June 13, 2012

Milwaukee Courier

Our Path Forward

By Senator Lena C. Taylor

            This past Election Day marked a turning point in the fight to take back Wisconsin.  Mayor Barrett may not have gained the Governor’s office, but recalls of Governors have been rare.  In the history of our nation, only two recalls have succeeded in removing a Governor from office.  Though I find Barrett’s loss disappointing, I have been energized by our triumphs.

On Election Day, the Democratic Party gained a majority in the State Senate.  This victory has been all but overlooked in media coverage, and that oversight has gravely underplayed this historic event.  Without the citizens’ push to recall of Walker’s yes-men in the legislature, Democrats could not have hoped to win back the majority until 2014.

The recall campaigns have been an incredible success.  For the third time in the last two years, citizens have successfully recalled Republicans supportive of Scott Walker’s billionaires-first legislative agenda.  At the citizen’s request, Republicans have lost seat after seat.

And who can Walker and his allies blame but themselves?  The unopposed Wisconsin majorities in the Assembly and the Senate rubber-stamped every one of Governor Walker’s policies, regardless of their popularity or their wisdom. 

The ousted Republican Senate recklessly neglected the key to Wisconsin’s economic recovery, our cities.  Urban areas have suffered from terrible neglect at the hands of unchallenged Republican rule.  For proof, look at the success of John Lehman, a Democrat just elected to represent Racine, a city that voted Republican two years ago.  The new State Senate will not neglect cities.

Cities in Wisconsin need growth, and we need growth now.  With Senator Lehman in our ranks, my Democratic colleagues and I will fight for YOU.  When Governor Walker makes a grab for the foreclosure settlement meant for foreclosed-on Milwaukeeans, he will have to answer to us.  When Walker attempts to make ever-greater cuts to education, he will have to answer to us.  You had better believe that Walker won’t get another dollar of cuts to education past the State Senate.

Instead of working for those who already have it all, we will work for Milwaukee.  The people of this City need our attention.  Republican neglect sent manufacturing and labor jobs elsewhere, but we will work to bring your jobs back.  YOU are my first priority.  YOU employ the lawmakers of this state.

As we lead the new State Senate forward, I and my colleagues have pledged to win back what we have lost.  Don’t let anyone tell you that Walker won the recall.  Walker’s stranglehold on the legislative process has come to an end.  .

The people of Wisconsin have entrusted the Democrats in the Senate with the responsibility to challenge Walker’s excesses as Governor.  We control the Senate, and I know that each and every one of my colleagues takes that responsibility seriously.  We will work to grow our industries.  We will reform our schools and build access to health care.  We will rebuild our state’s broken infrastructure.  From this point on, we work to address your concerns.  From this point on, you will not be ignored.