Citizen Action Weekly; Friday, April 8th
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Citizen Action member attends White House healthcare announcement
Citizen Action member Chrysa Ostenso of Ladysmith was invited to the White House to be on hand for the announcement of a major improvement in the affordability of the Affordable Care Act by President Biden and former President Obama. Chrysa advocates for health care reform as a member of Citizen Action’s North Central Wisconsin Organizing Co-op. Read the story in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel here.
Here is a detailed account of the experience from Chrysa herself:
“This is what I found when Claire from Citizen Action of WI called me on Monday and I opened up the email which I was “too busy” to read when it arrived last Thursday.
Of course I had been busy when that email arrived on Thursday afternoon before GOTV weekend! When I saw it I was in a state of shock but I jumped to the sad conclusion that there was no way I could skip work and arrange travel quickly enough to get from the Northwoods of WI to Washington DC in less than 22 hours. It was devastating to think that I was going to miss this opportunity. In an effort to move on, I quickly RSVP’d with regrets. Regrets was an understatement. My head, about to explode. I had to share this with someone so I turned to my terrific coworkers/employees. Their reaction- “No, you are going, you have to go, we will cover for you, here let’s start looking for flights”. Six hours and many doubts, anxieties and second thoughts later I had my tickets and I started on the drive to Chicago. I arrived at my friend’s house at 2:30 am, slept a couple hours and then he drove me to O’hare. I flew to DC and made it in plenty of time. Guests gathered at a gate near the White House. We were checked in by security and then we were welcomed in and shown to the entrance. We walked into a grand space and were welcomed by musicians playing beautiful and lively music. I was overtaken with such a sense of history. There were large formal portraits and also many iconic photos of presidents, first ladies and their families and even their pets! It was so impressive to see all of the great people who have taken on the role of President and have created our history, filled with promise, accomplishments, mistakes and progress. President Obama must have been having similar thoughts as he was reflecting during his speech on how important it is to elect people that want the opportunity to serve our country and to make it a better place for all of its citizens. This is how he and Joe Biden have answered the call to serve, especially with their work on affordable healthcare which we were all gathered to celebrate.
We were guided by friendly ushers/security to the East Room where we were shown to our seats. The room was full of chairs- I am guessing about 300 capacity. We sat and watched as others filed in including Pete Buttigieg, Deb Haaland, Jim Clyburn, Amy Klobuchar, Nancy Pelosi and many other Senators and members of Congress and the Cabinet.
I couldn’t believe I was in the same room with all of these people and then Vice President Kamala Harris, President Joe Biden and former President Barack Obama arrived to a long standing ovation. They each took their turn at the podium, recounting our nation’s progress on affordable healthcare. We were reminded that when Obama took office, insurance companies were able to deny people coverage due to pre-existing conditions. We were cautioned that even today, 12 years after the ACA began, Republicans are still threatening to repeal it so we are still at risk of going back to allowing Insurance companies to do whatever they want to improve their bottom line. We celebrated the fact that millions more people have affordable coverage now due to the original ACA and the improvements that have been made. And we applauded the tweak that was being made today by President Biden’s executive order to fix the Family Glitch and change the formula that determines subsidies for families so that a million more families will be able to get subsidies to afford healthcare. It was clear that Joe Biden remains committed to Healthcare as a right, not a privilege. They called on the Congress for help and asked them to make permanent the extra subsidies that were made available in the American Rescue Plan. That was the round of subsidies that really impacted my family. As small business owners, we had been used to spending around 20% of our income on healthcare so when the ARP reduced that to 8.5%, we were finally able to get some relief on healthcare spending. We enjoyed about 40 minutes, hearing remarks from the three speakers and then they circulated and did some hand shaking among the dignitaries seated in the front row. I was in the third row, so as you can see, I was very close to the action. It was definitely a time where I wished I was a better photographer. So close and yet so far, there was no opportunity to give Presidents Biden and Obama a big hug and thank them for their strength, their leadership and all of their efforts to help me and all of the regular citizens of our nation, as I so wanted to. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that I would have an opportunity like this. I am so thankful to the President, the White House and to Citizen Action for my invitation. I hope that everyone involved in advocacy on important issues that will help people will get their turn to experience something like I did this past Tuesday. Here I am, one happy camper, leaving the White House on that rainy day.
I look forward to working with Citizen Action of WI and all of their great staff and volunteers on future efforts to keep improving affordable healthcare, fair maps and voting rights, environmental protection, fair wages and all the other issues that can positively impact American families.
Congratulations to Citizen Action endorsed candidates who won their Spring Elections
- Antonio Godfrey Sr., Fond Du Lac School Board, At-Large
- Bryan Milz for Green Bay School Board
- James Lyerly for Green Bay School Board
- Ryan Clancy, Milwaukee County Board, District 4
- Peter Burgelis, Milwaukee County Board, District 15
- Juan Miguel Martinez, Milwaukee County Board, District 12
North Central Wisconsin
- Natasha Tompkins, Marshfield City Council
- Dale Yakaites, Marshfield School Board
- Carol Lukens, Wausau City Council, District 1
- Tom Kilian, Wausau City Council, District 3
- Sarah Watson, Wausau City Council, District 8
- Yee Leng Xiong, Marathon County Board, District 19
- Bobbie Gifford, Portage County Board, District 10
- Julie Allen, Lincoln County Board, District 19
- Kate Beaton, Eau Claire City Council, At Large
- Joshua Miller, Eau Claire City Council, At Large
- Charlie Johnson, Eau Claire City Council, At Large
- Larry Mboga, Eau Claire City Council, At Large
- Nancy Coffey, Eau Claire County Board, District 10
- Nathan Otto, Eau Claire County Board, District 11
- Judy Gatlin, Eau Claire County Board, District 14
- Nick Smiar, Eau Claire County Board, District 15
- Missy Christopherson, Eau Claire County Board, District 29
- Tim Nordin, Eau Claire School Board
- Marquell Johnson, Eau Claire School Board
- David Pierce, La Crosse County Board, District 3
- Monica Kruse, La Crosse County Board, District 15
- Karen Keil, La Crosse County Board, District 28
- Dillon Mader, La Crosse County Board, District 30
- Juan Jimenez, La Crosse School Board
- Tanja Birke, Viroqua City Council, Ward 5
- Joni Anderson, Adams County School Board
- Yes on La Crosse County Clean Water Now ballot referendum
Contact your state legislators in support of BadgerCare Public Option
Thank you to Reps. Shelton, Moore Omokunde, Anderson, Andraca, Baldeh, Billings, Brostoff, Cabrera, Conley, Drake, Emerson, Goyke, Haywood, Hebl, Hesselbein, Hong, B. Meyers, Ohnstad, Pope, Riemer, Sinicki, Snodgrass, Spreitzer, Stubbs, Subeck, Vining and Vruwink and Sens. Johnson, Larson, Agard, Bewley, Carpenter, Roys, Smith and L. Taylor for co-sponsoring the new BadgerCare Public Option bill.
The bill needs your help. If you didn’t see your legislators on the list of co-sponsors contact them.
Contact your legislators today and urge them to support the legislation and co-sponsor.
Listen to “History Made.” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast
We debrief the Spring Election, including the right wing’s effort to take over local schools boards on shameful culture war conspiracies and the watershed election of Milwaukee’s first Black mayor. The panel takes stock in the historic U.S. Senate vote confirming the first Black woman, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, to the Supreme Court. Disgraced former judge Michael Gableman shamefully speaks at Trump’s Florida resort and is praised by the insurrectionist ex-president. How can Republicans continue the pretense that Gableman is leading an impartial and objective investigation? Claire educates us on the important health care policy behind the big Barack Obama/Joe Biden media event at the White House this week. A Citizen Action member from our North Central Wisconsin Organizing Co-op directly impacted by unaffordable health insurance costs gets a trip to the White House to see the Obama-Biden event. We discuss critical Biden agenda items that still need to be addressed before November 2022. Finally, the panel discusses the implications of new reports linking COVID-19 deaths to poverty, plus the latest Ron Johnson follies.
Earth Day 2022: Protect The Future in La Crosse, April 22, 11:30am.
From Grandad’s Bluff to the Cass St Bridge everyone in the Coulee Region deserves a future where our children can bike, hike, fish, and thrive on a healthy planet. No matter who we voted for or what our neighborhood looks like we all want to protect our children’s future. No matter who we voted for or what neighborhood we live in, we ALL want to protect our children’s future and this beautiful place we call home.
On Earth Day, April 22nd 2022, Citizen Action of Wisconsin will be hosting a rally, press conference, DIY workshop and up-cycle clothing exchange in Weigent Park in La Crosse to celebrate the work La Crosse has done, ask the schools to join our local climate movement, and to do our part to prevent waste from fast fashion. Climate activists, elected officials, student leaders, and others will be on hand to remind us that this planet belongs to all of our children and we must protect it.
We will be hosting a free up-cycle clothing exchange after the press event. Please bring the clothes you are not wearing anymore and check out the great fashion for free. We want to highlight the impact of the fast fashion industry by making sure we work to reduce our own, personal fast fashion waste. We will even be hosting a workshop teaching you how to create your own “no sew” grocery bag out of an old tee shirt!
The City of La Crosse has already made the commitment to a 100% green future. We need to come together and ask La Crosse School to step up and do their part to give our children a habitable planet. It’s Time for La Crosse School to commit to being 100% green by 2050
Friday, April 22, 2022 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM
Weigent Park, 1500 CASS St, La Crosse.
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