Citizen Action Weekly: Friday, May 3rd
Friday, May 3rd
Citizen Action Participates in Historic Medicare for All Hearings and Actions in Washington, D.C.
The growing movement to establish health care as a fundamental human right achieved a major milestone this week when the Rules Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives conducted the first ever hearing on Medicare for All. Because to the incredible work of our members to make us a health care leader, and the growing influence of our national affiliate People’s Action, Citizen Action of Wisconsin had a direct role in this historic hearing.
Citizen Action’s Executive Director Robert Kraig had the opportunity to attend the hearing in person as a guest of Medicare Care for All sponsor Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (D: Washington). (Picture to left with Robert, Rep. Jayapal and representatives from two of our People’s Action network partners, West Virginia Citizen Action Group and Progressive Maryland. Also pictured at a health care action, Citizen Action board member Carmen Cabrera and organizer Supreme Moore Omokunde).
Citizen Action leaders who attended the People’s Action Convention this week in Washington DC also got the opportunity to participate in large scale actions targeting bad actors in the health care industry and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (D: KY)
Reflecting on these events, Robert Kraig observed: “Three short years ago Medicare for All was seen by many insiders as a fringe issue, now we have built together a powerful social movement for universal health care and and multiple Democratic presidential candidates have endorsed it. What was most striking about the historic Congressional hearing this week was the energy and passion in the room for using the power of democratic government to transform the profit-dominated system into something that actually serves the vital needs of everyone in America. I firmly believe that if we keep organizing, and win some big elections, we have a golden opportunity to make major advances in 2021 that go well beyond anything that we could have imagined when we passed the Affordable Care Act a decade ago.”
Citizen Action Mobilizes to Fight GOP Attack on BadgerCare Expansion
This Thursday morning Citizen Action members attended an emergency news conference in Milwaukee with Governor Tony Evers. The Governor was reacting to the previous day’s announcement that Republican leadership plan to remove BadgerCare expansion from the state budget next week, Thursday, May 9th in the Joint Finance Committee.
At the news conference the Governor made clear he would “fight like hell” to win BadgerCare expansion. He also said he needs all of our help right now.
This sudden attempt to end the BadgerCare expansion debate is a sign of weakness. Earlier this week news reports broke of multiple Republican legislators beginning to bow to public pressure and support BadgerCare expansion! Robin Vos is afraid we are winning, so he is trying to cut off public debate. We can’t let him get away with it!
The outcome of the fight to expand BadgerCare in our critical battleground state will influence the race for president, and whether or not we can win a mandate for Medicare for All in 2020.
TAKE ACTION! CONTACT your state legislators and urge them to support expanding Medicaid in the state budget.
Mandela Barnes, Sarah Godlewski, Jeff Smith and Marisabel Cabrera appear together on stage at People’s Action National Convention in Washington, DC
Nearly a thousand progressive activists from throughout the country gathered at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C. April 28-30 for the People’s Action convention “The People’s Wave.” People’s Action is one of the largest and the fastest growing multiracial, people’s organizations in the country. We are 48 member organizations in 32 states (including Citizen Action of Wisconsin) with more than a million grassroots leaders.
Citizen Action of Wisconsin co-op members, Mandela Barnes, Sarah Godlewski, Jeff Smith and Marisabel Cabrera appeared on stage together the opening night of the convention to celebrate their victories last November and inspire more of us to run for office in 2020 elections.
Throughout the convention activists from urban, suburban and rural communities shared their personal stories on health care, education, housing, climate and environment, racism, gender discrimination and more. The convention also including lobby visits to Rep. Ron Kind and Glenn Grothman congressional offices to educate them on the People’s Action platform and Medicare For All.
Northwestern Co-op Members at People’s Action Convention!
At the 2019 People’s Action Conference, Citizen Action co-op leaders joined with hundreds of other passionate progressive leaders from a multitude of organizations! Three days of intensive training, networking and action wrapped up with enormous demonstrations demanding Medicare-For-All and Climate Justice.
North Central Organizing Co-op members participate in Earth Day and worker memorial events and join in with NAOMI and the Menominee tribe against the Back 40 Mine
For the 3rd year in a row, the Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL) Rib Mountain chapter organizer, Dan Barth (who is also a Co-op member), and his members, held an Earth Day march that ended with a tree planting. Marathon County Administrator Brad Karger was the keynote speaker and helped with the planting of the tree. Wausau City Alderman (District 1) Patrick Peckham was also in attendance. At least half of the attendees were Co-op members as well as members of CCL.
Every year, on April 28th (some Central Labor Councils do it on April 27th), the AFL-CIO’s Central Labor Councils hold a Workers Memorial to remember those that have lost their lives on the job. Members of the North Central Organizing Co-op play a very active role in this memorial and the upkeep of the Memorial garden (pictured above).
First, the President of the Marathon County Central Labor Council is Randy Radtke. He is also a member of the Steering Committee for the NC Organizing Co-op. The garden is maintained by Co-op members Virginia & Gigs Kirsch, Melissa Engels-Lewis, and her family, along with intermittent help from the Labor council and survivors of people that have lost their lives. The keynote speaker for the memorial this year in Marathon County was Mayor Bob Mielke.
Co-op members in Oneida County, who also run the Northern WI Center for Working People, had their Workers Memorial on April 27th in Rhinelander. Co-op members Jackie and Leonard Cody coordinate this event every year.
This Tuesday, members of the NC Organizing Co-op joined up with members of NAOMI/WISDOM, and travelled to the Menominee Reservation in Neopit. The purpose was to meet with tribal members, to learn about the Back 40 mine in Michigan.
These tribal members are looking for outside help to support the resistance of this mine. Even though this particular mine is in Michigan, the same mining company is currently interested in a similar mining effort in Marathon County. The Menominee Reservation stretches from WI (in the NC coop region) to Upper Michigan. Members of the NC Co-op have a deep interest in environmental issues and have a history of being involved with tribal members when asked.
Prior to the formation of the Co-op, many founding members played an active role in the resistance of the Penokee Hills Mine and the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). Co-op members have also fought for policies that will move us toward a future where climate justice is front and center.
For more information on the Back 40 Mine, go to this website.
We discuss Governor Tony Evers media conference reacting to Republican leadership plan announced Wednesday to remove BadgerCare expansion from the state budget. Evers declared he would “fight like hell” to win and he needed peoples help. We also talk about Gov. Evers’ Thursday meeting with Foxconn executive Terry Gou and May Day here and abroad. We also have special interviews with Robert Borosage, contributing editor of The Nation and Tasha Green, councilwoman from the city of Westland, MI.
Facebook post of the week