Citizen Action Weekly
Citizen Action Weekly: Friday, April 17th

Citizen Action Weekly: Friday, April 17th

Friday, April 17th

Join Citizen Action for our event “Collective Care in the Time of COVID”

Citizen Action has partnered with People’s Action to host an online live event this Saturday, April 18th, at 2:30pm called Collective Care in the Time of COVID.

Individual action and social distancing–while critical–aren’t enough to solve this crisis. During this event, we’ll discuss and celebrate the ways we’re all taking care of each other through the pandemic. Hear from experts about how we got here and discuss what we can do to not only get through, but build a better future. At the end, we’ll collectively take action to demand a Health Care Emergency Guarantee from Congress that includes free testing, treatment, and vaccines for all!

Northwest Wisconsin co-op member Dr. Rita Simon will be a featured speaker, as will Dr. Abdul El-Sayed. Dr. El-Sayed is a physician, epidemiologist, public health expert, and Political Contributor at CNN. He is also the author of the book Healing Politics, calling for a politics of empathy to cure our epidemic of insecurity, and host of the podcast “America Dissected.”

Register for the event here!

State Legislative Action on COVID-19 Grossly Inadequate

Without free testing and treatment, Wisconsin will not slow down the transmission of the virus, or allow safe reopening of economy 

With the slow and uncoordinated federal response to the coronavirus pandemic paralyzing the country, the burden of leadership has fallen on state governments. Many states are stepping up to the task, and filling in as many gaps which should have been covered by the federal government as possible.

But legislative Republicans are blocking the emergency actions Wisconsin must take to slow the pandemic. This leadership malpractice will cost lives, and likely increase already appalling racial disparities in who dies during the pandemic. It will also move back the timeline for when Wisconites can safely go back to work, setting up a terrible choice between lives and economic livelihoods.

Of the many critical actions needed from the state government, Citizen Action of Wisconsin has focused on the need for free COVID-19 testing and treatment. Unless we remove the cost barriers to identify and treat the virus, we will never do the level of contact tracing and virus isolation that is needed to save lives and safely reopen the economy.

The Republicans in the Legislature this week blocked the advances towards free testing and treatment proposed by Governor Evers. The plan that passed the Assembly on Tuesday and the Senate on Wednesday does not include a mandate of free COVID-19 treatment for private health plans, which can average $10,000 to $20,000 dollars, more if the patient needs intensive care. It also fails to give the Governor the flexibility to fully leverage BadgerCare to expand health coverage during the emergency to uninsured Wisconsinites. In addition, the plan does not limit the cancellation of health coverage during the pandemic, which will increase the ranks of the uninsured. It also leaves in place insurance deductibles for testing, creating a dangerous barrier to finding out who in Wisconsin is infected.

In a pandemic, the fear of financially crippling medical bills is a grave risk to the entire community because it discourages people from seeking care. A survey by Citizen Action and the Healthcare Value Hub found that nearly half of Wisconsinites have gone without needed medical care because of fear of the cost in the last year. A national study by the Commonwealth Fund found that 68% of Americans consider copays and deductibles important in determining whether or not they will seek COVID 19 treatment.

The overwhelming cost of health care, which is dangerous in normal times, is absolutely deadly during a pandemic because it is a barrier to universal testing and treatment needed to contain and isolate the virus. This is the only way to identify everyone who has been infected, and interrupt the deadly chains of disease transmission. The disparity in access to health care is one of the drivers of the appalling racial disparities in who is contracting the virus and who is dying.

There is an overwhelming consensus among public health experts that we must have a massive testing and treatment program to contain this virus and to begin to reopen the economy. We need to start by testing and treating everyone with symptoms, and do contact tracing to isolate those who are infected. This must include testing community-wide to identify seemingly healthy people spreading the virus.

“In a major crisis when lives and livelihoods are at stake, it is critical that elected leaders step up to the scale of the challenge, said Robert Kraig, Executive Director of Citizen Action of Wisconsin. “It is deeply disturbing that Wisconsin Republicans have decided to hamstring Governor Evers, and depend on a federal administration which has already shown itself unable to rise to the task.”  We need immediate emergency health care and economic policies which address the gravity of the situation, Kraig continued. “The COVID-19 pandemic focuses us on the reality that we are all interconnected, and that leaving people out of our healthcare system risks the lives of everyone in the community,”

For more detail on Citizen Action of Wisconsin’s COVID-19 policy proposals, see our March news release and memo to the Governor, and a column in early April.

Coffee with your co-op Virtual, Saturday, April 18th, 9:30 AM 

Grab a cup of coffee or tea and join us to stay connected to your fellow Northeast WI Co-op members and supporters during social distancing. We want to hear how everyone is holding up as well as get your reflections on the April 7th election and other co-op news.

Optional: At the end of the call, steering committee member Renee will lead a mindfulness exercise for anyone interested in incorporating some healing practices into their activism.

Join tomorrow, Saturday, April 18th, 9:30 AM – 10:30 AM

Zoom link to join:

Citizen Action in the News

The Green Bay Press Gazette has a story about the victories of progressive women challengers in local races against entrenched incumbents, including several Citizen Action members. The story mentions the decisive role Citizen Action played in one of the key races. If you live in Greater Green Bay or the Fox Valley, you can get involved in Citizen Actions Northeast Wisconsin Organizing Co-op by contacting organizer Noah Reif [email protected]

Citizen Action’s Director Robert Kraig did sat down for a long video interview with Up North News on why Bernie Sanders came up short in the Democratic Presidential Primary, what it means for winning Wisconsin in November, and how progressives can continue to advance the bold agenda Sanders and Warren ran on.

Wisconsin Health News reported on Citizen Action’s critique of the state coronavirus relief package that passed this week without guaranteeing free testing and treatment for COVID-19

Driftless co-op COVID19 relief planning town halls

The Citizen Action of Wisconsin Driftless Co-op is hosting a series of planning town halls to craft a relief effort during Wisconsin’s COVID19 outbreak. We are building a plan to address concerns around healthcare, utilities, mortgage/rent payments, and small business relief. We would like to hear from you as we build these plans. Please RSVP to join one of these upcoming town halls co hosted by Driftless co-op members.3

Amy Dummer COVID19 relief planning town hall, 4-21, 7:00 to 8:00 More info.

Lewis Kuhlman COVID19 relief planning town hall 4-28, 6:00 to 7:00 (shared with La Crosse DSA members) More info.

Joni Anderson COVID19 relief planning town hall 4-29, 3:00 to 4:00 More info.

Town Hall with congressional candidate Mark Neumann

Citizen Action of Wisconsin will be hosting a virtual town hall with congressional candidate, and Citizen Action member, Mark Neumann on Monday April 20th from 6:00 to 8:00. Mark is running a primary challenge against Ron Kind in Wisconsin’s 3rd congressional seat. This event will be hosted on Zoom. Please RSVP to receive the Zoom link. If you would like to submit a question for Mark please email Ben Wilson at [email protected] with your questions.

RSVP link:

Citizen Action of Wisconsin’s Members Win Big All Across Wisconsin!!

The results of Tuesday, April 7th election were announced this Monday evening and 29 Citizen Action members won elections to office this week Congratulations!

  • Katie Rosenberg, Mayor of Wausau
  • Dennis McBride, Mayor of Wauwatosa
  • JoCasta Zamarripa, Milwaukee City Council, District 8
  • Liz Sumner, Milwaukee County Board, District 1
  • Marcelia Nicholson, Milwaukee County Board, District 5
  • Steve Shea, Milwaukee County Board, District 8
  • Supreme Moore, Milwaukee County Board, District 10
  • Joseph J. Czarnezki, Milwaukee County Board, District 11
  • Sylvia Ortiz-Velez, Milwaukee County Board, District 12
  • Tom Kilian, Wausau City Council, District 3
  • Sarah Watson, Wausau City Council, District 8
  • Robert Hanson, Greenfield School Board
  • Ka Lo, Marathon County Board, District 5 & Wausau School Board
  • Yee Leng Xiong, Marathon County Board, District 19, Village of Weston Board of Trustees, and DC Everest School Board
  • Jonathan Fisher, Marathon County Board, District 38
  • Steven Schreier, Oneida County Board, District 4
  • Sandy Fischer, Langlade County Board, District 2
  • Lindsay Dorff, Brown County Board, District 4
  • Megan Borchardt, Brown County Board, District 8
  • Cassandra Erickson Brown County Board, District 19
  • Barbara Dorff, Green Bay City Council, District 1
  • Randy Scannel Green Bay City Council, District 7
  • Emily Voight, Calumet County Board,  District 3
  • Cathy Thompson, Outagamie County Board, District 1
  • Zoe Roberts,Eau Claire County Board, District 27
  • Donald Mowry, Eau Claire County Board, District 9
  • James Dunning, Eau Claire County Board, District 20
  • Connie Russell, Eau Claire County Board, District 4
  • Monica Kruse, LaCrosse County Board, District 15

Help Elect Tricia Zunker for Congress, Tuesday, May 12th

The 2020 election fight continues in the 7th Congressional District where Citizen Action co-op member Tricia Zunker, is running to replace Sean Duffy, who quit prematurely, citing family needs, but then took a job on K Street immediately after leaving Northern WI without representation. The election is scheduled for Tuesday, May 12th.

We need your help making calls! Please contact your regional co-op organizer to get involved from home.

If you live in CD 7 you should apply today for your absentee ballot!

For anyone in need of a Tricia Zunker yard sign, you can one pick up from my Tricia’s home in Wausau. Please send Tricia a message on facebook and she will provide her address and make sure signs are left out for you. You can also contact your local Democratic Party office to see if they can deliver signs.

Can you help us work to protect the vital renewable energy sector in our area? How solar can protect jobs and support local businesses!

Citizen Action of Wisconsin has been working to urge financial institutions to make it easier for working Wisconsinites to upgrade their homes, and how we have the chance to support a critical source of jobs during this crisis: solar installers. Once the fastest growing job in the nation, we want to support them to protect our economy while fighting for the planet, which is why we are looking into a “Group Buy” to help people navigate the math of energy efficiency and if this moment can help their pocketbook, workers, small businesses and the plant.

Learn more!

“What leadership looks like in a pandemic” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast    

We welcome State Representatives Marisabel Cabrera and Jonathan Brostoff to discuss their courageous votes against the very weak COVID-19 relief that clear the Legislature this week. Republicans in the Legislature blocked efforts to include free testing and treatment, a vital step we must take to contain the pandemic, address racial inequality, and open up the economy. The inadequate legislation was signed by Gov. Evers, who had tried to secure a mandate that health insurance companies not charge co-pays or co-insurance fees for COVID 19 treatment. The plan also fails to limit cancellation of health coverage during the pandemic, which will increase the ranks of the uninsured. It also leaves in place insurance deductibles for testing, creating a dangerous barrier to finding out who in Wisconsin is infected.

Listen Now – Episode #438
Download MP3
Press Clips

Citizen Action COVID-19 Action Center.

Facebook post of the week

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