On Thursday, March 8th, the JMM Women’s Club spent the school day at the Wisconsin State Capitol. None of the members, including me, could think of any better way to celebrate International Women’s Day than to talk to Wisconsin’s senators and legislators about women’s issues. We started out the day hearing presentations about the bills we’d be lobbying for (or against). The bills included SB476, which would protect victims of and advocates against domestic abuse by allowing them to go to trial in a safer county far away from their abuser, SB439, which would require schools to implement programs educating children K-6th grade about preventing sexual abuse, SB344, a bill that would make it illegal for anyone under 18 to be prosecuted for prostitution, AB831, which would add mandatory curriculum to high schools about teen dating violence as well as educate teachers on how to better support victims, and lastly, AB866, a bill that would require employers to allow schedule changes if an employee has a health condition, must care for a family member, is enrolled in an educational program, or has a part time job that interferes with their full time. All of these bills, if passed, would give not only women but all people more rights, and Women’s club felt that it was very necessary to inform our elected officials about these bills. We talked to Senator Fred Risser, Derek Brown (Staff for Representative Terese Berceau), and Representative Lisa Subeck. Each member of Women’s club was able to present a certain bill and share either an opinion or personal story on why they were/weren’t in support of the bill. All of our political figures agreed with our views, and also informed us of how they would improve these issues and assured that they would lobby for these bills in their next meeting. It was a very empowering day all over the world, and Women’s club was glad to play a part in it!
– Kari Larsen