Weekly – July 5th
Friday, July 5th
The State Budget Endgame: Where do we go from here?
By Robert Kraig, Executive Director
On Wednesday morning Governor Tony Evers signed the Republican budget. While it was much better than it would have been without the threat of his veto pen, and Evers was able to improve it with some important vetoes, there is no escaping the fact that it did not include the two top priorities he was elected to achieve: BadgerCare expansion and full fair funding for public schools.
It is no secret that Citizen Action wanted the Governor to veto all or major portions of the highly partisan budget Speaker Robin Vos and his colleagues rammed through with no meaningful input from Democrats. As I wrote in a column in the Cap Times earlier this week, Vos dominated the budget process because of a gerrymandered super majority in the Assembly, and his willingness to ruthlessly exploit his power in the process.
Governor Evers had a very difficult choice to make. Vos’ threat to take the Assembly out of session until October if Evers vetoed the budget would have done tremendous damage to every school district in the state, perhaps even forcing large scale layoffs. As the only person in the process elected by all the voters of Wisconsin, the decision was the Governor’s to make and rightly so. It is easy for me and others to question his choice, but we did not have the awful burden of deciding whether or not to roll the dice on how far Vos would be willing to go.
So where do we go from here? We are still winning the health care debate with voters, and are very well positioned to win the White House with a mandate for fundamental reform if we keep on fighting and organizing. In fact, 3 of the top 4 contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination are running on Medicare for All, something that would have been inconceivable even a couple of years ago!
Citizen Action members across the state did a tremendous job fighting for BadgerCare expansion in the state budget, which further built public support on the health care issues which defeated Scott Walker in 2018. If it were not for arguably the worst gerrymandering in the country, we would have won the budget fight. As disappointed as we are in the state budget outcome, nothing Robin Vos did has diminished the public demand to make health care affordable and accessible to everyone in Wisconsin. In addition, Governor Evers promised in his veto message to keep fighting for BadgerCare expansion, and we need to back him up. We also need to fight to protect Wisconsin from the current effort by Trump to get the U.S. Supreme Court to invalidate the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The oral arguments on that federal case begin next Tuesday July 9th.
In future Citizen Action Weeklies, we will provide more information on how you can be part of our ongoing campaigns to win Medicare For All, protect the ACA, and make major progress on other proactive health care reforms right here in Wisconsin. We lost a battle, but we are still winning the war to make health care a fundamental human right!
Hundreds attend Accion Ciudadana’s “Close the Camps” protest in Milwaukee
Hundreds of protesters in Milwaukee participated in Tuesday’s “Close The Camps” National Day of Action at the U.S. Federal Building. Accion Ciudadana and nearly a dozen other allied groups organized the protest which called for the closing of detention facilities used to hold migrant children and families near the southern border.
The Day of Action was organized nationally by MoveOn and included over 180 “Close the Camps” events across the nation. Demonstrators in Milwaukee shut off a part of Wisconsin Ave. for an hour. Over ten local and state leaders attended the event and spoke in opposition to what is occurring at the border.
“We do need to hold our elected officials accountable and make sure they are going to do what they said they were going to do,” said State Representative Marisabel Cabrera. “They said they would stand up for immigrants … now is the time.”
Read more media coverage of the event. Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel; Shepherd Express; Fox TV 6.
The big picture on HealthCare Reform
Recently, Dr. Robert Kraig, our Executive Director for Citizen Action spoke to group of concerned citizens from GrassRoots North Shore at Brown Deer United Methodist Church about our broken HealthCare system. He reviewed where we are right now in Wisconsin and where the momentum seems to be going Nationally. WIthout a doubt, HeathCare will be one of the top issues of the 2020 election and Wisconsin will be a key state in the final outcome. If you aren’t familiar with the various Medicare for All and Public Options bills in Congress, this is a very informative presentation to watch.
You can watch here.
Thank you to videographer Danel Folkman and thank you to GrassRoots North Shore for hosting the event.
Accion Ciudadana’s Luz Sosa leaving Citizen Action to spend more time with family. Citizen Action says
thank you Luz!
Organizer Luz Sosa is leaving Citizen Action after over 3 years of work to build a strong Latinx base within our organization. Luz lead the successful launch of Accion Ciudadana, a Latinx chapter within Citizen Action’s Southeast Wisconsin Organizing Co-op.
Luz and the members of Accion Ciudadana were instrumental in organizing the co-op to elect key progressive members to local office. In Spring of 2017, Accion Ciudadana members spent over two months knocking doors and making calls for member Tony Baez, who went on to be elected to the Milwaukee School Board. Last year members worked overtime to help elect member Marisabel Cabrera to the State Assembly, including a surprise primary election victory over an entrenched incumbent.
Citizen Action’s staff team will miss the passion, energy, and commitment Luz brings to everything she does. For the time being, Luz plans to spend more time with her two young children. We know Luz will remain engaged with the movement, and likely hold many more positions in the progressive movement. One day she may even run for elected office. We all expect to work closely with Luz down the road in fighting for a progressive Wisconsin.
Families Belong Together Eau Claire
As the GOP-manufactured humanitarian crisis continues on our southern border, community leaders from across Northwest Wisconsin rallied in opposition. Citizen Action members were amongst the featured speakers, including Mireya Valadez Sigala, Ann Francis, Joe Luginbil, Andrew Werthmann, Zoe Roberts, and Representative Jodi Emerson. Now, more than ever, it is critical that we make clear our disgust and horror at the atrocities being committed in our name.
Southeastern Co-op Update
Southeastern Organizing Co-op Opens Elections for Steering Committee
It’s once again time to elect members to our Co-op’s Steering Committee! This year, there are candidates for three seats to support and assist our caucuses, issue teams, and organizers with progressive action on Wisconsin’s most pressing concerns. You can review the candidate statements here:
SE WI Steering Committee Candidate Statements
The voting window will be open through July 15th, and SE WI Organizing Co-op members in good standing can cast their online ballots here:
SE Wisconsin Org Co-op Steering Committee Ballot
Thanks in advance for your participation, and we look forward to seeing you at a Citizen Action event this summer!
“Evers’ Budget Endgame” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast
We analyze Gov. Evers’ big budget decision. How did he use his veto pen, and what prompted his decision not to engage in budget brinkmanship? We also discuss next week’s start of oral arguments in the Texas lawsuit to destroy the Affordable Care Act. Finally we give a scouting report on how Democratic presidential candidates are positioning themselves on Medicare for All.
Facebook post of the week