|Member of the Wisconsin State Assembly
from the 48th district
January 7, 2013
March 28, 1969 |
|Alma mater||University of Wisconsin-Madison|
Melissa Agard Sargent (born March 28, 1969) is an American small business owner from Madison, Wisconsin who currently serves in the Wisconsin State Assembly. A Democrat, Sargent represents the 48th assembly district, which includes the City of Madison's east and north sides, and Maple Bluff.
Melissa has been appointed to serve on 6 legislative committees including: the Aging and Long Term Care Committee, Financial Institutions Committee, Small Business Development Committee, Energy and Utilities Committee, Mental Health Committee, and the Joint Legislative Audit Committee.
In 2010, Sargent's neighbors on the north side of Madison urged her to seek the 18th District seat on the Dane County board of supervisors upon the retirement of the incumbent. "At that point, I owned my own business," she said. "I had three kids, and I just found out I was pregnant with my fourth. And I was 40 years old and feeling like one more thing on my plate would cause me to topple over."
But then her children came home from school complaining about having to do a community service project, and she told them to tough it out. Then Sargent, says, she decided she needed to do the same. Sargent won her race, and has been part of the liberal majority on that body, chairing the Health and Human Needs Committee.
On January 23, 2014, Melissa proposed Bill LRB 3671, which would legalize marijuana for recreational and medicinal purposes in Wisconsin.
2011 Wisconsin protests
For fifty consecutive days during the 2011 Wisconsin protests against Governor Scott Walker's controversial "Budget Repair" legislation which abolished collective bargaining for most Wisconsin public employees, Sargent says that she, often accompanied by one or more of her four children, joined in the mass demonstrations, whether in the Wisconsin State Capitol or (after officials locked the Capitol), outside in the Wisconsin cold. On March 27, 2011, when the State Capitol Police ordered her three older boys to take down their protest sign proclaiming "Solidarity Forever" which was being displayed outside of the "Designated Demonstration Area" they refused, and Sargent was issued a ticket (later dismissed).
Running for the Assembly
After the State Assembly was drastically redistricted in 2011 by a Republican-controlled legislature, former 48th district incumbent Democrat Chris Taylor had chosen to run in the newly-revamped 76th district. Sargent was unopposed in the Democratic primary election. In the general election she polled 24,375 votes, to 4849 for Libertarian Terry R. Gray and 62 scattered votes.
Sargent owns a company that makes giclee prints of original artwork. Her husband, Justin Sargent, works for Democratic State Senator Chris Larson of Milwaukee, now the Senate minority leader. They have four sons: Devin, Bailey, Keanan, and Trystan.
- Sargent, Melissa. "Melissa Sargent, Democratic candidate in Assembly District 48" The Cap Times October 25, 2012
- "About Melissa" official website
- Arnold, Amber. "From protesting to legislating: Two who marched at Capitol set to take office" Wisconsin State Journal December 27, 2012; on website of La Crosse Tribune
- "Dane County Government: Board of Supervisors: Melissa Agard Sargent"
- Tarr, Joe. "New round of Wisconsin Capitol protests target sign and location rules" TheDailyPage. Isthmus March 29, 2011
- "The Sargent Boys stand up for the First Amendment" video of Sargent's ticketing
- 2012 "G.A.B. Canvass Reporting System: County by County Report: Partisan Primary - Assembly - District 48 - Democratic" Wisconsin Government Accountability Board. Report generated 8/27/2012 5:53:04 PM; Page 147 of 396
- Gray's website, with links to Libertarian Party of Wisconsin, etc.[permanent dead link]
- 2012 "G.A.B. Canvass Reporting System: County by County Report: 2012 Presidential and General Election - Assembly - District 48" Wisconsin Government Accountability Board. Report generated 11/21/2012 1:57:46 PM; Page 48 of 99