Like many of us, the day after the 2016 Presidential election was one of the most painful and frustrating days of my adult life. It was also my birthday. I knew deep in my gut that I had to do something in my next year of life.
A few months later, I discovered that opportunity to step up — to save our State Treasurer’s Office. Wisconsin voters were being asked if they wanted to remove the state treasurer from our Constitution. Should this amendment pass, Wisconsin would be the only state without a Treasurer, or even a close equivalent. I’d spent my entire career working with government agencies and private companies, and I would have never advised a client or invested in a business that did not have an independent financial officer. I’d seen firsthand how disastrous that could be, and I knew we couldn’t allow it to happen here in Wisconsin. That’s why I founded the Save Our Fiscal Watchdog Committee to fight this dangerous referendum.
I am proud to say that Wisconsinites voted to preserve the Treasurer’s Office by an overwhelming margin of 62-38, stopping what would have been a disastrous power grab. However, while I led the campaign, it became clear that the office had been severely neglected — by both parties — for over a decade. So, I decided to go through the Emerge Wisconsin program to gain the skills I would need to run for Treasurer.
I’m running for Treasurer because I know this office can, and should, do so much more for the people of Wisconsin.
The Treasurer serves as Wisconsin’s chief financial officer, and should use its platform both to advocate for taxpayers and to implement sound economic policies. The Treasurer serves as financial trustee to four trust funds with assets of $1.2 billion, and should use those funds to improve Wisconsinites’ lives. For example, I would help refinance student loandebt – a $24-billion problem in Wisconsin, with some interest rates approaching 15 percent. By refinancing student loans at a lower rate, the Treasurer’s Office could save Wisconsinites millions. I’d also work to hold corporations and big banks accountable, by ending financial exploitation of seniors, combatting predatory lending, and closing the gender and minority wage gap.
As a fifth-generation Wisconsinite and the daughter of two public school teachers in Eau Claire, I was taught to give back to my community. Just as I fought to help save the State Treasurer’s Office, I will fight to make sure this office serves all Wisconsinites.