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A Citizen's Guide to Participation in the
Wisconsin State Legislature

Prepared by the Wisconsin Legislative Council Staff, 2014

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Abraham Lincoln famously described the American governmental system as "government of the people, by the people, for the people." These lofty words describe, at a minimum, our representative democracy, governed by officials elected by the citizenry. But public participation in government does not end at the ballot box. Citizens participate in all levels and branches of government. Three key ways in which citizens participate in the Legislative Branch are by:

  • Being informed about the affairs of government;
  • Communicating with their elected representatives; and
  • Testifying at public hearings held by legislative committees.

This guide is designed to help you, the citizen, participate in the Wisconsin State Legislature. It is in the following parts: