For Charlie Carlson, the keys are methodology and relationships. By parlaying that combination through three decades of collective bargaining, human resources management, local government consulting and entrepreneurship, Carlson and his partners built an online management company so efficient at retrieving data and compiling reports that Gallup Inc. bought the firm after sampling its software.
Virginia Andersen, a 2015 graduate of the La Follette School of Public Affairs, is a program analyst with the Wisconsin Legislative Audit Bureau.
Debby Anderson Meyer does not like inefficiencies — particularly ones that keep her from building relationships with people.
Sylvia Fredericks has experienced the good and the bad of Florida's higher education policy. The state covered her tuition, fees and book expenses for the four years she spent at the University of Florida. When she went to work for her alma mater, she saw students who were not prepared for college struggle and drop out. Her experiences prompted her to enroll at the La Follette School of Public Affairs.
Governor Scott Walker's budget would lower property taxes for the typical Wisconsin homeowner by allocating an additional $211 million of state spending to the School Levy Credit. However, only about half of any increase in the credit would provide Wisconsin homeowners reduced property taxes on their primary residences.
Bryan Miller wants to weed out inefficiencies. "Working for the Department of Veterans Affairs, I found the deeply embedded bureaucracy made local policy innovation difficult — even though individual regional facilities were relatively efficient," the second-year student says. "I want to make program and policy improvements on a bigger scale."