Citizen Action Weekly: Mail in your absentee ballot!

Friday, April 3rd

Mail In Your Absentee Ballot
or Vote Tuesday, April 7th!

If you have an absentee ballot, mail it in today!

All absentee ballots must be received by April 13th.

Watch Don’t lick your ballot envelope video!

Unfortunately, it appears we are headed for an election on April 7th in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic. If you don’t have an absentee ballot and are planning on voting on Tuesday we urge you to be safe and follow the latest CDC guidelines for being in public places.

Vote Jill Karofsky for Wisconsin Supreme Court.

In the critical Wisconsin Supreme Court race, Citizen Action of Wisconsin is strongly endorsing Jill Karofsky.

Jill Karofsky will be an independent judge who will fairly interpret and apply the law for everyone, regardless of their race, their income, or where they live. Karofsky’s judicial integrity is in sharp contrast to the current Supreme Court that regularly twists the law to rubber stamp the priorities of a single political party, and caters its decisions to the interests of the rich, the powerful, and the well connected.

Jill Karofsky will make excellent and impartial Wisconsin Supreme Court justices who give every case a fair hearing and render decisions based on rigorous legal interpretation not ideology. She will be a breath of fresh air on a Supreme Court where the majority regularly puts politics and ideology ahead of the fair interpretation of the law.

Volunteer with Citizen Action to make calls for Jill Karofsky

Citizen Action of Wisconsin field staff and co-op organizers have been leading a phone banking effort in support of our endorsed Supreme Court candidate, Jill Karofsky.  Last weekend the co-op organizers rolled this program out to co-op member volunteers. The 90 minute training was designed to explain the Race, Class Narrative messaging we are using in the campaign and give Citizen Action of Wisconsin members a chance to get involved this election.

Please use this link to watch the Zoom training.

If you want to get involved with phone banking from home please reach out to your local co-op organizer.

Other Citizen Action April 7th Endorsements

Milwaukee Area Organizing Co-op

Chris Larson, Milwaukee County Executive

Senator Larson, who is a Citizen Action co-op member, is prepared to implement bold reform of county government. Chris Larson would be the first progressive Milwaukee County Executive in modern history. Senator Larson is committed to using the power of county government to address the climate crisis in a way that provides living wage jobs for people currently locked out of economic opportunity.

Vote Yes for Milwaukee Public Schools Referendum

Vote Yes for MPS and the future of Milwaukee students! Passing this referendum will raise $87 million for Milwaukee Public Schools. This increase in funding will help to ensure that students are not only supported in their classrooms, but also outside, as well, through the staffing of nurses, psychologists, and social workers. Investing in the well being of our children means investing in the well being of our community. Remember to flip your ballot to find the referendum!

City of Milwaukee Drive-Up Early Voting location:

Zeidler Municipal Building
841 N Broadway

Wednesday, April 1 – Sunday, April 5
Monday – Friday 8am to 5pm
Saturday – Sunday 10am to 3pm

City of Milwaukee Common Council

Nikiya Dodd (District 5) – Nikiya Dodd is a proven progressive leader.  She led the fight for voters’ rights by opposing Governor Scott Walker’s Voter ID law. Dodd was also a Democratic member of the Wisconsin State Senate, where she pushed for an increase in the minimum wage and for expanding affordable healthcare. She also put forth initiatives to repair Milwaukee’s foreclosure crisis and reform Wisconsin’s broken criminal justice system and mental health system.

Fred Royal  (District 7) – Fred Royal is a former Vice President of the United Auto Workers Union (UAW) Local 438 which got him started in a career path towards public service, community activism, and politics. Fred will be a leader on the council who will work with Citizen Action to address the climate crisis in a way that provides living wage jobs for people currently locked out of economic opportunity.

JoCasta Zamarripa (District 8) – State Representative JoCasta Zamarripa, who is a member of our board of directors, will be a strong progressive leader on the council who will fight for Citizen Action’s climate and racial equity agenda. In this majority people of color southside district we believe JoCasta will do a tremendous job of bringing the diverse voices of the area to City Hall.

Peter Burgelis (District 11) – Peter Burgelis has been civically engaged for years and active in the nonprofit community. He is challenging one of the most extreme conservatives on the Common Council. Burgelis has many issues he plans to work on, including infrastructure improvements, city services and creating jobs.

Marina Dimitrijevic (District 14) – As our County Supervisor, Marina Dimitrijevic has led the way to reduce the county’s environmental footprint. At City Hall, Marina will be a partner in Citizen Action’s efforts to win a Milwaukee Green New Deal which dramatically reduces community-wide greenhouse emissions and creates family supporting jobs for those who need them most.

Milwaukee County Board

Liz Sumner (District 1) – Citizen Action co-op member Liz Sumner is fully prepared to become a leader on the county board. Liz will work to ensure that Milwaukee County serves the people who fund it and will fight to make sure our most valuable community assets, our parks, are protected and receive the investment they deserve so everyone in our district can enjoy the public spaces.

Sequanna Taylor (District 2) – Sequanna Taylor has been a rock solid progressive voice on the board who brings her background as an educator to legislating. Sequanna also serves on the Milwaukee School Board.

Joseph J. Czarnezki (District 11) – Citizen Action co-op member Joe Czarnezki has a long history of public service representing Milwaukee County as both a Wisconsin state representative, from 1981 to 1983, and a Wisconsin state senator, from 1983 to 1993.

Sylvia Ortiz-Velez (District 12) – Citizen Action co-op member Sylvia Ortiz-Velez has in one 2-year term already distinguished herself as an active progressive leader on the board who is willing to support new ideas. Sylvia is a supporter of Citizen Action’s efforts to win a Milwaukee Green New Deal which dramatically reduces community-wide greenhouse emissions and creates family supporting jobs for those who need them most.

Eddie Cullen (District 15) – In only a few short years on the board Eddie Cullen has established himself as a progressive member who works collaboratively with other members.

Tearman Spencer, Milwaukee City Attorney

Tearman Spencer is ready to use the City Attorney office to help advance our agenda. He was particularly impressive in his interview with his promise to work proactively with Citizen Action to ensure our climate and equity proposals at the City of Milwaukee pass legal muster and are implemented effectively. The incumbent has regularly used his office to work against most progressive legislation proposed at the City over the past three decades.

Dennis McBride, Mayor of Wauwatosa

Dennis McBride is a Citizen Action co-op member who has a long track record on public education and other important issues in Wauwatosa. Dennis would be the first progressive mayor in the history of Wauwatosa.

North Central WI Organizing Co-op

Katie Rosenberg, Mayor of Wausau

Katie has served the Marathon County Board of Supervisors for the last two terms. She attempted to pass a resolution for fair maps back in 2018, and has been supportive of our work around healthcare. She is also an advocate for renewable energy and responsible environmental practices. She is a vocal supporter of our Organizing Co-ops. It’s hard to capture all that she has accomplished as an elected leader, but her willingness to work with all parties involved is something that gives her an edge in governing.

Wausau City Council

Tiffany Rodriguez-Lee (District 2) –  Tiffany is a political newcomer, but her family has been very active in the local nonprofit world. She was recently elected as the Vice President of the Governance Council for the Wausau Area Montessori Charter School, and is the Grants & Outcomes Director at the Wausau Boys and Girls Club. Tiffany felt compelled to run because she believes the Wausau City Council does not embrace diversity. Her opponent is opposed to our platform and goals.

Tom Kilian (District 3) – Tom is a founding member of the Citizen Action NC Organizing Co-op, and has been one of our strongest supporters from the beginning. He has led the fight in Wausau to expose decades of environmental contamination in his neighborhood, covered up by industry and minimized by local and state governments. He co-created a group called Concerned Citizens of Wausau. Several Co-op members are also active in this group. Tom brought in the assistance of a Harvard toxicologist who is a member of Citizen Action’s national network People’s Action. He is challenging an incumbent who once recited biblical verses in response to organizers seeking a permit for a pride parade in Wausau.

Tracy Wheatley (District 7) – Tracy is a political newcomer, and is a young woman with a lot of passion who shares our values.

Sarah Watson (District 8) – Sarah is a Citizen Action co-op member,  a member of WEAC, and the co-president of her local. She is running against a woman who once served as Mayor of Wausau and has a history of making racial comments. Sarah was recommended to the Co-op by one of our founding members.

Marathon County Board of Supervisors

Jen Bizzotto (District 2) – Jen is a political newcomer. She currently works for Judicare, and believes that the Marathon County Board of Supervisors needs to be more inclusive of the diverse people that make up the community. She is running against someone that stands for the opposite of what our members stand for.

William Harris (District 3) – William is a political newcomer. He works for Judicare, and believes that we should be working to help families that are struggling and believes that local governments play a vital role in this. William is opposing a man that is opposed to much of what the Co-op wants to accomplish. The NC organizer serves on a candidate recruitment committee, made up of several groups and community leaders, and Will was found as a result of the efforts of this committee.

Ka Lo (District 5 & Wausau School Board) – A Citizen Action Co-op member, Ka has served on the Marathon County Board of Supervisors for the last 2 years, and is supportive of our platform. She is the first Hmong woman elected to the Marathon County Board of Supervisors. If she wins the race for school board, she will be the only voice for the Hmong community on that board. Ka used to run the progressive Democrats group in Marathon County, and is also active with Our Wisconsin Revolution.

Yee Leng Xiong (District 19, Village of Weston Board of Trustees, and DC Everest School Board) – Yee is a Citizen Action Organizing Co-op member, and is a fierce advocate for the Hmong community and for Citizen Action. He is the Youth Program Coordinator for the Hmong American Center in Wausau. Yee has served on the Marathon County Board of Supervisors since 2014, and has been on the DC Everest School Board and the Weston Village Board of Trustees for several years.

Jonathan Fisher (District 38) –  A founding member of the Citizen Action Organizing Co-op. Jonathan’s wife is also on the local Steering Committee of the co-op. Jonathan strongly supports our issue platform, and  is a huge supporter of health care reform and renewable energy. He and his partner are strong supporters of renewable energy and healthcare reform.

Tomahawk School Board

Mark Martello  – Mark is a founding member of the Citizen Action and is on the local steering committee. He ran for the 35th Assembly District in 2018 and played a role in developing Citizen Action’s issue platform. Mark is a veteran, and works for the VA Clinic.

Oneida County Board of Supervisors

Steven Schreier (District 4) – Steven and his partner are both Citizen Action organizing co-op members, and spoke at the JFC hearings in support of expanding BadgerCare and Fair Maps. Steven has helped lead the Fair Maps fights in the Town of Newbold and City of Rhinelander, and is committed to the Citizen Action platform.

Langlade County Board of Supervisors

Sandy Fischer (District 2) – Sandy is a founding Citizen Action co-op organizing member, has served on the Langlade County Board for many years, and has always been a champion for progressive causes. Sandy is committed to Citizen Action’s issue platform.

Northeast WI Organizing Co-op

Brown County Board of Supervisors

Lindsay Dorff (District 4) – Lindsay is a long time co-op member. She is a leader in the Fair Maps coalition and has demonstrated her commitment to progressive ideas many times over.

Megan Borchardt (District 8) – Megan is a co-op member and leader in Brown County on the issue of mental health and criminal justice reform. She works very closely with our WISDOM Affiliate and LGBTQ+ Leadership in her advocacy on the Brown County Board.

Cassandra Erickson (District 19) – Cassandra is a co-op member. She is a strong progressive leader in Brown County and spends her time volunteering in the local schools, and lead a transgender support group in Brown County.

Green Bay City Council

Barbara Dorff (District 1) – Barb is a long time member and supporter of progressive politics in Green Bay. She is a vocal supporter of Co-op member Mayor Eric Genrich’s push for inclusivity and diversity positions in Green Bay.

Randy Scannel (District 7) – Randy is a co-op member and vocal progressive on the Green Bay City Council. He has been working closely with the Green Bay sustainability commission to implement their recommendations on a municipal level.

Calumet County Board of Supervisors

Emily Voight (District 3) – Emily is a co-op member and political leader in Calumet county. Her three main goals as a county board member are fair maps, health, and human services and clean water for her community.

Free COVID-19 treatment is a critical missing link. It’s up to state leaders to make sure everyone gets help

By: Robert Kraig

This article originally appeared in the Wisconsin Examiner

The coronavirus pandemic confronts us with a cascading medical emergency that would challenge the greatest leaders.

Fatefully, at a moment when hundreds of thousands of lives hang in the balance, the Trump Administration has made the threat exponentially worse. The administration’s catastrophic failures include a delay of at least a month in ramping up testing, no uniform national social distancing rules and a rigid ideological refusal to wield the power of the federal government to ramp up production and assure timely and cost effective distribution of desperately needed medical supplies and protective equipment. Compounding this chain of errors, the president’s daily press conferences are sowing public confusion and likely impeding social distancing.

That’s why the United States — the most powerful and capable nation on earth — has by far the most COVID-19 cases, and is testing at among the lowest rate in the developed world. It’s so bad that a president who spent a month downplaying the threat is redefining success as holding the death toll to 100,000, nearly double the American fatalities in the Vietnam War.

With lives hanging in the balance, we don’t have the luxury of dwelling on the past. There will be a time for honest accounting, but in the present we have a moral obligation to get ahead of the curve of this pandemic. One lesson learned is that we can’t rely on the federal government to lead. This shifts an immense and unexpected burden on governors and state legislators.

There are hopeful signs that Gov. Tony Evers is stepping up to the challenge. He has already made two critically important moves, and I will suggest a third: guaranteeing to everyone in Wisconsin free treatment for COVID-19, and any medical care that follows.

The governor’s first critical action was mandating social distancing, which he did over the objections of Republican legislative leaders and powerful corporate lobbyists. This would not have been necessary if the federal government had tested in a timely fashion, which would have allowed us to trace the chains of transmission. But now that the coronavirus is spreading invisibly through the population, the best available containment strategy is drastically curtailing social interactions, putting the economy into what some economists term a “medically induced coma.”

This first step gives Wisconsin a fighting chance to slow the virus before the case volume overwhelms our hospitals. But because of the president’s refusal to force production of medical supplies and federalize the supply chain, it will not be enough. Understanding that we can’t wait for federal leadership, Evers made a second essential move: appealing for an immediate special session of the Legislature to expand his emergency powers and give Wisconsin the resources to meet the coming tsunami of infections. So far, the GOP leadership is playing politics as usual and dragging its feet, putting thousands of lives at risk.

Now that the governor is pursuing these two critical steps, my colleagues and I at Citizen Action of Wisconsin are recommending a third step that is essential for containing the pandemic: free universal treatment. This is the best way to identify everyone who already has been or will be infected, and interrupt the deadly chains of disease transmission. We need to start by testing and treating everyone with symptoms, and then once there is sufficient capacity test community-wide, identifying seemingly healthy people spreading the infection.

This is achievable through the power of state government, but only if Wisconsin immediately fixes a deadly flaw in the American health care system: unaffordable cost. A survey of over 1,000 Wisconsinites by Citizen Action and the Healthcare Value Hub found shockingly that nearly half have gone without needed medical care because of fear of the cost in the last year. Given unprecedented unemployment generated by the stay-at-home order, this fear is now even more intense.

Congress has taken the first necessary step by making COVID-19 testing free, but despite the efforts of progressive Democrats, any treatment is still subject to the unaffordable deductibles and copays of private insurance. There are also 321,000 Wisconsinites who are uninsured, and mass layoffs are certainly causing this number to skyrocket. The Kaiser Family Health Foundation estimates COVID-19 treatment will typically cost up to $20,000. In addition, the patients most at risk of life-threatening illness have underlying health conditions which also must also be addressed during coronavirus treatment.

Wisconsin can eliminate this barrier to containing the pandemic by making all medical follow up and treatment that results from seeking a COVID-19 test cost free, including any other urgent medical issues that are discovered.

Citizen Action of Wisconsin has a common sense plan to make this happen which we have shared with the governor.

First, use emergency powers granted by the federal government to deploy BadgerCare to guarantee that everyone has health coverage during the pandemic.

Second, immediately expand BadgerCare by accepting the Medicaid Expansion authorized by the Affordable Care Act. This would cover at least 75,000 more people, and free up $340 million that can be immediately put into the COVID-19 fight.

Third, mandate that health insurance plans pay for all treatment resulting from seeking medical attention for COVID-19. If this creates too much of a burden on some local health plans, Wisconsin can limit the price gouging built into our profit-centered system by requiring hospitals to accept more reasonable Medicare rates for all treatment that results from a COVID-19 test.

This unprecedented public health emergency focuses us on the truth that we are all interconnected, and that leaving people out of our healthcare system risks the lives of everyone in our community.

I urge you to contact your state legislators today and demand an immediate special session to both act on the Governor’s coronavirus relief bill, and to adopt Citizen Action’s plan to guarantee free coronavirus treatment for everyone in Wisconsin.

“COVID-19 sickens Wisconsin democracy” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast   

Remaining safer at home, the panel discuss COVID-19 and Citizen Action’s call for free treatment and other critical health care emergency actions needed to contain the pandemic. We dig into dysfunctional political situation in Wisconsin that is careening into a dangerous and anti-democratic election on April 7th. We urge listeners to get their absentee ballots in immediately and encourage everyone to remind friends, family and social networks to do the same. Finally, we dive into a conversation about healthcare workers being fired for speaking out about lack of proper gear and unsafe conditions.

Listen Now – Episode #436
Download MP3
Press Clips

Facebook post of the week

Citizen Action Weekly: Friday March 27th

Citizen Action Weekly: Friday March 27th

Friday, March 27th

VOTE from HOME.

Request an absentee ballot for the April 7th election.

You can now register to vote online until March 30.

All voters in Wisconsin can request an absentee ballot be mailed to them for any reason.

You have until April 2, 2020, 5pm.

Voters can possibly request and vote an absentee ballot in-person in their municipal clerk’s office through April 5th.

Please contact your municipal clerk for absentee voting hours. 

Watch and Share video on how easy it is to get an absentee ballot online.

Read step-by-step directions to request an absentee ballot.

Spring Endorsements in North Central WI

Katie Rosenberg for Mayor of Wausau.

Katie has served the Marathon County Board of Supervisors for the last two terms. She attempted to pass a resolution for fair maps back in 2018, and has been supportive of our work around healthcare. She is also an advocate for renewable energy and responsible environmental practices. She is a vocal supporter of our Organizing Co-ops. It’s hard to capture all that she has accomplished as an elected leader, but her willingness to work with all parties involved is something that gives her an edge in governing.

Wausau City Council

Tiffany Rodriguez-Lee (District 2) –  Tiffany is a political newcomer, but her family has been very active in the local nonprofit world. She was recently elected as the Vice President of the Governance Council for the Wausau Area Montessori Charter School, and is the Grants & Outcomes Director at the Wausau Boys and Girls Club. Tiffany felt compelled to run because she believes the Wausau City Council does not embrace diversity. Her opponent is opposed to our platform and goals.

Tom Kilian (District 3) – Tom is a founding member of the Citizen Action NC Organizing Co-op, and has been one of our strongest supporters from the beginning. He has led the fight in Wausau to expose decades of environmental contamination in his neighborhood, covered up by industry and minimized by local and state governments. He co-created a group called Concerned Citizens of Wausau. Several Co-op members are also active in this group. Tom brought in the assistance of a Harvard toxicologist who is a member of Citizen Action’s national network People’s Action. He is challenging an incumbent who once recited biblical verses in response to organizers seeking a permit for a pride parade in Wausau.

Tracy Wheatley (District 7) – Tracy is a political newcomer, and is a young woman with a lot of passion who shares our values.

Sarah Watson (District 8) – Sarah is a Citizen Action co-op member,  a member of WEAC, and the co-president of her local. She is running against a woman who once served as Mayor of Wausau and has a history of making racial comments. Sarah was recommended to the Co-op by one of our founding members.

Marathon County Board of Supervisors

Jen Bizzotto (District 2) – Jen is a political newcomer. She currently works for Judicare, and believes that the Marathon County Board of Supervisors needs to be more inclusive of the diverse people that make up the community. She is running against someone that stands for the opposite of what our members stand for.

William Harris (District 3) – William is a political newcomer. He works for Judicare, and believes that we should be working to help families that are struggling and believes that local governments play a vital role in this. William is opposing a man that is opposed to much of what the Co-op wants to accomplish. The NC organizer serves on a candidate recruitment committee, made up of several groups and community leaders, and Will was found as a result of the efforts of this committee.

Ka Lo (District 5 & Wausau School Board) – A Citizen Action Co-op member, Ka has served on the Marathon County Board of Supervisors for the last 2 years, and is supportive of our platform. She is the first Hmong woman elected to the Marathon County Board of Supervisors. If she wins the race for school board, she will be the only voice for the Hmong community on that board. Ka used to run the progressive Democrats group in Marathon County, and is also active with Our Wisconsin Revolution.

Yee Leng Xiong (District 19, Village of Weston Board of Trustees, and DC Everest School Board) – Yee is a Citizen Action Organizing Co-op member, and is a fierce advocate for the Hmong community and for Citizen Action. He is the Youth Program Coordinator for the Hmong American Center in Wausau. Yee has served on the Marathon County Board of Supervisors since 2014, and has been on the DC Everest School Board and the Weston Village Board of Trustees for several years.

Jonathan Fisher (District 38) –  A founding member of the Citizen Action Organizing Co-op. Jonathan’s wife is also on the local Steering Committee of the co-op. Jonathan strongly supports our issue platform, and  is a huge supporter of health care reform and renewable energy. He and his partner are strong supporters of renewable energy and healthcare reform.

Tomahawk School Board

Mark Martello  – Mark is a founding member of the Citizen Action and is on the local steering committee. He ran for the 35th Assembly District in 2018 and played a role in developing Citizen Action’s issue platform. Mark is a veteran, and works for the VA Clinic.

Oneida County Board of Supervisors

Steven Schreier (District 4) – Steven and his partner are both Citizen Action organizing co-op members, and spoke at the JFC hearings in support of expanding BadgerCare and Fair Maps. Steven has helped lead the Fair Maps fights in the Town of Newbold and City of Rhinelander, and is committed to the Citizen Action platform.

Langlade County Board of Supervisors

Sandy Fischer (District 2) – Sandy is a founding Citizen Action co-op organizing member, has served on the Langlade County Board for many years, and has always been a champion for progressive causes. Sandy is committed to Citizen Action’s issue platform.

Northeast Organizing Co-op announces spring endorsements!

Brown County Board of Supervisors

Lindsay Dorff (District 4)- Lindsay is a long time co-op member. She is a leader in the Fair Maps coalition and has demonstrated her commitment to progressive ideas many times over.

Megan Borchardt (District 8)– Megan is a co-op member and leader in Brown County on the issue of mental health and criminal justice reform. She works very closely with our WISDOM Affiliate and LGBTQ+ Leadership in her advocacy on the Brown County Board.

Cassandra Erickson (District 19)- Cassandra is a co-op member. She is a strong progressive leader in Brown County and spends her time volunteering in the local schools, and lead a transgender support group in Brown County.

Green Bay City Council

Barbara Dorff (District 1)- Barb is a long time member and supporter of progressive politics in Green Bay. She is a vocal supporter of Co-op member Mayor Eric Genrich’s push for inclusivity and diversity positions in Green Bay.

Randy Scannel (District 7)- Randy is a co-op member and vocal progressive on the Green Bay City Council. He has been working closely with the Green Bay sustainability commission to implement their recommendations on a municipal level.

Calumet County Board of Supervisors

Emily Voight (District 3)- Emily is a co-op member and political leader in Calumet county. Her three main goals as a county board member are fair maps, health, and human services and clean water for her community.

Spring Endorsements in Milwaukee County

Tearman Spencer for Milwaukee City Attorney

Tearman is ready to use the City Attorney office to help advance our agenda. He was particularly impressive in his interview with his promise to work proactively with Citizen Action to ensure our climate and equity proposals at the City of Milwaukee pass legal muster and are implemented effectively. The incumbent has regularly used his office to work against most progressive legislation proposed at the City over the past three decades.

Milwaukee County Board
Joseph J. Czarnezki (District 11) – Citizen Action co-op member Joe Czarnezki has a long history of public service representing Milwaukee County as both a Wisconsin state representative, from 1981 to 1983, and a Wisconsin state senator, from 1983 to 1993.

See previous Milwaukee County endorsements.

North Central and Central WI Volunteer Opportunities from home!

We need your help to win this April 7th election and then the May 12th special election for Tricia Zunker!

Starting next week, we will have an opportunity for you to help us on a virtual phone bank to help us win in April! We will be helping folks learn how register to vote absentee and promoting Jill Karofsky for Supreme Court.The NC Organizer, Joel Lewis and two Field Canvassers, Don Dunphy and Melissa Engels-Lewis have been calling folks for the last few weeks and were on the doors before that. Please call Joel at 715-551-2525  or email him at joel.lewis@citizenactionwi.org

Statewide Virtual Phone Banking Training (March 29th @2pm)

Join our Citizen Action Statewide Phone Banking Training this Sunday at 2pm. Learn how you can help Citizen Action reach out to persuadable voters asking them to be a voter for Jill Karofsky on Tuesday, April 7th!  We will be discussing our implementation of the Race Class Narrative in our voter outreach and how to navigate our virtual phone dialer. Whether you are a virtual phone bank veteran, or this is your first time, our co-op organizers will be on hand to make sure all your questions are answered! Come to our training and get ready to elect Jill Karofsky to the Wisconsin Supreme Court on April 7th.

Please reserve your space today for our statewide training!

“Not Dying 4 Wall Street” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

We discuss the latest COVID-19 pandemic news, including this week’s Congressional action. Is the $2 trillion relief package the biggest corporate giveaway in American history, or vital help for working Americans and small businesses in a time of dire need? We welcome Susannah Dyen from Caring Across Generations to talk about the Texas Lt. Governor’s comments that grandparents would be willing to die to preserve America’s economy. We close with the latest on the troubled April 7th spring election, including changes to election procedures imposed by a federal judge and growing opposition to holding this election during a state lockdown.

Listen Now – Episode #535
Download MP3
Press Clips

Citizen Action adapts to the new normal during COVID-19 Safer At Home.

Citizen Action weekly staff meeting

Northwestern WI Co-op Hosts Virtual Town Hall with Sen. Jeff Smith and Rep. Jodi Emerson this week. 

Rep Emerson and Sen. Smith digital town hall

Citizen Action’s Northwestern WI Co-op held a Virtual Town Hall with State Senator Jeff Smith and Representative Jodi Emerson on Tuesday, March 24th. The two legislators talked about the state of healthcare in Wisconsin amid the COVID-19 pandemic as well as responded to Ron Johnson’s statements after voting “no” to the Families First Corona Virus Relief Bill. Other topics around Medicare expansion and Criminal Justice protocols during this time. There were 30 people in attendance via Zoom Meetings. Several engaging questions were asked and participants enjoyed having the opportunity to tele-connect with their representatives.

Thanks to all the members who joined and thanks to Rep. Emerson and Sen. Smith!

Driftless Co-op Virtual house meeting, Wednesday, April 1st, 2pm 

On Wednesday April 1st Citizen Action of Wisconsin Driftless Co-op will be hosting a virtual house meeting via Zoom to discuss ways that our co-op can help people through these hard times.  We need input from member leaders on ways our co-op can help our community deal with healthcare access, financial insecurity, and protect Wisconsin during the COVID19 outbreak.

We are looking for 10 devoted co-op members to join us, from home, on this call.  Your input is valuable as we build strategies to help our communities during these times.

Call to action:  Will you commit to join Citizen Action of Wisconsin Driftless Co-op for a one hour virtual house meeting on Wednesday April 1st from 2:00 to 3:00?  You must RSVP to attend. Instructions on how to join will be sent when you RSVP.  

Please click here to RSVP.

Send an electronic postcard to Congress in support of Universal Family Care

UFC is a new social insurance program that would make early child care, paid leave, support for people with disabilities and elder care accessible and affordable for all. You can read more about it here.

We have an easy digital action for you to take.  Fill out an electronic postcard to show your support for this idea! You can do so here.

If you send one, please let Karen, Co-Op Healthcare Organizer,  know with an email with “healthy solidarity in UFC” in the subject line as she is trying to keep track. Karen.kirsch@citizenactionwi.org

Can you sew?  Will you consider joining an effort to make face masks to slow the spread of COVID19?

Governor Evers is calling on Wisconsinites to make 50,000 protective face masks.  We are calling on anyone who can sew to help out.

Citizen Action of Wisconsin member Betty Ottesen, along with New Horizons Women’s Shelter, is leading a local effort to make masks.  If you can donate time and energy to making masks you can help protect Wisconsin and slow the spread of COVID19.

If you are interested in helping please reach out to Betty at either 608-526-4227 or by email at hipnotions@gmail.com.  Betty can supply you with patterns and even help you with the necessary elastics. She can also help you get those masks where they can do the most good. A video showing how easy masks are to make can be found here.

Captain Census

Call to Action:  Will you commit to filling out your 2020 census and contacting 10 friends and helping walk them through the process. 

The 2020 Census has started and it is still very important that you fill out your census.  You should have received a letter in the mail from the census. Included is a personalized code and instructions how to go online and fill out the 2020 census.  The 2020 census will help determine how federal funds are spent and how district maps are drawn for the next ten years!

Captain Census (see picture) says, “make sure that you and your loved ones are counted in 2020.”

Share Citizen Action of Wisconsin content across social media

Most of you are connected to hundreds of people across social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.  You can use that audience to create positive change. Please take a moment to follow the statewide Facebook and Twitter accounts and share the content to your friends.

Call to action:  Follow Citizen Action of Wisconsin on Facebook and/or Twitter.  Share content to your own personal feeds.  As we rapidly move towards the April 7th election please share our content supporting Jill Karofsky for Supreme Court.

Wisconsin’s Race Class Narrative Project

Although the outcomes of the 2016 elections felt shocking to many people with the overt racism, sexism, and all the other “isms’ many of the candidate campaigns included, this is actually nothing new–dog whistle politics have been driving American political rhetoric for over 50 years.

The intent and effect of the dog whistle strategy is to divide people by race and class– even within race and class stratifications– in order to lower public support for collective public action, also known as government action. The conservative movement has mastered the use of coded language to animate racism and classism as political weapon.  The 2016 presidential campaign of Donald Trump created a new evolution of the dog whistle strategy with the use of social media in new ways, but he was standing on the foundation built by the conservative party over several decades.

The Race Class Narrative Messaging Project is designed to foster and organize a multi-racial, progressive, populist, political governing coalition in our state that will unite all people across race and class that share our values and vision for a better Wisconsin.  We have a vision of multi-racial democracy that realizes economic and racial justice for everyone.

Watch Video about the project

What the Race Class Narrative Project IS….

  • It is a series of messaging frames that form a “messaging architecture” around progressive centric issues that affect all Wisconsinites and Americans on a broad scale; Education, Immigration, Racist policing and criminal justice reform, the Environment, Minimum Wage, and Healthcare.  It is also a series of messaging tips and “tricks” that we can all use to frame and message our individual issue and policy campaigns, organizations, and work in general, and that candidates can also use to appeal to their base and draw in persuadables.
  • It is both a shared branding campaign, AND a way of messaging our issues and work as individual entities.  The shared brand is an image and/or slogan that any group or individual can use and put their own logo on it, as well as a set of messaging frames based in a common Wisconsin identity that we can all use to create content with.  The shared brand will be based off of recommendations informed by the National RCN Research Team and collectively approved by in-state participating partners. The National RCN Research Team worked with more than 21 Wisconsin specific groups in addition to doing comprehensive research on what traits forms a collective Wisconsin identity, or what are the commonalities that most (not all) Wisconsinites can relate to or understand, like Friday fish frys, supper clubs, weird/extreme/rapidly changing weather, tailgating, casseroles, hard work for a decent days pay, digging your neighbor out of the snow etc. (*These are just examples, we don’t yet have the finalized research and recommendations around the shared brand).
  • It is an open source project at the state and national level intended to unify us on the left, both around a shared analysis and worldview that includes Healthcare for all, family supporting wages and jobs, Immigrant and Racial justice, access to excellent and affordable (if not free) education, and a beautiful and healthy environment, among other things that we all need and deserve, no matter the color of our skin, if we are Indigenous or a new comer, or where we live in Wisconsin or America.
  • It is potentially at least part of a solution to the problem of the leftist movement being divided, and our base being de-centered in dominant political theory and the persistent effectiveness of racialized, weaponized, dog whistle politics of our opposition. Race Class Narrative messaging re-centers those who share our values and vision for a better Wisconsin and America, and who are most drastically impacted by a scarcity of resources mentality and the lack of anti-racist policies and governing.

Whether you are Black, Brown, or white, and no matter where you live in Wisconsin, most of us on the progressive left want the same things– including a healthy and beautiful Wisconsin for future generations, access to quality education, economic security, and racial and Immigrant justice.

But today, certain politicians and greedy corporate lobbyists use race and class to divide us so that they can continue to profit and hold onto power at the same time as turning around and blaming poor people and People of Color for the lack of economic security and racial justice.

By joining together on the left and using Race Class Narrative messaging to shout down and drown out racist, fear mongering, hate speech, and dog whistling, we can mobilize our base and add to it, so that we can elect candidates and pass policies– that no matter what we look like or where in Wisconsin we live–we ALL benefit from– instead of benefiting power hoarding politicians and the wealthy few.

Help us reach out to persuadable voters with a Race Class Narrative Message asking them to be a voter for Jill Karofsky on Tuesday, April 7th!  

We all want pretty similar things when it comes to our families. Whether white or Black, Asian or Latino, Indigenous or newcomer — Wisconsinites are hardworking people.  Most of care deeply about making sure our public schools are well funded, that women have the choice to decide what happens to their bodies, and that we leave a healthy and beautiful Wisconsin behind for future generations.

But today, certain politicians work to divide and conquer us by rigging our voting maps to make sure that they stay in power.  Instead of working to pass policies that benefit all of us, they work to keep the greedy lobbyists and special interests that foot the bill for their campaigns happy.  But we don’t have to accept that. Wisconsin’s strength comes from our ability to come together toward a common purpose.

Jill Karofsky will bring fairness and balance to our State Supreme Court.  Jill will work hard to make sure that our public schools are funded, that women have the choice to decide what happens to our bodies, and that we leave a healthy and beautiful Wisconsin behind for future Generations.  Jill Karofsky will also work to ensure our voting maps are fair maps so that our leaders create and pass policies that benefit all of us, and not just the wealthy few.  

When we come together and vote for leaders who will govern for all of us, not just the well connected wealthy few— we can start making improvements so that Wisconsin is a place where fairness, freedom, and prosperity is for everyone, no exceptions.

To sign up for a training and to help us make calls, contact you local Co-op Organizer:

Southeastern Wisconsin: Trevonna Simms
Northeastern Wisconsin: Noah Reif
Northcentral Wisconsin: Joel Lewis
Driftless: Ben Wilson
Northwestern Wisconsin: Breana Stanley

Healthcare Professional Social Media Action with our ally SEIU

Tell President Trump: More Masks Now! President Trump has the power to direct companies to re-purpose to produce masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE). We need to ensure that healthcare workers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic have the equipment they need to protect themselves, their families, and their patients. Post a video of yourself on social media telling the President to act NOW!

Here is an Example. (You Can Do This Too!)

Here’s an example of a video short.

  1.   Tag President Trump @realDonaldTrump, @POTUS;
  2.   Use the hashtags #MoreMasksNow #ProtectAllWorkers #SEIUHCWI;
  3.   Nominate five other workers to post their own video.

Video Campaign. Film in a well-lit, quiet space (in scrubs if healthcare worker). Videos should be under a minute and from the heart.

VIDEO SCRIPT:

  1. “I’m (first name) and I’m a (job title) from (hometown or state).
  2. Speak from the heart about whatever you are feeling about the lack of personal protective equipment and the potential effect on you, your family and, if you’re a healthcare worker, your patients.
  3. End with this question: President Trump, Where are our masks?

It’s better if you share your post with it set to the public setting for greater reach and then SEIU can find you.  The above hashtags help them find you,so it’s really important to use them.

The public setting can be found by toggling this menu.
Selfie or Photo with #MoreMasksNow #ProtectAllWorkers

For a selfie photo, write out a sign in large clear handwriting that says: “I’m (first name), a (job title) in (hometown, state). President Trump, where’s my mask? #MoreMasksNow #ProtectAllWorkers!

Please visit our Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/SEIUHCWI/ or our website http://www.seiuhcwi.org/more-masks-now/

Facebook post of the week

Citizen Action Weekly: Friday, March 20th

Citizen Action Weekly: Friday, March 20th

Friday, March 20th

Emergency Powers Give Wisconsin Authority to use BadgerCare to Fight Coronavirus

Federal Emergency Declaration opens new avenues to guarantee everyone is tested and treated without cost sharing, fully covering all uninsured Wisconsinites

Under pressure from a number of states seeking to stem the alarming speed of novel coronavirus transmission, the federal government late last week issued emergency regulations that would allow Wisconsin to use BadgerCare to guarantee that everyone in Wisconsin has health coverage during the pandemic. This would dramatically improve Wisconsin’s odds for slowing the coming pandemic by removing a major barrier to seeking testing and treatment. The federal government took similar steps during the H1N1 epidemic and in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

If Wisconsin acts boldly and swiftly, this federal declaration gives the Wisconsin state government new power to slow the speed of the pandemic, and potentially save tens of thousands of lives. According to public health experts, one of the most critical things we can do to protect both the afflicted and the general public is to maximize the number of people with symptoms who immediately seek testing and treatment. COVID-19 is so contagious that delays in seeking medical care can lead to the infection of thousands of additional people. After we have tested and treated everyone with symptoms, and the federal government has addressed the shortage of testing kits, it is essential to test and treat community wide, because the disease is spread by seemingly healthy people without symptoms.

The fear of financially crippling health care bills in the profit-centered American health care system is a grave risk not only to affected individuals and their families but the entire community because it actually discourages people from seeking medical care.

The Coronavirus Relief Act passed by Congress this week guarantees free testing for COVID 19, which is a critical step forward, but is silent on the cost of any treatment for that disease or any other underlying illnesses discovered by testing. Without free treatment, many will be deterred from seeking medical help – especially people who lack health coverage, a rapidly expanding group in an economy experiencing mass layoffs!

A survey of 1,000 Wisconsinites in every corner of the state released last week by Citizen Action, in partnership with the Health Value Hub and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, found that nearly half of Wisconsinites have gone without needed medical care because of fear of the cost in the last year! This dangerous situation will be intensified by the large number of people losing their income during the pandemic. The affordability crisis in the American healthcare system is dangerous in normal times; during a pandemic, it is a deadly threat to the health of everyone in Wisconsin!

A preliminary analysis of the new emergency rules by Citizen Action of Wisconsin has identified two major steps Wisconsin can take to use BadgerCare to contain COVID-19. We also propose a third vital step that Wisconsin can take to make sure those who have private health insurance will not be deterred from seeking treatment due to unaffordable copays and deductibles associated with even the best American health insurance plans. Many of these proposals are already being pursued by other states. (The Evers Administration may be developing plans internally that are not yet public which include some of these proposals.)

Step 1: Wisconsin has the authority to propose waivers to the federal government, which can be approved within days of submission. These waivers can make it much easier to enroll in BadgerCare and to retain it, including online and phone enrollment, extension of renewal deadlines, suspension of cancellations, and elimination of barriers such as premiums, copays, work requirements, and many other administrative hurdles.

Critically, Wisconsin could adopt a “presumptive eligibility” policy that allows medical providers, enrollment staff, schools, and community health centers to enroll people in BadgerCare without any income test if they appear eligible. This is especially helpful in an environment where there are mass layoffs and it would be time consuming to confirm that a family was eligible when unemployment insurance claims are likely to overwhelm the state’s processing capacity. The Coronavirus Relief Act which passed Congress this week increases the federal share of Medicaid costs in Wisconsin to 65.5%, offsetting part of the state cost for expanding BadgerCare enrollment.

Step 2: Wisconsin should immediately expand BadgerCare by accepting the Medicaid Expansion authorized and funded by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Without ACA Medicaid Expansion, “presumptive eligibility” will not work for many adults who do not fit into specific Medicaid eligible categories and are (or appear to be) above the federal poverty line. In addition, as Wisconsin is losing $340 million in the current state budget because it turned down the ACA Medicaid expansion funding, this revenue could immediately be deployed in the fight to contain COVID-19. Accepting Medicaid Expansion would allow Wisconsin to use presumptive eligibility to get the state close to universal health coverage and to reassure the public that cost should not deter them from seeking COVID-19 testing and treatment. It would also defray some and perhaps all of the state’s costs for increased enrollment resulting from all of the emergency measures we propose.

Step 3: The massive level of cost sharing in most private health insurance plans also deters people from seeking COVID-19 testing and treatment, endangering public health. Our recent statewide survey showed that almost half of respondents had avoided medical treatment and services in the last year, and most of them had health insurance coverage. A number of states already mandated that health insurance plans cover COVID-19 testing and treatment with no consumer cost sharing. So far, Wisconsin has only recommended that insurers suspend copays and deductibles. It would be prudent for Wisconsin to actually ban cost sharing as a danger to public health. If this creates too much of a burden on health insurance and self-insured plans, Wisconsin could also outlaw hospital price gouging by requiring them to accept Medicare rates for all treatment that results from a COVID-19 test. There is no justification for hospitals and medical providers to charge unreasonable prices for their services during this state and national emergency.

“We need bold leadership now more than ever. This unprecedented public health emergency focuses our attention on the reality that we are all interconnected, and that leaving people out of our healthcare system risks the lives of everyone in the community,” said Robert Kraig, Executive Director of Citizen Action of Wisconsin. “Tens of thousands of Wisconsinites who could otherwise have avoided infection may be needlessly put at risk if we don’t come together to assure that no one in Wisconsin delays or avoids treatment because they can’t afford the high cost of healthcare.”

Vote Absentee for April 7th Election!

Request an absentee ballot for the April 7th election.

All voters in Wisconsin can request an absentee ballot be mailed to them for any reason.

If you are a regular or a Permanent Overseas Voter, your absentee ballot request must be received by your municipal clerk no later than 5:00 p.m. on  April 2, 2020.

If a voter is indefinitely confined, your absentee ballot request must be received by your municipal clerk no later than 5:00 p.m. on April 3, 2020.

Voters can possibly request and vote an absentee ballot in-person in their municipal clerk’s office through April 5, 2020. Some municipal offices may not offer additional in-person absentee hours Please contact your municipal clerk for absentee voting hours. 

It’s easy to request an absentee ballot today!

Watch video showing how to request an absentee ballot on line from your phone.

Follow these simple steps to request YOUR absentee ballot and let’s stay safe this election season! Request your absentee ballot now.

North Central and Central WI Volunteer Opportunities from home!

We need your help to win this April 7th election and then the May 12th special election for Tricia Zunker.

Starting next week, we will have an opportunity for you to help us on a virtual phone bank to help us win in April! We will be helping folks learn how register to vote absentee and promoting Jill Karofsky for Supreme Court.

The NC Organizer, Joel Lewis and two Field Canvassers, Don Dunphy and Melissa Engels-Lewis have been calling folks since last week Thursday, and we’re on the doors before that.

Please call Joel at 715-551-2525  or email him at joel.lewis@citizenactionwi.org

Help Citizen Action make April 7th Election calls from home !

We need your help making calls form home.  All door canvassing has stopped but the election is still going forward.

Contact a regional co-op organizer to get involved:

Northeast Co-op: noah.reif@citizenacitonwi.org
Northwestern Co-op: breana.stanley@citizenactionwi.org
Driftless Co-op: ben.wilson@citizenactionwi.org
Southeastern Co-op: trevonna.sims@citizenactionwi.org
Healthcare for all Co-op: karen.kirsch@citizenactionwi.org

Wisconsin Republicans oppose COVID-19 relief” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

Practicing social distancing, our panel joins us this week from separate locations. We discuss the rapidly evolving Covid-19 virus pandemic and the political response. We call out Sen. Ron Johnson and 4 Wisconsin Republicans Congressmen for voting against the bipartisan coronavirus recovery bill over their opposition to paid sick days for workers. We also dig into the impact the pandemic is having on the April 7th election. Should the elections be postponed?

We encourage everyone to request an absentee ballot at myvote.wi.gov. The panel closes with a discussion of a Wisconsin Public Radio story on how the major Democratic candidates for president have run to the left of Gov. Tony Evers and State Legislative Democrats.

Listen Now – Episode #434
Download MP3

Press Clips

Facebook post of the week

 

Citizen Action Weekly, Friday, March 13th

Citizen Action Weekly, Friday, March 13th

Friday, March 13th

Vote Absentee for April 7th Election!

Get more information about voting absentee for the April 7th election.

Health Care Value Survey Shows Wisconsinites Concerned About Affordability and Quality of Care

Nationally, consumer worry about health care affordability is well documented but now—for the first time—a new survey reveals how affordability concerns and ideas for action play out in Wisconsin. Altarum Healthcare Value Hub, a national nonpartisan research organization supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, in partnership with Citizen Action of Wisconsin, administered a Consumer Healthcare Experience State Survey (CHESS) in Wisconsin.

The survey of more than 1,000 Wisconsin adults was conducted from October 29, 2019 to November 6, 2019.

Among its results, the Survey found that:

  • More than half (53%) experienced healthcare affordability burdens in the past year.
  • Four out of five (79%) are worried about affording healthcare in the future.
  • Nearly half (47%) of people who needed health care during the year encountered one or more cost barriers to getting care, including skipped needed dental care (31%), delayed going to the doctor or receiving a procedure (27%), and did not fill a prescription (18%).
  • Health care was listed as a top issue that the government should address in the upcoming year by 73% of respondents. The next most frequently cited issue was the economy, selected by only 43% of respondents.
  • Across party lines, they expressed strong support for government-led solutions.

This devastating new report on the state of health care affordability in Wisconsin should be a wake-up call to Wisconsin lawmakers, who in the current legislative session devoted virtually no attention to addressing the skyrocketing cost of medical services, medications, and health insurance. The extensive opinion research that serves as the basis for this report is the first deep dive in many years into the lived experience of Wisconsinites in coping with our health care system.

It establishes beyond all doubt that there is an affordability crisis in every region of the state is reaching a breaking point, and demands bold and immediate action from state government. There are many critical data points in this report, which should be must-reading for all state policymakers.

The top two findings that jump out for me the most are the stunning findings that nearly half of all Wisconsinites have gone without care or medications because they could afford it, and that health care affordability is by far the top public issue, easily beating the economy and taxes.”

Read media story on study

Below are links to Data Briefs with statewide and regional survey results.

Cancelled Events due to Cornavirus!

  • Vote Yes for MPS Referendum Canvassing and phone banking is cancelled.
  • Day of Action on March 17th to protect the Affordable Care Act is cancelled.
    The March 17th, Protect Our Care’s national bus tour in La Crosse Wisconsin is CANCELLED.
  • 10th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act in Eau Claire on Wednesday, March 18th is cancelled.
  • Vernon Electric Co-op’s annual meeting March 21st to show support and learn more about the On Bill financing programs is CANCELLED.
  • Addressing Climate and Equity through our Food System in Milwaukee is cancelled.
    This Week’s discussion about addressing climate and equity in our food systems is cancelled due to Coronavirus. This would have been the second discussion from a series of forums on Milwaukee’s Green New Deal. We will keep everyone updated once we have a new date and time rescheduled.

The Choice for Wisconsin Supreme Court is Clear! Vote for Jill Karofsky on Tuesday, April 7th.

Citizen Action of Wisconsin members join media conference with La Crosse Mayor Kabat’s on clean energy toolkit

On Tuesday March 7th Citizen Action of Wisconsin members joined La Crosse’s mayor Tim Kabat, the Sierra Club, the League of Conservation Voters and RENEW Wisconsin to announce the rollout of a brand new tool kit designed to help Wisconsin resident reduce their carbon emissions.  This tool kit is the culmination of a year’s worth of work to build a plan to fight climate change.

Nick Nichols, the retired sustainability coordinator for La Crosse County, said switching to cleaner energy sources could bring 160,000 new jobs to the state. Nichols added that Wisconsin spends about $14 billion a year importing energy resources from other places, and argues that using cleaner energy will save money. “We’re not doing this because it’s nice and warm and fuzzy, and we’re all a bunch of tree-huggers,” Nichols said.

La Crosse is taking big steps toward becoming carbon free in its energy use by 2050, according to Mayor Tim Kabat. The mayor said efforts by city departments to use cleaner energy sources has dropped City Hall’s carbon footprint by 30 percent in just 11 years. Kabat added that plans are in the works to install solar panels at City Hall, the La Crosse Center and the Main Street Library.

Vote in Citizen Action’s Presidential Primary Survey

Voting Closes Sunday, March 15th, Midnight.

The Wisconsin Presidential Primary is just around the corner on Tuesday, April 7th! We want to know what our members think about the presidential primary election. Therefore, we are conducting a short survey of our members regarding the 2020 Presidential Primary.

The survey asks (1) whether Citizen Action should endorse in the Presidential Primary and (2) if so, who would be your top choice?

Please take the survey today

Citizen Action of Wisconsin members speak about women’s right and healthcare at La Crosse rally

Several local Citizen Action of Wisconsin members were on hand to protest Mike Pence’s planned visit to La Crosse on Thursday March 5th.  This rally and press event was hosted by our friends at the Wisconsin Democratic Party.

Citizen Action of Wisconsin is committed to standing up FOR something rather than just being AGAINST the Trump administration.  That is why our members spoke about women’s rights and the need to protect our healthcare. Citizen Action of Wisconsin member (and Women’s March organizer) K.C. Cayo was one of the featured speakers.

We want to thank everyone who was able to make it to the event.  Thank you for using your voice and your power to protect healthcare and women’s rights!  Stay tuned for future mobilization efforts and days of action across the Driftless region.

Updates From Your North Central Organizing Co-op

The Chair for the NC Organizing Co-op, Don Dunphy is a member of the First Universalist Unitarian Church in Wausau. He is also a member of the League of Women Voters. Through the social justice committee for his Church, our Co-op’s Steering Committee, and in cooperation with the LWV, he organized voter registration tables at Nicolet Technical College (Rhinelander), Northcentral Technical College (Wausau), and UWSP – Wausau on 10/10, 10/11, and 10/12 from 10 am to 2 pm.

Several Co-op members, as well as members of the LWV and Don’s Church ran the tables. Don floated between locations to ensure that they ran smoothly. They had a very positive response. A couple of weeks back, Don Dunphy and Melissa Engels-Lewis were hired on as canvassers to do Deep Canvasses, in the Wausau and Stevens Point areas. After checking in on tables, Melissa and Don went out together, with Don’s partner, Ruthann driving, and knocked doors.

NC Co-op members participated in Fair Maps Wisconsin Leadership Development Training and a WIld Training

“COVID-19 Pandemic” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

Our panel discuses of the coronavirus pandemic, which has resulted in the declaration of a state of emergency by Governor Evers, cancelled in person classes at many universities, and resulted in the suspension of the NBA season. We focus on the dysfunctional response from the Trump Administration to the outbreak, including the lack of testing, its cost to patients, and the president’s error riddle and xenophobic speech to the nation. We welcome Lynn Quincy, director of the Healthcare Value Hub, to talk about a new study conducted in partnership with Citizen Action that shows a majority of Wisconsinites across party lines are concerned about the high cost of healthcare. avoid needed care due to cost, and support fundamental reform. We discuss the latest news in the Democratic presidential primary after another big week for Joe Biden and yet another attempt to purge Wisconsin’s voter roles by the right.

LISTEN NOW!
Download MP3
Press Clips

Facebook post of the week

Citizen Action Weekly: Friday, March 6th

Citizen Action Weekly: Friday, March 6th

Friday, March 6th

Vote in NEW Citizen Action’s Presidential Primary Survey

The Wisconsin Presidential Primary is just around the corner on Tuesday, April 7th! We want to know what our members think about the presidential primary election. Therefore, we are conducting a short survey of our members regarding the 2020 Presidential Primary.

The survey asks (1) whether Citizen Action should endorse in the Presidential Primary and (2) if so, who would be your top choice?

Please take the survey today

Welcome Trevonna Sims, new Citizen Action Southeast WI Co-op Organizer.

Trevonna was born and raised on Milwaukee’s Northside. Growing up, Trevonna always dreamed of becoming a teacher with hopes to better her community but quickly realized that a better community starts with better policies.

Trevonna believes there is a lot of reformation and dismantling to be done with our local politics before she can fulfill her dreams as a Community Based Educator. She started her non-profit career working with leadership focused nonprofits such as Girl Scouts of Southeast Wisconsin as a Public Ally. She has also worked for many local progressive campaigns endorsed by Citizen Action.

Trevonna has an associate degree in Community Engagement from Milwaukee Area Technical College and is finishing her Bachelor’s at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. She brings experience great knowledge and history of the Milwaukee community and community organizing skills. She hopes to bring accessible green living, universal healthcare, quality education and diverse jobs for all. During her free time, Trevonna loves visiting new restaurants, hanging with friends and family, and working out.

Contact Trevonna Sims: trevonna.sims@citizenactionwi.org

U.S. Supreme Court Threatening Health Care of Millions

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

This week the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear a case being pushed by the Trump Administration that could take health care away from millions of people in America. The court will take oral arguments in October, and likely rule in early 2021, on a case that seeks to overturn the entire Affordable Care Act (ACA). The timing cynically capitulates to the Trump Administration’s politically-motivated request to move until after the 2020 election what would be one of the most unpopular decisions in American history.

In December, a Republican dominated Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals panel ruled in favor of the Trump administration in Texas vs. United States, striking down the ACA’s individual mandate. President Donald Trump and U.S. Attorney General William Barr are using the case as a vehicle for invalidating the entire ACA, including the popular protections against pre-existing condition discrimination.

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

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

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

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

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

Milwaukee City/County Task Force on Climate and Equity Nears Preliminary Report Release

The Milwaukee City-County Task Force on Climate & Equity met at Milwaukee City Hall on Thursday to plan the final drafting of its preliminary report. The task force is charged with developing a comprehensive plan for Milwaukee to both meet the UN greenhouse emissions reduction targets, and dramatically improve racial economic equity.

The critical task force includes two Citizen Action co-op members (Janet Meissner Pritchard and Ted Kraig) and Citizen Action Climate & Equity Director Rafael Smith. It also includes on the task force and on work groups key Citizen Action partners such as Sierra Club, 350.org, Milwaukee Area Labor Council, Clean Wisconsin, NAACP, Wisconsin Climate Table, and Community Advocates Public Policy Institute. Citizen Action co-op leaders and staff played a major role in developing the entire process.

The preliminary report, which was requested by Milwaukee Common Council President Ashanti Hamiltion, is designed to inform voters of the progress of the planning ahead of the April elections. The task force is expected to release a full final report by the end of 2020.

Healthcare story collection event in La Crosse, March 7th, 11:30am

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

Citizen Action believes that healthcare should be a human right and we are mobilizing our members to take action to expand that right to everyone! Your story can have a huge impact and help to expand healthcare! Join us on at 11:30 AM March 7th at the Southside La Crosse Public Library to learn how to tell your healthcare story. We will be collecting stories to be used across social media and in lobbying efforts. John Havlicek from the La Crosse teacher’s union will be on hand to teach everyone the power of their stories and how those stories can create a better tomorrow! Everyone will be able to record a video telling their own personal story.

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

Canvass for Milwaukee Public Schools Referendum, Saturday, March 7th

Vote Yes for MPS coalition, which includes Citizen Action of Wisconsin, is canvassing in support of the April 7th referendum this Saturday, March 7th, 10am – 1pm & Noon – 3pm.

Canvassers can meet at:

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

RSVP here

Get a Yes for MPS yard sign
Thanks to a large donation all yard signs are now FREE
We have signs you can pick up at Citizen Action’s office, 221 S. 2nd ST. #300

Join Citizen Action of Wisconsin at Vernon Electric Co-op’s annual meeting March 21st to show support and learn more about the On Bill financing programs they will be offering.

We encourage all Citizen Action of Wisconsin members, regardless of their utility to attend the Vernon Electric Co-op annual meeting on March 21st. We want to have a huge showing to send a message to Vernon and other area utilities that fighting climate change is important to us!

A free breakfast will be offered starting at 8:00 AM and the meeting begins at 10:00 AM. The address is 110 Saugstad Rd in Westby WI. We will be looking for a few Citizen Action members who get their power from Vernon Electric Co-op to speak at the meeting.  

Please RSVP for this event here.

We will be handing out Citizen Action of Wisconsin buttons or stickers so that we can be extra visible and everyone can see that we represent a true movement fighting the climate crisis.  Make sure to see Ben Wilson before the meeting starts to get yours!

Coffee with the Northeast Co-op, Saturday, March 14th, Appleton

Floral Cafe, 474 N. Eisenhower Dr. Suite K, Appleton, 10am – Noon

Spend your Saturday morning with Citizen Action and learn what you can do to make a difference in 2020! Whether your passion is healthcare reform, combating climate change, or anything and everything progressive, there is a place for you and your ideas.

Afterwards, we will be launching our first canvass in 2020! This is a great opportunity to take the energy from our conversations, and put them into practice.

We will be joined by co-op member Emily Voight, who is running for the State Assembly in District 3. She will discuss her vision for our community and how she plans to co-govern with her constituents. We hope you will join us for a morning of coffee and conversation!

Facebook RSVP

Volunteer for Tricia Zunker for Congress in Wausau!

Starting Saturday, March 21st
Marathon County Party Office, 833 S 3rd Ave, Wausau
Starting at 9:00AM

Volunteer to help Citizen Action Co-op member Tricia Zunker in Wausau! Volunteer to knock doors and talk to prospective voters about the Spring April 7th local elections and Tricia’s Tuesday, May 12th Congressional election!

Sign up and RSVP Today to canvass for Tricia Zunker!

Saturday, March 21
Sunday, March 22
Saturday, March 28
Sunday, April 3
Saturday, April 4
Sunday, April 5
Monday, April 6
Tuesday, April 7

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

Email campaign@triciaforwisconsin.com to help out!

Northcentral Co-op Voter Registration Drive on Campus’

Join Don Dunphy and Joel Lewis for 3 voter registration events Tuesday, March 10th, Wednesday, March 11th and Thursday, March 12th from 10 am to 2 pm at three locations. 1. UW-Stevens Point – Wausau Campus, 2. NTC – Wausau Campus, and 3. Nicolet Technical College – Rhinelander Campus.

Join us. For more details contact:

Don Dunphy
715-536-1336
dondunphy@hotmail.com

Joel Lewis
715-551-2525
joel.lewis@citizenactionwi.org

Dairyland Forum & Rally for Rural Wisconsin, Sunday, March 29th

Wisconsin Farmers Union and Citizen Action of WI  invite you to a presidential candidate forum to discuss the issues that matter to family farmers and rural America. The Dairyland Forum, a presidential candidate forum and party is happening Sunday, March 29th at the Dunn County Fairgrounds.

This is a free event!

The forum will provide an opportunity for presidential candidates to engage Wisconsin’s rural voters on the topics that matter to them, including:

  • Monopolization in agriculture.
  • A plan for preventing further loss of family farms and the decline of rural and tribal food systems
  • How their rural and agriculture policies would address issues like education, roads and transportation, access to health care and the growing mental health and addiction issues in our rural communities
  • A vision a fair and just rural economy that helps all people thrive

Stay after the forum & rally for live music and a celebration of Wisconsin’s local fare, including local craft beers, cheese, brats and more. Bus routes are being planned from the Superior, Madison, and Appleton areas. Details coming soon!

To save your spot at the forum, RSVP today at www.wisconsinfarmersunion.com/dairylandforum

Super Tuesday Political Earthquake? Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

The panel digs into the repercussions of the Super Tuesday primaries, and the dramatic thinning of the Democratic primary field down to two major candidates. What are the implications? We also discuss yet another right-wing threat to health care coverage for millions, the implication of Covid-19 for caregivers, two Wisconsin State Supreme Court scandals, and media stories indicating that a “culture of racism” may have played some role in the mass shooting at Miller-Coors factory in Milwaukee.

Listen Now – Episode #432
Download MP3
Media Clips
3-5-20 – The Earl Ingram Show (with Reggie Moore) 

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Citizen Action Weekly: Friday, February 28th

Citizen Action Weekly: Friday, February 28th

Friday, February 28th

Wisconsin’s 2020 Race Class Narrative Project presented this week in Milwaukee by Anat Shenker-Osorio

Citizen Action helped organize a presentation in Milwaukee by nationally renowned communications and messaging Guru Anat Shenker-Osorio to unveil new communications research on race, class and gender in Wisconsin. The event was attended by over 120 individuals, including local elected officials and leaders from a wide variety of progressive organizations in Wisconsin.

The presentation was hosted by Citizen Action of Wisconsin, America Votes, Wisconsin Voices, and Movement Voter Project

The day included a powerful conversation about how we can effectively counter racist, sexist, and discriminatory messages and build support for the big changes we so desperately need to achieve our values in Wisconsin and the world.

Awesome Green New Deal Event in Wauwatosa!

Our Citizen Action Climate Issue team held an amazing panel discussion last night at the Wauwatosa Public Library. The topic of the night was moving utilities to renewable energies.

J Drake Hamilton from Fresh Energy in St. Paul, Minnesota spoke about the unique partnership her organization was able to form with the Excel energy utility that has led to movement from carbon based energy to renewable energies.

The Sierra Club presented on the current state of the Clean Energy transition here in Wisconsin. Turnout.

Please join us for our next event:

Climate & Equity through our Food System
Thursday 3/19/20, 6 – 8 pm
First Unitarian Society
1342 N. Astor St., Common Room

Vernon County Electric Co-op announces on-bill rural electric saving programs

Residential carbon emissions are one of the biggest sources of greenhouse gases. Thanks to the efforts of Citizen Action of Wisconsin members and area activists Vernon County Electric Co-op has announced they will be offering their members on bill financing options to help homeowners upgrade their homes with energy saving upgrades to reduce those residential carbon emissions. These programs will give their customers the chance to outfit their homes with energy saving upgrades such as new insulation, air sealing, new heating/cooling units and other home improvements which will save the homeowner money right away while reducing their residential carbon emissions.

Customers who sign up for these programs will have the upfront costs of these home upgrades paid for by their utility. Customers will then pay off the upgrades, at an extremely low interest rate, on their power bill at a monthly cost lower than the energy saving. Customers will see a net savings on their utility bill right away! We at Citizen Action of Wisconsin believe that these on bill financing programs, along with our Green Homes fellowship program and our statewide, green bank partners, will create a huge reduction in Wisconsin’s residential carbon emissions!

This is huge news and we at Citizen Action of Wisconsin want to celebrate and use this momentum to convince more utilities to join the fight against climate change. Citizen Action will be mobilizing our members (and allies) from across Southwest Wisconsin to attend the annual membership meeting for Vernon Electric Co-op. We hope to show our support and learn more details about the programs the co-op will be rolling out to fight climate change. We also want to find out how we can use this momentum to convince other utilities like XCel Energy to offer similar programs.

Join Citizen Action of Wisconsin at Vernon Electric Co-op’s annual meeting March 21st 

Learn more about On Bill financing programs they will be offering

We encourage all Citizen Action of Wisconsin members (and allies), regardless of their utility to attend the Vernon Electric Co-op annual meeting on March 21st. We want to have a huge showing to send a message to Vernon and other area utilities that fighting climate change is important to us!  A free breakfast will be offered starting at 8:00 AM and the meeting begins at 10:00 AM. The address is 110 Saugstad Rd in Westby WI. We will be looking for a few Citizen Action members who get their power from Vernon Electric Co-op to speak at the meeting.

Please RSVP for this event here.

We will be handing out Citizen Action of Wisconsin buttons or stickers so that we can be extra visible and everyone can see that we represent a true movement fighting the climate crisis.  Make sure to see Ben Wilson before the meeting starts to get yours!

Canvass for Milwaukee Public Schools Referendum, Saturday, February 29th

Vote Yes for MPS coalition, which includes Citizen Action of Wisconsin, is canvassing in support of the April 7th referendum this Saturday, February 29th, 10am – 1pm & Noon – 3pm.
Canvassers can meet at:

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

RSVP here
Get a Yes for MPS yard sign
We have signs in Citizen Action’s office, 221 S. 2nd ST. #300

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

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

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

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

Healthcare Co-op Consumer Protection Team

The Healthcare Co-op Consumer Protection team is now having a regular virtual meeting every other Monday night at 7PM. Be on the ground floor of planning around surprise billing and preventative care vs. diagnostic care scams. It’s easy to get involved, just call in.

Contact karen.kirsch@citizenactionorg.com

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

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

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

Healthcare story collection event in La Crosse, March 7th

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

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

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

Movie Night in Eau Claire: Suppressed: The Right To Vote

Tuesday, March 3, 2020 at 6 PM – 7:30 PM

Join us for the film showing and a community discussion to learn about the ways a person’s right to vote could be (and is in some cases) SUPPRESSED, and how you can get involved.

This movie night is a collaboration with JONAH, Citizen Action Northwest Co-op, NextGen, Conservation Voters, Chippewa Valley Votes, and EXPO.

First Presbyterian Church of Eau Claire
2112 Rudolph Rd, Eau Claire

Dairyland Forum & Rally for Rural Wisconsin, Sunday, March 29th

Wisconsin Farmers Union and Citizen Action invite to a presidential candidate forum to discuss the issues that matter to family farmers and rural America at the Dairyland Forum, a presidential candidate forum and party happening Sunday, March 29th at the Dunn County Fairgrounds.

This is a free event

The forum will provide an opportunity for presidential candidates to engage Wisconsin’s rural voters on the topics that matter to them, including:

  •  Monopolization in agriculture.
  • A plan for preventing further loss of family farms and the decline of rural and tribal food systems
  • How their rural and agriculture policies would address issues like education, roads and transportation, access to health care and the growing mental health and addiction issues in our rural communities
  • A vision a fair and just rural economy that helps all people thrive

Stay after the forum & rally for live music and a celebration of Wisconsin’s local fare, including local craft beers, cheese, brats and more. Bus routes are being planned from the Superior, Madison, and Appleton areas. Details coming soon!

To save your spot at the forum, RSVP today at www.wisconsinfarmersunion.com/dairylandforum

“Coronavirus” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

We discuss the implications of the coronavirus in America and the role of the pharmaceutical industry and Trump Administration in making the threat worse. We review the South Carolina Democratic presidential candidate debate and look at the latest Wisconsin polling. Is Bernie pulling away? The panel closes by talking about a new report from the Center for American Progress which blamed gerrymandering for the failure of the State Legislature to opt into BadgerCare Expansion.

LISTEN NOW
Download MP3
Citizen Action Media Clips

Facebook post of the week

Citizen Action Weekly: Friday, February 21st

Citizen Action Weekly: Friday, February 21st

Friday, February 21

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

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

Citizen Action launches Race Class Narrative Deep Canvass program

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

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

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

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

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

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

Meet the 2020 Field Team!

Jon Schwarz, Fox Cities Field Organizer

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

Nancy McCarthy, Driftless Region Field Organizer

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

Rachel Pride, Eau Claire/Chippewa Valley Field Organizer

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

Don Dunphy and Melissa Engels-Lewis, Northcentral Field Organizers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Healthcare story collection event in La Crosse, March 7th

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Panel members will help us explore:

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

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

Universal Family Care and the Healthcare Co-op

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

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

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

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

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

Facebook post of the week

Citizen Action Weekly: Friday, February 14th

Citizen Action Weekly: Friday, February 14th

Friday, February 14th

Vote next Tuesday, February 18th in Spring Primary Election

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

Volunteer to help candidates get out the vote SEE BELOW

Citizen Action of Wisconsin Grassroots Lobbying Training event

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

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

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

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

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

Updates From Your North Central Organizing Co-op

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Panel members will help us explore:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Volunteer for Citizen Action endorsed Chris Larson for Milwaukee County Executive

Watch new video about Chris Larson’s campaign

RSVP to Make Phone calls from home:

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

RSVP to Canvass:

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

RSVP to volunteer at Larson Campaign Office

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

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

shifts available:

RSVP HERE

Meet at: 3600 W Pierce St, Milwaukee

Volunteer to Canvass with Citizen Action endorsed candidate Marina Dimitrijevic

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

RSVP HERE

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

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

RSVP here

Get a Yes for MPS yard sign (see image)

“Wis GOP votes for mass incarceration” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast       

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

Listen Now – Episode #429
Download MP3

Facebook post of the week

 

Citizen Action Weekly: Friday, February 7th

Citizen Action Weekly: Friday, February 7th

Friday, February 7th

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

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

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

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

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

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

How you can help Tricia win!

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

Email: campaign@triciaforwisconsin.com to help out!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Get a Yes for MPS yard sign

Volunteer for Citizen Action endorsed Chris Larson for Milwaukee County Executive

RSVP to Make Phone calls from home:

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

RSVP to Canvass:

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

RSVP to volunteer at Larson Campaign Office

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

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

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

RSVP here.

Volunteer to Canvass with Citizen Action endorsed candidate Marina Dimitrijevic

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

RSVP HERE

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

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

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

JoAnna met with:

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

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

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

Healthcare Co-op and the State of the Union

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

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

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

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

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

Citizen Grassroots Lobbying Training on February 8th in La Crosse

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Historic Political Week” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

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

LISTEN NOW – EPISODE #428
Download MP3
Press Clips

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

Facebook post of the week

Citizen Action Weekly: Friday, January 31st

Citizen Action Weekly: Friday, January 31st

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

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

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

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

Citizen Action endorses Chris Larson for Milwaukee County Executive

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Milwaukee area endorsements 

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

City of Milwaukee Common Council

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

Milwaukee County Board

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Canvass for Milwaukee Public School  Referendum, Saturday February 1st

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

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

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

Citizen Grassroots Lobbying Training on February 8th in La Crosse

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Southeastern and Healthcare “coffee with your Co-op” 

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

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

Healthcare story collection event in La Crosse March 7th

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

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

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

“Organizing the Bucks” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

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

Listen now!

Facebook post of the week