Citizen Action Weekly: Friday, February 21st

Citizen Action Weekly: Friday, February 21st

Friday, February 21

Congratulation to Citizen Action members who won their primary elections this week!

  • Tricia Zunker, U.S. Congress, District 7.
  • Chris Larson, Milwaukee County Executive.
  • Dennis McBride, Wauwatosa Mayor
  • JoCasta Zamarripa, Milwaukee City Council, District 8

Citizen Action launches Race Class Narrative Deep Canvass program

The Citizen Action of Wisconsin and new partner Progress North (from the Superior, WI area) had an amazing weekend in Tomah, Wisconsin learning and practicing a brand new “Deep Canvassing” model.

Trainers from People’s Action (Citizen Action’s national network) joined us to lay down their knowledge from the past year of experimenting with this Deep Canvassing model in North Carolina and Pennsylvania last year. The script structure was taken from the Race Class Narrative messaging experiment which is led by national expert, Anat Shenker-Osorio, who is helping us with our scripts.

We will ultimately be taking a Climate message in certain parts of the state, and a Universal Family Care message in others. Both issues will incorporate questions about undocumented immigrants. The canvas is targeting persuadable voters, unmarried women, all People of Color, and youth aged 18-34.

This deep canvassing is powerful in its ability to move voters! However, the conversations can be triggering for almost all of us, as we are literally asking folks to share their racist, fear mongering, hate speech, dog whistling thoughts and beliefs with us. Because if they don’t, we can’t have a conversation that might change their perspective. Our People’s Action trainers provided us with excellent resilience, self care, and assertiveness training to be able to mitigate the amount of emotional labor that can be involved in sharing stories that are meaningful to us, as well as hearing stories and beliefs that are emotionally hard, or potentially triggering.  We also learned when to walk away.

We look forward to training Citizen Action volunteers to learn this canvassing model and talk to voters in your area of the state. We will have 4 field organizers who will be in Eau Claire, Wausau, Green Bay/Appleton and LaCrosse area. Co-op Organizers will be working to launch their members, and the team will work together to provide the volunteer trainings by March 1st.

If you want to find out more about volunteering in this important canvass contact Zoe@citizenactionwi.org or your regional co-op organizer.

Meet the 2020 Field Team!

Jon Schwarz, Fox Cities Field Organizer

Born and raised in Appleton Wisconsin, Jon is no stranger to talking to folks about issues and elections that are vitally important in his community. Jon cares passionately about healthcare for all, fighting climate change, fair maps, raising the minimum wage, and ensuring that all Wisconsinites can live their best lives.  In his free time, Jon plays guitar and sings in his own band, Bud. Listen to their new album “c’mon Jon” here.

Nancy McCarthy, Driftless Region Field Organizer

Hailing from La Crosse WI, Nancy is a member of our brand new Driftless Co-op. Nancy has decades of experience in campaigns and organizing, and works hard to ensure that we leave a beautiful and healthy Wisconsin for future generations. In her free time Nancy enjoys nature walks in the beautiful La Crosse/Coulee region.

Rachel Pride, Eau Claire/Chippewa Valley Field Organizer

Eau Claire native and long time political operative Rachel brings a wealth of candidate campaign and field organizing experience to the team. Rachel fights hard for all people and is impatient to live in a world where regardless of race or class, whether you are born here or moved here from another country, we all have access to the basic things we need and deserve. In her free time, Rachel likes hanging out with her friends and family, and catching up on sleep.

Don Dunphy and Melissa Engels-Lewis, Northcentral Field Organizers

You all know Don and Melissa right?  Don is the sitting chair for the Northcentral Wisconsin Organizing Co-op, and Melissa is a founding member!  Both are long time political activists who have stepped up in 2020 to advocate for care for all, ending climate change, fair maps, and making sure people get out and vote in 2020!

Melissa is also a full time mom and caregiver for her uncle and parent-in laws, and also harvests maple syrup, honey, and just this past year started planting hemp!  If you have any questions about plants or gardening, talk to Melissa!

Don is near full time typically volunteering for the causes he cares about, I’m sure he’s knocked on your door before!  Don enjoys nature walks and photography.

Attend Wisconsin’s 2020 Race Class Narrative Project Presentation featuring Anat Shenker-Osorio

Citizen Action is excited to invite you to attend a presentation by nationally renowned communications and messaging Guru Anat Shenker-Osorio. The event is hosted by Citizen Action of Wisconsin, America Votes, Wisconsin Voices, and Movement Voter Project

Date: February 27th
Time: 10:00 am-12:00pm
Location: The Marquette Room: 2301 W. Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee

Click here to RSVP: Max Capacity Limits Apply. 20 Seats left as of 02/21/20: This event is open to the public and free to attend.

Wisconsin is one of 5 other Midwest states that have joined in partnership on this project with lead researcher Anat Shenker-Osorio and renowned pollster Celinda Lake. For the past several months more than 21 grassroots, labor, civic engagement, and political organizing groups from Wisconsin have been working with the Midwest RCN Project team to uncover how Wisconsinites can build public support for a progressive agenda including women’s rights, criminal justice reform, expansion of democracy, immigrant rights and economic equity. In addition to offering a compelling affirmative vision, this vetted narrative and strategic delivery approach has proven an effective means to disrupt the corporate-conservative racial wedge politics that have been so durably damaging to multi-racial solidarity, racial justice, gender equity and support for democracy.

Please join us on Thursday February 27th when Anat Shenker-Osorio will unveil our state research findings and recommendations for a Wisconsin specific race class narrative framework to combat fear-mongering, hate speech, and dog whistles across issues to mobilize and energize our base, persuade the middle and alienate the opposition.

If you are new to the Race Class Narrative body of research and want to learn more:  

Listen to this  (https://crooked.com/podcast/chapter-5-the-midwest/  or read this Washington Post opinion piece

Citizen Action Members are fighting climate change (and saving money) by upgrading their homes with energy efficiency upgrades

Citizen Action of Wisconsin has launched a fellowship program as part of our “Green Homes, Good Jobs” campaign helping our members fight climate change, create local union jobs, and save money by upgrading their homes with solar panels, new insulation, air sealing, new heating/cooling units and other energy saving measures while saving money right away. These fellowships are four week programs that can save homeowners thousands of dollars a year in utility costs and allow homeowners to claim hundreds of dollars in rebates and tax credits. Best of these upgrades come at no upfront cost!

If you have been interested in upgrading your home with solar panels and other upgrades to reduce your carbon footprint then this program is for you!  This is your chance to do your part to protect the planet while saving money every month! This fellowship will also teach you how to be a leader in your community helping to fight climate change!

Citizen Action’s next fellowship program will be launching in March.  For more information or to sign up to join the next fellowship please fill out this form.  The deadline to apply for the next fellowship is Feb 24th.

“Coffee With your Co-op” gathering with special guest State Senate district 14 candidate Joni Anderson, this Saturday, February 22

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

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

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

The next “Coffee With Your Co-op” event will be in Viroqua and will be announced soon so stay tuned!

Progresstival is Saturday, Feb 29th in La Crosse and Citizen Action of Wisconsin will be there!

Progressitival is the largest gathering of progressive organizations and groups in the Coulee Region.  This year’s event is going to be huge with twenty different groups talking to progressive activists and getting everyone ready for the most important election year of our lives!  Special guest Elizabeth Ward, the executive director of the John Muir chapter of the Sierra Club in the will be the keynote speaker this year.

Citizen Action of Wisconsin will be on hand to talk to people about how they can get involved in our “Green Homes, Good Jobs” campaign to reduce their carbon footprint and save money on utility bills.  We will also be leading a workshop called “Organizing for Action.”

We would like a few co-op members to be on hand to help get the word out about Citizen Action of Wisconsin at our table. If you are interested in signing up for a short volunteer shift please email Ben at ben.wilson@citizenactionwi.org.

For more information on this exciting event you can visit the Coulee Progressive website right here.  We hope to see everyone join us and get involved with Citizen Action and all our progressive partners.  Together we can create a better tomorrow!

Healthcare story collection event in La Crosse, March 7th

Whether you are black, white, Asian American or Native American we all have had issues with healthcare in America.  Have you ever faced unexpected healthcare bills? Have you ever skipped going to the doctor when you should have gone because of the cost?  Have you ever lost your health insurance? Have you or a loved one ever skipped filling a prescription due to the high cost? Is your health insurance basically useless due to the high cost of co-pays or deductibles? Do you have loved ones who don’t have any health insurance? The story of your experience in the current American healthcare system has power to create real change!

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

This event is open to the public so please invite friends and family who care about expanding healthcare across Wisconsin and across America!  Please RSVP for this event here.

Canvass for Milwaukee Public Schools Referendum, Saturday, February 22nd

Vote Yes for MPS coalition, which includes Citizen Action of Wisconsin, is canvassing in support of the April 7th referendum this Saturday, February 22nd, 10am – 1pm & Noon – 3pm.
Canvassers can meet at:

  • MTEA office, 5130 W. VlietSt.
  • Bay View Community Center, 1320 E Oklahoma Ave.
  • Peace Action Wisconsin, 1001 E Keefe Ave.

RSVP here
Get a Yes for MPS yard sign (see image) We have signs in our office, 221 S. 2nd ST. #300

Join us Thursday, Feb. 27th in Wauwatosa as we discuss on how we can move our utility to renewable energies 

Panel members will help us explore:

  • How does our local utility compare to other utilities in the region?
  • How can we accelerate the transition to clean energy in the Milwaukee area?
  • What are the economic impacts of shifting from fossil fuels to clean energy?
  • What policy changes are needed?
  • How can the City-County Task Force developing Milwaukee’s Green New Deal drive a faster, more equitable, Clean Energy Transition.  

Date: Thursday, February 27, 2020
Time: 6-8pm

Universal Family Care and the Healthcare Co-op

The long term care team, got together in the City of Wauwatosa this week to talk about their plans to let Wisconsin know about a new Resolution called Universal Family Care.  Our current care structure is burdening families instead of supporting them. UFC is a new social insurance program that would make early child care, paid leave, support for people with disabilities and elder care accessible and affordable for all. If you think this is something we need, email Karen, our healthcare organizer at karen.kirsch@citizenactionwi.org.

The team is setting up a public event to talk about it on March 18th so stay tuned.

“Let’s get ready to rumble” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

We review the boxing match that broke out during the sensational Nevada Democratic presidential primary debate in Las Vegas. The panel debriefs this week’s Spring Primary Election in Wisconsin that saw Jill Karofsky easily advance to the general election against conservative Dan Kelly in the state Supreme Court race. We close with a discussion of the Republican legislature’s rejection of Governor Evers’ plan to increase education funding and instead make regressive moves to increase mass incarceration.

LISTEN NOW – EPISODE #430
Download Mp3
Citizen Action Media Clips

Facebook post of the week

Citizen Action Weekly: Friday, February 14th

Citizen Action Weekly: Friday, February 14th

Friday, February 14th

Vote next Tuesday, February 18th in Spring Primary Election

  • Ed Fallone & Jill Karofsky, State Supreme Court
  • Tricia Zunker, Congress District 7 Special Election
  • Chris Larson, Milwaukee County Executive.

Volunteer to help candidates get out the vote SEE BELOW

Citizen Action of Wisconsin Grassroots Lobbying Training event

This past weekend Citizen Action of Wisconsin members and concerned activists in La Crosse met for an important training on how to meet with elected leaders and lobby them for the kind of change they want to see. This training turned out to be a great event! Ten co-op members were joined by ten concerned citizens who were new to Citizen Action. Citizen Action of Wisconsin deputy director Matt Brusky was on hand to lead this training.

Topics included how to set an appointment, how to prepare for the visit, the importance of taking notes in the meeting (and paying attention to when the elect leader you are meeting with starts taking notes), how to explain the topic, how to talk about an issue you care about even if you are not an expert, how to tell your personal story, how to make an ask of an elected leader, and what your follow up should look like. You can read our tips to meeting with an elected leader right here.

After our 45 minute workshop we broke into work groups to discuss the issues attendees wanted to lobby on. Ten participants wanted to work on healthcare issues and the other ten wanted to work on climate change issues. Those on site planned out their next steps detailing who they want to meet with and what issues they want to talk about.

Co-op members who want to make a difference and get involved should contact Ben Wilson (ben.wilson@citizenactionwi.org) right away. The state senate will soon be taking up a series of climate change bill that would be an amazing first step in Wisconsin’s fight against climate change. Hopefully soon we will be working with members of the La Crosse county board on a Medicare For All county resolution. It is vital that our law makers hear from us about these issues and many more.

If you are interested in bringing a grassroots lobbying training event to your area please contact Ben at ben.wilson@citizenactionwi.org.

Updates From Your North Central Organizing Co-op

It recently came out that there is an alleged agreement between the Trump administration and Lao People’s Democratic Republic to export long-time Hmong and Lao residents back to Laos. This has sent a ripple effect of fear and trauma for some in these communities. Co-op member, and Congressional candidate for the 7th CD, Tricia Zunker organized a press event in response to this. She invited founding Co-op member (County Board Supervisor and Candidate for the Wausau School Board) Ka Lo and Wausau Mayoral candidate (County Board Supervisor and Co-op member) Katie Rosenberg to speak on this issue, as well as other members of the community and the Co-op. You can see coverage of this event on WAOW, WSAW, Wausau Daily Herald, and WJFW.

Founding NC Organizing Co-op member, David Barnhill, is always hard at work in Vilas, and Oneida County. Here is an opportunity to catch a film, called Dark Money, with David and friends. David is also an active member of his County party, OWR-Northwoods Chapter, and many other groups.

On Monday, February 10th, NC Organizing Co-op Organizer, Joel Lewis, was invited to speak about the importance of voting, at the Northcentral Technical College’s (NTC) Alternative High

School classes. He spoke to nearly 40 students between the morning and afternoon classes. Many of the students feel like their voice does not matter or that they can’t make a difference. Joel pointed to successes at the local level that would not have occurred without people being organized and without voting. The students had great questions, and a couple of them even thanked Joel for taking the time to come speak with them and for listening to them. Maybe they were inspired to get more active! Everyone in the room also pledged to take the Census!

There will be a Fair Maps WiLD Training in Wausau, Feb. 28th – March 1st at the Jefferson Street Inn. This all started to culminate at a Fair Maps Summit put on in Marshfield earlier in the year. Now, there has been a planning meeting in Ladysmith, and in Wausau, to ensure that we have a great turnout at the training. Several Co-op members and allies will be at this training and have played a very active role in this year’s (as well as in previous years) Fair Maps efforts. Marathon and Oneida counties both have not passed Fair Maps resolutions, nor have they had a referendum on their ballots to ask the voters what they think. Stay tuned!!

Help Citizen Action of Wisconsin design a campaign to help people move their money away from polluters 

We all know that in today’s world we all vote with our dollar. How we spend our money everyday impacts the decisions made by American corporations that have a huge impact on our lives. Citizen Action of Wisconsin wants to help everyone start using their spending power to let polluters know that we demand action to save our environment and fight climate change!

Citizen Action of Wisconsin’s organizing director Kevin Kane is designing a campaign help people move their money from polluters. Kevin would like your help designing this campaign.  Please take a moment and use this link to schedule a 30 minute phone call with Kevin. 

By voting with our dollars we can hit polluters where it hurts and let them know that we demand action to save our planet for future generation!

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

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

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

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

The next “Coffee With Your Co-op” event will be in Viroqua and will be announced soon so stay tuned!

Join us in Wauwatosa, February 27th, as we discuss on how we can move our utility to renewable energies

Panel members will help us explore:

  •  How does our local utility compare to other utilities in the region?
  • How can we accelerate the transition to clean energy in the Milwaukee area?
  • What are the economic impacts of shifting from fossil fuels to clean energy?
  • What policy changes are needed?
  • How can the City-County Task Force developing Milwaukee’s Green New Deal drive a faster, more equitable, Clean Energy Transition.

Date: Thursday, February 27, 2020
Time: 6-8pm
Location: Wauwatosa Library, 7635 North Ave., Firefly Room
RSVP & More information 

Citizen Action Members are fighting climate change (and saving money) by upgrading their homes with energy efficiency upgrades

Citizen Action of Wisconsin has launched the Green & Union Homes fellowship program to help our members fight climate change, create local living wage jobs, and save money by upgrading their homes with solar panels, new insulation, air sealing, new heating/cooling units and other energy saving measures while saving money right away. The fellowship is a four week completely-virtual training and coaching program, with the next group starting in March, that can save homeowners thousands of dollars a year in utility costs and allow homeowners to claim hundreds of dollars in rebates and tax credits. These upgrades can come at no upfront cost, and fellows can qualify for between $900-to-$2,000 to cover their time.

If you have been interested in upgrading your home with solar panels and other upgrades to reduce your carbon footprint then this program could be for you. Fellows will learn why upgrading homes matters, how to do it, who can perform the work, and how to move banks and credit unions to start paying for it immediately so you see immediate savings. Most importantly, it will prepare you to share with others how they too can fight climate change at home.

Citizen Action’s next fellowship program will be launching in March. For more information or to sign up to join the next fellowship please fill out this form. The deadline to apply for the next fellowship is Feb 25th.

Volunteer to help Citizen Action endorsed Tricia Zunker for Congress District 7

The Marathon County Democratic Party has a canvass this weekend from Noon to 3 to help Get out the Vote for Tricia and our State Supreme Court candidates. If you live in other parts of the 7th CD, please contact your local party for volunteer and get out the vote opportunities.

Volunteer for Citizen Action endorsed Chris Larson for Milwaukee County Executive

Watch new video about Chris Larson’s campaign

RSVP to Make Phone calls from home:

  • February 14-16
  • February 17th
  • February 18th

RSVP to Canvass:

  • Saturday, February 15th: Canvass in Northwest Milwaukee, 9am-12pm; Canvass in Northwest Milwaukee, 12pm-3pm
  • Sunday, February 16th; Canvass in Bayview, 10am-1pm; Canvass in Bayview, 1pm-4pm
  • Monday, February 17 GOTV Literature drops and phones
  • Tuesday, February 17 GOTV Literature drops, phones, visibility, and rides to polls.

RSVP to volunteer at Larson Campaign Office

  • Saturday, February 15th, 9am-12pm, 12pm-3pm; and 2pm-5pm
  • Sunday, February 16th, 11am-2pm, 2pm-5pm; and 4pm-7pm

Volunteer to Canvass with Citizen Action endorsed candidate JoCasta Zamarripa to get out the vote!

shifts available:

RSVP HERE

Meet at: 3600 W Pierce St, Milwaukee

Volunteer to Canvass with Citizen Action endorsed candidate Marina Dimitrijevic

Join Marina for coffee, snacks and an opportunity to knock on voters’ doors for Marina Dimitrijevic for Alderwoman.

RSVP HERE

Canvass for Milwaukee Public Schools Referendum, Saturday, February 14th

Vote Yes for MPS coalition, which includes Citizen Action of Wisconsin, is canvassing in support of the April 7th referendum this Saturday, February 14th, 10am – 1pm & Noon – 3pm. Canvassers can meet at the MTEA office, 5130 W. VlietSt., Bay View Community Center, 1320 E Oklahoma Ave., and Peace Action Wisconsin, 1001 E Keefe Ave.

RSVP here

Get a Yes for MPS yard sign (see image)

“Wis GOP votes for mass incarceration” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast       

We discuss the shameful legislative week for Wisconsin Republicans that included ignoring Gov. Evers’ call for a special session on education in favor of bills locking up more people at great cost and politicizing sexual assault kit testing. Our panel reviews the state of the Democratic presidential primary contest after the New Hampshire primary and looks forward to the spring primary election next Tuesday, Feb 18th. A Milwaukee TV station finds registered voters who are wrongly targeted for purging from the state rolls. We also welcome Citizen Action co-op member Alex Brower who is running for City of Milwaukee Comptroller on a progressive agenda that includes replacing WeEnergies with a public municipal utility and establishing a public bank.

Listen Now – Episode #429
Download MP3

Facebook post of the week

 

Citizen Action Weekly: Friday, February 7th

Citizen Action Weekly: Friday, February 7th

Friday, February 7th

Citizen Action of Wisconsin endorses Tricia Zunker for Congress District 7 Special Election. Vote Tuesday, February 18th!

Citizen Action is proud to announce the endorsement of Tricia Zunker for the U.S. Congress District 7 special election. The Primary Election is Tuesday, February 18th and the General Election is Tuesday, May 12th.

Tricia is a Citizen Action of Wisconsin organizing co-op member from Wausau and currently the president of the Wausau School Board. Tricia has been leading a statewide effort to retire Native American mascots from Wisconsin public schools.

This Friday, Citizen Action of Wisconsin’s Board finalized the endorsement of Tricia Zunker. The process included candidate questionnaires and two Citizen Action candidate forums hosted by Citizen Action’s Northwest and Northcentral Organizing Co-ops in Rice Lake and Wausau. At the forums members asked questions of the two Democratic Party candidates. The events were attended by nearly one hundred members and allies. Following the candidate forums, leaders from both co-ops discussed the election and recommended to the Citizen Action Board the endorsement of Tricia Zunker.

See media coverage from the Wausau forum on January 27th. Watch the Wausau forum.

Watch a video featuring Tricia Zunker.
LIKE Tricia’s campaign facebook page

How you can help Tricia win!

  1. Donate! You do not have to live in this district to be affected by the outcome of this Special Election.
  2. Host a fundraiser.
  3. Volunteer with the campaign to canvass, phone or send text messages to important voters. Talking to voters is super important! To volunteer, email: campaign@triciaforwisconsin.com
  4. Call your friends and family about voting for Tricia. Call ten people and get them to vote Tricia Zunker. Have them each commit to calling ten people to do the same.
  5. Social Media. Follow and share posts frequently. Invite all your friends to like/follow: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Website.
  6. Put up a yard sign.
  7. VOTE Tuesday, February 18th and Tuesday, May 12th.

Email: campaign@triciaforwisconsin.com to help out!

Contact Joel.Lewis@citizenactionwi.org to find out how you can volunteer to help Tricia’s campaign in North Central WI and Breana.Stanley@citizenactionwi.org in Northwestern WI.

Citizen Action invites you to attend a fundraiser for Milwaukee Public Schools Referendum, Tuesday, February 11th, 5:30pm

Citizen Action of Wisconsin president Mark Thomsen and Grace Thomsen invite you to support Milwaukee public schools next Tuesday, February 11th, 5:30pm.

The event will raise resources for the MPS referendum committee, which is leading the effort supporting the April 7th referendum to increase funding for Milwaukee Public Schools.

In order to win this referendum the campaign will need to speak to thousands of voters before the April 7th election and that requires resources and volunteers. We need you to contribute.

Come join us next Tuesday, February 11th or donate today.

Event Details:
Tuesday, February 11th, 5:30PM – 7:30PM
Home of Grace and Mark Thomsen
2217 E Kenilworth Pl, Milwaukee
DONATE TODAY

Get a Yes for MPS yard sign

Volunteer for Citizen Action endorsed Chris Larson for Milwaukee County Executive

RSVP to Make Phone calls from home:

  • Weekend of February 7-9
  • Weekend of February 14-16
  • February 17th
  • February 18th

RSVP to Canvass:

  • Saturday, February 8th: Canvass in Shorewood, 9am-12pm; Canvass in Northwest Milwaukee, 12pm-3pm
  • Sunday, February 9th; Canvass in Wauwatosa, 10am-1pm; Canvass in Wauwatosa, 1pm-4pm
  • Saturday, February 15th: Canvass in Northwest Milwaukee, 9am-12pm; Canvass in Northwest Milwaukee, 12pm-3pm
  • Sunday, February 16th; Canvass in Bayview, 10am-1pm; Canvass in Bayview, 1pm-4pm
  • Monday, February 17 GOTV Literature drops and phones
  • Tuesday, February 17 GOTV Literature drops, phones, visibility, and rides to polls.

RSVP to volunteer at Larson Campaign Office

  • Saturday, February 15th, 9am-12pm, 12pm-3pm; and 2pm-5pm
  • Sunday, February 16th, 11am-2pm, 2pm-5pm; and 4pm-7pm

Canvass for Milwaukee Public Schools Referendum, Saturday, February 8th

Vote Yes for MPS coalition, which includes Citizen Action of Wisconsin, is canvassing in support of the April 7th referendum this Saturday, February 8th, 10am – 1pm & Noon – 3pm. Canvassers can meet at the MTEA office, 5130 W. Vliet. or Peace Action WI, 1001 E. Keefe Ave.

RSVP here.

Volunteer to Canvass with Citizen Action endorsed candidate Marina Dimitrijevic

Join Marina for coffee, snacks and an opportunity to knock on voters’ doors for Marina Dimitrijevic for Alderwoman.

RSVP HERE

Movement Politics Director, JoAnna Bautch, Hits the Ground in NC WI!

On Wednesday, Feb. 5th, Citizen Action’s new Movement Politics Director, JoAnna Bautch, traveled to Wasuau to met with local elected leaders that are also sustaining members of the Citizen Action of WI North Central Organizing Co-op.

The meetings were an opportunity to discuss the unique challenges local candidates and elected officials confront and how Citizen Action can better organize with them to both win their elections and than successfully implement our shared agenda through governing together.

JoAnna met with:

  • Katie Rosenberg, Wausau Mayoral candidate
  • Tricia Zunker, 7th Congressional District candidate
  • Sarah Watson, Wausau City Council (District 8) candidate
  • Yee Leng Xiong, Marathon County Board of Supervisors, Weston Village Board of Trustees, and DC Everest School Board.
  • Ka Lo, Marathon County Board of Supervisors and Wausau School Board candidate.

JoAnna also attended the Wausau Mayoral debate between incumbent Mayor Mielke and Co-op member, Katie Rosenberg, organized by the American Association of Women (AAUW) and the Citizen Action of Wisconsin Education Fund.

You can see press coverage of the debate from the Wausau Daily Herald, WSAU, and WAOW Newschannel 9.

Healthcare Co-op and the State of the Union

Citizen Action members gathered together on Tuesday, February 4th to watch President Trump give his State of the Union address. The lies were numerous on all topics but for the purpose of efficiency and limited space, we will focus on healthcare.

The largest whopper of a lie was his concern for pre-existing conditions. You can’t tout support for pre-existing conditions protections while trying to slash the ACA. The ACA is the only mechanism that has authority over all health insurance companies and plans nationwide. States can pass some protections but the ACA at the Federal level is the most comprehensive.

His second most misleading statement was touting price transparency as some great panacea. Price transparency is a real proposal, and it would be a good thing to force hospitals to give their real prices. However, It won’t actually lower prices unless it is followed by using the power of government to actually set the price as Medicare does. It is just not feasible to price shop for health care even when you know the price. We know Trump and conservatives oppose setting the price, which only Medicare for All or a strong public option will do. In addition, there is a fatal flaw, the $300 a day fine in Trump’s Executive Order is so low given the wealth of hospitals, most may simply pay it.

His third most misleading statement is that he wants to rein in prescription drug costs.  Numerous drafts of bills sit on Mitch McConnel’s desk including HR 3 the lower drug prices now act. Republicans have been totally stagnated around this issue.

It would be nice if we had a three strikes and you’re out rule but we don’t so we must play and fight on.  If you want to organize around the issue of healthcare, please contact our healthcare organizer karen.kirsch@citizenactionwi.org.

Citizen Grassroots Lobbying Training on February 8th in La Crosse

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Healthcare story collection event in La Crosse, Saturday, March 7th

Whether you are black, white, Asian American or Native American we have all had struggles with the current healthcare system in America.  Have you ever faced unexpected healthcare bills? Have you ever skipped going to the doctor when you should have gone because of the cost? Have you ever lost your health insurance? Have you or a loved one ever skipped filling a prescription due to the high cost? Is your health insurance basically useless due to the high cost of co-pays or deductibles? Do you have loved ones who don’t have any health insurance? The story of your experience in the current American healthcare system has power to create real change!

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

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

“Historic Political Week” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

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

LISTEN NOW – EPISODE #428
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LISTEN to Executive Director Robert Kraig spent an hour on the Earl Ingram Radio show talking about Donald Trump, health care, the presidential primaries, and a Green New Deal.  You can listen to the whole interview here

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Citizen Action Weekly: Friday, January 31st

Citizen Action Weekly: Friday, January 31st

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

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

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

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

Citizen Action endorses Chris Larson for Milwaukee County Executive

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Milwaukee area endorsements 

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

City of Milwaukee Common Council

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

Milwaukee County Board

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Canvass for Milwaukee Public School  Referendum, Saturday February 1st

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

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

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

Citizen Grassroots Lobbying Training on February 8th in La Crosse

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Southeastern and Healthcare “coffee with your Co-op” 

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

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

Healthcare story collection event in La Crosse March 7th

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

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

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

“Organizing the Bucks” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

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

Listen now!

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Citizen Action Weekly: Friday, January 24th

Citizen Action Weekly: Friday, January 24th

Friday, January 24th

Trump promises kept on Rx reform? More like promises broken

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

By: Robert Kraig

This piece first ran in the Wisconsin Examiner

Photo by: Circe Denyer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rx Wisconsin

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo: Katie Rosenberg

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NEW Bay View Community Center location

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

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

Participate in our endorsement process

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

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

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

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

Citizen Grassroots Lobbying training in La Crosse Feb 8th

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Volunteer to help Sanders and Warren campaigns

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RSVP and invite your friends!   

“State of ‘Sconne” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

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

Listen Now – Episode #426
Download MP3
Press Clips

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Citizen Action Weekly: Vote in Supreme Court Survey

Citizen Action Weekly: Vote in Supreme Court Survey

Friday, January 17th

Citizen Action Member Survey on State Supreme Court Election

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

Please take the survey today!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Dark Money” movie showing in Viroqua.

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

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

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

Climate Change and Economic Equity in Milwaukee

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

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

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

Citizen Grassroots Lobbying training in La Crosse Feb 8th

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sign pledge NOW!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Medicare for All Event in Madison

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

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

“2020 Election Heats Up the Winter” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

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

LISTEN NOW – EPISODE #425
Download MP3
Media Clips

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Citizen Action Weekly: Friday, January 10th

Citizen Action Weekly: Friday, January 10th

Friday, January 10th

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

RSVP and more information

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

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

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

RSVP via facebook

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

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

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

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

“Dark Money” movie showing and discussion in Viroqua

Citizen Action of Wisconsin will be sponsoring a viewing and group discussion about the movie “Dark Money” at the Commons (401 E Jefferson st) in Viroqua on January 15th at 6:30 PM.  Dark Money is a political thriller that examines the greatest threat to American democracy; the influence of untraceable corporate money on our elections. “Dark Money” uncovers the shocking truth of how American elections are bought and sold.  This Sundance award-winning documentary is directed and produced by Kimerly Redd.  

Please click here to RSVP.

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

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

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

Bus Routes: 21 67 76

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

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

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

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

Save the Dates in North Central Organizing Co-op

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Upcoming Citizen Action Northwestern Wisconsin Co-op Meetings

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

“Trump’s Imperial America” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

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

Listen Now – Episode #424
Download MP3

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Citizen Action Weekly: January 3rd, 2020

Citizen Action Weekly: January 3rd, 2020

Friday, January 3rd

Wisconsin Supreme Court Candidate Interviews with Jill Karofsky and Ed Fallone. 

Thursday, January 9th 5:45pm – 8pm
Citizen Action Office, 221 S. 2nd St. #300, Milwaukee

6pm: Jill Karofsky
7pm: Ed Fallone

Come meet the candidates for the state’s high court. The primary election will be Tuesday, February 18th, 2020. The General Election will be Tuesday, April 7th, 2020.

You can watch via Zoom web conference.

Wisconsin Supreme Court candidate interviews watch party in Viroqua.

Citizen Action of Wisconsin with help locally from our friends at the Vernon County Democrats will be sponsoring a statewide interview with progressive Supreme Court candidates Ed Fallon and Jill Karofsky on Thursday January 9th from 6:00 to 8:00. Interviews will happen in Milwaukee and be remotely shared across the state.

Join us at the Vernon County Democrats office in the lower level 504  East Decker St in Viroqua, 6pm – 8pm. The entrance to the office is on the same side of the building as the parking lot. Please RSVP for this event here.

Supreme Court candidate interview watch party in Eau Claire

Join Citizen Action NWWI Co-op’s Watch Party as we interview Supreme Court candidates Jill Karofsky and Ed Fallone. January 9, 2020 from 6:00pm to 8:00pm at the Eau Claire Democratic Resource Center – 440 Broadway St., Eau Claire. This will be a great chance to hear from these nominees and ask questions before the Spring election.

Supreme Court candidate interview watch party in Appleton

Democratic Party of Outagamie County
2701 N Oneida St suite C-1, Appleton
Thursday, January 9th, 5:30pm – 8:00pm

Citizen Action’s Movement Politics Director, JoAnna Bautch, featured in Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel story on what should happen in Wisconsin in the next decade.

“I hope Milwaukee learns to embrace its diverse population. The entire U.S. is a melting pot of cultures, and we are no different in Milwaukee.

According to the U.S. Census, less than 45% of the population identifies as white only. In Milwaukee, the Latinx population is the fastest-growing constituency, we are home to a large African American community, and we have a rising Asian and Hmong-American community.

Yet we are known as “America’s most segregated city,” and Milwaukeeans of color continually face interpersonal and systemic racism. Embracing diversity means people of color feel safe to live their lives in the place they call home.

A position in an elected office can be lonely for women. In our city, more than 50% of the population is women. However, only 36 of the 132 lawmakers in Wisconsin are women, and in Milwaukee, only three of the 15-member Common Council are women. So, although Wisconsin was the first state to ratify the 19th Amendment, women have a long way to go when it comes to representation in politics. Embracing diversity means investing in women’s leadership.”

Read more of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel story!

Coffee with your co-op meetings in the Driftless region

Citizen Action of Wisconsin will be hosting monthly, informal coffee get-togethers throughout the year.  These “Coffee with your Co-op” events will be a great chance to get to know fellow activists, talk about issues that matter, talk strategy for the year and grab coffee with amazing, passionate activists!  We will be hosting events in both La Crosse and Viroqua. Members are invited to both meetings. Please feel free to invite any family or friends that are interested in creating a better Wisconsin!

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

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

“Dark Money” movie showing and discussion in Viroqua

Citizen Action of Wisconsin will be sponsoring a viewing and group discussion about the movie “Dark Money” at the Commons, 401 E Jefferson St., in Viroqua on January 15th at 6:00 PM.  Dark Money is a political thriller that examines the greatest threat to American democracy; the influence of untraceable corporate money on our elections. “Dark Money” uncovers the shocking truth of how American elections are bought and sold.  This Sundance award-winning documentary is directed and produced by Kimerly Redd.  Please click here to RSVP.

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

All Citizen Action co-op members are welcome to attend our candidate interviews at Citizen Action’s Office, 221 S. 2nd St. #300, Milwaukee.

RSVP and more information.

Clean Energy and Efficiency for Milwaukee’s Buildings and Houses

Come and join on Thursday, January 16, 2020 at 6 PM – 8 PM as we have a lively and serious discussion about clean energy and energy efficiency and what it means for the future of Milwaukee’s buildings and homes. To RSVP for the event, follow the link https://www.facebook.com/events/1518060475023020/

“Legalize marijuana, criminalize voter suppression” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

We discuss the latest news surrounding the organized conservative effort to hold state election commission officials in contempt for keeping voters on the rolls following the Election Commission’s deadlocking on whether to purge people from the voter registration roles. Illinois’ legalization of marijuana started on January 1st and saw huge lines across the state, particularly at locations near the state boarder. We talk about the Democratic presidential primary race, including the of Secretary Julian Castro. We close by reviewing Governor Evers’ first year in office and look towards 2020.

LISTEN NOW – EPISODE #423
Download MP3

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Citizen Action Weekly: Friday, December 20th

Citizen Action Weekly: Friday, December 20th

Friday, December 20th
Happy Holidays

Federal Court Decision Threatens Health Coverage in Wisconsin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

People’s Action endorses Bernie Sanders for President.

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

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

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

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

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

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

North Central Organizing Co-op 2019 Recap

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Oneida County
  • Marathon County
  • Portage County

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Dark Money” movie showing and discussion in Viroqua

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

“Historic 24 hours” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

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

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

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Citizen Action Weekly: Friday, December 13th

Citizen Action Weekly: Friday, December 13th

Friday, December 13th

Citizen Action hires new movement politics director, JoAnna Bautch

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Healthcare Consumer Protection Team-Looking for Heroes

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

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

Here is a great story detailing this issue. 

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

Universal Family Care and Long Term Care

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

You can read more about here.

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

Citizen Action supports investing in Milwaukee Public School students 

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

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

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

Watch video of media event on Monday.

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

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

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

“Dark Money” movie showing and discussion in Viroqua

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

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

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

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

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

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

Northeast Coop organizer speaks at Wisconsin Conservation Voters Event

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

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

“2020 prescription drug plan” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

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

Listen Now – Episode #421
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