Vol. 5    No. 26
December 30, 2010

The Capital City Hues
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     With the stunning change of Wisconsin from a “blue” state to a “red” state where the governorship and
both houses of the state legislature will be led by Republicans as well as the Republican takeover of the
House of Representatives and a narrowing of the Democratic control of the Senate on the federal level,
people will see “change” happen this year if Governor Scott Walker’s proposal to eliminate the Wis. Dept.
of Commerce and replace it with a quasi public-private economic development entity is any indication.  
There will be “change’ even if it wasn’t the change that people had in mind when they were voting with
their emotions, their rage, back in November. Change is coming.
      Over the holidays, I wondered what indicators I would use to gauge the impact that the local and
national Republican Party is having on our lives. Here are some of my indicators:
• What will the number of people of color appointed to key positions in the Walker administration be? Right
now, according to what I can gauge, two people of color have been appointed to Walker’s cabinet and for
the first time in a long time dating back to the Thompson administration, there will be no secretary of color
heading up the Wis. Dept. of Regulation & Licensing.
• How many poor and working class people will lose their health insurance if BadgerCare or BadgerCare
Plus are repealed or President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform is repealed by Congress or ruled
unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court? Many of the people who received healthcare under these
measures are people of color.
• What will the unemployment rate be in Madison and Dane County be after the state biennial budget takes
effect in July 2011? Walker has pledged to reduce the state workforce in his attempts to balance the
budget and create tax incentives for private businesses. There has even been talk of state employee
union decertification. As Walker shrinks state government, will that result in the actual layoff of numerous
state workers, many of whom live in the Madison area, as opposed to reducing positions as people retire?
• As the state reduces its budget and the Obama stimulus funding expires, what will the impact be on
Dane County’s public schools? What will the teacher-student ratio be during the 2011-2012 school year
be? Will the ratio increase dramatically? Past efforts at reducing the teacher-student ratio have been
credited with helping to reduce the academic achievement disparity rates for students of color as
teachers are able to spend more time with each student in smaller classrooms.
• What impact will the upcoming state budget have on mass transit in Wisconsin? Walker has given back
to the federal government the funding for high speed rail in Wisconsin and had wanted to spend it on
building roads. In his attempts to balance the budget, will Walker disproportionately reduce state aids for
mass transit? Poor and working class people rely on mass transit disproportionately. Would budget cuts
and higher fares make it difficult for them to get to work every day?
• As one state senator has pledged to do, will Wisconsin repeal the state law that allows American Indians
more of a say in the use of Indian logos and slogans by Wisconsin high school sports teams? The use of
these logos and nicknames are hurtful to Native students and promote stereotypes that create hostile
environments for Native students within Wisconsin’s public schools. Will the nostalgia of White
Wisconsinites inflict harm on Native students?
• During the past two years, the state of Wisconsin has been trying to reduce its prison population, which
inordinately confines African Americans and Latinos. Currently, the Wis. Dept. of Corrections has the
largest departmental budget. Will the Walker administration continue to implement policies that reduce the
prison population and eliminate the racial disparities in the criminal justice system, especially those
offenders who have drug use-related convictions and need treatment?
• The state of Wisconsin has many undocumented workers who make a contribution to Wisconsin’s
economy, often times taking jobs that others born in the U.S. would not perform. There have been efforts to
let the children of undocumented workers to pay in-state tuition at Wisconsin public colleges and
universities.
What will happen to all of these initiatives during 2011?Only the Walker administration knows. Stay tuned
in.
Reflections/Jonathan Gramling   
                             2011 Questions

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