The Women Who Inspire Us: Lisa Subeck

The National Foundation of Women Legislators

by Elysian Magazine

Representative LISA SUBECK has represented the 78th District in the Wisconsin State Assembly since January 2015. Born and raised in Chicago, she is a graduate of Rich Central High School in Olympia Fields, Illinois, and earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Wisconsin (Madison) in 1993. After college, she funneled her interest in children and young mothers as the Dane County Program Director of Head Start and Early Head Start programs, during which time she helped launch Hope House, a Madison-based housing program for young mothers of infants and toddlers.

Her advocacy for mothers and children led to her first attempt at running for public office, as a Progressive candidate for the Madison Common Council. She was defeated by a candidate who represented a coalition of realty and development interests and rather than allowing that to deflate her dreams, her determination became even more driven. She served as a member of Madison’s Community Services Committee, Equal Opportunities Commission, and Madison’s Southwest Neighborhood Plan Committee and in 2009, she was hired as Executive Director for NARAL Pro-Choice Wisconsin. In 2011 she made her second attempt for election to public office, this time as a candidate for the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, and won in a field of five contenders in the nonpartisan primary.

In 2014, Rep. Subeck announced her campaign for Wisconsin State Assembly in the 78th Assembly district, an open seat held by incumbent Brett Hulsey, who decided not to run for reelection but instead, for Governor of Wisconsin. She defeated fellow Democratic City Council member Mark Clear with 56% of the vote and went on to be unopposed in the 2014 general election. Rep. Subeck was sworn into office in January 2015 and was reelected in 2016, 2018, and 2020. She currently serves as the Democratic Ranking Member of the Committee on Local Government and the Committee on Public Benefit Reform and sits on the Health Committee, Children and Families Committee, and Committee on Family Law. “I have been a leader on health care, support for children and working families, strengthening our public schools and University of Wisconsin system, protecting our natural resources, access to women’s health care, fairness and equity, supporting our workforce, and protecting our democracy,” she proudly says.

Rep. Subeck was elected Minority Caucus Vice-Chair for the 2021–2022 session and serves on the Assembly committees for Review of Administrative Rules, Campaigns and Elections, Energy and Utilities, on Health, and Rules, and the Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules. As a member of the Governor’s Council on Domestic Abuse, Speaker’s Task Force on Foster Care, and having served on a legislative Study Committee on Access to Civil Legal Services, her interest in issues dealing with poverty, homelessness, economic empowerment, and affordable housing as they affect children and mothers has never wavered.

She has served as President and Treasurer of Woodhill Condominium Association, was a member of the Southwest Neighborhood Plan Steering Committee, and the Wisconsin State Chairwoman for Democratic Municipal Officials. Rep. Subeck is the Wisconsin director of the National Foundation for Women Legislators and is an executive board member of the Women’s Legislative Network of the National Conference of State Legislatures.

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