Falk connects with Janesville supporters
Kathleen Falk says she's the one to support Wisconsin's teachers. WCLO's Jon Meerdink reports.
JANESVILLE Gage Gross won’t remember it, but he was on center stage Monday when Democratic candidate for governor Kathleen Falk brought her campaign to Janesville.
The Milton 2-year-old was with his father, Andy Gross, who teaches second grade at Milton East Elementary School, when they met Falk on the lawn in front of Jefferson Elementary School. Gage was the first person Falk greeted. She bent down to chat with Gage, who was taking in the gathering from his stroller.
During her remarks to the assembled crowd of about 30, Falk referred to Gage and his generation.
“I visited with a couple in their 70s in Oshkosh who were standing in front of a grocery store in the freezing cold gathering signatures for the recall,” Falk said. “I asked them why, and they told me they wanted to see an end to the cuts in public education because they are harmful to their grandchildren, children like Gage back there.”
Falk brought her familiar campaign message to Janesville.
“You’re not alone,” Falk said to the crowd made up of mostly teachers. “People all around this state are standing up with you. They have been working throughout the recall process, and they will finish it in 50 days.”
Fighting off a brisk wind and speaking into a megaphone, Falk said she would stand up for public education.
“I will support public dollars for public education and require that private schools using public dollars meet the same standards as public education,” she said. “I am so proud to stand with the working men and women of Wisconsin, especially teachers.”
After her remarks, Falk told The Gazette she is optimistic about her campaign. She was asked to provide an example of her strength against her main Democratic opponent, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.
“I enjoy the support of the largest unions in the state, but that does not define me,” she said. “The biggest difference is that I not only have union backing, we have put together a ‘big tent’ campaign that includes all our Democratic friends.”
Falk clicked off a list of organizations and constituency groups that have endorsed her.
“The environmentalists including the Sierra Club support us. Women’s groups such as Emily’s List are on board,” she said. “Voces de La Frontere, the Hispanic group that overturned discriminatory legislative district lines and voter ID laws in the courts, support us.
“That’s why we will succeed,” she said. “We have a huge, grassroots effort involving millions of supporters.”
After her appearance at Jefferson School, Falk met with supporters at O’Riley & Conway’s Irish Pub on West Milwaukee Street in downtown Janesville.