Civic Participation Series: launches eastern tour October 26

The Wisconsin Institute for Public Policy and Service (WIPPS) and the David R. Obey Civic Resource Center present a unique opportunity for university students and the general public to hear directly from two long-time congressional leaders.

Former Congressmen Tom Petri and Dave Obey will be going on the road October 26-29 to speak to groups and classes in eastern Wisconsin in a Civic Participation Lecture Series.

Their fall tour launches on October 26, beginning with a visit to a political science class at UW-Green Bay. The public launch will be later that day, with a community forum from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at UW-Fox Valley, Perry Hall, 1478 Midway Road, Menasha.

“These long-time public servants care deeply about America, and the importance of citizen involvement and awareness of how our government works,” said Eric Giordano, WIPPS director. “They are eager to share their experiences and expertise on a wide variety of domestic and international policy issues.”

Topics to be discussed include:

  • An insider perspective on how Congress works
  • The role of committees in Congress, and its effectiveness
  • How Congress creates and passes budgets
  • How a representative balances national issues with district responsibilities
  • The critical role public service plays today – more than ever
  • Forging one’s way into politics at the state or national level
  • Opportunities and challenges of a career in public service
  • Is our political system broken? If so, how do we fix it?
  • Advocating for strongly held policy positions without excessive partisanship

Other stops on the fall tour include:

Tuesday, October 27

  • Mishicot High School, 9 a.m., 660 Washington St, Mishicot – Presentation and Q&A with the junior class and school board, open to community members
  • UW-Oshkosh, 6:30-7:30 p.m. – Presentation and Q&A, open to the public

Wednesday, October 28

  • Marquette Law School, 12:15 pm, Eckstein Hall, 1215 W. Michigan St., Milwaukee – “On the Issues” lecture series with Mike Gousha, open to students and the public
  • Discovery World, 5:30-8 p.m., 500 N. Harbor Dr., Milwaukee – “Green Tie Gala” fundraiser to support environmental work of Wisconsin League of Conservation voters, hors d’oeuvres reception with Obey and Petri as guest speakers, tickets $75

Thursday, Oct. 29

  • Silver Lake College of the Holy Family, 2406 S. Alverno Rd., Manitowoc, Franciscan Center for Music Education and Performance, Endries Hall – community forum, hosted with UW-Manitowoc; 6:30-7:30 p.m. talk, 7:30-8 p.m. Q&A, 8 p.m. reception, Ariens Atrium (outside Endries Hall)

The Congressmen’s spring tour in northern and southern Wisconsin generated enthusiastic responses from a wide cross-section of the public. Statewide sponsors for the Civic Participation Series are WIPPS, the Obey Civic Resource Center, Wisconsin Humanities Council and Wisconsin AARP.

For more information, or to inquire about booking a future Lecture Series, contact Aaron Zitzelsberger, J.D., WIPPS state director of development, at or 715-261-6105.