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Staff Snapshots | Wendy Jackson

Aug. 18, 2022 | State Legislatures News | Print

Wendy Jackson

Hometown: Madison, Wis.

Role: Administrative Services Manager/Senior Legislative Editor, Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau

Years of legislative service: 23

NCSL connection: Jackson attended the Legislative Staff Management Institute and served for several years on the Legislative Staff Coordinating Committee.

Talent she’s most proud of: “I am good at finding and fixing mistakes.”

 

Why did you choose to work at the legislature?

My working for the Wisconsin Legislature was a fluke. I was looking for a technical writing job, I was in the right place at the right time to get a legislative editing job, and working for the Legislature sounded “important.” (That was more than 20 years ago when I didn’t know just how important legislative staff—in all of our various, behind-the-scenes roles—are to the legislative institution!)

What’s the best advice you were ever given?

“Take two passes whenever humanly possible.” That’s what Anita Samen, then the managing editor for the University of Chicago Press, said in 2004 at the first NCSL professional development seminar for legislative editors.

Who or what inspires you?

My fellow legislative editors around the nation inspire me. When we get together for roundtable discussions, for example, I am blown away by their expertise with language, their ability to make a sentence better, and their strong sense of duty to the legislature.

What’s one thing you love about your state?

I love Wisconsin writers and musicians, such as Lynda Barry, Nickolas Butler, Edna Ferber, Skylar Grey, Michael Perry, Justin Vernon and Butch Vig.

What are you currently reading/listening to/watching?

Last night I finished “Beautiful World, Where Are You,” by Sally Rooney.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

For its “Staff Snapshots” series, State Legislatures News is asking legislative staff about their role in the legislature. If you’d like to suggest a staffer for this series, please email Holly South at NCSL.

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