Bill Kaplan: Johnson’s comments on Biden’s Tulsa speech ignorant, racist

Bill Kaplan: Johnson’s comments on Biden’s Tulsa speech ignorant, racist

Photo by: Gage Skidmore; CC-BY-SA-2.0

On June 1, President Biden went to Tulsa, Oklahoma to commemorate the 100th anniversary of a White massacre of Black residents in the city: “(In) less than 24 hours, 1,100 Black homes and businesses were lost. Insurance companies … rejected claims of damage. Ten thousand people were left destitute and homeless, placed in internment camps. … Yet … no arrests of the mob were made. … No proper accounting of the dead. The death toll … by local officials said there were 36 people. … But based on studies, records and accounts, … the likely number is much more, in the multiple of hundreds. Untold bodies dumped into mass graves.”

Preeminent Black historian John Hope Franklin grew up in Tulsa. His father, an attorney, was there during the pogrom. He fought the racist complicity of the insurance companies and sued the city successfully for attempting to forbid Blacks from rebuilding. Franklin said: “Throughout my years in Tulsa, the legacy of the race riot remained a constant presence … . Here was damning evidence of just how far White America would go to quarantine the United States from the ‘virus’ of racial equality, all the while mouthing platitudes about saving the world for democracy.”

However, Wisconsin GOP Senator Ron Johnson denounced Biden’s Tulsa speech as “awful and so incredibly divisive.” Johnson, ignoring landmark civil rights laws passed during the 1960s, said: “The federal government is incapable of solving these problems and this administration is doing the exact opposite of what President Biden promised, which is to heal this nation.” Johnson’s accusations were ahistorical, ignorant and racist.

Biden’s remarks completely rebut Johnson: “We can’t just choose to learn what we want to know and not what we should know. We should know the good, the bad, everything. That’s what great nations do. They come to terms with their dark sides. And we’re a great nation. The only way to build a common ground is to truly repair and to rebuild. I come here to help fill the silence, because in silence, wounds deepen. And only – as painful as it is, only in remembrance do wounds heal.”

Johnson’s ignorance and racism is tragically not new. In 2017, when Trump defended White Nazis in Charlottesville, Virginia as including “some very fine people”, Johnson said: “It’d be nice to move that issue behind us.” Compare to then Wisconsin GOP Representative Jim Sensenbrenner: “What happened in Charlottesville goes against the principles of this nation and everything I’ve worked for … . The freedoms given in this country should never be abused to incite violence or spread hate and prejudice.”

Then there’s the January 6 Capitol assault. The U.S. military Joint Chiefs of Staff called it a “violent riot … a direct assault on the U.S. Congress, the Capitol building and our Constitutional process.” Not Johnson. He said he “might have been a little concerned” if instead of Trump supporters who “love this country” there had been Black Lives Matter protesters. GOP silence deafening. Textbook racism.

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

Citizen Action Weekly: Friday, June 11th


Friday, June 11th

SATURDAY, JUNE 12th, 11am – 7pm: Inoculation Emancipation Party

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Join the Minocqua Brewing Company and Citizen Action of Wisconsin on Saturday, June 12th from 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM at Funk’s Pub for a party celebrating vaccination freedom with live music and #ProgressiveBeer. Music featuring Blues Legend John Primer and his Band, The Kim Wasserburger Band, the Tommy Bentz Band, and more!

The CDC recently relaxed masking protocols for large outdoor gatherings for anyone who is vaccinated. So proof of vaccination will be required to attend this event. Only folks fully vaccinated plus 2 weeks of full protection will be admitted.  RSVP NOW!

FREE BEER will be given to those who have had at least one dose in the month of June as a big “THANK YOU” for getting vaccinated for their health and the health of their community. Pick up your free beer at the entrance of the event. We’d love to have you stay but only folks fully vaccinated will be admitted. We hope you enjoy your free #ProgressiveBeer safely at home though!

Lastly, Citizen Action of Wisconsin will be giving 2 FREE pint glasses and 1 drink ticket with any donation of at least $20. Become a member for as low as $60 per year,  join our movement to organize people, and harness Wisconsin’s collective power to build a better future for all in our state. Sign up to attend now!

 Volunteers needed to verify vaccination cards and serve beer (bartending license not required). Volunteers will be given a free drink ticket to enjoy at the event. Indicate your interest in volunteering at the bottom of this form. 

Support our Virtual Fundraiser on June 14th with Sister District!

We’re being featured in Sister District’s State Bridges Event Series! Join us on June 14th for a virtual fundraiser and hear about our plans for the 2022 election cycle from Dr. Robert Kraig, executive director, and JoAna Bautch, Movement Politics Director! We need your support to elect progressive candidates ballot-wide!

Register Now 

Join La Crosse: Solar on Schools for a special celebration on June 21st

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CELEBRATE the first La Crosse School District Solar Installations!
LEARN how you can help add more solar to our schools!
ENJOY free treats and music
ENTER to WIN a SOLAR SUMMER PACKAGE
4:30 p.m: Press Event
4:30 to 5:30: Tours of Solar Installation
4:30 to 5:45: Music
PLUS! Free treats AND your ideas for our solar future! Hosted by: SOLS: Solar On La Crosse Schools, Coulee Region Sierra Club, School District of La Crosse
Learn More

Mappy Hour!

Join Citizen Action’s Northwestern WI Organizing Cooperative, League of Women Voters, Wisconsin Conservation Voters, and other organizations for Mappy Hour!

We will be hosting a “Communities of Interest” Mapping Event in order to make sure the fair legislative maps are being drawn with the new census data etc.

Stay tuned for more info on beer incentives! 

RSVP NOW! 

Fellowship Opportunity with LIT!image of ...

Attention college students across the state! We are currently hiring for our Fall 2021 College Organizing Fellowship cohort. The fellowship runs from August 9 – December 3, 2021.

As a fellow, students can expect to spend time building true student power on campus, as well as gain valuable leadership development experience and build intentional community with other BIPOC leaders.

To apply, click here or email [email protected] with any questions. Application closes at 11:59 PM on June 27

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This is NOT that; Episode #2: “Where is the creativity?”

After protests in 2020 elected officials have introduced a variety of police-related bills. Some of the bills are more responsive to the historic movement than others.

On this week’s show, we take a deep dive into a few of the new bills, as well as the original demands which have fueled marches in the streets for over a year.

Listen Now!

Citizen Action’s Driftless Organizing Co-op got a great story on its opposition to a new CAFO in Crawford County, the Roth Feeder Pig II expansion.

Citizen Action’s Director Robert Kraig was on the Rick Smith radio and TV show to talk about Ron Johnson’s latest defense of insurrection and attack on Black Lives Matter. Listen & Watch Here (interview with Robert begins at 21 minute mark)

Citizen Action’s Robert Kraig was on the Jeff Santos show to discuss whether the Biden agenda is dead and what progressives should do now. Listen here.

Citizen Action Health Care for All Co-op Organizer Karen Kirsch wrote a column for UpNorth News on the abuses of Big Pharma. Read here!

“America needs a wealth tax” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

New blockbuster ProPublica research finds the wealthiest Americans pay a true tax rate of only 3.4%. Is America finally ready for a wealth tax? Next, the panel asks on the big question of the day: Can U.S. Senate Democrats get their act together and pass pass bills to protect American democracy? As infrastructure talks with Republicans stall, the only bi-partisanship Congress can muster is behind a nationalist anti-China agenda. Meanwhile horrendous racial disparities in health care access and vaccination access continue despite all the of the lip-service payed to health equity. Does any level of government have the courage to intervene? In the WI Legislature, Republicans look to delay local redistricting a year; and to give back federal Unemployment Insurance money. Meanwhile, a revised estimate of Legislative Republican’s cuts to schools finds it will cost the state $2.3 billion in federal revenue. We close the show by welcoming Peter Rickman from the Milwaukee Area Hospitality and Service Workers union (MASH) to discuss the Justice for Janitors contract campaign launching next Tuesday, June 15th at 3 pm in Milwaukee’s Zeidler Park.

Listen Now – Episode #496
Download Mp3

Facebook post of the week

 

“America needs a Wealth Tax” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

“America needs a Wealth Tax” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

New blockbuster ProPublica research finds the wealthiest Americans pay a true tax rate of only 3.4%. Is America finally ready for a wealth tax? Next, the panel asks on the big question of the day: Can U.S. Senate Democrats get their act together and pass pass bills to protect American democracy? As infrastructure talks with Republicans stall, the only bi-partisanship Congress can muster is behind a nationalist anti-China agenda. Meanwhile horrendous racial disparities in health care access and vaccination access continue despite all the of the lip-service payed to health equity. Does any level of government have the courage to intervene? In the WI Legislature, Republicans look to delay local redistricting a year; and to give back federal Unemployment Insurance money. Meanwhile, a revised estimate of Legislative Republican’s cuts to schools finds it will cost the state $2.3 billion in federal revenue. We close the show by welcoming Peter Rickman from the Milwaukee Area Hospitality and Service Workers union (MASH) to discuss the Justice for Janitors contract campaign launching next Tuesday, June 15th at 3pm in Milwaukee’s Zeidler Park.
Listen Now – Episode #496
Download Mp3
Press Clips

Attend Inoculation Emancipation Party with Minocqua Brewing Company
Saturday, June 12th, 11am – 7pm.
Funk’s Pub, 5956 Executive Drive #101
Fitchburg, WI

Listen to the 2nd episode of Citizen Action’s new podcast, This is NOT that.

Links:

The Secret IRS Files: Trove of Never-Before-Seen Records Reveal How the Wealthiest Avoid Income Tax.
A Wealth Tax on Ultra-Millionaires is a Winning Strategy for Democrats.
Senate-Passed Bill Encourages Tech Competition, Especially With China.
Racial and Ethnic Inequities in Health Care Coverage and Access, 2013–2019
COVID-19: Vaccine Data in Wisconsin.
Redistricting for local offices in Wisconsin would be delayed for a year under new legislation.
Maps Are Supposed to be Redrawn This Year. Republicans Want to Delay the Process, Upholding Their Gerrymander.
Redistricting debate begins with a rushed GOP plan in the Legislature.
Lost federal aid for Wisconsin schools under GOP budget action now pegged at $2.3 billion.
Wisconsin lawmakers pass bill that would end extra $300 in unemployment benefits. Evers ‘can’t imagine’ signing it.
Wisconsin Legislature Votes To End Supplemental Unemployment Benefits. Assembly Passes Bill Preventing Local, State Law Enforcement From Confiscating Legally Owned Guns, Ammunition.
Senate approves bill that would cut aid to cities that reduce their police budgets.
Wisconsin Senate votes to limit ballot drop boxes and require paperwork for absentee ballots.

This is NOT that; Episode #2: “Where is the creativity?”

This is NOT that; Episode #2: “Where is the creativity?”

After the protest movement of 2020 elected officials have introduced a variety of police-related bills. Some of the bills are more responsive to the historic movement than others. On this week’s show, we take a deep dive into a few of the new bills, as well as the original demands which have fueled marches in the streets for over a year.

Listen now to Episode #2!
Download Mp3

Listen to Episode 1; “Hey Y’all”

This week marks the one year anniversary of the murder of George Floyd, which sparked worldwide protests that continue. Today, we debut our new podcast called, This is NOT that, which will bring our unique, unfiltered conversation that centers community, people, and politics. In the first episode Isiah, JoAnna, and Rafael introduce themselves and discuss the impact George Floyd’s murder had on the Milwaukee community and our leadership as people of color.

Meet the “This is NOT that” Panel, Milwaukee Grown.

Rafael Smith leads civic engagement for Citizen Action of Wisconsin with a focus on climate and health equity in Milwaukee’s North Side, through his recent launch of North Side Rising Organizing Co-Op. Rafael Smith has led the early conversations around climate equity in Milwaukee and the priority to launch a Green New Deal at both a state and national level!

JoAnna Bautch is a leading voice in Wisconsin Movement Politics. From supporting neighborhood leaders to get their names on local ballots to launching her own campaign for the Wisconsin State Assembly, JoAnna values authentic leadership and the journey it takes to get you on the ballot!

Isiah Holmes, investigative reporter for the Wisconsin Examiner is committed to bringing you FACTS. Isaiah has led the documentation around policing in Wauwatosa and is a part of the bigger conversation of police brutality on both a local and national level. Isiah has led the

Bill Kaplan: Boss Vos dictates rejecting critical federal funding

Bill Kaplan: Boss Vos dictates rejecting critical federal funding

Photo by: Ec13328 (CC-BY-SA-4.0)
Photo by: Ec13328 (CC-BY-SA-4.0)

The Wisconsin State Journal editorialized: “Wisconsin ranks near the bottom of states – 45th out of 50 – in harnessing money from Uncle Sam, according to the Pew Charitable Trusts. So why is the Republican-run legislature – again – risking if not snubbing federal dollars from Washington that taxpayers here deserve, given all the money Wisconsin citizens pay the IRS? It doesn’t make fiscal or common sense.” Nor is it conservative. It’s simply idiotic and imprudent.

However, Wisconsin GOP leaders have a long history of rejecting federal funding. Former Governor Scott Walker blew off $810 million to upgrade a passenger rail line from Chicago through Milwaukee to Madison. Moreover, Wisconsin paid a hefty settlement ($millions) for abrogating a contract with Talgo, a Spanish train manufacturer. GOP Assembly Speaker Robin Vos clamored for rejecting the trains built for Wisconsin. Finally, state funding instead of federal funding was used to upgrade the Milwaukee train station.

It was the same with Walker’s rejecting $37 million in federal funding for an Affordable Care Act (ACA) state exchange to sell private insurance. “State (healthcare) policymakers say they can run their own exchanges more cheaply and efficiently, and can better respond to residents’ and insurers’ needs” (than the federal exchange) according to Kaiser Health News. Worse was Walker’s rejection of 100 percent federal funding for three years, declining to a permanent 90 percent, for ACA Medicaid expansion.

However, Walker and Vos were happy to throw away state taxpayers’ money – more than $4 billion – on the ever shrinking Foxconn deal. Former Indiana GOP Governor Mitch Daniels said: “Nothing in public life is more dangerous … than politicians chasing ‘jobs’ with the people’s checkbook. They can buy their way into the ribbon-cutting photos knowing that if they grossly overbid, they won’t be around when the bills come due.” Thankfully, Democratic Governor Tony Evers renegotiated the Foxconn deal, “saving taxpayers $2.77 billion”. But Vos keeps blaming others for the end of his mirage.

However, a remarkable press release from Democratic legislators on the Joint Finance Committee makes clear that Vos and other GOP legislators are repeating history – “In the past year, Republicans have ‘missed opportunities’ for Wisconsin working families in the following ways:

• May 2020, Republicans lost out on $25 million in federal funding (for) unemployment benefits because they were too slow to act … .

• Wisconsin almost lost $70 million per month in federal FoodShare money because of a Republican lawsuit to strike down (Governor Evers’) health emergency order, only saved by quick action and negotiations by Governor Evers (with the Biden administration).

• Republicans have rejected $1.6 billion in additional federal funding by refusing to expand BadgerCare (ACA Medicaid) 2021-2023 (by comparison GOP-led Wyoming, the most Republican state in 2020 elections, is still considering expanding Medicaid).

• Wisconsin has lost a separate $1.6 billion since 2013 by not expanding BadgerCare.
• Last week, Republicans underfunded the education budget so severely, Wisconsin may lose out on $1.5 billion in federal aid for schools.”

This is sheer GOP incompetence and mendacity. Boss Vos must go.

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

Citizen Action Weekly: Friday, June 4th


Friday, June 4th

Share a Brew with the CAW Crew!

Thank you to everyone who came out last weekend and celebrated the first stop of our Inoculation Emancipation Tour sponsored by Minocqua Brewing Company. We’re happy to announce the next stop on our tour will be on June 12th at Funk’s Pub in Fitchburg from 11 AM to 7 PM! The CDC recently relaxed masking protocols for large outdoor gatherings for anyone who is vaccinated.

Proof of vaccination will be required to attend this event. Only folks fully vaccinated plus 2 weeks of full protection will be admitted into the event. We’re in need of volunteers to verify vaccination cards and give free beer to those who are newly vaccinated. Volunteers will be admitted for FREE and given a free drink ticket to enjoy at the event and other Minocqua Brewing Company freebies!
Sign up to volunteer now!

A FREE BEER will be given to those who have received at least one dose in the Month of June as a big “THANK YOU” for getting vaccinated. Pick up your free beer at the entrance of the event. We look forward to sharing a Progressive Beer with you on June 12th. Register Now!

Take Action: Protect our Driftless Waters!

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Whether it is the construction of the state’s largest hog farm in Crawford County, massive PFAS pollution in La Crosse County, or lead pipes in Milwaukee, Wisconsin’s clean water is under attack.  Water is life and it is time for Wisconsinites to demand that our leaders protect our water.  As a Wisconsinite living in, or connected to the Driftless Region you know how valuable our waterways are. Our Driftless waterways provide for our farms, our health, our recreation, and our tourism.  We all care about preserving the beauty and natural resources here in the Driftless.  Everyone deserves to know that they can turn on their tap and get clean, healthy drinking water.  Everyone should know that they can swim or fish in any of our rivers and streams.

Unfortunately, plans for the state’s largest hog farm are currently threatening the nearby Kickapoo River and surrounding waterways. These plans to expand the Roth Feeder Pig II CAFO into the state’s largest hog farm are moving forward without so much as an Environmental Impact Statement to make sure our waters will be safe!  These construction plans must be subject to an Environmental Impact Statement to protect the nearby Kickapoo River and all our waters!

When Governor Evers was elected and his administration came into office in January 2019, he set out to “bring science back” to the DNR. The time for that science is NOW!  Please contact Tyler Dixx with the Wisconsin DNR at [email protected] to demand the DNR conduct an environmental impact statement prior to expansion of the Roth Feeder Pig II CAFO!

Energy Burden Discussion with Citizen Action North Side Rising Co-Op!

As Black and Latinx neighborhoods in Milwaukee struggle with disproportionately high energy bills and homes that are often old, inefficient and non-weatherized there is growing recognition for the need to prevent any new fossil fuel infrastructures. We must do all that we can to prevent a huge climate crisis, WEC (WeEnergies’ parent company) is proposing to build a gas storage facility and we cannot allow that, there are better solutions! Join us, the Wisconsin Sierra Club, Alliance for Climate Education, Black Leaders Organizing for Communities and Save Ixonia for a Facebook live discussion on June 8th at 11 AM. Don’t miss the stream, create an alert now!

Protect Our Water! Attend Virtual Hearing on Jun 10th at 10 AM

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Attend a virtual hearing, hosted by the WI DNR, on the plans for Roth Feeder Pig II. Please register and attend the DNR hearing on the Roth Feeder Pig II CAFO.  Registration is open to the public.  When you register you will be asked if you are in opposition or support of the project.  We need as many folks as possible to stand against this project. This is your opportunity to make your voice heard and speak at the hearing!

Register here

“Farms, Factories, and the Future” online forum June 5, 1:00-5:00 PM

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Crawford Stewardship Project, Sustain Rural Wisconsin Network, Socially Responsible Ag Project, and many more allies will be co-sponsoring a virtual public forum on the direction of agriculture.

-Hear and inquire about Crawford County’s experience with a CAFO, proposed expansions, regulations, and lessons learned

– Engage with a panel of sustainable and regenerative farmers and experts about resilient pathways forward for agriculture

– Network and strategize with a panel of community organizers from across the Midwest
REGISTER HERE

Join La Crosse Solar on Schools for a special celebration!

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CELEBRATE the first La Crosse School District Solar Installations! Learn how you can help add more solar to our schools! Enjoy free treats and music. Attend for the chance to WIN a SOLAR SUMMER PACKAGE!
Event Break Down:
4:30 p.m. Press Event
4:30 to 5:30: Tours of Solar Installation
4:30 to 5:45: Music
Hosted by: SOLS: Solar On La Crosse Schools, Coulee Region Sierra Club, School District of La Crosse
Learn More

Citizen Action’s Driftless Area Organizing Co-op co-led a press conference opposing the proposed Roth Feeder Pig 2 Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) in Crawford County. You can see coverage on local La Crosse TV here.

Citizen Action’s Executive Director Robert Kraig was on the Jeff Santos show for 60 minutes to discuss the state of play with Biden’s agenda, protecting democracy, and the American Jobs Act. Listen here.

“Republicans embrace anti-vaxxers & the ‘Big Lie’” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

We discuss Legislative Republican’s scheming with their corporate patrons such as Wisconsin Manufactures and Commerce (WMC) to gin up a fake “worker shortage” to punish the unemployed. Does Robin Vos really believe Wisconsinites are lazy and irresponsible or is he just trying to exploit the working class? In a clear effort to mobilize a 2022 off-year election base of anti-vaxxers and conspiracy theorists, Legislative Republicans are supporting bills to make anti-vaxxers a protected category and pumping life into the “Big Lie” with bogus “Arizona style” voter fraud investigations into the 2020 election. Meanwhile new data from the Wisconsin Election Commission demonstrates minuscule voter fraud in Wisconsin elections, most of it generated by Jim-Crow still disenfranchisement of released prisoners. We close with a discussion on the centrality of the Senate filibuster in the success of the Biden agenda, addressing the nation’s major challenges and needs, and the survival of democracy itself.

LISTEN NOW!

“Republicans embrace anti-vaxxers & the ‘Big Lie'” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

“Republicans embrace anti-vaxxers & the ‘Big Lie'” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

We discuss Legislative Republican’s scheming with their corporate patrons such as Wisconsin Manufactures and Commerce (WMC) to gin up a fake “worker shortage” to punish the unemployed. Does Robin Vos really believe Wisconsinites are lazy and irresponsible or is he just trying to exploit the working class? In a clear effort to mobilize a 2022 off-year election base of anti-vaxxers and conspiracy theorists, Legislative Republicans are supporting bills to make anti-vaxxers a protected category and pumping life into the “Big Lie” with bogus “Arizona style” voter fraud investigations into the 2020 election. Meanwhile new data from the Wisconsin Election Commission demonstrates minuscule voter fraud in Wisconsin elections, most of it generated by Jim-Crow still disenfranchisement of released prisoners. We close with a discussion on the centrality of the Senate filibuster in the success of the Biden agenda, addressing the nation’s major challenges and needs, and the survival of democracy itself.

Listen Now – Episode #495
Download Mp3
Press Clips

Links:

Bill Kaplan: Speaker Vos is disingenuous in opposing Medicaid expansion

Bill Kaplan: Speaker Vos is disingenuous in opposing Medicaid expansion

Within nanoseconds, Wisconsin GOP legislative leaders terminated a special legislative session convened to pass Medicaid expansion. Wisconsin Democratic Governor Tony Evers had called for the session to “expand BadgerCare (Medicaid) and invest the $1 billion in cost savings realized under the American Rescue Plan Act into Wisconsin’s economic recovery and more than 50 projects and economic development initiatives across the state.”

However, once again GOP Assembly Speaker Robin Vos defied common sense and math. From the beginning, even before Evers was sworn in, Vos and other GOP legislative leaders have engaged in scorched-earth tactics against Evers. Moreover, even they must be embarrassed that their opposition to Medicaid expansion is disingenuous and illogical. Vos and other GOP leaders have put themselves in an ideological corner. Rather than accepting that circumstances have changed they continue to hold Wisconsin hostage and spout phony explanations.

Cost: Republicans keep shouting that Medicaid expansion will break the bank. Poppycock. By refusing to expand Medicaid the Wisconsin GOP-led legislature will have forfeited $3.2 billion in federal funds 2014-2023. And, while Wisconsin Medicaid covers childless adults up to 100 percent poverty, not 138 percent as required by Medicaid expansion, it only gets a (temporary) pandemic 66 percent in federal funding through 2021. “By shifting to a Medicaid expansion under the ACA (Affordable Care Act), Wisconsin could increase to the 90 percent (federal) matching rate for about 213,000 childless adults, thereby cutting state costs” (Commonwealth Fund). Wisconsin would save on fiscal aid to hospitals (uncompensated care) and use federal funding for behavioral and mental health.

Welfare: Vos falsely disparages Medicaid expansion as “massive welfare expansion.” Nonsense. Medicaid is healthcare program covering about 70 million nationally and over 1 million in Wisconsin. This includes middle-working class disabled and elderly in nursing homes and low-income enrollees, most of them working. “When Ohio and Michigan expanded their Medicaid programs to broaden coverage, residents who became eligible found it easier to look for work, according to studies by the Ohio Department of Medicaid and the University of Michigan. That’s because having Medicaid gave them access to primary care doctors and prescription medicine that helped them live normal lives and get jobs” (NYT).

Socialism: Vos engages in ahistorical foolishness – “We won’t let government grow out of control and we won’t let socialism to take root in our state.” Does Vos think the leaders of 18 GOP-led Medicaid expansion states are socialists? Moreover, Medicaid enrollees are seen by private-sector doctors and hospitals. Finally, America’s Health Insurance Plans, the American Hospital and Medical Associations and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce support (fiscal) “incentives for states that have not yet expanded Medicaid … .”

Only 12 states, including Wisconsin, have not expanded Medicaid. The Marquette Poll shows 70 percent support Medicaid expansion for Wisconsin. It’s long past time for a bipartisan coalition of healthcare and political leaders to come forward to push for Medicaid expansion. There are state Republicans who support Medicaid expansion, mostly privately. Silence is not an option. Real action is needed now.

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

Citizen Action Weekly; Memorial Weekend

Citizen Action Weekly; Memorial Weekend

Friday, May 28th

Citizen Action debuts new podcast, This Is Not That

This week marks the one year anniversary of the murder of George Floyd, which sparked worldwide protests that continue. Today, we debut our new podcast called, This is NOT that, which will bring our unique, unfiltered conversation that centers community, people, and politics. In the first episode Isiah, JoAnna, and Rafael introduce themselves and discuss the impact George Floyd’s murder had on the Milwaukee community and our leadership as people of color.

Meet our Panel, Milwaukee Grown.

Rafael Smith leads civic engagement for Citizen Action of Wisconsin with a focus on climate and health equity in Milwaukee’s North Side, through his recent launch of North Side Rising Organizing Co-Op. Rafael Smith has led the early conversations around climate equity in Milwaukee and the priority to launch a Green New Deal at both a state and national level!

JoAnna Bautch is a leading voice in Wisconsin Movement Politics. From supporting neighborhood leaders to get their names on local ballots to launching her own campaign for the Wisconsin State Assembly, JoAnna values authentic leadership and the journey it takes to get you on the ballot!

Isaiah Holmes, investigative reporter for the Wisconsin Examiner is committed to bringing you FACTS. Isaiah has led the documentation around policing in Wauwatosa and is a part of the bigger conversation of police brutality on both a local and national level. Isaiah has led the

Listen now!

Citizen Action in the News

Citizen Action’s Executive Director Robert Kraig debated radio talk show host Jeff Santos for the full hour on whether President Biden is still fighting for a bold progressive agenda, or is reverting to his centrist roots. Listen to the full debate here. The Boston-based show airs in Wisconsin on Devil Radio 92.7 Madison.

The Wisconsin State Journal did a great feature story on the Green Homeowners United project, which is led by former Citizen Action Organizing Director Kevin Kane. Green Homeowners United, which is an affiliate of Citizen Action, is working to jump start the residential green transition by helping homeowners acquire low interest bank financing for energy conservation retrofits and the installation of solar energy. The savings are so great that the costs to homeowners are more than offset by lower utility bills and mortgage payments. It is the reverse of the Legislature’s BadgerCare Expansion policy where the state pays more to provide health coverage to fewer people: homeowners pay less to get more. The new social enterprise works in close partnership with Citizen Action around the state. Read the feature story here.

Join us this Saturday May 29th for Inoculation Emancipation Party sponsored by Minocqua Brewing Company.

Join the Minocqua Brewing Company and Citizen Action of Wisconsin for a party celebrating vaccination freedom with live music and #ProgressiveBeer. Music featuring Blues Legend John Primer and his Band, The Kim Wasserburger Band, the Tommy Bentz Band, and more…The CDC recently relaxed masking protocols for large outdoor gatherings for anyone who is vaccinated. So proof of vaccination will be required to attend this event. Only folks fully vaccinated plus 2 weeks of full protection will be admitted.

FREE BEER will be given to those who have had at least one shot in the Month of May as a big “THANK YOU” for getting vaccinated for their health and the health of their community.

Pick up your free beer at the entrance of the event. We’d love to have you stay but only folks fully vaccinated will be admitted. We hope you enjoy your free #ProgressiveBeer safely at home though!

Lastly, Citizen Action of Wisconsin will be giving 2 FREE pint glasses and 1 drink ticket with any donation of at least $20. Become a member for at least $60 per year to join our movement to organize people and harness Wisconsin’s collective power to build a better future for all in our state.

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED to verify vaccination cards and serve beer (bartending license not required). Volunteers will be given a free drink ticket to enjoy at the event. Indicate your interest in volunteering at the bottom of the registration page. Reminder, this is a 21+ event only. Register here!

Citizen Action Driftless Organizing Cooperative meets with new mayor of La Crosse

Thank you so much Mayor of La Crosse Mitch Reynolds for meeting with Citizen Action of Wisconsin member leaders K.C. Cayo, Joni Anderson, Tina Marie Pohlman and Heather Talbot last week!

Our meeting was wonderful! We discussed affordable housing, fair maps, universal healthcare, on-bill financing and climate issues.

Thanks to all who attended and thank you City of La Crosse for electing a progressive mayor who cares deeply about the city and her people

Take action to help protect water against CAFO in the Driftless region.
Attend rally Tuesday, June 1st, Noon, Ferryville. 

Whether it is the construction of the state’s largest hog farm in Crawford County, massive PFAS pollution in La Crosse County, or lead pipes in Milwaukee, Wisconsin’s clean water is under attack. Water is life and it is time for Wisconsinites to demand that our leaders protect our water.

Unfortunately plans for the state’s largest hog farm are currently threatening the nearby Kickapoo River and surrounding waterways. These plans to expand the Roth Feeder Pig II CAFO into the state’s largest hog farm are moving forward without so much as an Environmental Impact Statement to make sure our waters will be safe! These construction plans must be subject to an Environmental Impact Statement to protect the nearby Kickapoo River and all our waters!

Press event and rally June 1st, Noon.

Please join Citizen Action of Wisconsin and Crawford Stewardship Project for a major press event and rally to demand an Environmental impact Statement before construction. This event will be held at the scenic overlook in Ferryville Wisconsin, across the street from Jerry’s Sportsman Bar and Grill.  We will be meeting at 11:30 AM and the press event will begin at 12:00 PM. We need as many activists on site as possible to hold signs behind the speakers and hopefully line up on the streets with signs promoting clean water in Wisconsin.  We will even have water samples available from waters impacted by CAFOs so the public can see the damage they can do.

Media from La Crosse, Madison and local rural papers will be invited to cover the event.

RSVP HERE

The Healthcare Co-op fights for Care Over Cost

Almost every sector of the healthcare industry has a role in prioritizing profit over care but one of the most predatory is Blue Cross/Blue Shield.  Profits for them soared during Covid but have no doubt that the usual business of denying claims and dictating patient care, carries on. Citizen Action, along with People’s Action, is leading a campaign to let them know we are watching them.  You can take action with an already composed message to them. Believe me, they will notice if we drive enough people to send a message.  Take action HERE.

Healthcare for All Weekly Talk

Every Wednesday at 7PM, Dr. Mark Nuemann and Karen Kirsch, the Healthcare Co-op Organizer, explore the various aspects of our healthcare system.  They do have a special emphasis on why a single payer system should be the ultimate end goal but in doing so cover other related topics like BadgerCare Expansion and the ACA Supreme Court decision. You can find them on the Citizen Action of Wisconsin Facebook page via Facebook Live or register to watch them directly in Zoom.

Attend “Farms, Factories, and the Future” online forum, June 5, 1:00-5:00pm

Crawford Stewardship Project, Sustain Rural Wisconsin Network, Socially Responsible Ag Project, and many more allies will be co-sponsoring a virtual public forum on the direction of agriculture.

– Hear and inquire about Crawford County’s experience with a CAFO, proposed expansions, regulations, and lessons learned
– Engage with a panel of sustainable and regenerative farmers and experts about resilient pathways forward for agriculture- Network and strategize with a panel of community organizers from across the Midwest

REGISTER HERE

Attend a virtual hearing, hosted by the WI DNR, on the plans for Roth Feeder Pig II

Please register for and attend the DNR hearing on the Roth Feeder Pig II CAFO.  Registration is open to the public.  When you register you will be asked if you are in opposition or support of the project.  We need as many folk as possible to stand against this project.

You will also have a chance to speak at this hearing and make your voice heard, literally!

Register here

The La Crosse Area Planning Committee is embarking on a process to create a 10-year Regional Transit Development Plan, and your input is needed

A virtual open house will take place through Zoom on Thursday, May 27, 2021 at 5pm to discuss future transit service improvements for La Crosse Municipal Transit Utility (MTU), Onalaska Shared Ride (OSR), and Scenic Mississippi Regional Transit (SMRT). We want to hear from the community – transit users and non-users alike – about how bus service could be improved, and what it should look like in the future. Please click the link below to register for the open house meeting.

Register in advance for the open house on Thursday, May 27, 2021 at 5pm.

Passcode: LCRTDP

Attend St. Joseph Accountability Coalition Health Equity Event, Saturday, June 12th, Noon.

We will have resources like a COVID Vaccination Clinic, Healthy Food Donations and education on Women’s Health, Affordable Housing, Organizations that assist with Domestic Abuse and much more.

It will be a fun time for all ages so bring the entire family. Social Distancing and COVID Guidelines will be in place as well as PPE will be provided.

If you would like to share or be a part of this Community event by Tabeling, Sharing Resources/Education or receiving anything you are in need of please go to the SJAC website and register. For Tabeling email Dana Kelley at [email protected]

RSVP to attend

“This is not that. This is the” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

We welcome Citizen Action’s Movement Politics Director, JoAnna Bautch, to discuss Citizen Action’s new podcast, This is NOT that, which premiered this week on the 1st anniversary of George Floyd’s murder. The panel reviews the BadgerCare legislative Special Session that came and went quickly due to Republican intransigence. Despite refusing even to debate BadgerCare, legislative Republicans found time to attack transgendered kids and to threaten massive cuts to public school funding. Robert discusses the latest exodus of teachers in Wisconsin. Meanwhile, America’s premature reopening threatens million with pre-existing conditions and suppressed immunity. Who sounded the “all clear” siren in the middle of a global pandemic? Chris Larson enters an already crowded U.S. Senate race to take on disgraced WI Senator Ron Johnson. The GOP snipes at another U.S. Senate candidate, State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski. Why is Godlewski their early target in a multi-candidate field? National Democrats and mainline pundits increasingly agree that the GOP is a threat to democracy itself. But are the Democrats unified enough to stop them? We close by welcoming Citizen Action’s Driftless Organizing Co-op organizer, Ben Wilson, to discuss the proposed expansion of  the Roth Feeder Pig II Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) in rural Crawford County. Will corporate agriculture win again over the health and prosperity of our rural communities?

Listen Now – Episode #494
Download Mp3

Facebook post of the week

 

 

“This is not that. This is the” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

“This is not that. This is the” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

We welcome Citizen Action’s Movement Politics Director, JoAnna Bautch, to discuss Citizen Action’s new podcast, This is NOT that, which premiered this week on the 1st anniversary of George Floyd’s murder. The panel reviews the BadgerCare legislative Special Session that came and went quickly due to Republican intransigence. Despite refusing even to debate BadgerCare, legislative Republicans found time to attack transgendered kids and to threaten massive cuts to public school funding. Robert discusses the latest exodus of teachers in Wisconsin. Meanwhile, America’s premature reopening threatens million with pre-existing conditions and suppressed immunity. Who sounded the “all clear” siren in the middle of a global pandemic? Chris Larson enters an already crowded U.S. Senate race to take on disgraced WI Senator Ron Johnson. The GOP snipes at another U.S. Senate candidate, State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski. Why is Godlewski their early target in a multi-candidate field? National Democrats and mainline pundits increasingly agree that the GOP is a threat to democracy itself. But are the Democrats unified enough to stop them? We close by welcoming Citizen Action’s Driftless Organizing Co-op organizer, Ben Wilson, to discuss the proposed expansion of  the Roth Feeder Pig II Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) in rural Crawford County. Will corporate agriculture win again over the health and prosperity of our rural communities?

Listen Now – Episode #494
Download Mp3
Press Clips

Listen to the new This is NOT that podcast

Links: