Advocacy group cites Thompson’s commitment to better options for non-drivers
Release date: May 26, 2021
Citing his commitment to providing better mobility options for the state’s non-drivers, the Wisconsin Council of the Blind and Visually Impaired (WCBVI) awarded its Excellence Award for Public Policy to Craig Thompson, secretary-designee of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT).
“The council wanted to give Secretary Thompson this award because he really understands the needs of non-drivers,” said WCBVI Executive Director Denise Jess. “From our earliest conversations with him he’s been very receptive, and the formation of the Wisconsin Non-Driver Advisory Committee was really the proof in the pudding that he understood the complexities and barriers for the nearly 30% of Wisconsin’s population who can’t drive or choose not to.”
Jess co-chairs the Wisconsin Non-Driver Advisory Committee (WiNDAC), which is composed of members of various non-driver groups, transportation advocates and representatives of local government. WiNDAC’s role is to provide WisDOT with informed perspective on the challenges and needs of Wisconsin’s non-drivers.
A number of the group’s recommendations, including increased transit funding and making it easier for communities to build bicycle and pedestrian facilities, are in Governor Evers’ proposed transportation budget.
“WiNDAC serves such a critical purpose,” Jess said. ”For too long, the conversation about non-drivers and transportation have occurred in silos – not intentionally, but just because of how complex transportation is. Disability and aging advocates, environmental folks, policy makers, people in state agencies – they’ve all been talking about non-drivers, but we haven’t had the opportunity to talk together. I think that’s one of the biggest benefits of WiNDAC – getting these really diverse perspectives in the same room to educate each other and educate ourselves, so that when we begin taking action. We’re doing it from an informed place,” she said.
“I’m honored for the recognition, and I especially appreciate the work of the committee. A key insight that’s come out of WiNDAC is that when we improve mobility options for non-drivers, we’re really improving the quality of life for everyone in the community,” Secretary-designee Thompson said.
WCBVI presents its Excellence Award for Public Policy to the member of a state agency or a legislator who has played an exemplary role in assisting the Council to advance the Councils’ legislative priorities in transportation, employment, education, healthcare/long term care and civil rights.
For more information, contact:
WisDOT Office of Public Affairs