Door/Kewaunee County Delegation Meets with State Legislators

A large delegation from Door and Kewaunee counties met with state legislators during the Door County/Kewaunee County Legislative Days event held April 19-20 in Madison. The delegation’s goal was to discuss initiatives of importance to economic development in both counties.

The delegation included a total of 66 citizens, elected officials, business and community leaders, and students from Sturgeon Bay, Gibraltar and Luxemburg-Casco high schools. The delegation divided into small groups and collectively met with nearly 100 state officials. 

The agenda, formulated with input from community members of Door and Kewaunee counties, included discussions about water quality, affordable housing, child care, commercial fishing of lake trout, repair of the historical Potawatomi State Park observation tower and increased funding for youth apprenticeships.

“This event gives voice to our communities in Madison on some of the issues that are important to our areas,” said Ben Nelson, executive director of the Kewaunee County Economic Development Corporation (KCEDC). “It’s a relationship-building process as well. The saying I like to use is, ‘You either have a seat at the table, or you’re on the menu.’ We want to have a seat at the table.”

This was the 10th biennial Door County/Kewaunee County Legislative Days event, which is organized by the Door County Economic Development Corporation and the KCEDC. 

“It is vital that citizens provide input and feedback for our state policymakers,” said Michelle Lawrie, executive director of the Door County Economic Development Corporation. 

As it has in the past, this year’s event also served as an educational experience for area high school students. 

“To be honest, I didn’t really know how the [advocacy] process worked,” said Eva Hau, a Luxemburg-Casco junior and youth apprentice who attended both days of the event. “This gave me a better understanding, and I found it cool that we could sit down with [legislators and staffers] and express our issues and concerns freely.”

Gibraltar School District aide Andrew Pirrung attended the event for the first time with four Gibraltar students and colleague Mary Kate McCormack.

“The whole experience was great and full of productive conversations,” he said. “It allowed the students to see government in action and get a better understanding of how to advocate for issues. It was really interesting to see the human element of state government.”

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