What follows is a guest blog from Stephanie Findley, candidate for First Vice Chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, in response to criticisms that have been leveled against her.

I have been a loyal Democrat since I came out of the womb in 1973. The first campaign I’ve ever worked on was for President Jimmy Carter’s re­election in 1980. I developed my first campaign literature on my own and went door to door in my neighborhood to get out the vote for President Carter. This election was very important to me because I couldn’t believe that people would vote for Ronald Reagan. When President Carter lost his re­election bid, I was devastated. I couldn’t understand for the life of me why Americans didn’t see through Ronald Reagan’s facade. The reason why it hurt so much is because I am the granddaughter of a sharecropper who had 9 children and 6 of his children left the south and migrated to the Midwest to work for GM, Chrysler and Ford. My father, aunts and uncles were members of the United Auto Workers Union which boosted my family into the middle class.

I knew Reagan was going to be America’s demise because he supported the super rich and he didn’t make any bones about it. Here I am 35 years later, I still drive an American car because my parents, aunts and uncles have now retired and I have
second generation family members who are currently employed in the three auto industry plants. I still have pensions and salaries to pay which is why I choose to drive an American car. Does this not make me a loyal Democrat?

Since 1980, I have worked tirelessly to help Democrats win up and down the ticket in Wisconsin. I have spent countless hours campaigning for my party that I have been a loyal member of. It is disheartening to see some people downplay my loyalty to
a party that I have worked hard to deliver votes to win local and statewide elections because I choose to support families. People say that I’m pro voucher, pro charter, but they often forget that I AM PRO PUBLIC SCHOOLS. I am a graduate of Milwaukee Public Schools. I graduated from James Madison High School to be exact. I ran for Milwaukee Public School Board in 2007 and had the backing of MTEA. I support teachers. I heart teachers. It is one of the toughest jobs on the planet and I feel they are underpaid, underappreciated, and under attack not just in Wisconsin, but in America as a whole. It is sad for a segment of the population, to continue degrade our teachers, to make others feel better about themselves.

I also live in Urban Milwaukee. The voucher program has existed in Milwaukee since 1990. Way before I arrived on the political scene, there were voucher schools. Urban Milwaukee delivers votes to the Democratic Party every election cycle. Are you telling me that the Latino and Black residents do not matter when it comes to delivering votes to help Democrats win elections up and down the ticket? If you come to Milwaukee, there are huge voting blocs that support voucher schools and, who am I to tell families where to send their children to school? I ran for State Assembly in 2010 but made it clear that I wouldn’t be supportive of any expansion of the voucher program. It has become clear to me that the Republicans have hijacked our tax dollars by expanding vouchers outside of Milwaukee. Republicans are pushing vouchers down the throats of families who can afford their children’s tuition. To expand the voucher program into areas where residents haven’t been given a chance to vote or voice their opinion on the voucher expansion is shameful. Furthermore, to lift the income limits to allow families who are above the poverty guidelines proves that vouchers were never meant for poor people. It has been in the plans for a long time to allow elite residents of our state to send their children to private institutions off the backs of Wisconsin tax payers.

I stand up every day for those who cannot stand up and fight for themselves. Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined our state would be in the position we are in today. The discussion people should be having is “how loyal of a party member
have I been?” I have been asked to serve on numerous committees representing the party. I have spent over ten years in a leadership position as the former 4th CD Chair and Black Caucus Chair. I am currently the City of Milwaukee Board of Elections Chair appointed by Mayor Tom Barrett. I am a pro­choice female who continues to give money to Planned Parenthood because I support women’s rights to reproductive justice. I am pro LGBT who have stood in Black churches when it wasn’t popular to advocate for LGBT issues. I support fairness and equality for all. I support economic and social justice for all. I am AFSCME. I am a card carrying member of AFSCME and I remain loyal to my union. I am the most LOYAL CARD CARRYING DEMOCRAT that you will ever meet and for all of the reasons listed above, I ask for your support to become the next 1st Vice Chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin.

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4 Responses to Guest Blog: Stephanie Findley responds to critics

  1. Joe Kallas says:

    I am impressed. How could anyone criticize Stephanie Findley? I hate to say it but this is what’s wrong with some Democrats in the state. No one is ever good enough for them.

  2. Joe Kallas says:

    I am impressed. How could anyone criticize Stephanie Findley?

  3. CJ McD says:

    Kudos to Stephanie Findley for her dedication and her life long support of Democrats and Democratic ideals..

    The comments made in a previous post were a blatant attempt to sully Stephanie’s reputation and stance on issues.

    The commentor was called out for their overt misdirection and shady Lee Atwater-like whisper campaign against Stephanie. Shame on them and their clumsy attempts to mislead.

  4. Diogenes says:

    There are much more important issues that we as Democrats must debate than an issue of whether someone who supports public schools is a traitor for also being agnostic about voucher schools. There are many Liberals (including me), who take issue with Common Core. I personally believe that we should have equal standards nationally for high school education-but for elementary school we should not be testing our kids at all. We need to allow for more creativity and innovation in the classroom for children during the greatest period of brain development. Testing really should only occur at the beginning and end of high school to study development to get into college.

    Let’s have a debate over the corporate take over of our party. Let’s talk about grassroots v. Top Down Indoctrinated movements. She said she supports education. lets give Stephanie a break.

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