Select Page

Author: WisContext

Effects of work rules for state’s FoodShare program would be complicated and costly to measure

As work-related eligibility rules for Wisconsin’s food stamp program expand, it remains unclear to what extent the requirements already in place are having their intended effect: namely, to nudge able-bodied adults into employment that could replace their need for food assistance. Wisconsin’s program, named FoodShare, is funded through the federal Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, or SNAP. Since 1996, the federal government has required states to attach work requirements to SNAP benefits for some able-bodied adults, though many states have secured waivers for this provision over the years. Wisconsin held a waiver from 2002 until 2015, when then-Governor Scott Walker...

Read More

The legacy of Milwaukee’s Redlining continues to shape racial segregation

Milwaukee is one of the most racially segregated cities in the United States, and one of segregation’s most meaningful engines was the historical practice of redlining. Policies limiting the options of prospective homeowners who were people of color shaped the city for nearly a century. Redlining is a term that describes the discriminatory practices of denying minority populations access to equal loan and housing opportunities. Emerging in the 1930s, redlining was embraced in the real estate industry for decades and shaped the social landscape of numerous American cities, large and small. Indeed, the racial segregation patterns of many of...

Read More

The long legal path from tribal sovereignty to Native American casinos in Wisconsin

Dotted across Wisconsin’s landscape, Native American casinos are a relatively recent addition to the state’s economic and social fabric. In 2017, roughly two dozen casinos brought in $1.23 billion in net revenue for Wisconsin’s 11 federally-recognized American Indian nations and tribal communities and paid more than $53 million in fees to the state. But these pillars of tribal economies did not begin operating until the early 1990s, following a long and sometimes contentious legal history involving both the state and federal governments. It is a history that dates back to the 19th century, well before Wisconsin’s statehood. At the...

Read More

A State Visit Project: Political fallout from Foxconn’s uncertain plans exposes cultural ignorance

Over the course of just one week, Wisconsin witnessed considerable back and forth on the Foxconn factory project in Mount Pleasant. Shortly after the news hit the headlines that the factory was off, it was back on again. I’m not privy to the parties on either side of this deal, but I have been inside a number of LCD factories, including one of the newest Gen 10.5 fabs like the one that was originally promised. So I understand some of the challenges in a project like this. For me it paints a picture of different ways politics and industrial...

Read More

Number of women elected to Wisconsin’s legislature lags far behind other midwestern states

Women vying for public office made historic waves across the United States in the 2018 midterm elections. Wisconsin, however, didn’t quite follow that national trend. Additionally, while voters elected more women to the state Assembly in 2018, the state finds itself lagging behind its Midwest neighbors. More than a few national political observers hailed 2018 as another “Year of the Woman” following a previous declaration about the 1992 elections. While it may be simple to make such generalizations in national terms, determining how women fare in state-level elections is a different story. Over the past three decades in Wisconsin,...

Read More

Christmas Tree Ship: The final voyage of the Rouse Simmons on Lake Michigan

Decorating Christmas trees often evokes sentimental memories of years gone by. The business behind this holiday custom has deep roots in Wisconsin’s history. One story that stands out is an early 20th Century shipwreck that serves as a reminder of the often-dangerous conditions faced by those who have plied the waters of the Great Lakes. Hoping to cash in on the seasonal tradition, Captain Herman Schuenemann purchased a 42-year-old lumber schooner named Rouse Simmons in 1910 to ship Christmas trees from Thompson, Michigan to Chicago. By this point in time, most of his competitors had discontinued the practice of...

Read More

Subscribe to our news highlights

Every week we compile a list of our daily news features. Join our mailing list to have these links delivered to your inbox.

You have Successfully Subscribed!