Bill Kaplan: Health care is on the line

Bill Kaplan: Health care is on the line

Fifty-three percent of Americans view the Affordable Care Act (ACA) “favorably”, an “all-time high” (Kaiser Family Foundation poll, September 13, 2019). Why? The ACA extended comprehensive quality health coverage to over 22 million through ACA affordable private insurance (covers 193,303 Wisconsinites), Medicaid expansion and allowing young adults (under 26) to be covered through their parents’ insurance. And, the ACA guarantees coverage to 52 million, including 852,000 Wisconsinites, with preexisting conditions (Kaiser). Moreover, the ACA lowered out-of-pocket drug costs for Medicare enrollees. Finally, the ACA reduced uncompensated care, helping both rural and urban hospitals.

However, Trump continues to sabotage the ACA by making it harder to enroll in ACA private insurance: cutting the open enrollment period by half, nearly eliminating advertising, slashing funding for enrollment assistance, ending federal cost-sharing payments and allowing the sale of worthless “junk insurance”. Moreover, Trump is trying to have the ACA declared unconstitutional through a federal lawsuit orchestrated by former Governor Scott Walker. A decision may come soon. And, if all else fails, Trump is counting on being reelected in 2020 with a GOP-led Congress to repeal the ACA.

No surprise then that fewer Americans are insured: “About 27.5 million people, or 8.5 percent of the population lacked health insurance for all of 2018, up from 7.9 percent the year before, the Census Bureau reported … (Wisconsin’s ACA coverage declined from 235,444 in 2017 to 193,303 currently). It was the first (national) increase since the (ACA) took full effect in 2014, and experts said it was at least partly the result of the Trump administration’s efforts to undermine the law” (New York Times).

However, not all Republicans have their heads in the sand. 38 states, including 16 GOP-led, have (3 in process) Medicaid expansion. Many in the GOP recognize that ACA Medicaid expansion helps mightily: reduces the uninsured and uncompensated care, keeps rural hospitals open, increases access to treat opioid misuse and substitutes federal for state expenditures, providing jobs and producing savings for roads, transit and schools. In Mississippi, former state Chief Supreme Court Justice Bill Waller ran for the GOP gubernatorial nomination supporting Medicaid expansion. He lost in a run-off, but state voters can now vote for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jim Hood who supports expanding Medicaid, as does Republican Delbert Hosemann, running for lieutenant governor.

Some Wisconsin Republicans get it. GOP state Senator Luther Olsen said: “I honestly think we have to take it (Medicaid expansion federal funding). Whether we do or not, I don’t know. We need to look with an open mind what it does for the state of Wisconsin” (2019). And, GOP state Senator Jerry Petrowski said: “I believe that we could have taken the (Medicaid expansion) money, however I could not find enough votes to get it done” (2014). Wisconsin voters should encourage GOP legislators to do right: ring the Madison Capitol Square with posters of GOP governors and legislators from around the nation on why they supported Medicaid expansion for their states.

And, vote! Health care is on the line.

– Kaplan wrote a guest column from Washington, D.C. for the Wisconsin State Journal from 1995 – 2009.

Citizen Action Weekly: Friday September 13th

Citizen Action Weekly: Friday September 13th

Friday, September 13th

Join Us for Brew Fest, Thursday, September 19th, 5pm in Milwaukee

RSVP for Brew Fest

North Central Organizing Co-op has Great Turnout for The Role of the State Treasurer Event in Wausau!

Citizen Action Organizing Co-op member, and State Treasurer, Sarah Godlewski, visited Wausau this Wednesday. The event was hosted by the Citizen Action of WI North Central Organizing Co-op, Women for Women – Wausau Chapter, and County Board Supervisor Katie Rosenberg (who is a member of the NC Organizing Co-op), and was held at the Marathon County Public Library..

Sarah presented on the role of the State Treasurer, and what she hopes to work on while serving the great State of WI. Attendees also had ample time to ask questions of our State Treasurer. Topics discussed included the fund that the Office of the State Treasurer oversees, what can be done to help public schools, the possibility of a statewide retirement system that all of us could buy into, student loan debt and more.

We are also excited to tell you that Sarah is willing to bring the presentation to your City! If you live in Wisconsin and are interested in having a meeting like this, please contact NC Organizer Joel Lewis at 715-551-2525 or email him at joel.lewis@citizenactionwi.org

Attend BobFest 2019 in Stevens Point

We are excited to say that Fighting Bobfest is happening in Stevens Point this Saturday, Sept. 14th at the Pfiffner Park Pioneer Building in Downtown. The NC Organizing Co-op will be tabling at the event, and we are proud to announce that several of our Co-op members will be speaking at the event. Co-op members who will be speaking include Hans Breitenmoser, who has been a leader in the fight for Fair Maps; Katie Rosenberg, who has fought tirelessly for Marathon County on a variety of issues, and who is now running for Mayor of Wausau; and David Barnhill, who will be presenting on the Green New Deal. It will be exciting to see State Senator Jeff Smith (who is a member of the Western WI Organizing Co-op) speaking as well. Come join us!

Driftless Co-op Organizing Update

The Driftless Region co-op set up a table at the 7 Rivers Area Pride Event this past week. We were able to network with festival goers and area progressive groups. 28 festival goers signed up to learn more about how they can be a part of building a Green New Deal here in the Driftless Region!

If you have friends or family in the Driftless Region that want to help save our environment and build a local economy that works for everyone have them reach out to our Driftless Organizer Ben Wilson! ben.wilson@citizenaction.org

Attend a Fair Maps Town Hall in Platteville,
Wednesday, September 18th, 6pm – 8pm

Platteville Public Library
225 West Main Street,
Platteville, Wisconsin

The Iowa People’s Presidential Forum, Saturday, September 21st

The 2020 elections must respond to the needs of people, not big money and wealthy corporations – this election is happening from the grassroots up. It all starts with presidential candidate forums held by People’s Action in four states and anchored in Iowa by Iowa CCI Action Fund.

No Bland Stump Speeches Allowed.

Candidates will be invited onstage for real conversations with everyday people about big solutions to the struggles facing the multiracial working class.

What Are We Talking About?
-Improved Medicare for All
-A Factory Farm Moratorium
-A 100% Just Green New Deal
-Homes Guarantee
-Free College for All

Saturday, September 21st
Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center

833 5th Ave, Des Moines, IA

Find out more and how you can attend.

Attend Climate Strikes!

This September 20th, millions of us will walk out of our workplaces, schools, and homes to join youth climate strikers on the streets and demand an end to the age of fossil fuels.

Strikers are demanding that Governor Evers, our county, and our city government declare a climate emergency.

Green Bay Climate Strike
Friday, September 20, 2019, 3 PM – 6 PM

301 N Washington St, Green Bay.

Appleton Climate Strike
Friday, September 20, 2019, 11 AM – 8 PM
Houdini Plaza
111 W College Ave, Appleton

“Opioid dealer settlement” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

We talk about the  lame duck session fallout, including Wisconsin not being among the two dozen states reaching a tentative settlement agreement against opioid seller Purdue Pharma. We also discuss the party of Trump’s alignment behind Tom Tiffany in the CD 7 special election, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel slamming Speaker Vos and Rep. Nygren for charging exorbitant fees for open records, and the Foxconing of UW-Madison. We review new NPR/Marist presidential primary poll and welcome Citizen Action co-op member State Representative Jodi Emerson to discuss her first year as a state legislator.

Listen Now – Episode #408
Download MP3

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“Opioid dealer settlement” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

“Opioid dealer settlement” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

We talk about the continued lame duck session fallout, including Wisconsin not being among the two dozen states reaching a tentative settlement agreement against opioid seller Purdue Pharma. We also discuss the party of Trump’s alignment behind right-winger Tom Tiffany in the CD 7 special election, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel slamming Speaker Vos and Rep. Nygren for charging open records requesters exorbitant fees, and the Foxconing of UW-Madison. We review new NPR/Marist presidential primary polling and preview Thursday’s debate. We welcome Citizen Action co-op member State Representative Jodi Emerson to discuss her first year as a state legislator.
Listen Now – Episode #408
Download MP3
Press Clips

Attend Citizen Action Brew Fest Fundraiser, Thursday, September 19th

Links:
Wisconsin rejects Purdue Pharma settlement as fight over lame-duck laws continues. Wisconsin not part of tentative Purdue Pharma opioid deal; attorney general pledges to pursue case.
Candidate Emerges to Succeed Duffy in Congress.
Knives come out as Tom Tiffany announces for Congress: Democrats jump on ‘Toxic Tom’.
Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel Opinion: Wisconsin’s top lawmakers are jacking up costs to rebuff requests for public records.
Foxconn pledged $100 million to UW-Madison. The school has so far received $700,000.
Poll: Democrats Most Like Warren, But Voters Overall Are Lukewarm On Democrats, Trump.

Bill Kaplan: Can a Democrat succeed Duffy?

Bill Kaplan: Can a Democrat succeed Duffy?

Wisconsin GOP Representative Jim Sensenbrenner has joined “more than a dozen House Republicans who have already announced their retirements. … it’s yet another sign that Republicans are pessimistic about their chances to win back the House majority …” (Politico). Earlier, Wisconsin GOP Representative Sean Duffy said he was resigning in September because his expected ninth child has a heart problem. Hopefully, medical intervention will remedy this difficult situation.

“The race to fill (Duffy’s) vacated 7th Congressional District (CD) seat, both in the special election (April?) and in November 2020, is sure to be nationally watched, given the rural Wisconsin district’s importance to … Trump’s reelection hopes” (Wisconsin Public Radio). Duffy’s predecessor, Wisconsin Democratic Representative Dave Obey, won the seat in an April 1969 special election (GOP Representative Melvin Laird had resigned to become Nixon’s Secretary of Defense). Obey held the seat until he decided not to run for reelection in 2010.

Can a Democrat succeed Duffy? Yes, if the Democratic campaign is run on bread-and-butter issues. That means listening and talking with farmers, middle and working-class folks about the catastrophic impact of Trump’s trade wars, health care and retirement security. Avoid identity group politics, we are all Wisconsinites. And, embrace a big-tent Democratic Party vision that speaks to rural Wisconsin.

Trump has again escalated his trade war with China. The Chinese retaliated with more tariffs on U.S. goods and will continue not buying U.S. (Wisconsin) farm products. 7th CD cranberry, dairy and ginseng farmers are struggling. Wisconsin Democratic Senator Tammy Baldwin said: “Wisconsin has been hit particularly hard by the trade wars. Our state has lost over 1,600 dairy farms since (Trump) took office. The idea that other countries have identified products like cheese or cranberries or ginseng … for retaliatory tariffs has hit us hard. … But we also have … oversupply issues; we have had horrible experiences with the weather recently; and the price of milk has been low … .” A heartfelt political roadmap for the 7th CD.

Regular folks in Duffy’s district are also concerned about health care. Three of the Wisconsin counties “in the poorest health” – Forest County, Sawyer County and Vilas County – are in the 7th CD (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and UW-Madison Population Health Institute). And, the 7th CD has the highest number of Affordable Care Act (ACA) private insurance enrollees in Wisconsin (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel). Moreover, ACA Medicaid expansion would help the 7th CD: reducing the uninsured rate and uncompensated care, preserving rural hospitals; increasing access to treat opioid misuse and substituting federal for state expenditures, producing savings for roads, transit and schools.

Finally, I would strongly urge any Democrat running in the 7th CD to embrace Duffy’s vote for the Butch Lewis Act: “The measure would help pension plans (covering over a million, including 25,000 Wisconsinites) sponsored by several employers and managed by a collective bargaining agreement by giving (low-cost loans) to insolvent plans so they can continue to distribute the promised retirement benefits” (Washington Post).

Yes, a Democrat can succeed Duffy.

— Kaplan wrote a guest column from Washington, D.C. for the Wisconsin State Journal from 1995 – 2009.

Citizen Action Weekly: Friday, September 6th

Citizen Action Weekly: Friday, September 6th

Friday, September 6th

Join members and allies in Wausau to learn about the role of the State Treasurer

Citizen Action co-op member Sarah Godlewski fought hard to save the Office of the State Treasurer by leading a campaign to defeat a 2018 referendum to destroy the office. Following the referendum, Sarah ran for state treasurer and won last November 2018!

Sarah has many goals for the office and cares deeply for all of the citizens in WI.

Come join the Citizen Action of WI North Central Organizing Co-op, the Wausau chapter of Women for Women and County Board Supervisor (and Co-op member) Katie Rosenberg, as we introduce Sarah Godlewski. Treasurer Godlewski will educate us on the role of the state treasurer and answer audience questions.

The event is next Wednesday, September 11th, at 6:00 pm.
Marathon County Public Library
300 N. 1st Street, Wausau, WI 54403.

This event is NOT sponsored by the Marathon County Public Library

The event is open to the public. There is limited seating, so be sure to RSVP to joel.lewis@citizenactionwi.org or call 715-551-2525.

You can also RSVP on Facebook here. Hope to see you there!

Road Trip with Citizen Action

If you are a member of Citizen Action, we are excited to announce that we are offering 2 opportunities to join us on some issue and political adventures. If you aren’t a member or need to renew, you can still take advantage of the offer if you sign up for a monthly membership.  You can do so here!

  1. Join us in Iowa as our national affiliate, People’s Action, is putting together a Presidential Forum in Des Moines Iowa, September 21.

Can’t wait until April to see the candidates in person? Transportation and hotel will be provided to Des Moines. Here is more information

We only have a few spots left so RSVP soon!

  1. Caregiving Conference in Detroit! November 6-8th.

Learn and strategize with others interested the caregiving issue (long term care and child care). It’s a chance to develop a deep connection and understanding of care with like minded individuals. Again, transportation and hotel will be provided.

For more information email Karen.kirsch@citizenactionwi.org

Driftless Co-op Update:

The Driftless region Co-op will have a table set up at “Pride in the Park” on Saturday September 7th at Riverside Park in La Crosse Wisconsin.  We will be talking to festival attendees about the co op and how they can get involved in the fight for a Green New Deal right here in Wisconsin.

Event details 

For more information or to join the new Citizen Action Driftless Organizing Co-op contact Ben.Wilson@citizenactionwi.org

DONATE to Brew Fest Today

North Central Organizing Co-op Update

Members of the North Central Organizing Co-op marched in the Wausau Labor Day Parade. Wausau School Board President and Co-op member, Tricia Zunker, received the honor of being the Grand Marshall for the event, from the Marathon County Central Labor Council AFL-CIO. Here she is photographed with some of the kiddos that helped pass out candy during the parade.

Tricia is also a member of the Central Wisconsin Indigenous Peoples’ Day Committee, and they have been working to pass resolutions all across the State, stating that the school districts do not support using mascots that mock or offend Native American cultures or traditions. Most recently, the Black River Falls School Board passed this resolution. This all started in Wausau!

This past Thursday, September 5th, the Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL) educated the Environmental Resources Committee of the Marathon County Board on the Carbon Fee and Dividend legislation before Congress. They hope that Marathon County will take up a resolution in the near future, stating that they support this. Several Co-op members turned out in support, and some are also members of CCL.

On Thursday, August 29th, the Wausau Chapter of OWR held an educational meeting about Fair Maps. They requested that NC Organizer Joel Lewis and Co-op member (and all around leader) Hans Breitenmoser speak to their group. You can see coverage of this meeting here.

Upcoming Events in North Central

September 14th
The North Central Organizing Co-op will be tabling at Fighting Bobfest in Stevens Point.

It starts at 9:30 am on Saturday, September 14th and is located at the Pfiffner Building at Pfiffner Pioneer Park, 1100 Crosby Avenue, Downtown Stevens Point, WI. The event will include many great speakers including three of our Co-op members! Hope to see you there.

September 20th
The Northwoods Climate Action Network, Our Wisconsin – Northwoods and the North Central Organizing Co-op are sponsoring a Global Climate Rally, in solidarity with others all across the World. The event will be located at Torpy Park, 806 US Hwy 51, Minocqua, WI 54548 and it goes from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm.

MKE Laborfest

Watch video of Laborfest highlights from Sue Ruggles

LaborFest 2019 in Eau Claire

All we can say is, “wow!” From the solidarity march through downtown Eau Claire to our powerful speakers and everything in between, an enormous thank you to all of our members who showed up to take action. There is so much energy in the air and people know that the next year is going to be a big one in our part of the state.

(From left to right: *Phil Swanhorst, *Sen. Jeff Smith, *Rep. Jodi Emerson, *Treasurer Sarah Godlewski, and Sen. Patty Schachtner

*denotes Citizen Action Northwestern Organizing Co-op Member

Take Action with Citizen Action in Northwest Wisconsin!

There will be plenty of opportunities to join our co-op and allies over the next two months. If you know of an event you would like to see our Co-op have a presence at, please reach out to our organizer at noah.reif@citizenactionwi.org. Check back next week for more updates on our progress during our membership recruitment drive.

“Sensenbrenner to retire” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

We discuss the surprise announcement that Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner is retiring after 40 years in Congress, setting off CD 5 candidate speculation. We take stock of his fractious legacy. The panel reviews the new MU Law Poll which continues to reveal a vulnerable President Trump and plenty of opportunity for Democratic presidential candidates in 2020. We talk about a new The Hill article which includes Sauk County on a list of the 10 bellwether counties that will determine the 2020 election. Citizen Action is building a new organizing co-op this fall and winter in the region. We discuss an open records request by citizen-activist Sheila Plotkin revealing overwhelming public opposition to the GOP’s lame duck session last year, which was entirely ignored by the gerrymandered GOP majority.

Listen Now – Episode #407
Download MP3

Facebook post of the week

“Sensenbrenner to retire” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

“Sensenbrenner to retire” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

We discuss the surprise announcement that Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner is retiring after 40 years in Congress, setting off CD 5 candidate speculation. We take stock of his fractious legacy. The panel reviews the new MU Law Poll which continues to reveal a vulnerable President Trump and plenty of opportunity for Democratic presidential candidates in 2020. We talk about a new The Hill article which includes Sauk County on a list of the 10 bellwether counties that will determine the 2020 election. Citizen Action is building a new organizing co-op this fall and winter in the region. We discuss an open records request by citizen-activist Sheila Plotkin revealing overwhelming public opposition to the GOP’s lame duck session last year, which was entirely ignored by the gerrymandered GOP majority.
Listen Now – Episode #407
Download MP3
Press Clips

Attend Citizen Action Brew Fest, Thursday, September 19th, 5pm

RSVP HERE

Links:
Wisconsin Republican Jim Sensenbrenner won’t run for re-election in 2020 after more than 40 years in Congress.
Sensenbrenner by the numbers and the tales.
New Marquette Law School Poll finds Biden leading Trump.
Mark Pocan sees political winds shifting in Wisconsin.
The 10 counties that will decide the 2020 election.
No progress in dispute between AG Kaul, Republican lawmakers.
Legal Standoff Continues Between Attorney General, GOP Lawmakers.
Open records request reveals overwhelming opposition to lame duck session.

Citizen Action Weekly: Labor Day Weekend

Citizen Action Weekly: Labor Day Weekend

Happy Labor Day Weekend

Attend a Labor Day event.

On Monday, September 2, America will celebrate the achievements of the union movement – safe workplaces, the 8-hour workday, collective bargaining contracts that build our middle class — and we pledge to keep up the fight for all working people.

Celebrate Labor Day on September 2. Join with union brothers and sisters and community members around the state as we honor all who labor at these great union-made events in Wisconsin.

See list of events.

Welcome Co-op Organizer Ben Wilson in Southwestern Wisconsin!

Ben will be working in the last part of 2019 to build our newest Organizing Co-op, the Southwestern WI Organizing Co-op covering La Crosse, Vernon, Monroe, Juneau, Crawford, Iowa, Sauk, and Richland Counties. Email ben.wilson@citizenactionwi.org to find out more information and join the co-op!

Ben grew up in the Driftless region in a small town called Lansing on the Iowa side of the Mississippi river, directly between Prairie du Chein Wisconsin and La Crosse Wisconsin.  He grew up in a family owned super club in his hometown of 1000 people so he understands the hardships rural voters and small business owners face in our current political climate. His interest in politics began at a very young age while helping his mother in her successful run for city council.

Ben drifted away from politics during college to study marketing. He spent most of his 20s traveling the country doing marketing events all across the country. He has currently worked in 49 states and has lived in Hawaii, Las Vegas, Seattle, Phoenix and Madison Wisconsin. While his work in marketing had opened amazing doors for him and allowed him to see more of this country then he ever dreamed of the marketing world left him wanting a career path that would leave more of a lasting, positive impact on the world around him.

After returning to Wisconsin in 2015 he become involved with the Bernie Sanders campaign during the 2016 presidential primary. Eventually he joined the field staff of For Our Future’s 2016 canvass team eventually being promoted to the role of Lead Canvasser during the campaign’s Get Out the Vote efforts. The heartbreaking loss of the 2016 election only strengthened Ben’s resolve to fight to make the world a better place. During the 2018 midterm election Ben served as Lead Organizer with For Our Future, helping to flip seven rural Southwestern Wisconsin counties from red to blue. Most recently Ben was able to travel to Washington DC to take part in the Need to Impeach day of action lobbying members of Congress directly to begin impeachment inquiries against Donald Trump.

Everyday Ben wakes up with a focus and drive to fight for issues close to his heart such as fighting climate change, healthcare for all, LGBTQ+ rights, income inequality, criminal justice reform and political corruption. In his free time Ben likes to spend time with his nine year old Pit Bull Bliss, play video games, binge television shows, swim, cook and travel. He is an avid comic book reader and considers himself a foodie. Ben is thrilled to be fighting in Southwestern Wisconsin and building the first Citizen Action co-op in the area!

Northwestern Co-op Hold Vigil for Gun Background Checks in Eau Claire

Citizen Action Northwestern co-op organized a candlelight vigil Wednesday at Phoenix Park in Eau Claire. State Rep. Jodi Emerson, school board president Eric Torres and local victims of gun violence talked about why they believe universal background checks are necessary.

The vigil was attended by about 75 people and was well covered by the local media.

View media coverage: Eau Claire Leader Telegram, WEAU TV 13 Video, WEAU TV 13 II, WQOW TV 18,

Rep. Emerson and Gov. Evers introduced a plan to have universal background checks in Wisconsin. Republicans have not been supported background

checks and say it’s unlikely bill will get a floor vote

Healthcare Co-op Long Term Care Meeting

Members of the healthcare co-op met with Susannah Dyen from Caring Across Generations. They discussed the caregiver shortage and how to build a movement around the caring economy. Solutions discussed were raising the wage and guarenteeed paid leave. We need to keep the discussion going within our community that our elders deserve good care, love and respect and the people that do this work are very valuable.

Attend Citizen Action Brew Fest, Thursday, September 19th, 5pm

DONATE today

Join Citizen Action in Iowa for Presidential candidate forum

To attend contact: Angeliqu.Roger@citizenactionwi.org

“Time to Retire” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

We review the big news that Rep. Sean Duffy is resigning from Congress, sparking widespread speculation about the election to replace him. Guest panelists Claire Zautke and Robert discuss comments by Congressman Pocan about healthcare in the 2020 election. We also talk about the fallout of the GOP’s lame duck power grab from Attorney General Josh Kaul and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s unfair slamming of the new progressive newspaper, Wisconsin Examiner. Finally we welcome Citizen Action co-op member Tricia Zunker, president of the Wausau School Board, to discuss her work to retire Native mascot imagery from Wisconsin public schools.

LISTEN now

Facebook post of the week

 

“Time to Retire” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

“Time to Retire” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

We review the big news that Rep. Sean Duffy is resigning from Congress, sparking widespread speculation about the election to replace him. Guest panelist Claire Zautke and Robert discuss comments by Congressman Pocan about healthcare in the 2020 election. We also talk about the fallout of the GOP’s lame duck power grab from Attorney General Josh Kaul and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s unfair slamming of the new progressive newspaper, Wisconsin Examiner. Finally we welcome Citizen Action co-op member Tricia Zunker, president of the Wausau School Board, to discuss her work to retire Native mascot imagery from Wisconsin public schools.
Listen Now – Episode #406
Download MP3
Press Clips

Attend Citizen Action Brew Fest, Thursday, September 19th, 5pm

Links:
U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy explains decision to retire over health concerns for unborn child.Sean Duffy facebook post.
Congressman Pocan says anything is possible in CD 7.
Mark Pocan touts fall priorities in Congress, urges Democrats to discuss health care as ‘a value’.
GOP lawmakers’ attorney agrees to confidentiality deal
Evers calls on ‘adults’ to solve conflict with Kaul, GOP.
Lame-duck fallout: Wisconsin politicians still don’t have a way to settle lawsuits as more than 12 cases sit unresolved.
Lawsuits on hold as budget committee delays action.
Wausau School Board Asks State To Ban Native American Mascots In Public Schools.
Momentum Grows to End Native American Mascots in Wisconsin.
Proposal on banning Native American mascots in Wisconsin schools gains traction in Milwaukee area.
Journal Sentinel Slams “Liberal” News Site.

Bill Kaplan: Trump flails, McConnell blockades

Bill Kaplan: Trump flails, McConnell blockades

In 2018, Trump praised Chinese President Xi: “He’s now president for life. … he’s great. … Maybe we’ll have to give that a shot someday.” Jaw-dropping! And, acting like a tin-pot dictator, the mercurial Trump is taking the U.S. economy down. Trump said: “Trade wars are good, and easy to win.” The unhinged Trump has escalated his trade war with China. Predictably, the Dow Jones plunged 623 points. More than a whiff of recession in the air.

“Domestically, the manufacturing sector contracted for the first time in a decade. Sales of U.S. exports have decreased at the fastest pace since August 2009” (Washington Post). And the Wall Street Journal headlined: “China Deals ‘Body Blow’ to Struggling U.S. Farm Belt” (more than 1,600 Wisconsin dairy farms gone under Trump). Our enfant terrible (Trump) looking for a scapegoat said: “My only question is, who is our bigger enemy (Federal Reserve Chair) Jay Powell or (Chinese President) Xi?” The U.S. is becoming a banana republic.

An out-of-control Trump “ordered” all U.S. companies to leave China. Then this weekend Trump said he had “second thoughts” about escalating the trade war. He backed away from his bombast and claimed he was making progress with China. Later Trump backpedaled and said he was “misinterpreted” and “regrets not raising the tariffs higher” (Washington Post). Not a “stable genius”. Alarming.

Meanwhile, the GOP-led Senate refused to act as a check and balance on a dangerous White House. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and GOP senators are running from microphones. McConnell craves power and will do anything to remain Majority Leader. Having held up Obama Supreme Court nominee Judge Merrick Garland until after the 2016 presidential election, McConnell no longer claims that he was “letting the people’s voice be heard”. If a U.S. Supreme Court justice were to die in 2020, McConnell said: “Uh, we’d fill it.” No shame.

Worse, McConnell has enforced a blockade on bread-and-butter and other legislation passed by the Democratic-led House. Wisconsin Democratic Senator Tammy Baldwin said: “Generally, Senator McConnell has not shown himself likely to schedule legislation for consideration on the floor unless he personally supports it and unless he get signals from (Trump) that the (White House) supports it. Sadly, that makes the prospects low that we’ll get a chance to have a vote.” Examples abound.

House Democrats strengthened the Affordable Care Act (ACA): blocked the sale of useless bare bones “junk” health insurance, restored funding for ACA advertising and outreach and lowered drug prices. And, the House passed an historic $15 minimum wage, helping 27.3 million Americans, including 829,000 Wisconsinites. Finally, Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi led in passing a bipartisan pension protection bill (Butch Lewis Act), helping over 1 million Americans, including 25,000 Wisconsinites. McConnell is not allowing the Senate to vote on these bills. Time to end the GOP blockade.

The late Arizona GOP Senator John McCain implored the Senate: “Stop listening to the bombastic loudmouths… . They don’t want anything done for the public good.” Unlike Trump or McConnell, always a hero.

–Kaplan wrote a guest column from Washington, D.C. for the Wisconsin State Journal from 1995—2009.

Citizen Action Weekly: Friday, August 23rd

Citizen Action Weekly: Friday, August 23rd

Friday, August 23rd

Fond Farewell to Northeastern Wisconsin Co-op Organizer Jolie Lizotte and Welcome Home Noah Reif!

This week we say a fond farewell to Northeastern Wisconsin Co-op Organizer Joile Lizotte. While we will miss Jolie very much, we are really excited about her new role with our partner and ally SEIU!  Jolie and Northeastern Wisconsin Co-op members accomplished some amazing things over the past 2 years, including stopping expansion of the Winnebago County Jail, their work on a Fair Maps Resolution, and the exciting new work on housing in the Oshkosh area. In addition, Oshkosh elected a new progressive mayor with Jolie’s support.

Jolie was a constant leader among the staff, coordinating weekly organizer calls and taking over statewide liaison for our Fair Maps work across the state earlier this year. Congrats and best wishes to Jolie on her new adventure!

We are excited to announce that Noah Reif, Fox Cities native, (who has been filling the role of our Northwestern Wisconsin Co-op Organizer) will be moving home to take over the Northeastern Wisconsin Co-op Organizer role sometime in October of this year.  We will be hiring a new Northwestern Wisconsin Co-op Organizer in the weeks to come, and Noah will help transition the new organizer before heading home to organize in the Fox Cities.

Citizen Action joins Congressman Gwen Moore and State Senator LaTonya Johnson to fight for Lower Prescription Drug Costs

While families are struggling to afford their prescriptions, Big Pharma is raking in record profits and increasing prices. This Tuesday in Milwaukee, Citizen Action joined Congresswoman Gwen S. Moore, State Sen. LaTonya Johnson, Marlene Ott of Wisconsin Alliance for Retired Americans, and other allies to demand lower drug prices now and put #PeopleOverProfits.

Contact Claire.Zautke@citizenactionwi.org to get involved in fighting Rx prices.

Leaders Build Campaign for Driftless Organizing Co-op: Good Jobs, Green Homes & Lower Bills 

Continuing a series of events to jump start a new Driftless Organizing Co-op in Western/Southern Wisconsin, 15 labor leaders, county officials, energy experts, farmers, doctors and concerned citizens gathered in Onalaska to talk about how we could upgrade 1,000+ homes to be more energy efficient. Showing that doing so reduces carbon emissions more dollar for dollar than just about anything else, we looked at urging utility companies to access federal USDA funds to create residential upgrade programs at scale. Furthermore, we could create good jobs, lower utility bills and ensure healthier homes.

Supporters are gathering in counties through Western/Southern Wisconsin to say it is time for green homes, fewer emissions, more jobs, lower utility bills and to negotiate directly with utility companies to do it.

For more information contact: Kevin.Kane@citizenactionwi.org

Citizen Action co-op members named to 34 most powerful Wisconsin Latinos list

Congratulations to Citizen Action Co-op members Lori Palmeri and Catherine Emmanuelle on being named to the 34 most powerful Latinos in Wisconsin. Read more about these and other amazing Latino leaders.

Deep Canvassing in Black River Falls & Menomonie

A huge thank you to all of the volunteers and partners who attended our Citizen Action Deep Canvass Training and Action! Our deep canvassing training and script makes having those hard conversations on doors easier and lays the groundwork for our issue campaigns in 2020 and beyond. If you would like to see a deep canvass training in your community, reach out to your co-op organizer to schedule one today!

Attend the Vigil for Victims of Gun Violence in Eau Claire, Wednesday, August 28th

Join Citizen Action on August 28th in a vigil to commemorate all victims of gun violence. There have been more mass shootings in 2019 than days in 2019. Thanks to the leadership of our Governor there is a renewed call for Universal Background Checks.  We will gather to remember the victims, support survivors, and take action. The vigil will begin with speakers at 730PM, followed by a moment of silence at 8 PM. The venue is the Phoenix Park Amphitheatre in Eau Claire.

Citizen Action co-op member Tricia Zunker is helping lead growing statewide campaign to retire Native mascots in Wisconsin schools. 

A growing number of school boards across Wisconsin that already have – or will consider – supporting a proposal to retire Native American mascots thanks in part to an amazing organizing effort of North Central Co-op member, Tricia Zunker. The proposal that is rapidly spreading across the state, was drafted by Zunker and originally passed at the Wausau School Board this month.

The proposal, calls for the Wisconsin Association of School Boards to recommend legislation that would retire Native American mascots and imagery in Wisconsin schools. Currently, 31 of the state’s 421 public school districts still use Native imagery.

Since the Wausau school board unanimously approved the resolution last week and called upon other school boards have signed on. Other school districts that have approved similar proposals, or are slated to do so in the next few weeks, include: Shawano, Appleton, La Crosse, Eau Claire, Madison, Milwaukee, Prescott, Shorewood, and Sun Prairie.

The effort to retire the imagery gained momentum following a January 2017 Antigo Daily Journal that featured a horrifying headline referencing scalping Indians. Unfortunately, the Mosinee School District retained the nickname “Indians” following a community petition to change the mascot was dismissed by the school board.

Tricia Zunker will appear on next week’s Battleground Wisconsin Podcast to discuss the campaign in detail.

Congratulations to our partner, Citizen for a Clean Wausau, on new grant to fight environmental injustice

This week Citizens for a Clean Wausau (CCW) was selected from a nation-wide application process as a grant recipient from the Center for Health, Environment & Justice (CHEJ). CCW is a grassroots volunteer group that monitors the activities and impacts of significant current and past polluters, in order to define the nature and extent of local contamination so that it will be remediated. Many of the members of the group are also founding members and current leaders of the Citizen Action North Central Organizing Co-op.

“We are truly honored and excited to have been selected for this CHEJ grant,” CCW Spokesperson, Tom Kilian, stated. “It will facilitate the group’s strategic plan, structuring and expansion, while affording us invaluable training. Our efforts to date supporting Environmental Justice and the community are just the beginning.”

Brew Fest, Thursday, September 19th

We are one month away from our 2019 Brew Fest fundraiser on Thursday, September 19th in MKE. Please become a co-sponsor of the event by committing to donate $50.00 or more!

“We are the caring majority” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

Guest panelists Claire Zautke, Citizen Action’s healthcare director, tells us about this week’s national day of action to lower prescription drug costs. We also discuss Gov. Tony Evers’ creation of a new office to help achieve his goal of 100% carbon-free electricity by 2050, as well as new data showing Wisconsin’s life expectancy is plummeting, especially for African Americans. We welcome Susannah Dyen from Caring Across Generations to discuss building a national movement to make caregiving a respected profession that it is properly compensated.

Listen Now – Episode #405
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