Our Mission

We seek, discover and disclose true and accurate information to enhance the effectiveness of government and public policy in southeastern Wisconsin; and we facilitate public policy discussion and action.

We believe that:

  • Government at all levels should be accountable, fair and accessible to all citizens.
  • Democracy works best when citizens participate in government based on access to information that is nonpartisan, true, balanced, realistic and accurate.
  • Research about public policy must be conducted with rigor and integrity. It begins with questions, not answers.
  • Our reputation for independence, integrity, impartiality and accountability is central to our existence and must be fiercely protected.

Our Vision

Our vision is for a southeastern Wisconsin that is socially and economically healthy, and that deals decisively, responsibly and in a timely manner with public issues. We will be the indispensable resource for objective research and analysis to guide and shape public policy. Toward that end, we are committed to:

  • Impartiality. We provide information about public issues that can be trusted because we follow a rigorous and dispassionate conduct of inquiry in obtaining it.
  • Quality. We provide accurate and balanced information.
  • Visibility. We actively disseminate information about public issues in order to educate citizens and the media.
  • Leadership. We help inform leadership, provide direction for policymakers and assist governments in their efforts to serve citizens.
  • Facilitation. We convene citizens in order to stimulate debate about issues and call attention to relevant research.
  • Inclusiveness. We promote an inclusive atmosphere in public policy by diversifying our leadership, membership and staff with respect to geography, ethnicity, gender and age.
  • Education. We teach citizens and their public officials about the content of research on policy and how better to use it.
  • Timeliness. We conduct timely, proactive research that is topical. We respond to important issues as they surface.
  • Advocacy. We advocate in favor of ethical governance, vigorous debate on policy issues, research-based decision making, rigorous standards for policy discussion, promoting research results and the truthful and appropriate use of public information. We seek to advocate in an impartial, nonpartisan manner.