizens. We can also work to enforce existing laws to ensure that those who abuse the tax code pay their fare share—thereby decreasing the obligation of hardworking families who have been paying too much for years.
Education is a high priority for respondents as well. The lessons I learned from my years on the Milwaukee School Board working with teachers, parents, and administrators laid a foundation that shaped my views on education policy. I firmly believe our system of public education made this country, and especially this state, what it is today. Wisconsin has one of the proudest traditions of free and public learning in the country. If people see public education as failing our kids, I ask: Are we investing enough in our most important mission as a society—the education of our children, our future?
There is something wrong with spending more money on an inmate than a student. Our public schools are part of our national trust and that trust is being neglected and privatized for the express benefit of religious and business interests, and in my opinion, to the detriment of our children’s scholastic achievement. The message most often voiced by those who ranked education as their top priority was this: stand up for our kids, parents, teachers, and communities by standing with our public schools.
Chris Sinicki is the state representative for Wisconsin’s 20th state Assembly District, which includes southern Bay View, St. Francis, Cudahy, the airport, and other parts of the south side. She can be reached at (888) 534-0020 or email@example.com.
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