Director Profile




Leslie "Buzz" Davis

Buzz, born in Milwaukee-raised in Wauwatosa, graduated with a BS in political science, UW- Milw. 1965, a Masters in Urban Affairs, UW-Milw. 1972 and a Masters in Public Administra- tion, Syracuse Univ. NY 1973. He and his wife Kay, a retired school administrator, live in Stoughton, WI and have one son Brett, presently in grad school.

Buzz has had four careers simultaneously: in community organization, politics, unionism and government civil service. He is a retired planner (St. of WI) who worked with many state agencies in problem solving projects (1974-00), former VISTA Volunteer 1965-66 (worked w/Ft. Meyers, FL community action agency on rental housing code improvements in urban Black and Latino low income neighborhoods), served in US Army 1967-70, trained as infantry officer, 1st Lt. and served in S. Korea. He is a member, Veterans for Peace Impeachment Comm. and Chair, WI Impeachment/Bring Our Troops Home Coalition which helped lead the WI effort to impeach Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney. Recruited by Jerry Martin and Charlie Williams, Buzz joined the WI Council of Senior Citizens (1996), helped lead the WCSC committee that organized the WI Alliance for Retired Americans and served two terms as executive vice president of the WI ARA which now represents 113,000 WI seniors. Buzz is a former member of the Stoughton Planning Commission, Stoughton Library Board (helped build new library) and city council (1980 and 1992-95) and Dane county board (1996-98) member.

Buzz serves on the steering committee of the Stoughton Area Democrats (1980s-present) which participates in all levels of political campaigns in Stoughton and is a former Dane Co. Democratic Party executive board member (1997.) As a member of the Dane County Youth Commission 1996-2005 he lead the successful effort to help communities establish Youth Resource Centers for middle school youth to have a safe, fun, educational place to be after school (increased number of centers from 2 to 20 in Dane co. and raised over $120,000 from the private sector to help fund the centers).

In mid 1990s Buzz helped lead the successful effort to establish a Retirees Chapter for the retirees from the 17,000 member American Federation of Teachers-WI, served as president of the chapter and serves on the executive board and served on the AFT-WI executive board (2001-05).

Buzz co-chaired the WI Professional Employees Council (WPEC) Organizing Committee from 1990-1993. Under the AFT-WI banner, the committee spent $600,000 organizing 3,600 state government professionals into one of the largest unions in the state. This was the largest union organizing drive in WI since the 1960s. WPEC now represents over 4,600 state professionals. He served on the WPEC executive board a number of years.

He has been active in the statewide effort to prevent the privatization of the WI Retirement System (WRS) conducting town meetings across the state. He has been helping to organize the effort to establish a state managed WI pension system for private sector workers half of whom have not retirement plan at all. Buzz is also a frequent op ed writer on peace and justice issues.