Tired of the same old business organizations advocating austerity-at-all-costs, gutting environmental regulations, and other right-wing "pro-business" measures? Looking for a business organization that advocates for a more educated workforce, renewable energy, and other progressive values that are actually pro-business?
In Wisconsin, a new, more exciting, business organization is emerging. It's called the Wisconsin Business Alliance, or the WBA for short. You may be wondering, who exactly is behind this new organization? Well, the founder and executive director of the WBA is none other than Lori Compas, a wedding photographer-turned-political activist who attempted to recall the Republican leader of the Wisconsin State Senate, Scott Fitzgerald, earlier this year.
You may be wondering exactly what the WBA's agenda is. Well, Compas is going to officially launch the WBA, as well as its official website, tomorrow with events in Milwaukee, Madison, and Janesville, but the WBA already has active Facebook and Twitter pages, and Compas wrote this op-ed in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:
As pragmatic Midwesterners, we all know that in difficult moments we need to put aside our differences and face our problems rationally. For Wisconsin's business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs, this is one of those moments.What is Republican Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's response to the launch of the WBA? Well, he's going to run $500,000 worth of television ads via the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation trying to encourage private-sector job growth in Wisconsin. The Walker/WEDC ad campaign is titled, "In Wisconsin".
Small business owners lack access to affordable health care. Main Street businesses are closing up shop. Our economy relies on consumer spending, yet our state's most prominent business association advocates for policies that drive down wages.
For too long, Wisconsin has been operating in a 21st-century economy with a 20th-century mind-set. Now more than ever, we need a new voice for Wisconsin businesses.
That's why I'm pleased to announce the formation of the Wisconsin Business Alliance, a nonpartisan, nonprofit membership organization representing business owners statewide - including entrepreneurs, small businesses and farm-based businesses - who are committed to broad-based prosperity and a modern economy that's built to last.
The alliance will be made up of member businesses large and small that honor Wisconsin's traditions of education, cooperation and smart government. It's for people who build community and drive innovation in an increasingly complex world.
In the media and at the state Capitol, we'll advocate for common-sense, results-oriented policies that benefit our members, our communities and Wisconsin's business climate.
We'll work with businesses on the ground in their communities as well as with legislators on both sides of the aisle. Following Thursday's launch events in Milwaukee, Janesville and Madison, we'll work with our charter members and other civic, community and philanthropic leaders to expand our reach.
In Wisconsin's highly charged political environment, we've seen that everyone suffers when ideology trumps the spirit of cooperation. In order to rebuild bridges and start healing our state, we need to acknowledge that true prosperity comes from collaboration, not contention.
Wisconsin works best when we all work together, and the Wisconsin Business Alliance is poised to help put us back on the path to a strong and prosperous Wisconsin.
Milwaukee: 9 to 9:30 a.m., Stowell Associates, 4485 N. Oakland Ave.
Janesville: Noon to 12:30 p.m., original YMCA building, 400 W. Milwaukee St.
Madison: 2:30 to 3 p.m., Planet Propaganda, 605 Williamson St.
In Wisconsin, there are businesspeople who want a better workforce and stronger economy for Wisconsin, and they are willing to band together to advocate progressive pro-business ideals. In Wisconsin, there's a different kind of business organization, and it's called the Wisconsin Business Alliance.