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The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Senator Tammy Baldwin speaks with student leaders at roundtable discussion for ‘One Year to Win’ tour

Baldwin, students discuss student voter registration, housing, climate change
Kara Kneafsey

U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) met with student leaders Friday to discuss issues of importance on the University of Wisconsin campus. The roundtable was part of the first day of Baldwin’s “One Year to Win” tour, which marks the year-long countdown until the 2024 national election on Nov. 5, 2024.

Baldwin has served as one of Wisconsin’s two senators since 2013, and announced her 2024 reelection campaign in April. If elected, Baldwin will serve her third term in the U.S. Senate.

Before taking questions from students, Baldwin expressed the power that student voters have in determining outcomes of local and federal elections.


“In my political career, it was turnout on this campus that made a critical difference in winning primaries and winning federal elections,” Baldwin said, “I think you [students] know your own power from looking at what happened in the midterms. Reelecting Gov. [Tony] Evers and reelecting Attorney General [Josh] Kaul, and others who are doing incredible things.”

Baldwin gave student attendees the opportunity to ask questions in a discussion moderated by College Democrats of UW-Madison leaders. Baldwin was first asked about possible new methods students can adopt to further strengthen the campus voter base.

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In response, Baldwin focused on the issue of student voter registration — identifying barriers students may face with knowing the steps necessary to retain voting eligibility, especially as students study abroad or spend summers away from Madison.

“During the spring semester, before people go away for summer break, if they are going to leave the area, make sure they register upon return,” Baldwin said. “The Wisconsin legislature has passed bills that make it harder for people to register.”

Baldwin added that students may face further challenges with voter registration due to more frequent changes of address and proper identification.

“Oftentimes, a student ID doesn’t count as a voting ID,” Baldwin said. “And oftentimes, the address on the ID will have changed since the previous semester.”

UW senior and District 8 Alder MGR Govindarajan asked Baldwin what the federal government can do to improve the state of student housing in Madison. 

Partisanship in Congress has resulted in failed attempts to further fund the US Department of Housing and Urban Development and USDA Rural Development, Baldwin said. Further, American developers are reluctant to build and rent out properties because they would lose money in the current market, Baldwin said. 

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Baldwin said federal, state and local levels of government need to compromise with the private sector to begin developing affordable housing. Baldwin pointed to an example partnership in Milwaukee, where $5 million was allocated to developers to rehabilitate foreclosed homes, Baldwin said.

Students also posed questions to Baldwin on climate change, including what the federal government’s stance and future plans are to address the climate crisis, but Baldwin said climate progress in Congress has stagnated.

“My job right now is to see that that measure [The Inflation Reduction Act] is faithfully and additionally protected from repeal by House Republicans,” Baldwin said. “So that’s not making more progress, it’s just defending the progress that we’ve made so far.”

Students also raised questions about federal assistance to provide mental health resources on campus.

Throughout the roundtable discussion, a group of attendees — some of whom were not students — pressed Baldwin on the state of the Israel-Hamas war, urging Baldwin to support a ceasefire.

Baldwin condemned the loss of civilian lives, saying she hopes more humanitarian aid will be transported into Gaza soon.

The “One Year to Win” tour will continue Saturday in Wausau, Green Bay, and Waukesha, according to a press release.

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