They’re not backing down.
That was among the messages last week when people gathered outside of Centerline Machine in Waupaca, and protested Gov. Scott Walker’s legislative proposals.
Walker visited the business to talk about job creation and tax cuts.
Outside, about 100 people demonstrated against his plans.
“We just want him to know that not all Wisconsinites agree that we should support corporations at the expense of lowering the middle class,” Carol Lorenz said.
Lorenz, of Waupaca, is a retired teacher. She taught eighth-grade math at Waupaca Middle School and said she is concerned about the potential loss of collective bargaining and cuts to BadgerCare.
In addition, she said, “I hate what he’s doing to the environment – relaxing the rules, deregulation.”
Ann Schmidt lives in rural Wautoma and has been active with the Waushara Area Democratic Party. She is a former newspaper reporter and editor who currently teaches piano in an after-school program in the Wautoma School District. She is also a substitute teacher.
“When I was a reporter, I could not express myself, and I did not,” Schmidt said. “The reason I’m here is because I think it’s a wonderful opportunity to try to tell Scott Walker we’re not going to back down. We’re not going to forget what he’s doing. He’s taking all the progressive laws Wisconsin is famous for.”
Schmidt has never belonged to a union but said she understands the need for them.
John Cross, of Waupaca, is a retired fifth-grade teacher and an election worker for the city. He believes the voter identification law that the governor signed last week will be intimidating to senior citizens and also to young voters.
The law will require that voters show photo ID before voting.
Cross said it will discourage younger voters. He also commented on the proposed concealed gun bill.
“I just feel it is not necessary that people be allowed to carry concealed weapons,” Cross said. “I think Wisconsin should stay one of the states that does not allow it.”
Pat DuChene is the chairwoman of the Waupaca County Democratic Party, and she also attended last week’s protest.
When she learned the governor was going to be in Waupaca, she “reached out to the people I know who are supportive of the recall of (state Sen.) Luther Olsen and are opposed to Governor Walker’s radical agenda to see if they would be interested in letting our governor know that his policies are not popular with everyone in Waupaca.”
She said labor rights sparked protests but that the governor has moved beyond that issue to others, including the rights of voters.
“We have people stopping in over their lunch hours. We have had people who took a vacation day to be here.
Raymond Banse lives in the town of Lanark and also made the trip to Waupaca last week to protest the governor’s proposals. Banse was a heavy equipment operator for the city of Glendale for 36 years.
“I’ll stay involved in unionism as long as I live,” he said. “It’s that simple.”