Democracy Defenders Ready To Safeguard Our Elections in Wisconsin
Run for Something (RFS) is proud to support six Democracy Defenders in Wisconsin who are committed to upholding election integrity and ensuring free, fair elections. These candidates are running for election administration positions that are crucial in protecting democracy, and they are ready to support their communities.
All six are up for election in Wisconsin on Tuesday, April 4, 2023 — learn more about these badass Defenders by reading more below!
Lima Township Supervisor
Raised on a cash crop farm in Milton, Wisconsin, Theresa earned a Bachelor of Arts in political science from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. She moved to the San Francisco Bay area in 1990, where she started her professional life as a legal secretary. Opting to not attend law school, she worked in student services at a professional graduate school. Theresa went to work at the Kaiser Family Foundation in 1998, working with the creator and director of the Program for the Study of Media and Health, serving as an Executive Assistant, a Program Associate, and Jill-of-all trades. She moved to the Foundation’s Public Opinion and Survey Research department in 2010 and returned to Wisconsin in 2017. She currently serves as Chair of the Democratic Party of Rock County.
Theresa is running for Supervisor in the Town of Lima in Rock County Wisconsin. She plans to bring a fresh perspective to the board. Aware of the financial difficulties that small, rural communities in Wisconsin are facing due to shared revenue shortfalls, she wants to explore options to bring in alternative income sources and expand broadband access without raising taxes on town residents.
District 16 Alder, Madison Common Council
Jael was first elected to Madison’s Common Council in 2021. In April 2022, she was elected by her Council peers to serve as the Common Council Vice President. Jael strives to enhance her service to the community, bringing forth and amplifying the concerns of ordinary people and furthering the push for equity, inclusion, racial, social and economic justice, through these roles.
In addition to her public service, Jael serves as the Housing Director at YWCA Madison, where she’s been employed for 7.5 years. She also served as the Chair of the Homeless Services Consortium of Dane County and the Vice President of the consortiums’ Board of Directors. She is passionate about service to individuals and families experiencing homelessness and housing insecurity, and strives to be a key participant in bringing forth solutions to mitigate Madison’s growing housing and housing affordability crisis.
Jael was named among Wisconsin’s 51 Most Influential Black Leaders in December 2020 and was also honored as one of Leadership Greater Madison’s 2020 Community Impact Awardees, as a Distinguished Leader in the Civic Impact category.
District 3 Alder, Madison Common Council
Derek was raised on his family’s farm in Blue Mounds, WI in a union household and moved to Madison eleven years ago. He has worked for the past six years in data and analytics roles at WI state agencies, helping to use data to inform and improve human services policy in areas like public education and child care. Derek wants to support data-driven policymaking to city government to help improve transparency in city decisions and to measure and solve the community’s problems. Derek and his partner are engaged to get married in 2024.
District 5 Alder, Middleton City Council
Jeffrey Jackson grew up in the heart of Brooklyn, NY, he has served as a pastor and civil rights community activist and leader for over 30 years in various cities. He has been a huge advocate against gun violence in urban communities.
He is running to be a voice for the people and to be an agent of change. He is running to support public safety and maintain parks, as well as ensure fiscal responsibility.He believes in safeguarding our democracy and standing up against disparity and racism in the state and in America. He is an advocate for addressing climate change. He has been an advocate with the National Action Network for the Rev Al Sharpton as well as a President of his chapter in Macon, GA. He is involved in several inclusion groups and workshops. He is endorsed by the current Alder Luke Fuzzard.
Mayor of Madison, WI (re-election)
Satya Rhodes-Conway is the 58th Mayor of Madison. Her administration is focused on affordable housing, rapid transit, climate change, racial equity and defending democracy. Elected in 2019, she is the city’s second female mayor and the first out LGBTQ person to serve as Mayor of Madison. Mayor Rhodes-Conway is the chair of Climate Mayors, an appointed member of EPA’s Local Government Advisory Committee, a founding member of Mayors for a Guaranteed Income and a member of Mayors Against Gun Violence. Mayor Rhodes-Conway was born in New Mexico and grew up in Ithaca, New York. She has degrees from Smith College and the University of California — Irvine. She moved to Madison in 2002 and has lived here ever since.
Mayor of Milton, WI
Anissa was first elected as an alderperson of Milton in 2011 and elected Mayor in 2015. She directed creation and implementation of Milton’s current strategic, comprehensive, and infrastructure plans. She has served on the Board of Directors for the League of Wisconsin Municipalities and currently serves on the YMCA and Milton Youth Coalition boards. Anissa believes in servant leadership and is especially involved in county, state, and city DEIB efforts serving on various committees.
She has been an employee of Rock County Human Services for 30 years. Anissa was a previous AFSCME 2489 president and is an advocate for worker’s rights to organize in public and private environments.
She has three adult children working in public service careers and enjoys spending time with family, outdoors, and in conservation efforts.