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What makes legislators effective?

Good ones work with their fellow lawmakers to pass bills that represent our values and protect our interests. To do this well, a legislator must be able to process a lot of information about an issue or problem and the potential policies to address it, evaluating sources and identifying the central elements. She must be able to work well with others and be willing to find reasonable avenues for compromise. Above all, she must listen to constituents, recognize their values and priorities, and be creative about how to work across party lines to implement policies that reflect those values and priorities.

Julie’s work history has honed her skills in each of these areas.

  • Processing Information: As a college research librarian for 17 years, she developed full command of vast data resources and became an expert at vetting information sources for their trustworthiness. Julie not only honed her own information processing and literacy skills, she directed programs that worked with instructors to help students develop them, too.   
  • Working well with others:  As a corporate trainer and executive coach, Julie has learned and taught the skills required to be an effective leader. These skills include identifying the values and motivations of co-workers, showing empathy, believing that people can be allies rather than opponents, and building goodwill and trust. Julie will use these skills to build strong, productive relationships with other legislators.
  • Listening to constituents and recognizing their values and priorities: Julie is in the business of serving her clients, listening to what they want and need, and providing guidance based on a solid understanding of those priorities. She is committed to serving her Wisconsin State Senate constituents with the same high level of care, being available and being a good listener to ensure that she is in tune with their priorities.

Above all, Julie is a smart navigator who is adept at weighing the potential value against potential downsides. She’s not afraid to step out of her comfort zone. When friends had to bail on a mountain climbing trip, she traveled to Africa alone and climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro, finding climbing partners with whom she could be safe and stay motivated. As a guide who leads an annual trip into the rugged interior of the Grand Canyon, she has repeatedly demonstrated her ability to forge bonds to help others achieve their high-reaching goals.

Julie will set a new standard in the legislature that the people of Wisconsin can rally around. She will step outside her comfort zone to find partners and build trust, working to lead Wisconsin towards high-reaching goals.

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