Citizen Action of Wisconsin is dedicated to economic, racial, and environmental justice, and achieving a Wisconsin and an America where every human being has an equal opportunity to live a meaningful and fulfilling life. We believe that organizing is the only pathway to unlocking the true potential of democracy to fundamentally transform our society in the human interest and overcome structural racism, sexism, xenophobia, corporate domination, and other forms of oppression.
Founded in 1983 as a community/labor coalition, Citizen Action Wisconsin was an early anchor affiliate of the influential Citizen Action/USAction, played a leading role in organizing the network merger that created People’s Action, and has a leading role in its strategy and governance. We are also affiliated with the Powerswitch Action (formerly Partnership for Working families). We are one of a small number of social justice groups organizing a deep and multiracial membership base across the entire spectrum of urban, rural, and suburban communities. Citizen Action theory of building power in Wisconsin is to work on big issues that can be the basis for creating a community of interest across the state. The pathway to progressive power in Wisconsin, as it has been since the early 20th Century progressives blazed the trail, is multiracial organizing that bridges the urban/rural/suburban divide. Historically, Wisconsin has had great periods of reform when there was an alignment between diverse Milwaukee and people in medium sized cities and contiguous rural areas that hold the balance of power in the state.
This is how Wisconsin made great contributions to the Progressive Era, the New Deal, the Great Society, and the modern environmental and labor movements. On the other hand, when Wisconsin is polarized by race, ethnicity, and geography, regressive and racist policies predominate. This historical perspective is built into all of Citizen Action of Wisconsin’s strategies and programs.
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