When elected officials no longer advocate for those that elected them it is time for people to demand a voice in their government. In Wisconsin we have seen a legislature that for over a year has refused to act to safeguard Wisconsinites from Covid -19. The Governor declared a health emergency that could only extend for 60 days if the legislature did not vote to continue it. In spite of the Covid pandemic extending into its second year the legislature never allowed the emergency declaration to continue nor did it offer or support any of the CDC protective measures.

We have a representative democracy where citizens elect representatives to vote on laws on their behalf. We are increasingly seeing our elected representatives divide themselves into opposing camps based on their political party affiliation. When people no longer matter, the opportunity for people to directly involve themselves in their government becomes paramount. This power exists already in the form of recall elections and referendums. However Wisconsin needs an “initiative process” that allows citizens to propose new laws to be voted upon directly by the people.

When those we elect refuse or no longer give voice to the people and political parties are so polarized that gridlock results the people must have the option to directly make government work for them. Non- partisan organizations such as The League Of Women Voters or Democracy Found could blueprint this direct democracy reform and promote it statewide.