Citizen Action Weekly: Friday, December 20th

Citizen Action Weekly: Friday, December 20th

Friday, December 20th
Happy Holidays

Federal Court Decision Threatens Health Coverage in Wisconsin

Wisconsinites with pre-existing conditions, marketplace health insurance, at grave risk of having coverage taken away by right-wing federal judges

This Wednesday, the unending drive by conservative politicians to rip health coverage away from millions Americans, and re-legalize insurance discrimination, came a step closer to tearing apart the health care system. A Republican dominated Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals panel ruled in favor of the Trump administration in Texas vs. United States, striking down the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate. President Donald Trump and U.S. Attorney General William Bar are using the case as a vehicle for invalidating the entire ACA, including the popular protections against pre-existing condition discrimination. The judges, both Republican appointees, remanded the decision on the other elements of the ACA to the same right-wing lower court judge who already struck it down last year.

Thursday, Citizen Action of Wisconsin teamed up with Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul and Protect Our Care to hold a media briefing on the implications of this development for Wisconsin. You can listen to the entire media call here. Speakers made the case that judicial action invalidating the ACA is a clear and present danger.

In addition, Citizen Action is urging lawmakers to codify the ACA’s consumer protections and health insurance regulations in state law to protect Wisconsinites in the event of a damaging U.S. Supreme Court decision. Senate Bill 37, sponsored by Sen. Jon Erpenbach, is a huge step in this direction. Citizen Action is also urging lawmakers to create a plan, triggered by an adverse court decision striking down the ACA, to replace marketplace plans for people who buy insurance on their own and the federal subsidies that make them more affordable.

If the ACA was struck down the following provisions would be eliminated from federal law:

  • Guaranteeing coverage to individuals with pre-existing conditions, impacting an estimated 852,000 to 2.436 million Wisconsinites.
  • Prohibition of price discrimination against individuals with pre-existing conditions. In Wisconsin without this protection a patient with a pregnancy could be charged $17,060 more, and someone with metastatic cancer could be charged $140,510 more.
  • Free coverage of preventative care such as mammograms and colonoscopies for 2,804,258 Wisconsinites.
  • Mental health parity.
  • Prohibition of gender discrimination in coverage and pricing.
  • Prohibition of age discrimination in pricing, the so-called “age tax.”
  • Prohibition of lifetime and annual care limits.
  • Protections against junk health care plans by requiring that all essential health benefits be covered.
  • Substance abuse coverage.
  • Resources and funds to hold insurance companies accountable to regulation.

In addition, 153,000 Wisconsinites would have their health coverage taken away if the ACA was struck down, according to a recent study by the Urban Institute.

Milwaukee resident Megan McGee, who lives with pre-existing conditions, described her reaction to the ruling and the threat to the ACA: “I’ve had back problems and birth complications. I’m told there are no long-term effects of either. But will insurers care? Without the ACA, could I get kicked off my insurance plan? When I think about the possibility of the ACA being overturned, I don’t worry about one thing. I worry about many things: what will happen to me, my 2 year old, a family member who is mentally ill, and my 2 employees.”

“The federal court nullification of the ACA is a predictable human-made disaster that would wreak havoc with the lives and livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of Wisconsinites,” said Robert Kraig, Executive Director, Citizen Action of Wisconsin. “We urge state lawmakers to take action to put the popular federal protections against pre-existing condition discrimination and other insurance industry abuses in state law, and beyond the reach of activist federal judges.”

People’s Action endorses Bernie Sanders for President.

This Thursday, Citizen Action’s national network, People’s Action, announced it’s endorsement of Bernie Sanders for president in 2020. The People’s Action Board of Directors approved members recommendation that People’s Action endorse Senator Bernie Sanders for President following an extensive process that started two years ago and included; candidate forums, questionnaires, member surveys, interviews, and multiple People’s Action delegate meetings. The delegate vote was 76.3% for a Bernie endorsement.

Watch People’s Action video announcing the endorsement.
Watch Bernie Sanders’ thank you video message on Twitter.
Read media of endorsement Politico, The Hill, The Washington Post

Citizen Action Northwestern WI Co-Op Holds Press Conference with Sen. Jeff Smith to Demand Lower Drug Costs

The Citizen Action Northwestern WI Co-op, along with State Senator Jeff Smith, held a press conference this week to demand that the US Senate and President Donald Trump support the H.R. 3 “Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act” bill that passed through the US House of Representatives last week.

While at the podium Sen. Smith said, “We have a president who refuses to lift a finger on this issue and he has sat idly by as prescription drugs continue to rise.” Retired Dr. Rita Simon, co-op steering committee chairperson, and organizer Breana Stanley also spoke about the effects of high drug costs on Wisconsinites. Contact Sen. Ron Johnson and urge him to support the Senate Rx bill (202) 224-5323.

Checkout the media from the event WQOW, WEAU, Eau Calire Leader Telegram

North Central Organizing Co-op 2019 Recap

The North Central Organizing Co-op was actively involved in the efforts to accept the federal funds to expand Badgercare. Efforts included:

  • Press events calling on the State to expand BC
  • 3 members attended and spoke at JFC Hearings in River Falls; 14 in GB
  • Text messaging and phone banking campaigns aimed at getting voters to contact their legislators

Nine members of the NC Organizing Co-op traveled to Iowa to attend the People’s Action Presidential Forum.

Citizen Action, Women for Women Wausau Chapter, and County Board Supervisor Katie Rosenberg organized an event with Sarah Godlewski on the role of the State Treasurer

NC members are active in many of the groups throughout the region and this has made for a collaborative effort among groups to seek and support candidates. Several Co-op members have already come forward as candidates for the:

  •  7th CD special election
  • Wausau Mayoral race,
  • Wausau City Council
  • Marathon County Board and
  • Tomahawk School Boards
  • There are several races with candidates running who are not Co-op members, but are allied with our platform.

The NC Organizing Co-op supports efforts surrounding Fair Maps in:

  • Oneida County
  • Marathon County
  • Portage County

The NC Organizing Co-op has supported Citizens for a Clean Wausau and the Thomas Street Fight

  • Recent victory in that the group was granted permission by the City to test Riverside Park for dioxin contamination (after an 18 month fight for permission)

In 2020, not only will we be running an aggressive ground game electorally, but we will be organizing around Healthcare, Movement Politics (Fair Maps, Voter Registration, Census Work, etc.) and the Green New Deal (Green Homes, Good Jobs; Supporting existing Climate Work and Groups; pushing local initiatives to commit to carbon reduction and the use of more renewable energies). We will be much more successful if we all work together on these goals. Please contact NC Organizer Joel Lewis at 715-551-2525 or email him at joel.lewis@citizenactionwi.org to learn how you can get more involved or to see how you can help. Thank you to all of our members and allies for making 2019 a great year!

The Citizen Action of Wisconsin Southwest Wisconsin Co-op is fully formed!

We are thrilled to announce that we officially    have 250 activists pledged to join our co-op in Southwest Wisconsin.  We have supporters in La Crosse County, Monroe County, Vernon County, Adams County, Sauk County, Crawford county, Richland county and Dane County.  Now we can start to mobilize and organize to create real progressive change! If you have not fully joined the co-op please do so at this link.  It is vital that members fully join so that we can mobilize our power as we move into the most important election of our lifetimes!

We still want to include as many more activists as possible.  If you know anyone who might be interested in joining Citizen Action of Wisconsin please let Ben know ASAP.  He can be reached at ben.wilson@citizenactionwi.org or 608-386-2847.

Citizen Action Southeast Wisconsin Co-op Advancing Bold Climate & Racial Equity Strategy

Citizen Action played the leading role in creating a new Milwaukee City-County Task Force on Climate and Economic Equity, which will deliver preliminary recommendations to local government in early 2020. Two co-op members and one member of the Citizen Action staff (Rafael Smith) are on the task force. Above co-op and task force members Janet Meissner Pritchard and Ted Kraig (on left) participate in financing work group with City of Milwaukee Sustainability Director Erick Shambarger and Clean Wisconsin climate expert Pam Ritger. We need all the co-op members we can volunteering and working to make a Green New Deal in Milwaukee a reality!

To Get involved contact Citizen Action’s leader on the campaign, Rafael Smith rafael.smith@citizenactionwi.org

Protect Our Votes: Citizen Action joins Milwaukee residents against planned voter purge.

This week two rallies were held at Milwaukee City Hall to oppose the scheduled state voter purge of over 200,000 voters from the state rolls, with over 20% of purged voter coming from Milwaukee County. The effort is the latest conservative effort to suppress voters.

Local elected leaders, including co-op member and MKE County Supervisor, Marcelia Nicholson, promised to fight the plan, including with a local resolution to oppose the Milwaukee County election commission from participating in the purge.

Save The Date: CD 7 candidate forum, January 15th, Rice Lake and January 29th, Wausau

“Coffee with your co-op” events in Southwest Wisconsin

The Southwest co-op of Citizen Action of Wisconsin will be hosting two informal “Coffee with your co-op” events in early January.  These events will be a great chance to get to know your fellow co-op members, talk about issues that matter to you, discuss strategy for 2020, and just have a cup of coffee.  These are meant to be a fun, informal setting. Hopefully we will do these events every month. We will be hosting “Coffee with your co-op” events in both La Crosse and Viroqua.  All members are invited to both events. Members are also encouraged to invite any friends or family members who might be interested in learning about Citizen Action of Wisconsin.

Saturday January 4th 12:00 PM
JavaVino 2311 State Road La Crosse Wisconsin
RSVP

Saturday January 18th 12:00 PM
Viroqua Food Co-op 609 N Main st Viroqua Wisconsin
RSVP

“Dark Money” movie showing and discussion in Viroqua

Citizen Action of Wisconsin will be sponsoring a viewing and group discussion about the movie “Dark Money” at the Commons in Viroqua on January 15th at 6:00 PM.  Dark Money is a political thriller that examines the greatest threat to American democracy; the influence of untraceable corporate money on our elections.  “Dark Money” uncovers the shocking truth of how American elections are bought and sold. This Sundance award-winning documentary is directed and produced by Kimerly Redd.

“Historic 24 hours” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

What a 24 hours! We review the potential implications of a terrible court ruling endangering the future of the Affordable Care Act. Citizen Action’s national network, People’s Action, endorses Bernie Sanders for President. Ryan Greenwood, People’s Action’s Movement Politics Director, joins to tell us why. We discuss the third impeachment of a president in American history, and the latest GOP effort to suppress the vote in Wisconsin, the purging over 200,000 Wisconsinites from the voter rolls

Listen Now
Check here to confirm you are registered to vote in Wisconsin.

Facebook post of the week

 

“Historic 24 hours” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

“Historic 24 hours” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

What a 24 hours! We review the potential implications of a terrible court ruling endangering the future of the Affordable Care Act. Citizen Action’s national network, People’s Action, endorses Bernie Sanders for President. Ryan Greenwood, People’s Action’s Movement Politics Director, joins to tell us why. We discuss the third impeachment of a president in American history, and the latest GOP effort to suppress the vote in Wisconsin, the purging over 200,000 Wisconsinites from the voter rolls

Listen Now

Check here to confirm you are registered to vote in Wisconsin.

Links:
ObamaCare Insurance mandate is struck down by federal appeals court
Obamacare Takes Another Hit In Federal Appeals Court Ruling
Wisconsin appeals court lets purge of voter rolls stand for now.
Bernie Sanders nabs key progressive group endorsement.
President Trump Impeached By The House In Historic Rebuke.
Trump becomes 3rd president impeached by U.S. House

Bill Kaplan: New Year’s resolution, expand Medicaid

Bill Kaplan: New Year’s resolution, expand Medicaid

Politics can lead to unexpected outcomes. As the House impeachment inquiry proceeded, Democrats Andy Beshear and John Edwards won gubernatorial elections in Kentucky and Louisiana respectively, succeeding in states Trump carried in 2016. Moreover, Trump campaigned for their GOP opponents. Beshear and Edwards explained their success: “To win, we had to reach out to people across the political spectrum, including people who voted for President Trump. So we campaigned everywhere, treating every voter with respect, as winnable, because showing up still matters to the people we wanted to lead” (Washington Post).

Beshear and Edwards had a message that resonated: “Families in both Kentucky and Louisiana worried that their health care coverage and our states’ Medicaid expansions were going to be ripped away by a Republican governor” (WP). Medicaid expansion is now a mainstream issue. It has extended health coverage to well over 12 million Americans in 36 states, including 3 in progress. Polls show majority support among Democrats, Republicans and independents. Why?

“Multiple studies over the last five years find that the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion has increased health coverage, affordability and access to care while producing budget savings for states and reductions in uncompensated care costs for hospitals and clinics, according to a KFF review of more than 300 studies and policy reports” (Kaiser Family Foundation). It’s time for Wisconsin Democratic Governor Tony Evers and the state GOP-led legislature to make a joint New Year’s resolution to expand Medicaid.

The American Medical Association (AMA) and American Hospital Association (AHA) stand ready to help Wisconsin expand Medicaid. The AMA has offered to work with state doctors. It also supports Wisconsin Democratic Representative Ron Kind’s proposal to increase 90 percent federal funding for Wisconsin Medicaid expansion to 100 percent for the first three years. And, “(t)he AHA supports efforts to encourage every state to expand Medicaid coverage … .” These moderate organizations belie the allegation that Medicaid expansion is radical or welfare.

There is reason to be hopeful. Governor Evers strongly supports expanding Medicaid. And, there are GOP state legislators who privately want to accept the federal spending and savings from Medicaid expansion. Democrats and Republicans need to figure out how to cross the finish line. Wisconsin Department of Health Services Secretary (nominee) Andrea Palm praised the GOP-led legislature for passing a reinsurance plan (mix of federal and state funding) to lower ACA private insurance premiums. Medicaid expansion would have a similar, additive effect (Health Affairs).

Budget savings from expanding Medicaid ($325 million) could be used to help rural Wisconsin, largely represented by GOP legislators. The windfall could fund broadband infrastructure, improve roads, help struggling schools and support demonstration projects for renewable energy as well as efforts to protect the environment by small farms. The entire state would benefit. The Evers administration needs to think outside the box to get Medicaid expansion.

Consider asking former GOP state Senator Dale Schultz to be the point person with the legislature. He could help make a New Year’s resolution of expanding Medicaid a reality.

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

Citizen Action Weekly: Friday, December 13th

Citizen Action Weekly: Friday, December 13th

Friday, December 13th

Citizen Action hires new movement politics director, JoAnna Bautch

Citizen Action is very excited to announce the hiring of JoAnna Bautch as our movement politics director! JoAnna will be developing Citizen Action’s electoral and voter engagement programs, with a focus on helping current (and future) members run for office on our long term agenda for structural reform. JoAnna will also help recruit and develop members who want to learn how to run campaigns and support Citizen Action candidates who, if elected,h will co-govern with us.

JoAnna is passionate about the growth of her community. She is born and raised in Milwaukee, WI, and loves everything the city has to offer.

Raised by a single mother, JoAnna knows the importance of a strong work ethic, and coming from a matriarchal family, she knows the power of the Latina voice. Although JoAnna struggled through high school, she is a proud MPS graduate, and in May of 2017, she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Communication from Alverno College.

JoAnna stays active with her community as a board member of Young Nonprofit Professionals Network (YNPN) Milwaukee Chapter, the Milwaukee Water Commons, and TRUE Skool. She is also a member of the 88Nine Cultural Commons/Community Stories Live Steering Committee and the Alverno College Latinas Con Fuerza Ceremony committee, a ceremony she helped found during her senior year at the college.

In her spare time, JoAnna enjoys drinking coffee at local coffee shops, taking in various cultures at different festivals and eating tacos from a food truck.

If you are interested in running for office in the future or learning the skills needed to help run campaigns contact JoAnna at joannab@citizenactionwi.org

Thanks to all who attended Citizen Action’s annual meeting at 6 locations

North Central Organizing Co-op Joins In On the Citizen Action of Wisconsin Annual Meeting

For the first time, members of Citizen Action of Wisconsin from all across the State, were able to join in on the Citizen Action of Wisconsin Annual Meeting, from their own regions! It turned out great. The North Central Organizing Co-op joined in from Wausau.

We were fortunate enough to be joined by both Democratic candidates for the 7th CD Special Election, Lawrence Dale and Tricia Zunker, as well as both Mayoral challengers for Wausau City Mayor, Katie Rosenberg and Christopher Norfleet.

Co-op members from each region were given awards for their dedication and altruism. Then, each Co-op gave a 3 minute presentation on what has been accomplished in 2019 and what we hope to accomplish in 2020. The top 3 issues that we will be focusing on, besides elections at all levels, are Healthcare, Green New Deal (big umbrella which includes fighting against environmental pollution, green jobs, etc.), and Movement Politics (big umbrella which includes fair maps, census work, electoral work, etc.). Co-op member, and member of the Citizens for a Clean Wausau, Tom Killian gave the speech on our accomplishments and priorities.

We ended the meeting by breaking out into strategy groups, to make a solid plan for moving forward. There was a lot of excitement in the room, and a willingness to work together for a better future. Great things are happening at Citizen Action.

If you would like to be a part of the movement, please contact Organizer Joel Lewis at 715-551-2525 or email him at joel.lewis@citizenactionwi.org

Healthcare Consumer Protection Team-Looking for Heroes

Healthcare Co-Op members Zena Blom and Khristine are going to be leading some initiatives around consumer protections in healthcare. They are looking for a few interested members to be on their team.

An example is how hospitals and insurance companies are denying women access to preventative care like mammograms which should be at no cost as mandated by the ACA. However, they are circumventing the spirit of the ACA by inventing a technicality to make themselves more money. In this case, women are facing yearly prohibitive costs for their mammograms. Do you know what happens when women have to pay $500, $1000, $1500 and up for extra imaging per year?  They avoid going in for their mammogram which puts us back to square one.It’s profit over lives once again.

Here is a great story detailing this issue. 

If stories like this make you mad, it’s time to get even.  The team needs you to help strategize and to take some planned group actions.

Universal Family Care and Long Term Care

It’s time to talk about care. The profession of care as a profession has long been undervalued in America. From early childhood care all the way to elder care and those that care for the disabled.  Next year, we are going to charge forward with a campaign that changes that and it’s called Universal Family Care. Members Lynn Carey and Rita Simon are helping to lead on this issue and might be calling you soon asking for help.

You can read more about here.

Let me know if this important to you.  After all, who will care for you when the time comes?

Citizen Action supports investing in Milwaukee Public School students 

Monday morning Citizen Action members stood with parents, educators, community members and leaders from community organizations who are ready to organize to win a new school referendum for more resources for our kids.

In the past 25 years, 97% of Wisconsin’s school districts have gone to and passed referenda raising funds for their students. Recently, the Milwaukee Teachers Education Association partnered with Leaders Igniting Transformation to commission a poll to gauge voter interest in a referendum to increase the revenue limit. The poll shows overwhelming support for such a referendum, with 62% of likely primary voters saying they’d be willing to pay more in property taxes to increase funding for our public schools.

The Milwaukee School Board will likely approve a referendum later this month for the April 2020 election. The referendum passed a board committee this Thursday evening.

Watch video of media event on Monday.

Northwestern WI Coffee With Your Co-Op, Saturday, December 14th, 10am – Noon

Coffee and Conversation with Breana Stanley, the Northwestern WI Co-op Organizer for Citizen Action WI. Come talk about what’s concerning you in our region, statewide, and nationally. What you wanna work on, and anything else that you believe if necessary for Breana to know!

Bridge Street Brew in Chippewa Falls
December 14, 2019 | 10:00am
RSVP and more information

“Dark Money” movie showing and discussion in Viroqua

Citizen Action of Wisconsin will be sponsoring a viewing and group discussion about the movie “Dark Money” at the Commons in Viroqua on January 15th at 6:00 PM.  Dark Money is a political thriller that examines the greatest threat to American democracy; the influence of untraceable corporate money on our elections.  “Dark Money” uncovers the shocking truth of how American elections are bought and sold. This Sundance award-winning documentary is directed and produced by Kimberly Redd.

Citizen Action of Wisconsin is committed to restoring political power to the people rather than corporations.  “Dark Money” really explores the problem and how we can fix it. After the showing there will be a discussion. We hope everyone is able to attend and learn more.  RSVP for this showing here.

Merchant Bank joins Associated Bank in offering green home loans in support of “Green Homes, Good Jobs” campaign. 

Merchant Bank in Minnesota (with a presence in places such as Onalaska) has confirmed they  will be offering and training their staff on the green mortgages we are helping members with.  These green mortgages will help homeowners outfit their homes with energy efficiency upgrades such as solar panels, new insulation, air sealing, new heating/cooling units and more.  Residential upgrades are one of the best ways to reduce our carbon footprint. Our “Green Homes, Good Jobs” campaign is designed to save homeowners money RIGHT NOW on utility bills while creating good, union jobs here in our area.

Merchant Bank responded to a member-led letter writing campaign, started by southwest Wisconsin co-op member Janette Dean, confirming their intention to help residents upgrade their homes.  In order to help as many people upgrade as possible we are asking co-op members across the state to contact area banks/credit unions and ask them to offer green mortgages.  A sample letter and instructions on how to lobby financial institutions can be found right here. Please take a moment to email banks and credit unions in your area and ask them to do their part to fight climate change!

If you are interested in upgrading your own home contact Kevin Kane at kevin.kane@citizenactionwi.org right away.

Northeast Coop organizer speaks at Wisconsin Conservation Voters Event

Noah Reif, our Northeast co-op organizer, was invited by Wisconsin Conservation Voters to speak about our Green Homes & Good Jobs campaign. Over thirty interested community members attended to discuss the opportunities, obstacles, and learn what the next steps of clean energy look like in the Fox Valley!

7th CD Candidate Forum in Rice Lake, January 15th, 6pm

“2020 prescription drug plan” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

We discuss the new House Democratic prescription drug plan that passed the House on Thursday. We review a new study that found for the first time in history, U.S. billionaires pay a lower tax rate than the working class. Also, Senator Tammy Baldwin joins only 26 other U.S. Senators telling Donald Trump to fire white nationalist advisor Stephen Miller. We close with a discussion of defrauded student loan borrowers who are being further abused by Trump’s Education Secretary, and finally some brief reflections on impeachment.

Listen Now – Episode #421
Download Mp3
Press Clips

Facebook post of the week

 

“2020 prescription drug plan” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

“2020 prescription drug plan” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

We discuss the new House Democratic prescription drug plan that passed the House on Thursday. We review a new study that found for the first time in history, U.S. billionaires pay a lower tax rate than the working class. Also, Senator Tammy Baldwin joins only 26 other U.S. Senators telling Donald Trump to fire white nationalist advisor Stephen Miller. We close with a discussion of defrauded student loan borrowers who are being further abused by Trump’s Education Secretary, and finally some brief reflections on impeachment.

Listen Now – Episode #421
Download Mp3
Press Clips

Links:
How The House Prescription Drug Plan Would Try To Lower Drug Prices.
For the first time in history, U.S. billionaires paid a lower tax rate than the working class last year.
Baldwin to Trump: Fire Stephen Miller
White nationalism should disqualify immigration advisor, Senators say.
Betsy DeVos Overruled Education Dept. Findings On Defrauded Student Borrowers.
Student Loans A Lot Like The Subprime Mortgage Debacle, Watchdog Says

Bill Kaplan: Advice for Governor Evers

Bill Kaplan: Advice for Governor Evers

In 2018, Democrats won every statewide office on the ballot. It was the “first time since 1982 that one party – the Democrats – won elections to all those offices” (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel). Wisconsin voters made a clear change in direction. However,  most of our Republican friends turned out to be sore losers. The lame-duck legislature threw away civic norms and significantly curbed the powers of then Democratic Governor-elect Tony Evers and Attorney General-elect Josh Kaul. Unprecedented.

Some Republicans opposed the power grabs. GOP state Senator Robert Cowles said: “I feel that our own party crossed the line.” And, former Wisconsin GOP Governor Scott McCallum exclaimed: “It appears completely political … sour grapes.” Outgoing Ohio GOP Governor John Kasich also expressed outrage: “I’m frankly shocked at what is going on here. … You lost, okay? … Accept it, move on, try to win tomorrow.”

Our political system in Wisconsin is broken. Enough! Democrats and Republicans must govern and accept the different roles of the legislature and governor. There has to be debate, compromise, negotiation and working with opponents. No trying to exacerbate rural-urban divisions. But the mess continues.

The GOP-led state Senate wrongly rejected Governor Evers’ agriculture secretary, despite bipartisan approval of well-qualified nominee Brad Pfaff in committee months earlier. Compounding this nonsense, Governor Evers inappropriately went to the state Senate to watch the firing. An understandably angry Evers mistakenly lost his cool, calling the GOP maneuver “political BS”. Former GOP state Senator Dale Schultz commented: “We’re better than this … we’re in a place that’s kind of unacceptable. … It’s this winner-take-all mentality that has led us to this point in history. … That’s not just a message to Senate Republicans. That’s a message to everyone.”

It’s time for Governor Evers to initiate a charm offensive. He has a first-rate personality, aw-shucks smarts and the most power in state government. So he should make the first move – invite Republican legislators often to the governor’s mansion. It could break the ice and help some of Evers’ legislative proposals pass in the GOP-led legislature. It also would be wise for Evers to ask a Republican to serve in his cabinet or as a top adviser, e.g., Schultz or a current GOP legislator. Moreover, solicit input from senior advisers who can be completely honest.

Once a dialogue has begun, Evers needs to reason with Wisconsin Republicans. Does Trump really represent the great party of Lincoln, (Teddy) Roosevelt, Eisenhower and Reagan? Are Trump’s policies helping or hurting state farmers and factory workers? Evers should go around Wisconsin and raise these questions, and ask state Republicans to be independent. Time to stand up for Wisconsin.

Schultz sees economic problems down the road. Wisconsin has lost more than 1,800 dairy farms under Trump. And, state factory jobs are down by about 6,800 over the past year. Schultz said: Democrats and Republicans “can work (together) to alleviate a lot of pain … you have to find a way to listen to each other and compromise and work together… .” Good advice.

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

Citizen Action Weekly: Friday, December 6th

Friday, December 6th

Attend Annual meeting this Saturday, December 7th, in Milwaukee, Eau Claire, Verona, Wausau, De Pere, and LaCrosse Wisconsin.

The Citizen Action of Wisconsin Annual meeting will take place this Saturday, December 7th, 12pm. Doors open for lunch at the Washington Park Senior Center, 4420 W. Vliet St. Milwaukee. Meeting starts at 1pm.

Each regional organizing co-op will be having a meeting within their region at the same time.

The meeting will feature a “year in review” from all the co-ops, 2019 member awards, and then turn our meeting back to the regional co-ops. This meeting is open to non-members as well as members

RSVP for Southeastern (MKE) WI Annual Membership Meeting and Strategy Session
RSVP to Verona membership meeting
RSVP to LaCrosse membership meeting
RSVP to Wausau membership meeting.
RSVP to Eau Claire membership and Strategic planning meeting.
RSVP to De Pere memberhip meeting 

Citizen Action Northwestern Co-op Urged County Board to Vote No on “School Choice Week” Resolution

On Tuesday, December 3rd, About 15 members of the Citizen Action Northwestern Co-op joined forces with other community members to urge the Eau Claire County Board to vote NO on the resolution to make January 26, 2020 – February 1, 2020 “School Choice Week.”

This resolution would celebrate Wisconsin’s Republican-led voucher program that has siphoned off taxpayer money to private, religious schools leaving public schools with lack of funding and scrapping for resources.

Several members spoke, including Chris Humboch-Boyle, who leads the education issue team within the co-op.

The resolution failed at the end of the night when the board voted 24-2 to not accept the proclamation.

The Citizen Action of Wisconsin Southwest Wisconsin Co-op is fully formed!

We are thrilled to announce that we officially have 250 activists pledged to join our co-op in Southwest Wisconsin. We have supporters in La Crosse County, Monroe County, Vernon County, Adams County, Sauk County and Dane County.  Now we can start to mobilize and organize to create real progressive change!

If you have not fully joined the co-op please do so at this link.

We still want to include as many more activists as possible.  If you know anyone who might be interested in joining Citizen Action of Wisconsin please let Ben know ASAP.  He can be reached at ben.wilson@citizenactionwi.org or 608-386-2847.

The North Central Organizing Co-op Needs You in the New Year

As you can imagine, 2020 is going to be one crazy year for all of us, and that is why the Co-op needs you. In the New Year, we will be focused on 3 top issues, in addition to the electoral work that we do. Those top 3 issues are Healthcare For All, Movement Politics (which includes Fair Maps, Census Work, Voter Registration, Seeking and Supporting Candidates, etc.), and Green New Deal initiatives. The last one will be a wide umbrella, like replicating work that has been done in other Co-op regions, or supporting the work of allied groups. And obviously, we have a whole slew of candidates throughout the region to support, at all levels.

Candidates from our Co-op have emerged to run for the 7th CD Special Election, Mayoral race in Wausau (and possibly Ladysmith), Wausau City Council, Marathon County Board of Supervisors, and Tomahawk School Board. Some of these candidates merely need your vote, but others may need help knocking doors, phone banking, or more. If we all stand together we are stronger!

We continue to work in collaboration with all groups that want to. In fact, many of these candidates that are running are the result of a candidate committee made up of several groups within the region. We can win our State back and continue to fight for what is right in our community, but we need you to do it!

Please call your Organizer, Joel Lewis at 715-551-2525 or email him at joel.lewis@citizenactionwi.org to see how you can help.

Also, attending the Citizen Action Annual Meeting tomorrow in Wausau tomorrow at 12:30 is a great way to get a kickstart on this. This meeting will be at the First Universalist Unitarian Church, 504 Grant Street, Wausau, WI 54403. It begins at 12:30, with 30 minutes of social, and then at 1, we will be joining other Co-op members from around the State, to hear an address from Robert Kraig, and then a report from each Co-op region. Then, we will disconnect and break out into strategy groups to discuss the particulars of the top 3 priorities in 2020. It would be great to see you there!

Powered Up Baraboo group forms to fight climate change in Baraboo

Climate activists in Baraboo have formed a local climate action team called Powered Up Baraboo dedicated to reducing Baraboo’s carbon footprint and doing their part to fight climate change locally. Citizen Action of Wisconsin member and lifelong activist Judy Spring was instrumental in forming this group.

On December 3rd 2019 Powered up Baraboo held their first meeting and over 60 people came to show their support!  During this meeting four action teams were formed to focus on different issues such as schools, homes and businesses, green spaces and municipal actions.  During the course of the meeting ten homeowners signed up to receive information from Citizen Action of Wisconsin on how they can reduce their own carbon footprint by upgrading their homes with solar panels and other energy efficient upgrades.  Powered up Baraboo is committed to creating real action on locally to fight climate change.

Anyone in the Baraboo area interested in getting involved with Powered Up Baraboo should contact Judy Spring at springjudy331@gmail.com.

Eau Claire Coffee With Your Co-Op, Friday, December 13th, 10am – Noon

Coffee and Conversation with Breana Stanley, the Northwestern WI Co-op Organizer for Citizen Action WI. Come talk about what’s concerning you in our region, statewide, and nationally. What you wanna work on, and anything else that you believe if necessary for Breana to know!

Shift Cyclery and Coffee shop in Eau Claire
December 13, 2019 | 10:00am
RSVP and more information

“Dark Money” movie showing and discussion, January 15th, Viroqua

Citizen Action of Wisconsin will be sponsoring a viewing and group discussion about the movie “Dark Money” at the Commons in Viroqua on January 15th at 6:00 PM.  Dark Money is a political thriller that examines the greatest threat to American democracy; the influence of untraceable corporate money on our elections.  “Dark Money” uncovers the shocking truth of how American elections are bought and sold. This Sundance award-winning documentary is directed and produced by Kimberly Redd.

Citizen Action of Wisconsin is committed to restoring political power to the people rather than corporations.  “Dark Money” really explores the problem and how we can fix it. After the showing there will be a discussion. We hope everyone is able to attend and learn more.  RSVP for this showing here.

High School Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

We discuss a series of violent incidents and threats of violence in Wisconsin high school this week and the reaction of elected leaders. We review a new study finding that a higher percentage of medical care in Wisconsin is wasteful and low quality. The study also concludes that if every primary care physician in Wisconsin provided the same quality of care the cost would be 30% lower. Claire educates us about nearly 700,000 SNAP recipients who will likely lose food stamp benefits under new Trump rule released this week. Finally, we welcome City of Eau Claire council member Kate Beaton to discuss the city’s new climate plan and their exciting goal to get to 100% electric cars.

LISTEN NOW

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High School Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

High School Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

We discuss a series of violent incidents and threats of violence in Wisconsin high school this week and the reaction of elected leaders. We review a new study finding that a higher percentage of medical care in Wisconsin is wasteful and low quality. The study also concludes that if every primary care physician in Wisconsin provided the same quality of care the cost would be 30% lower. Claire educates us about nearly 700,000 SNAP recipients who will likely lose food stamp benefits under new Trump rule released this week. Finally, we welcome City of Eau Claire council member Kate Beaton to discuss the city’s new climate plan and their exciting goal to get to 100% electric cars.

LISTEN NOW

Attend Citizen Action Annual Meeting Saturday, December 7th, Doors open at Noon, Washington Park Senior Center, 4420 W Vliet St, MKE

Links:

Sen. Ron Johnson statement on Wisconsin High School Incidents.
Gov. Tony Evers calls for more funding for mental health, officers in schools after spate of violence.
Governor: Wisconsin Must ‘Step Up’ After School Shootings
Lt. Gov. Barnes calls out GOP leaders after armed student shot in Oshkosh.
Wisconsin doctors could reduce health care costs while improving quality of care, study says.
Nearly 700,000 SNAP Recipients Could Lose Benefits Under New Trump Rule
Eau Claire Leaders Hope Everyone In City Eventually Drives Electric Cars; Goal Is Part Of City’s Carbon Neutrality Pledge By 2050

Citizen Action Weekly: Happy Thanksgiving Holiday Weekend

Citizen Action Weekly: Happy Thanksgiving Holiday Weekend

Happy Thanksgiving Holiday Weekend

Citizen Action Members Stand in Solidarity with Students on UWEC Campus Following Racist Threats.

On Monday, November 25th, several Citizen Action members joined students and faculty on the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire Campus to stand in solidarity as they protest the recent threats made against the student organization, Black Male Empowerment. Our members stood in observance and in the capacity of providing protection from negative feedback. The protest garnered approximately 350 students and community members as they stood silently in the middle of campus with signs decrying the lack of action from school administrators as well as a march to Chancellor Jim Schmidt’s office with a list of demands to make UW-EC more inclusive and more safe for students of color. Thank you to all of those who joined from Citizen Action and stood up for those marginalized in the community to let it be known that hate speech, of any kind, will not be tolerated.

Read more from Wisconsin Reporter

Southwest Wisconsin Co-op Recruitment update

Citizen Action of Wisconsin’s newest organizing co-op is almost fully formed!  We currently have 245 activists across southwest Wisconsin who have pledged to join.  If you know anyone who cares about healthcare for all and fighting climate change in the area please put them in contact with Ben at ben.wilson@citizenactionwi.org.  He would love to schedule a time to meet with them to discuss Citizen Action’s work to create a better tomorrow in Wisconsin.  If you have pledged to join us please take a moment to complete your membership by joining us at this website. It is very important as we move forward that members take a moment to complete their membership and fully join.

Also don’t forget to RSVP for the annual membership meeting December 7th from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM.  Click here to RSVP in La Crosse (3460 Losey blvd)or click here to RSVP in the Madison area (500 Silent st in Verona).  Please feel free to invite anyone you know who is interested in learning more to the annual meeting.  The annual meeting will be a chance to celebrate Citizen Action’s victories and set an agenda as we move into the most important election of our lifetimes.  We want as many members (and people interested in learning more) on hand as possible. We want everyone to have a voice in planning our actions next year!

Are you interested in upgrading your home with energy efficient upgrades like solar panels, new insulation, new windows and new heating/cooling units?

If you are interested in saving money while reducing your own carbon emissions please take a moment to fill out this quick survey. You might be able to upgrade your home with solar panels and start saving money RIGHT AWAY!  Citizen Action of Wisconsin would love to help you.

Our “Green Homes, Good Jobs” campaign is designed to save people money, reduce our carbon footprint and create good, union jobs right now.  Fill out the survey and find out if we can help you!

Attend Citizen Action’s Annual Meeting, Saturday, December 7th, 1pm

The Citizen Action of Wisconsin Annual meeting will take place on Saturday, December 7th, 1pm.at the Washington Park Senior Center, 4420 W. Vliet St. Milwaukee.

Each regional organizing co-op will be having a meeting within their region at the same time,

We will connect with the meeting in Milwaukee to hear year in review from all the co-op, 2019 member awards, and then turn our meeting back to the regional co-ops. This meeting is open to non-members as well as members

RSVP for Southeastern (MKE) WI Annual Membership Meeting and Strategy Session

Citizen Action Northeast Organizing Co-op Annual Meeting and Strategy Session, December 7th @12PM

Join our organizing co-op as we gather for a membership social, an update on our statewide work in 2020, and a regional strategy session!

Fight climate change at home” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

Happy Thanksgiving weekend! After discussing a new study finding Foxconn will likely depress economic activity in the state by tens of billions of dollars, we welcome Kevin Kane and Rafael Smith to discuss their organizing efforts to fight climate change at home in rural and urban Wisconsin.

Contact Rafael.Smith@citizenactionwi.org to get involved in the campaign to support the Milwaukee climate task force.

Contact Kevin.Kane@citizenactionwi.org to find out about how you can green your home anywhere in Wisconsin.

Facebook post of the week

 

“Fight climate change at home” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

“Fight climate change at home” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

Happy Thanksgiving weekend! After discussing a new study finding Foxconn will likely depress economic activity in the state by tens of billions of dollars, we welcome Kevin Kane and Rafael Smith to discuss their organizing efforts to fight climate change, and improve economic equity, in rural and urban Wisconsin.

Contact Rafael.Smith@citizenactionwi.org to get involved in the campaign to support the Milwaukee climate task force.
Contact Kevin.Kane@citizenactionwi.org to find out about how you can green your home anywhere in Wisconsin.
LISTEN NOW – EPISODE #419
Download MP3
Press Clips

Links:

Study: Wisconsin’s Foxconn deal could depress economic activity by ‘tens of billions of dollars’.
Study On Foxconn Deal Shows Government Subsidies Don’t Work.
Study suggests Foxconn incentives could cost Wisconsin $6 billion in economic activity.