Wisconsin needs a solid, new direction

Dear Friends, (Link to the PDF here)

State Representative Terese Berceau has made it official that she’s retiring after 20 years of public service where she took the lead on many issues including health care, reproductive rights, stem cell research, economic justice and the rights of seniors and the disabled.

I hope to build on that legacy as I begin a run for State Representative for the 77th Assembly District that includes neighborhoods on much of Madison’s west and south sides.  Voters deserve a vigorous primary campaign to clarify issues, meet the candidates and consider their track-record to be an effective representative for the District.

Wisconsin needs a solid, new direction.  We’ve become a low-road state with policies that favor well-connected interests over the environment, workers, and our communities. I’m running to replace that extreme and divisive agenda with high-road policies that protect women’s rights and voters’ rights, support our teachers and public schools, revitalize the UW and the Wisconsin Idea, ensure more affordable health care, and restore Wisconsin’s environmental heritage and good government tradition.

As an elected official, nonprofit leader and responsible owner of a small business, I bring a unique background and a track-record for working effectively to solve problems and getting things done.

Despite state-imposed challenges to our budget and local decision-making, we made sure that workers were compensated fairly as valued partners who find cost-effective ways of providing services.  As one of only four municipalities in Wisconsin to obtain an “AAA” credit rating, we found ways to “take care of our own” while keeping tax rates low and maintaining long-term financial sustainability.

As a nonprofit leader, I’ve worked over 20 years to improve the environment, economy, and quality of Wisconsin through initiatives that promote responsible business practices, sound environmental policy, green building and water stewardship.  We need an economy that works for everyone, invests in innovative policies, clean technologies, and technical training to close the skills gap.

As a small business owner, I know first-hand what it takes to manage a budget, grow a business and make a payroll every week.  Providing a livable fair wage, family-friendly benefits, work-life balance, education and training opportunities are examples of the high-road policies we need to advance across Wisconsin.

We need to empower more entrepreneurship, particularly for women, immigrants, and people of color to help reduce social/economic disparities and provide well paying, accessible jobs for low-income households.

I also understand the importance of listening to voters and will take a cooperative, practical and effective approach to solve problems.  Working with colleagues, I voted for resolutions in support of our public schools and reducing carbon emissions to mitigate climate change; and I opposed efforts to restrict voting rights and dismantle Wisconsin’s good government tradition.

In short, we need to end the extreme divisiveness and inaction of today’s state politics and work diligently to enact the high-road, progressive policies to make Wisconsin a more vibrant and sustainable state again.

Thank you very much for your contributions to the success of our community and for your support!

Sincerely yours,


Unique Background and Track-Record to be Effective

John Imes has served in many public-private partnerships and as an adviser to national, state and local initiatives over the years. Selected experience: (Link to the PDF here)

*Endorsed by former Assembly Speaker and UW Regent Tom Loftus:  "The next legislative session will be crucial to the future of the UW, the Wisconsin Idea, the faculty, staff, students and the state. John is an experienced leader who will work diligently and effectively to defend the UW and support our university system."

Support John Imes for State Assembly