In October, 2015, I asked Wisconsin GOP legislators to tell me how many citizens opposed proposed game-changing legislation. Citizens had said "NO" in large numbers. Legislators passed the bills anyway. I was on to something.
In December, 2015 I published my website, We the Irrelevant. Volunteers appeared out of nowhere, eager to help me gather more data. Facebook boosts of my new page helped to spread the word. By June, 2016 my website had 21,000 unique visits. Those visits have now topped 60,000!
My initial Kickstarter campaign raised over $1000 in less than 24 hours. I've used that money for buttons, brochures, Facebook boosts, and parking fees for the Chief Clerks' offices where I reviewed and tallied records free of charge.
In September, 2016, everything changed. I am now disabled - temporarily, I hope. But, I can no longer get downtown. Records must be mailed. I am paying for them now, as well as for postage.
Since January 1, 2017, I've paid $250 for Facebook boosts, but $564.27 for records with more to come. We the Irrelevant's checking account is nearly empty. I am a senior citizen on a fixed income. Without your help, I cannot afford to continue querying legislators.
While Wisconsin still has an open records statute, I want to continue to use it in the service of open, transparent government. Please help in any way you can.
This is what democracy looks like.
Risks and challenges
I fully intend to continue asking legislators of both parties for records of citizen correspondence on issues of general concern. The positive responses from people all over Wisconsin keep me going.
With financial help from others who believe in our democratic process, my physical disability won't be a barrier, even if it turns out to be permanent.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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