August 3, 2018

Ali on the Issues: Healthcare

The number one concern I hear when talking to folks in our district is difficulty obtaining and affording health care. I’ve heard too many stories of hardworking individuals who can’t afford insurance, families who are facing financial ruin because a child gets sick or injured, and people a few years away from Medicare eligibility who are trying to find work so they can get the healthcare they need.

This is unacceptable to me. It’s immoral, it’s unfair, it’s flat out wrong, and very importantly, it’s completely unnecessary. We are the only major country that does not guarantee healthcare to its citizens – and it doesn’t have to be this way. I support a single-payer system. The only way to solve the healthcare crisis we are facing is to end our reliance on for-profit insurance companies. I will continue to fight until we have a Medicare for All system in this country.

We need action at the federal level to truly fix our broken healthcare system, but we can take steps here in Wisconsin to control healthcare costs and increase coverage in the near-term. As your State Assembly Representative, I will support:
  • Accepting the federal monies for Medicaid Expansion. This will provide healthcare for 80,000 additional Wisconsinites and save the state hundreds of millions of dollars every year.

  • Opening up BadgerCare as an option for anyone to purchase on the insurance marketplace. The marketplace currently includes only private health insurance plans, and offering BadgerCare as a public option on the marketplace would give everyone access to a plan that costs significantly less and drive private insurers to lower their prices to compete.

We cannot continue to have cost and access be barriers to every Wisconsinite getting the comprehensive health care they need, including reproductive care, and mental health and addiction treatment. Healthcare is a human right, and I can’t begin to imagine what we will be capable of as a society if everyone is able to get the care they need without the burden of medical debt.

June 28, 2018

Chronotype: Life, Job Experiences Prompt Holzman to Run

From the June 27, 2018 Rice Lake Chronotype:

Ali Holzman may he a new name on the Wisconsin political scene, but she is not a newcomer to public service.

Holzman worked as an aide in the Minnesota State Senate to two senators from west-central Minnesota--Gary Kubly and Lyle Koenen, both of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor party.

A Democrat running for the Wisconsin Assembly, Holzman said she learned a lot about legislating from Kubly and Koenen. "I’ve seen the difference between a public servant and a politician," said Holzman, a rural Cumberland resident. She gave the example of Koenen continuing to drive a milk truck and school bus in his home district while serving in Senate.

Currently Holzman works on behalf of another class of public servants--teachers. She works in the Rice Lake office of the Wisconsin Educators Association Council teachers union.

More investment in public education is central to Holzman's campaign. She is especially concerned about the growth of the state’s private school voucher program, which has expanded from Milwaukee to the rest of the state, including St Joseph's School in Rice Lake.

"We've had a K-12 public education system that has served us well, but for the past however many years they’re creating a separate system with these vouchers. That will have a devastating impact on our kids and our communities,” said Holzman.

She also advocated for better pay for teachers. When asked about Wisconsin Superintendent of Schools and gubernatorial candidate Tony Evers’ proposal to cut legislator pay to the same level as first-year teachers, Holzman said, “I don’t disagree, but pay the teacher more.”

She added, "These are people with professional licenses doing 10 different jobs every day. They need to be paid well.”

Life Experiences

Holzman said her views on education and other issues are influenced by people she’s met and her own struggles. "I have pretty strong personal political beliefs, and they’re mostly based in my life experiences," said Holzman.

Holzman, 31, said that despite graduating from college in 3.5 years and getting a job in her field, she still has student loan debt. Raising a child, Olivia, has also added to her financial burden. But Holzman said she knows many others in the area have tougher challenges.

“When I think about people who didn't have the same opportunities and don't have a job with a decent wage and benefits, I can't imagine how hard it is for them,” she said.

Holzman said she quickly realized the level of local poverty after moving to Cumberland with her boyfriend Scott 2 years ago. "I was pretty shocked to see the low pay and no benefits for a lot of jobs," she said.

But Holzman was also aware of the shortage of workers in the area. She said those problems could be addressed by focusing on expanding broadband access, maintaining infrastructure, finding ways to increase wages and addressing educational issues.

"Having fully funded public schools in all our rural communities that offer every child an outstanding education and new opportunities is an absolute draw for young families,” said Holzman.

Regarding student debt, she said, "When kids have to take on a huge burden of student debt to get a degree, they often times can’t afford to live in rural areas when the jobs there don’t pay nearly enough for them to live and to make their student loan payments.”

Holzman said she favors investing in educating people rather than in companies like Foxconn. The Legislature, including 75th District incumbent Republican Romaine Quinn, voted to give the Taiwan-based electronics manufacturer a $3 billion incentive to build a facility near Racine.

“I was flabbergasted that he voted for the Foxconn deal,” said Holzman, referring to Quinn. “I don’t see how people from around here benefit from that. Why not invest in ourselves?”

Holzman said it was such decisions that prompted her to challenge for a spot in the Assembly.

“I realized that I should step up. I feel like I have life experiences that a lot of people around here have had, and that some of those voices aren’t being heard and aren’t being represented the best. I felt that maybe I should put myself out there and give people another option,” she said.

June 15, 2018

Ali Holzman Condemns Republican Party’s Racist Facebook Post

Rice Lake, WI – Today Assembly Candidate Ali Holzman released the following statement condemning the recent racist Facebook posting made by the Barron County Republican Party:

“Setting aside the outright lies they're trying to push, this hateful racism from the Republican party makes me sick.”

“The fact that someone felt comfortable posting this publicly is extremely disheartening, and tells me a lot about what Republican Party ‘values’ really are. We have to be better than this - all of us.”

June 4, 2018

Ali Holzman Announces Candidacy for State Assembly

Rice Lake, WI -- Today, Allison “Ali” Holzman announced her candidacy to represent Wisconsin’s 75th Assembly District as a Democrat. Holzman, 31, manages the regional office of the Wisconsin Education Association Council in Rice Lake, and raises cattle, sheep, goats, and chickens with her family on a small farm outside Cumberland. Her daughter, Olivia, will finish 2nd grade at Cumberland Elementary School this week.

“I’ve lived in many parts of the country, in towns ranging in population from 99 to 300,000,” Holzman said. “I know the value of rural communities, which is why I’ve chosen to raise my daughter in this wonderful area.”

“Now, more than ever, I think it’s extremely important for people to get involved and have a voice in our government. Madison politicians do a great job of looking out for special interests and wealthy corporations, but who is looking out for our families? Our part of Wisconsin sees no benefit from giving a multi-billion-dollar handout to a giant corporation hundreds of miles away.”

“I will fight every day to put working families first. Everyone should have the right to quality healthcare, regardless of pre-existing conditions. We need paid parental leave, affordable childcare, and employment policies that give people the freedom to care for their families without falling behind financially. And we need to fully fund our public education systems and end the student debt crisis that’s keeping so many people in my generation and younger from starting families, buying homes, and opening up new businesses.”

“People who work hard ought to be able to get ahead, but somehow it just doesn’t seem to be working out that way in our part of the state. I look forward to talking with voters of the 75th District over the next five months about how we can do better,” Holzman concluded.

The 75th District includes all of Barron County, southern Washburn County, and parts of Burnett, Dunn, Polk, and St. Croix Counties. A map of the district can be viewed here.

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