Candidates for State Senate D5

Jessica Katzenmeyer

1.

Q: What motivated you to run for this office?

A: A few reasons motivated me to run. Three years ago, I nearly died from a staph infection in my lungs. If I did not have health insurance through the ACA, it would have cost me $80,000 to save my life. No one should ever have to worry about going into debt or filing for bankruptcy over life-saving medical treatments.
My second reason is I believe we need to have a government which is representative of all of us. Representation is so important. The recent overturning of Roe shows how important it is to elect more women. We also need more diverse voices. Having more women and diverse voices brings new and different ideas to the table.
My third reason is I’ve always been passionate about wanting to serve people in elected government. I love the diversity of our state and I love helping others.

2.

Q: What relevant experience do you have for this position?

A: I ran in a close race in 2020 against Joe Sanfelippo for the 15th Assembly District during the pandemic. I formally named in three different national LGBTQ magazines as a top ten candidate to watch nationally which included a endorsement from President Joe Biden. I was a former union member with the Teamsters Local 344 for over 12 years including being elected Secretary of their Political and Legislative Committee for 3 years. I’m a longtime Wisconsinite of over 25 years. I am an al lum of Emerge Wisconsin Class of 2017 and the LGBTQ Victory Institute Class of 2020.which are elite campaign/candidate training programs. I am a LGBTQ rights activist and I advocate for victims of domestic violence. Finally, I am currently serving in government for the city of West Allis for a 3 year appointed term to the Plan Commission.

3.

Q: What are your highest priorities when elected?

A:

1) Healthcare. We need to make sure having access to safe abortions in Wisconsin is an essential part to healthcare. On top of that, making sure healthcare, more specifically Badgercare is affordable and accessible for everyone in the state who needs it. This includes affordable access to mental healthcare and the legalization of marijuana for recreational and medicinal purposes.
2) Infrastructure/Clean Energy. These issues work together. Building a stronger infrastructure subsystem for the state is key to growing a sustainable economy for our future. Highlights of my infrastructure plans are advocating and building high speed rail from Milwaukee to Madison, fixing the damn roads, making sure everyone has clean water and access to broadband, and tax credits for people who buy electric cars and install solar panels.
3) Workers Rights. Protecting our workers and making sure they’re treated well is also essential to our economic growth. Reversing Act 10, strengthening whistleblower protection laws, and advocating for a livable wage— $20-$25/hr and some highlights of what I want to do. When elected, I want to introduce a bill what I call the Wisconsin Whistleblower Protection Act. Wisconsin is lacking in whistleblower protection laws. In many instances when a worker reports misconduct from the company such as sexual harassment, assault, safety issues/violations, discrimination, and others, workers are forced to sign a NDA to silence their voices. This is wrong and this act will eliminate that.

4.

Q: You will be representing areas of Waukesha County in the legislature. What bill would you propose that impacts a challenge specific to Waukesha County?

A: I will propose removing if the 1849 law that bans all abortions in Wisconsin. There are many women in this district and we all have the right to access safe abortions. It’s our body so it’s our choice. Having access to safe abortions is a human right.

5.

Q: Wisconsinites pay more for healthcare than many other states, due in large part to healthcare monopolies. How would you propose that we lower these costs?

A: If we do things like legalize marijuana and reform the justice system , this will free up more money to use for healthcare thus lowering our costs. By legalizing marijuana and adding in a 20% sales tax on all marijuana sales, this will generate more revenue for the state as this has happened in other states that have legalized marijuana. Reforming the justice system includes looking for other ways to rehabilitate non violent criminals instead of having them sit in jail. Wisconsin spends on average $35,000 a year for every person who is incarcerated. Other things we could do is send the non violent people to therapy sessions which is think for them will be more productive then sitting in a jail.

6.

Q:  What concerns you most about the recent attacks on voting rights and election administrators?

A: What will happen next concerns me the most and what could happen to our Democracy. Fair elections are so important because it insured we can trust the results and have who we want as elected representatives. Everyone who is eligible has a right to vote and should be able to make their voices heard. We need to make sure ballot drop boxes are available and to not have a ID requirement to vote if our voting rights are taken away, then this not a democracy nor is it a representative government.

7.

Q: Are there more steps, besides those that Governor Evers has already taken, that the state can do to help people who are really struggling with the economic impact of inflation, gas prices, housing prices, and stagnant wages?

A: I fully support Gov Evers efforts with what he is doing to help inflation. I think there could be some things we can do like capping prices for certain essential items. Maybe look into giving some tax credits for building owners who keep rent prices at a certain level. I advocate for a livable wage — $20-$25/hr. $15/ht isn’t going to cut it for most working class people. I think we can freeze the gas tax and gas price increases for a while until inflation is under control.

8.

Q: How do you propose to protect reproductive choice for all people?

A: First removing the 1849 law that’s on the books in Wisconsin now. Advocating for safe abortion access as a essential part of healthcare. Helping women get safe abortions in other states if they have too. Supporting organizations such as Planned Parenthood.

9.

Q: Wisconsin is one of the worst states in the nation for Black maternal mortality, and is the worst state in which to raise a black child. How can we change that?

A: I think hospitals can help patients, and those accompanying them, understand the urgent maternal warning signs and when to seek medical attention right away. Help patients manage chronic conditions or conditions that may arise during pregnancy like hypertension, diabetes, or depression.
Recognize unconscious bias in themselves and in their office. Address any concerns patients may have. Provide all patients with respectful care. Standardize coordination of care and response to emergencies. Improve delivery of quality prenatal and postpartum care. Train non-obstetric care providers to ask about pregnancy history in the preceding year.
I think as a state we can assess and coordinate delivery hospitals for risk-appropriate care. Support review of the causes behind every maternal death. Identify and address social factors influencing maternal health such as unstable housing, transportation access, food insecurity, substance use, violence, and racial and economic inequality.

10.

Q: How will you promote students’ wellbeing and inclusion in Wisconsin’s schools, and keep Wisconsin from harmful legislation such as Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill?

A: Create a welcoming environment for all students in all schools. Allow students to freely express themselves is so important. And showing love and acceptance of all goes a long way! Don’t ban books from school libraries which talk about LGBTQ subjects. I believe actions speak louder then words. When a school takes these steps to create an inclusive and welcoming environment, students and teachers will feel more safe and comfortable in their learning experiences.

11.

Q: What is one bill that you think could get bipartisan support in our divided state legislature?

A: Hopefully common sense gun control laws. There’s an alarming amount of mass shootings in this country. No one should have to fear for their safety to attend a holiday parade or event, or going to school. We need to make sure guns don’t fall into the hands of the wrong people.

12.

Q: If you do not win the primary election, will you support the candidate who does?

A: Yes of course!

tom palzewicz

1.

Q: What motivated you to run for this office?

A: I’m running for State Senate to be a servant leader to the people of Wisconsin’s 5th Senate District, to break through the hyper-partisan gridlock that has paralyzed our state government, and to get our legislature to work for all of us. 

I have the experience, knowledge, and passion required to tackle our state's significant challenges. I’m dedicated to working on real bipartisan solutions to the considerable challenges we are confronting, like fighting rising inflation, ensuring public safety, and guaranteeing every kid a world-class public education. 

2.

Q: What relevant experience do you have for this position?

A: I am a veteran of the US Navy, experienced in finance and banking, and am a small business owner who helps other businesses thrive. Additionally, I’ve run for Congress twice in Wisconsin’s 5th CD. I have been out talking, listening, and engaging with hard-working Wisconsinites about the issues that matter most to them for years. I know that people are fed up with a state legislature that can’t get anything done.

3.

Q: What are your highest priorities when elected?

A: I’m dedicated to working on real bipartisan solutions to the considerable challenges we are confronting, like fighting rising inflation, ensuring public safety, and guaranteeing every kid a world-class public education. 

4.

Q: You will be representing areas of Waukesha County in the legislature. What bill would you propose that impacts a challenge specific to Waukesha County?

A: Our schools are facing real challenges. Although property tax limits are being exceeded in many jurisdictions, it’s harder and harder to find strong, qualified educators and class sizes are headed in the wrong direction. The failures of right-wing extremism are being laid bare even in Scott Walker’s strongest base of support. I would propose a comprehensive education package to improve teacher recruitment and retention, fund schools adequately, and ensure we rebuild America’s best public education system. 

5.

Q: Wisconsinites pay more for healthcare than many other states, due in large part to healthcare monopolies. How would you propose that we lower these costs?

A: I don’t believe anyone should have to choose between picking up their prescriptions or picking up their groceries. I will be a strong advocate for policies that will tackle the challenge of healthcare affordability head-on. We need to expand Badgercare to expand coverage for those in the gap of affordable insurance options provided by the ACA while also saving Wisconsin taxpayers billions of dollars. Many of the challenges must be met through federal legislation but Wisconsin can provide necessary oversight and spur competition in Wisconsin’s healthcare marketplace.

6.

Q:  What concerns you most about the recent attacks on voting rights and election administrators?

A: Let me be crystal clear: Our election system is secure, every vote is counted, and it works as designed. The only questions about election integrity come from folks buying into verifiably false conspiracy theories to advance an agenda. Unfortunately, this is beginning to erode the public’s confidence in our election systems. These attacks on voting rights and election administrators are dangerous and we must do more to strengthen and safeguard our democracy.

When I’m elected to the State Senate, I’ll do everything in my power to educate Wisconsinites about the integrity of our democratic process. I’ll be a strong advocate for ensuring every eligible voter’s constitutionally guaranteed right to vote. Our democracy only works when it is open and accessible to all of us, and we must do everything we can to keep it that way. 

7.

Q: Are there more steps, besides those that Governor Evers has already taken, that the state can do to help people who are really struggling with the economic impact of inflation, gas prices, housing prices, and stagnant wages?

A: I believe we need to take a look at what kind of tax relief we can provide to the middle-class families who are facing the brunt of inflation and the rising costs of consumer goods. I applaud the Governor’s proposal for a gas-tax holiday and will support any measure that does more to provide relief to all Wisconsinites. 

8.

Q: How do you propose to protect reproductive choice for all people?

A: We need to ensure that everyone who needs reproductive healthcare can access affordable care options here in the state. I will do everything in my power to protect a woman’s right to choose and reverset the archaic abortion ban that was created in the 1800s that is putting the lives of Wisconsin women in jeopardy.

Additionally, I fully support Attorney General Kaul’s decision not to enforce the abortion ban. I fully support any additional action that Governor Evers and AG Kaul can take at the executive level to restore abortion rights in Wisconsin.

9.

Q: Wisconsin is one of the worst states in the nation for Black maternal mortality, and is the worst state in which to raise a black child. How can we change that?

A: We need to do more to make high-quality maternal healthcare more accessible and affordable in every corner of our state, especially for Black women. In addition to expanding Badgercare,  I believe we can look towards other communities and healthcare providers that have made progress in reducing Black maternal mortality in their communities to identify actions we can take to reduce Black maternal mortality here in Wisconsin as well. 

10.

Q: How will you promote students’ wellbeing and inclusion in Wisconsin’s schools, and keep Wisconsin from harmful legislation such as Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill?

A: Public schools are the cornerstone of our society, and I firmly believe every child deserves a world-class public education, regardless of zip code or ability. Our public schools should have the resources and latest technology needed to give every kid the education they need to succeed in the 21st century. I will always be a strong advocate for our public education system and will do everything I can as a State Senator to ensure the state provides the funding our schools need. 

Additionally, every single student deserves to be supported and included when they’re at school. I will strongly oppose legislation like Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill and other legislation designed to exclude and single out any group of students because of their identity. All students should have the same opportunities as their peers in our schools.

11.

Q: What is one bill that you think could get bipartisan support in our divided state legislature?

A: I think it’s possible to put together a middle-class tax relief package that can earn votes on both sides of the aisle. 

12.

Q: If you do not win the primary election, will you support the candidate who does?

A: I will support my primary opponent if she wins the primary election. Making sure we win this seat and protecting Governor Evers’ veto power is a priority.