Superior Days is an annual grassroots approach to community development in Northwest Wisconsin that has been a success since 1985. Superior Days helps bridge the distance that local residents feel geographically and politically from the southern half of the state. Superior Days embodies action and change, and the messages are delivered directly and personally throughout the party lines. Embracing diversity and commitment; Superior Days enhances local knowledge of issues in need of resolution, local leadership, and regional cooperation between citizens and government leaders to solve common problems.
The majority of the planning and preparation for Superior Days activities are completed through the work of the established committees. All participants are encouraged to take an active part in the planning process and are welcome to join a committee. The following committees are set up each year with set agendas to be accomplished by each:
The issues that are brought to Madison are selected through an annual nominal group process in which every person has an equal voice. Participants break into small groups to discuss issues that they feel are important to the area. The issues are designated “legislative” or “agency” issues.
Legislative issues have a widespread impact on Northern Wisconsin and require support from the state legislature, while agency issues only require the support of the respective agency. The small group then narrows the list down, and eventually the group as a whole decides democratically which issues will be presented at Superior Days.
Agency issues are issues that do not require legislative action. While in Madison, the Superior Days participants meet with all major State Departments to discuss items of importance to Northwestern Wisconsin. Attendance by all Superior Days delegates is vital for support. Experts provide the needed information, and facilitators run the sessions.
Lobbying at the State Capitol
Participants are randomly assigned to lobby teams consisting of 5-7 people including a team leader. The leader is responsible for arranging appointments for the team to meet with their assigned legislators in Madison, as well as coordinating group members to assure that all topics are covered. Anyone who believes they are especially informed on, or feel strongly about a particular topic should contact their team leader, as they probably can be the most persuasive and resourceful on that issue. The teams also consist of at least one youth delegate.
Teams connect prior to going to Madison and then meet again at the Superior Days breakfast on Wednesday. The teams proceed to meet with up to four legislators. Each team member gives a short presentation on their pre-selected topic to communicate the needs of Northwestern Wisconsin and the course of action needed.
How can I join Superior Days?
Everyone is welcome to attend the planning and issues identification meetings. Each participant is also expected to attend the training session prior to the event in Madison. You will also receive a packet of information including contact information for your lobby teams, background information on topics, and information about government and the capitol.
What will I do in Madison?
Participants attend agency meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday. Although just a handful of people actually present the issue to these major State Departments, it is important to show support for the issues in order to convey to the agency the needs of your area. The evenings are open for participants to spend time however they choose. The hospitality room of the hotel is open to gather with friends while others choose to enjoy the Madison nightlife. Wednesday consists of lobbying in the morning, a group photo, agency meetings, and an evening reception in which politicians, government staff, and many others are invited to attend.
Who participates in Superior Days?
Anyone can participate in Superior Days. One of the most commendable features of Superior Days is that it brings together people of different backgrounds and ages in order to improve the area. High school youth delegates are organized through schools and clubs. There are also business owners, local politicians, college students, parents, grandparents, and many other kinds of community members at Superior Days.
In the past, the following counties have participated in Superior Days:
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