Superior Telegram--U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisconsin addressed the Superior Days delegation last week and recognize the 28 years citizens have making the trek to Madison to address the needs of the north with state legislators.
"Never has visiting Superior been so easy," the senator, who hails from Madison, said. "If only it could be just a couple blocks from my home."
And she recognized Lew Martin, who traveled to Madison most of those years. At 96, Martin was among the 208 delegates, which included 65 youth delegates.
"Superior Days has always made a real commitment to including young people and giving them a voice in this Superior Days ritual and tradition," Baldwin said. "You clearly see that this occasion is not just about today, but about tomorrow."
The success of Superior Days has been a model used by several communities around the state to ensure their concerns are heard, Baldwin said.
"You have an incredible amount to be proud of, in terms of accomplishments from prior Superior Days," Baldwin told the delegation during a breakfast last week before. "Beyond simply strengthening the democratic process through your presence here, this event has secured much needed investments for northern Wisconsin and raised awareness of the needs of citizens in northern Wisconsin."
Baldwin became familiar with the annual lobbying effort when she served in the state assembly.
"You should be proud of your successes in moving a number of important projects forward," Baldwin said.
Since 1986, the annual lobbying efforts has had a growing list of accomplishments for the northern eight counties in the state. They include the Twin Ports Veterans Outpatient Clinic, expansion of U.S. Highway 53 to a four-lane highway and improvements to U.S. Highway 2, new and improve buildings at the University of Wisconsin-Superior, as well and funding and legislation to address environment, tourism and economic development in the north. That list includes development of the Great Lakes Northern Visitors Center in Ashland, securing a premiere resort area designation in Bayfield, completion of the Wild Rivers Trial that runs through Douglas, Barron and Washburn counties. The lobbying effort most recently secured the establishment of the Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserved -- only the second fresh water reserve in the nation -- on about 16,000 acres of Superior waterfront.
"That is quite a list and that is very impressive, and I think you should be proud of all you've accomplished working together on behalf of northern Wisconsin," Baldwin said.
The senator also encouraged delegates to keep her aware of the issues because she understands that the way to represent all the citizens of Wisconsin is to have a strong federal, state and local public and private partnerships that can help grow the middle class from the bottom up and middle out.
"At every level of government you need us putting progress ahead of politics -- I can't stress that enough In order for us to build a better and stronger future you need us to invest in schools in northern Wisconsin. I believe we must make it a priority to invest in education," Baldwin said.
She said building the economy in a way it will last means investing in innovation, science and technology.
"It's up to you to make sure elected officials take that path," Baldwin.