Barbara Lawton’s commitment to the community screams of experience ranging from local to statewide and international public service. As the Democratic nominee for Lieutenant Governor she will be focusing on issues such as funding for public education and affordable health care, with a heavy focus on campaign finance reform.
She has been leaving a consistent trail of political leadership throughout the state of Wisconsin, as she was the spokeswoman for the Heffernan Commission for a Clean Elections Option, a proposal initiated by the Wisconsin Supreme Court Chief Justice Nathan Heffernan calling for full public financing of state campaigns.
Lawton has been heavily pushing this reform in state congress since 1997 and argues that it is essential in trimming away special interest costs that have been adding to Wisconsin’s budget problem.
Justice Nathan Heffernan commented that “Lawton has been saying and doing all the right things about campaign finance reform since 1997…The best thing that could happen for this state is for Barbara Lawton to take office as lieutenant governor in January 2003 as the administration’s lead on campaign finance reform.”
Lawton also envisions adequate funding for public education from pre-kindergarten through college level along, and will be urging lawmakers to appropriate more funds for health care, specifically for the Community Options Program, which aids health care costs for seniors.
As a resident of Green Bay for the past 31 years and a Lawrence graduate with a degree in Spanish, Lawton is all too familiar with the issues and concerns of the Northeastern Wisconsin constituency.
She is the founding member of Teaching for Excellence; Latinos Unidos, a non-profit group aimed toward the issues and concerns of the Hispanic community; and is the founding trustee of Community Foundation, which focuses on increasing investment and quality of life; all of which are organizations based out of the Green Bay/Northeastern Wisconsin area.
She has also been very active with the Green Bay Multicultural Center and organized a seminar in Chile and in Argentina for St. Norbert’s College in De Pere, Wisconsin.
Although Lawton’s government experience is in its early stages, she has been a strong political voice throughout the state of Wisconsin on a variety of issues.
She has been a fervent activist for women’s issues, working with Women’s Political Voice, League of Women Voters, American Association of University Women and National Women’s Political Caucus.
Her passion for multiculturalism is evident in her participation with Entrepreneurs of Color and the Green Bay Multicultural Center.
Lawton’s dedication to public service was highlighted when she was awarded with the Fort Howard Foundation’s Humanitarian Award in 1985 and was named “Feminist of the Year” by the Wisconsin Chapter of the National Organization for Women in 1999.