MADISON – Today, candidate for U.S. Senate and Wisconsin State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski released a plan for rural Wisconsin. Sarah’s plan–the most comprehensive rural agenda of any candidate in the field–calls for investment in rural Wisconsin to ensure that no matter where Wisconsinites live, everyone has access to jobs, education, health care, and overall quality of life they want and deserve.
“Everywhere I go, Wisconsinites tell me that Washington politicians talk and talk but don’t listen, let alone deliver,” said Sarah Godlewski. “From access to broadband internet to improving health care to creating jobs and opportunities, my five-point plan will deliver on kitchen table issues for rural Wisconsin. As Senator, I will listen, I will engage, and I will ensure that Washington politicians finally start hearing Wisconsin’s rural voices.”
Over the coming days, Sarah will embark on a statewide rural tour, where she will listen to community leaders and discuss her plan. Sarah’s expansive policy proposal follows the release of a broad coalition of rural leaders supporting Sarah’s campaign, who touted her commitment to stand up for rural communities that Washington ignores and her focus on the kitchen table issues that matter most to rural Wisconsin.
“Rural communities in Wisconsin have lost trust in the Democratic Party for not taking them seriously. Sarah Godlewski has taken the time to show up and listen to the challenges that rural Wisconsin communities face and her rural plan shows it. She’s going to places that Democrats often ignore and she’s working hard to earn support,” said Bill Hogseth, former Chair of Dunn County Democrats and rural community advocate. “We need someone who can go to Washington and be a strong voice for rural issues. Sarah is definitely that person, and this plan shows her dedication to fighting for rural Wisconsinites.”
“I am a rural voter and I have served my neighbors in rural counties for years. So many folks here feel like they’ve been overlooked and left behind. Sarah listens to us and she gets it. Sarah has a plan to revitalize small and rural towns and give hardworking families a boost across the state,” said Jeff Smith, Wisconsin State Senator. “Sarah’s plan will address our unique challenges and increase access to vital services with bold new strategies to bring opportunities to rural Wisconsin. This out-of-the-box thinking is what rural families need and I know I can trust Sarah to turn it into action.”
Engaging with small towns and rural communities early in her campaign makes Sarah unique among her Democratic primary opponents and showcases her unmatched strength with voters Democrats need to win over to beat Ron Johnson. In her 2018 campaign, Sarah outperformed the Governor and Lieutenant Governor in rural communities and small towns. Sarah’s endorsements, policy proposals, and early statewide tour demonstrate her steadfast commitment to delivering for rural communities, a major problem for the party during the Trump Presidency that got even worse during last year’s elections in Virginia.
SARAH GODLEWSKI’S PLAN FOR WISCONSIN WILL:
- Make the internet a public utility – In the 21st century, broadband internet access can no longer be treated as a luxury. Sarah wants to make the internet a public utility in order to provide everyone in Wisconsin with guaranteed access to reliable and affordable internet service.
- Broaden access to quality medical care – Sarah wants to stem the tide of rural hospital closures and medical provider shortages by bringing in new federal investments and expanding Medicaid coverage to reduce lost hospital revenue. She wants to expand Wisconsin’s university pathway programs to bring talented medical students back to rural communities and increase student loan forgiveness for those communities. Sarah will work to increase telehealth access for rural patients by reducing licensing barriers and providing federal reimbursements for telehealth care.
- Expand education and job opportunities – Sarah wants to increase Title I funding for teachers’ salaries and school resources, and extend student loan forgiveness program eligibility for rural teachers. Additionally, Sarah believes our schools must support those who want to continue their education in college as well as students who want to enter the trades, which is why Sarah will work to fund apprenticeship programs and technical colleges across the country. She wants to get women back to work by fixing the current child care deserts that plague rural Wisconsin. Sarah wants to generate more jobs by better supporting entrepreneurs and business incubators, by streamlining federal loan and grant funding obstacles for rural businesses to make it easier to get funding, and by securing federal funding to help farmers and small business owners in the most economically distressed corners of the state.
- Combat climate change and protect natural resources – Sarah will work to fight climate change in rural communities by financing clean agriculture practices such as biofuels, carbon capture, and crop rotation while making funding for resiliency projects more accessible. She will work to bring communities and municipalities together to establish proven runoff prevention practices and will fight to reduce PFAS use to ensure clean drinking water. Sarah will make sure public lands stay in public hands and work to protect Wisconsin’s natural resources, including wildlife.
- Invest in Wisconsin family farms – Sarah wants a seat on the Senate Agriculture Committee so that she can prioritize American farmers in the 2023 farm bill and future trade deals, as well as work to bring the milk pricing system up to date. She plans to support the next generation of farmers by working for special carve-outs for family farmers in capital gains tax increases and by providing financial support to first-generation farmers. Sarah recognizes that the consolidation of agribusinesses threatens many family farms, and she will stand firm against anti-competitive agriculture practices. Sarah understands that farming communities face unique challenges which can take a toll on mental health. She will work to expand access to affordable mental health care, crisis hotlines, and mental health support programs.
Read the full plan here.