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Everything you need to know about Madison Action Day 2021

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(last updated 2.10.21)

Save the Date and How it Will Work

Madison Action Day is the day, every two years when the state budget is being written, that all the WISDOM affiliates gather in Madison to get rallied around our issues and talk with our local legislators about our concerns – how our issues show up in the state budget.

This year it will be virtual.  It is scheduled for April 15.

That day in the morning there will be statewide zoom to hear from speakers, connect, and get inspired. JONAH will send out the zoom link for this widely.

In the afternoon each affiliate will have scheduled zoom appointments with the legislators in their area. You must sign up to attend these here:  

Joint Finance Committee

The Joint Finance Committee (JFC) are the members of the State Legislature that are assigned to work on the state budget directly. The only person on this committee this year that is in our area is Kathy Bernier. So if you live in her district – we’d like to know! Legislators typically listen to their residents more than non-residents. But, any of your legislators can share their comments with the JFC. So talking to our legislators at this point can really impact where the state of Wisconsin spends its money for the next two years (2022-2024).

This means that even if you cannot attend any of the meetings with the legislators, you can still call and email your legislators about your concerns.

Joint Finance Hearings

The JFC has a set of public hearings every budget season in spring to, as a committee, hear from the public. Typically these are in person scattered throughout the state. This year these will be virtual as well. We will alert you to these dates here as soon as they are announced.

While this format is more public and you have only a 2min testimony slot to speak, you are speaking not only to the entire committee but also to the general public who are listening in. This is a very influential space to use your voice. You must sign up for a speaking slot. We are looking for speakers on all our issues.

Budget Issues

What to talk about? Well WISDOM will be soon putting out it’s booklet with talking points. We will get talking points posted here as soon as we get them.

But here are some tips on preparing testimony:

  1. Legislators and their staff are people just like you. They are not experts on everything and need to hear what you know to make informed decisions. The most impactful part of your testimony is 1) your personal experience/story regarding the issue (your experience is irrefuteable), and 2) beyond that specific data
  2. If you can directly relate your concerns to a line item in the budget it will be most helpful to them as that is what is on their minds – dollars. You can look up the current and pending budgets on
  3. If you are passionate about the issues we work on in JONAH and have something to say about those – that helps further our work. We currently work in: Affordable Housing, Child Poverty, Immigration, the Environment, Criminal Justice, and Transit.
  4. But ANY concerns you have about your community and state can be brought to your legislator – that’s what they are there for!

Speakers Needed

We are looking for speakers on our issues who have the following legislators: Emerson, Smith, Bernier, James, Petryk Summerfield, Pronschinske, and Stafsholt.

Sign up here:


Understanding the Budget: WISDOM is offering trainings on all things budget – see this website for the schedule:

Testimony Support: JONAH leaders are standing by ready to help you prepare and practice your testimony! Contact for some assistance and support. Practicing makes a HUGE difference!

Talking to legislators is fun, rewarding and makes a huge difference! We hope you will join us in some manner for Madison Action Day 2021!