3 Questions With Joel Kitchens, Wisconsin State Representative, District 1

Mar 24, 2023 | Wisconsin Voices Blog

1. What’s the biggest issue you’re hearing about from your constituents?

The biggest issue I hear about is the worker shortage. It is having a tremendous impact on our local economy, as it is in many areas of the state. We need to attract more workers to our state and create incentives to return more people to the workforce. We also need to create more affordable housing options.

2. If you were given the opportunity to enact one reform, what would it be?

When I think about the future of Wisconsin, the issue that concerns me most is the growing number of people who are trapped in the cycle of generational poverty and government dependence. I think that education is the one chance we have to break that cycle and put these young people in a position to live satisfying, productive lives. Two-thirds of kids who can’t read at grade level in the fourth grade will end up either in prison or on welfare. My top priority right now is to implement the type of reading instruction that has been very successful in other states.

3. What’s something most people don’t know about you?

Al Johnson’s Swedish Restaurant in Sister Bay is famous for having goats grazing on the roof. In my former life as a large animal veterinarian, I once set the leg of a goat that had broken it falling off the roof.