We’ve been asking you to email or call your legislators to weigh in on the anti-biking proposals in the state budget. And you’ve been coming through! We’re getting lots of feedback from legislative offices that they’re hearing from you.
We can’t be sure when the votes on the bike tax, Complete Streets and TAP will happen but it will be soon. So, please, keep it up!
Among the great messages you’ve sent we came across this one from Bob Bourgeois of Whitefish Bay. We reprint it here in whole just because we found it so great and inspiring.
Dear Senator Darling:
I am a constituent living in Whitefish Bay. Lifelong Wisconsin resident, taxpayer and business owner.
Please vote to restore Complete Streets and $2 million in Transportation Alternatives Funding when the Joint Finance Committee takes up these issues.
I know we’re living through a kind of a “new” legislative era, where things like this seem to be part of a much bigger, broader and more “bold” agenda, on whose fundamentals you and I will likely always disagree. But … really. Removing funding for transportation alternatives sends a completely counter-productive, negative signal to creative, youthful, energetic and high-potential prospective Wisconsin businesses and residents. And it tells young people (and young businesses) who’ve grown up in our State – and who we’d prefer to keep in our State – that our values are anchored to mid 20th-century technologies rooted in fossil fuels. This is a place where so many of our neighbors just don’t live. Corporate funding sources and corporate lobbyists may live there, but the majority of our colleagues and friends — those who actually CREATE jobs and value — simply do not.
I also request that you oppose the $25 bike tax.
How is it that we are cutting taxes in numerous other industries, yet in this instance, we would be instituting a new tax on an industry that produces over $1.5 billion in annual economic activity and supports over 14,000 Wisconsin jobs?
If “Wisconsin is open for business,” why in heaven’s name are we targeting the bicycle industry with this punitive tax? What on Earth does this possibly do for us except send the wrong messages about healthy lifestyles, the benefits of exercise and a State that welcomes and supports recreational pursuits? A TAX on bicycles? Senator Darling, this is egregious. Please demonstrate leadership, vision, foresight and decency. Please oppose this punitive, ridiculous maneuver.
Robert C. Bourgeois
321 E. Lexington Boulevard
Whitefish Bay, WI 53217
Bob’s letter is a textbook example of how to do it right.
He starts out be establishing his credentials as a constituent, taxpayer and business owner.
Then he hits all the main logical arguments for each of our issues. But he adds in his personal perspective, which is that pro-bike policies are good for business and job growth, an argument he’s in a good position to make as a business owner.
Each of us comes from our own perspective. If you don’t own your own business maybe you’re a parent, who wants your child to be healthy and active but also safe. Bike infrastructure is important for you to achieve what’s best for your kids.
Or maybe you’re retired and use the bike to get around and to stay fit. Do you know that there are 77 million Baby Boomers out there? They need to stay healthy to avoid medical costs that will consume their children and grandkids.
Whatever your story is, please tell it to the people who hold the power in our state and please tell it now.