“The Test” – Wisconsin Values – A Progressive Balance

  • Person grading a test

Many months back a group of concerned citizens developed “The Test.” It was centered on three simple words – – – Fairness, Respect and Community. These words were chosen because they embody values that virtually all Wisconsinites hold dear. “The Test” was originally written to give citizens a basis upon which to assess proposed legislation and regulation, but it can also be applied to candidates for public office. As we approach the fall elections it is critical that we ask ourselves – – – does a candidate and what they propose and stand for represent fairness, respect, and community?

Here is “The Test” in its original wording with “candidate” added in parenthesis:

We Wisconsinites hold strong values.  We feel strongly about the communities in which we live.  We are proud to say, “I’m from Wisconsin.”  We believe people should be treated fairly and with respect – just as we ourselves want to be treated. 

Wisconsinites believe our government’s role is to create balance – balance between the needs of people, businesses, and our community institutions such as local governments (schools, cities, municipalities etc.) and non-profit groups (charities, churches and other service organizations).  When these are in balance, our communities are strong.  When they are not, our communities suffer, our quality of life declines, and people and businesses look elsewhere for a place to live and do business.Wisconsin: Sign of the Times

Try this simple “test” to determine whether or not a (candidate) or proposed law or regulation brings balance – whether (they) are worth supporting or need to be opposed.  These questions cannot be answered in isolation.  Like the pieces of a jig saw puzzle, the answers must fit together to give a clear picture and to answer the question…

Does (a candidate) or what is being proposed or acted upon reflect our Wisconsin’s Values? 

  1.  Does it treat people fairly?
  2.  Does it show respect?
  3.  Does it support the common good of our community?


If the (candidate) or proposal doesn’t create an appropriate balance among these questions, then we need to change our direction and elect representatives who will work together to bring clear thinking back to our state.