IRG Turns to the People to Solve Kitchen Table Issues

May 11, 2023 | Press Release, Wisconsin Voices Blog

IRG Turns to the People to Solve Kitchen Table Issues

Releases lessons, insights and stories from a year of building bridges into communities across Wisconsin

Delafield, WI – After visiting 25 cities, convening 42 listening sessions, and driving 5,367 miles across Wisconsin, IRG is releasing a first-of-its-kind community engagement report, What Wisconsin Wants, to showcase the lessons, insights and stories learned from IRG’s extensive travels and conversations.

Click here to read What Wisconsin Wants.

In 2006, then-Speaker of the Florida Assembly Marco Rubio organized community leaders all throughout Florida to get input from the people in crafting the vision for Florida’s future. Modeled after Rubio’s efforts, in 2022, IRG embarked on an ambitious year-long community engagement project:

  • From Wausaukee to Hayward to Elkhorn, IRG traveled 5,000+ miles across the state, hosting 40+ listening sessions with hundreds of Wisconsinites.
  • We met with a wide range of Wisconsinites, including farmers, educators, college students, loggers, entrepreneurs, manufacturers and more.
  • The rules were simple: listen and learn. IRG did not pitch any solutions; our role was to simply keep the conversation going.

Too often, the people making policies in Madison are disconnected from the people impacted by them. This disconnect is a massive and needless mistake; some of our best ideas come from the ground up! But finding these ideas requires listening.

Bolstered by recent statewide polling from Morning Consult and the State Policy Network, What Wisconsin Wants is IRG’s attempt to provide Wisconsin’s center-right movement with up-to-date lessons and insights into what Wisconsinites think about kitchen-table issues.

In the past two years, IRG has more than doubled the size of its outreach program in order to build stronger ties to communities in every region of the state. In 2023, this begins in Milwaukee and the rural Northwoods, two communities that are in high-need of transformational reforms and expanded opportunities.

Meanwhile, IRG Action will advance many of the ideas and lessons learned in an effort to help solve kitchen table issues from all corners of Wisconsin, including mental health, reading in elementary schools, social media, workforce shortage, middle class tax cuts and more.

For more questions or more information on the report or on IRG’s broader community engagement efforts, please reach out to Director of External Affairs Madison Hartmann: [email protected].