“Historic Political Week” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

“Historic Political Week” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

We discuss this historic week that included the anticlimactic conclusion of the Trump impeachment trial, the State of the Union reality TV show, and the epic data problem at the Iowa Caucus. We also review Trump’s new plan to gut Medicaid through a block grant program and Vos’ possible softening on a GOP redistricting fight in 2021. We welcome state representative Jonathan Brostoff to discuss his legislation to phase out state funding of private voucher schools to fund a guaranteed 18:1 class sizes in all public schools.

LISTEN NOW – EPISODE #428
Download MP3
Press Clips

Links:
Trump’s scary, nihilistic State of the Union.
Wisconsin Democrat Baldwin says Senate acquittal is putting Trump ‘above the law’.
Trump acquitted, despite one GOP defector.
What went wrong in Iowa?
Wisconsin’s Democratic governor calls Iowa caucuses a form of voter suppression.
Eau Claire lawmaker proposes phasing out voucher system.
Dueling voucher views: Pence to attend rally as lawmaker demands end to Wisconsin programs.

Citizen Action Weekly: Friday, January 31st

Citizen Action Weekly: Friday, January 31st

Citizen Action endorses Ed Fallone & Jill Karofsky for Supreme Court
Vote Tuesday, February 18th

In the critical Wisconsin Supreme Court race, Citizen Action of Wisconsin’s board voted to endorse both Ed Fallone and Jill Karofsky.

After interviews which included members from across the state, Citizen Action member and board leaders concluded that both would be independent judges who will fairly interpret and apply the law for everyone, regardless of their race, their income, or where they live. Their judicial integrity is in sharp contrast to the current Supreme Court that regularly twists the law to rubber stamp the priorities of a single political party, and caters its decisions to the interests of the rich, the powerful, and the well connected.

“Both Ed Fallone and Jill Karofsky would make excellent and impartial Wisconsin Supreme Court justices who give every case a fair hearing and render decisions based on rigorous legal interpretation not ideology,” said Robert Kraig, Executive Director of Citizen Action of Wisconsin. “Fallone or Karofsky would be a breath of fresh air on a Supreme Court where the majority regularly puts politics and ideology ahead of the fair interpretation of the law. Does any fair minded person doubt that the Supreme Court majority would have struck down the lame duck session laws, if the shoe was on the other foot and a newly elected Republican governor’s power were curtailed by a Democratic Legislature?”

Citizen Action endorses Chris Larson for Milwaukee County Executive

This week Citizen Action of Wisconsin’s Board announced its endorsement of state Senator Chris Larson for Milwaukee County Executive. Additional spring election endorsements we would like to highlight include candidates in three key Milwaukee Common Council races: State Representative JoCasta Zamarripa in the 8th district; Marina Dimitrijevic in the 14th district; and Fred Royal in the 7th district.

In the hotly contested Milwaukee County Executive race, Citizen Action members and board leaders decided that Senator Larson, who is a Citizen Action member, made the strongest and most comprehensive case for bold reform of county government. “Chris Larson would be the first progressive Milwaukee County Executive in modern history,” said Robert Kraig, Executive Director of Citizen Action of Wisconsin. “Local Citizen Action members are particularly excited about Senator Larson’s strong support for using the power of county government to address the climate crisis in a way that provides living wage jobs for people currently locked out of economic opportunity.”

While we are endorsing Larson, Citizen Action members also were impressed with Milwaukee County Executive candidate State Representative David Crowley, and believe he would also be a solid progressive leader for Milwaukee County.

In the 14th Common Council District, Citizen Action is endorsing Marina Dimitrijevic. “As our County Supervisor, Marina Dimitrijevic has led the way to reduce the county’s environmental footprint,” said Kraig. “She authored Milwaukee County’s Greenprint and her plan to eliminate forever plastics will make an enormous impact in keeping our waterways clean. At City Hall, I know she will be a partner in our efforts to win a Milwaukee Green New Deal which dramatically reduces community-wide greenhouse emissions and creates family supporting jobs for those who need them most.”

In the 8th Common Council District, Citizen Action is endorsing State Representative JoCasta Zamarripa, who is a member of our board of directors. “In this majority people of color southside district we believe JoCasta will do a tremendous job of bringing the diverse voices of the area to City Hall,” said Kraig. “We also believe that Zamarripa will be a strong progressive leader who will fight for Citizen Action’s climate and racial equity agenda.”

While Citizen Action is endorsing JoCasta Zamarripa, members and board leaders concluded that her opponent Justin Bielinski is aligned with our values, and also would be a positive voice at City Hall.

Citizen Action also made endorsements in a number of other Milwaukee Common Council and County Board races, as well as the Milwaukee Comptroller and Wauwatosa mayoral races.

Milwaukee area endorsements 

  • Milwaukee County Executive
    • Chris Larson
  • Milwaukee Comptroller
    • Alex Brower
  • Wauwatosa Mayor
    • Dennis McBride

City of Milwaukee Common Council

  • District 5
    • Nikiya Dodd
  • District 7
    • Fred Royal
  • District 8
    • JoCasta Zamarripa
  • District 11
    • Peter Burgelis
  • District 14
    • Marina Dimitrijevic

Milwaukee County Board

  • District 1
    • Liz Sumner
  • District 2
    • Sequanna Taylor
  • District 12
    • Sylvia Ortiz-Velez
  • District 15
    •   Eddie Cullen

The Primary Election is Tuesday, February 18th and the General Election is Tuesday, April 7th.

NC Organizing Co-op Updates: CD 7 Candidate Forum in Wausau & Gov. Tony Evers visits. 

Citizen Action of Wisconsin’s North Central Organizing Co-op and allies held a CD 7 candidate forum in Wausau this Wednesday evening at the Labor Temple. The forum was a part of Citizen Action’s endorsement process.

The forum asked 3-5 questions to the 2 Democratic candidates, Tricia Zunker and Lawrence Dale. Each question was asked by a co-op member and/or ally of the Organizing Co-op. The questions were based off of our Progressive Platform, that was developed by co-op members from all across the State.

This event was open to the public, and we were blessed to have PBS, Wausau Daily Herald, The City Pages/Record Review, Wausau Public Access and attendees from 4 different counties!

Citizen Action surveyed all of the attendees, and will consider an endorsement before the primary election on Tuesday, February 18th.

An endorsement will be discussed by the steering committees for both the Northcentral and Northwestern Citizen Action Co-ops. Any endorsement recommendation from the steering committees discussion would be forwarded to the full Citizen Action of Wisconsin Board for final vote. We hope to make our decision public very soon!!

On Monday, January 27th, leaders from our Citizen Action of WI North Central Organizing Co-op joined Governor Tony Evers at the People’s Maps Commission Press Conference in Wausau. They represented three different cities and counties, Merrill (Lincoln County), Rhinelander (Oneida County), and Wausau (Marathon County). You can see coverage of this event at WJFW and WSAW. The fight for fair maps continues!

Citizen Action Organizers and Elected Officials Attend People’s Action Governing Power Strategy Retreat in Chicago

3 Citizen Action organizers and and 3 elected officials attend a People’s Action retreat in Chicago with over 30 other organizers and elected officials from around the country. The retreat was a great opportunity to build relationships across states and take the first steps toward building a national network for movement elected officials and organizations like People’s Action and Citizen Action.

The retreat helped us develop a shared analysis of the political moment we are in and a vision for structural change, nationally, statewide and locally.

Elected officials who attended included: State Rep. Jodi Emerson, Eau Claire County Board member Zoe Roberts and Milwaukee County Supervisor Supreme Moore-Omokude.

Update on Milwaukee City-County Task Force on Climate and Economic Equity

The Milwaukee City-County Task Force on Climate and Economic Equity continues to meet to develop a regional Green New Deal plan. Citizen Action Climate and Equity Director Rafael Smith and co-op members Ted Kraig and Janet Misener (check spelling of name) serve on the task force that was created by city and county government. Citizen Action co-op members continue to organize in support. To get involved contact Rafael Smith at rafael.smith@citizenactio wi.org

Canvass for Milwaukee Public School  Referendum, Saturday February 1st

Knock doors or make phone calls, 10am – 3pm

Join Vote Yes for MPS referendum committee is canvassing every Saturday, from 10am-1pm or Noon-3pm from the MTEA office, 5130 W. Vliet, and the Bay View Community Center, 1320 E. Oklahoma Avenue.

The Vote Yes for MPS coalition will add additional locations in the coming weeks, including Riverwest.

Citizen Grassroots Lobbying Training on February 8th in La Crosse

Have you ever wished you knew how to make your voice heard in government?  Do you feel like politicians don’t really represent your best interests? Do you want to learn how to work with politicians to create the kind of change you want to see in the world?  Citizen Action of Wisconsin is committed to giving you the tools to make you a better activist and restore your voice in our democracy!

Citizen Action of Wisconsin is hosting a training teaching you how to make your voice heard!  Please join us at 11:00 AM on February 8th at the South Community Library in La Crosse for our “Citizen’s Grassroots Lobbying Training.” We will be training Citizen Action of Wisconsin members (and the general public) how to meet with elected leaders on the local, county, state and nation level to lobby for the kind of change they want to see in the world. Training topics will include how to get a meeting with elected leaders, how to convey your message, how to find your representatives, the power or personal lobbying and so much more.

Political power in America was meant to belong to the people. This training will give you the tools to take that power back.  Citizen Action of Wisconsin deputy director Matt Brusky and Movement politics director JoAnne Bautch will be leading these trainings. Several co-op members will also be on hand to present on issues they care about that you could be talking to your representatives right now!

We will be meeting from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM at the La Crosse Southside Community Library (1307 16th st s La Crosse Wisconsin). Everyone is welcome but space is limited so come early!  Please RSVP for this event here.

“Coffee With your Co-op” gathering with special guest State Senate district 14 candidate Joni Anderson.

“Coffee with your Co-op” is a great chance to meet fellow activists and co-op members, talk politics, learn about upcoming events, and talk about how we can mobilize our power!  We do all this in an informal setting over coffee. “Coffee with your Co-op” events take place in La Crosse, Viroqua and across Southwest Wisconsin! Our next gathering will be in La Crosse on February 22nd at noon. We will be meeting at Java Vino on State rd.

We will be joined by State Senate candidate and Citizen Action of Wisconsin co-op member Joni Anderson. Joni is running against Luther Olsen in district 14. Joni is the vice president of her union and is running on a platform of fighting climate change, Medicare for all, building the labor movement and ending the unfair political practice of gerrymandering. Joni will be on hand to discuss her campaign and how Citizen Action members, even those outside of her district, can get involved with her campaign.

“Coffee with your Co-op” events are open to all co-op members as well as those who just want to learn more about the work Citizen Action of Wisconsin is doing. Please take a moment to RSVP for this event here.  We look forward to seeing you on Feb 22nd at 12:00 PM at Java Vino in La Crosse!

Southeastern and Healthcare “coffee with your Co-op” 

Are you surrounded by Trump loving relatives? Are you frustrated watching the news and feel comforted by spending time with like minded people?  Get caught up on the recent news and events at Citizen Action while visiting with fellow politicos. Grab a cup of joe and know you are among friends. Karen Kirsch will be hosting the Milwaukee area coffee group so stop and visit with her.

If you have any questions, you can email her at karen.kirsch@citizenactionwi.org.  She looks forward to seeing you Wednesday, Feb 5th at 2:00 PM at the 2301 KK, Collectivo in Bay View.

Healthcare story collection event in La Crosse March 7th

Have you ever faced unexpected healthcare bills? Have you ever skipped going to the doctor when you should have gone because of the cost?  Have you ever lost your health insurance? Have you or a loved one ever skipped filling a prescription due to the high cost? Is your health insurance basically useless due to the high cost of copays or deductibles? Do you have loved ones who don’t have any health insurance? The story of your experience in the current American healthcare system has power to create real change!

Citizen Action believes that healthcare should be a human right and we are mobilizing our members to take action to expand that right to everyone! Your story can have a huge impact and help to expand healthcare! Join us on at 12:30 PM March 7th at the Southside La Crosse Public Library to learn how to tell your healthcare story. We will be collecting stories to be used across social media and in lobbying efforts. John Havlicek from the La Crosse teacher’s union will be on hand to teach everyone the power of their stories and how those stories can create a better tomorrow! Everyone will be able to record a video telling their own personal story.

This event is open to the public so please invite friends and family who care about expanding healthcare across Wisconsin and across America!  Please RSVP for this event here.  We look forward to seeing you Saturday March 7th at 12:30 at the Southside La Crosse Public Library located at 1307 16th st south in La Crosse Wisconsin to learn how to your personal story can create change!  Space is limited so plan to arrive early!

“Organizing the Bucks” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

We discuss the historic tentative agreement with the Milwaukee Bucks 1000 workers that will set new wage standards for the for the sector with Milwaukee Area Service and Hospitality Workers (MASH) president Peter Rickman. We announce Citizen Action’s endorsement of Ed Fallone and Jill Karofsky for state Supreme Court and Chris Larson for Milwaukee County Executive. The panel previews the Iowa Caucus and makes its predictions. We also discuss a new executive order from Gov. Evers establishing a public redistricting commission that will ban elected officials and lobbyists from participation. Finally we talk about Evers’ decision to delay implementing Scott Walker’s Medicaid work requirements, and his signing an executive order creating a student debt task force.

Listen now!

Facebook post of the week

“Organizing the Bucks” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

“Organizing the Bucks” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

We discuss the historic tentative agreement with the Milwaukee Bucks 1000 workers that will set new wage standards for the for the sector with Milwaukee Area Service and Hospitality Workers (MASH) president Peter Rickman. We announce Citizen Action’s endorsement of Ed Fallone and Jill Karofsky for state Supreme Court and Chris Larson for Milwaukee County Executive. The panel previews the Iowa Caucus and makets its predictions. We also discuss a new executive order from Gov. Evers establishing a public redistricting commission that will ban elected officials and lobbyists from participation. Finally we talk about Evers’ decision to delay implementing Scott Walker’s Medicaid work requirements, and his signing an executive order creating a student debt task force.

Links:

Citizen Action endorses Ed Fallone & Jill Karofsky for Supreme Court.
Citizen Action endorses Chris Larson for Milwaukee County Executive.
Bucks agree to $15 minimum wage at Fiserv Forum; new labor group hails victory.
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers signs order creating nonpartisan redistricting board.
Lobbyists and lawmakers barred from sitting on Gov. Evers’ redistricting commission.
Wisconsin seeks to delay Medicaid work requirement again.
Gov. Tony Evers signs order creating student debt task force
Congress is talking about paid family leave. Will they do anything?
Union organizers aim to thread Act 10 needle.

Citizen Action endorses Ed Fallone & Jill Karofsky for Supreme Court

In the critical Wisconsin Supreme Court race, Citizen Action of Wisconsin’s board voted to endorse both Ed Fallone and Jill Karofsky.

After interviews which included members from across the state, Citizen Action member and board leaders concluded that both would be independent judges who will fairly interpret and apply the law for everyone, regardless of their race, their income, or where they live. Their judicial integrity is in sharp contrast to the current Supreme Court that regularly twists the law to rubber stamp the priorities of a single political party, and caters its decisions to the interests of the rich, the powerful, and the well connected.

“Both Ed Fallone and Jill Karofsky would make excellent and impartial Wisconsin Supreme Court justices who give every case a fair hearing and render decisions based on rigorous legal interpretation not ideology,” said Robert Kraig, Executive Director of Citizen Action of Wisconsin. “Fallone or Karofsky would be a breath of fresh air on a Supreme Court where the majority regularly puts politics and ideology ahead of the fair interpretation of the law. Does any fair minded person doubt that the Supreme Court majority would have struck down the lame duck session laws, if the shoe was on the other foot and a newly elected Republican governor’s power were curtailed by a Democratic Legislature?”

Citizen Action is a statewide membership group with chapters (organizing co-operatives) in Metro Milwaukee, Green Bay/Fox Valley, Wausau, Eau Claire, and the Driftless Area. Citizen Action’s top issues are health care reform, a just climate transition that creates living wage jobs for communities of color and rural regions that need them most, and protecting and expanding our democracy. Citizen Action was a lead plaintiff in the federal lawsuit that struck down Governor Walker’s restrictions on early voting, and the lame duck session attempt to restore this attack on democracy.

Citizen Action Weekly: Friday, January 24th

Citizen Action Weekly: Friday, January 24th

Friday, January 24th

Trump promises kept on Rx reform? More like promises broken

The president has ignored the soaring cost of prescription drugs, while Gov. Evers is pushing the Wisconsin legislature to tackle Big Pharma’s price gouging.

By: Robert Kraig

This piece first ran in the Wisconsin Examiner

Photo by: Circe Denyer

As the Democratic candidates for president sparred in Iowa this week, it was inspiring to hear some bold ideas on a topic where solutions are long overdue: the skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs. While progressives may differ in the specifics, they all clearly recognize that  that voters want real answers and real action on a matter that can, for some, be one of life or death.

National data show one in four people with diabetes skip or ration insulin because of cost. This practice comes as little surprise when the price of some varieties insulin has increased by more than 17.5% per year from 2012 to 2017. Less than one month into 2020, drug corporations have already hiked the price of prescription medicines by an average of 5% — over twice the current rate of inflation. When high prices force patients to ration their medicine, the consequences are clear: Their conditions worsen, and some even pay with their lives.

Meanwhile pharmaceutical companies like Eli Lilly — the nation’s largest insulin producer — continue to reap billions of dollars in revenue. In 2018 alone, Eli Lilly brought in $9 billion in revenue from their diabetes medications.

Rather than taking action to stop this assault on patients, Pres.Donald Trump has rewarded bad behavior by giving Big Pharma billions in tax breaks.  Eli Lilly paid $0 in federal taxes in 2018 thanks to Trump and the Republicans’ 2017 tax law.

Ever since he began on the campaign trail, Trump has vowed to go after pharmaceutical companies and lower drug costs. But at every turn, he’s given in to Big Pharma, allowing them to continue hiking prices unchecked. The result is a mish-mash of tweaks and half-measures that protect the drug corporations’ power to set and keep prices high.

Consider Trump’s latest proposal to import cheaper medicines from Canada, which has been roundly criticized on both sides of the border — including by former administration officials themselves. Chris Meekins, who worked in the Department of Health and Human Services under Trump and now monitors drug prices in the private sector, pulled no punches in his assessment of whether the plan will provide meaningful relief from high costs: “If you put Canadian drugs on a dogsled and pointed it in the direction of Florida, the dogs would arrive long before any drugs through this regulatory proposal.”

This proposal, like his others, will do nothing to fix the fundamentally flawed system that enables drug corporations to maximize profits at will by granting them monopoly power to raise prices.

Badger state residents fighting cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, high blood pressure and other serious conditions can expect spikes up to 7% on the drugs they need to survive.

As anyone on a budget knows, when out-of-pocket and co-pays go up, something has to give. Paying for life-saving treatments or incurring medical debt and forgoing such basics as food and rent is not much of a choice.

Rx Wisconsin

Here in Wisconsin, Gov. Tony Evers has made lowering drug prices a state priority, and he appointed a commission to study the topic earlier this fall. Citizen Action worked with Evers during his campaign on a plan that would go a long way toward addressing the major problems in our prescription drug system.

During Wednesday evening’s State of the State address, Evers took an important first step in prescription drug reform, asking the Legislature to enact a cap on insulin prices before the end of the current session.

But even the best action at the state level cannot do the work of comprehensive, national reform — not when Big Pharma can keep on racking up the profits without any check on their power. Not when patients still find hundreds of widely-used medicines further and further out of their reach. And not when taxpayers continue to fund research and development, while pharmaceutical corporations keep using those investments to pad their bottom line at our expense.

If President Trump were serious about keeping his promises on lowering drug costs, he would take action on HR 3, the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Prices Now Act, which passed the House of Representatives in December. Instead, after initially supporting negotiations, Trump has now refused to support the policy, joining Republican leaders in the Senate to stall any progress.

As progressives, we must do better. We must demand candidates answer the question of how they will lower the cost of prescription medications so many people depend on. And we must hold our elected leaders accountable to the promise of meaningful, comprehensive reform. Because everyone in America deserves access to affordable prescription drugs, no matter where they live, what they look like or what’s in their wallets.

Governor Evers Mentions North Central WI Co-op Member Hans Breitenmoser in His State of the State Address

Photo: Katie Rosenberg

Lincoln County Board Supervisor, Dairy Farmer, and Co-op member Hans Breitenmoser got a huge shout out from Gov. Tony Evers during his State of the State Address on Wednesday night. Hans was recognized by the governor for his grassroots efforts to end partisan gerrymandering and get non partisan redistricting legislation passed in Wisconsin.

Hans became a Co-op member of the NC Organizing Co-op in 2017.

Han’s helped develop and introduce a resolution at the Lincoln County Board of Supervisors to support nonpartisan redistricting. Hans worked tirelessly, not only to get a resolution passed at the Board, but he eventually organized to get a referendum on the ballot enabling Lincoln County voters to  weigh in on the Fair Maps issue. Nearly 70% voted yes for the referendum

Hans also worked with the Fair Maps Coalition, as well as members of the NC, NE and Western WI Organizing Co-ops, to develop a streamlined process for other counties to pass resolutions all over the State! You can see the toolkit that he helped to create here.

We are so grateful to call Hans a Co-op member, and stand in awe of all of the great work that he and his family do. Thank you for your leadership Hans, and thank you for your support of the NC Organizing Co-op!

Driftless Region co-op members celebrate the anniversary of Roe v Wade by volunteering for Planned Parenthood

The Supreme Court gave women control over their own bodies and guaranteed the right to choose with its ruling on Roe v Wade on January 22 1973.  Several Citizen Action of Wisconsin celebrated the anniversary by volunteering with Planned Parenthood in La Crosse.  Members Lewis Kuhlman, Amy Dummer, Chris Haskell, and Wyatt Molling were on hand with Citizen Action of Wisconsin organizer Ben Wilson and Planned Parenthood Organizer Marie Lindberg for a day of action at Pearl Street Book to mark the anniversary.  Members helped gather signatures and pledge cards, recruit future volunteers and promote safer sex. Over 100 signatures were collected and 7 new volunteers signed up to help with future events.

Throughout America women’s body anonymity and access to family planning is under attack.  States from coast to coast have tried to pass laws limiting a woman’s right to choose. Planned Parenthood is committed to standing up for women everywhere to be able to have control over their own futures.  Planned Parenthood needs your help. To get plugged into local Planned Parenthood events in the area please contact Marie Lindberg at marie.lindberg@ppwi.org or check out Planned Parenthood’s local event calendar right here.

Healthcare Co-op travels to Madison to demand progress in 2020

Representatives Chris Taylor and Christine Sinicki took part in a press conference with Citizen Action members Dr. Laurel Mark and Amy Washburn to call out all the progress in healthcare that passed us by in 2019.  BadgerCare Expansion, RX Drug Reform, state level ACA protections are all within reach at the state level. These reforms would have the ability to transform people’s lives almost immediately, yet the Wisconsin State Republican’s continue to ignore the needs of the people. The co-op also brought a “storybook” of healthcare stories which feature individuals and their struggles with the current healthcare system. These are real people behind the statistics.  We need to keep demanding that 2020 be a year of progress and to put partisan bickering aside for the health of Wisconsin.

Canvass for Milwaukee Public Schools Referendum, Saturday, January 25th

NEW Bay View Community Center location

Vote Yes for MPS coalition, which includes Citizen Action of Wisconsin, is canvassing in support of the April 7th referendum this Saturday, Jan 25th, 10am – 1pm & Noon – 3pm. Canvassers can meet at the MTEA office, 5130 W. Vliet. or the Bay View Community Center, 1320 East Oklahoma Ave

Attend 7th District Congressional Candidate Forum Wednesday, January 29th in Wasuau 

Participate in our endorsement process

This Wednesday, January 29th, at 6 pm sharp, Citizen Action is hosting a forum featuring the Democratic candidates for the 7th Congressional District. Tricia Zunker will appear at 6pm and Lawrence Dale will be at 7pm. The event will be at the Wausau Labor Temple.

Co-op members and/or allies will be asking a series of 3-5 questions of each candidate, and then each candidate will have time to give their closing statement. Questions will be based off of the Citizen Action of Wisconsin Progressive Platform, created by Co-op members and Board Members all across the State.

You can begin arriving at 5:30. If you require handicapped parking, it is behind the Labor Temple, on 4th Avenue. We will be asking all attendees to complete a survey as to whether or not we should endorse in this race, and if so, who they would like to see us endorse. Come help us make a decision!

We will be located at the Wausau Labor Temple, at 318 S. 3rd Avenue, in the Upper Level. We will start at 6 pm sharp, and try our best to end at 8 pm sharp. Hope to see you there! You can either RSVP here on Facebook, email Organizer Joel Lewis at joel.lewis@citizenactionwi.org, or call him at 715-551-2525

Citizen Grassroots Lobbying training in La Crosse Feb 8th

Citizen Action of Wisconsin is committed to making sure that your voice is heard in local, state and national politics. Please join Citizen Action of Wisconsin for an important training session on how to meet with elected leaders and make your voice heard on issues that matter to you! You can make a huge difference in what bills get passed just by meeting with local lawmakers. Join us for a day of training so that you can help pressure elected leaders to vote in support of expanding healthcare and fighting climate change.

Citizen Action of Wisconsin deputy director Matt Brusky and Movement Politics director JoAnna Bautch will be leading the training workshop. Co-op members will be on hand to present about important bills working their way through the state senate and county boards. These bills will have a huge impact on healthcare and climate change in Wisconsin and we want to make sure you have the tools and training to make a difference!

This training will take place on February 8th at 11:00 AM at the Southside Public Library in La Crosse (1307 16th st s La Crosse WI).   Please RSVP for this event here.

“Coffee with your co-op” in  La Crosse with State Senate candidate Joni Anderson

Citizen Action of Wisconsin Driftless Co-op will be hosting monthly, informal coffee get-togethers throughout the year, called “Coffee with your Co-op.” These events will be a great chance to get to know fellow activists, talk about issues that matter, talk strategy for the year and grab coffee with amazing, passionate activists!

We will be hosting events in both La Crosse and Viroqua.  Members are invited to both meetings. Please feel free to invite any family or friends that are interested in creating a better Wisconsin!

Special guest State Senate candidate Joni Anderson will be joining us in La Crosse on Feb 22nd. Joni is running for Senate District 14 and she is excited to get to know Citizen Action members from the La Crosse area.  She will be visiting us for a Viroqua meeting in the near future as well

RSVP and join us (and State Senate Candidate Joni Anderson) February 22nd, 12:00 PM JavaVino 2311 State Rd La Crosse WI

Volunteer to help Sanders and Warren campaigns

Citizen Action of Wisconsin is a member of two national networks that have endorsed candidates for President. People’s Action, announced it’s endorsement of Bernie Sanders in December and the Working Families Party endorsed Elizabeth Warner in the Fall of 2019.

As part of the People’s Action process, Citizen Action surveyed its members and nearly 80% of members supported Warren or Sanders. Citizen Action’s Board has decided to not endorse at this time. However, we are supporting our members’ high levels of support for both candidates by encouraging members to get involved in either campaign.

Volunteer with the Sanders’ Campaign. The campaign has numerous events throughout Wisconsin!

Barnstorming for Elizabeth Warren in Milwaukee, Monday, January 27th, 6pm 

This barnstorm meeting will be a large-scale voter engagement training, as well as an opportunity for Warren supporters across the state of Wisconsin to connect and begin to organize in unison across the state.

We’ll dig into our biggest volunteer opportunity right now — sending carpools to IOWA to knock doors before the caucus on February 3rd!

We will explain our organizing structure, train attendees on how to knock doors, and we will start planning upcoming events and actions in our own communities.

RSVP and invite your friends!   

“State of ‘Sconne” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

We discuss Governor Evers’ State of the State speech. Claire and Robert tell us about the Families USA healthcare conference they are attending this week and we dive into a deeper discussion of Trump’s failure to deliver on lowering prescription drug prices. We talk about the 2 new open state Senate seats following the announced retirements of Democratic Senators, Dave Hansen and Mark Miller. We close with a discussion of the disappointing Wisconsin Association of School Boards’ rejection of the proposal to retire Native mascots in Wisconsin schools.

Listen Now – Episode #426
Download MP3
Press Clips

Facebook post of the week

“State of ‘Sconnie” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

“State of ‘Sconnie” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

“State of ‘Sconne” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast
We discuss Governor Evers’ State of the State speech. Claire and Robert tell us about the Families USA healthcare conference they are attending this week and we dive into a deeper discussion of Trump’s failure to deliver on lowering prescription drug prices. We talk about the 2 new open state Senate seats following the announced retirements of Democratic Senators, Dave Hansen and Mark Miller. We close with a discussion of the disappointing Wisconsin Association of School Boards’ rejection of the proposal to retire Native mascots in Wisconsin schools.
Listen Now – Episode #426
Download MP3
Press Clips

Links:
Bipartisan bickering and blame begins before the State of the State.
In State of the State speech, Gov. Tony Evers looks to aid farmers, push for nonpartisan redistricting.
Trump promises kept on Rx reform? More like promises broken.
Wisconsin School Board Members Reject Proposal To Ban Native American Mascots.
Wisconsin voter purge ruling appealed to state Supreme Court.
State Rep. Melissa Sargent announces candidacy for Wisconsin State Senate.
Madison-area Democratic Sen. Mark Miller announces he won’t seek re-election.

Citizen Action Weekly: Vote in Supreme Court Survey

Citizen Action Weekly: Vote in Supreme Court Survey

Friday, January 17th

Citizen Action Member Survey on State Supreme Court Election

Citizen Action is surveying our membership on their preferences in the State Supreme Court Election. This information will be used by Citizen Action’s Board to gauge member attitudes in the election and help determine if the organization should endorse in the election.

Please take the survey today!

Northwestern Wisconsin Co-op holds CD 7 forum in Rice Lake

Wednesday, January 15th, the Northwestern Wisconsin Co-op held their 7th Congressional District forum in Rice Lake. Both Democratic candidates in the special election were present. Lawrence Dale and Tricia Zunker were each allotted 45 minutes to talk about what they would do if they were elected to Congress as well as answered questions submitted by Citizen Action members.

There were approximately 50 people in attendance and a lot of enthusiasm for both candidates.

Not able to make it? Citizen Action co-op member, Steve Hanson, streamed the event and can be watched here. Also, thank you to the Barron County Democrats and Gerry Lisi for helping set up and prepare the event with us!

Citizen Action will also host a second 7th CD candidate forum in Wausau on Monday, January 27th, 6-8pm. All members are welcome to attend.

The healthcare co-op team shows up to confront Trump on Prescription Drug Reform

Tuesday, January 14th President Trump visited Milwaukee and complained about energy efficient dishwashers and toilets. Meanwhile, four years into his Presidency we still do not have any meaningful reform around prescription drug prices.

Members of the Citizen Action co-op provided support and a backdrop to Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and the Democratic Party at a media event to highlight Trump’s sabotage of healthcare. Citizen Action signs in the background helped to reinforce the idea that there are real policy and performance reasons why another four years of President Trump would be bad and it’s not about us just arbitrarily disliking the President.  Lower drug prices now!

“Dark Money” movie showing in Viroqua.

The Citizen Action of Wisconsin Driftless region co-op was proud to co-sponsor a showing of the documentary  “Dark Money” in Viroqua on January 15th. This eye opening documentary explored how the 2011 Supreme Court ruling “Citizen United” is eroding Democracy in Montana, Wisconsin and across the country.

An amazing crowd of 44 Citizen Action members and community activists joined us for this viewing. The group “Wisconsin United to Amend” was also on hand to give viewers hope and a game plan on how we can save our country. Citizen Action of Wisconsin members Pam Knudtson, Kent Galloway and Karen Dalh were on hand (along with former Republican State Senator Dale Schultz) to speak about the importance of returning political power in America to the people and away from corporations. Ending the influence of dark money is a major bipartisan concern that all Americans should care about.

Hopefully in the future we can bring this documentary to more communities through the Driftless region!

Climate Change and Economic Equity in Milwaukee

Economic Equity work group for the Milwaukee City-County climate planning process met at the Citizen Action office this Thursday evening. It is chaired by Citizen Action staff member Rafael Smith and is part of a planning process to meet the UN climate targets in a way that dramatically improves racial equity in the region.

Citizen Action is organizing to elevate this issue in the upcoming Spring elections in the Milwaukee area. We need all local elected officials to support this critical planning process and its eventual recommendations.

For more information about the campaign contact: rafael.smith@citizenactionwi.org

Citizen Grassroots Lobbying training in La Crosse Feb 8th

Citizen Action of Wisconsin is committed to making sure that your voice is heard in local, state and national politics. Please join Citizen Action of Wisconsin for an important training session on how to meet with elected leaders and make your voice heard on issues that matter to you! You can make a huge difference in what bills get passed just by meeting with local lawmakers. Join us for a day of training so that you can help pressure elected leaders to vote in support of expanding healthcare and fighting climate change.

Citizen Action of Wisconsin deputy director Matt Brusky and Movement Politics director JoAnna Bautch will be leading the training workshop. Co-op members will be on hand to present about important bills working their way through the state senate and county boards. These bills will have a huge impact on healthcare and climate change in Wisconsin and we want to make sure you have the tools and training to make a difference!

This training will take place on February 8th at 11:00 AM at the Southside Public Library in La Crosse (1307 16th st s La Crosse WI).   Please RSVP for this event here.

SIGN Pledge to Vote YES for Milwaukee Public Schools on Tuesday April 7th!

Pledge to vote YES for MPS on Tuesday, April 7th because a referendum will provide the resources and support our students need to set them up for future success.

Our students deserve the same opportunities as kids in neighboring communities. An investment of $4 per week from the average homeowner will raise $87 million for our kids. By voting yes, we’ll be helping move us closer to providing all Milwaukee children with a quality, equitable education regardless of where they live.

Sign pledge NOW!

Canvass for Milwaukee Public Schools Referendum, Jan 18th, 10am – 1pm & Noon – 3pm from the MTEA office, 5130 W. Vliet.

Join educators, students, parents, and community supporters as we talk to Milwaukee voters about Voting Yes for MPS on April 7th.

Vote Yes for MPS will continue to canvass from the MTEA office every Saturday until we win on April 7th!

Coffee with your co-op meetings in the Driftless region, Saturday January 18th, Noon in Viroqua 

Citizen Action of Wisconsin will be hosting monthly, informal coffee get-togethers throughout the year. These “Coffee with your Co-op” events will be a great chance to get to know fellow activists, talk about issues that matter, talk strategy for the year and grab coffee with amazing, passionate activists!

We will be hosting events in both La Crosse and Viroqua.  Members are invited to both meetings. Please feel free to invite any family or friends that are interested in creating a better Wisconsin!

Special guest State Senate candidate Joni Anderson will be joining us in La Crosse on Feb 22nd. Joni is running for Senate District 14 and she is excited to get to know Citizen Action members from the La Crosse area.  She will be visiting us for a Viroqua meeting in the near future as well

RSVP and join us Saturday January 18th 12:00 PM, Viroqua Food Co-op 609 N Main St., Viroqua WI
RSVP and join us (and State Senate Candidate Joni Anderson) February 22nd 12:00 PM JavaVino 2311 State Rd La Crosse WI

Medicare for All Event in Madison

Several of our healthcare co-op members are leading and participating in a Medicare for All forum in Madison. This will be a very enlightening event as Physicians for a National Healthcare Program will be participating and speaking from a physicians point of view.

Tuesday, January 21st
Madison Public Library
201 W Mifflin St.
6-7 PM

“2020 Election Heats Up the Winter” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

Following a discussion of the latest impeachment news, we discuss Trump’s visit to Milwaukee and his continued strength with white evangelicals, the Warren/Sanders dispute, and the latest developments in the vote purging scandal in Wisconsin. The panel closes with a discussion of the Assembly’s failure to override a Governor Evers veto of legislation to de-skill nursing home care. What does it mean and where do we go from here?

LISTEN NOW – EPISODE #425
Download MP3
Media Clips

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“2020 Election Heats Up the Winter” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

“2020 Election Heats Up the Winter” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

Following a discussion of the latest impeachment news, we discuss Trump’s visit to Milwaukee and his continued strength with white evangelicals, the Warren/Sanders dispute, and the latest developments in the vote purging scandal in Wisconsin. The panel closes with a discussion of the Assembly’s failure to override a Governor Evers veto of legislation to de-skill nursing home care. What does it mean and where do we go from here?
LISTEN NOW – EPISODE #425
Download MP3
Press Clips

TAKE the Citizen Action State Supreme Court Survey.

Links:
The Warren-Sanders feud just got way uglier.
Bernie Sanders told Elizabeth Warren in private 2018 meeting that a woman can’t win, sources say.
Where Christian evangelicals worship Trump more than Jesus – key voters stay loyal to president.
New Marquette Law School Poll finds majority of Wisconsin voters disapprove of Trump foreign policy and killing of Iranian general.
WPR: Wisconsin Appeals Court Stays Voter Purge Ruling.
New twists in Wisconsin’s voter purge case.
Assembly Fails To Override Gov. Tony Evers’ Nurse Training Veto.

Bill Kaplan: Bipartisan Medicaid expansion in Kansas

Bill Kaplan: Bipartisan Medicaid expansion in Kansas

Kansas Democratic Governor Laura Kelly has reached agreement with state Senate GOP leader Jim Denning to expand Medicaid. Kelly said: “Compromise is hard. It’s messy and it’s slow, but it is so worth it.” Similarly, Denning said: “In the spirit of compromise, we have a really good, complete plan.” Importantly, they have the votes to pass it in the GOP-led legislature. Denning emphasized: “It’s a lot easier to get to no than it is to get to yes, but this is what governing looks like.” A roadmap for Wisconsin.

The Walker steamroller era is over in Wisconsin. Now Wisconsin has shared government, Democratic Governor Tony Evers and a GOP-led legislature. For too long Wisconsin has been divided and polarized. The legacy has been fear and mistrust. It’s long past time for Democratic and Republican leaders alike to turn the page. The campaigns are over. Governing must be the priority. Kansas has shown the way forward.

Kansas will be the 37th state to expand Medicaid, with 90 percent federal funding. And, momentum for Medicaid expansion is building across the nation. GOP-led Missouri and Oklahoma will likely hold referendums in 2020. Missouri hospitals, doctors and business leaders are pushing for passage. And, former Oklahoma GOP House Speaker Kris Steele now supports Medicaid expansion. Why? Former Arizona GOP Governor Jan Brewer has the best answer: “You have to do the math. …It’s not only a mathematical issue (90 percent federal funding), but it’s a moral issue.”

The Kansas Medicaid compromise includes: full Medicaid expansion to 138 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL); reinsurance (lowers the cost of private insurance by using a mix of state and federal funds to help health insurers pay big claims, thereby lowering insurance rates); hospitals will pay for the 10 percent state cost of expansion; work referral program to help Medicaid enrollees get job skills and employment; out-of-pocket costs for Medicaid enrollees and “rural health care innovations: (the) proposal creates an advisory committee … to support rural hospitals in assessing viability and identifying new delivery models, strategic partnerships and implementing financial and delivery reform to improve the health of rural communities.”

Wisconsin has already adopted some of the Kansas compromise components. However, the most glaring omission is federal funding for full Medicaid expansion. Wisconsin partially expanded to 100 percent of FPL, thereby remaining ineligible for federal funding. Instead, scarce state dollars are used and Wisconsin’s federal taxes pay for other states’ expansion. Wisconsin should do full Medicaid expansion and take the federal funding (saves the state $324.5 million and covers 82,000 more Wisconsinites).

I asked Dr. Susan Turney, CEO, Marshfield Clinic Health System, if Medicaid expansion would be a plus for Wisconsin. Turney noted that “Medicaid reimbursement is significantly lower than (Affordable Care Act – ACA private insurance) reimbursement … .” Possible solutions: use Medicaid expansion federal funding to cover Wisconsinites with ACA private insurance (e.g., Arkansas) and make the state reinsurance program more generous.

The bipartisan Kansas Medicaid expansion compromise offers Wisconsin a way forward. It’s past time.

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

Citizen Action Weekly: Friday, January 10th

Citizen Action Weekly: Friday, January 10th

Friday, January 10th

Supreme Court Candidates Interview with Citizen Action members and Board leader across the state this week.

This Thursday, Citizen Action members and leaders gathered in Milwaukee to interview the two challengers for state supreme court, the state’s high court. The event was also LIVE streamed via Zoom video web conference to nearly 20 separate house parties and individuals across the state, including Viroqua, Eau Claire, Wausau, and Green Bay.

Jill Karofsky and Ed Fallone both spoke and answered questions from the audience for 50 minutes. The candidate interviews and opinions of co-op members will be considered by Citizen Action’s Board to decide if the organization should endorse a candidate.

Please complete a member survey on which Supreme Court candidate you prefer and if Citizen Action should endorse. Please complete survey by Friday, January 18th.  Member survey results will be reviewed by the Board before any endorsement is made.

The primary election will be Tuesday, February 18th, 2020. The General Election will be Tuesday, April 7th, 2020.

 

City of Milwaukee Mayor and Milwaukee County Executive Interviews, Saturday, January 11th, 8:45 – 1pm

All Citizen Action co-op members are welcome to attend our candidate interview at Citizen Action’s Office, 221 S. 2nd St. #300, Milwaukee. Interviews will start promptly at 9am. Each interview will be about 25 minutes. Candidates include: Tom Barett, Lena Taylor, Tony Zeilinski, David Crowley, Bryan Kennedy, Chris Larson, Theo Lipscomb, and Jim Sullivan.

RSVP and more information

Rice Lake Coffee With Your Co-Op, January 15th, 10am 

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 want to work on, and anything else that you believe if necessary for Breana to know!

Wednesday, January 15th, 10am
Badger Brew Coffee Loft
3 W Eau Claire St, Rice Lake

RSVP via facebook

Coffee with your co-op meetings in the Driftless region, Saturday January 18th, Noon in Viroqua 

Citizen Action of Wisconsin will be hosting monthly, informal coffee get-togethers throughout the year. These “Coffee with your Co-op” events will be a great chance to get to know fellow activists, talk about issues that matter, talk strategy for the year and grab coffee with amazing, passionate activists!

We will be hosting events in both La Crosse and Viroqua.  Members are invited to both meetings. Please feel free to invite any family or friends that are interested in creating a better Wisconsin!

RSVP and join us next Saturday January 18th 12:00 PM, Viroqua Food Co-op 609 N Main St., Viroqua

“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 (401 E Jefferson st) in Viroqua on January 15th at 6:30 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.  

Please click here to RSVP.

Citizen Action Presents: A forum on Milwaukee’s Green New Deal

Climate is not just “another” issue. It’s life or death for our children and grandchildren. Milwaukee City and County are getting serious about reducing our emissions. Join us on January 16 for the next forum in Citizen Action’s Green New Deal series.

Thursday, 1/16/20, 6-8 pm
Wauwatosa Public Library
7635 W North Ave, Firefly Room

Bus Routes: 21 67 76

Panelists: Erick Shambarger, Environmental Sustainability Director, Environmental Collaboration Office (ECO) City of Milwaukee & Kathleen Ellis, Energy Manager, Milwaukee Area Technical College.

Canvass for Milwaukee Public Schools Referendum, Saturday, January 11th

Vote Yes for MPS coalition, which includes Citizen Action of Wisconsin, is kicking off our canvassing in support of the April referendum this Saturday, Jan 11th, 10am – 1pm & Noon – 3pm from the MTEA office, 5130 W. Vliet. Please join educators, students, parents, and community supporters as we talk to Milwaukee voters about Voting Yes for MPS on April 7th.

Vote Yes for MPS will continue to canvass from the MTEA office every Saturday until we win on April 7th!. The Vote Yes for MPS coalition will add additional locations in the coming weeks and we will notify you in future Citizen Action Weeklys of volunteer opportunities with our coalition partners in the future.

Save the Dates in North Central Organizing Co-op

January 11th: A 7th CD Fair Maps planning meeting is scheduled for 11:00 am on Saturday, January 11 at the Rusk County Community Library (418 Corbett Ave W, Ladysmith, WI  54848). Lunch will be provided. RSVP to Carlene Bechen, she.her.hers, Fair Maps Organizer, Cell: 608-513-7655, carlene@wisconsinvoices.org

If you’re from the Wausau or Merrill area and would like to carpool, call Co-op Organizer Joel Lewis at 715-551-2525

January 18th: What are progressive and environmental groups in the Northwoods planning on doing in 2020? What possibilities are there? How can they support each other?

We invite you and the members of your group to pursue these questions at the “Northwoods Alliance Summit: Working Together in 2020.” The summit will take place on Saturday, Jan 18, 11:00-12:30 at the Northwoods Unitarian Universalist Fellowship (nuuf.com/directions) and will include a potluck lunch. Here is the  Facebook event page.

All members of progressive and environmental groups in Oneida, Vilas, and surrounding counties are invited. We will discuss any plans groups have for this critical year for activism, consider other possibilities, and how we can collaborate with each other in this critical year. We also will propose a few specific actions that groups may want to participate in.

Following the summit is the Women’s March in Minocqua (1:00, Veterans Park) and a round table discussion “How to Fix Our Broken Healthcare Payment System (2:00, 714 Elm St, Hwy 51, Woodruff).

Please RSVP to david.barnhill.925@gmail.com or on the Facebook event page.

January 18th – 20th: People For the Power of Love is inviting members of the community to join them for a celebration inspired by the work of Martin Luther King Jr.

This annual celebration symbolizes the principles of-freedom and unity celebrating the diversity that highlights the life of Dr Martin Luther King Jr. Linking many cultures together for one dream beyond the words: A call to action

Saturday– A symposium dedicated to acknowledging and addressing segregation and inequality. Challenge yourself to learn and grow with your community and find out how you can be part of the solution.

Sunday– We are inviting the community to interact with people of faith on Sunday afternoon to reflect on Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy and will discern possible courses of action in response to racial injustice and inequity prevalent in society today.  Rev. Joe Ellwanger will speak on the topic “Call to Action: Lessons from Birmingham.”

Monday-After a weekend of learning and growing together with the Into The Deep symposium and Sunday’s Clergy meeting you are invited to join us for  a relaxing but also invigorating social happy hour, free of charge to those who received a button at either Saturday or Sunday’s event. Serving complimentary Jamaican themed hors d‘oeuvres a cash bar as well as coffee bar is available. Musical performances by David Deon and The Soul Inspirations, an award ceremony  as well as keynote speaker Brandi Grayson founder and CEO of Madison WI.’s Urban Triage INC

Any questions please feel free to email kayleymccolley3500@gmail.com

January 29th: Join members of the NC Organizing Co-op, partner organizations, allies and the general public for a People’s Forum. Members representing various groups will be asking questions based on the Citizen Action of WI Progressive Platform. There will also be an opportunity for other attendees to ask questions. Tricia Zunker will have from 6 to 7 pm, then she will leave, and Lawrence Dale will have from 7 to 8.

February 5th: The AAUW (American Association of University Women) and the Citizen Action of Wisconsin Education Fund are co-hosting a Mayoral Forum with Katie Rosenberg and incumbent Robert Mielke, at the UWSP Extension in Wausau. Stay tuned for more details

Upcoming Citizen Action Northwestern Wisconsin Co-op Meetings

January 13th at 4:00pm, Education Issue Team Meeting
January 15th at 10:00am, Healthcare Issue Team Meeting

“Trump’s Imperial America” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

We welcome back panelist Rebecca Lynch to the show and dive into a discussion of Trump’s assassination of a top Iranian general and his failure to establish any imminent threat. We review a new Kaiser Family Foundation report that finds the Affordable Care Act is remaining stable despite Trump’s many efforts to sabotage it. The panel talks about new developments in the Republican voter purge effort and reviews the latest Democratic presidential primary news. We welcome new Citizen Action Movement Politics Director, JoAnna Bauch, to discuss her exciting new plan to recruit, develop, and elect a new generation of leaders throughout Wisconsin who will champion progressive reform.

Listen Now – Episode #424
Download MP3

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