New State Democratic Chair, Changes To K-12 Education, Farmers Markets’ Economic Contributions

Air Date:
Heard On Central Time

The Democratic Party of Wisconsin has a new leader, and she’s promising to bring the party back together after a number of election defeats. She joins us to talk about her plans for state Democrats. Then, we explore how farmers markets positively affect communities and local economies, and we explore the significant coming changes to K-12 education in Wisconsin.

Featured in this Show

  • New Chair Of Wisconsin Democratic Party Talks Strategy

    With the largest turnout in two decades, the Democratic Party of Wisconsin elected a new chair, Martha Laning, to lead the party after years of losses to Republicans in both legislative and gubernatorial races. Central Time talks to her about what her strategy will be going forward.

  • Columnist Says Big Changes In Store For Education In Wisconsin

    Significant changes are coming to K-12 education in Wisconsin, due to changes made in the state budget. That’s according to a columnist, who breaks down the coming changes, and what to watch for.

  • Farmers Markets As Drivers Of Communities And Local Economies

    Farmers Market season is in full bloom around Wisconsin–and ongoing research says there’s more to the markets than local food. Wisconsin experts share their findings on the benefits of a farmers market for local economies and community-building.

  • Newly Elected Wisconsin DNC Chair Calls State Budget A 'Disaster'

    Martha Laning, the newly elected chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, has quickly gone on the offensive to criticize Gov. Scott Walker’s presidential ambitions and budget proposal this week.

    “I think the polls are showing that Gov. Walker is losing credibility and popularity in our state, and he’s losing it because he’s not being a governor — he’s out running for president,” Laning said. “Quite frankly, he created a $2.2 billion deficit and he should be right here in our state helping us fix it, because it’s affecting Wisconsin families.”

    Laning called the current state budget and proposed austerity cuts a “disaster” that were created “entirely by the Republicans and Gov. Walker.”

    Wisconsin Democrats elected Laning, a community activist from Sheboygan, as the new party chair this past weekend at their state convention in Milwaukee. She won with 53 percent of the 1,349 votes — which proved to be the largest turnout in nearly two decades.

    Laning’s election comes after six years of party leadership by Mike Tate, who did not run for re-election. Since 2009, Wisconsin Democrats lost both chambers of the state Legislature and lost in gubernatorial elections three times to Scott Walker.

    The latest loss to Walker, said Laning, wasn’t the result of the party nominating the wrong candidate.

    “I think Mary Burke was a strong Democrat that believes in the progressive values that we had,” she said, adding that her party needs to ensure that voters understand what the Democratic party is offering.

    Laning believes Democrats can turn that record around by relying on party leadership throughout the state to provide and articulate the party’s vision.

    “I think we need to create a better message that resonates with our voters and inspires them to get out to the polls,” she said. “And I think to deliver that message in our communities, we need to be sure that we have strong county parties, strong grassroots organizers that understand what our messaging is, understand what we offer the state of Wisconsin, and that they’re getting that message out year-round.”

Episode Credits

  • Rob Ferrett Host
  • Veronica Rueckert Host
  • Galen Druke Producer
  • Chris Malina Producer
  • Martha Laning Guest
  • Alan Borsuk Guest
  • Alfonso Morales PhD Guest
  • Lauren Suerth Guest