Bill Kaplan: Cheerleading won’t end COVID-19 and the recession

Bill Kaplan: Cheerleading won’t end COVID-19 and the recession

Cheerleading won’t end COVID-19 and the recession. To date there are over 2 million COVID-19 cases nationally, including 22,500 in Wisconsin, over 115,000 U.S. deaths, near 700 in WI. Politico reported it took about 3 months to hit 1 million cases, but only 6 weeks to double to over 2 million. And, Wisconsin will soon double cases from the date when GOP legislators and the state Supreme Court ended stay-at-home (no replacement).

However, Trump consistently self-congratulates as the horrific toll rises: “We’ve made every decision correctly. We may have some embers, or some ashes or we may have some flames coming, but we’ll put them out.” Except new COVID-19 cases are increasing in 22 states (NYT). “(E)pidemiologists said that even taking into account a rise in testing, the increase in Sun Belt states suggested increased transmissions” (NYT). Moreover, rural Wisconsin could see a surge if tourists return. Finally, the protests against the police murder of George Floyd have resulted in a small (so far) increase, including 1 case in Stevens Point, Wisconsin.

The economic news is also grim. When the unemployment rate declined to 16.3 percent, highest rate since the 1930s, Trump declared victory: “This shows that what we’ve been doing is right. This is outstanding … .” While Wisconsin GOP Senator Ron Johnson breathlessly declared: “I think the shutdown is definitely over and we can really start recovering … spectacular news”. Cheerleading and delusion. You can’t see around the corner with long lines of the unemployed at food banks.

Last week, stocks took a dive, worst since March. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell told the press that millions of jobs may be lost permanently. (Note: over 626,000 Wisconsinites have applied for unemployment benefits since March 15.) The Fed said the economic misery may last years and recovery was “extraordinarily uncertain”. Powell pleaded that “Congress will need to do more”. Are Wisconsin congressional Republicans listening?

The economic collapse and pandemic spell disaster for health care. Prior to COVID-19 and the recession, hundreds of thousands of Wisconsinites lacked health coverage. They included the elderly, white rural Wisconsinites and blacks in cities. However, the rising uninsured rate encompasses the entire state. Over 446,000 Wisconsinites lost their private employer-based health insurance as unemployment increased (Kaiser Family Foundation). Let that catastrophic number sink in: no health coverage means human misery and a collapsing health care system.

Study after study before COVID-19 showed rural Wisconsin hospitals vulnerable – worse now. Moreover, many private medical practitioners may have to close. The GOP-led Wisconsin legislature can do something – expand Medicaid with 90 percent federal funding. The New England Journal of Medicine made the case for expansion amid COVID-19: “Our findings … are consistent with case studies from several states showing that they have used federal dollars from the Medicaid expansion to offset … direct subsidies to public hospitals and mental health centers … and (for) a more generous match rate for optional groups previously covered … .”

Time to face reality and expand Medicaid. Circumstances have changed.

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

Citizen Action Weekly; Friday, June 12th

Citizen Action Weekly; Friday, June 12th

Friday, June 12th

Attend a BLM event near you this weekend!

Checkout list of events in Wisconsin.

We will be attempting to post as many events on our facebook page. Please check our page for events near you. Citizen Action facebook page.

Also, check with your regional organizer about events in your region. 

Bring Climate Equity to Wisconsin 

Join Northside Rising and Citizen Action at a public hearing. Wisconsin has fallen behind other states in addressing climate change. A state task force is advising the Governor on strategies the state can take to fight global warming.

You can be part of this efforts to move Wisconsin forward by attending or speaking at one of the public hearings. Let our leaders know how we can make our state a healthier, safer, and more sustainable place to live.

There are 5 scheduled online hearings:

– June 23, 6-9pm
– June 27, 12-3pm
– July 7th, 6-9pm
– July 9th, 6-9pm
– July 15th, 6-9pm

For more information, contact the co-op organizer at trevonna.sims@citizenactionwi.org
Facebook event page

Southwest Wisconsin small towns join in Black Lives Matter protests

In the wake of the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police and the murder of Breonna Taylor in her sleep by Louisville police America has seen its largest protest movement in history.  America is waking up to the fact that systemic racism is literally killing our black communities. Over the past two weeks protests have spread to all 50 states and across the world. This movement has sparked protests in cities big and small. Rural Citizen Action of Wisconsin members have even taken to the streets in small towns that don’t normally see social justice rallies.  Viroqua (population 4,400) had an amazing turnout of 250 people protesting last week.  Reedsburg (population 9,500) had 300 people turn out last Saturday for a rally.

You can read about the Viroqua protest here.

Citizen Action Stands in Solidarity with George Floyd/Black Lives Matter Marches throughout North Central WI

Various organizations and community groups organized George Floyd marches throughout the NC region. Citizen Action members and allies stood in Solidarity with many of these events, and in some communities, were actively involved in Organizing them. In the Western most part of the region, in Ladysmith (Rusk County), members of the Western WI and NC Organizing Co-ops worked through the Rusk County Democrats to put their event together.

There were also marches or solidarity rallies in Elcho (Langlade County), Minocqua (Vilas/Oneida Counties), Merrill (Lincoln County), Stevens Point (Portage County), and Wausau (Marathon County). In fact, Wausau’s march was the largest demonstration that the City has ever seen!

In Wausau, the Wausau Police Department, the Wausau Mayor, and several other governmental entities supported the march. The police were the first ones there, and trailed the march offering water to the participants.

This really set a positive tone in Wausau, and it shows that this community has grown significantly. The newly elected Mayor, Katie Rosenberg, and City Council are shining brightly, in a way that has not happened in the past. Movement politics is working, and we must stay the course, so that we can see this kind of leadership all across our state and nation!

Green Bay Justice for George Floyd, Justice for Jonathan Tubby.

Last weekend, thousands of protesters took to the streets of Green Bay to demand Justice for George Floyd, Justice for Jonathan Tubby, and to fight for anti-racist policies in our community. Robin Tinnon, co-founder of Black Lives United and Citizen Action Co-op member Kristina Shelton, Vice President of the Green Bay School Board, gave the following remarks:

“I’ve grown up here, I’m very invested in this community as a business owner, as a college student, all those things, as a mom. We are all out here gathering because we want to tell you about George Floyd but also tell you about all the other Black men and women who die at the hands of police. We have for so long stood up for this in our community. We have for so long cried on camera and called out to our aldermans and our city officials to tell them to stop allowing Black bodies to be equal to nothing in the United States of America. And what we’re seeing worldwide is an uprising. People are done. And our community is done. We’re telling folks that Black Lives Matter.”

-Robin Tinnon, co-founder of Black Lives United

“This is a movement for the people. This is about equity. White people have to put it on the line to stand up for their Black and brown community members. It is undeniable what is happening around the country, it’s undeniable what’s happening here. The videos over and over have shown us and given us a glimpse of what Black and brown community members have been dealing with for hundreds of years. It is undeniable. And now is the time for us to stand up and put, quite frankly, our lives on the line, our property on the line, our rights on the line, our privileges on the line, to say we stand with you, not in words, but in action in the community. Action is what love looks like in public. And we will not sit at home anymore and give lip service to white supremacy to racism and oppression and power structures that no longer hold up everyone in this community. We must do a better job.”

-Kristina Shelton, Vice President of the Green Bay School Board

Tinnon (right) and Shelton (Center) speak at Green Bay Protest. Shelton is a co-op member

Volunteer to help Citizen Action Co-op member and endorsed state legislative candidate Emily Siegrist this Sunday at Noon in Brown Deer .

Come and join Emily Siegrist for a volunteer event to deliver Emily’s campaign literature to homes of voters in Brown Deer this Sunday, June 14th, Noon, 8060 N 60th St.

Emily is strongly encouraging volunteers to wear masks while out in the community. Emily will have masks for those who need them.

Please RSVP and let her know you’re coming so we can cut enough turf.

TAKE ACTION: Expand BadgerCare & Free COVID-19 Testing & Treatment!

It’s time for us to unite across our differences and work together to deliver free testing and treatment for COVID-19 for everyone in Wisconsin. We need to open BadgerCare to everyone without insurance and require insurance companies to provide free COVID 19 testing and treatment without any copays or deductibles, we can ensure that all Wisconsinites have the health care we need through this crisis.

Contact your state legislators today in support. 

Consumer Protection Team Healthcare Survey.

Do you know anyone who is struggling with an unpaid medical bill?  How about complaining that a preventive test they thought was covered, is now not? Take our Citizen Action healthcare survey to help us fight back against the big health insurance companies and healthcare providers (e.g. clinics, hospitals) that are hurting everyday people seeking care.

Citizen Action in the News

Citizen Action’s Robert Kraig discussed how we translate the historic protests sparked by the racist murder of George Floyd into deep reform on the Jeff Santos Radio Show

The justice for George Floyd protest in tiny Viroqua, co-organized by Citizen Action’s Driftless Area Co-op Organizer Ben Wilson, drew great local media coverage.

Press Clips

“Listening to Sterling Brown” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast.

We welcome Mark Thomsen, the attorney for Milwaukee Bucks player Sterling Brown, to discuss critical lessons from Sterling Brown’s legal case against the Milwaukee Police and what they teach us about police reform. In addition, we discuss the Wisconsin Election Commission’s unanimous decision to send absentee ballot application to 2.7 million Wisconsin registered voters.

Listen Now – Episode #446
Download MP3

Facebook post of the week

“Listening to Sterling Brown” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

We welcome Mark Thomsen, the attorney for Milwaukee Bucks player Sterling Brown, to discuss critical lessons from Sterling Brown’s legal case against the Milwaukee Police and what they teach us about police reform. In addition, we discuss the Wisconsin Election Commission’s unanimous decision to send absentee ballot application to 2.7 million Wisconsin registered voters.
Listen Now – Episode #446
Download MP3
Press Clips

Read Sterling Brown Legal Complaint
Contact Mark Thomsen

Links:

Wisconsin’s Legislative Black Caucus urges Gov. Tony Evers to call Juneteenth special session on overhauling police policies.
Dems locking down votes on police reform.
US Democrats introduce sweeping legislation to reform police.
Black Lives Matter Protests Are Not Just Happening in Wisconsin’s Big Cities.
Can the Police Union Prevent Reform?
NY lawmakers approve 10 police reform bills in 3 days.
Milwaukee planned to purchase equipment for chemical irritants but canceled after Common Council members objected.
Elections Commission moves one step closer to mailing absentee application to 2.7 million voters.

Citizen Action Weekly: Friday June 5th

Citizen Action Weekly: Friday June 5th

Friday, June 5th

Take Action! Attend an event in response to the murder of #GeorgeFloyd

We will be attempting to post as many events on our facebook page. Please check our page for events near you. Citizen Action facebook page.

Also, check with your regional organizer about events in your region.

North Side Rising Present’s Milwaukee’s Green New Deal: What You Need To Know

Join North Side Rising on Friday, June 12th at 2pm as we present a first in a series of forums on Milwaukee’s Green Deal.

Topics that will be discuss include: What is Milwaukee’s GND? What’s currently being done? and How you can get Involved in making it a reality.

If Interested, click here to register for the event

Virtual Town Hall: Federal Jobs Guarantee & Green Jobs Now!

Congress will be debating the next stimulus likely after the 4th of July. Join Citizen Action’s Executive Director Dr Robert Kraig and leaders as we document a new major project together with national partners such as People’s Action to raise the issue of a major jobs guarantee in the next wave of federal action, as well as green pro-climate jobs now, and why that is more possible than you might think.

Wisconsin’s unemployment rate is now HIGHER than it was during the Great Recession. The idea that all of the jobs lost will now come back is not realistic (and the old job market left people out back then too). Only a massive public investment directly into job creation (not tax breaks) can work. The federal government is already publicly subsidizing jobs, through “Work-Share” and/or PPP, it is time to be even more intentional (especially in socially beneficial industries like healthcare, energy efficiency and infrastructure!)

Join us Thursday June 11th at 6pm for a virtual town hall as we lay out major actions that can and should be taken to transition Wisconsin from relief to recovery! RSVP here is join us June 11th at 6:00 PM, RSVP is required to join.

TAKE ACTION: Expand BadgerCare & Free COVID-19 Testing & Treatment!

It’s time for us to unite across our differences and work together to deliver free testing and treatment for COVID-19 for everyone in Wisconsin. We need to open BadgerCare to everyone without insurance and require insurance companies to provide free COVID 19 testing and treatment without any copays or deductibles, we can ensure that all Wisconsinites have the health care we need through this crisis.

Contact your state legislators today in support. 

Black Lives Matter Virtual Roundtable

Tricia Zunker organized a panel discussion to discuss the Black Lives Matter movement, and to discuss George Floyd, and the history of excessive force used by police against people of color.. Panelists included college student, community leader and activist Kayley McColley, Central WI Executive Director for the Aging & Disability Resource Center Jonette Arms and the founder and leader of the People for the Power of Love Chris Norfleet. People from throughout the 7th Congressional district participated in the discussion. You can see coverage of the roundtable discussion here.

Citizen Action North central Co-op Stands in Solidarity with George Floyd Marches

The Citizen Action of WI North Central Organizing Co-op stands in solidarity with the Geroge Floyd rallies, marches and events throughout the region. If you feel that you can safely attend one of these events, please do so. Events start today (Friday, June 5th) and continue throughout the weekend.

  • Rusk County Democrats for Equality and Justice – Hosted by Austin Koeppel and Chrysa Ostenso. Click here for details.
  • Minocqua Unity March – Hosted by Jordan Anusewicz. Click here for details.
  • George Floyd March – Wausau (Hosted by the People for the Power of Love, Wausau Transfam Alliance and Forward Action Wisconsin Network). Click here for details.
  • #BlackLivesMatter Protest – Stevens Point (Organized by Reggie Eaton and Jessica Harlan). Click here for details.

If you are afraid to attend an event, due to COVID-19, there are other ways that you can be an ally:

Support the Minnesota Freedom Fund

Watch for updates from Citizen Action of Wisconsin on social media…some virtual events could be promoted there.

Consumer Protection Team Healthcare Survey

Do you know anyone who is struggling with an unpaid medical bill?  How about complaining that a preventive test they thought was covered, is now not? Take our Citizen Action healthcare survey to help us fight back against the big health insurance companies and healthcare providers (e.g. clinics, hospitals) that are hurting everyday people seeking care.

We need to hear about your experiences to help us shed light on just how many people are being treated unfairly and even in some cases, unlawfully. Many healthcare consumers don’t know why they are receiving large bills after a medical appointment or procedure as the medical complex hides behind an intimidating system of billing, codes and approval protocols.

Citizen Action in the News

Citizen Action’s Robert Kraig followed Michael Dukakis on the Jeff Santos radio show this week to discuss what Biden must do to win a governing majority and successfully address the depth of the crisis America faces.

Press Clips

Uprising for Racial Justice” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

Citizen Action’s JoAnna Bautch and Rafael Smith join the show to discuss the national uprising sparked by George Floyd’s murder. We talk about the inspiring outpouring of social action in communities across Wisconsin, led by young people, calling for police accountability, fundamental criminal justice reform, and racial justice, We also talk about initial stepping stone policies to structural reform such as shifting resources away from the publicly funded oppression of marginalized minority communities and investing in a just, anti-racist, and humane system of public safety.

Listen Now – Episode #445
Download MP3

Facebook post of the week

“Uprising for Racial Justice” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

“Uprising for Racial Justice” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

Citizen Action’s JoAnna Bautch and Rafael Smith join the show to discuss the national uprising sparked by George Floyd’s murder. We talk about the inspiring outpouring of social action in communities across Wisconsin, led by young people, calling for police accountability, fundamental criminal justice reform, and racial justice, We also talk about initial stepping stone policies to structural reform such as shifting resources away from the publicly funded oppression of marginalized minority communities and investing in a just, anti-racist, and humane system of public safety.

Listen Now – Episode #445
Download MP3
Press Clips

Links:

3 More Former Cops Charged In The Killing Of George Floyd.
Marches Multiply, Milwaukee City Council Will Investigate Curfew, Police Response.
Again and again, Milwaukee has protested police brutality and racist policies. What legacy will these marchers leave?
Could Floyd’s killing lead to long-delayed reform in state law?
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, City Officials Cutting $100 Million-$150 Million From LAPD Budget, Funds To Be Reinvested In Communities Of Color Republicans wary, Democrats alarmed.
Former President Obama Addresses George Floyd’s Killing for First Time on Camera: How to Stream Live.

 

Citizen Action Statement on the Racist Murder of George Floyd

Citizen Action Statement on the Racist Murder of George Floyd

For Immediate Release: May 29, 2020
Contact: Robert Kraig, (414) 322-5324, robert.kraig@citizenactionwi.org

Citizen Action Statement on the Racist Murder of George Floyd

Milwaukee: Citizen Action of Wisconsin stands in solidarity with the family and friends of George Floyd, thousands of protesters across the country, and every person who loves humanity, in demanding that the four offers involved in his murder be swiftly brought to justice.

We strongly agree with our compatriots and our fellow People’s Action affiliate, Take Action Minnesota, that the protests in Minneapolis and in many other cities are “demonstrations of our pain and a cry for justice. It is an old pain borne of the historic, violent, publicly funded oppression of Black people… George Floyd should be alive today and prosecuting offers for his murder is the beginning, not end of justice.”

It is hard for us to believe that anyone other than a police officer would be able to avoid immediate arrest when such damning video evidence of a crime is available. The four day delay in the officer responsible being arrested and charged, and the failure to charge (as of this writing) the other officers who stood by and watched a murder, has badly damaged public confidence in the investigation and contributed to the turbulent events on the streets of Minneapolis. Before we can even begin to heal, justice must be brought to the four police offers involved in this racist murder and anyone else who tried to cover it up.

But the healing cannot stop there, because what happened to George Floyd, and all the other victims of publicly sanctioned racist murder we have come to know over the last decade, is ultimately caused not by a few bad apples but the structural racism that is at the very core of the American criminal justice and policing system. The system of mass incarceration grew out of the backlash against the civil rights and black power movements of the 1960s, and has made the  U.S, the most incarcerated and over-policed country in the history of the free world. Only a massive shift in resources away from the publicly funded oppression of Black people, poor people, the Latinx community, and many many others and invested in our communities and a humane, anti-racist, and just system of public safety.

###

Citizen Action Weekly, Friday May 29th

Citizen Action Weekly, Friday May 29th

Friday, May 29th

Citizen Action statement on racist murder of George Floyd

Citizen Action of Wisconsin stands in solidarity with the family and friends of George Floyd, thousands of protesters across the country, and every person who loves humanity, in demanding that the four offers involved in his murder be swiftly brought to justice.

We strongly agree with our compatriots and our fellow People’s Action affiliate, Take Action Minnesota, that the protests in Minneapolis and in many other cities are “demonstrations of our pain and a cry for justice. It is an old pain borne of the historic, violent, publicly funded oppression of Black people… George Floyd should be alive today and prosecuting offers for his murder is the beginning, not end of justice.”

It is hard for us to believe that anyone other than a police officer would be able to avoid immediate arrest when such damning video evidence of a crime is available. The four day delay in the officer responsible being arrested and charged, and the failure to charge (as of this writing) the other officers who stood by and watched a murder, has badly damaged public confidence in the investigation and contributed to the turbulent events on the streets of Minneapolis. Before we can even begin to heal, justice must be brought to the four police offers involved in this racist murder and anyone else who tried to cover it up.

 

But the healing cannot stop there, because what happened to George Floyd, and all the other victims of publicly sanctioned racist murder we have come to know over the last decade, is ultimately caused not by a few bad apples but the structural racism that is at the very core of the American criminal justice and policing system. The system of mass incarceration grew out of the backlash against the civil rights and black power movements of the 1960s, and has made the  U.S, the most incarcerated and over-policed country in the history of the free world. Only a massive shift in resources away from the publicly funded oppression of Black people, poor people, the Latinx community, and many many others and invested in our communities and a humane, anti-racist, and just system of public safety.

TAKE ACTION for #GeorgeFloyd.

Citizen Action announces first round of State Legislative endorsements 

Citizen Action is proud to announce our first State Legislative candidate endorsements for the 2020 Fall elections. All endorsed candidates completed a Citizen Action questionnaire and interview with a local co-op steering committee. Final endorsement votes were made by Citizen Action’s statewide board. There will be more rounds of State Legislative candidate endorsements.

TAKE ACTION: Expand BadgerCare & Free COVID-19 Testing & Treatment!

It’s time for us to unite across our differences and work together to deliver free testing and treatment for COVID-19 for everyone in Wisconsin. We need to open BadgerCare to everyone without insurance and require insurance companies to provide free COVID 19 testing and treatment without any copays or deductibles, we can ensure that all Wisconsinites have the health care we need through this crisis.

Contact your state legislators today in support. 

Take Federal Action for Healthcare coverage for COVID-19

The US Senate will soon take up the next COVID-19 response bill – the HEROES Act – that was recently passed by the House of Representatives. We want to encourage the Senate to add a health care guarantee into the bill. A health care guarantee would put everyone without health insurance during the pandemic onto Medicare or Medicaid so that no one would be without affordable care during the pandemic.

Here’s what we’re doing: We need you to use this online tool run by People’s Action to record a short video statement telling Senators Johnson and Baldwin that we support a health care guarantee in the HEROES Act. The online tool is very easy to use. We’ve put together a toolkit  that explains how to use the online video recording tool as well as a sample script that you can modify for your remarks. DIRECTIONS ARE HERE

Green Homes, Good Jobs

As many of you know, local Citizen Action of Wisconsin members have been working hard to help homeowners save money on utility, reduce carbon emissions, increase the value of their home, and build green sector jobs across the state. We have been working with our green bank partners across the state to offer homeowners financing for energy efficient upgrades such as new insulation, air sealing, new windows/doors, new HVAC units, and solar panels. This program is a very important first step in building a better, greener economy in Wisconsin.

While these home upgrades are important to reducing residential carbon emissions they are merely one part of a larger effort to create a greener economy across our state.  The more homes we upgrade the more jobs we create in the green energy sector.  Every home we help upgrade builds demand to create change.  Every home we help upgrade helps send a message to our power providers that we demand green energy.  Every home we upgrade helps us lobby our elected leaders to invest in green solutions.  Every home we upgrade tells Wisconsinites that our best weapon against the economic crisis is green energy.

America is facing its worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.  We need to redesign our economy to face this crisis.  Citizen Action of Wisconsin believes that the solution is green.  By upgrading your own home not only can you save money RIGHT AWAY and you can help build that green economy that will save our country.   We have a goal of upgrading 100 homes before the end of the year.  We currently have 25 homes going through the upgrade process.  You can learn more about how you can upgrade your home right here.  If you are interested in learning more please contact Kevin Kane at kevin.kane@citizenActionwi.org to schedule a phone call.

Virtual Town Hall: Federal Jobs Guarantee & Green Jobs Now!

Congress will be debating the next stimulus likely after the 4th of July. Join Citizen Action’s Executive Director Dr Robert Kraig and leaders as we document a new major project together with national partners such as People’s Action to raise the issue of a major jobs guarantee in the next wave of federal action, as well as green pro-climate jobs now, and why that is more possible than you might think.

Wisconsin’s unemployment rate is now HIGHER than it was during the Great Recession. The idea that all of the jobs lost will now come back is not realistic (and the old job market left people out back then too). Only a massive public investment directly into job creation (not tax breaks) can work. The federal government is already publicly subsidizing jobs, through “Work-Share” and/or PPP, it is time to be even more intentional (especially in socially beneficial industries like healthcare, energy efficiency and infrastructure!)

Join us Thursday June 11th at 6pm for a virtual town hall as we lay out major actions that can and should be taken to transition Wisconsin from relief to recovery! RSVP here is join us June 11th at 6:00 PM, RSVP is required to join.

Join Citizen Action of Wisconsin on June 3rd, 6pm, for a small group e-meeting discussing expanding work sharing and creating green jobs across the state.

Thanks in part to the efforts of Citizen Action of Wisconsin members like you, over 14,000 Wisconsinites have been helped by the expansion of Wisconsin’s work sharing program.  This program reduces layoffs, helps area businesses and puts more money into the pockets of hard working Wisconsinites.  We are still working hard to expand this program.

You can learn more about this program, help expand it AND help our efforts to create green jobs across our state by joining one of our upcoming small group e-meetings. Please use one of the following links to RSVP for one of our upcoming small group meetings. You must RSVP in order to attend.

Wednesday June 3rd 6:00 PM meeting co hosted by Carol DiBiasio-Snyder

Consumer Protection Team Healthcare Survey

Do you know anyone who is struggling with an unpaid medical bill?  How about complaining that a preventive test they thought was covered, is now not? Take our Citizen Action healthcare survey to help us fight back against the big health insurance companies and healthcare providers (e.g. clinics, hospitals) that are hurting everyday people seeking care.

We need to hear about your experiences to help us shed light on just how many people are being treated unfairly and even in some cases, unlawfully. Many healthcare consumers don’t know why they are receiving large bills after a medical appointment or procedure as the medical complex hides behind an intimidating system of billing, codes and approval protocols.

Volunteer Opportunities in North Central Wisconsin

Citizen Action of Wisconsin has significantly increased our field team this year. Currently, we have staff all across the state making calls to see how people feel about accepting the Medicaid money to expand BadgerCare, while ensuring that all receive free testing and treatment for COVID – 19.

YOU CAN HELP!! These are real conversations, and they can help to change the political landscape by creating an echo chamber. That echo is this: Here is the problem, here is the solution, and this is who is standing in the way of us getting what we need and deserve. Even if candidate calls are not for you, these may be. People are typically more receptive, and many of them want to share their stories and make a connection. Not only could this turn into more voters voting for the people that we need to win the victories that we seek, but it increases the visibility of Citizen Action, and will result in more people being proactively involved in government at all levels.

If you would like a one-on-one or even a virtual phone bank training prior to getting started, we can make that happen too. Please reach out to Central Wisconsin Organizer Joel Lewis at 715-551-2525 or email him at joel.lewis@citizenactionwi.org

Help promote the work-share efforts in our state and how you can help promote green homes and a green new deal. Many workers and employers are still learning about how they can utilize work sharing and you can help! This could be the difference between a person being able to keep their job(s) and continue to pay their bills or being laid off. It could help keep a small business, nonprofit or municipal entity operational and preserve jobs. The more of you that help with this, the more people and businesses we can help!! Reach out to your organizer if you would like to get involved or simply join one of the meetings listed below.

Lastly, we are really lucky to be working on the green homes and green new deal campaigns! Green homes is something that has been years in the making, and it all started in Northern and Northwest WI!! Feel free to reach out to your organizer for a history on this campaign. According to the Nature Research Defense Council (NRDC), “Residential Energy Efficiency Leads the Way on CO2 Reduction. One of the major highlights of the report that the single largest source of CO2 equivalent emissions from a single intervention is residential energy efficiency.” This is about solar panels, but that is not all! Join one of the meetings below to learn more. Also, if you would like to look into upgrading your home, or know someone that would like to, go here to sign up to see if it is worth our time to help you accomplish this!

Citizen Action in the News

Citizen Action’s Robert Kraig was on the Jeff Santos radio show to discuss the pandemic, the VP sweepstakes, and the theory that Michelle Obama will end up the Democratic presidential nominee in 2020.

Up in the northwoods the Vilas County News Reporter ran an OPED from Citizen Action’s statement on the Wisconsin Supreme Court social distancing ruling.

Citizen Action’s Robert Kraig was on the Earl Ingram Radio Show for 60 minutes where he discussed the fundamental flaws in modern conservatism revealed by the botched COVID-19 response.

Press Clips

“Scapegoating China” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast 

We welcome Tobita Chow, director of Justice Is Global, a special project of People’s Action, to discuss the dangerous effort shift public attention away from the disastrous pandemic response by scapegoat China, risking a dangerous military competition between the two most powerful nations on earth. This cynical divide-and-conquer politics is sparking a wave of racial hatred aimed at Asian Americans. We talk about how our success requires embracing principles of anti-racist solidarity and international cooperation. We also review the latest COVID-19 news, including huge delays in unemployment insurance claims.

Listen Now – Episode #444
Download MP3

Facebook post of the week

“Scapegoating China” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

“Scapegoating China” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

We welcome Tobita Chow, director of Justice Is Global, a special project of People’s Action, to discuss the dangerous effort shift public attention away from the disastrous pandemic response by scapegoat China, risking a dangerous military competition between the two most powerful nations on earth. This cynical divide-and-conquer politics is sparking a wave of racial hatred aimed at Asian Americans. We talk about how our success requires embracing principles of anti-racist solidarity and international cooperation. We also review the latest COVID-19 news, including huge delays in unemployment insurance claims.
Listen Now – Episode #444
Download MP3
Press Clips

Links:

Policy from the People: Cooperation in the Face of COVID-19.
Anti-China sentiment is on the rise.
U.S.-China Tensions Were Already High. Pandemic And Hong Kong Have Made Things Worse.
China Takes A Step Toward Total Control Over Hong Kong.
Wisconsin Just Hit New Records For Testing, Positives — and Deaths.
Elections Commission approves more than $6 million in spending, will send ballot applications to most voters.
Unemployment delays divide Senate Republicans, Democrats.
The Problem With the GOP Call Center Plan.

Bill Kaplan: U.S. Senator Johnson undermines checks and balances

Bill Kaplan: U.S. Senator Johnson undermines checks and balances

The COVID-19 pandemic has reached horrific milestones. A stunning 1.6 million cases nationally, including over 15,000 in Wisconsin (WI), near 100,000 deaths nationally, over 500 in WI. Moreover, the economy is plunging downward, including historic mortgage arrears, retail sales collapse and a sharp rise in unemployment. The U.S. jobless rate is 14.7 percent, while WI is at 14.1 percent.

Photo by Gage Skidmore

However, the unprecedented crisis offers an opportunity for Trump and his acolyte WI GOP Senator Ron Johnson to undermine checks and balances. Johnson, Chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, apparently does not grasp that the Senate and White House are separate institutions. The Senate is supposed to provide oversight over the Trump administration to help expose and root out corruption and misconduct.

After the Watergate scandals, Congress passed the Inspector General (IG) Act of 1978. The legislation established a system of independent nonpartisan IG’s, appointed by the president for all cabinet-level departments. The watchdogs were to investigate corruption, misconduct and waste. IG’s are not supposed to be fired by the White House without justification. But Trump has decided to do just that, often on a Friday night to avoid the glare of news coverage.

Trump first removed the intelligence community IG Michael Atkinson for his having taken seriously a whistle-blower report on Trump’s infamous phone call with Ukraine’s president. Then Trump fired Glenn Fine, selected to be the IG to oversee the $trillions of COVID-19 relief that Congress passed. No explanation given. What is the White House hiding or afraid of? Later, Trump removed Health and Human Services IG Christi Grimm, whose report on COVID-19 supply and test shortages upset Trump. Then, Transportation IG Mitch Behm was removed, amid allegations that Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao was favoring grants to Kentucky, represented by her husband, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. One more bombshell dropped.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo asked Trump to fire the State Department IG Steve Linick. No explanation. The press exposed that Linick had been investigating Pompeo over multiple allegations: Pompeo had defied a bipartisan Congress’s blocking military aid for Saudi Arabia’s murderous involvement in Yemen’s civil war. Pompeo declared a phony emergency so the U.S. could sell arms to Saudi Arabia. Other allegations involved Pompeo’s using staff to run personal errands for himself and his wife. Worse were fancy dinners for GOP donors at the State Department to advance Pompeo’s political career.

However, Senator Johnson does not get it. He said: “I’m not crying big crocodile tears over (IG Linick’s) termination.” But Utah GOP Senator Mitt Romney had it right: “The firing of multiple inspectors general is unprecedented … It is a threat to accountable democracy and a fissure in the constitutional balance of power”. Similarly, Wisconsin Democratic Senator Tammy Baldwin told me: “The independence of inspectors general is crucial to rooting out the wrongdoings and failures of this administration, but Trump doesn’t want out government to work for the people, he wants it to work for him”.

Johnson is abdicating his responsibilities.

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

Citizen Action Weekly: Happy Memorial Day Weekend

Citizen Action Weekly: Happy Memorial Day Weekend

Friday, May 22nd

TAKE ACTION: Expand BadgerCare & Free COVID-19 Testing & Treatment!


It’s time for us to unite across our differences and work together to deliver free testing and treatment for COVID-19 for everyone in Wisconsin. We need to open BadgerCare to everyone without insurance and require insurance companies to provide free COVID 19 testing and treatment without any copays or deductibles, we can ensure that all Wisconsinites have the health care we need through this crisis.

Contact your legislators today in support.

Recap of “Covid vs Everybody: Communities of Color Townhall” 

On May 15, Citizen Action organizers held a virtual town hall that focused on a covid related conversations for communities of colors.  Covid-19 has disproportionately impacted people of color. Covid can strike any of us but the people that have been denied care and support for generations are being hit the hardest. 

In this town hall, Milwaukee leaders touched on food insecurity, unemployment, and healthcare in communities of color. They explored perspective, solutions, then demands  for following issues in these communities that were affected the worse during the pandemic. Rick Banks, Leader of St Joseph Accountability Coalitions, shared demand and how the community can get involved with holding the only hospital on the northside accountable for closing the health disparity gap.  Alex Hagler, local business owner of a wellness  center and fresh food organizer, shared tips and resources on fighting food insecurity during the pandemic. 

Important questions and a need for action was raised during this hour. Our Community of color townhall reached about 30 viewers on Facebook and Zoom.  This is the first of many conversations around our communities that will continue even once Covid-19 ends!

For more information or a recording from this town hall, please contact Southeastern Co-op Organizer, Trevonna Sims at trevonna.sims@citizenaction.org

Join Citizen Action of Wisconsin for our small group e-meeting to discuss expanding work sharing and creating green jobs across the state

Thanks in part to the efforts of Citizen Action of Wisconsin members like you, over 14,000 Wisconsinites have been helped by the expansion of WIsconsin’s work sharing program.  This program reduces layoffs, helps area businesses and puts more money into the pockets of hard working Wisconsinites.  We are still working hard to expand this program.

You can learn more about this program, help expand it AND help our efforts to create green jobs across our state by joining one of our upcoming small group e-meetings.  Please use one of the following links to RSVP for one of our upcoming small group meetings.  You must RSVP in order to attend.

Tuesday May 26 4:00 PM meeting co hosted by Susan Garcia Franz 
Thursday May 28th 6:00 PM meeting co hosted by Tamara Thomson
Wednesday June 3rd 6:00 PM meeting co hosted by Carol DiBiasio-Snyder

Coffee w/your Co-op: Social Distancing Edition 2.0

Grab your beverage of choice, comfy chair, and join our Citizen Action Northeast Co-op for coffee from the comfort of your own home!

Co-op leaders will be discussing our push our advocacy on a county-to-county basis since the Wisconsin Supreme Court repealed Governor Evers’ Safer-at-Home Order. Connect with other progressives and learn what Citizen Action is up to as we navigate this challenging time until we can meet at our favorite coffee shop again.

See facebook event page.

You must RSVP to noah.reif@citizenactionwi.org to receive log in.

Volunteer Opportunities in Central Wisconsin

Citizen Action of Wisconsin has significantly increased their field team this year. Currently, we have staff all across the state making calls to see how people feel about accepting the Medicaid money to expand Badgercare, while ensuring that all receive free testing and treatment (mentioned above). YOU CAN HELP!! These are real conversations, and they can help to change the political landscape by creating an echo chamber. That echo is this: Here is the problem, here is the solution, and this is who is standing in the way of us getting what we need and deserve. Even if candidate calls are not for you, these may be. People are typically more receptive, and many of them want to share their stories and make a connection. Not only could this turn into more voters voting for the people that we need to win the victories that we seek, but it increases the visibility of Citizen Action, and will result in more people being proactively involved in government at all levels. If you would like a one-on-one or even a virtual phone bank training prior to getting started, we can make that happen too. Please reach out to Central Wisconsin Organizer Joel Lewis at 715-551-2525 or email him at joel.lewis@citizenactionwi.org

Below, you will read about how you can help promote the work-share efforts in the state and how you can help promote green homes and a green new deal. This can be done in a variety of ways, but for starters, we recommend that you join one of the e-meetings listed below. Many workers and employers are still learning about how they can utilize work sharing and you can help! This could be the difference between a person being able to keep their job(s) and continue to pay their bills or being laid off. It could help keep a small business, nonprofit or municipal entity operational and preserve jobs. The more of you that help with this, the more people and businesses we can help!! Reach out to your organizer if you would like to get involved or simply join one of the meetings listed below.

Lastly, we are really lucky to be working on the green homes and green new deal campaigns! Green homes is something that has been years in the making, and it all started in Northern and Northwest WI!! Feel free to reach out to your organizer for a history on this campaign. According to the Nature Research Defense Council (NRDC), “Residential Energy Efficiency Leads the Way on CO2 Reduction. One of the major highlights of the report that the single largest source of CO2 equivalent emissions from a single intervention is residential energy efficiency.” This is about solar panels, but that is not all! Join one of the meetings below to learn more. Also, if you would like to look into upgrading your home, or know someone that would like to, go here to sign up to see if it is worth our time to help you accomplish this!

Co-op Leader Appointed to Governor’s Task Force on Student Loan Debt!

Northeast Wisconsin Steering Committee member Renee Gasch has been appointed to Governor Ever’s Task Force on Student Loan Debt. Renee is a founding member of the co-op and is a strong statewide leader on the fight to end partisan Gerrymandering. She also serves on the De Pere sustainability commission. We are extremely proud of Renee and her tireless leadership on progressive causes across the state! If you have any questions or a story to share with Renee about your experiences with Student Loan Debt, please contact her at renee.gasch@gmail.com

Join U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin on Facebook Live, Thursday, May 28th 6pm.

We are partnering with Wisconsin Organizing Together Coalition for a Facebook Live event next Thursday, May 28th, 6pm – 7pm.  RSVP here.  The virtual event will highlight contributions of frontline workers leading us through the Coronavirus pandemic.

Trump cut millions in funding for the CDC and fired the pandemic response team. He called the virus a hoax. As a result of his inaction, workers are now suffering. Join us for a virtual event to highlight contributions of frontline workers leading us through the Coronavirus pandemic.

Join us Thursday, May 28, 2020 at 6 PM – 7 PM

Citizen Action in the News

The Capital Times gave a huge shout out to Citizen Action on our response to the Wisconsin Supreme Court decision overturning the Governor’s social distancing directive.

Citizen Action’s Kevin Kane was on the Earl Ingram Show to discuss the most neglected tool in pandemic relief, the work sharing program that Citizen Action is promoting. 

Citizen Action’s Robert Kraig was on the Jeff Santos Show to discuss the House pandemic relief bill, and how it could be improved.

“Expand BadgerCare & free COVID-19 testing and treatment” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

We discuss the latest pandemic developments, including: a major study finds that 36,000 lives could have been saved if the US implemented mandatory social distancing earlier; Governor Evers’ moves over $1 billion in federal money to ramp up testing and tracing; and the state is now a patchwork of COVID-19 policies with some counties and municipalities lifting Safer at Home restrictions early. Robert briefs us on U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal’s new bill guaranteeing free COVID 19 testing and treatment to everyone in America by dramatically expanding Medicare. Next, we look at what is being done to expand voting opportunities in Wisconsin this fall. We close with a look at the growing strength of progressive talk radio in Wisconsin.

Listen now – Episode #443
Download MP3
Press Clips

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