Faces of a United State

Residents of Wisconsin began rising up against their governor just months after his term began. Over 930,000 signatures were collected to trigger a recall election which will occur on June 5, 2012. Wisconsinites feel abandoned, violated, deceived, and misrepresented. They are not going quietly, they are speaking out,  and they are capturing the eyes and ears of  people across the globe.

Scott Walker began a fight with citizens of his state knowing he would have support from big corporations and wealthy private donors from all over the country to guide him through. Stripping public sector unions of their bargaining rights was the first step in the mission to eliminate unions altogether. This will have one of the greatest snowball effects in political history this country has ever seen. The moment Walker was successful in his union busting, republican governors across the country followed suit. Eliminating these unions means eliminating the top donors to the Democratic Party which leaves the Republican Party excessively wealthy, powerful, and in a prime position to outspend Democrats come election time.

Beyond bargaining rights we have seen this “follow the leader” mentality with proposed Personhood amendments which can declare birth control illegal,  attacks on funding for family planning services such as Planned Parenthood,  huge cuts to education, essential health care programs and invasive and unnecessary medical procedures such as vaginal probe ultrasounds.

The people of Wisconsin understand that there is much more at risk than just the future of the state they call home and the rights of its residents. The condition of the Democratic Party and the power it has in the future is in the hands of the voters of Wisconsin on June fifth. If Walker is victorious, the country will bear witness to further assaults on worker’s rights, women’s rights, education and health care.

Votes are not without voices. There are faces and families behind the votes in this election and they all have different reasons for wanting to change the face of their state government. Each is as important as the next. Wisconsin depends on these voices. The nation depends on these votes.

Anika, in customer service: concerned with stripping of bargaining rights and is directly affected by the attacks on women’s rights.

Rick, small business owner: greatly concerned with the current condition of women’s health care and cuts in the work force.

Jerry, ex union worker for AFSCME local 171, currently one of four co-op owners of small, local business: Lost job in March due to the elimination of Automatic Dues Deduction and is, therefore, concerned with budget cuts and union bargaining rights being taken.

Jenna, activist, organizer: concerned with cuts to education and the impact it has had on students and teachers and Walker’s blatant disregard for Wisconsin laws.

Mary Ellen, professor emerita of mathematics: concerned with economic and educational issues and the impact they will have on the future of the state. Walker is “a poor choice for Wisconsin.”

Valerie, mother to Reed, flute player in the Forward Marching Band: concerned with redistricting and housing and voter discrimination.

Mariann, retired: concerned with the Governor’s dishonesty regarding jobs as well as
concern for those who have lost their bargaining rights. Also worried about seniors who need assistance.
Mariann also told me a funny story about how she now calls her walker “Fifi” instead of “walker”.

Richard: Concerned with the outside money supporting Walker’s campaign, his attack on unions, and his “hypocritically ran campaign”.
“…is a stepping stone to get somewhere else and is trashing Wisconsin in the process.”

Danna, mother, schoolteacher: concerned with devastating education cuts to public schools and her children’s educational future.
Believes Walker is a “poor role model” to the children due to his lies.

Philip, customer service: believes Walker lies to make the rich richer while the poor get poorer, concerned with Walker’s
unwillingness to compromise or listen to the people of the state. “He rules, not considering others…”
NOTE: Philip cannot vote due to citizenship status but is still directly affected by union attacks since he is a union member.

Steve: “All Walker agendas run contrary to what Wisconsin is all about.”

Bernice, retiree, 30+ years with GM: as a long time union member, she is deeply concerned with the stripping
of union bargaining rights as well as the fact that he did not run on that plan during his original campaign.

Michael, photojournalist: concerned with education cuts and believes, “Walker is simply bad for Wisconsin.”
Patty, realtor: concerned that our Governor represents the beliefs and goals of big corporations rather those of the people.

Emelio, bicyclist, traveler: Emelio is from Ohio but is aware and envious of the movement in Wisconsin and understands the
implication it could have on his home state. Appreciates the local people for standing up to their government.
Concerned with union busting and refusal of railway/progressive public transportation efforts.

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