NEWS

WisDems: Sen. Jeff Smith, Rep. Jodi Emerson and community leaders in Eau Claire hold Vote NO press conference

MADISON, Wis. — Today, Senator Jeff Smith and Representative Jodi Emerson joined former Eau Claire City Councilman and the Northwestern Wisconsin Co-op Organizer for Citizen Action Wisconsin Jeremy Gragert at a press conference in Eau Claire urging Wisconsinites to vote NO on two misleading constitutional amendment ballot questions placed on the August 2024 primary ballot by right-wing politicians in Wisconsin’s Legislature. 

Today’s event was the latest in a statewide push from Wisconsin Democrats to get the word out to voters about the dangerous impacts these constitutional amendments could have for Wisconsin’s small businesses. During the COVID-19 pandemic, quick action from Gov. Evers to deploy federal aid was essential to ensuring Main Streets across Wisconsin were able to recover and community organizations could support their neighbors. Now, Republican politicians are attempting to trick voters into eliminating checks and balances to give themselves sole control over critical federal funds.

Watch the event and see what speakers had to say, in part, below:

State Senator Jeff Smith: “[Republicans] keep proving to us that we cannot trust the Legislature to do what they need to do when the Republicans are in the majority. If these two constitutional amendments passed, Republicans would have even more power to obstruct critical funding for each of our first responders and small businesses and our communities in emergencies. They can’t be trusted. Wisconsin Republicans want to ensure that they are the only ones who have the power to act—or refuse to act. That is not how this republic is set up with checks and balances. These amendments are a sorry attempt to remove those checks and balances and give the Legislature even more power.” 

State Representative Jodi Emerson: “It’s critical that voters vote NO on these proposed amendments so that our small business community won’t be left without support in economic hardships. And I want to remind everyone that after the pandemic, Eau Claire grew and maintains a strong, vibrant small business community thanks to ARPA funding and Governor Evers’ Main Street Bounce Back program. Without the governor’s ability to act quickly and distribute emergency funding, we wouldn’t have seen our small businesses and nonprofits here in Eau Claire and across Wisconsin grow.”

Jeremy Gragert: “It’s important for voters to understand the effects these constitutional amendments will have on our community. These amendments will restrict emergency response and delay relief for small businesses, community nonprofits, and families during natural disasters or emergencies. […] The small business economy is a close-knit community. And this community feels every loss. Here in Eau Claire, we know the value that our small businesses and nonprofits bring to our city, and we have seen firsthand how critical the release of federal funds is when communities like ours are in need.”

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