Citizen Action Weekly: Friday, Feb 26th

Friday, Feb 26th

Citizen Action of Wisconsin endorses Dr. Jill Underly for the State Superintendent of Public Instruction.
Citizen Action’s board voted today to endorse Dr. Jill Underly for Superintendent of the Department of Public Instruction following a Zoom interview with nearly 100 Citizen Action members and leaders on Monday evening. Watch her Citizen Action interview here.

Dr. Jill Underly can be counted on to prioritize improving our public schools and working collaboratively with parents and educators to create a successful 21st Century public education system for all Wisconsin kids, not just the well connected. 

Dr. Jill Underly understands the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic and the importance of having a plan to open schools that will work for students, teachers and families. 

Whether Black, white, brown, immigrant or Indigenous, Dr. Jill Underly believes all children have a right to adequate and fair funding – regardless of where they live.  All Wisconsin public schools must be able to fund schools to 21st century standards for personnel, facilities, technology, required programming and curriculum.

Dr. Jill Underly is staunchly opposed to private school voucher expansion.

Dr. Underly recognizes the issues with “teaching to the test”  within our public schools and acknowledges the negative impact that the presence of law enforcement within schools can have on students, particularly black youth. She spoke in her interview of restorative justice programs as an alternative to suspensions and expulsions and wants an equity officer who will look at school curriculum, hiring processes, disciplining students, and more. 

Dr. Jill Underly is a licensed superintendent and has worked as a teacher and administrator in the public schools system since 1999.

Learn more about Dr. Jill Underly. 

The election for Superintendent of Public Instruction on Tuesday, April 6th.
Request your absentee ballot today.

Call to Action: Marathon County Residents

The Marathon County Board of Supervisors is considering the passage of a “Community for All” resolution. Simply put, this states that Marathon County recognizes and celebrates the diversity within our community. Rather than seeing this as a positive statement, there are many Supervisors on the board who have decided to get defensive. They are more focused on stating that there is no racism in Marathon County, than they are on passing this simple resolution. Think of the statement this will make to members of the community and outside the community. if it doesn’t pass. This is why I am urging you to send an email in support of this resolution to the Marathon County board of supervisors. There are vocal pockets in the community that oppose this. You can email just your Supervisor, but feel free to message the whole Board.
Find your board member’s email and contact them today!

Take Action: Support Citizen Action’s Health Care Platform in the State Budget and Contact Your Legislators!

Governor Tony Evers included Citizen Action of Wisconsin’s top three health care budget priorities in this proposed state budget: BadgerCare ExpansionPrescription Drug AffordabilityBoard and A Public Option

It is critically important that we make our voices heard in support of these lifesaving policies. The Legislature will get pressure from corporations and the wealthy few who benefit from keeping health care costs high, but we can beat them! 

Contact Your Legislators today and Support Citizen Action’s Health Care Platform in the State Budget! Visit our Health Care Action Hub to take further action.


Longstanding Grassroots Activism is Paying Off in North Central WI

After nearly a decade of grassroots activism and local advocacy, it feels like Wausau City Council is listening to the concerns of neighborhood residents on and around the East end of Thomas Street. For many years, rumors have swirled about people getting Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, and other forms of cancer.

Approximately 8 years ago, Some community members shared a Sentry Insurance report that listed a significant number of people that had some sort of negative health impacts believed to be associated with living in this neighborhood. Regardless of this information being shared with the City, Council members and former Mayors treated concerned neighborhood residents and grassroots leaders as if they were crazy to wonder if there was still environmental contamination that they should be concerned about. 

Fast forward to today, and one of the grassroots leaders that has taken charge on working to resolve these issues, is Tom Kilian. And now, he’s a Wausau City Alder, and he will not give up on identifying possible contamination in his neighborhood, and working to create remediation plans that will improve the safety of the neighborhood. The obvious barriers here are the cost of cleanup of these sites, and who gets stuck with the cost. Most recently, 1300 Cleveland Avenue (the site of former industrial operations), has been tested and it has been found to contain high levels of Thallium. You can read about these results here. Harvard toxicologist, and People’s Action Institute member, Stephen Lester, has corresponded with the City intermittently over the past couple of years. His most recent letter is pictured above. You can read a statement and see next steps from Mayor Katie Rosenberg here on Facebook.

Join our Cancel Student Loan Debt Leadership Team!

Student Loan Debt Cancellation is the economic relief that over 45 Million Americans need during the midst of a global pandemic. Not only is this the strongest action that President Biden can take in the first hundred days to jumpstart a stalled economy; it is also among the most impactful. The 45 Million Student Loan Borrowers in the United States hold on average almost $33,000 of debt that prevents us from buying a home, starting a family, and stimulating the local economy. Just this week, Wisconsin’s Attorneys General Josh Kaul joined a multistate coalition of AG’s to support the cancellation of $50,000 in student loan debt. 

Join us on March 1st at 6:00 PM and play an essential role in Cancelling Student Loan Debt! Learn about our upcoming events, long term goals, and share your own ideas. Make sure you register by registering here. An email will follow shortly with information on how to join. 

Questions? Reach out to [email protected] for more information.

Urge Congressman Ron Kind, support a $15/hour minimum wage in the new COVID relief bill!

The $1.9 billion dollar COVID relief bill moving through Congress this week is our best chance to enact a $15 minimum wage. 

This would be the greatest progress we could make this year against rising economic inequality and structural racism and sexism. 

Every worker––Black, white, brown, and Indigenous––deserves a living wage for them and their family. Simply put, no one can live on $7.25 an hour and tipped workers, disabled workers and some young workers earn even less with discriminatory subminimum wages. Essential workers like restaurant workers, EMTs, and delivery drivers have been risking their lives amidst a pandemic without sufficient pay. 

Our government’s choices created this crisis and it’s time for them to deliver real relief. Everyone deserves to share in a just recovery––it’s past time to raise the wage and ensure dignity for all. It’s been over 11 years since we’ve raised the minimum wage. That’s the longest we’ve gone without raising the minimum wage since the minimum wage was created in 1938.

Please use this link to tell Ron Kind he needs to PUBLICLY support a $15/hour minimum wage.   

Citizen Action’s Robert Kraig was on the Jeff Santos radio show for 60 minutes to discuss the latest on COVID relief, the $15 minimum wage, and Ron Johnson’s conspiracies. Listen here.

Ron Johnson & Legislative Republicans embrace conspiracy and voter suppression” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

Sen. Ron Johnson gushed bizarre conspiracy theories during a closely followed Senate hearing on the Capital insurrection, bringing national shame to himself and the Badger State he purports to represent. Is our senior senator off his rocker, or is he making a cynical ploy for the voters of wannabe authoritarian Donald Trump? State Representative Supreme Moore-Omokunde joins us to discuss a new dump of voter suppression bills by legislative Republicans. Has the GOP given up on democracy and majority rule? Claire details the on-going racial inequity in the distribution of COVID vaccines nationally and in Wisconsin. Do politicians have the courage to insist on a just vaccine distribution or is it more business as usual? A new unemployment bill with a poison pill moves in the Legislature and the fight for a $15/hour minimum wage takes center stage in Congressional COVID relief.
Listen Now – Episode #481

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