Close to 100 “WCA County Ambassadors” Meeting with Legislators in Madison
Majority Leader Jim Steineke Addressed Group As Keynote Speaker
Close to 100 county officials were in Madison on Wednesday, November 4 as a part of the Wisconsin Counties Association’s (WCA) County Ambassador Program (CAP). The full-day event included a briefing on key county issues, legislative office visits and a noon update by Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke.
Attendees gathered at the Madison Concourse Hotel and were welcomed by WCA President and Wood County Board Chair Lance Pliml, followed by legislative briefings by the WCA Government Affairs Team of Kyle Christianson, Sarah Diedrick-Kasdorf and Daniel Bahr.
The topics slated for lobbying included transportation, shoreland zoning, local option sales tax, juvenile justice and other justice-related issues. With talking points and leave-behind packets for legislators and legislative staff, attendees met with them in their Capitol offices throughout the day.
“Many offices from both houses were met with and whether it was the actual legislator or legislative staff, county officials were able to discuss the issues of critical importance to counties,” said WCA Government Affairs Director Kyle Christianson. “Yet again so many of our county officials took the time to come to Madison to be a part of the CAP Team. Their presence today in the Capitol demonstrates the vital connection between local and state officials and to hear first hand how legislation impacts our counties is imperative to the process.”
Participants gathered back at the Madison Concourse Hotel for lunch and keynote speaker Representative Jim Steineke, who gave updates on what would be occurring during the remainder of the legislative session.
“The partnership we have with the state has never been more important and we appreciate Majority Leader Steineke taking the time to update county officials on what is happening in the Legislature,” said WCA Government Affairs Deputy Director Sarah Diedrick-Kasdorf.
Legislative meetings continued after lunch and debriefing sessions occurred to discuss feedback attendees received from those visits.
In 2010, the County Ambassador Program, along with Human Services Day at the Capitol, were created by then-WCA President and current Calumet County Board Chair Alice Connors, a longtime human services advocate, as two of her presidential initiatives. The goal of the programs is to engage county officials in the Association’s efforts to educate lawmakers on the important role of county government through direct dialogue with members of the Legislature.
Participants in the program work side-by-side with the WCA Government Affairs Team to promote WCA’s Legislative Agenda/Platform before the Wisconsin State Legislature and state agency officials.
More information on the County Ambassador Program can be found online in the “Legislative Documents” section of the WCA website at www.wicounties.org.