Luckily thanks to groups like Film Wisconsin and Milwaukee Film, concerned folks are banding together to contact their legislators to tell them this action is not okay. Film Wisconsin posted some excellent talking points to their Facebook group and Milwaukee Film sent a link to the Arts Wisconsin page that explains how to contact your representatives.
With time being "of the essence" I didn't worry about crafting the perfect letter, but just shot this one off to the governor, with some modifications for my representatives, Sen. Jeff Plale and Rep. Jon Richards.
If you care about the future of Wisconsin's economy and its positioning to attract and retain talent, I highly recommend you send a similar message.
Dear Gov. Doyle,
As a young professional and member of the "Creative Class," I was shocked to hear that you proposed cutting one of the most innovative programs in this state -- the incentives for the film industry in Wisconsin.
Cutting this program would be devastating to hundreds of people that this state needs to retain. The economy has already offed thousands of traditional manufacturing jobs, why use the state budget to unnecessarily kill occupations in a viable industry?
It seems extremely short-sighted to axe a new program after one year. Especially a year when a major motion picture, several television shows, and commercials were filmed in Wisconsin. With your emphasis on education, I'm surprised you'd want to eliminate an industry that many institutes of higher learning have adapted curriculum and created training programs to support. Do you really want to drive educated workers OUT of Wisconsin?
I understand that the budgeting process is a delicate one, but Governor, I believe you overlooked much potential when you switched the tax incentives to a grant program. Unfortunately the grants fall incredibly short and would not have any of the impact of the tax incentives. I urge you to reconsider cutting the incentives and encourage Wisconsinites to get back to work in the business of film. Please recall what you said when you signed the incentives into law: "Filmmaking is part of manufacturing in the 21st century…and Wisconsin will serve a valuable role in manufacturing film.”
Join the next generation of Wisconsinites in keeping Wisconsin in the 21st century.