People's Legislature Draws over 1,100
Citizen Assembly Calls for Political Cleanup
January 6, 2005
Madison - The first People's Legislature drew a standing-room-only crowd of more than 1,100 citizens from across the state who met for eight hours to hammer out a plan to rehabilitate democracy in Wisconsin.
This unique multi-partisan citizen assembly was co-sponsored by the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, Fighting Bob Inc., the Center for Democratic Action and Latinos United for Change and Advancement.
Attendance exceeded our goal of 804 people, or one more than the number of lobbyists working the halls of the State Capitol.
Participants in the citizen assembly approved a four-part agenda, including:
- Comprehensive campaign finance reform including public financing of state election campaigns and full and prompt disclosure of campaign contributions that restores the state's ban on corporate campaign donations.
- Independent ethics enforcement through reform that combines the state Elections Board and Ethics Board into one enforcement agency under the direction of a politically independent board.
- Competitive elections through reform of the way legislative redistricting is done, modeled after a system used in Iowa, to end partisan gerrymandering and create competitive voting districts; and restoration of the Fairness Doctrine requiring broadcasters to give equal time to candidates and competing points of view.
- Preservation of local control to prevent arbitrary and centralized budgetary limits on local units of government.
Participants also approved the creation of a statewide steering committee that would oversee future activities and develop four to six regional meetings of the People's Legislature.