Citizen Action Weekly: Friday, Feb 19th

Citizen Action Weekly: Friday, Feb 19th

 

 

 

Friday, Feb 19th

State Superintendent Candidate Forum, Monday, February 22nd, 6pm

Citizen Action of Wisconsin will host a statewide membership event to meet the 2021 state superintendent candidates on Monday, February 22, at 6:00 pm.

The virtual forum is an opportunity for our members to learn more about the candidates and their positions on subjects important to our communities. Candidates seek to hold Wisconsin’s highest education office, and we need an equity-minded superintendent who will stand up for our public schools. Both candidates have been invited to attend. 

 RSVP today! The nonpartisan state superintendent election takes place on Tuesday, April 6.

Citizen Action commends the Governor’s budget on healthcare costs, climate, and economic equity.

On behalf of its grassroots members across the state, Citizen Action of Wisconsin commends Governor Evers for the important advances in his state budget to address the crippling cost of health care, and the pressing need for an immediate climate transition that expands economic opportunity for everyone in Wisconsin, especially all of the people left out of prosperity and in desperate need of family supporting jobs.

The crushing cost of healthcare has been the top issue in Wisconsin for two consecutive elections. Governor Evers included major health care initiatives that Citizen Action members have been fighting for, including full BadgerCare Expansion under the Affordable Care Act, a new BadgerCare Public Option to give Wisconsinites a more affordable choice than corporate for-profit insurance, and a Prescription Drug Price Review Board to restrict price gouging by the Pharmaceutical industry. The Governor also includes in his budget the creation of a Wisconsin health insurance marketplace under the Affordable Care Act, a critical cost, access, and accountability reform for which Citizen Action has long fought for.

Citizen Action members across Wisconsin have also been organizing for a large-scale climate transition that uses the opportunity to radically expand economic opportunity and equity for working Wisconsinites left out of access to good family supporting jobs, especially those from marginalized communities and economically challenged rural areas.

Following up on the recommendations of the Governor’s Task Force on Climate Change, Chaired by Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, the budget includes several initiatives Citizen Action members have been fighting for. These include on-bill utility bill financing (zero cost financing for home energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades for homeowners and renters), and a requirement that Wisconsin municipalities develop comprehensive climate action and resilience plans.

Citizen Action commends additional major budget items included by Governor Evers. The Governor’s investment in rural broadband, especially the enabling of public broadband in the most underserved areas, is a major issue Citizen Action’s rural members have been pushing for to level the playing field for Wisconsin’s rural communities. In the area of voting rights, the budget mandates automatic voter registration, a common sense reform to remove needless obstacles to voting for which Citizen Action has advocated for over a decade.

Citizen action also commends the Governor’s proposals to end the failed prohibition of marijuana, the expansion of workers rights to form unions and bargain collectively in the public and private sectors, a dramatically enhanced Earned Income Tax Credit for moderate income working families, juvenile justice reform, rural flooding initiatives, overhaul of the state’s antiquated unemployment insurance system, and gun reform.

“Without question, Governor Ever’s budget is the most visionary and progressive we have seen in Wisconsin in over a decade,” said Robert Kraig, Executive Director of Citizen Action. “The Governor’s budget is a breath of fresh air packed with meaningful advances that will improve the health and economic well being of working Wisconsinites.”

 

“How to Have Conversations with People Who Don’t Agree With You” a Citizen Action of Wisconsin training event.

Join Citizen Action of Wisconsin to learn “How to Have Conversations with People Who Don’t Agree With You” led by the Citizen Action of Wisconsin Field Team and Organizing Staff. 

After this training you will be ready to lobby Joint Finance Committee Members around our 2021-2022 State Budget Demands, talk with persuadable voters headed into the Spring Gen Election, and have those challenging conversations with friends and family at the dinner table.  

When: Saturday March 13th, 10:00am-12:00pm

Where: After you RSVP by signing up below, you will receive an email confirmation that includes the link to join the training on Zoom.

We will also be sending out a full agenda and handouts prior to the training.

 Please RSVP here

Become a Climate Leader.  Take action and share out actions your friends can take by using our Climate Action Hub

Citizen Action of Wisconsin has created a climate action hub.  This is your one page stop to learn about all the actions you can take to fight climate change and create brand new, green jobs across the state.  You can even find information on how to upgrade your home and save money each month on energy efficient upgrades (at no upfront cost to you)!

To celebrate the launch of our climate action hub we are running a contest.  Whoever recruits the most people to take action on our hub wins a $25 gift card to the Driftless Cafe in Viroqua. 

It’s easy to take part in the contest.  Just share this page with your friends and family.  Once they take action (and tell us that you sent them) you receive a point.  Whoever gets the most points by the end of April wins! 

 Be sure to bookmark the hub too.  We will be updating it all the time with new content and new calls to action! 

Help create more solar panels across the state by fighting for third party solar financing

Wisconsin has fallen behind neighboring states and much of the country in renewable energy development. But the state Public Service Commission (PSC) is currently considering a case that will influence third-party solar ownership and financing, which could make solar energy feasible for many more Wisconsin residents and organizations. With third-party solar, an outside investor or company (the “third party”) pays the up-front installation costs for solar energy. Then the customer pays for the system over time with a monthly lease payment or payment based on electricity generated. This allows the third-party financier to access the tax credits while sharing the savings with the customer. These arrangements can be especially useful in helping local governments, schools, farmers, and low-income families reduce their utility bills while helping the environment.

 In 2019, Eagle Point Solar won a contract with the City of Milwaukee to install 1.1 megawatts of solar panels on municipal buildings and lease them to the city. However, the city’s utility blocked the deal by refusing to connect the proposed system, claiming it would make Eagle Point a public utility and they were not registered as such. Eagle Point Solar sued the utility and the PSC over this refusal. State law is currently unclear on whether third-party financing is legal in Wisconsin. The PSC is now accepting comments from the public on Eagle Point’s case, through February 23. You can submit a comment online to show your support for this solar funding opportunity! 

To comment, visit 

For more information and suggested “talking points” to include in your comments.

Healthcare Co-Op meets with Representative Gwen Moore to talk about Caregiving

The Co-Op participated in a Home Care Week of Action by speaking to the Congresswoman about raising the awareness of the importance of supporting home care services in President Biden’s America Rescue Plan. More specifically, Congress must ensure the current pandemic relief package includes $13 billion for home and community care. That $13 billion will go a long way; adding $13 billion to FMAP — the Federal Medical Assistance Percentages — means that every state will have more money to spend on critical home care and community based services.

Representative Moore had a strong understanding of the issue and why it’s important to support the noble and hard work of direct care workers.  There is dignity in being able to stay in your own home with just a little help.  Members, Amy Thomas, Mary Wacker and Lynn Carey spoke about their own experiences and were there to advocate for this cause.  Do you have a disabled loved one?  What about an elderly parent?  If this is an issue you want to advocate for, please contact [email protected].  

Cancel Student Loan Debt Kick-Off

Led by members of the Northeast Organizing Co-op, Citizen Action launched our Cancel Student Loan Debt Campaign. We were joined by action takers from across Wisconsin, untied in the desire to see $50,000 of student loan debt cancelled by executive action. Co-op member Seth Hoffmeister (pictured to the right) was among those who shared their story of being burdened with out of control student loan debt.  

We are extremely excited about the next steps we have planned. A growing national discussion is taking place around the need to cancel student loan debt in the midst of the financial crisis driven not only by the ongoing pandemic, but systemic racial injustice. Forty-five Million Americans are burdened with a combined total of $1.9 Trillion of student debt; an average of $33,000 per individual student. As is sadly the case with economic inequality experienced in our country, this debt falls disproportionately upon our Black, Brown, and Indigineous peers. The cancelation of $50,000 of federal student loan debt would be the largest step towards closing the racial wealth gap since the Civil Rights Movement.  If this is an issue you want to advocate for, please contact [email protected]

Citizens for a Clean Wausau Call to Action

The following information has been provided by spokespersons for Citizens for a Clean Wausau, who are also founding members of the North Central Organizing Co-op:

Serious contamination above the DNR’s regulatory standards has been identified at the city-owned  property, 1300 Cleveland Ave, which was the former Connor Forest Industries property that had a notorious history of contamination. The site sits in the middle of a residential neighborhood, and we  want the contamination finally cleaned up to the most protective standards possible. A zoning map error acknowledged by the City of Wausau mistakenly rezoned this property to industrial,  and industrial zoning and land use is typically associated with much looser cleanup standards. We want  the City of Wausau to correct its zoning mistake so that the property is zoned residential again – this will  likely assure that the most protective, strict non-industrial standards are used for the site cleanup and  that the remediation is rigorous. 

3M Company, which is located a short distance away and has an extensive history of soil, water, and air  pollution, wants to purchase the property and expand its operations. We absolutely oppose the 3M  Company expansion at 1300 Cleveland Drive, and we absolutely oppose any additional industrial  expansion whatsoever in this densely populated residential neighborhood.. Say no to 3M expansion or any industrial expansion at this property, and request the City of  Wausau fix its zoning mistake and zone it back to residential. We are asking for people to submit written comments, or to register to provide public comment at the Feb. 23rd Wausau Committee of the Whole (City Council) meeting. You can provide public comment either virtually, or in person. Here are the main talking points.

  1. The contamination on 1300 Cleveland Avenue needs to be cleaned up to the highest and most  protective regulatory standards there are, meaning non-industrial standards. 
  2. The City of Wausau should correct its zoning mistake and rezone the property back to  residential. 
  3. 3M Company or any other industrial expansion on the property should be absolutely and strongly opposed. 3M  Company has an extensive history of documented soil, water, and air pollution in Wausau. 

“Evers’ BOLD Budget” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

We discuss the bold two year state budget released this week by Governor Evers which includes major healthcare proposals like a BadgerCare Public Option, Climate reforms, and other major progressive policies. Does the Governor’s move towards the progressive wing of the Democratic Party show the power of public mobilization and organizing? We review Sen. QAnon Ron Johnson’s shameful week denying the armed insurrection on January 6. Is our wayward Senator hell bent on making himself a national laughing stock? Switching to the Biden Administration, we discuss a very important opportunity for progressives to pass an increase in the minimum wage to $15 in the next COVID relief bill. Finally, a new study released Thursday found the U.S. lost a whole year of life expectancy in 2020.

Listen Now – Episode #480
Download Mp3

Facebook post of the week

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Citizen Action Weekly: Friday, Feb 12th

February 12th 

Become a climate leader: Recruit your friends and family to take action to fight climate change and you can win!

Citizen Action of Wisconsin has created a climate action hub.  This is your one page stop to learn about all the actions you can take to fight climate change and create brand new, green jobs across the state.  You can even find information on how to upgrade your home and save money each month on energy efficient upgrades (at no upfront cost to you)!

To celebrate the launch of our climate action hub we are running a contest.  Whoever recruits the most people to take action on our hub wins a $25 gift card to theDriftless Cafe in Viroqua. 

It’s easy to take part in the contest.  Just share this page: //www.citizenactionwi.org/news/blog/act-now-pledge-to-be-a-climate-activist/ with your friends and family.  Once they take action (and tell us that you sent them) you receive a point.  Whoever gets the most points by the end of April wins!

Be sure to bookmark the hub too.  We will be updating it frequently with new content and calls to action!

Mayor Katie Rosenberg of Wausau Advocates for Guaranteed Income Pilot Project

Mayor Katie Rosenberg, has been looking into Mayors for a Guaranteed Income, and has been advocating for the City of Wausau to participate in their Guaranteed Income Project Pilot. On Tuesday, January 6th Wausau’s Finance Committee voted in favor of participating. On Tuesday, Feb. 9th, the Committee of the Whole (City Council) voted unanimously to participate in the research project. You can read more about it at WSAU. You can see footage of the entire meeting here. Wausau and Madison are the only cities in Wisconsin to participate this time around. 

To quote Mayor Rosenberg, “These pilot programs are being used to research the effects of a guaranteed income on poverty and economic security. What does this look like? Usually it means $500 a month for 12 to 16 months for a group of people who meet the program criteria. Often, those are what United Way calls ALICE households: Asset Limited, Income Constrained, and Employed. Cities have had pilots as small as 18 participants and as large as 200 depending on the resources available. Right now, Wausau has been invited to participate and also been offered a startup grant from MGI of $100,000 plus a $20,000 research fellow stipend. If the City Council approves of entering the pilot program, staff can begin crafting a plan that will include work with local non-profits and agencies. Depending on the plan, Wausau could receive more MGI grant funding to run the program. Other cities have also worked with foundations and even used CARES funding to increase the scope of their pilots.But it’s not just giving money away, it’s a research project through the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy & Practice‘s Center for Guaranteed Income Research. Each city has a research fellow helping administer the program, collect the data, and working with the leading researchers at UPenn.” 

It is very exciting that Wausau is taking part in this project and it shows that this Mayor is dedicated to exploring options to address chronic homelessness, joblessness, or other barriers to a person or family succeeding. 

North Central Organizing Co-op’s Steering Committee Votes to Send Letter to Wausau City Council

Due to an acknowledged zoning map error, 1300 Cleveland Avenue, was mistakenly rezoned back to industrial by the city. The consequence is that the protective non-industrial standards from the DNR are not associated with industrial zoning and land use, and therefore the city’s mistake will likely leave the community with a much looser and less protective assessment and cleanup using the  industrial standards. If the city would correct the zoning error immediately, the site would likely and finally then face a stringent cleanup, which a large part of Wausau appears to want. Also, industrial expansion can not be done in residential zoning, without going through the standard, legitimate rezoning process, in which it may very well fail in this case because the site is in a residential neighborhood. This just so happens to be near a part of the City that has led to local residents and supportive citizens actively engaging with the City Council to identify pollutants in the area from years of industrial pollution. Several members of the North Central Organizing Co-op also belong to Citizens for a Clean Wausau, and asked the Steering Committee to consider writing a letter to the Committee of the Whole in support of the zoning change. The Steering Committee voted unanimously to write a letter. If you would like to communicate with the City Council in regard to this, you can email them here. They will be meeting on Feb. 23rd to discuss the results of soil sampling in the area and potential mitigation procedures. You can either attend that meeting in-person or virtually (which is what we would recommend at this time). If you wish to provide public comment – register to speak or submit written comment at this link: //forms.co.marathon.wi.us/forms/City-Council-Agenda-Item-Form 

 

Virtual Event: Citizen Action Student Loan Debt Kick-off!

Cancel Student Loan Debt Kick-off! (February 18th @6PM) Student Loan Debt Cancellation is the economic relief that over 45 Million Americans need during the midst of a global pandemic.  Not only is this the strongest action that President Biden can take in the first hundred days to jumpstart a stalled economy; it is also among the most impactful. The 45 Million Student Loan Borrowers in the United States hold on average almost $33,000 of debt that prevents us from buying a home, starting a family, and stimulating the local economy. National Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer, Elizabeth Warren, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, and Mondaire Jones have introduced legislation calling on President Biden to cancel $50,000 of student loan debt immediately!  Join Citizen Action on Thursday, February 18th at 6 PM for our Cancel Student Loan Debt Kick-off! Meet with our co-op members who are helping lead the way and learn how you can play an important part. Join Citizen Action’s Cancel Student Loan Debt Kick-off on February 18th @6PM

Battleground Wisconsin Podcast “Ruthlessness: The 10th Anniversary of Act 10”

During the tenth anniversary of Act 10, we consider its legacy, what it says about the ruthlessness of modern conservatism, and the continuing ramifications of historic protests it sparked. We dig into a number of major state and federal issues, including the latest attacks on the mask mandate, a bill in Congress that would supercharge the ACA, and Governor Evers pre-budget announcements on BadgerCare Expansion, Marijuana Legalization, and Prescription Drug reform. Do these initiatives bode well for a more progressive state budget? We look at some huge federal issues in the heady early days of the Biden Administration, including COVID relief, impeachment, and protecting the housing rights of the LGBTQ community. Finally we raise concerns about the wave of anti-Asian violence in the U.S. sparked by right-wing rhetoric, and a rogue ICE which is flaunting President Biden’s executive orders and continues to follow Trump’s immoral deportation policies.

Listen Now – Episode #479

Download Mp3

Press Clips

Citizen Action’s Robert Kraig was a guest on a national Pacifica Radio Network news show to discuss the impeachment trial of Donald Trump. The network includes over 200 stations in major cities across the U.S. Listen here

Citizen Action’s Robert Kraig discussed strategy around the passage of COVID relief without Republican votes, and progress on Biden’s bold first 100 days agenda. Listen here.

Citizen Action co-released a report with national partners showing Wisconsin Billionaires have realized an $11 billion increase in wealth during the pandemic.. The report, which we have been releasing periodically with updated data, reveals the deepening crisis of e economic inequality.  Read about it here.

 

Tuesday, February 16th is the Spring Primary!

Happy GOTV weekend! Have you completed your plan to vote? If not, please be sure to confirm your registration status , polling location and be a voter in next week’s election.

We endorse candidates who prioritize the safety of our children, educators and community. Support our endorsed candidates this weekend and sign up to make calls, knock doors and engage with Voters! More opportunities to engage with our candidate campaigns to come after the Primary!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jilly Gokalgandhi for MPS

Dana Kelley for School Board

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Misty Geslinske : Phone Bank

Ryan Sorenson : Phone Bank

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Karl Jaeger: Saturday, February 13th (9AM-6PM): Make Calls | Sunday, February 14th (12pm-6pm): Make Calls

 

Learn more about our candidates! Look out for future Volunteer Opportunities.

Emily Berge for City Council

Mackenzie Mindel for City Council

Rebecca Schwarz for City Council

Citizen Action Weekly: Friday, Feb 5th

February 5th 

Medicare for All with a Local Twist

Join us SUNDAY FEB 7TH @ 2PM CT for an exclusive COVID Teach-In with Dr. Abdul El Sayed and People’s Action’s very own health care justice leaders to learn about the roots of healthcare injustice in the US, and what it looks like to fight for REAL COVID Relief which can set us on a path to winning Medicare for All. 

Milwaukee’s own, Norma Duckworth will be talking about her experience and survival of Covid. We are so glad she is feeling better and able to tell her story. There will be local level work around this issue amping up soon so this is a good  for you to get involved.

Sign up here

 

TAKE ACTION NOW to help Wisconsin residents reduce carbon emissions AND lower utility costs.

Residential carbon emissions account for 30% of all greenhouse gases.  Green home upgrades (like solar panels, new insulation and air sealing) help to reduce carbon emissions, save money on utility bills and create family supporting jobs in the green energy sector.  Thousands of homeowners in Wisconsin are unable to upgrade their home because of up front cost, credit history or due to the fact they are a renter.  We can address this problem and upgrade homes by supporting On-Bill Financing through the public utilities in La Crosse and throughout the state.

On-Bill Financing allows utility customers to upgrade with energy saving green upgrades at no up front cost.  Watch this video for a simple explanation of how these programs work.  The utility pays for the upgrades initially and the home owner pays them back as a line item on their utility bill.  Customers see a net saving right away on their utility bills!  This clears the way for so many people to add solar panels to their home.  It reduces carbon emissions and creates jobs in the green sector, America’s fastest growing job sector.  On-Bill Financing even creates new public revenue streams through financing charges.

La Crosse residents your city could offer On-Bill Financing opinions through its public utility.  Please use this form to contact the mayor and city council and let them know you support efforts to create an On Bill financing program through La Crosse’s public utility.

Those of you outside of La Crosse can take action now to help communities across the state create on bill financing programs.  No matter where you are in the state you can use this link to contact the Governor and State Legislator to let them know that you support On-Bill financing.

Rural Wisconsin needs your help to fight the climate crisis and grow in these uncertain times

Rural Wisconsinites have been suffering for too long.  Our small towns are shrinking.  Our small and medium sized farms are disappearing.  Our people are going without the broadband they need to compete and thrive.  Not enough young Wisconsin families are choosing to raise their families in Wisconsin’s rural areas.  Rural areas are suffering the real world effects of climate change in real time. 

Scott Walker era politics and politicians have been tearing local control away from rural towns and counties.  Wisconsin’s elected leaders need to pass a 2021-2022 state budget that helps rural areas.  You can help RIGHT NOW by contacting elected leaders and demanding they fund programs that will help our struggling communities.

Citizen Action of Wisconsin is asking our elected leaders to include funding for local climate action plans, broadband expansion, support for our struggling farms, and so much more.  Wisconsin can’t allow our rural areas to be left behind!  We are asking our leaders to fight for the following budgetary demands:

  • Investments to make rural small businesses, local rural factories, and small/medium sized farms competitive  through targeted grants and loans to underwrite family supporting jobs and reverse the “brain drain” by incentivizing people to stay in or move to rural communities across Wisconsin
  • Large scale investment into farmer led watershed groups with a focus on flood resilience 
  • Funding for rural communities to create and maintain local climate action plans that dramatically reduce carbon emissions, prepare for impact of extreme weather events (such as major flooding and drought)  and improve economic development without harming Wisconsin’s small and medium sized farms
  • Restore DNR funding and authority to hold CAFOs to higher environmental standards and give counties the local authority to prevent new CAFOs or expansion of existing CAFOs
  • Invest to scale in local (and regional) food distribution models to dramatically and measurably lower rural carbon footprints and to support Wisconsin’s small and medium sized farms
  • Funding a study to establish how 100% broadband coverage across Wisconsin can be achieved by 2025 through nonprofit, local communication co-ops or  public broadband utilities 
  • Fund a study to establish how state government can dramatically increase the supply of affordable housing and family supporting jobs in rural Wisconsin

You can help RIGHT NOW by using the link below to send an email to the Governor, Lt Governor and your state representatives and ask them to include our demands in the state budget.  No matter where we are, the color of our skin or how we pray all Wisconsinites rely on rural areas to put food on your table.  No matter where we are in the state we need to stand up and fight for rural areas in every way that we can.  Please contact your elected leaders right now and help protect our rural communities.

 

Join Co-op Organizers Ben Wilson and Joel Lewis to learn How you Can Help with the Citizen Action of Wisconsin Rural State Budget Efforts

The Citizen Action of Wisconsin Driftless Organizing Co-op recently developed a rural state budget campaign and list of demands. On Monday, February 8th, at 6:30 pm the Wood County Democratic party is holding their monthly membership meeting, and they have invited North Central Organizing Co-op Organizer Joel Lewis, and Southwestern WI (Driftless) Organizing Co-op Organizer Ben Wilson to discuss how people in this region can help. It’s also the possible beginnings of a coalition to continue to work on issues that affect rural Wisconsin in the future. All are welcome. Click here to join on Monday.

The Meeting ID is: 873 6685 0959 and the Passcode is: 055412

 

This week UpNorth News revealed emails between Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke and Speaker Robin Vos about their true intentions on setting up a criminal justice task force. Citizen Action’s Robert Kraig responded in a follow up story, saying the revealed the Republican’s “true intentions” do undermine any progress on racial justice and a “toxic cynicism.” Lt Governor Mandala Barnes, State Senator LaTonya Johnson, State Rep. Francisca Hong, and BLOC’s Angela Lang also responded. Read the whole story here.

Citizen Action’s Robert Kraig was on the Jeff Santos Show for 60 Minutes talking about Biden’s political strategy on COVID relief, Republican Sabotage Efforts, and other major issues. Listen here.

 

Support Local Elections! Voting and engaging in local elections is important for ensuring your voice is heard. When you get involved in local elections, you have the opportunity to elect leaders who represent your community and will take action for YOU! Support local candidates this upcoming weekend and make sure you complete your plan to vote by the Spring Primary on February 16, 2021. 

Sign up to Volunteer: Jilly4MPS

Facebook: Jilly for MPS

Instagram/Twitter: @Jilly4MPS

 

 

 

 

Sign up to Volunteer: Kelly for District 4

Facebook: Vote 4 Dana Kelly

 

 

 

 

 

Save the date! February 22nd at 6PM an exclusive DPI Superintendent Candidate Interview. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Making Change in Washington. Can Progressives Co-Govern with Biden?” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

Progressives have more influence in the Joe Biden’s Washington than we have had since the 1960s, but are we prepared to translate our outside power into the governing power we need to win bold reform? In this special edition of Battleground Wisconsin, we discuss how the progressive movement must evolve to meet our moment with two national organizing strategists, George Goehl, the Director of People’s Action and Bree Carlson, the Deputy Director of People’s Action.

Listen Now – Episode #478
Download Mp3

Read In These Times article on the same subject.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Facebook post of the week

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Citizen Action Weekly: Friday, January 29th

January 29th 

CALL TO ACTION: Legislative Republicans trying to end mask mandate

In a surprise move Thursday, State Assembly Republicans pulled their dangerous resolution to end state public health emergency, including the important mask mandate. It is believed they will try again as early as next week! We need to keep the public pressure on them! Call your state representative today and urge them to oppose ending the mask mandate. 

 

CALL your State Representative
1 (800) 362-9472

 

A Recipe for Making Change in Biden’s Washington: To make it happen, progressives must learn to co-govern and build more power.

Originally published: In These Times
By: Robert Kraig

Since President-elect Joseph Biden clinched the Democratic nomination, progressive analysts have generated a rich literature on how he should govern. While this is valuable, the intense focus on Biden as the lead actor in the drama distracts us from the Left’s own agency to shape the outcome of his presidency, making us extras when for the first time in half a century we have the potential to be lead players. In the same way that Biden must radically evolve to govern effectively, so must the rising progressive movement if we are going to play the change-making role that current events demand. Let me explain.

In 1941 pioneering labor and civil rights leader A. Philip Randolph asked FDR what he could do to intervene against soul crushing racial oppression. ​“I agree with everything that you’ve said,” FDR answered. ​“But I would ask one thing of you, Mr. Randolph, and that is go out and make me do it.” To forestall a march on Washington Roosevelt did take an important incremental step, barring discrimination in war industries, but Randolph was not in any position to create enough public pressure to force him to act more broadly. A political realist like Roosevelt was not going to blow off the segregationist leg of the Democratic governing stool. The most generous spin on Roosevelt’s deceptive answer: He was saying that the politics had to be workable because civil rights would otherwise undermine his power to govern. In this sense, the challenge FDR put to Randolph is relevant for progressives in 2020: What would make the politics work for Biden?

Progressives need a realistic view of the power dynamics at play. A toxic and mutually reinforcing mélange of ideology and pay-for-play politics makes placing progressives in key posts a heavier lift than making populist pronouncements and adding antiracist campaign planks.

CLICK HERE to read the rest of the article at InThese Times.

“Take Action Now” event on climate change

On January 28th climate activists from across the state joined virtually to learn about actions they can take to address the climate crisis RIGHT NOW.  Climate leaders from the Citizen Action of Wisconsin Driftless Co-op were on hand to present about program they have been working on and to help folks take the next step.  You can watch the entire event here. 

Some of the topics presented included:

  • Home energy efficient upgrades
  • Sustainability hubs
  • Solar on Schools
  • Free “Focus on Energy” home energy kits
  • Climate Action in the state budget
  • On-Bill financing programs to help homeowners add solar to their homes
  • Mass Transit
  • Taking action to stop the spread of CAFOs

A huge thank you to everyone who attended.  You can still take action.  Use this link to commit to action RIGHT NOW.  Also keep an eye open because on Feb 8th Citizen Action of Wisconsin will be debuting a “Climate Action Hub” website listing all the climate actions folks can take.  

The climate crisis is real and we must all do our part!

NC Co-op Members Join 7th CD Fair Maps Panel Discussion

The WI Fair Maps Coalition organized a panel discussion held on Monday, January 25th to address the impact of partisan gerrymandering in the 7th Congressional District. NC Organizing Co-op members Chrysa Ostenso and Hans Breitenmoser joined two others for the panel discussion emceed by Fair Maps WI Organizer Carlen Bechen. This was a buildup event to the People’s Maps Commission public testimony hearing that was held on Thursday January 28th. You can see a recording of the panel discussion here

North Central Organizing Co-op Members Turn Out to People’s Maps Commission’s Public Hearing for the 7th CD

Nine members of the NC Organizing Co-op turned out for the public hearings held by the People’s Maps Commission. Each person that provided testimony was given 3 minutes to speak. Many examples were given on the negative impacts of partisan gerrymandering. One thing that was discussed that we need to hear more about, is how gerrymandering affects minority communities. Because some minority populations are more concentrated in certain areas, gerrymandering can disproportionately affect these communities, leaving them with inadequate and unresponsive representation. Some spoke of the obvious and measurable changes in the elections in certain districts within the 7th CD. You can see the entire hearing here.

 

TAKE ACTION NOW: Community Libraries Need Your Help!

The Marathon County Public Library (MCPL) is attempting to leave the Wisconsin Valley Library Service (WVLS, based in Wausau) to join the South Central Library System (based in Madison). The library is acting to withdraw from its current system without citizen input, and without any history of service complaints about the system from patrons or the library itself.

The library’s withdrawal from its system will not only cost Marathon County tax revenue, jobs, and support for local businesses; it will also destabilize libraries and patron services in Clark, Taylor, Oneida, Lincoln, Langlade, and Forest Counties. The decision on whether MCPL joins a Madison-based library system is now before the Marathon County Education & Economic Development Committee. Citizen Action of Wisconsin members and supporters are contacting our county supervisors to tell them not to support MCPL’s withdrawal from its current system.  

You can help NOW by contacting your county supervisor or local elected officials and telling them not to support MCPL’s withdrawal because the potential consequences to our communities, our rural libraries and all regional library patrons are too great. Here are the impacts if MCPL leaves the system:  

  • $375,000 in annual state aid will be diverted from Marathon County to Dane County
  • $3 million annual deposits to local financial institutions
  • Loss of tax revenue, potential job loss, and support for local businesses – not only does this threaten jobs for MCPL employees, but also to Marathon County vendors who will lose WVLS and its remaining member libraries as customers. 
  • Longer wait times for patrons requests for digital and print materials 
  • Loss of WVLS free-to-user databases (e.g., Gale Courses, Ancestory.com)
  • Will have to learn to use a different online circulation and interlibrary loan system

For more information on MCPL’s decision to leave its current system, please check out the MCPL updates page here.  For more detail from the library system on this process, and to view “letters of concern” sent to MCPL about its decision to leave the system, please click here

If you do not know who your Marathon County Supervisor is, or who your local elected official is, you can find out here. And you can get their contact information here. By joining together to call on our elected leaders to protect the system in place, we can make sure that all of our community libraries thrive, instead of just the larger few.

Citizen Action’s Robert Kraig was on the Jeff Santos show for the full hour to discuss the threat of the radical right, impeachment, and legislative strategy in the 50/50 U.S. Senate. Listen here

A major article on progressive strategy in the Biden years by Citizen Action’s Robert Kraig was published in a major national progressive magazine. Read it here

“Wisconsin Republicans fight for anti-maskers” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

We discuss the horrific vote by Senate Republicans to cancel the state health emergency and the mask mandate while also nixing COVID-19 relief. The panel welcomes State Senator Chris Larson to talk about Tuesday’s Senate vote and the policy atrocities taking place at the State Capital. Is there any rationale for the actions of the majority at all, or are we witnessing reckless disregard for human life? We close with a scouting report on President Biden’s new executive orders this week on climate and healthcare. Do they signal a bold new progressive direction for our national government?

LISTEN NOW – EPISODE #477
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Spring 2021, Endorsements!

We are proud to announce our 2021 Spring Candidates endorsements! We look forward to supporting you along the way.

 

Make sure you are a registered and informed voter! Complete your plan to vote by February 16, 2021.

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Citizen Action Weekly: Friday, January 22nd

January 22nd 

Time for Action: What we can do RIGHT NOW to combat the climate crisis

Even with everything else going on our planet is still in crisis. Fighting the looming climate crisis requires action at the corporate, government, and personal levels. We need to act NOW to save our futures.

To that end Citizen Action of Wisconsin is hosting a very special, virtual event on Thursday Jan 28th at 7:00 PM to highlight actions that we all can take NOW to reduce carbon emissions and save money. 

We will be hearing from Citizen Action of Wisconsin members and allies about climate campaigns they are working on and learn about how to get involved. We will be sharing information about how homeowners can add solar panels to their homes at no up front cost. We will also be showcasing actions you can take to pressure those in power to take bold action on fighting climate change. Those who attend will even learn how to win a $25 gift card to the Driftless Cafe, Southwest Wisconsin’s finest farm to table restaurant. 

Please RSVP at this link for this very special event.  Stopping the climate crisis is going to take all of us working together. Join us and learn what you can do RIGHT NOW. Please share this far and wide to activate as many climate activists and concerned citizens as possible!

Welcome new Southeastern Wisconsin Cooperative Organizer, Barbara Cerda

Barbara Cerda is passionate about uplifting the Milwaukee community by participating in social justice movements, advocating for positive changes in her neighborhood, and most importantly, by serving others. She was born and raised on the south side and attended Milwaukee Public Schools. Barbara is a proud Alverno College Alumna and obtained her B.A. in Community Leadership and Development in December 2017. Most recently, she obtained a Non-Profit Board Leadership Certificate through the United Way of Greater Milwaukee and Waukesha County’s Project LEAD (Leadership, Effectiveness, and Diversity) Program.

Before being hired as the Southeastern Wisconsin Cooperative Organizer. Barbara was a Lead Field Organizer for CAW. For as long as she can remember, she has attended protests advocating for immigrant and worker rights. In 2016, Barbara interned at The Reproductive Justice Collective and it was there that she discovered her passion for organizing. 

Barbara serves on the Board of Directors for Civitas Law Group, Inc. and is an Exhibit Curator/Lead Coordinator for the Wisconsin Hispanic Scholarship Foundation, Inc./Mexican Fiesta. She is the founder of Barby The Book Fairy, which
is a program that focuses on providing empowering and culturally relevant literature to families in the Milwaukee community, particularly in area codes 53215 and 53204.

Barbara is a full-time mother to three brilliant and adventurous girls. In her spare time, she enjoys thrifting, reading, and spending quality time with her friends and family. 

Rural Wisconsin needs your help to fight the climate crisis and grow in these uncertain times

Rural Wisconsinites have been suffering for too long.  Our small towns are shrinking.  Our small and medium sized farms are disappearing.  Our people are going without the broadband they need to compete and thrive.  Not enough young Wisconsin families are choosing to raise their families in Wisconsin’s rural areas.  Rural areas are suffering the real world effects of climate change in real time.  Scott Walker era politics and politicians have been tearing local control away from rural towns and counties.  Wisconsin’s elected leaders need to pass a 2021-2022 state budget that helps rural areas.  You can help RIGHT NOW by contacting elected leaders and demanding they fund programs that will help our struggling communities.

Citizen Action of Wisconsin is asking our elected leaders to include funding for local climate action plans, broadband expansion, support for our struggling farms, and so much more.  Wisconsin can’t allow our rural areas to be left behind! 

We are asking our leaders to fight for the following budgetary demands:

  • Investments to make rural small businesses, local rural factories, and small/medium sized farms competitive  through targeted grants and loans to underwrite family supporting jobs and reverse the “brain drain” by incentivizing people to stay in or move to rural communities across Wisconsin
  • Large scale investment into farmer led watershed groups with a focus on flood resilience 
  • Funding for rural communities to create and maintain local climate action plans that dramatically reduce carbon emissions, prepare for impact of extreme weather events (such as major flooding and drought)  and improve economic development without harming Wisconsin’s small and medium sized farms
  • Restore DNR funding and authority to hold CAFOs to higher environmental standards and give counties the local authority to prevent new CAFOs or expansion of existing CAFOs
  • Invest to scale in local (and regional) food distribution models to dramatically and measurably lower rural carbon footprints and to support Wisconsin’s small and medium sized farms
  • Funding a study to establish how 100% broadband coverage across Wisconsin can be achieved by 2025 through nonprofit, local communication co-ops or  public broadband utilities 
  • Fund a study to establish how state government can dramatically increase the supply of affordable housing and family supporting jobs in rural Wisconsin

You can help RIGHT NOW by using this link to send an email to the Governor, Lt Governor and your state representatives and ask them to include our demands in the state budget.  No matter where we are, the color of our skin or how we pray all Wisconsinites rely on rural areas to put food on your table.  No matter where we are in the state we need to stand up and fight for rural areas in every way that we can.  Please contact your elected leaders right now and help protect our rural communities.

 

North Central Organizing Co-op Holds 4th Annual Regional Member Meeting!

Members and friends of the NC Organizing Co-op came together to celebrate their 4th year as a member based organization in Northern and Central Wisconsin! A lot was accomplished and the pandemic couldn’t slow us down! 

In 2020, members and staff from NCWI and the Driftless Co-op worked with the Citizen Action of Wisconsin Co-op Development Director to implement the Green Homes, Union Jobs (Green Homeowners United) campaign. This is the result of years of work that eventually led to green energy refinance loans becoming available to homeowners, with 15 or 30-year mortgages who are interested in refinancing their mortgage while also bundling in solar panels and other home energy upgrades. All homeowners can take advantage of this, but those with 15 and 30- year mortgages are the ones who are most likely to see monthly savings on their energy bills, that outweigh the costs of the home energy upgrades. 

Members of the NC Organizing Co-op were involved in every level of the 7th CD special election that happened as a result of former US Representative Sean Duffy stepping down from his post prematurely. NCWI Co-op member, and community leader, Tricia Zunker stepped up to run for this seat, both in the special election and in the general election. Co-op members were involved in helping her to announce her campaign, in campaign promotion, and in volunteering. 

The NCWI Organizing Co-op and the Western WI Co-op worked in coalition to develop and implement a people’s forum in Wausau and Rice Lake as Tricia faced a primary opponent, named Lawrence Dale These were member-led forums with questions based on the CAW Movement Politics Platform. NC Organizing Co-op members worked in coalition with Fair Maps WI and the Fair Maps coalition to continue the pursuit of getting counties and municipalities to pass Fair Maps resolutions and or referendums. The greatest achievement of this coalition was getting the Marathon County Board of Supervisors to pass a Fair Maps resolution by a 19-17 vote! This had been attempted in 2018 but was tabled indefinitely during that administration. 

By 2020, several County Board seats had been flipped, thanks in part, to NC Co-op members working in coalition with a candidate committee in Marathon County, to get new people elected. This is why the resolution was able to pass and illustrates the importance of our Movement Politics work and Co-Governance. The NC Organizing Co-op, via the Citizen Action of WI Education Fund, worked in coalition with the AAUW (American Association of University Women) to hold a people’s forum with former Wausau Mayor Robert Mielke and newly elected Mayor Katie Rosenberg at UW Stevens Point – Wausau. Members helped to develop the program and the questions. The event was so well attended that an overflow room had to be created for people to view it live on Wausau area Public Access. Mayor Rosenberg, whom we are lucky to call a Co-op member, ultimately won that election. 

NCWI Co-op members and friends worked in coalition with UU the Vote and the LWV to do voter registration events in Wausau and Rhinelander prior to the stay-at-home orders. The NC Steering Committee approved endorsing 17 candidates for the local Spring elections…15 of these candidates won their races, and another was eventually appointed to the Marathon County Board of Supervisors after the elections.

For the Fall elections, NCWI endorsed 9 candidates in state legislative races, in addition to Tricia Zunker for the 7th CD. 38 members/allies volunteered by writing postcards, doing contactless lit drops, texting and/or phone banking. On election day, 8 members/allies in the Wausau area helped with poll observing, handing out PPE, and roving observing.

The meeting ended with a Q&A section facilitated by Steering Committee member Scott Kirby. The guest was Kirk Bangstad, of the Minocqua Brewing Company and Super PAC! That was an exciting interview, and we look forward to working with Kirk, as we both share the goal of working to help candidates in NC Wisconsin and to increase organizing in these areas.

Citizen Action of Wisconsin Field Organizing team was founded in February 2020 and is led by Zoe Roberts. Our approach to building the program combines a bold vision for structural reform with a pragmatic evidence-based approach to shifting voter behavior towards progressive candidates. In early February 2020, Citizen Action kicked off our Deep Canvass door field program. Following COVID-19 precautions to protect our team and community we took action and shifted to phone banking full time. The team covered four rural regions and small and medium metro areas of Wisconsin to talk to swing voters and motivate voters on the issues of health care prices/access and climate change/economic investment. The canvass engaged in long and sometimes difficult conversations on healthcare or candidates using a race/class/narrative (RCN) with these voters to disarm the racist tropes from the other side. At its peak, the phone canvass had in excess of fifty trained full-time callers.

Traditional campaigning allows for personal connections, putting a face to the issues and candidates but they were able to hold powerful conversations on the phones. The work we produce comes with emotional labor, we understand the strength it takes to make a difference. We built a supportive team and have bonds that will nourish us through the toughest days. Forever grateful.

We believe the deep canvass work we started in 2020 holds the key to meaningful and lasting change with moveable voters. We are committed to the model and look forward to returning to doors in 2021 if public health directives allow us. We will continue to have important conversations about race and immigration with the voters we need to build a permanent progressive majority for systemic change on health care, climate change, the economy, and structural racism.  

Citizen Action of Wisconsin Field Organizing team made 513,544 dials and completed 41,826 conversations on the phones. The impact we made is unmeasurable, we were a part of turning Wisconsin blue and electing Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. Thank you for doing your part.

Citizen Action’s Robert Kraig was on the Jeff Santos show for 60 minutes to discuss progressive strategy for winning bold reform from the Biden Administration and the narrowly Democratic Congress. Listen here.

“46th President looks to future; Wauwatosa Police look to stone age.” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

We discuss the historic inaugural week of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris and Biden’s flurry of executive orders and an exciting new immigration bill. We look behind the organizing that resulted in changes to the Wisconsin COVID vaccination plan to include teachers, grocery workers, meat packers, and prisoners at the top of the list. A new COVID strain is spreading as Wisconsin reopens schools and the state does nothing. We welcome Minocqua Brewing Company SuperPAC owner Kirk Bangstad to discuss their campaign against Sen. Ron Johnson and Rep. Tom Tiffany for supporting for overturning the 2020 presidential election. Wisconsin Examiner journalist, Isiah Holmes, joins us to discuss his excellent reporting on Wauwatosa Police targeting protestors. We close with Markasa Tucker from the African-American Roundtable to discuss the Milwaukee Common Council reversing course and approving a federal grant for more police officers.

Listen Now – Episode #476
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Citizen Action Weekly: Friday, January 15th

Citizen Action Weekly: Friday, January 15th


January 15th

 

Time for Action: What we can do RIGHT NOW to combat the climate crisis

Even with everything else going on our planet is still in crisis.  Fighting the looming climate crisis requires action at the corporate, government and personal levels. We need to act NOW to save our futures.

To that end Citizen Action of Wisconsin is hosting a very special, virtual event on Thursday Jan 28th at 7:00 PM to highlight actions that we all can take NOW to reduce carbon emissions and save money. 

We will be hearing from Citizen Action of Wisconsin members and allies about climate campaigns they are working on and learn about how to get involved.  We will be sharing information about how homeowners can add solar panels to their homes at no up front cost.  We will also be showcasing actions you can take to pressure those in power to take bold action on fighting climate change.  Those who attend will even learn how to win a $25 gift card to the Driftless Cafe, Southwest Wisconsin’s finest farm to table restaurant. 

Please RSVP for this very special event.  Stopping the climate crisis is going to take all of us working together.  Join us and learn what you can do RIGHT NOW.  Please share this far and wide to activate as many climate activists and concerned citizens as possible!

Rural Wisconsin needs your help to fight the climate crisis and grow in these uncertain times

Rural Wisconsinites have been suffering for too long.  Our small towns are shrinking.  Our small and medium-sized farms are disappearing.  Our people are going without the broadband they need to compete and thrive.  Not enough young Wisconsin families are choosing to raise their families in Wisconsin’s rural areas.  Rural areas are suffering the real-world effects of climate change in real-time.  Scott Walker era politics and politicians have been tearing local control away from rural towns and counties.  Wisconsin’s elected leaders need to pass a 2021-2022 state budget that helps rural areas.  You can help RIGHT NOW by contacting elected leaders and demanding they fund programs that will help our struggling communities.

Citizen Action of Wisconsin is asking our elected leaders to include funding for local climate action plans, broadband expansion, support for our struggling farms, and so much more.  Wisconsin can’t allow our rural areas to be left behind!  We are asking our leaders to fight for the following budgetary demands:

  • Investments to make rural small businesses, local rural factories, and small/medium sized farms competitive  through targeted grants and loans to underwrite family supporting jobs and reverse the “brain drain” by incentivizing people to stay in or move to rural communities across Wisconsin
  • Large scale investment into farmer led watershed groups with a focus on flood resilience 
  • Funding for rural communities to create and maintain local climate action plans that dramatically reduce carbon emissions, prepare for impact of extreme weather events (such as major flooding and drought)  and improve economic development without harming Wisconsin’s small and medium sized farms
  • Restore DNR funding and authority to hold CAFOs to higher environmental standards and give counties the local authority to prevent new CAFOs or expansion of existing CAFOs
  • Invest to scale in local (and regional) food distribution models to dramatically and measurably lower rural carbon footprints and to support Wisconsin’s small and medium sized farms
  • Funding a study to establish how 100% broadband coverage across Wisconsin can be achieved by 2025 through nonprofit, local communication co-ops or  public broadband utilities 
  • Fund a study to establish how state government can dramatically increase the supply of affordable housing and family supporting jobs in rural Wisconsin

You can help RIGHT NOW by using this link to send an email to the Governor, Lt Governor and your state representatives and ask them to include our demands in the state budget.  No matter where we are, the color of our skin or how we pray all Wisconsinites rely on rural areas to put food on your table.  No matter where we are in the state we need to stand up and fight for rural areas in every way that we can.  Please contact your elected leaders right now and help protect our rural communities.

Citizen Action Celebrates our Co-op Members in the State Assembly!

As we count down the days to Joe Biden’s Inauguration, our co-op members are already getting to work in Madison! Our co-op leaders know that when we come together, regardless of the color of our skin, how much money is in our pocket, or where you live in Wisconsin, we accomplish great things. We are extremely proud of our elected leaders and we know that you will be champions for the Wisconsin working class as we go All-in for Wisconsin! 

 

North Central Organizing Co-op Holds Their Annual Regional Meeting, with Special Guest Kirk Bangstad 

The Citizen Action of Wisconsin (CAW) North Central Organizing Co-op is holding their Annual Regional Meeting this Saturday, January 16th from 10 am to 12 Noon, to update members and allies on the work that has been accomplished in 2020, and to discuss/plan what we hope to accomplish in 2021. If you attended the Statewide Annual Meeting, you got a snapshot of our work around the State. This meeting on January 16th will focus more on the Northcentral region, so we encourage you to attend. Our Steering Committee will be involved in the program as well, which gives you a better glimpse at the people that help to drive our work in this region. We are excited to announce that former candidate for the 34th Assembly District, and Minocqua Brewing Company owner Kirk Bangstad will be joining us for a short q & a section, led by Steering Committee member Scott Kirby! That should be good!

This will be a virtual meeting, but this is an advantage, because no matter where you are, you can join us! It will be on Zoom, and if you do not have reliable internet or the ability to join the Zoom meeting, there is a call-in option, so that you can take part. Though, we hope that you’ll join by video…it would be great to see you!

Topics that will be discussed include Healthcare for All, Fair Maps, and our work toward Environmental Justice (Green Homes, Union Jobs effort and more). We will also be discussing upcoming elections, and providing an opportunity for you to have a small group discussion with other attendees. We hope that you can Save the Date and join us!

Here is the link to register for the event.

Members of the North Central Organizing Co-op Join Others to Stop Evictions

In approximately 2 weeks, 750,000 Wisconsinites could be facing evictions. Members of the North Central Steering Committee, North Side Rising and members of other organizations, have teamed up to try and do something about this. If this is something that interests you, please sign up. This is a statewide effort, so your location is not as important. You can sign the petition to extend the evictions moratorium here

Citizen Action’s Robert Kraig was on the Stan Milam Show on WCLO Radio to discuss the prospects for bold health care reform in the Biden Administration and the insurrection. Listen here.

Citizen Action’s Robert Kraig discussed the insurrection and accountability on the Jeff Santos Show. Listen here.

North Side Rising led by Organizer, Dana Kelley made huge moves in 2020. From launching the North Side Rising, a cooperative that prioritizes protecting and uplifting the North Side of Milwaukee by fighting for climate equity and their continuous advocacy for the Milwaukee Green New Deal. Over the past year, they fought to keep the lights on throughout the state by coming together to extend the state moratorium on utility shut-offs and are now working towards extending the eviction moratorium and expanding the protections of the renter. They are working on funding for debt accrued during the pandemic for utilities and rent and are petitioning the Governor through local Legislative support. North Side Rising has also helped found and form the new coalition of Organizers and Organizations across the state of Wisconsin, RUCUS (Rural and Urban Communities United in Solidarity), who have organized in their ‘spare’ time during the Holiday break to produce a resolution and petition to extend and expand the eviction moratorium. You can sign the petition to extend the evictions moratorium here. Guaranteed Housing equals Good Health.

Dana Kelley has grown the membership of North Side Rising to a sustainable coalition of community members and leaders. North Side Rising values education, relationships and progressive action. Dana Kelly said at their core, “We aim to Educate, Relate and Activate communities of color towards better health, wealth and overall quality of life.” 

Organizer Dana Kelly’s Mantra: “I believe that all people have greatness in them, but many people have been blinded to their own greatness due to the everyday pressures and struggles of life. If you let your light shine, it will inspire others to let their light shine, and we will have a brighter today and tomorrow. I don’t think I have a specific leading style, but I am spirit led. I allow the passion and purpose in me to tell me what the right thing to fight for is, that is where I put my fight. I allow our members to work in their gifting and talents which gets the job done efficiently and effectively. I used to manage McDonald’s and we say, “Put your Aces in their Places”. I still practice that today.” We can confidently say Dana lets her light shine and inspires us daily.

What does a good day at North Side Rising looks like? Dana Kelly, “A good day at NSR is to see the needle of climate and economic justice move towards progression. There is so much work to be done that it is hard to focus on one area at a time, but the way we move at NSR is upward and onward. Whatever is going to keep us rising to the top is where we give it all we got!”.

We have many ways for you to stay plugged in to the Power! Every night of the week starting on Mondays with RUCUS, Teaching Tuesdays, and Wednesday Workshops all from 5-6pm and Thursdays is our Do S.O.M. Leadership Team meetings from 5:30-7pm where we Strategize, Organize and Mobilize. Go to our North Side Rising Facebook page or North Side Rising_MKE on Instagram to get linked up with the power. It’s time to give the Power to the People where it always belongs. 

Dana Kelly is happy to announce that she is running for MPS Board District 4.  She has been endorsed by the DSA and has interviewed for endorsements from the MTEA and CAW. She is excited to also have the political endorsement of County Supervisor, Ryan Clancy. 

Her four points for District 4 are: 1)Ensure a quality education to children of color; 2) Hold Charter Schools Accountable for funding; 3) Implement the Green New Deal in MPS and 4) Democratization of education giving parents, teachers and students a voice and vote in policy and curriculum.

Learn more about her plans for District 4 and stay connected by visiting Vote 4 Dana Kelly!

Battleground Wisconsin Podcast: Green Jobs Bill in first 100 days?

We discuss President Trump’s latest impeachment, shocking new details of his failed
insurrection, and the Wisconsin Republicans who are aiding and abetting the violent overthrow of American democracy. We welcome Citizen Action Climate & Equity Director Rafael Smith to discuss a groundbreaking opportunity to pass a large New Deal-style green jobs program (Jobs for Economic Recovery Act) in the first 100 days of the Biden Administration and how you can get involved in making it a reality. The legislation, which has major traction the Senate and House, will put millions of jobless Americans back to work, dramatically improve racial equity and expand opportunity for depressed rural areas. We also dig into Governor Evers’ State of the State speech and new fissures in the Republican state legislature that resulted in Senate Republicans splitting from the Assembly by cutting a deal with the Governor on COVID-19 relief.

Listen Now – Episode #475

Contact [email protected] to get involved in supporting the Jobs for Economic Recovery Act

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Citizen Action Weekly; January 8, 2021

Citizen Action Weekly; January 8, 2021

Friday, January 8th

Citizen Action Statement on Trump Insurgents Breaching the Capital

Citizen Action’s Director had the following reflections on the storming of the Capital instigated by President Trump

Although most of us were shocked when our TV screens and social media feeds exploded with images of the first breaching of the U.S Capital since the British army burned it down in 1812, upon reflection we should not be surprised. This has been brewing for decades because of the actions of the most powerful people in American society. As excellent recent books by Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson, Nancy Maclean, Jane Mayer, and many others have documented, the malignant brand of right-wing conservatism that has seized control of the Republican Party and its voters over the past five decades is bent on unwinding democracy and majority rule to hold power and dictate national policy.

It is critical to understand that this has not been the work of a few demagogic politicians, not even Donald Trump who has merely exploited the opportunity. Many of the richest people in America, and the leaders of our largest and most powerful corporations, unsatisfied by the most equal distribution of economic benefits in American history from the end of World War 2 through the mid 1970s, deliberately invested in a movement to appropriate the lion’s share of economic growth for themselves. The electoral and communications machine that they built (and are still lavishly funding) used hatred, fear, and racism to build a voting base that will remain a danger to democracy long after Donald Trump has passed from the scene. According to a major poll, nearly half of Republican voters approve of the assault on the Capital! 

We have seen many GOP figures and some big corporate trade groups call for the removal of President Trump. We should not be fooled, they are repositioning themselves, and can be expected to continue to underwrite the proto-fascist movement that brought us to this dangerous precipice. One of Wisconsin’s Senators was a ring leader in overturning the democratic election of President-elect Biden, and two newly elected Wisconsin Congressman voted to overturn the election, even after the insurrectionists were cleared from the building. These are not strategic masterminds, but political weathervanes, reading the currents of public and elected opinion in their only party!

The real power behind the conspiracy continued to foment strategic racism to mobilize their base and seize power. As powerful thinkers such as Michelle Alexander, Ibraham X Kendi, Ian Haney Lopez, and Isabelle Wilkerson show, racism is not merely a matter of bias which can be vanquished through training and moral inspiration, it is a system deliberately created to serve the economic and political interests of the ruling elite. 

The best counter to organized money is organized people. The only answer to this on-going conspiracy against democracy and equality is to continue to build an antiracist progressive movement powerful enough and strategic enough to both achieve governing power and achieve fundamental structural reform. That is what Citizen Action leaders and members are working towards across Wisconsin. 

If you have not already, please join one of Citizen Action’s organizing co-ops and get involved. If you are already a co-op member, please contact your co-op organizer about getting more deeply involved in one of our major issue campaigns.

Citizen Action Statement on Charging Decision in Shooting of Jacob Blake

This week Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley announced his decision not to criminally charge the police officer who shot Jacob Blake seven times in the back this summer.

Citizen Action of Wisconsin stands in solidarity with Jacob Blake, his family and friends, hundreds of thousands of protesters across the country fighting for racial justice, and every person who loves humanity and is demanding real action to address America’s structurally racist criminal justice system.

As the Wisconsin Examiner reported: “Michael Graveley said his role was only to make a narrow legal decision over whether there was probable cause that the officers committed a crime.” Gravely and many legal analysts point out that it is extremely difficult to prove that a police officer in a shooting did not act in self defense, whether or not it’s true.

This means that the laws and legal precedents that have created the current self-defense standard have racist impact, as Black people continue to be shot and killed by law enforcement officers without legal consequences. This is a threat to the entire justice system, which cannot operate effectively when large segments of society justifiably do not have faith in its decisions.

Michelle Alexander’s penetratingly eloquent The New Jim Crow and Ibram X. Kendi’s brilliant pair of books Stamped from the Beginning and How to Be an Antiracist, call for every moral person to use their power to disrupt and unwind structural racism.

While DA Gravely may well be right that the case is unwinnable under current standards, this does not absolve him of moral responsibility. In the era of slavery and Jim Crow, heroic attorneys filed cases and DAs pressed charges that they knew would be shot down by a racist legal system. We should expect no less today.

Graveley’s decision also passes on responsibility to lawmakers, who have the power to create a legal system where black lives matter and everyone is truly equal under the law. But so far Wisconsin’s state leaders have not proposed or pursued effective action up to the scale of the problem.

For Professor Kendi, one can’t meet his definition of antiracist without both recognizing the deep racism in our society and in each of us, and taking effective action to replace racist structures. For him, the defining mark of antiracism is effective deeds, not words or personal reflection. All those with substantial power such as our political leaders, corporate leaders, and at a lesser level of power nonprofit leaders, and every person with love in their hearts for all humanity must do more.

Citizen Action asks every elected leader, and every person within the sound of our voice with influence over these leaders, to take meaningful steps to unwind the structural racism that made the murder of George Floyd and the shooting of Jacob Blake possible. Meanwhile, our thoughts and prayers are with Jacob Blake and his family.

Citizen Action of Wisconsin’s Green New Deal State Budget Priorities.

2021 is our best chance to win climate justice reform in over a decade. We can’t let this opportunity slip away! Citizen Action is fighting for a Green New Deal for Wisconsin rural and metro areas, both to head off a climate genocide and create true economic equity for everyone, especially for communities of color and rural areas excluded from opportunity.

Recently Gov. Tony Evers’ climate task force, Chaired by Lt. Gov Mandela Barnes, released its recommendations for action. But this does not mean they will be included in the Governor’s state budget.

We need your voice to be heard now to make serious progress on a climate transition that improves economic opportunity and racial equity.

We are calling on Gov. Evers to include the following policies in his state budget:

  • State funding for local Climate Action Plans (CAPs), to give every community the resources needed to develop and begin to implement climate & equity plans.
  • State funding for New Deal-style transitional jobs programs for getting everyone locked out of economic opportunity into energy conservation or renewable energy jobs that cut climate emissions.
  • To avert massive home energy shut-offs once the pandemic is under control, forgive all consumer utility debt run up during the health emergency.
  • Mandate all utilities to provide “on-bill financing” for home solar panels and energy conservation upgrades at no cost to homeowners and renters, slashing utility bills, and generating green jobs.
  • Allow cities and municipalities to raise building standards in order to cut greenhouse gas emissions and generate local renewable energy and conservation jobs.

Please contact Gov. Evers today and ask him to include these climate & economic opportunity policies in his next state budget scheduled for release on January 26th.

Take Action Now: What we can do RIGHT NOW to combat the climate crisis, a virtual climate change webinar

It is past time to take action to save the planet.  Now with Democrats in control of the Presidency, both houses of Congress and the Wisconsin Governor’s seat we have the political power to take real action on climate change.  We need to do everything we can on a national and personal level to stop the climate crisis.  

While we lobby for climate action on the state and nation level there are steps we should all be taking RIGHT NOW.   Citizen Action of Wisconsin’s Driftless Co-op is hosting a very special, virtual event to highlight actions we can all take now to save the planet.  Many of these action will reduce your carbon footprint, create jobs, save you many and boast your local community.  This is your chance to learn about personal actions you can take RIGHT NOW to reduce carbon output, save money and protect the planet. It will also be a chance to learn how you can win a $25 gift card to the Driftless Cafe.

Join us virtually and learn about:

  • Free small scale energy efficiency kits through the “Focus on Energy” program
  • Green Home upgrades including solar panels at no upfront cost
  • “Renewable Connect” programs offered by local energy utilities 
  • La Crosse’s “Solar on Schools” program
  • “Ready For 100” clean energy lobbying initiative 
  • Citizen Action of Wisconsin lobbying campaigns for climate action in the 2021-2022 state budget
  • On-Bill Financing programs
  • Sustainable Tiny Homes Project in La Crosse 

This virtual meeting will be your chance to learn about all the actions you can take now.  In order to have the greatest impact we all need to do our part to recruit as many people as possible to take action.  To that end we will be also be announcing a very special contest to see who can mobilize the most friends and families to take action as well!  The winner of this contest will receive a $25.00 gift certificate to the Driftless Cafe in Viroqua.

This meeting is open to the public.  

RSVP here for the Zoom link.  Please join us so that we can all take action to save tomorrow!

Thursday, January 28, 2021 7:00 PM –  8:30 PM CT

Tell Gov. Tony Evers we need a BadgerCare Public Option in his next State Budget

TAKE ACTION! Contact Gov. Tony Evers and tell him to make sure a BadgerCare Public Option is included in his next State Budget.

No matter what we look like, where we live, or what’s in our wallets, we all need good affordable health care. But for too long, we’ve let a powerful divide us to pad their own profits.

The COVID-19 pandemic reveals what has always been true, excluding people from health care is a threat to the entire community. Crippling costs deter the uninsured and everyone who can’t afford massive co-pays, deductibles, and surprise medical bills from seeking testing and treatment, helping the virus spread.

Millions of Americans have lost health care coverage due to job loss during the pandemic, and hundreds of thousands in Wisconsin.

Healthcare is a human right and no one should go bankrupt because they get sick or delay medical treatment because they can’t afford it.

We need to make sure BadgerCare is opened to everyone in Wisconsin as a public option, lowering premiums and eliminating large co-pays and deductibles, so that all of us can get the care we need without going bankrupt or having to wrangle with an insurance company.

New polling completed in late November 2020 by Badger State Research found 78% of Wisconsin voters support “creating a BadgerCare public option that allows people to purchase health care coverage through BadgerCare rather than private insurance.”

Ask Governor Evers to put Badgercare Public Option in the Budget!

Citizen Action in the News

Citizen Action’s Robert Kraig was on the Pacifica Radio network during the Trump Insurrection to discuss its origins and the danger to democracy. The program airs on the 200 stations national radio network. Listen here.

Citizen Action’s Robert Kraig responded to Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke’s claim that the Trump riot in the U.S. Capital was similar to the Act 10 protests. Read it here in UpNorthNews.

Citizen Action’s Robert Kraig was on the Jeff Santos radio show to discuss the big Georgia special Senate election and governing in the Biden era. Listen here.

The power behind the insurrection” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

We give our reactions and initial analysis of the unprecedented Trump insurrection at Congress. What does it mean for American democracy? We dig into how the shocking events at the Capital lay bare our white supremacist society. Insurrectionists were largely allowed to enter and leave Congress with little resistance and few arrests after sowing chaos in their effort to execute a right-wing coup. We welcome Lauren Jacobs, the Executive Director of the Partnership for Working Families, to discuss the real power behind the insurrection and how the progressive movement’s response and commitment to multiracial organizing around our values of caring for everyone can be an anecdote to Trumpism.

Listen Now – Episode #474

Facebook post of the week

Citizen Action Weekly: Friday, December 18th

Citizen Action Weekly: Friday, December 18th

Friday, December 18th

Protect Wisconsin’s clean water by demanding an Environmental Impact Study on the Roth Feeder Pig II CAFO 

Whether we are white or Black, rich or poor, rural or urban, we all want clean water, fresh air and a habitable planet for our families.  But today, giant corporate farms are threatening the beauty and natural resources of the Driftless region.  Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) threaten our groundwater, our air, our local economies, our small farms, and our outdoor recreation.   You can help protect our waters RIGHT NOW with a few simple clicks.

On October 30th Vernon county saw the impact CAFOs can have when the area suffered a major manure spill and fish kill off.  Now a newly proposed CAFO, Roth Feeder Pig II, is posed to be the biggest hog CAFO in Wisconsin.  Attempts are being made to move forward on construction without an environmental impact study in a region that is susceptible to extreme rain events and sinkholes, both of which could lead to major water contamination.  By joining together across the state to protect our precious lakes and farmlands, we can make sure that the DNR completes an environmental impact study before construction of the Roth Feeder Pig II CAFO in Crawford county begins. 

You can help by clicking below to send an email directly to Wisconsin Government officials and Wisconsin DNR leadership demanding an environmental impact study.  Email submissions from anywhere in the state will be accepted and are encouraged.  Please take a moment to fill out this simple form to contact Governor Evers and the DNR to demand they protect Wisconsin waters!

Thank you to everyone who volunteered and donated toys for Citizen Action of Wisconsin Driftless Co-op’s first ever rural toy drive!

Last weekend Citizen Action of Wisconsin held its first ever toy drive to give back to farmers, farmer workers and families of undocumented farm hands.  Donation sites were set up in La Crosse, Adams County and Viroqua.  Despite the cold weather the day was an overwhelming success!  Over 250 toys were collected!  Those toys will be distributed throughout the Driftless Region’s farming communities.

We were so thrilled at how the day turned out!  A special thank you goes out to Citizen Action of Wisconsin members Joni Anderson, Jillian Richie, Paul Kruse, and Heather Talbot for braving the cold to help collect toys.  Thanks also go out to Tractor Supply Co in Viroqua, Adams Radio 106 in Adams, and UU of La Crosse for hosting our drop off locations.  Thank you to Adams County Democrats for co-sponsoring the toy drive and for their generous donation. Thank you to News Channel 8 in La Crosse for covering the event; you can read their story here.

Lastly a very special thank you to everyone who donated toys either in person or through the mail.  You all helped bring smiles to struggling rural families this holiday season!

Take Action: Join Us In The Demand for a BadgerCare Public Option!

Part of the healthcare co-op is pushing for Governor Evers to include a Public Option in the state budget. If we don’t talk about it, we will never get it.  We need to look for progress wherever possible and this is one avenue at the state level.  

All working families in Wisconsin should be able to purchase affordable health insurance & get the care they need. The choices our government makes now to help us weather the outbreak of this virus can also set a better course for the future of our communities. Now is the time for us to unite across our differences and make policy choices that help every-day people in pursuit of a safe, healthy, and thriving Wisconsin.

Take Action: Tell Gov. Evers We Need a BadgerCare Public Option! 

NC Organizing Co-op Members and Friends – SAVE THE DATE

In spite of living through a pandemic in 2020, a lot has been accomplished by our members and our organization throughout the year. And we would like to celebrate this work, as well as to continue planning for 2021. Currently, there are candidates seeking office for the Wisconsin Court of Appeals – District III and several school boards within the region, but there is much more to plan for in 2021. Please save the date and join us for a virtual get-together! If you lack the ability to use Zoom, there will be a call-in option too. This meeting is happening on Saturday, January 16th, from 10 am to 12 noon. We hope to see you there!

Sign Up to Phone Bank into Georgia with the People’s Action Health Care For All Team!

Do you like Democracy? Do you believe that health care is a human right? Do you want to see Mitch McConnell out of power? Then you should sign up to phone bank for the Georgia senate races with People’s Action health care team! he health care team is hosting the following events:

  • Wednesday, December 30th, 5-8pm CT – Phone Bank

Polls are tight, so these calls and texts could make the difference! You can sign up to participate HERE

Citizen Action in the News

Citizen Action’s Robert Kraig was on the Jeff Santos Show for 60 minutes to discuss developments in the Biden Administration, assess key appointments, and progressive strategy. Listen here

Citizen Action’s Health Care for All Director, Claire Zautke, penned a column for Up North News on the importance of signing up for ACA during the open enrollment period. Read it here.

Citizen Action’s Robert Kraig was on the Earl Ingram Show for 60 minutes to discuss the situation in Wisconsin, including the assault on democracy and the latest sabotage efforts of the do-nothing Legislature, and evaluate Governor Evers’ strategy. Listen here.

Citizen Action members called for an environmental impact statement on a Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) in the Driftless Region, Roth Feeder Pig 2. Read about it here.

“Sinking Snake Oil Ship” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

We check in on the federal COVID-19 debate in Congress. After months of failure, are the nation’s lawmakers about to deliver meaningful relief? Claire presents new research quantifying the deep financial hardship the pandemic has inflicted on American families and why the failure of political leadership is so devastating. The Electoral College declared Joe Biden the winner this week as all legal options for the snake oil salesman-in-chief have now closed. That didn’t stop Sen. Ron Johnson from embarrassing himself this week with his sham hearing on the election. We talk about disturbing news that the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association emailed a document to thousands of law enforcement agencies comparing Black Lives Matter activists to terrorists. Also, the City of Milwaukee Common Council is prepared to turn down federal money for more police officers.

LISTEN NOW!

Stay up to date! Stream our Annual Membership Meeting Today

Thank you to all who joined us for our first Virtual Annual Membership Meeting on December 5th! If you were unable to attend, the meeting is available for your streaming convenience

Facebook post of the week

Citizen Action Weekly: Friday, December 11th

Citizen Action Weekly: Friday, December 11th

Friday, December 11th

Sign Up to Phone Bank into Georgia with the People’s Action Health Care For All Team!

Do you like Democracy? Do you believe that health care is a human right? Do you want to see Mitch McConnell out of power? Then you should sign up to phone bank for the Georgia senate races with People’s Action health care team! he health care team is hosting the following events:

  • Tuesday, December 15th, 5-7:30pm CT – Text Bank
  • Wednesday, December 16th, 5-8pm CT – Phone Bank
  • Wednesday, December 30th, 5-8pm CT – Phone Bank

Polls are tight, so these calls and texts could make the difference! You can sign up to participate HERE

Opportunity to Write Postcards to Win Georgia in North Central WI

Co-op member Nancy Stencil, is working with Women for Women – Wausau Chapter and the AFL-CIO to write and send postcards to help win Georgia! If you are interested in helping with this effort, click here for more details.

 

 

 

TAKE ACTION! Contact Gov. Tony Evers and tell him to make sure a BadgerCare Public Option is included in his next State Budget.  

We need to make sure BadgerCare is opened to everyone in Wisconsin as a public option, lowering premiums and eliminating large co-pays and deductibles, so that all of us can get the  care we need without going bankrupt or having to wrangle with an insurance company.New polling completed in late November 2020 by Badger State Research found 78% of Wisconsin voters support “creating a BadgerCare public option that allows people to purchase health care coverage through  BadgerCare rather than private insurance.”

CONTACT Gov. Tony Evers and tell him to make sure a BadgerCare Public Option is included in his 2021-2022 State Budget that he will introduce in late January 2021.

Are you running for office or considering running? Attend a Wisconsin Progress candidate training

Wisconsin Progress is excited to announce their annual winter training series and this year they are going virtual. Local elections are as important as they’ve ever been and their Advanced Local Elected Campaign Training is a great way to prepare for your run. They are offering shorter trainings this year on Field, Finance, and Communications so you don’t have to spend a whole day in front of your computer. 

All trainings will be offered through Zoom; sign up below to get access:

Saturday, December 12th, 2020 2pm-4pm – Virtual Field Training
Tuesday, December 14th, 2020 6pm-8pm – Virtual Fundraising Training
Thursday, December 16th, 2020 6pm-8pm – Virtual Communications Training
Monday, January 4th, 2021 530pm-730pm – Virtual Field Training
Tuesday, January 5th, 2021 2pm-4pm – Virtual Field Training
Thursday, January 7th, 2021 6pm-8pm – Virtual Fundraising Training
Saturday, January 9th, 2021 6pm-8pm – Virtual Communications Training

Citizen Action of Wisconsin Hosts Toy Drive to Support Farming Families and rural communities. Giving back to families that put food on our tables

2020 has been a rough year for everyone across the Driftless region. That is why Citizen Action of Wisconsin Driftless Co-op, along with the Wisconsin’s Farmers Union and Adams County Democrats are sponsoring a Sustainable Toy Drive during the month of December to collect NEW toys to be distributed to struggling farmers, families of farm workers, and families of undocumented farmhands in La Crosse, Adams and Vernon counties.  We want to make sure that we are giving back to the families that put food on our tables.

We are asking for sustainable toys such as books, puzzles, and wooden toys.  You can help by dropping off toys in person on  December 12th from noon to 4:00 at one of the following locations. 

  • Wisconsin 106 parking lot 1040 W Center st Adams Wisconsin 
  • UU Fellowship of La Crosse 401 West Ave s La Crosse 
  • Tractor Supply Co Parking lot 1202 N Main st Viroqua

It is our hope that people will donate to this community project to bring joy to children who might not receive a gift otherwise. 

Please consider shopping locally owned, small businesses for NEW sustainable toys to donate, for example:

If you wish to donate a sustainable toy by mail, or place an order online,  please send it to:

CAW Sustainable Toy Drive;

C/O: Ben Wilson

116 s Rock Ave, Apt 1206

Viroqua WI 54665

La Crosse event link

Viroqua event link 

Adams event link

For more information please contact Ben Wilson at 608-386-2847 or [email protected]

North Central Organizing Co-op Member Shares His Personal Affordable Care Act Story at Protect Our Care Virtual Press Conference with US Senator Tammy Baldwin

Open Enrollment for the Affordable Care Act is underway and ends on December 15th

On Monday, December 7th, NC Co-op member, Vik Verma was part of a press conference sponsored by Protect Our Care Wisconsin and Citizen Action of Wisconsin, to urge people to enroll in the ACA here in Wisconsin. 

The ACA was a lifesaver for Vik after a serious car accident in 2017.  He shared his story to emphasize how important it is to enroll in the ACA exchange if you don’t have coverage.

In addition to Lillian and Vik sharing their stories, our awesome US Senator Tammy Baldwin and our great Wisconsin Insurance Commissioner Mark Afable spoke about the importance of getting enrolled in the ACA exchanges. You can see the virtual press conference here.

Get enrolled!  The deadline is December 15!

Wausau Mayor Katie Rosenberg Meets With Citizen Action of Wisconsin Staff (and a photo bomber)

Citizen Action of Wisconsin’s Executive Director, Dr. Robert Kraig, Climate & Equity Director Rafael Smith, and North Central Co-op Organizer Joel Lewis met with Wausau Mayor Katie Rosenberg on Wednesday, December 9th. We all joined what Katie calls the World Peace Tour, and Organizer Joel Lewis learned that it’s hard to take a screenshot while giving a peace sign. He also learned that no matter who you’re meeting with, a double peace sign photobomb is not out of the question! The meeting was to discuss the lay of the land in Wausau, in terms of working toward the use of more renewable energy and a greener future. How this pertains to all people in the greater Wausau area was also a part of the discussion. We are so grateful to have had the time to have this discussion with Mayor Katie, and look forward to continuing to work toward a green and equitable future in Wausau.

People’s Action Holds Session 2 of Their Movement Builder’s Conference

Much of the Citizen Action of Wisconsin Field Team and some of their Co-op Organizers participated in the 2nd Session of the People’s Action Movement Builder’s Conference. This event brings Organizers from all across the country together to celebrate victories achieved through our collective work, and to work together to identify future goals and ways to implement them. 

As Organizers, we can sometimes feel like we’re on an island, all alone doing this work. Not only do these conferences help you hone in on your organizing skills, but it helps you to realize that you are not alone. You are one piece of a movement that is much larger than yourself! Together we are strong and we can move mountains if we stand together. 

“Trump enablers scheme & sue to overturn election” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

We review a surreal week that saw Texas and 17 states sue Wisconsin and other states where Trump lost narrowly to overturn the election. In Wisconsin, Rep. Tussler, the chairman of the Assembly Elections committee, is holding a sham hearing Friday and has already said he is willing to defy the will of the voters. We talk about the issues the do-nothing-good Wisconsin Legislature and US Senate are ignoring, especially COVID 19 , and laud Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes’ broad Climate Task Force plan which was released this Wednesday. Will its provisions make it into Governor Evers’ state budget? Finally, we welcome Shawn Phetteplace, Wisconsin State Manager of the Main Street Alliance, to discuss the budget priorities of small business owners.

Listen Now
Download Mp3

Learn more about the Main Street Alliance and their priorities for President-elect Biden’s first 100 days.

Facebook post of the week

Citizen Action Weekly: Friday, December 4th 2020

Citizen Action Weekly: Friday, December 4th 2020

Friday, December 4th

Attend 2020 Citizen Action of Wisconsin statewide membership meeting

On December 5th 2020 at 10:00 AM Citizen Action of Wisconsin will be (virtually) hosting its annual statewide membership meeting. This meeting will be open to all current members. During the meeting we will be electing the 2021 Board of Directors (including representation from the Driftless region). We will also be celebrating the amazing work that has been done across the state as we’ll as the work done by our individual co-ops across the state.

We have a lot to celebrate this year but we still have a lot of work ahead of us!  We hope to see as many of you as possible on this virtual annual meeting.  

RSVP to receive the Zoom link to join.

Tell Gov. Tony Evers we need a BadgerCare Public Option in his next State Budget

TAKE ACTION! Contact Gov. Tony Evers and tell him to make sure a BadgerCare Public Option is included in his next State Budget.

No matter what we look like, where we live, or what’s in our wallets, we all need good affordable health care. But for too long, we’ve let a powerful divide us to pad their own profits.

The COVID-19 pandemic reveals what has always been true, excluding people from health care is a threat to the entire community. Crippling costs deter the uninsured and everyone who can’t afford massive co-pays, deductibles, and surprise medical bills from seeking testing and treatment, helping the virus spread.

Healthcare is a human right and no one should go bankrupt because they get sick or delay medical treatment because they can’t afford it.

We need to make sure BadgerCare is opened to everyone in Wisconsin as a public option, lowering premiums and eliminating large co-pays and deductibles, so that all of us can get the care we need without going bankrupt or having to wrangle with an insurance company.

CONTACT Gov. Tony Evers and tell him to make sure a BadgerCare Public Option is included in his 2021-2022 State Budget that he will introduce in late January 2021.

Attend Gov. Evers/Lt. Gov. Barnes Budget Listening Sessions

Although the COVID-19 pandemic continues to keep folks safer at home, the governor is once again calling on Wisconsinites to share their thoughts on the 2021-2022 State Budget at a virtual listening session.

Thank you to the team who joined our Climate and Healthcare info session on Dec 1st to prep for the December 2nd State Budget Listening session! 

Wisconsinites who can’t attend a listening session can submit a written public comment on any topic at any time here.

If you are interested in participating in any of the remaining listening sessions, you can register to attend below.

Budget Listening Session on Criminal Justice Reform

Tuesday, December 8 at 6 p.m.

Register to attend here: //us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZ0oceCqrTwiHd0K_jwSm7v77A94JrrcbHRP

Budget Listening Session on Our Schools and Education

Wednesday, December 16 at 6 p.m.

Registration will be live one week before the listening session date.​

Attend The People’s Map Commission Meetings & Hearings 

If you can’t attend, submit written comments. 

Members of Gov. Tony Evers’ People’s Maps Commission will host a series of public hearings across Wisconsin to hear directly from experts and the public on redistricting. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Commission is conducting all hearings virtually, but may reassess this decision at a later point. There will be at least one hearing for each of Wisconsin’s congressional districts.

Members of the public are encouraged to provide testimony at public hearings by registering to testify. Written public comments are also welcome at any time during the public hearing process. They encourage members of the public to submit written comments in advance of their congressional district’s public hearing.

More Information and RSVP 

Driftless Co-op Toy Drive

2020 has been a rough year for everyone across the Driftless region. That is why Citizen Action of Wisconsin Driftless Co-op, along with the Wisconsin’s Farmers Union and Adams County Democrats are sponsoring a Sustainable Toy Drive during the month of December to collect NEW toys to be distributed to struggling farmers, families of farm workers and families of undocumented farm hands in La Crosse, Adams and Vernon counties.  We want to make sure that we are giving back to the families that put food on our tables.

We are asking for sustainable toys such as books, puzzles, and wooden toys.  You can help by dropping off toys in person on  December 12th noon to 4:00 at one of the following locations. 

  • Wisconsin 106 parking lot 1040 W Center st Adams Wisconsin 
  • UU Fellowship of La Crosse 401 West Ave s La Crosse 
  • Tractor Supply Co Parking lot 1202 N Main st Viroqua

It is our hope that people will donate to this community project to bring joy to children who might not  receive a gift otherwise. 

Please consider shopping locally owned, small businesses for NEW sustainable toys to donate, for example:

If you wish to donate a sustainable toy by mail, or place an order online,  please send it to:

CAW Sustainable Toy Drive, C/O  Ben Wilson
116 s Rock Ave. Apt 1206
Viroqua WI 54665

La Crosse event link –
//fb.me/e/9sHOwjAAx
Viroqua event link – //fb.me/e/4U6nWeZBw
Adams event link – //fb.me/e/5EPQEbfor

Organizing the Driftless region in 2021 and beyond: building an urban-rural alliance

Over the past few years the Driftless region has become a political hotspot in the state of Wisconsin.  It is so amazing to see so many progressive groups create a permanent presence in the La Crosse area.  We are so happy to see allied groups such as Planned Parenthood, NextGEN, Wisconsin Conservation Voters, HRC, Our Wisconsin Revolution, LIT MKE, the ACLU, and Opportunity Wisconsin organizing in the area.  We know that together we all can mobilize our power and create real change!

Citizen Action of Wisconsin is both thrilled and proud to stand with such wonderful organizations.  It also allows us the chance to step back and look at the relationships being built on the ground and find where we fit in.  No one group can do it all.  While we want to be able to lend support to all the other groups and organizing efforts it is also important to find our niche.

After conversations with our local members, the local leadership team, and our statewide directors it seems clear that our local co-op should be focused on building a rural-urban alliance to fight climate change, fight for universal healthcare, improve rural quality of life, work on housing issues and elect progressives on the local and state level in areas both rural and urban.  We want to build a coalition of areas progressives that will fight for each other and break down the divides between rural and urban progressive voters.

We still want to stand by and support our amazing allies on all the wonderful work they are doing but we want to focus in on where we can make the greatest impact.  There seems to be a gap in area organizing around rural progressivism.  We want to fill that.  We want to be an organization that knows its urban members will stand up for rural members and rural members will stand up for urban members.  The only way that we can move Wisconsin forward is to make sure that no one gets left behind!

Citizen Action of Wisconsin North Central Organizing Co-op Has Eyes on Spring Elections

There are school board races, the race for WI State Superintendent, and the Wisconsin Court of Appeals. The Wood County Democratic Party has invited us to have the opportunity to meet the three candidates running for State Superintendent. 

Topic: WCDP General Meeting
Time: Dec. 7th, 2020 at 6:30 pm

Join the Zoom meeting here!
Meeting ID: 881 1403 9840; Passcode: 504837

Or, you can call in if you are not familiar or are unable to use Zoom. Here’s the call-in information: 312-626-6799, Meeting ID: 881 1403 9840; Passcode: 504837

Speakers: Jill Underly, Deborah Kerr, Sheila Briggs

Citizen Action in the News

Dana Kelley, Citizen Action’s lead organizer for our new North Side Rising Organizing Co-op in Milwaukee’s African American community, was covered in Wisconsin Public Radio’s story on Green New Deal policy in the Biden Administration. Read it or listen to it here.

Citizen Action’s Robert Kraig spent a full hour on the Jeff Santos show talking about Biden’s cabinet appointments (so far) and the work of Congressional progressives to become a more powerful force in national policy. Listen here.

Are you running for office or considering running? Attend a Wisconsin Progress candidate training

Wisconsin Progress is excited to announce their annual winter training series and this year they are going virtual. Local elections are as important as they’ve ever been and thier Advanced Local Elected Campaign Training is a great way to prepare for your run. They are offering shorter trainings this year on Field, Finance, and Communications so you don’t have to spend a whole day in front of your computer. 

All trainings will be offered through Zoom; sign up below to get access:

Tuesday, December 8th, 2020 6pm- 8pm – Virtual Communications Training
Thursday,  December 10th, 2020 6pm-8pm- Virtual Fundraising Training
Saturday, December 12th, 2020 2pm-4pm – Virtual Field Training
Tuesday, December 14th, 2020 6pm-8pm – Virtual Fundraising Training
Thursday, December 16th, 2020 6pm-8pm – Virtual Communications Training
Monday, January 4th, 2021 530pm-730pm – Virtual Field Training
Tuesday, January 5th, 2021 2pm-4pm – Virtual Field Training
Thursday, January 7th, 2021 6pm-8pm – Virtual Fundraising Training
Saturday, January 9th, 2021 6 pm-8pm – Virtual Communications Training

“Vos’ COVID-19 plan fails Wisconsin” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

We discuss the adolescent and divisive COVID-19 legislation introduced by Robin Vos and Assembly Republicans that cuts funding for school districts and fails to address the historic pandemic bludgeoning Wisconsin families. We review Trump’s illegitimate lawsuit which seeks to change the rules of the game after the election and throw out hundreds of thousands of legal ballots in Milwaukee and Dane County. We kick off the State Budget fight that commences with Governor Tony Evers’ budget that he must present early next year. We discuss our top budget priorities, including a BadgerCare Public Option, Pharma Reform, and Green New Deal initiatives, and encourage our listeners to contact the Governor. Become a Citizen Action member and attend our Annual membership meeting this Saturday, December 5th, 10am – Noon.

Become a Citizen Action Co-op member today!

Attend Citizen Action Annual Member meeting
Saturday, December 5th, 10am – Noon.

Facebook post of the week.