Democratic legislator recognizes that, on the issues, Wisconsin citizens support progressive values
Melissa Sargent, a Democratic member of the Wisconsin State Assembly representing parts of Madison, recently wrote a poignant op-ed that was published in the Capital Times. It provided great insight into what progressives need to stand for in the aftermath of the 2016 election season.
Her essay included reasoned arguments in favor of pushing for progressive policies, and (dare I say?) sounded very...
“People support strong progressive values and legislation,” Sargent wrote, giving examples to back her case:
- ”Progressives support public education and Republicans cut from it," Sargent wrote, singling out how the GOP gutted over a billion dollars from schools. Public education is clearly a priority for most Wisconsinites, and progressives are leading the charge on providing it the funding it needs statewide, Sargent points out.
- On gun policy, Sargent echoes the sentiments of a majority of Wisconsinites. “Only 12 percent of Wisconsinites are against universal background checks for all gun purchases,” she writes. “Progressives don’t want to take anybody’s gun. They want guns to be safe, secure and in the hands of law-abiding citizens.”
- Sargent also observed that while many in the state want economic growth, most do not want it at the expense of environmental protections. “Our heritage and culture are built on the protection of our natural resources and the promise of clean air and water.”
- On marijuana legalization – yes, even on that contentious issue – Sargent brings reasonable arguments, and an agreeable position that most Wisconsinites back. She knows that, “prohibition has led to an increase in racial disparities and missed opportunities for state revenue.” And she rightly cites that 3-out-of-5 Wisconsinites agree with her that it's time to decriminalize recreational marijuana use.
|Image via Melissa Sargent's Assembly website|
Sargent’s story is inspiring enough – she has been in the legislature since 2013, but before that she was a small business owner. What caused her to take the leap into politics? Her children.
Several people in her neighborhood had urged her to run for a vacant Dane County board position. Sargent was hesitant, but when her children came home and complained about doing a community project for school, she told them to tough it out, according to Madison.com. Then she chose to heed her own advice and run for office, campaigning for that board position while still pregnant with her youngest son.
Her story would resonate with all of Wisconsin’s citizens. We're a hard-working state; Melissa Sargent is a hard-working legislator. And her progressive streak would embolden the Democratic Party’s base, something previous candidates for governor regrettably couldn’t do.
Those who fear that she’d be a Madison-based politician need to listen to what she says about that, too:
I am not a progressive because I am from Madison. I am a progressive because I know that government works best when it works for all of us. I know that Wisconsin is a progressive state in the sense that we believe in helping those around us. I know that when we all do better, we all do better.Sargent is providing a strong voice for progressives following some pretty devastating defeats. Her leadership, optimism and dedication to fighting for what’s right in the state should be recognized. And she ought to be considered as a possible contender in 2018’s race for the governorship for the Democratic Party.