Renewing Civic Life In Wisconsin


Gordon Commons, UW-Madison

Date & Time

9am – 5pm, 18th November, 2022


12 Presentations


5 Panel Discussions

Renewing Civic Life in WI

About this Event

The University of Wisconsin–Madison’s Center for Communication and Civic Renewal (CCCR) hosted the conference, “Renewing Civic Life in Wisconsin: Fulfilling the Legacy of Bill Kraus” on Nov. 18 at the Gordon Commons in Madison, Wisconsin.

The conference featured a keynote lecture from former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson along with panel discussions from prominent Wisconsin journalists, leading academics and political figures considering how we can talk and work across political divides.

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Our Presenters

For more on our presenters, click on each image to read the full bio.

In Depth Interviews +
Articles +
Downloads +
Survey Polls +

What Others Are Saying

We hosted this conference with the intention to improve civic connections in Wisconsin while also honoring the legacy of political icon Bill Kraus (1926-2018), who served as a Republican strategist before co-chairing Common Cause in Wisconsin for two decades.

We are so excited to hear from our invited speakers and to share how the research we at the UW do shines a light on how our state is fulfilling, and falling short of, the shining example set by Bill Kraus’ contributions to how we govern ourselves in Wisconsin.
Professor Mike Wagner
Director of the CCCR.
The topic of bipartisan civility and cooperation was the topic that Bill devoted much of his life to, and over the course of many years and many political campaigns, he became known as ’the conscience of Wisconsin politics.’ This conference should provide us all with lessons in how to get back to good government, how we might find our way out of the wilderness and into the light of transparency, fairness, and public input.
Toni Sikes
Co-Founder and CEO of CODAworx
Bill was a political strategist from the days when campaign consultants were believers, not mercenaries. Bill retired but never retreated from his commitment to a healthy democracy. He haunted Capitol offices driven by his belief that “let the people decide” obligated legislators, Rs and Ds alike, to overturn gerrymandering to give voters their due.
Barbara Lawton
Former Lt. Gov. of Wisconsin

Download the PDF

Renewing Civic Life in Wisconsin: Fulfilling the Legacy of Bill Kraus, download a copy of the event program, including the list of the academic and media presentations.


Honoring the Legacy of Bill Kraus

Faculty Organizers

For more on the CCCR faculty, click on each image to read the full bio.

Our Sponsor

This event would not be possible without the support of The Tow Foundation. Established in 1988 by Leonard and Claire Tow, its mission is to promote wellness and access to opportunities so that individuals and communities can thrive. It invests in innovative programs and reform in culture, higher education, journalism, justice and community wellness, and medicine.