What is the Working Families Party?

The Wisconsin Working Families Party is a grassroots independent political organization that fights for Wisconsin’s working families 365 days a year — working to raise the minimum wage, get big money out of politics, and make major strides for racial justice. Marina Dimitrijevic, the former Milwaukee County Board Chairwoman, is the executive director of WI WFP.

The WI WFP is a coalition of labor and community groups, including: Wisconsin Jobs Now, SEIU, Milwaukee Teachers Education Association, AFT Local 212, UAW, and Wisconsin Federation of Nurses & Health Professionals.

In other states, the Working Families Party has proven to be one of the most effective organizations in the nation. We’ve won minimum wage raises and paid sick days laws, raised taxes on the rich, defended public schools from cuts, expand voting rights and more. And they’ve elected dozens of progressive candidates to office at every level.

Why create a new party?

Billionaires like the Koch Brothers control the agenda of the Republican party in Wisconsin. But if we’re being honest, the influence of the rich and powerful is strong on too many Democrats too. We need a political voice that will stand on the side of working families every single day.

Is there Working Families Party going to be a party on the ballot?

Not at first, for sure. What we’ll do is recruit, train and support candidates that we feel like share our values. We might support a progressive Democrat against a Republican, we might seek out and recruit a Working Families Democrat to run as a primary challenger to a corporate Democrat. We have lots of options.

Is there Working Families Party like a Tea Party of the left?

The Tea Party agenda is determined by a small handful of wealthy corporate interests. What’s different is our agenda is to support policies that work for working families. But we do want to use the electoral process to elect candidates who share our values and build political power for our constituency — and that’s working families, not billionaires.

Any idea what you’ll be doing first?

We’re looking first at recruiting, training and endorsing candidates for the City of Milwaukee and Milwaukee County elections in April. Afterwards, we will focus on candidates for City Council and County Board around the state, as well as for State Assembly and State Senate.