GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – Spring elections don’t traditionally engage voters. But Eau Claire native and musician Justin Vernon is hoping to change that.
Vernon’s “For Wisconsin” group has set up a community center at 333 North Broadway in downtown Green Bay.
For the next five days, the center will offer free activities, food, and drink aimed at helping folks get to know each other and learn about the critical issues that make up municipal elections.
“This is the stuff about your roads, your school district,” explained Molly Small of “For Wisconsin.” “This is the stuff that matters to people. but they don’t know enough about the municipal election and how sometimes it is more important than the general election.”
They started things off Friday night with a free community fish fry with entertainment until 9 p.m.
They’ve also got free pastries Saturday morning starting at 10 and activities from yoga to screen printing.
They consider it a celebration of Wisconsin culture that hopefully gets enough people engaged to ensure its future by exercising the right to vote.
Mayor Eric Genrich says he thinks it’s great that “For Wisconsin” chose Green Bay. “Its mission is to celebrate democracy. They’re bringing in musicians it’s unique and very cool.”
Mayor Genrich says he has every confidence in the election process in the city. Even amidst continuing cynicism about the last general election brought on, in part, by the investigation led by former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Michael Gabelman.
“I’m an optimist and I think the vast majority of people trust the elections and process,” Genrich told Local 5 News. “It’s a small minority of people who are cynical about how things go and how things went. It’s important for me to focus on the reality of the situation is that our elections are run in a free and fair way and democracy is pretty cool.”
“For Wisconsin,” says it’s anxious to bring attention to voter issues in Northeast Wisconsin since often attention is focused only on Madison or Milwaukee.