About Us

Wisconsin Citizen Action is a grassroots citizens’ organization, dedicated to social, economic and environmental justice for all. Citizen Action unites the political power of our 61,000 individual members and over 150 affiliate organizations into a significant grassroots force on key issues and elections in Wisconsin. Our mission is to: win improvements that matter in our daily lives, give people a sense of their own power to shape the future and alter the relations of power to favor people over wealthy special interests.

Our Members Wisconsin Citizen Action has 61,000 individual members. They come from all over Wisconsin, from each of our ninety-nine state assembly districts and from all walks of life. They are rural and urban, young and old, lower, middle and upper income, male and female, multi-racial and have different faiths and political persuasions. Approximately 45% are Democrats, 34% Republicans and 17% independents.

  • Our members listen to us. We regularly communicate with our members, including periodic newsletters, quarterly phone calls, monthly email alerts to over 13,000 activists in our electronic network, periodic issue action alerts and regular voter guides and voting records around elections. According to a November 2000 poll conducted by Lake, Snell, Perry and Associates for us, “WCA’s electoral communications program was highly successful, reaching AFL-CIO levels of recall, penetration and impact in the 2000 local and national elections.”
  • Our members are activists. In an average year, Wisconsin Citizen Action generates over 6,000 letters, postcards and telewires on our issues from our members to their elected officials. We have over 13,000 active email addresses and many of our members respond to email alerts to contact elected officials or participate in rallies.
  • Our Affiliates Wisconsin Citizen Action unites over 150 dues-paying affiliates in the fight for a common agenda of social, economic and environmental justice. Our affiliates include the state’s leading labor, senior citizen, environmental, community, religious, women’s, family farm, teacher, and civil rights organizations and Native American tribes, including: AARP-Wisconsin, Wisconsin State AFL-CIO, Wisconsin Education Association Council, Clean Wisconsin, Coalition of WI Aging Groups, Planned Parenthood, Lutheran Office of Public Policy in Wisconsin, NAACP, Voces de la Frontera, Wisconsin Council of Churches and the Potawatomi and Menominee Indian Tribes of WI. Wisconsin Citizen Action brings the full weight of our collective memberships to bear on the public policy process.

What We Do

  • Winning Issue Campaigns Wisconsin Citizen Action mobilizes individuals around issues and elections to win tangible improvements in people’s lives. In 2005, together with our 501(c)(3) sister organization, Wisconsin Citizen Action Fund, we held 95 events and mobilized more than 5,000 individuals to take action, from writing letters, to participating in rallies, press conferences, training sessions and public meetings. We generated a total of 152 press hits. Recent victories have included:
  • Winning passage (2003) and implementation (2005) of Badger Rx, a state buying pool that is expected to save individuals between 25% - 75% on their prescription drug purchases. One in every six Wisconsin residents is expected to be eligible to participate.
  • Helping push back the effort to privatize Social Security. We targeted the position of Rep. Mark Green in a six-month campaign, co-organizing two events per month, generating an average of 1.6 media stories per month and over 1,000 handwritten letters on the issue (2005).
  • Helping residents fight off Wal-Mart in Franklin and Sheboygan (2004).
  • Successfully organizing central city parents to secure $1.8 million in state funding for afterschool programs in Community Learning Centers serving 12,000 children and their families (2002).
  • Winning our 18-month battle to pass a real prescription drug benefits bill in Wisconsin. SeniorCare is the second most generous prescription drug benefits measure in the nation (2001).
  • Winning our year-long fight to get the City of Milwaukee to sue the lead paint industry to pay its fair share of lead clean-up costs in Milwaukee (1999).
  • Winning the Mining Moratorium (1998) to prevent dangerous sulfide pollution of our rivers and groundwater, through a coalition of Native Tribes, environmental and conservation organizations.

Building a Progressive Electoral Majority by organizing blocs of new voters and recruiting and training new candidates. Wisconsin Citizen Action works to elect leaders at all levels of local, state and federal office who agree with our values and support our issues. In 2004, we mailed a total of 328,596 pieces of literature (29 separate pieces) to our targeted members to encourage them to vote for our endorsed presidential and senate candidates. We also played in 6 state level races, 3 of which we helped to win. Through our door-to-door program we left literature at 13,911 doors and talked directly with 5,055 voters. Candidates like U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore and State Senator Dave Hansen publicly recognized our efforts. Our 501(c)(3) sister organization registered 22,407 new voters through a nonpartisan civic engagement program and helped to increase voter turn-out by 20.57% in historically low-participation neighborhoods.

Educating the Public Through a field and phone canvass, we talk to over 150,000 Wisconsin households every year about issues. In an average year, we generate approximately 6,000 letters and “telewires” (personalized telegram-like letters to legislators) from concerned citizens to public officials. We also generated email contacts through our electronic activist network.
Who We Are - Wisconsin Citizen Action is the state’s premier public interest organization, dedicated to social, economic and environmental justice for all. Citizen Action unites the political clout of its 71,000 individual members and over 200 affiliate organizations into a significant grassroots force for social change around key issues and elections in Wisconsin.

Copyright 2006 Wisconsin Citizen Action