Bill Kaplan: Trump and Johnson, dead wrong about COVID-1

Bill Kaplan: Trump and Johnson, dead wrong about COVID-1

photo by: Gage Skidmore

Trump and Wisconsin GOP Senator Ron Johnson’s incompetent response to COVID-19 continues to hammer the economy. Double-digit unemployment nationally, and in WI. “The Wisconsin Economic Forecast, a state report, said … that it could take two years for the state to recover to pre-coronavirus employment levels, with personal income growth projected to fade dramatically this year and next” (Washington Post-WP). Meanwhile, COVID-19’s toll skyrockets.

More than 3.2 million cases nationally, over 36,000 in WI. U.S. cases are on track to rise to 100,000 a day. COVID-19 deaths are increasing nationally to past 135,000 and over 800 in WI. Health experts predict a death toll of 200,000 soon. Moreover, COVID-19 is hitting northern rural WI (Ashland and Douglas County). Community spread in rural WI would be catastrophic for a region that is uninsured and is underserved by hospitals and doctors.

However, Trump and Johnson continue to be dead wrong about COVID-19. “White House officials … hope Americans will grow numb to the escalating death toll and learn to accept tens of thousands of new cases a day …” (WP). Trump said: “I think we are going to be very good with the coronavirus. I think that, at some point, that’s going to sort of just disappear, I hope” (WP). Trump also falsely claims “99 percent” of COVID-19 cases are “totally harmless”. He wants us to forget the dead and thousands with long-term serious health problems. Johnson, on Trump’s wave-length, said: “I think we overreacted. We closed too much of our economy down … .” But premature state reopenings, failure to wear masks and limited adherence to social distancing caused the renewed surge.

All reminiscent of when Trump and Johnson opposed controlling the spread of COVID-19 by heartlessly comparing COVID-19 fatalities to auto-related deaths. But they were wrong on the science, pretended COVID-19 deaths would be similar to or less than the 40,000 annual auto accidents deaths and overlooked the fact that auto accidents aren’t contagious. It’s the same when Trump and Johnson pushed unproven medication such as hydroxychloroquine. And, who can forget when Trump thought it might be useful to ingest disinfectants!

Trump and Johnson are now attempting to take health coverage and protections from 23 million, including hundreds of thousands in WI. Again, they have gone to the Supreme Court – in the middle of a pandemic! All on top of nearly 27 million, including 446,000 Wisconsinites, losing private health insurance because COVID-19 is out-of-control. Wisconsin Democratic Governor Tony Evers has done his best, e.g., helping enroll about 85,000 in Medicaid.

However, more could be done if the GOP-led WI legislature expanded Medicaid like 37 other states. “Missouri’s the next red state test for Medicaid expansion at ballot box” (Forbes). The business community, hospitals and doctors have gotten behind the August 4 vote. WI GOP state Senator Luther Olsen wants the legislature to consider Medicaid expansion. Interim UW System President (former GOP governor) Tommy Thompson should weigh in. State savings from federally funded (90%) Medicaid expansion would help the UW System.

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

Citizen Action Weekly: Friday, July 10th

Citizen Action Weekly: Friday, July 10th

Friday, July 10th

Watch a very special Citizen Action town hall with Senator Tammy Baldwin about pandemic relief and job creation.

On Wednesday July 8th Citizen Action was very proud to host a town hall about pandemic relief and job creation with special guest Senator Tammy Baldwin.  Over 150 Citizen Action members and reporters from eight media outlets joined us for this important call. You can watch the recording of the town hall here.

Senator Baldwin is leading the charge to offer relief during this pandemic.  She is introducing legislation to extend the $600 a week federal unemployment benefit, create millions of transitional federally subsidized jobs, pass another relief package and kick start a new “New Deal”.

You can take action to help right now.  We need to contact our representatives in Congress RIGHT NOW and let them know that we support these relief packages and a major jobs creation program.  You can use this link to automatically send an email to your representative in the US House and Senate letting them know you support these important pieces of legislation. It only takes a minute but it can have a huge impact on how the country recovers from the COVID19 pandemic!

Northwestern WI Co-op General Party Meeting – July 11 at 10:00am

Join us on Zoom on July 11, 2020 at 10am for a gathering of our Northwestern Wisconsin Co-op members!

We will be discussing what we have done so far this year, where we are heading, and what Citizen Action is doing for the 2020 elections.

Register in advance here for your Zoom link.

“Stand Against Medical Debt” Rally and Protest August 2nd, 3:00 PM

Citizen Action and SEIU Healthcare are taking a stand against medical debt. Join us for a socially distant rally and protest to let Gundersen Healthcare System know that they need to stop suing their employees and the community over medical debt!

Please use this form to RSVP for this important event.

As one of the largest employers and health care providers in our community, Gundersen has a responsibility to our most vulnerable citizens. In just the past few years, Gundersen has taken hundreds of our community members to court for unpaid medical debt – including its own employees who cannot afford the Hospital’s insurance plan.

Gundersen is one of the most profitable hospitals in the country. Community members and employees should be able to receive services at a nonprofit Hospital without being sued, taken to collections, or having their wages garnished.

We demand Gundersen:

  1. Cease suing our community members and employees for medical debt
  2. Forgive existing medical debt
  3. Provide Gundersen employees with affordable health insurance coverage

Remember to bring water and sunscreen.  Also please wear the color purple in solidarity.

PLEASE USE THIS FORM TO RSVP

PLEASE USE THIS FORM TO SIGN OUR DIGITAL PETITION AGAINST MEDICAL DEBT

La Crosse County Residents contact the county board RIGHT NOW and let them know you support Medicare For ALL

We are living through the worst global pandemic of our lives.  Americans across the country have lost their jobs, their income, and their access to healthcare.  This moment, more than any moment in American history, is showing us just how dangerous it is to have healthcare tied to employment.  La Crosse County needs to stand up with counties, and cities, across the country to demand a universal single payer healthcare system so that no one goes without the health coverage they need to live!  Please use this form to contact the county board and let them know that La Crosse County supports universal, single payer healthcare!

Universal single payer healthcare will not only make sure that EVERY AMERICAN can access the healthcare we all need, it will also boast our economy both locally and nationally.  It will allow Americans to look for the kind of employment that allows them to follow their dream without the worry of losing healthcare.  It will take the burden of providing healthcare off the backs of our local employers.  It will end the toxic political influence of the health insurance industry.  Most importantly single payer healthcare will guarantee that every American is able to see a doctor, or receive life saving healthcare, when they need to regardless of income.

You can help make health coverage a reality for every American, regardless of income by urging the La Crosse County Board to pass a resolution in support of Medicare For All.  Dozens of places across the country such as Austin Texas, Warren County Tennessee, Cook County Illinois, and Philadelphia Pennsylvania have all passed similar resolutions.  There is a national movement of cities and counties showing Washington that Americans need healthcare; La Crosse County needs to add its voice to that movement.  Together all of these resolutions will show Washington that America demands a universal, single payer healthcare system NOW.

If you live in La Crosse County please use this form to send an email to members of the La Crosse County Board letting them know they need to pass a county resolution showing supporting Medicare For All.  Once you fill out this form, and customize the email if you want, your email will be sent directly to every member of the La Crosse County Board.  If you are outside of La Crosse County thank you for your support but please do not submit this form; this form is for La Crosse County residents only.

Citizen Action of Wisconsin is hosting a candidate town hall with State Assembly candidate Josefine Jaynes

lease join Citizen Action on July 21st at 6:00 PM for a very special town hall with State Assembly candidate Josefine Jaynes.  Josefine is running for the 96th Assembly seat covering Vernon, Crawford and Monroe Counties.

Josefine was one of the first candidates to receive a Citizen Action endorsement in the new Driftless Region Co-op.  At age 18 Josefine is also the youngest candidate Citizen Action of Wisconsin has ever endorsed.  Josefine is committed to fully funding our public schools, ensuring that every Wisconsinite has access to healthcare, addressing the housing and daycare shortage in the district and safeguarding our water both for our health and our tourism.  Even though Josefine has spent her entire life surrounded by politics she has committed to not being a career politician.  She wants to get in, make the kind of changes Wisconsin needs and get out.

This very special, virtual, town hall is open to the public (even those outside of her district) but RSVP is required to join.  Please use this link to RSVP.  You will receive the Zoom link after you RSVP.  Space is limited so reserve your spot now!

Action Opportunity: Help these Endorsed Candidates Win on August 11th!

The August 11th primary is fast approaching! In addition to making sure that you have your absentee ballot requested and filled out, you can make a huge impact in supporting two of our endorsed candidates:

Kristina Shelton is in a tough race against the incumbent in Assembly District 90. She continues to demonstrate a commitment to her community and her experience, integrity, and vision to lead is greatly needed in the State Assembly. You can help learn more about her action opportunities by visiting https://www.kristinaforassembly.com/volunteer.

Jonathon Hansen is in a primary to represent the Democratic Party in Senate District 30. Jonathon tirelessly served his community during his time on the De Pere City Council. He brings that same determination to his run for State Senate. Jonathon will fight to bring a living wage and affordable, quality healthcare coverage to the people of Wisconsin, no matter your ZIP code. His pride in serving every single resident of his community, district, and state will move Wisconsin forward. His campaign is looking for people to make phone calls before his Primary on August 11th! You can sign up here: https://bit.ly/Phone4Hansen

Volunteer to Help JoAnna Bautch

Calling all volunteers! Join Team JoAnna for volunteer opportunities every weekend (including this weekend) leading up to the August 11th primary election. Pick a date or a few that work best for you and help us connect with voters across the 8th Assembly District on Milwaukee’s near south side. We will have a variety of safe volunteer activities for folks to engage in.

Sign up here: https://forms.gle/oYyZSJ5je4AxnFeKA

Learn more: https://www.facebook.com/JoAnnaforWI/events

North Side Rising Presents: Rally for Good Green Jobs, July 15th, Noon

Join North Side Rising for a rally on Wednesday, July 15th,  12-1:15 pm, at Victory Park, 2601 N Doctor M.L.K. Jr Dr. The rally will support bring awareness and support around the need for Good Living Wage Jobs on the North Side of Milwaukee; the most impoverished, disproportionate, and most affected by the negative effects of COVID-19, Racism and Mental Health Disorders perpetually infringed upon our community city after city, state after state, and generation after generation! Now is the time to right those wrongs and level the playing field. If you truly believe black lives matter then sand up for what matters to black lives and that is their inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Rally Topics:

  • Publicly Subsidized Job Funding on the Federal level (The Need for Living Wage Jobs and what Good Green Jobs look like/do)
  • The End of Work Share Date, July 31, (The need to extend it especially due to End of Utilities Moratorium and the continued crisis of the COVID-19 Pandemic)
  • The End of Utility Moratorium Deadline Date, July 25 (Our Demands, Solutions and Actions to take)

Speakers:

  • Milwaukee County Supervisor Supreme Moore-Omokunde
  • State Senator Latoya Johnson
  • NAACP Rep. George Martin

Do You Live in Marathon County? You’re County Board Supervisor Needs to Hear From You!!

Several community members have worked with Marathon County Board Supervisor, Will Harris, to get a referendum question on the ballot asking if people support Fair Maps (an end to partisan gerrymandering). This proposal has passed the Executive Committee narrowly, and will now be presented to the full board. County Board Supervisors rarely hear from their constituents, and contacting your Supervisor (or helping recruit others to do the same) could be the difference that it takes to get this passed through the full board. Time is of the essence. If you are willing to help with these efforts in some way, please contact NC Organizing Co-op Organizer Joel Lewis at 715-551-2525 or joel.lewis@citizenactionwi.org.

Tell our Gov Task Force that we want equitable green jobs!

Wisconsin has fallen behind other states in addressing climate change. A state task force will advise the Governor on strategies the state can take to mitigate and prepare for global warming. The task force is looking to hear from speakers to emphasize the need for Bold and Equitable actions meaning:

Bold: We need recommendations that help reach the 100% carbon free goal set by Governor Evers. We need to reduce emissions quickly and on a large scale. Our recommendations need to be bold.

Equitable: Communities of color have higher rates of air pollution than white communities. They are disproportionately home to more fracking and other fossil fuel production sites and they bear the greatest impact from severe weather catastrophes. The solutions we recommend should build up communities of color, not continue to tear them down.

Our Climate Equity team will demand the task force to subsidize jobs to take on mitigation and climate change in our communities. The climate equity team is an initiative established by Citizen Action to look at ways to effectively stop climate change and a healthy economy and environment for everyone. To be equitable, we put a major focus on black and brown people who have experienced economic depression since deindustrialization in Wisconsin.

https://secure.everyaction.com/EkCrpq3UykK1mA1OKQfYdQ2

For more information, visit the official webpage at https://climatechange.wi.gov/Pages/Home.aspx or

contact the co-op organizer at trevonna.sims@citizenactionwi.org

We Want to Help You Make Your Home More Energy Efficient and Help Support Union Jobs

Citizen Action of Wisconsin has helped convince multiple banks through a public campaign to offer green home upgrades, where the bank provides resources to help cut a home’s carbon emissions and utility bills that pay for themselves right away.

Now, we are launching a project to train and coach homeowners through the steps of accessing solar through this campaign victory, where they can help create good jobs, fighting climate change through this “green mortgage” program saves more than it costs from the get go!

Citizen Action of Wisconsin is currently accepting applications for 20 homeowners from Northern Wisconsin to be fellows in this program at this time and participate in this “Group Buy”. Fellows chosen will be trained through video meetings and 1-1 coaching sessions to undertake and communicate how to fight climate change at home. Fellows will only be chosen if we are confident we can reduce their costs and cut their carbon emissions, with extra consideration for Citizen Action members and/or those from historically under-invested areas (especially rural and communities of color) and/or union members. You do not need to be a Citizen Action member for consideration.

Through this group buy, we will achieve better savings, and help push the industry to be better at delivering carbon-cutting upgrades to people in the Northwoods!

After submitting the information, you can schedule a call to discuss how we might be able to help! (Questions? Email Kevin.kane@citizenactionwi.org and Joel.lewis@citizenactionwi.org).

Sign up here!

Northwestern Co-op Virtual Coffee w/Your Co-op Dates! 

We will be having numerous “Coffee w/Your Co-op” events in July! We are working on building our membership and activism in the rural communities across Northwestern Wisconsin and we need your help! Please ask 1-2 friends to join us virtually on the date that corresponds to where they live and let them know how they would be paramount to our important organizing work in 2020 and beyond! Please register for one of the dates below (BYOCoffee!)

July 17th – St. Croix, Polk, and Burnett Counties – Register Here
July 24th – Pierce, Dunn, and Pepin Counties – Register Here
July 31st – Eau Claire, Trempealeau, and Chippewa Counties – Register Here

Citizen Action in the News

Our virtual town hall with Senator Tammy Baldwin drew some good media coverage. See coverage in Up North News and WXPR Radio.

Citizen Action’s Robert Kraig was on the Jeff Santos Radio Show this week to discuss how Democrats can win a landslide election and govern effectively. The Boston-based show is available on-line and airs in the evenings on the two commercial progressive radio stations in Milwaukee and Madison.

Media Stories 

“Forecast: Hot & Humid” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

We discuss the latest Wisconsin Supreme court ruling upholding most of the Lame Duck power grab. The panel then moves to the deadly Wisconsin COVID-19 surge, and the movement towards mask mandates at the local level. Will Governor Evers pursue a state mask order? We tee-off on the troubling decision of the Wisconsin Department Health to withhold the names of businesses with multiple COVID-19 cases. Are they caving to Republican corporate interests? On a more positive note, we look at the bold New Deal-style jobs initiatives highlighted by U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin on a statewide town hall hosted by Citizen Action. Could it be used to protect family incomes, and jump start a green climate transition that also dramatically reduced racial inequality? We also discuss the looming July 25th cut-off of enhanced unemployment benefits, which would leave the unemployed and work-share participants high and dry. We close with an analysis of the just announced Biden-Sanders platform comprises aimed at party unification. Does it signal a new progressive-moderate alliance within the Democratic Party?

Listen Now – Episode #450
Download MP3

Facebook post of the week

“Forecast: Hot & Humid” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

“Forecast: Hot & Humid” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

We discuss the latest Wisconsin Supreme court ruling upholding most of the Lame Duck power grab. The panel than moves to the deadly Wisconsin COVID-19 surge, and the movement towards mask mandates at the local level. Will Governor Evers pursue a state mask order? We tee-off on the troubling decision of the Wisconsin Department Health to withhold the names of businesses with multiple COVID-19 cases. Are they caving to Republican corporate interests? On a more positive note, we look at the bold New Deal-style jobs initiatives highlighted by U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin on a statewide townhall hosted by Citizen Action. Could it be used to protect family incomes, and jump start a green climate transition that also dramatically reduced racial inequality? We also discuss the looming July 25th cut-off of enhanced unemployment benefits, which would leave the unemployed and work-share participants high and dry. We close with an analysis of the just announced Biden-Sanders platform comprises aimed at party unification. Does it signal a new progressive-moderate alliance within the Democratic Party?
Listen Now – Episode #450
Download MP3
Press Clips

Links:
Wisconsin Supreme Court upholds most lame-duck laws, throws out provisions on government documents.
Nearly Two-Thirds Of Wisconsin Counties Have A ‘High Level’ Of Coronavirus Activity
Wednesday Sees 598 New Cases Of COVID-19, Bringing 7-Day Average To 565 Daily Cases.
Wisconsin Has Fastest COVID-19 Spread In U.S.
Tony Evers signals he might try to mandate face masks statewide but expects a legal challenge.
Milwaukee citywide mask mandate now circulating through Common Council.
Mask ordinance to be considered for city of Green Bay.
Wisconsin won’t name businesses with multiple COVID-10 cases.
Senator Baldwin & Citizen Action Call for Bold COVID-19 Economic Relief.
6 Takeaways From the Biden-Sanders Joint Policy Proposals.
Biden, Sanders Release Progressive Unity Platform for Democratic Party.

Senator Baldwin & Citizen Action Call for Bold COVID-19 Economic Relief

Senator Baldwin & Citizen Action Call for Bold COVID-19 Economic Relief

Baldwin legislation would extend unemployment and work-share before July deadline, create New Deal-style publicly subsidized jobs program, begin climate transition, improving racial equity, and revitalizing rural areas

Statewide: In a virtual town hall meeting this morning over 160 Citizen Action leaders and members heard a full report from U.S. Senator Baldwin on the need to maintain and further extend economic relief during the COVID-19 pandemic. Watch Tammy Baldwin’s entire 30 minute presentation and Q&A session here. Milwaukee small business owner Ryan Clancy also joined the call to discuss the urgent need for further economic relief.

The COVID-19 induced economic crisis requires an urgent and large scale federal response. The duration of the pandemic, which is growing in Wisconsin and most of the country, and the persistent depression-like economic repercussions it is producing, could not have been fully anticipated in March when the last large scale relief passage was enacted. In addition, most of the minimal relief targeted to middle class and working people is set to expire July 25, including the enhanced unemployment benefits keeping tens of millions of working families afloat.

Tammy Baldwin’s Jobs for Economic Recovery Act would create a national subsidized jobs program to create hundreds of thousands of frontline jobs reminiscent of the Community Conservation Corps from the New Deal. The Rebuilding Main Street Act extends the $600/week unemployment stimulus payments to those out of work and applies the increased benefit to work-share programs, which subsidize workers for wages lost as a result of a company-wide reduction in hours. These two bills would prevent layoffs and put jobseekers back to work. Senator Baldwin is working with a coalition of Senators pushing for the inclusion of these provisions in the next COVID-19 relief package, expected to be considered this month.

In Citizen Action’s view, a large scale publicly-subsidized jobs program would also be an opportunity to initiative the green transition we need to prevent a climate genocide, and to employ people in the most depressed areas and constituencies, including people of color and folks who live in depressed rural regions.

“The ongoing public health and economic crisis in Wisconsin demands real solutions from Washington. We have to prevent further layoffs in our communities and put Wisconsinites back to work, so I’ve introduced legislation to do both,” said Senator Baldwin. “I’m proud to have strong partners like Citizen Action Wisconsin in this effort as we work together to support workers and businesses in our recovery from this economic crisis. Our reforms present a better way forward and we must seize it now.”

“In this great national emergency, the American people deserve and expect bold leadership up to the scale of the crisis,” said Robert Kraig, Executive Director of Citizen Action of Wisconsin. “As working and middle class families confront employment conditions not seen in this country since the 1930s, they need both the continuation of the temporary economic relief enacted in March, and bold new investments in job creation that can only come from the federal government. We commend Senator Tammy Baldwin for stepping up with powerful policy proposals on the scale of the original New Deal. Her proposals, for which she is building support with a diverse coalition of Senators, are of the magnitude needed to address the current economic crisis, and lay the groundwork for a new economy needed to prevent a climate cataclysm, and extend opportunity to all those who have been shut out, especially people of color and the residents of depresses rural areas.”

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Citizen Action of Wisconsin Supports Milwaukee Mask Ordinance

For Immediate Release–July 6, 2020

Media Contact: Robert Kraig, (414) 322-5324, robert.kraig@citizenactionwi.org

The public health measure is essential, but must also be equitably enforced

Milwaukee: With the COVID-19 pandemic dangerously accelerating, governments have a moral obligation to take every step necessary to save lives. In Wisconsin, due to the hyper partisanship of the Wisconsin State Supreme Court and the conservatives who control the State Legislature, the onus falls entirely to local units of government.

With COVID-19 cases accelerating, the proposed City of Milwaukee mask ordinance (MKE Cares) proposed by Alderwoman Marina Dimitrijevic is a great first step. It is scheduled to be considered this week. Public health experts now agree that wearing masks in public is one of the most important steps we can take to slow the spread of the deadly coronavirus, and yet public compliance is mixed at best. The Milwaukee proposal is modeled on the ordinances enacted by the Cities of Los Angeles, Phoenix, and San Francisco.

In Milwaukee and in Wisconsin, the virus is again spreading at an alarming rate (see data below). There is also a critical racial equity element of the crisis, as COVID-19 continues to infect and kill people of color at shockingly disproportionate rates. According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, 24% of Wisconsin COVID-19 deaths have been to African Americans, and 30% of the people infected have been Latinx.

While racial equity demands bold action to contain the spread of the virus, there are major equity concerns related to enforcement and access to face masks that must also be addressed. A shocking report by Wisconsin Watch documents massive racial and ethnic disparities in arrests related to the now expired stay at home order. A stunning 77% of arrest were of African Americans, 22% were of Latinx, and only 6% were of white. The city map produced by the investigative journalism outfit shows that arrests were highly concentrated in African American and Latinx neighborhoods. Another concern being raised is access to masks for low-income Milwaukeeans. Citizen Action urges the Common Council to address both concerns by holding Milwaukee police strictly accountable for racially biased enforcement, and providing face masks to Milwaukeeans who cannot afford them.

By the Numbers: The Milwaukee COVID-19 Crisis is Growing Worse

The Milwaukee Health Department reported Friday that COVID 19 testing positivity rates have skyrocketed to 12.2%, a dangerously high number that rivals some of the most impacted southern states. Georgia has a 13.1% positive test rate and Alabama, has a 13.6% positive test rate. In Alabama many cities have already enacted mask ordinances. In addition, Milwaukee’s critically important reproduction rate R0 (also called infection rate) has risen to 1.07. (The number of additional persons each COVID positive person infects). According to academic public health experts a reproduction rate over 1 means the pandemic is growing and will over time overwhelm local hospitals. Many of the countries who have been most effective in controlling the pandemic are shutting down regions with reproduction rates over 1.

“We applaud Alderwoman Dimitrijevic for introducing this lifesaving ordinance,” said Robert Kraig, Executive Director of Citizen Action of Wisconsin. “While our top priority must be a pandemic which is infecting and killing very unequally, it is also important that public health standards be enforced fairly and equally. We therefore also urge City of Milwaukee leadership to ensure equitable enforcement of the measure, and provide masks to those who cannot afford them, so that we do not exacerbate already severe racial disparities in Milwaukee.”

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Bill Kaplan: 446,000 Wisconsinites lost health insurance

Bill Kaplan: 446,000 Wisconsinites lost health insurance

The COVID-19 pandemic has crushed the economy with double-digit unemployment in the U.S., including Wisconsin (WI). Recovery is uncertain while COVID-19 is out-of-control. High unemployment has resulted in nearly 27 million, including 446,000 Wisconsinites, losing employer sponsored private health insurance (Kaiser Family Foundation, KFF). Meanwhile COVID-19 is exploding.

Now nearly 3 million cases nationally, over 31,000 in WI. One-day records have been broken in the U.S. and WI. Doctor Anthony Fauci said: “I’m not satisfied with what’s going on because we’re going in the wrong direction.” Fauci expects new infections to exceed 100,000 a day! COVID-19 deaths are seemingly on a slower trajectory with about 130,000 nationally and 800 in WI. However, health experts caution there is a lag between confirmed COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and death.

Moreover, Modern Healthcare reported: “Researchers found some of the most vulnerable populations – including African Americans, Native Americans, lower-income individuals, those residing in rural areas and in states that have not expanded Medicaid – were both more likely to be at high risk of severe COVID-19 illness and lack adequate health care coverage to get care if they did get sick, according … (to) the Journal of General Internal Medicine.” What is needed at a minimum is health care coverage for all Americans.

But the Trump administration has gone to the Supreme Court to have the entire Affordable Care Act (ACA) declared unconstitutional. 23 million Americans, including over 200,000 Wisconsinites, would lose health coverage and 54 million (nearly 1 million in WI) with preexisting conditions would no longer have ACA protections. The Democratic-led House countered Trump by voting to expand ACA coverage and financial help. Wisconsin Democratic representatives voted yes while state GOP representatives mostly voted no (Representative Mike Gallagher didn’t vote).

WI Democratic Governor Tony Evers has established a new online site to help Wisconsinites who have lost their health coverage get covered through Medicaid and the ACA. KFF estimates thousands on Wisconsinites are now eligible either for Medicaid or ACA subsidies for private insurance. But others will get inadequate help because the GOP-led WI legislature has not passed Medicaid expansion. Evers has continued to urge WI Republicans to expand Medicaid. He now has a partner.

Retiring GOP state Senator Luther Olsen has called for the legislature to consider Medicaid expansion. Olsen explained that circumstances have changed: COVID-19 pandemic, soaring numbers of uninsured and a budget shortfall. Olsen said WI can no longer leave “that kind of money on the table”. The 90 percent federal funding would replace the current 59 percent federal funding for about 150,000 individuals enrolled in Medicaid (2019) and allow tens of thousands more to enroll. Will the state Senate pass it?

Perhaps GOP state Senator Jerry Petrowski, who previously endorsed Medicaid expansion, would support Olsen. But WI Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald needs to allow a vote. In 2018, Fitzgerald briefly said he would not “rule it out” (Medicaid expansion). Circumstances have changed. GOP-led Oklahoma (in 2016, 65% supported Trump) just voted for Medicaid expansion. It’s time to expand Medicaid in WI.

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

“Judges, Billionaires, and Pandemic Chaos” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

“Judges, Billionaires, and Pandemic Chaos” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

The panel digs into the racist federal appeals court ruling restricting Wisconsin early voting, and risking a dangerous replay of the infamous pandemic primary. Citizen Action is a lead plaintiff in the case. We discuss a new report co-released by Citizen Action of Wisconsin on how 8 Wisconsin billionaires have made an economic killing from the pandemic.  The pandemic continues to accelerate, confounding Donald Trump and the GOP by refusing to go away on its own.  We point out some of the hotspots and controversies around the Badger State. We look at the rising pressure for Congress and the President to extend coronavirus economic relief, and to make bold new investments in publicly-subsidized jobs and a green transition. We report back on a major news event Citizen Action led in La Crosse this week to put pressure on the feds to act. Finally, we look at the latest Wisconsin racial justice protest developments, and unveil the latest round of Citizen Action legislative endorsements.
Listen Now – Episode #449
Download MP3
Press Clips

Wisconsin Billionaires’ Net Worth Rose 36% During Pandemic
Federal appeals court decision, implications, next steps
Cynical appeals court helps Wisconsin GOP
Voting in WI: New Rules, New Limits
Judge throws out Racine’s coronavirus plan, says it’s unconstitutional

 

 

Citizen Action Weekly: Friday, July 3rd

Citizen Action Weekly: Friday, July 3rd

Friday, July 3rd

Citizen Action leads the fight for extending enhanced unemployment benefits and Federal appeals court reverses Citizen Action legal victory on voting rights.

We had our first live  in person news conference during the age of COVID19 in La Crosse this week, with appropriate masking and social distancing. Our Driftless Area co-op members who participated and our speaker got brand new Citizen Action face coverings! The focus was the need for the federal government to renew enhanced unemployment benefits, scheduled to expire July 1. We also advocated Senator Tammy Baldwin’s bill to create a New Deal-style publicly subsidized jobs program, to both address our depression-like conditions and to begin the green transition needed to prevent a climate cataclysm.

We got great media coverage, including TV 19 (ABC) La Crosse, WIZM News Talk 1410 AM La Crosse, and TV 8 (CBS) La Crosse

On a much more troubling note, a right-wing panel of judges on a federal appeal court reversed a Citizen Action legal victory on voting rights. The Citizen Action was a lead plaintiff in a federal lawsuit that struck down both Scott Walker early voting restrictions and the ones the Lame Duck Legislature attempted to impose. Citizen Action members and organizers are leading the fight to expand access to both mail voting and in-person voting in cities and counties across Wisconsin. This horrendous decision makes it harder, but our initial reading of the ruling shows there are still many ways that local governments can expand access to both early voting and to vote-by-mail. Our lawyers conclude that despite reimposing the 14 day limit on early voting, there is no limit to the number of locations or early voting hours local governments can provide. We are also consulting with our lawyers about the possibility of an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

See coverage from Wisconsin Examiner, The Nation, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Fox 6 TV Milwaukee, and Associated Press.

Citizen Action’s Robert Kraig was a guest on the Jeff Santos Radio Show, a Boston-based program that also is featured on Milwaukee and Madison progressive radio. He discussed the push to move Biden to a bold progressive position, and the federal appeals court early voting decision.

Request Your Absentee Ballot Today!

Request your absentee ballot today

Senator Tammy Baldwin Virtual Town Hall on Job Creation and Extending Unemployment

Join Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin and Citizen Action Executive Director Dr. Robert Kraig on Wednesday July 8th, 11am, as they go over the opportunity to protect and create hundreds of thousands of jobs to prevent a growing economic recession!

Senator Tammy Baldwin has been leading the way urging a national subsidized employment program in future Congressional action to stop a growing recession. Join her and Citizen Action Wednesday July 8th, 11am,  as we talk about what it is, why it matters, and how we can help!

Register here to reserve a slot for this special event and receive further details for this event.

CALL TO ACTION: Send an email to your representatives in the Senate and the House to let them know you support creating millions of jobs.

In order to create jobs and secure federal employment we need to make our voice heard in Washington.  Our leaders in Congress need to hear from us NOW.  Please take a moment to use this link to send an email directly to your representatives in the US Senate and the House of Representatives letting them know you support the creation of federally subsidized jobs and an expansion of the federal unemployment benefits. It only takes a minute to email your representatives directly.

Attend a Black Lives Matter event near you!

Checkout list of events in Wisconsin.

Northwestern WI Co-op General Party Meeting – July 11, 2020 at 10:00am

Join us on Zoom on July 11, 2020 at 10am for a gathering of our Northwestern Wisconsin Co-op members!

We will be discussing what we have done so far this year, where we are heading, and what Citizen Action is doing for the 2020 elections.

Register in advance here for your Zoom link.

Northwestern Co-op Virtual Coffee w/Your Co-op Dates! 

We will be having numerous “Coffee w/Your Co-op” events in July! We are working on building our membership and activism in the rural communities across Northwestern Wisconsin and we need your help!

Please ask 1-2 friends to join us virtually on the date that corresponds to where they live and let them know how they would be paramount to our important organizing work in 2020 and beyond! Please register for one of the dates below (BYOCoffee!)

  • July 10th – Barron and Rusk Counties – Register Here
  • July 17th – St. Croix, Polk, and Burnett Counties – Register Here
  • July 24th – Pierce, Dunn, and Pepin Counties – Register Here
  • July 31st – Eau Claire, Trempealeau, and Chippewa Counties – Register Here

Action Opportunity: Help Citizen Action Endorsed Candidates Win on August 11th!

The August 11th primary is fast approaching! In addition to making sure that you have your absentee ballot requested and filled out, you can make a huge impact in supporting two of our endorsed candidates:

Kristina Shelton is in a tough race against the incumbent in Assembly District 90. She continues to demonstrate a commitment to her community and her experience, integrity, and vision to lead is greatly needed in the State Assembly. Her opponent, Staush Gruzynski, has been removed from all committee assignments after an investigation determined he sexually harassed an employee of the state legislature. You can help learn more about her action opportunities by visiting https://www.kristinaforassembly.com/volunteer.

Jonathon Hansen is in a primary to represent the Democratic Party in Senate District 30. Jonathon tirelessly served his community during his time on the De Pere City Council. He brings that same determination to his run for State Senate. Jonathon will fight to bring a living wage and affordable, quality healthcare coverage to the people of Wisconsin, no matter your ZIP code. His pride in serving every single resident of his community, district, and state will move Wisconsin forward. His campaign is looking for people to make phone calls before his Primary on August 11th! You can sign up here: https://bit.ly/Phone4Hansen

Don’t forget these two Citizen Action of Wisconsin endorsed candidates come August 11th!

Meet Citizen Action’s 2020 Field Team Leaders

Lead Organizer Viola Myers: (most people call me Vi or V, choose the one that best resonates with you) I support my team in creating the antidote to what got Trump elected. We conspire to rewrite the narrative that continues to oppress and demean the lives of the vast majority of American’s (and citizens of the World). Together we elevate our strengths (and diminish our weaknesses) to accomplish a collective goal in Wisconsin and throughout America that will give the 99 percenters a voice in the political system. Creating a narrative that includes all of us and not just the wealthy few.

My political activism started last year when I was approached by the Andrew Yang Campaign to start a Yang Gang chapter in my community.

My first feat as a Yangsta was to prepare a speech for his May 5th 2019 Rally in Minneapolis, MN; there were 2,000 in attendance. Nervously, I accomplished the task and was instantly activated and wanted to do more. I began to actively promote my Eau Claire Yang Gang through the various tactics that the Campaign provided. I soon realized that these activities were not going to get him elected. I started immersing myself in any Democratic political groups that I could find online. In my journey I ran across the Young Democrats of America. I had the opportunity to attend their biennial convention.

There I was blessed to meet young, active and motivated activists and politicians; I was hooked. I listened to their stories of the experiences and knowledge that they had accumulated in their young lives. It was apparent that I also needed those resources and tools in order to accomplish my goal of getting Yang elected. There was only one thing left and that was to dust off my resume and apply with the Campaign. I began my first political job October 16 2019 with the Campaign. This took me to Iowa for the 2020 Caucus season as well as Nevada where I lead our team in our Early Voting endeavors. In March, after the suspension of the Campaign, I came back to Wisconsin on a mission to help local democratic (conscious)  politicians win local elections in an effort to defeat D.J. Trump. Now, I work as a Lead Field Organizer with Citizen Action of Wisconsin.

Lead Organizer Ken Hood:  My path to political activism has not been a straightforward one. I grew up in a conservative household. Six sisters and one younger brother crammed into a small house in the suburbs. We were a poor family in a rich neighborhood. Growing up I was taught the value of hard work and education.  At the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, I got outside of my conservative bubble. I learned about other religions, cultures, and worldviews. I made mistakes. I asked a lot of questions.  By the end of my college experience I had earned a BA in English, I had gotten married, and I was about to become a father to my first child. Upon graduating I completed a 1 year “leadership development” internship doing church ministry in Minneapolis. My proudest accomplishment from that time was the work I did tutoring Somali refugees.

Moving our family to Wisconsin has turned out to be a transformative experience for me. It was here that I fully shed my conservative beliefs and became interested in progressive ideas and organizing. I searched for opportunities to expand the circle of compassion and social justice in ways that fit my skills and circumstances. My career path branched into customer service where I became a tier-two phone support specialist representing several retail brands. I attended UW Eau Claire for two years and earned a degree in Education. Now our three children enjoy living in the small town that their mother also grew up in. I love the amazing scenery and the friendly people. I’m an active member of the Blue Hills UU Fellowship in Rice Lake. And I can’t imagine being part of a better organization right now than Citizen Action of Wisconsin.

Lead Organizer Kaile Sepnafski: (she/her/hers): I grew up around Wausau, Wisconsin and, thankfully, I was raised by parents who showed me what it means to serve the public and supported – even pushed – me to venture as far away as I felt comfortable. First, I went to the University of Minnesota for undergrad at a time when I was certain I would be a public-school teacher. Act 10 happened, and I decided to find a different path without forgetting my love for education. As a part of my journey down a new path, I studied post-conflict transformation in Gulu, Uganda and Kigali, Rwanda. Studying abroad provided me experiences and spaces to both expand and dig deeper into my views on justice, equality, race, and humanity. Studying abroad also helped me recognize my interest in governmental affairs and advocacy and set me in a direction toward grad school at The Ohio State University to pursue a master’s degree in education policy and a law degree.

I love learning – from people, from places; I love exploring; I enjoy trying to meet people where they are and listening to people talk; I love trying things (I mean I may not like it). I want every child, every student to have access to all the same resources, and nurturing attention and support that my teachers and professors showed me at every step in my education. Unfortunately, our public education system as a cornerstone of our democracy is being eroded. Thus, I wanted to take all that I had learned to work for a nonprofit that advocates for public schools. That is still what I want to do.

I am forever grateful for the opportunity to work for CAW. I feel so fortunate to work with an organization that not only shares my values, but also allows me to work on projects I care deeply about in a way that attempts to meet people where they are, treat them like whole, complex humans with their own unique experiences and set of circumstances, while not shying away from the difficult but crucial conversations about race and class.

La Crosse residents you can TAKE ACTION NOW on climate change and expanding voting access 

If you live in La Crosse county you can take action right now to fight climate change and expand voting access by joining our lobbying efforts.  Citizen Action of Wisconsin has two very important lobbying campaigns going on in your area right now and we need your help.  Your elected leaders need to hear from you so that they know that you support clean energy and safe elections!

First of all Citizen Action is working with the Sierra Club, Wisconsin Conservation Voters, and NextGEN to push the La Crosse County board to pass a resolution committing to 100% clean renewable energy by 2050.  This resolution lays out a plan to transition the county off of carbon emissions in energy production.  We need to send a message to the county board that residents want a cleaner, greener future.  You can help by filling out this form to send an email directly to county board members and let them know that you support 100% clean, renewable energy by 2050.

Citizen Action (along with several area partners) is also hard at work to demand that the city of La Crosse expand voting access during the age of COVID19.  People should never have to choose between their health and being able to vote.  We need to make sure that our November election goes smoothly to avoid the kind of scenes that happened in Milwaukee in April.  We are asking the city to create drive through polling locations, add absentee ballot drop off locations, and create a plan to guarantee at least 75% of polling locations are open and staffed on election day.  You can help by using this form to send an email directly to the mayor and the city clerk to let them know you support expanding voting access during the pandemic!

Attend a virtual listening session of the Governor’s Task Force on Climate Change.

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 3 remaining scheduled public hearings. Let our leaders know how we can make our state a healthier, safer, and more sustainable place to live. The first listening sessions of the Governor’s Task Force on Climate Change drew in more than 200 members of the public who expressed a lot of passion for the issue. There are 3 more scheduled online hearings:

  • 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

“Judges, Billionaires, and Pandemic Chaos” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

The panel digs into the racist federal appeals court ruling restricting Wisconsin early voting, and risking a dangerous replay of the infamous pandemic primary. Citizen Action is a lead plaintiff in the case. We discuss a new report co-released by Citizen Action of Wisconsin on how 8 Wisconsin billionaires have made an economic killing from the pandemic.  The pandemic continues to accelerate, confounding Donald Trump and the GOP by refusing to go away on its own.  We point out some of the hotspots and controversies around the Badger State. We look at the rising pressure for Congress and the President to extend coronavirus economic relief, and to make bold new investments in publicly-subsidized jobs and a green transition. We report back on a major news event Citizen Action led in La Crosse this week to put pressure on the feds to act. Finally, we look at the latest Wisconsin racial justice protest developments, and unveil the latest round of Citizen Action legislative endorsements.

Listen Now – Episode #499
Download MP3

Facebook post of the week

Report: 8 Billionaires in Wisconsin See Net Worth Jump $14.2 Billion or 36.1% in First Three Months of COVID-19 Pandemic

Report: 8 Billionaires in Wisconsin See Net Worth Jump $14.2 Billion or 36.1% in First Three Months of COVID-19 Pandemic

 Meanwhile Wisconsinites, State & Local Governments Face Financial Hardship as Congress Stalls on New COVID-19 Financial Aid Package

MILWAUKEE—Wisconsin has 8 billionaires who collectively saw their wealth increase by $14.2 billion or 36.1% during the first three months of the COVID-19 pandemic even as the state’s economy was reeling from a huge spike in joblessness and a collapse in taxes collected, a new report by Americans for Tax Fairness (ATF), Health Care for America Now (HCAN) and Citizen Action of Wisconsin shows.

Between March 18—the rough start date of the pandemic shutdown, when most federal and state economic restrictions were in place—and June 17, the total net worth of the state’s eight billionaires rose from $39.4 billion to $53.6 billion, based on an analysis of Forbes data. Forbes’ annual billionaires report was published March 18, 2020, and the most recent real-time data was collected June 17 from the Forbes website.

Three Wisconsin billionaires—John Menard, Jr., Diane Hendricks and Herbert Kohler, Jr.—saw their wealth grow by 65%, 39% and 29%, respectively. During about the same period of the pandemic 629,000 of the state’s residents lost their jobs, 26,000 fell ill with the virus and 700 died from it.

Sources: All data is from Forbes and available here.
March 18, 2020, data is from the Forbes World’s Billionaires List: The Richest in 2020.
June 17, 2020 data was taken from Forbes real-time estimates of worth that day.

 

Among other COVID-19 victims are the 27 million Americans who may lose their employer-provided healthcare coverage. Low-wage workers, people of color and women have suffered disproportionately in the combined medical and economic crises because of long-standing racial and gender disparities. Billionaires are overwhelmingly white men.

Over the same three-month period, the nation’s 600-plus billionaires saw their combined wealth increase by $584 billion or 20%—rising from $2.948 trillion to $3.531 trillion, based on ATF’s analysis of Forbes data. Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve reported that as of the week of June 10, total U.S. household wealth had shrunk by $6.5 trillion during the first three months of the pandemic.

The three richest Americans, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, saw their combined wealth jump by $87 billion, or 38%, 11% and 58%, respectively. The total number of billionaires grew from 614 to 643.

“Now is the time for Wisconsinites to unite across our differences and demand our government leaders make decisions that help every-day people like us—not the richest 1% and a handful of corporations who are profiting from this pandemic,” said Robert Kraig, Executive Director of Citizen Action of Wisconsin. “As individuals, we can wash our hands, avoid unnecessary travel, and check in on our friends and neighbors. As a united force, we can demand our local, state, and national governments do everything possible to protect everyone’s health and financial stability, no exceptions.”

“It’s immoral that billionaires are getting richer and richer while average Americans are treading water if they are lucky, or drowning, from the economic crash caused by the pandemic,” said Frank Clemente, executive director of Americans for Tax Fairness. “Congress needs to urgently provide a major new financial aid package to ensure working families can recover and critical state and local services can keep being provided. The package should repeal the huge tax break for millionaires in the first major financial aid law and block any new tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy.”

“In the biggest public health crisis of our lifetimes, billionaires are getting richer while millions are losing coverage or have no access to affordable health care,” said Margarida Jorge, executive director of Health Care for America Now. Rather than pass the relief measures that we all need to beat COVID, Congress is letting families, workers, seniors and many others go without the health care they need to survive, letting health care workers go without protective equipment and forcing hospitals to face unprecedented shortages in beds, ventilators and medicines. It’s obvious there’s plenty of money—the problem here is Congress’ priorities.”

Decades of tax cuts for the rich have fueled the growth of billionaires and their wealth. And even in the midst of the greatest national emergency since World War II, tax handouts to the wealthy have continued—most recently in the form of a $135 billion handout slipped into the $2 trillion CARES pandemic relief law enacted in late March. It primarily benefits millionaire business owners and costs three times more than the law spends on social safety net programs and exceeds the amount expended on hospitals and public health.

The House HEROES Act passed in May would repeal this tax break that is giving an average tax cut of $1.6 million this year to 43,000 millionaires and billionaires, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT). That big payout contrasts sharply with the one-time stimulus checks of up to $1,200 that have helped 159 million people under the CARES Act. Closing this tax loophole and making it permanent would raise $246 billion per the JCT, which could be used for a new major pandemic financial relief and recovery package.

As the U.S. Senate begins consideration of the next coronavirus aid legislation, a broad coalition of more than 230 organizations, including some Wisconsin groups, is urging repeal of the Millionaires Giveaway tax cut for wealthy business owners. So far, 24 senators support repeal legislation (S. 3640), including Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D), but not Sen. Ron Johnson (R).

Rather than respond to growing needs from increasing numbers of unemployed people, new patients, and overburdened local and state agencies, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has been slow-walking legislative action on another major relief measure such as the HEROES Act, especially one that would provide a major cash infusion to state and local governments that have lost huge amounts of tax revenue but must by law balance their budgets. Instead, McConnell has suggested that states file for bankruptcy.

The HEROES Act would greatly benefit Wisconsin during this economic crisis by providing immediate relief and laying the groundwork for a more robust economic recovery, including:

All of the above data is available in one table here.

State residents will also get their fair share of the following other assistance provided by the HEROES Act should it become law:

  • Extension through the end of the year of the $600 per week in enhanced unemployment benefits that are expiring at the end of July.
  • Renewal and increase in direct assistance checks to individuals and families: $1,200 per each adult and child, up to $6,000 per household.
  • $100 billion to protect renters and homeowners from evictions and foreclosures.

Increased support from the federal government directly to states through these provisions is the best way to avoid state cuts to jobs and services that would worsen the impact of the pandemic and prolong the recession the country is experiencing.

Economists warn that delayed action on more funding to states, unemployment benefits, and safety net services will have dire consequences for recovery, could lengthen and deepen the recession and curtail job growth for the next decade. Moreover, coronavirus cases are back on the rise in over two dozen states, including Wisconsin, where the re-opening process has increased risk of exposure thereby further jeopardizing the economy. Wisconsin Department of Health Services data confirms that the state’s 7-day average of new confirmed cases has steadily increased since mid-June.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has cited rising deficits in delaying immediate consideration of new pandemic relief legislation, but so far has not proposed rolling back the $135 billion Millionaires Giveaway in the CARES Act. Rather, McConnell’s key priority for the next relief package has been to provide legal immunity to employers by limiting workers’ rights in court to sue bosses who put their safety at risk or neglect COVID protocols.

Polling shows that half of Americans have been personally economically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic — losing their job or having their hours cut back. Congress must provide help by working with local and state elected officials and agencies to ensure workers, families and small businesses get the resources they need to make it through the pandemic and mitigate the harmful consequences of the economic slow-down.

State residents cannot afford excuses from Congressional leaders who prioritize tax giveaways for the rich and corporations over the basic needs of average people or more delays that will double down on prolonged pain for millions.

 

Media Contacts:

Citizen Action of Wisconsin, Robert Kraig, Executive Director, 414-322-5324, robert.kraig@citizenactionwi.org

Americans for Tax Fairness, Chris Fleming, Red Horse Strategies, 202-631-0929 chris@redhorsestrategies.com

Health Care for America Now, Margarida Jorge, Executive Director, mj@healthcareforamericanow.org

Citizen Action Weekly: Friday June 26th

Citizen Action Weekly: Friday June 26th

Friday, June 26th

Citizen Action announces more State Legislative Endorsements

Citizen Action is proud to announce more 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 State Legislative candidate endorsements next month.

Senate District 6: LaTonya Johnson (City of Milwaukee)
Senate District 8: Neal Plotkin (City of Milwaukee and northern suburbs)
Senate District 14: Joni Anderson (Waupaca, Waushara, Green Lake, Marquette, Columbia, and Dodge Counties)
Assembly District 3: Emily Voight (East Appleton and Calumet County)
Assembly District 4: Kathy Hinkfus (Western suburban Green Bay)
Assembly District 9: Marisabel Cabrera (City of Milwaukee)
Assembly District 15: Jessica Katzenmeyer (West Allis, New Berlin, and Brookfield)
Assembly District 17: Supreme Moore-Omokunde (City of Milwaukee)
Assembly District 23: Deb Andraca (Milwaukee North shore suburbs)
Assembly District 26: Mary Lynne Donohue (South Sheboygan County)
Assembly District 28: Kim Butler (Polk and Burnett Counties)
Assembly District 30: Sarah Yocoub (St. Croix County)
Assembly District 35: Tyler Ruprecht (Lincoln and Langlade County)
Assembly District 51: Kriss Marion (Green, Lafayette, Iowa, Richland Counties)
Assembly District 68: Emily Berge (Eau Claire and Clark Counties)
Assembly District 88: Kristin Lyerly (Eastern suburban Green Bay)
Assembly District 93: Charlie Warner (Eau Claire, Pepin and Pierce Counties)
Assembly District 94: Steve Doyle (LaCrosse suburban and surrounding area)
Assembly District 96: Josefine Jaynes (Crawford, Vernon and Monroe counties)

Request your absentee ballot today!

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. 

Attend virtual town hall o n Jobs creation with U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Tuesday July 8th at 11 AM

Citizen Action of Wisconsin will be hosting a major statewide Town Hall, hosted virtually over Zoom, with Senator Tammy Baldwin on July 8th.  This very special event will outline what we can do to create millions of jobs AND expand the federal unemployment benefit through the end of 2020.

Please RSVP for this event here.  The Zoom link will be sent to your email after you RSVP.

CALL TO ACTION: Send an email to your representatives in the Senate and the House to let them know you support creating millions of jobs.

In order to create jobs and secure federal employment we need to make our voice heard in Washington.  Our leaders in Congress need to hear from us NOW.  Please take a moment to use this link to send an email directly to your representatives in the US Senate and the House of Representatives letting them know you support the creation of federally subsidized jobs and an expansion of the federal unemployment benefits. It only takes a minute to email your representatives directly.

Attend virtual listening session of the Governor’s Task Force on Climate Change.

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 5 scheduled public hearings. Let our leaders know how we can make our state a healthier, safer, and more sustainable place to live. The first listening sessions of the Governor’s Task Force on Climate Change drew in more than 200 members of the public who expressed a lot of passion for the issue.

There are 4 more scheduled online hearings:

  • 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

Attend La Crosse area Green New Deal press conference on Tuesday, June 30th

Citizen Action of Wisconsin Drfitless co-op will be hosting an in-person press conference in La Crosse on June 30th at 12:00 noon about federal job creation, the need for a “Green New Deal”, and the need to extend the $600 a week federal unemployment benefits.  This event will be held outside, with masks required, with social distancing strictly enforced and all COVID19 prevention measures in place.  Special guest speakers include Citizen Action executive director Robert Kraig, state legislator Steve Doyle and Lauren Journot from La Crosse YWCA.  We are looking for 5-10 Citizen Action members to join us on site to hold signs and show support.

Please use this RSVP link if you are interested in joining us for this important action of action.

CITY OF LA CROSSE RESIDENTS please let the city know that you support expanding voting access in the age of COVID-19

Voting should never be a choice between protecting your health and making your voice heard.  Citizen Action of Wisconsin is committed to ensuring that elections are safe during the COVID-19 outbreak.  That is why we have partnered with Wisconsin Conservation Voters, The League of Women Voters, NextGEN, and Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin to launch a major effort to expand voting options in the City of La Crosse.  Here is what we are asking of the city:

Provide at least three secure absentee ballot drop boxes throughout the city;

  1. Strive to identify, prepare, and maintain the standard number of polling locations. At a minimum, the city should have at least seventy-five percent of an average election’s total number of polling locations open for Election Day;
  2. Develop and enact a plan for the recruitment and retention of poll workers to be made available to the public;
  3. Identify, prepare, and maintain suitable areas for drive through voting for both early and same day voting.
  4. Ensure that every in-person polling location has functional curbside voting as required by state statute;

You can help right now by filling out this simple form to send an email directly to Mayor Kabat, the Deputy City Clerk and the City Clerk to let them know you demand expanding voter access to protect your community’s health and to protect democracy.

Make your voice heard directly RIGHT NOW.  For those of you outside the city of La Crosse thank you for your support but this form is intended for folks who live in La Crosse. If you have friends or family in La Crosse PLEASE SHARE THIS PAGE.

LA CROSSE COUNTY RESIDENTS let the county board know that you support 100% clean, renewable energy

The climate crisis is threatening our world.  The effects are hitting the Coulee Region especially hard.  In the past two years we have seen four area counties each become FEMA disaster flood zones four times.  The impacts of climate change are affecting our local health, economy, property values, tourism and safety.  Let your elected leaders in La Crosse county know that we need to ACT NOW to protect our planet and your local area for future generations.

Very soon the La Crosse County Board of Supervisors will be voting on a commitment for all our La Crosse county communities to use 100% clean, renewable energy by 2050.  La Crosse will have the chance to join Wisconsin counties like Eau Claire and counties across the nation in standing up for environmental justice.  This resolution will lay out tools, a timeline and a road map for this transition to a green future in the Coulee Region.  We need to make our voices heard NOW to let out county board supervisors know that we support 100% clean, renewable energy in La Crosse County.

Please take a moment to use this link to sign our petition showing your support for clean, renewable energy in La Crosse County.  After you sign you will be direct to a page that will let you email the county board directly to tell them that you support a cleaner La Crosse county and a green future.

Future generations are counting on us to take action now!  Please do your part by signing this petition and emailing your county board supervisor to let them know that you believe a better, greener future is possible!

If you are outside of La Crosse County PLEASE SHARE THIS THIS FRIENDS AND FAMILY!

Northwestern WI Co-op General Party Meeting – July 11, 2020 at 10:00am

Join us on Zoom on July 11, 2020 at 10am for a gathering of our Northwestern Wisconsin Co-op members!

We will be discussing what we have done so far this year, where we are heading, and what Citizen Action is doing for the 2020 elections.

Register in advance here for your Zoom link.

Fair Maps WI Update From North Central Co-op

Late last year, due to an overwhelming amount of interest around the state, on the Fair Maps (ending partisan gerrymandering) issue, and the need for a more organized, nonpartisan effort, a summit was held in Marshfield. An Organizer, named Carlene Bechen was hired to help work with leaders and community members across the state, to help them accomplish their goals around Fair Maps. Citizen Action, and it’s members have supported the Fair Maps efforts from the beginning, and we continue to support this work, often times, with our members playing an active role in various parts of the state. Chrysa Ostenso has served on the Steering Committee for the Citizen Action of WI North Central Organizing Co-op since 2017, and is very active with other groups in her community. She has been involved with Fair Maps WI since their inception, and is happy to report that in Rusk County, their Board of Supervisors voted to put a Fair Maps referendum on their November ballot! This passed with a 14-2 vote, with 3 Supervisors absent. Thank you to everyone who is working to make this happen. There are efforts going on in other parts of the state as well, and the NC region. If you would like to get more involved in this work, check out Fair Maps WI, and get connected with Carlene and others doing this great work!

Endorsement Interviews Underway in North Central

This Sunday, the North Central Organizing Co-op’s Steering Committee will be conducting their second round of interviews, of candidates running throughout the NC region. During the first round, they interviewed Tyler Ruprecht, who is the Democratic candidate running in the 35th Assembly District. We have a significant number of members in his district, which encompasses Merrill and Tomahawk (in Lincoln County). This is a pivot district, meaning that they voted for Obama, but then voted for Trump in 2016. They also interviewed Jeff Johnson, who is a candidate for Assembly District 85. He has a primary challenger, Aaron LaFave. The candidates being interviewed this Sunday, are 12th Senate District candidate Ed Vocke, 24th Senate District candidate Paul Piotrowski, and 69th Assembly District candidate Brian Giles. These interviews are open to all members in this region, so please reach out to your Organizer, Joel Lewis if this interests you. His email is joel.lewis@citizenactionwi.org and his phone number is 715-551-2525

Citizen Action in the News

Citizen Action’s Robert Kraig was on the Jeff Santos Radio Show to talk about how a true power sharing arrangement between progressives and moderates could sweep Trump out of office and set Joe Biden up to be a great president.

Press Clips

“Protest, pandemic and polls” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

We discuss the BLM movement that continues full steam ahead. We process the political response to the events in Madison this week, the latest outrageous statements by Supreme Court Chief Justice Patience Roggensack, and right-wing politicians and media outlets. We question whether any elected leaders are proposing the necessary structural reforms to move the ball on racial equity, as Wisconsin is a national leader on many major indicators of racial inequality. We also talk about how the COVID-19 pandemic spinning out of control in the south and west, and some disturbing indicators in Wisconsin. We close with a review of the new MU Law poll showing a growing lead for Biden, and vast differences between whites and black and brown people on policing.

Facebook post of the week