State Representative Joel Kleefisch of the Class of 1989 is the next nominee. While at North, he may have simply been known as Joel, but in 2004 he was elected to the State Assembly and since that year he has held the title of State Representative, with all the responsibilities that come with that title. We are honoring Representative Kleefisch for his achievements in Government.
After Joel graduated from North High in 1989, he got his B.A. degree from Pepperdine University in 1993. Chuck Malone, executive director of the Wisconsin High School Forensic Association said of Joel, “I am pleased to say that I had a lot of opportunities to work with Joel Kleefisch when he was in high school and none of his accomplishments are a surprise to me or anyone else who was lucky enough to work with him.”
Before entering politics, Joel started out his career as a TV reporter in Los Angeles and Illinois. In 1994 he became an investigative television news reporter for WISN-TV, doing an award-winning investigation in 1999 on date rape drugs. Since being elected to the State Assembly in 2004, he has had several bills signed into law in the area of criminal justice, and protecting children and families. He was re-elected in 2006 and became Minority Caucus Vice Chairperson in 2009.
Joel is the Ranking Member of the Criminal Justice Committee and was named 2008 Legislator of the Year by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Joel’s committee assignments in 2009-2010 alone include: Committee for Consumer Protection, State Affairs and Homeland Security, Joint Review on Criminal Penalties, and Rules just to name a few. His initiatives include having special license plates for violent child sex offenders, protecting Wisconsin retailers from organized crime rings, and allowing landlords to evict convicted drug dealers at a moment’s notice.
Joel’s wife, Rebecca, is also a journalist and is involved in politics. In his spare personal time, Joel is a member of the Watertown Elks Club and Moose Club, Okauchee Lion’s Club, Musky Mike’s fishing pro-staff, and the founder of the Lakewatch Volunteer Organization.
Representative Joel Kleefisch represents some of the best of North High School graduates, and we are pleased to induct him to the 2010Wall of Stars for his achievements in Government.