Superior Days: A lesson in democracyDrumming can be heard from surrounding the Capitol square. Thousands of people with signs and megaphones line the streets showing support or opposition to Gov. Scott Walker’s budget repair bill.
By: By Erin Makela, Superior Telegram
Drumming can be heard from surrounding the Capitol square. Thousands of people with signs and megaphones line the streets showing support or opposition to Gov. Scott Walker’s budget repair bill.
This is my first Superior Days event at the Wisconsin Capitol.
Developed 26 years ago, Superior Days is a way for residents in our northwestern Wisconsin coastal towns to connect with legislators from across our state. Introducing and reintroducing our city to the officials that represent us in state government.
This year about 250 Superior Days delegates were here in Madison mixed in with a crowd of more than 60,000 of union backers, tea party members and Walker supporters.
In many ways Superior Days was overshadowed by the controversy surrounding the budget repair bill.
Tuesday morning more than 300 marchers paraded toward the Capitol under my hotel window shouting “This is what democracy looks like!” and “Kill the Bill!” People were raising their voices to be heard by legislators inside the Capitol walls.
With the large crowds legislators offices were locked or closed because of safety concerns and many of the Superior Day delegates were not able to meet with the legislators they had hoped to see.
However, we were there on the grounds, getting involved.
This is was democracy is all about — having a voice. Whether as a part of a group protesting or as a delegate of Superior Days — the people of our state; our nation raising our voices for what we believe in is the most basic foundation of our freedom.
“We the People” takes on a greater meaning when you see people involved in their government. So, whatever side you are on, get involved, raise your voice, this is your city, your state, your nation.
David Ross, secretary of the Department of Regulation and Licensing and former mayor of Superior, summed up the Superior Days experience as a “pure form of democracy” when he spoke to the delegation Wednesday morning.
Sitting there that morning before lobbying with legislators, I was proud to be a member of the 250 Superior Days delegates raising our voices on behalf of Superior and the northern counties of Wisconsin.
It was wonderful to experience democracy in its purest sense and a great first impression of the Superior Days event.
Thank you to Fariba Pendleton, UWS-Extension and all of the volunteers who plan and coordinate the Superior Days event.
Erin Makela is general manager of the Superior Telegram and participated in her first Superior Days with her Superior/Douglas County Leadership Team.