Breaking: Working Families Party Launches in Wisconsin

Today, Working Families is excited to announce that we have officially launched a new chapter in the great state of Wisconsin!

Check out this article detailing our vision for the Wisconsin Working Families party below:


Wisconsin Working Families Party launches to promote progressive values and candidates

Marina Dimitrijevic announced as founding executive director

 MILWAUKEE— A diverse array of progressive labor and community groups announced today the formation of the Wisconsin Working Families Party. The new organization will build progressive power by launching aggressive campaigns and by recruiting, training and electing progressive candidates. Also announced was the hiring of former Milwaukee County Board Chairwoman Marina Dimitrijevic as executive director.

“We will fight for an economy that works for all of us, and a democracy in which every voice matters,” said Dimitrijevic. “We will organize and empower people to build progressive power 365 days a year, and we will raise the living standard for working families and make Wisconsin stronger.”

“We are a people-powered community and we are going to elect the next generation of progressive leaders,” said Jennifer Epps-Addison, executive director of Wisconsin Jobs Now, one of the founders of Wisconsin Working Families Party. “Wisconsin’s working families are under attack by the Republicans in charge of our state. Our agenda is to take back our state and ensure that all Wisconsin residents have a fair shot to succeed at the American Dream.”

“I’m excited about the Wisconsin Working Families Party as a new ally in the fight for progressive values,” said State Sen. Chris Larson (D-Milwaukee), who served as Democratic Leader in the last session, and initially won his seat in the legislature by defeating a conservative Democrat in a primary election. “They have had tremendous success in advancing a progressive agenda around the country, and will bring new energy to the work to elect strong leaders. I’m also pleased that Marina is taking the lead – she has the leadership skills, the progressive values, the connections, and the savvy to win in politics and I look forward to working with her in this new role.”

Wisconsin Working Families Party leaders also announced their first initiative: to recruit and train candidates for City of Milwaukee and Milwaukee County elections in April. After that, the group will turn its attention to legislative primaries in August.

 “We’re going to start in Milwaukee, but we have a statewide agenda,” said Bruce Colburn, Vice President of SEIU Wisconsin, who has helped organize Wisconsin Working Families Party. “Working with our partners, we plan to recruit and train candidates who are progressive champions, with a passion for fighting for economic and racial equality. We’re not afraid of big, corporate special interests and we will deliver results for working families.”

Wisconsin Working Families Party is affiliated with the national Working Families Party, a growing progressive political organization now active in nine states. The party will not initially seek ballot status in Wisconsin, but instead will focus on running slates of candidates in non-partisan races and engaging on behalf of candidates in Democratic Party primaries.

“Our agenda is rooted in substantive issues that will make a difference in improving quality of life in Wisconsin,” said Mike Bink, president of UAW Local 469 at MasterLock. “We need leaders who will address income inequality, declining living standards, and racial injustice. That’s why Wisconsin Working Families Party is being formed.”

“Working people in Wisconsin are facing massive challenges, with a governor who doesn’t believe in the minimum wage or in affordable college, but does believe in massive handouts to the wealthy,” said Jon Green, national deputy director of the Working Families Party. “We are thrilled to see a new Working Families Party launch to turn Wisconsin around, and delighted to have someone as talented as Marina take the helm.”