“I’ve been watching the work that Terese Berceau, our retiring state representative, has been doing over the years and I’ve always wanted to represent people and give them a voice,” says Shelia Stubbs. “As the current county board supervisor, I have focused on criminal justice reform, but I also want to take educational and environmental issues and continue to fight for them in the Legislature along with women’s health, consumer protection and workers’ rights. I want to be known as the people’s representative.”
Stubbs is running for Wisconsin State Assembly in the 77th District and hoping to succeed Berceau, who is retiring after serving in the Wisconsin State Legislature for 20 years.
“I think it’s really important that we have someone fighting for these important causes at the state level of government right now,” Stubbs says. “I will be representing the grassroots and the many that are voiceless that are out there and continuing this great fight for advocacy at the state level.”
Stubbs officially tossed her hat into the ring on Feb. 2.
“We are so excited about this campaign. We are working hard. We are raising money. We are engaging with constituents. That’s what this is going to be about. It’s about the people,” Stubbs tells Madison365. “I need to do what I’ve been doing for these last 12 years as I’ve run races. I’ve been engaged with people, and that’s what this is about.”
Stubbs, the only African American currently serving on the Dane County Board, has made a name for herself fighting for racial equality and speaking out for marginalized populations in Madison and beyond. Stubbs was first elected to the Dane County Board in 2006 and has been re-elected five times. The Second Vice-Chair of the Board, Supervisor Stubbs serves on numerous committees including the Executive Committee and the Personnel and Finance Committee, which oversees the creation of the County Budget. Stubbs also chairs the UW-Extension Committee and is the co-chair of the Racial Disparities Sub-Committee. Active statewide and nationally as well, Supervisor Stubbs is chair of the Wisconsin Counties Association (WCA) Judicial and Public Safety Steering Committee and is the secretary of the National Association of Counties (NACO) Women of NACO.
Stubbs says one of the big issues she will be talking about during her campaign is education versus incarceration.
“We spend way too much money incarcerating people and not enough money on education,” Stubbs says. “We have to be able to meet people where they are with their needs and get to them early and let’s prevent people from getting into systems that are not positive to them. We need to help make better outcomes.”
The 77th Assembly District she hopes to represent covers much of Madison’s south and west sides as well as the University of Wisconsin campus area and Shorewood Hills. The district has 60,000 constituents.
“It’s an incredibly diverse district. You get some really affluent neighborhoods along with neighborhoods that have been struggling,” Stubbs says. “It is a very blended district.”
Five Madison City Council members – including Sara Eskrich, Shiva Bidar, Sheri Carter, Mo Cheeks, and Arvina Martin – will be hosting “Alders for Shelia Stubbs,” a meet and greet tonight at 5 p.m. at the Roman Candle on Monroe Street to support Stubbs’ campaign for the Wisconsin State Assembly.
“Shelia has been a strong leader on the Dane County Board and exactly the type of leader we need on the State Assembly,” Bidar tells Madison365.
“Shelia is a proven leader, and a great advocate for some of the most pressing issues facing our community and our state,” Cheeks tells Madison365. “Wisconsin will be better off for having her voice in the Capitol, and I’m thrilled to support her candidacy.”
Stubbs says she’s honored and grateful to have the support of these five alders – all located within the 77th Assembly District.
“I will be going on 13 years doing this work and people know that I understand policy,” Stubbs says. “I have been a champion on criminal justice reform work and have worked with a lot of people from the city of Madison … crossed boundaries … especially with racial equity work in which we share a department. The alders know that I’m a proven leader and that’s something that I will take with me on this campaign trail.
“In my history, I have stood up to systems and worked to reform them,” she adds. “I feel like I’m a game-changer and a person who holds people accountable. I tell people, ‘If you keep doing things the same way, you get the same results.’ It’s time for new results, so let’s do things a little different.”
The meet and greet at Roman Candle is a chance to find out more about what Stubbs’ campaign is all about but to also chat with a handful of Madison alders.
“What I hope people will find out at this meet and greet is that I am here to listen,” Stubbs says. “I don’t want to go in thinking I know everything, because I don’t. I want to listen to what constituents are saying.”
“Fighting for people’s rights is a passion for me. I don’t consider it to be a job,” Stubbs adds. “It’s so important that you have somebody represent you who has your belief system or your values so when they go up and they stand up, they actually represent you – they are your one vote, your one voice. They need to speak your truth and speak truth to power. I will do that.”
Stubbs has a little over three months left to get her message out before the Aug. 14 election.
“I’m coming to your neighborhood and I’m knocking on your door,” Stubbs smiles. “I want your vote.”