Citizen Action of Wisconsin is seeking to hire a Health Equity Organizer beginning as soon as January 15th of 2021. This is a full time (40-50 hrs/week on average) salaried position. Some evenings and weekends required, as well as in-state travel and occasional out-of-state travel. Normally, this position would be based in the Milwaukee office, but during the COVID-19 public health emergency, it is a majority work from home position. In person usage of the Milwaukee Office will be granted on a need basis and in compliance with Citizen Action of Wisconsin’s Covid 19 Safety Policy. Applicants must have unlimited access to reliable high speed internet and cellular service at home, and an aptitude for/ desire to learn how to conduct organizing though digital and phone communications. Applicants must live in (or be willing to relocate to) the Greater Milwaukee Area. Women, Bi-racial/People of Color, members of the LGBTQ+ community, and formerly incarcerated individuals are strongly encouraged to apply.
Description of Work: This position reports to the Health Care for All Director and works closely with the Climate and Equity Director. A successful Health Equity Organizer will work to advance a Health Equity Campaign primarily with and in communities of Color in Milwaukee, and with a multi-racial and cultural constituency in other rural and suburban areas of the state. The Health Equity Organizer will work closely with other organizing staff who lead Citizen Action of Wisconsin’s Organizing Cooperatives (a modernized chapter system). The role involves community organizing and multi racial and cultural coalition building. Together with member-leaders and Citizen Action of Wisconsin staff, the Health Equity Organizer will advance diverse/multi level healthcare related issue and electoral campaigns that lead to real impacts on their community and lay the groundwork for large scale changes in communities of Color and for all of us in Wisconsin.
Citizen Action of Wisconsin organizers are expected to learn new skills on the job, and are provided with training and onboarding that may take up to 6 months, while also “jumping in” to the work to gain lived experience. After 6 months to a year, the successful Citizen Action of Wisconsin Organizer will be highly skilled in traditional community organizing; coalition building; public speaking and providing issue education to members of the public; event planning, hosting, and turnout; dues-paying membership recruitment and retention; development and implementation of short and long term issue and electoral campaigns; at least at an intermediate level in regards to all technology and tools they have at their disposal; as well as crafting organizing messaging and maintaining social media presence.
Citizen Action of Wisconsin Movement Organizing Director Job Description
Organizational Background: Citizen Action of Wisconsin is an issue focused non-profit organization committed to achieving anti-oppressive, economic, and environmental justice. We are dedicated to achieving a Wisconsin and an America where every human being has an equal opportunity to live a meaningful and fulfilling life. Citizen Action of Wisconsin brings together thousands of activists and allied groups across Wisconsin to deepen democratic participation and create an issue environment that advances a progressive public policy agenda.
In late 2017, Citizen Action adopted a cutting edge 8 year issue agenda that was written by hundreds of members across the state. Most fundamentally, we believe that issues matter. It is through transformative issues that capture the public imagination and reveal the dissonance between our nation’s ideals and its economic, social and environmental realities that average people see their stake in the public sphere and are motivated to participate in their democracy and fight for meaningful and lasting change. Current major issues include Healthcare for All and Green New Deal (climate change, and racial/economic equity).
Citizen Action is spearheading the development of innovative new grassroots organizing techniques, and seeks candidates who are interested in embracing new dynamic approaches. More information on current Citizen Action of Wisconsin programs can be found at citizenactionwi.org.
Job Description: Citizen Action of Wisconsin is seeking to hire a dynamic and socially committed person to join our management team as the Movement Organizing Director beginning as soon as January 14th of 2021. This is a full time (40-50 hrs/week on average) salaried position. Some evenings and weekends required, as well as semi-frequent in state day and overnight travel, and occasional out of state travel. Applicants must have a valid drivers license, access to a reliable vehicle, and be able to provide proof of liability insurance. Normally, this position would travel on a weekly/bi-weekly/monthly basis to other regions of the state, but during the COVID-19 public health emergency, it is a majority work from home position. Applicants must have unlimited access to reliable high speed internet and cellular service at home, and an aptitude for/desire to learn how to both conduct organizing and manage a team of individuals across the state via virtual and phone communication. Women, Bi-racial/People of Color, members of the LGBTQ+ community, and formerly incarcerated individuals are strongly encouraged to apply.
This position reports directly to the Associate Director and involves maintaining, growing, and evolving a democratic membership organizing model pioneered by Citizen Action of Wisconsin known as an Organizing Cooperative (a modernized chapter system). Citizen Action of Wisconsin currently supports 7 member driven Organizing Co-ops that cover 80% of the state geographically. This position will involve day to day direct supervision of 2-5 regional Citizen Action of Wisconsin Co-op Organizing Staff. The Movement Organizing Director will work with Co-op Organizers and other staff to maintain and grow dues paying membership; integrate statewide (and at times national/federal) issue and electoral campaigns into the local co-ops; as well as work closely with the Executive Director and Climate and Equity Director to lead and advance rural/suburban Climate campaigns in four rural/suburban co-op regions. The Movement Organizing Director will work together with member-leaders and Citizen Action staff to advance diverse issue, legislative, and electoral campaigns that have real impact on our communities and make large scale changes in Wisconsin to open up opportunity for all.
On a special Thanksgiving edition of Battleground Wisconsin we dig into the question of how Joe Biden can govern effectively in the face of a Republican Party whose base is supercharged and will do everything to undermine his administration. First we talk with Rick Perlstein, the author of 4 major books on the rise of the radical right, including the recently released Reaganland, about the prospects for passing progressive reform when 73 million American believe a dangerous and counterfactual ideology. Next, John Nichols joins the conversation to discuss what we can learn about Biden’s strategy from his early cabinet picks. Is this a group that can move progressive policy on the pandemic, economic reconstruction, structural racism, and the climate threat, or is it more of the same from establishment Democrats? Listen Episode #469 Download Mp3
We are on tape from last week’s from the Democratic National Convention, in our long planned counter programming to the proto-fascist Republican National Convention. Will not be able to comment on the latest racist atrocity in Kenosha until next week (but links to our latest statements are below). For this week’s program, on radio row at the Democratic National Convention we taped 4 interviews about a central question for the future of racial justice, economic equality, and the future of the planet: will a future Biden Administration, if we can elect him, be boldly progressive? The alliance between Biden and Bernie Sanders on policy is a great sign, but there are huge challenges to making this alliance between moderates and progressives really happen after the election. We ask two moderates and two progressives for their views. We start the moderates, leading off with Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, whose storied political career in state and national politics has made him a very well informed player within the Democratic Party. Next we talk to Jason Rae, the Secretary of the Democratic National Committee, who knows the inner workings of the party as well as anyone. Then, we talk to two progressives with national reputations. John Nichols the National Affairs Correspondent for The Nation, and one of the most prolific writers in the entire progressive media and a large following in his native Wisconsin. Finally George Goehl, Executive Director of People’s Action (Citizen Action’s national network), bats clean up on our powerhouse panel. George is one of the most respected and strategic progressives organizers in the country.
North Side Rising Campaign Keeps the Lights On for WeEnergies Customers
Last week, North Side Rising and community allies held a rally and march to We Energies calling for an extension of the moratorium on We Energies and utilities from cutting of power to those who can’t currently pay their bills. As of early this week, We Energies had not agreed to a moratorium extension Therefore, Northside Rising held another march and protest at We Energies this Wednesday.
The event focused attention on how important it is for everyone to have essential energy and power. “Please just have a heart, please look at us as people and not as profit,” said Dana Kelley, Citizen Action North Side Rising organizer. “We are struggling,’ said Kelley. “So to struggle to whether you’re going to pay the electric bill, or buy food, that’s not something right now that people need to be struggling and worrying about.”
In addition to the protest, North Side Rising organized people to contact the Public Service Commission to extend the moratorium on cutting off people’s power.
BREAKING UPDATE: On Thursday, the Public Service Commission voted 2-1 to extend the moratorium that bars utilities from disconnecting residential customers behind on their bills to Sept. 1. A huge victory for people in Wisconsin unable to pay their bills due to COVID-19. Citizen Action of Wisconsin got some of the credit, see story in the Milwaukee Journal SentinelRead media from North Side Rising rally.
Driftless Co-op Anniversary Meeting, Saturday, August 29th
On August 29th the Citizen Action of Wisconsin Driftless Co-op will have its one year anniversary of organizing in the area. In honor of the big day we will be hosting a virtual meeting for all our members, friends and allies.
This will be a chance to hear about all the work we have done to expand healthcare, protect voting rights, fight climate change and elect progressive candidates. We will also be laying out our plans for the rest of the year. Several members will be presenting on projects they have been working on with Citizen Action.
We encourage everyone to come out for this very special virtual meeting. Please use the link below to RSVP. Space is limited so RSVP today! Details on how to join this Zoom meeting will be sent once you RSVP.
Citizen Action of Wisconsin will be working with Josefine’s campaign to schedule several days of action to help her win her primary. Keep an eye open for information about the following events
Sending handwritten postcards to voters across the district
Volunteer shifts to drop flyers on voters’ doors
Green Bay Passes City-Wide Mask Ordinance
After a week of intense community discussion, the Green Bay City Council passed a City-Wide mask ordinance 7-5. Mayor Eric Genrich unveiled the proposal at a press conference on Monday. “I think we all want our schools to be open, but in order to do that, we need to crush this curve,” he said. “We all want the Packers season to be back and for fans to be able to witness the games … We want our economy back going strong, but in order to do that, we really need to bring the fight to the coronavirus.”
Green Bay Alder Randy Scannell first proposed a communication last week encouraging a city-wide mask ordinance, however it was not passed through the Policy and Protection committee. Thanks to you, we were able to help over 130 people contact the Green Bay City Council in favor of passing a mask-ordinance! Thank you to everyone who took action with us to encourage our elected leaders to put the health of our community above all else.
Join One of Multiple Solar Jobs & Green Homes Presentation Coming Up
Join a live video Zoom discussion about new ways Citizen Action of Wisconsin has found to help support job creation and fight climate change based on new federal actions that makes it easier for homes to get solar and/or cut mortgage & utility costs.
These presentations will go over what we are doing, how it fits into a movement for change, and how people can help, whether or not they are able to add solar panels. Virtual events are coming up on all the following dates/times:
Wednesday, Jul 29 at 10:00 AM, co-hosted by Connie Raether, click here
Wednesday, Jul 29 at 04:00 PM, co-hosted by Kay Hoff, click here:
Wednesday, Jul 29 at 04:00 PM, co-hosted by Bryan Milz & Renee Gasch, click here
Thursday Jul 30 at 04:00 PM, co-hosted by Jonathan Barker, click here:
Thursday Jul 30 at 07:00 PM, co-hosted by Max Winkels, click here
Friday Jul 31 at 09:00 AM, co-hosted by Jackie Cody, click here:
Friday Jul 31 at 11:00 AM, co-hosted by Laura Lokken, click here
Friday Jul 31 at 01:00 PM, co-hosted by Karen Lemke, click here:
Tuesday Aug 4 at 03:30 PM, co-hosted by Rebecca Alwin, click here
Tuesday Aug 4 at 05:00 PM, co-hosted by Randall Wendt, click here
Thursday Aug 6 at 07:00 PM, co-hosted by Michael Karolewicz, click here
Vote August 11th & Volunteer for Citizen Action Candidate Kristina Shelton
The August 11th primary is fast approaching! In addition to making sure that you have your absentee ballot requested and filled out, you can make a huge impact in supporting Kristina Shelton in the 90th assembly district.
Kristina Shelton is in a tough race against the incumbent in Assembly District 90. She continues to demonstrate a commitment to her community and her experience, integrity, and vision to lead is greatly needed in the State Assembly. You can help Kristina win her election by sending texts, calling voters, and helping do lit drops in her district. You can help learn more about her action opportunities by visiting //www.kristinaforassembly.com/volunteer.
North Central Organizing Co-op is Working on a Solar Group Buy…Help Create Union Jobs and Cut Your Energy Bills and Carbon Emissions All at Once!
Citizen Action of Wisconsin has helped convince multiple banks through a public campaign to offer green home upgrades, where the bank provides resources to help cut a home’s carbon emissions and utility bills that pay for themselves right away. According to the Nature Resource Defense Council, reducing the carbon emissions coming from our home is the number one thing that we can do to reduce our carbon footprint. Plus, it’s good for the pocketbook!
Now, we are launching a project to train and coach homeowners through the steps of accessing solar through this campaign victory where they can help create good jobs fighting climate change through this “green mortgage” program saves more than it costs from the get go!
Citizen Action of Wisconsin is currently accepting applications for 20 homeowners from North Central Wisconsin to be fellows in this program at this time and participate in this “Group Buy”. Fellows chosen will be trained through video meetings and 1-1 coaching sessions to undertake and communicate how to fight climate change at home. Fellows will only be chosen if we are confident we can reduce their costs and cut their carbon emissions, with extra consideration for Citizen Action members and/or those from historically under-invested areas (especially rural and communities of color) and/or union members. You do not need to be a Citizen Action member for consideration.
Through this group buy, we will achieve better savings, and help push the industry to be better at delivering carbon-cutting upgrades to people in the Northwoods/Wausau area! Sign up here!
Fair Maps Coalition Update – Marathon County
Citizen Action of Wisconsin members from all across the state are part of the Fair Maps Coalition, and there has been some movement in the North Central region to get Fair Maps resolutions and/or referendums passed. Currently, the Marathon County Board of Supervisors is preparing to vote on a Fair Maps resolution. This will be the 2nd time that this has been attempted. The difference is that this time there is a new board, and several new members now exist. But the votes will be close!! Calling your County Board Supervisor, if you’re a Marathon County resident, and telling them that you support this, could be the difference between them voting yes or no! If you would like to call your County Board Supervisor, you can identify them and find their contact information here!
If you would like to stay up-to-date on the Fair Maps Coalition and the work that they are accomplishing, check out their latest newsletter, and stay tuned for future issues. One of the founding members of the Citizen Action of WI North Central Organizing Co-op is featured in this newsletter!
Citizen Action in the News
Citizen Action’s protest last week in Milwaukee on COVID-19 relief, led by our new African American led North Side Rising project, included the demand that the Public Services Commission extend the moratorium on utility shut-offs. On Wednesday the PSC reversed itself and extended the moratorium until October. Citizen Action got some of the credit in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel story on the decision.
Citizen Action’s Robert Kraig sat down for a deep interview with People’s Action Executive Director George Goehl on how progressives can build governing power in the Biden Administration. It was a full episode of the Next Move Podcast, the newest feature of People’s Action, Citizen Action national federation of state and local social justice groups.
Citizen Action’s Robert Kraig was on the Jeff Santos Radio Show to discuss progressive movement building, following an interview with path-breaking African American Political Scientist Adolph Reed. The program, which originates from Boston, is replayed on the commercial progressive radio stations in the Madison and Milwaukee media markets. Citizen Action’s Battleground Wisconsin is also featured on these stations every week.
The panel digs into the uncontrolled spread of COVID-19 in Wisconsin, now one of the worst 19 states in the country in containing the virus. How bad is it? What is the State Legislature, the Evers Administration, and local governments doing about it? As the federal cut-off of pandemic unemployment benefits looms, the panel discusses dissension in the ranks of the GOP, and the likely inadequate proposal they will make to the Democrats. We also look at the immense economic impact being inflicted on working Americans, and the disproportionate impact on communities of color. Will right-wing conservatives in The Senate and the White House get their act together, or will they unleash a historic wave of utility cut offs, hunger, evictions, and foreclosures? Listen Now – Episode #452 Download MP3
New Report: Loss of Federal Unemployment Stimulus Will Devastate Wisconsin Working Families, lead to over 65,000 additional jobs losses
Report finds every metropolitan area to see substantial job loss as families lose funds.
STATEWIDE: On a media webinar today Citizen Action of Wisconsin was joined by State Senator La Tonya Johnson to release a new report showing the economic consequences of a failure of Congress to extend the $600-per-week benefit for out-of-work and partially working Wisconsinites. Without a renewal by Congress and the President, the benefits will expire on Saturday in Wisconsin. Republicans in Washington remain gridlocked, and will not make a counter proposal to House Democrats (who passed an unemployment extension in May) until next week at the earliest.
The report breaks down the economic impact of cutting the $600-per-week federal funding stimulus for major Wisconsin metropolitan areas. Over 200,000 Wisconsin unemployed workers and underemployed workers participating in Work-Share programs will lose more than half of their family incomes. Taking this money out of the pockets of working families across Wisconsin will have a cascading impact on local economies, cutting demand for groceries, auto repairs, and other basic services, damaging already struggling businesses and forcing additional layoffs. It will also force many to go without enough food and other basics, and spark an unprecedented wave of evictions and foreclosures.
For workers, the drop in the $600 enhanced UI stimulus weekly will result in an over 60% drop in weekly earnings for those out-of-work. (Figure 1)
Statewide, Wisconsin could expect to see a loss of 65,635 jobs over the rest of the year by a drop in consumer demand from the ending of the $600-per-week federal support to out-of-work Wisconsinites. (Figure 2)
At current levels of unemployment, $3.1 billion in federal funds will be taken out of the pockets of working people and local Wisconsin economies from August through December. An extension through the end of the year is included in the HEROES Act passed by the House of Representatives in May but stalled by the U.S, Senate and the President. (Figure 2)
Because metropolitan areas often cover large regions, county level unemployment figures alone do not fully capture the impact. The 3 metropolitan areas most impacted are Greater Milwaukee (20,458 jobs at risk), Greater Madison (6,842 jobs at risk) and Greater Green Bay (3,238 jobs at risk).
As covered in Figure 3, every county in Wisconsin would be impacted, hurting rural and urban Wisconsin alike as dollars are not spent consumer-to-business then business-to-business.
Figure 1: Percent of Income Reduction from Drop in UI Benefits
Impact by Worker Characteristics
Weekly Benefit Currently
Weekly Benefit Without Stimulus
Reduction in Earnings
Full-time worker who normally earns $20/hour or more*
61% reduction in spending potential
Worker who normally earns $10/hour, 30 hours a week
79% reduction in spending potential
Worker on a “Work-Share” plan, hours reduced 50% to 20 per week, $20/hour
50% reduction in spending potential
* – Unemployment insurance amount is based on the quarterly earnings, a combination of hours and hourly wage. Data gathered from Department of Workforce Development’s Weekly Benefit Rate Calculator. UI weekly benefits are capped in Wisconsin at $370 per week at most.
Figure 2: Statewide and Metropolitan Economic Impact of Not Extending the $600/Week Unemployment Stimulus Until the End of 2020
Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA)
Jobs at Risk
Federal $ Taken from Wisconsin Working Families
$3.1 billion not coming to families
Milwaukee-Waukesha, WI MSA (covering Milwaukee, Waukesha, Washington & Ozaukee counties)
Madison, WI MSA (covering Dane, Iowa, Columbia & Green counties)
Green Bay MSA (covering Brown, Oconto & Kewaunee counties)
Appleton, WI MSA (covering Outagamie & Calumet counties)
Racine, WI MSA
Janesville-Beloit, WI MSA
Wausau-Weston, WI MSA
Oshkosh-Neenah, WI MSA
Eau Claire, WI MSA (covering Eau Claire & Chippewa counties)
** – Methodology: Using the state-level calculation of job loss from the Economic Policy Institute, we estimate the local impact through adjusting for the proportion of unemployed Wisconsin workers eligible for the $600-per-week benefit by multi-county Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). MSA’s are preferred as they better capture the flow of money between adjacent communities and local economies.
*** – Based on DWD UI Week 26 estimate of weekly claim recipients by county, grouped by MSA, multiplied the number of weeks remaining in 2020 and by $600 per week. Figures may be low, as they do not count residents waiting for unemployment determinations and UI funds.
Figure 3:Number of Residents Unemployed by County, as of DWD Week 26, and Estimate of Jobs at Risk Per County from End of $600 Unemployment Stimulus.
Estimated Job Loss from Conclusion of $600/week*
Weekly unemployment claims as of DWD UI Week 26**
109 jobs at risk
375 people unemployed
Fond du Lac
Not allocated to a specific county***
* – Methodology: Using the state-level calculation of job loss from the Economic Policy Institute, we estimate the local impact through adjusting for the proportion of unemployed Wisconsin workers eligible for the $600-per-week benefit by county. While county level spill-overs no doubt occur (money is not only spent in the county one lives in) we assume spillovers occur in both directions between counties.
** – Source: Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Wisconsin Unemployment Insurance Initial and Weekly Claims Filed, UI Week 26
*** – DWD statistics do not account for the county of origin for all UI recipients.
Figure 4: Wisconsin UI Weekly Benefit Rate Compared to Other States, National Average
“It is absolutely stunning that in the middle of a pandemic-induced depression, conservatives in Washington are forcing the cut-off of the unemployment payments that keep millions of working families afloat,” said Robert Kraig, Executive Director of Citizen Action of Wisconsin. “The important data in this release document the needless economic pain that will be inflicted on Wisconsin working families in every corner of the state, and the additional working families. The data also document the cascading impact this cut-off of support will have on tens of thousands of additional working families who will also lose their jobs as a consequence. With enhanced unemployment payments ending next week in Wisconsin, and Republican in Washington in gridlock, the State Legislature must come back into immediate emergency session. This is a time for leadership, and it is time for conservative politicians at the federal and state level to start doing their jobs,” Kraig concluded.
“For many families the extra 600 federal unemployment benefits means the difference between financial security during a time when they are struggling due to no fault of their own, and the risk of losing their home”, said State Senator La Tonya Johnson. “We need our leaders at both the state and federal level to take immediate steps to support Wisconsin families, including removing red tape that makes it difficult to successfully navigate the UI system and maintaining the $600 federal lifeline that families-and our economy- depends on.”
The panel digs into the racist federal appeals court ruling restricting Wisconsin early voting, and risking a dangerous replay of the infamous pandemic primary. Citizen Action is a lead plaintiff in the case. We discuss a new report co-released by Citizen Action of Wisconsin on how 8 Wisconsin billionaires have made an economic killing from the pandemic. The pandemic continues to accelerate, confounding Donald Trump and the GOP by refusing to go away on its own. We point out some of the hotspots and controversies around the Badger State. We look at the rising pressure for Congress and the President to extend coronavirus economic relief, and to make bold new investments in publicly-subsidized jobs and a green transition. We report back on a major news event Citizen Action led in La Crosse this week to put pressure on the feds to act. Finally, we look at the latest Wisconsin racial justice protest developments, and unveil the latest round of Citizen Action legislative endorsements. Listen Now – Episode #449 Download MP3 Press Clips
For Immediate Release: May 14, 2020
Contact: Robert Kraig, (414) 322-5324, [email protected]
Supreme Court Shifts Life & Death Responsibility for Pandemic onto Legislature
What the state now must do to save lives and successfully open the economy is clear: will the GOP Legislature start doing its job?
Statewide: GOP legislative leaders may think they won a victory in their campaign to strip powers from Governor Evers, but they have actually shifted an immense burden of moral responsibility to themselves. The moral of the story for one Aesop’s fables encapsulates the moment: Be careful what you wish for, less it comes true.
The scientific consensus is overwhelming on how to best save lives, and restore the level of public confidence necessary to safely re-open the economy. Now the leaders of the Legislature have a choice: actually cooperate with Governor Evers to do the hard work of quickly implementing an effective response, or continue their campaign of obstruction and face the moral and political consequences for the human and economic toll.
By their very acts of publicly undermining the Governor’s popular emergency measures, and inducing the Wisconsin Supreme Court majority to render one of the most divisive and nakedly partisan decisions in Wisconsin history, they have made the task harder by prematurely ending state-wide social distancing without any back up plan, and undermining the social unity and commitment to norms necessary to contain a pandemic.
Because the Evers Administration took bold necessary action, and the millions of Wisconsinites who followed the directives voluntarily, no matter what the personal and economic sacrifice, Wisconsin made tremendous progress over the last 6 weeks in reducing the rate of infection. According to the CEO of the Medical College, Wisconsin has the reproduction rate (the number of additional people each Covid positive person infects) down to 1.0, the minimum for moving to more targeted virus containment strategies. But if the reproduction rate increases even slightly, to 1.1 or higher, the virus will within a few weeks begin spreading out of control.
We are in danger of losing all these hard won gains if the Legislature does not immediately fund, to whatever scale is necessary, a robust targeted containment strategy. There is an overwhelming scientific consensus, being pursued by the most effective pandemic responses around the globe, on what must be done to contain the pandemic and safely re-open the economy. There is no choice between public health and the economy. The economy will not bounce back until Wisconsinites feel safe, regardless of what politicians tell them to do.
Fill the containment gap created by the sudden and premature ending of mandated social distancing with a well resourced and targeted approach that is capable of identifying and isolating new pockets of infection as soon as they emerge. This includes:
Universal and rapid testing that reaches asymptomatic Wisconsinites and is immediately available in all at risk public and business locations.
A massive ramp up in contract tracing which means hiring thousands of new public health workers.
A medical surveillance system capable of rapidly intervening and isolating all of the new hotspots identified through testing and contact tracing.
Reinforce the norm of social distancing in all public interactions. In Wisconsin, there is much damage to repair. The mixed messages and the divide and conquer politics must end. GOP leaders must join Governor Evers in reinforcing this social ethic and dispense with their divisive rhetoric of oppression and liberation. The Supreme Court majority did the opposite in their divisive and dog-whistle racism oral arguments.
Create enforceable safety requirements for all workplaces. Workers cannot be forced to choose between their health and their livelihoods. (The WMC’s preferred voluntary standards will not work, and were immediately violated by some taverns the evening of the Supreme Court ruling)
These core elements of effective and effective pandemic containment are not just Citizen Action’s position, this is an overwhelming consensus of public health experts and responsible elected leaders across the globe. Some of these items will cost money, and if the majority of the Legislature will not invest the necessary resources, whatever it takes, the costs of inaction will be astronomical. The stakes could not be higher as Dr. Rick Bright, the former Director of Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority testified in Congress today: “Without clear planning and implementation of the steps that I and other experts have outlined, 2020 will be the darkest winter in modern history.”
Wisconsin has done it before. In 1918, when there were three major parties and as much partisan contention as today, Wisconsinites pulled together to take unified action on the worst pandemic in our history. “Wisconsin was the only state in the nation to meet the crisis with uniform, statewide measures that were unusual both for their aggressiveness and the public’s willingness to comply with them.”
“We have entered a season of consequences. In a pandemic success depends on elected leaders putting aside the divisions of normal politics and pulling together to take effective and decisive action,” said Robert Kraig, Executive Director of Citizen Action of Wisconsin. “The GOP leadership of the Legislature got what it wanted, and stripped the Governor of much of his power to lead in this crisis. The onus of responsibility now falls squarely on their shoulders. It is our hope that they will elevate their leadership to the demands of the challenge we face, and work in concert with Governor Evers to do not what is politically convenient but what is required to save lives.”
See Citizen Action response to Wisconsin Supreme Court decision here.
Citizen Action case for free COVID 19 testing and treatment here.
The panel diggs into the repercussions of the Super Tuesday primaries, and the dramatic thinning of the Democratic primary field down to two major candidates. What are the implications? We also discuss yet another right-wing threat to health care coverage for millions, the implication of Covid-19 for caregivers, two Wisconsin State Supreme Court scandals, and media stories indicating that a “culture of racism” may have played some role in the mass shooting at Miller-Coors factory in Milwaukee. Listen Now – Episode #432 Download MP3 Press Clips