The winner of Citizen Action's 2014 Achievement Award, voted on by her peers, is Eleanor Wolf of Eau Claire!
Eleanor was nominated and voted on by her peers for her work launching Chippewa Valley Moral Monday movement and successfully fighting for both a BadgerCare and Minimum Wage referendum fight in Eau Claire/Chippewa Counties! We asked Eleanor a few questions of what motivates and inspires her, here is her answer
What inspires you to get active in improving Wisconsin?
I have been so lucky to have a good, supportive, financially secure family, good schools, good health, and a job with the state that provided a living wage, health care and a pension. As a result I have been motivated to work to improve the lives of others, not so lucky, through political action and community organizing.
What effort that you've worked on are you most proud of?
I am very pleased with the community response to the new anti-poverty organization that several activists and I formed this past January....Chippewa Valley Moral Monday Coalition. (This coalition is a rough replica of Reverend Barber's North Carolina's Moral Monday movement.) As a result of our lobbying, the Eau Claire County Board put two referendum questions on the November ballot....one asking for an increase in the minimum wage to $10.10/hr. and one asking the Governor to accept the Federal money to expand BadgerCare. Both advisory referendums passed with large majorities.
What gives you hope moving forward?
I'm given hope by all the compassionate, dedicated candidates/activists who I've had the opportunity to work for or with in this community/ state who share my concerns. We have the power to build a movement if we don't surrender to despair.
We also asked Jackie Christner, also of Eau Claire, why she nominated Eleanor. Here's what she said:
"Eleanor Wolf has amazed me since the first time I saw her in action. She was involved in our many Thursday morning discussions by Progressives, mainly Democrats, always proposing a specific action on the issues under discussion. Then she would organize a group to meet and plan the action and find ways to carry it out. She knows how to run a tight meeting with an action focus.
The first project I worked with her on was learning about the Affordable Care Act Exchanges and then getting the information to people who should learn about it and get signed up. She helped to get a large sign made (“Got Health Care? We can help.”) which we used for working tables in various public places, where she was often the one to carry the sign, set it up, and work the table. She also oversaw the printing of informative brochures and leaflets for hand outs. In addition, she organized a group of us to visit local businesses all over town to inform the workers and urge them to sign up. She did the most visits herself. She also knocked on doors in poor areas of town to inform those people about the need to sign up and how to do it.
Eleanor was moved by the North Carolina Moral Mondays movement led by Rev. William Barber so she and Steve Carlson went to Madison to meet him, and together they started our local Moral Mondays Coalition to fight poverty. As a part of this group, she, Steve, and others met with a couple of Eau Claire County Board members to urge them to draft two referenda: to urge the Governor to accept the Medicaid funds included with the ACA, and to urge the legislature to raise the minimum wage to $10.10. She and others then spoke at a County Board meeting when these items came up for a board vote and urged them to vote to have them on the November ballot, which they did. Then for months she and Steve, and a few others at times, tirelessly knocked on doors in areas where these two issues should be important to those residents. I believe they were very influential in our county overwhelmingly passing the two referenda.
These are the reasons I nominated Eleanor Wolf for the Citizen Action 2014 Progressive Achievement Award. She is a Progressive dynamo."
-Jackie Christner, Eau Claire
Great job Eleanor! And congrats to all those who were nominated and fought to make Wisconsin a better place to live and work!