Celebrating Wisconsin and Democracy
Last week we celebrated a tremendous win in Wisconsin for democracy, reproductive rights and other core freedoms. It was a team effort — demonstrating the power of a disciplined, well-resourced, aligned civic infrastructure going all in together on a smart strategy. With the addition of Justice Protasiewicz, the Wisconsin Supreme Court will have a 4-3 pro-democracy majority, enabling them to finally take on gerrymandered election districts and voting rights, an outdated 1849 abortion ban, workers rights and more.
Wisconsin has been a top focus for the Rural Democracy Initiative (RDI) since we started in 2019. In March, we shared the importance or rural communities on Wisconsin elections. The Heartland Fund and Rural Victory Fund together have granted close to $1 million each year since 2020, including this early spring, to a diverse network of a dozen groups building a base for change in small town and rural Wisconsin. Thanks in part to the Wisconsin Rural Coalition and great work of groups like Progress North, Wisconsin Citizen Action, Wisconsin Farmers Union, WISDOM, Voces de la Frontera, Wisconsin Native Vote, Wisconsin Public Education Network, GROWW, and others we’re seeing a clear trend that support for pro-democracy candidates is increasing year over year.
While major metro suburbs are traditionally considered the swing areas, Protasiewicz actually performed better in small towns and rural areas than she did in the Milwaukee suburbs (44%).
Overall, rural and small towns accounted for 47% of the total electorate and 42% of Protasiewicz’s total votes. For context, that 42% is more than Milwaukee and Dane counties combined (36%).
Huge thanks to all our donors who have supported our network’s efforts in Wisconsin.