Walker’s Not Working in the Heart of Wisconsin   Leave a comment

by Mandy Wright

Here in Wausau, Walker’s ‘jobs plan’ is not working.

Within the past week, Marathon County has been shocked by the closings of Brokaw Paper Mill which employs 450 people and SNE Enterprises of Mosinee with 565 employees. Gov. Walker has visited our area for photo opportunities, but he hasn’t delivered on his promise to create jobs.

Hundreds of additional jobs including truckers, machinists, and restaurant owners will disappear. The Post Office is considering closing a Redistribution Center in Rothschild with 300 employees.

This is despite the fact that his allies in the state legislature, including fellow Republican and first-term Sen. Pam Galloway of Wausau, have given him every piece of legislation he wanted. Every dime of tax breaks for corporations, every dollar cut from schools.

The workers of Central Wisconsin need these family-sustaining jobs and they can only be created in strong communities with people able to purchase local goods and services.

What happened to 250,000 new jobs Mr. Walker?

Working people are also losing jobs because of the slashed municipal budgets. Weston, Schofield, and Rothschild have all eliminated the bus line. People with disabilities and seniors in these communities will be unable to remain in their homes and keep their jobs if they cannot find alternative, cost-effective transportation.

If we can’t afford buses, we certainly will not be able to endure the economic loss of more unemployed and displaced workers and more pressure on social services.

The saving grace for this situation could be education. Wausau has an excellent resource in Northcentral Technical College, but alas, nearly one-third of their state funding is lost. The University of Wisconsin-Marathon County has also pared down to the bare essentials and our students will likely receive less aid and more student loan debt. Our institutes of higher learning and training cannot be responsive to the needs of community members with radically diminished staff and services.

To add insult to injury, as many as 65,000 people are losing Badgercare under Walker’s plan — including 29,000 children.

Walker’s policies have put our state into a tailspin and turned neighbors against each other. Our communities cannot survive these cuts to jobs, infrastructure, education, and now heath, but worse, we cannot survive this division at a time when we needed to come together. I did not support Gov. Walker in his run for governor, but I had hoped he would put Wisconsin’s people first.

Wisconsin’s heart is failing, but it wants to work. This is why we are supporting Gov. Walker’s recall.

Mandy Wright is a parent and public school teacher from Wausau that is inspired to be politically active to preserve the values of her community.

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