Citizen Action Weekly: Friday, July 10th

Citizen Action Weekly: Friday, July 10th

Friday, July 10th

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Register in advance here for your Zoom link.

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

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

Please use this form to RSVP for this important event.

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

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

We demand Gundersen:

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

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

PLEASE USE THIS FORM TO RSVP

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Volunteer to Help JoAnna Bautch

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

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

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

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

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

Rally Topics:

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

Speakers:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

https://secure.everyaction.com/EkCrpq3UykK1mA1OKQfYdQ2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sign up here!

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

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

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

Citizen Action in the News

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

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

Media Stories 

“Forecast: Hot & Humid” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

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

Listen Now – Episode #450
Download MP3

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Citizen Action Weekly: Friday, July 3rd

Citizen Action Weekly: Friday, July 3rd

Friday, July 3rd

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

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

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

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

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

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

Request Your Absentee Ballot Today!

Request your absentee ballot today

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

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

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

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

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

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

Attend a Black Lives Matter event near you!

Checkout list of events in Wisconsin.

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

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

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

Register in advance here for your Zoom link.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Meet Citizen Action’s 2020 Field Team Leaders

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wisconsin has fallen behind other states in addressing climate change. A state task force is advising the Governor on strategies the state can take to fight global warming.

You can be part of this efforts to move Wisconsin forward by attending or speaking at one of the 3 remaining scheduled public hearings. Let our leaders know how we can make our state a healthier, safer, and more sustainable place to live. The first listening sessions of the Governor’s Task Force on Climate Change drew in more than 200 members of the public who expressed a lot of passion for the issue. There are 3 more scheduled online hearings:

  • July 7th, 6-9pm
  • July 9th, 6-9pm
  • July 15th, 6-9pm

For more information, contact the co-op organizer at trevonna.sims@citizenactionwi.org

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

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

Listen Now – Episode #499
Download MP3

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Citizen Action Weekly: Friday June 26th

Citizen Action Weekly: Friday June 26th

Friday, June 26th

Citizen Action announces more State Legislative Endorsements

Citizen Action is proud to announce more State Legislative candidate endorsements for the 2020 Fall elections. All endorsed candidates completed a Citizen Action questionnaire and interview with a local co-op steering committee. Final endorsement votes were made by Citizen Action’s statewide board.

There will be more State Legislative candidate endorsements next month.

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

Request your absentee ballot today!

Attend a BLM event near you this weekend!

Checkout list of events in Wisconsin.

We will be attempting to post as many events on our facebook page. Please check our page for events near you. Citizen Action facebook page.

Also, check with your regional organizer about events in your region. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wisconsin has fallen behind other states in addressing climate change. A state task force is advising the Governor on strategies the state can take to fight global warming.

You can be part of this efforts to move Wisconsin forward by attending or speaking at one of the 5 scheduled public hearings. Let our leaders know how we can make our state a healthier, safer, and more sustainable place to live. The first listening sessions of the Governor’s Task Force on Climate Change drew in more than 200 members of the public who expressed a lot of passion for the issue.

There are 4 more scheduled online hearings:

  • June 27, 12-3pm
  • July 7th, 6-9pm
  • July 9th, 6-9pm
  • July 15th, 6-9pm

For more information, contact the co-op organizer at trevonna.sims@citizenactionwi.org

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Register in advance here for your Zoom link.

Fair Maps WI Update From North Central Co-op

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

Endorsement Interviews Underway in North Central

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

Citizen Action in the News

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

Press Clips

“Protest, pandemic and polls” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

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

Facebook post of the week

Citizen Action Weekly: Friday, June 19th

Citizen Action Weekly: Friday, June 19th

Happy Junteenth Day: Standing in Defense of Black Lives. 

Watch excellent People’s Action video.

Join #sixnineteen events: https://sixnineteen.com

Attend a BLM event near you this weekend!

Checkout list of events in Wisconsin.

We will be attempting to post as many events on our facebook page. Please check our page for events near you. Citizen Action facebook page.

Also, check with your regional organizer about events in your region. 

Citizen Action of Wisconsin launches new effort to create jobs and extend $600 a week unemployment bonus

Our country is suffering economically. 45 million people have filed for unemployment since the COVID-19 outbreak began. Many of those jobs are not coming back. We need action RIGHT NOW to put money into people’s pockets and create jobs from coast to coast.

Citizen Action of Wisconsin has officially launched a major lobbying effort to extend federal unemployment benefits AND pass legislation to create millions of federal subsidized jobs (many of which in the green energy sector).

On Thursday June 11th, Citizen Action hosted a virtual town hall with 53 of our members to roll out details of this major undertaking. Our members helped us craft a plan of how to organize around this important issue while keeping everyone safe during the age of COVID-19.

Very soon we will be announcing our next virtual town hall featuring our special guest speaker Senator Tammy Baldwin. We will also be announcing details soon about in-person town halls (with extra safety precautions, mandatory masks, and enforced social distancing) in La Crosse, Madison and Milwaukee. Keep an eye on your email for these announcements very soon!

In the meantime you can help RIGHT NOW. Please use this link to send an email directly to your representatives in the US Senate and the House letting them know you support extending the federal unemployment benefit and a federal jobs creation bill.

It is so vital that our elected leaders hear from us about this important issue. It only takes a few clicks to send the email directly from our website. Please take a moment to fill it out and PLEASE share the link to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, email, text and anywhere else you can!  Change is possible; together we can create an economy that works for EVERY AMERICAN!

Brown County Board passes Fair Maps Referendum for November Ballot!

This week the Brown County Board of Supervisors passed, 15-10, a #FairMapsWI Referendum for the November ballot!

Voters will be asked: “Should the Wisconsin Legislature create a nonpartisan procedure for the preparation of legislative and congressional district plans and maps?”

The referendum passed in part thanks to the effort of Citizen Action Northeast WI co-op members Renee Gaush, Lindsay Dorff and other members. They have worked tirelessly for years to advance the cause of ending gerrymandering. They are the definition of community leaders!

Thanks to everyone who contacted their supervisors.

Brown County Board to discuss 100% clean energy, Tuesday, June 23rd!

The Brown County Board of Supervisors will discuss committing to 100 percent clean energy during its Planning, Development, and Transportation Committee meeting on Tuesday, June 23, and we need your help to ensure the resolution is voted out of committee and moves onto the full county board.

We need you to contact two important supervisors we need to convince. Just a couple minutes spent calling Supervisors Dave Landwehr and Ray Suennen to urge them to commit to 100 percent clean energy for county operations will bring us one step closer to realizing that goal.

Supervisor Dave Landwehr – 920-339-0792
Supervisor Ray Suennen – 920-662-1088

Sign petition in support.

Healthcare Co-Op Stands Up Against a Disastrous Pharmaceutical Company  Merger 

Last week members of Citizen Action had their say about a big pharmaceutical merger that is in the approval process with the Federal Trade Commission.

AbbVie bought out Allergan for $63 billion in one of the largest mergers in the healthcare sector.  Both companies already had a history of anti-competitive behavior and price gouging. AbbVie manufactures Humira, a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis and the world’s best-selling drug which has made the company $130 billion since its introduction 2003.

Because of the pandemic, most of our actions have been digital and this was no different. We had members officially register their comments with the FTC and urged the FTC to not approve the merger.  Government is the only entity large enough to provide a counter balance to these ever expanding companies. We must demand that the Government work for us and to stop these giant monopolies from forming.  Consolidation of these companies has never been proven to be a good thing for consumers.

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

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

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

Register in advance here for your Zoom link.

Share your COVID-19 Story

Are you or a family member in a COVID-19 high risk population? Have you or your family been economically affected by COVID-19? Have you gotten an outrageous bill from a COVID test? If so, please consider telling your story by emailing our story bank organizer Shannon at shannon@citizenactionwi.org.

Bring Climate Equity to Wisconsin 

Join Northside Rising and Citizen Action at a public hearing. Wisconsin has fallen behind other states in addressing climate change. A state task force is advising the Governor on strategies the state can take to fight global warming.

You can be part of this efforts to move Wisconsin forward by attending or speaking at one of the public hearings. Let our leaders know how we can make our state a healthier, safer, and more sustainable place to live. There are 5 scheduled online hearings:

  • June 23, 6-9pm
  • June 27, 12-3pm
  • July 7th, 6-9pm
  • July 9th, 6-9pm
  • July 15th, 6-9pm

For more information, contact the co-op organizer at trevonna.sims@citizenactionwi.org

Facebook event page

Citizen Action in the News

Citizen Action’s Robert Kraig was on the Jeff Santos radio show to discuss this week’s national political news. The show, which broadcasts from Boston daily, is coming soon to Milwaukee and Madison progeressive radio. Robert Kraig and our good friend John Nichols are both regular guests.

There was a story in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel about a federal court case brought by One Wisconsin Now and Citizen Action of Wisconsin against the photo ID law which still could strike it down before the November election.

Press Clips

“Fighting for anti-racist communities” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

As America celebrates emancipation on Juneteenth Day 2020, our panel discusses the state and local responses to the Black Lives Matter movement, including the Milwaukee Common Council’s proposal to cut the police budget by 10% and Milwaukee Public School board’s move to remove police from the schools. We are also joined by State Representative Jonathan Brostoff to discuss shocking racism from elected officials and businesses in Menomonee Falls this week. Finally, we discuss two critical SCOTUS rulings, both major defeats for President Trump, on LGBTQ+ and immigrants’ rights. Do these surprising rulings throw cold water on the right’s plan to legislate through conservative judges?

LISTEN NOW – EPISODE #447
Download Mp3

Facebook post of the week

 

Citizen Action Weekly; Friday, June 12th

Citizen Action Weekly; Friday, June 12th

Friday, June 12th

Attend a BLM event near you this weekend!

Checkout list of events in Wisconsin.

We will be attempting to post as many events on our facebook page. Please check our page for events near you. Citizen Action facebook page.

Also, check with your regional organizer about events in your region. 

Bring Climate Equity to Wisconsin 

Join Northside Rising and Citizen Action at a public hearing. Wisconsin has fallen behind other states in addressing climate change. A state task force is advising the Governor on strategies the state can take to fight global warming.

You can be part of this efforts to move Wisconsin forward by attending or speaking at one of the public hearings. Let our leaders know how we can make our state a healthier, safer, and more sustainable place to live.

There are 5 scheduled online hearings:

– June 23, 6-9pm
– June 27, 12-3pm
– July 7th, 6-9pm
– July 9th, 6-9pm
– July 15th, 6-9pm

For more information, contact the co-op organizer at trevonna.sims@citizenactionwi.org
Facebook event page

Southwest Wisconsin small towns join in Black Lives Matter protests

In the wake of the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police and the murder of Breonna Taylor in her sleep by Louisville police America has seen its largest protest movement in history.  America is waking up to the fact that systemic racism is literally killing our black communities. Over the past two weeks protests have spread to all 50 states and across the world. This movement has sparked protests in cities big and small. Rural Citizen Action of Wisconsin members have even taken to the streets in small towns that don’t normally see social justice rallies.  Viroqua (population 4,400) had an amazing turnout of 250 people protesting last week.  Reedsburg (population 9,500) had 300 people turn out last Saturday for a rally.

You can read about the Viroqua protest here.

Citizen Action Stands in Solidarity with George Floyd/Black Lives Matter Marches throughout North Central WI

Various organizations and community groups organized George Floyd marches throughout the NC region. Citizen Action members and allies stood in Solidarity with many of these events, and in some communities, were actively involved in Organizing them. In the Western most part of the region, in Ladysmith (Rusk County), members of the Western WI and NC Organizing Co-ops worked through the Rusk County Democrats to put their event together.

There were also marches or solidarity rallies in Elcho (Langlade County), Minocqua (Vilas/Oneida Counties), Merrill (Lincoln County), Stevens Point (Portage County), and Wausau (Marathon County). In fact, Wausau’s march was the largest demonstration that the City has ever seen!

In Wausau, the Wausau Police Department, the Wausau Mayor, and several other governmental entities supported the march. The police were the first ones there, and trailed the march offering water to the participants.

This really set a positive tone in Wausau, and it shows that this community has grown significantly. The newly elected Mayor, Katie Rosenberg, and City Council are shining brightly, in a way that has not happened in the past. Movement politics is working, and we must stay the course, so that we can see this kind of leadership all across our state and nation!

Green Bay Justice for George Floyd, Justice for Jonathan Tubby.

Last weekend, thousands of protesters took to the streets of Green Bay to demand Justice for George Floyd, Justice for Jonathan Tubby, and to fight for anti-racist policies in our community. Robin Tinnon, co-founder of Black Lives United and Citizen Action Co-op member Kristina Shelton, Vice President of the Green Bay School Board, gave the following remarks:

“I’ve grown up here, I’m very invested in this community as a business owner, as a college student, all those things, as a mom. We are all out here gathering because we want to tell you about George Floyd but also tell you about all the other Black men and women who die at the hands of police. We have for so long stood up for this in our community. We have for so long cried on camera and called out to our aldermans and our city officials to tell them to stop allowing Black bodies to be equal to nothing in the United States of America. And what we’re seeing worldwide is an uprising. People are done. And our community is done. We’re telling folks that Black Lives Matter.”

-Robin Tinnon, co-founder of Black Lives United

“This is a movement for the people. This is about equity. White people have to put it on the line to stand up for their Black and brown community members. It is undeniable what is happening around the country, it’s undeniable what’s happening here. The videos over and over have shown us and given us a glimpse of what Black and brown community members have been dealing with for hundreds of years. It is undeniable. And now is the time for us to stand up and put, quite frankly, our lives on the line, our property on the line, our rights on the line, our privileges on the line, to say we stand with you, not in words, but in action in the community. Action is what love looks like in public. And we will not sit at home anymore and give lip service to white supremacy to racism and oppression and power structures that no longer hold up everyone in this community. We must do a better job.”

-Kristina Shelton, Vice President of the Green Bay School Board

Tinnon (right) and Shelton (Center) speak at Green Bay Protest. Shelton is a co-op member

Volunteer to help Citizen Action Co-op member and endorsed state legislative candidate Emily Siegrist this Sunday at Noon in Brown Deer .

Come and join Emily Siegrist for a volunteer event to deliver Emily’s campaign literature to homes of voters in Brown Deer this Sunday, June 14th, Noon, 8060 N 60th St.

Emily is strongly encouraging volunteers to wear masks while out in the community. Emily will have masks for those who need them.

Please RSVP and let her know you’re coming so we can cut enough turf.

TAKE ACTION: Expand BadgerCare & Free COVID-19 Testing & Treatment!

It’s time for us to unite across our differences and work together to deliver free testing and treatment for COVID-19 for everyone in Wisconsin. We need to open BadgerCare to everyone without insurance and require insurance companies to provide free COVID 19 testing and treatment without any copays or deductibles, we can ensure that all Wisconsinites have the health care we need through this crisis.

Contact your state legislators today in support. 

Consumer Protection Team Healthcare Survey.

Do you know anyone who is struggling with an unpaid medical bill?  How about complaining that a preventive test they thought was covered, is now not? Take our Citizen Action healthcare survey to help us fight back against the big health insurance companies and healthcare providers (e.g. clinics, hospitals) that are hurting everyday people seeking care.

Citizen Action in the News

Citizen Action’s Robert Kraig discussed how we translate the historic protests sparked by the racist murder of George Floyd into deep reform on the Jeff Santos Radio Show

The justice for George Floyd protest in tiny Viroqua, co-organized by Citizen Action’s Driftless Area Co-op Organizer Ben Wilson, drew great local media coverage.

Press Clips

“Listening to Sterling Brown” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast.

We welcome Mark Thomsen, the attorney for Milwaukee Bucks player Sterling Brown, to discuss critical lessons from Sterling Brown’s legal case against the Milwaukee Police and what they teach us about police reform. In addition, we discuss the Wisconsin Election Commission’s unanimous decision to send absentee ballot application to 2.7 million Wisconsin registered voters.

Listen Now – Episode #446
Download MP3

Facebook post of the week

Citizen Action Weekly: Friday June 5th

Citizen Action Weekly: Friday June 5th

Friday, June 5th

Take Action! Attend an event in response to the murder of #GeorgeFloyd

We will be attempting to post as many events on our facebook page. Please check our page for events near you. Citizen Action facebook page.

Also, check with your regional organizer about events in your region.

North Side Rising Present’s Milwaukee’s Green New Deal: What You Need To Know

Join North Side Rising on Friday, June 12th at 2pm as we present a first in a series of forums on Milwaukee’s Green Deal.

Topics that will be discuss include: What is Milwaukee’s GND? What’s currently being done? and How you can get Involved in making it a reality.

If Interested, click here to register for the event

Virtual Town Hall: Federal Jobs Guarantee & Green Jobs Now!

Congress will be debating the next stimulus likely after the 4th of July. Join Citizen Action’s Executive Director Dr Robert Kraig and leaders as we document a new major project together with national partners such as People’s Action to raise the issue of a major jobs guarantee in the next wave of federal action, as well as green pro-climate jobs now, and why that is more possible than you might think.

Wisconsin’s unemployment rate is now HIGHER than it was during the Great Recession. The idea that all of the jobs lost will now come back is not realistic (and the old job market left people out back then too). Only a massive public investment directly into job creation (not tax breaks) can work. The federal government is already publicly subsidizing jobs, through “Work-Share” and/or PPP, it is time to be even more intentional (especially in socially beneficial industries like healthcare, energy efficiency and infrastructure!)

Join us Thursday June 11th at 6pm for a virtual town hall as we lay out major actions that can and should be taken to transition Wisconsin from relief to recovery! RSVP here is join us June 11th at 6:00 PM, RSVP is required to join.

TAKE ACTION: Expand BadgerCare & Free COVID-19 Testing & Treatment!

It’s time for us to unite across our differences and work together to deliver free testing and treatment for COVID-19 for everyone in Wisconsin. We need to open BadgerCare to everyone without insurance and require insurance companies to provide free COVID 19 testing and treatment without any copays or deductibles, we can ensure that all Wisconsinites have the health care we need through this crisis.

Contact your state legislators today in support. 

Black Lives Matter Virtual Roundtable

Tricia Zunker organized a panel discussion to discuss the Black Lives Matter movement, and to discuss George Floyd, and the history of excessive force used by police against people of color.. Panelists included college student, community leader and activist Kayley McColley, Central WI Executive Director for the Aging & Disability Resource Center Jonette Arms and the founder and leader of the People for the Power of Love Chris Norfleet. People from throughout the 7th Congressional district participated in the discussion. You can see coverage of the roundtable discussion here.

Citizen Action North central Co-op Stands in Solidarity with George Floyd Marches

The Citizen Action of WI North Central Organizing Co-op stands in solidarity with the Geroge Floyd rallies, marches and events throughout the region. If you feel that you can safely attend one of these events, please do so. Events start today (Friday, June 5th) and continue throughout the weekend.

  • Rusk County Democrats for Equality and Justice – Hosted by Austin Koeppel and Chrysa Ostenso. Click here for details.
  • Minocqua Unity March – Hosted by Jordan Anusewicz. Click here for details.
  • George Floyd March – Wausau (Hosted by the People for the Power of Love, Wausau Transfam Alliance and Forward Action Wisconsin Network). Click here for details.
  • #BlackLivesMatter Protest – Stevens Point (Organized by Reggie Eaton and Jessica Harlan). Click here for details.

If you are afraid to attend an event, due to COVID-19, there are other ways that you can be an ally:

Support the Minnesota Freedom Fund

Watch for updates from Citizen Action of Wisconsin on social media…some virtual events could be promoted there.

Consumer Protection Team Healthcare Survey

Do you know anyone who is struggling with an unpaid medical bill?  How about complaining that a preventive test they thought was covered, is now not? Take our Citizen Action healthcare survey to help us fight back against the big health insurance companies and healthcare providers (e.g. clinics, hospitals) that are hurting everyday people seeking care.

We need to hear about your experiences to help us shed light on just how many people are being treated unfairly and even in some cases, unlawfully. Many healthcare consumers don’t know why they are receiving large bills after a medical appointment or procedure as the medical complex hides behind an intimidating system of billing, codes and approval protocols.

Citizen Action in the News

Citizen Action’s Robert Kraig followed Michael Dukakis on the Jeff Santos radio show this week to discuss what Biden must do to win a governing majority and successfully address the depth of the crisis America faces.

Press Clips

Uprising for Racial Justice” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

Citizen Action’s JoAnna Bautch and Rafael Smith join the show to discuss the national uprising sparked by George Floyd’s murder. We talk about the inspiring outpouring of social action in communities across Wisconsin, led by young people, calling for police accountability, fundamental criminal justice reform, and racial justice, We also talk about initial stepping stone policies to structural reform such as shifting resources away from the publicly funded oppression of marginalized minority communities and investing in a just, anti-racist, and humane system of public safety.

Listen Now – Episode #445
Download MP3

Facebook post of the week

Citizen Action Weekly, Friday May 29th

Citizen Action Weekly, Friday May 29th

Friday, May 29th

Citizen Action statement on racist murder of George Floyd

Citizen Action of Wisconsin stands in solidarity with the family and friends of George Floyd, thousands of protesters across the country, and every person who loves humanity, in demanding that the four offers involved in his murder be swiftly brought to justice.

We strongly agree with our compatriots and our fellow People’s Action affiliate, Take Action Minnesota, that the protests in Minneapolis and in many other cities are “demonstrations of our pain and a cry for justice. It is an old pain borne of the historic, violent, publicly funded oppression of Black people… George Floyd should be alive today and prosecuting offers for his murder is the beginning, not end of justice.”

It is hard for us to believe that anyone other than a police officer would be able to avoid immediate arrest when such damning video evidence of a crime is available. The four day delay in the officer responsible being arrested and charged, and the failure to charge (as of this writing) the other officers who stood by and watched a murder, has badly damaged public confidence in the investigation and contributed to the turbulent events on the streets of Minneapolis. Before we can even begin to heal, justice must be brought to the four police offers involved in this racist murder and anyone else who tried to cover it up.

 

But the healing cannot stop there, because what happened to George Floyd, and all the other victims of publicly sanctioned racist murder we have come to know over the last decade, is ultimately caused not by a few bad apples but the structural racism that is at the very core of the American criminal justice and policing system. The system of mass incarceration grew out of the backlash against the civil rights and black power movements of the 1960s, and has made the  U.S, the most incarcerated and over-policed country in the history of the free world. Only a massive shift in resources away from the publicly funded oppression of Black people, poor people, the Latinx community, and many many others and invested in our communities and a humane, anti-racist, and just system of public safety.

TAKE ACTION for #GeorgeFloyd.

Citizen Action announces first round of State Legislative endorsements 

Citizen Action is proud to announce our first State Legislative candidate endorsements for the 2020 Fall elections. All endorsed candidates completed a Citizen Action questionnaire and interview with a local co-op steering committee. Final endorsement votes were made by Citizen Action’s statewide board. There will be more rounds of State Legislative candidate endorsements.

TAKE ACTION: Expand BadgerCare & Free COVID-19 Testing & Treatment!

It’s time for us to unite across our differences and work together to deliver free testing and treatment for COVID-19 for everyone in Wisconsin. We need to open BadgerCare to everyone without insurance and require insurance companies to provide free COVID 19 testing and treatment without any copays or deductibles, we can ensure that all Wisconsinites have the health care we need through this crisis.

Contact your state legislators today in support. 

Take Federal Action for Healthcare coverage for COVID-19

The US Senate will soon take up the next COVID-19 response bill – the HEROES Act – that was recently passed by the House of Representatives. We want to encourage the Senate to add a health care guarantee into the bill. A health care guarantee would put everyone without health insurance during the pandemic onto Medicare or Medicaid so that no one would be without affordable care during the pandemic.

Here’s what we’re doing: We need you to use this online tool run by People’s Action to record a short video statement telling Senators Johnson and Baldwin that we support a health care guarantee in the HEROES Act. The online tool is very easy to use. We’ve put together a toolkit  that explains how to use the online video recording tool as well as a sample script that you can modify for your remarks. DIRECTIONS ARE HERE

Green Homes, Good Jobs

As many of you know, local Citizen Action of Wisconsin members have been working hard to help homeowners save money on utility, reduce carbon emissions, increase the value of their home, and build green sector jobs across the state. We have been working with our green bank partners across the state to offer homeowners financing for energy efficient upgrades such as new insulation, air sealing, new windows/doors, new HVAC units, and solar panels. This program is a very important first step in building a better, greener economy in Wisconsin.

While these home upgrades are important to reducing residential carbon emissions they are merely one part of a larger effort to create a greener economy across our state.  The more homes we upgrade the more jobs we create in the green energy sector.  Every home we help upgrade builds demand to create change.  Every home we help upgrade helps send a message to our power providers that we demand green energy.  Every home we upgrade helps us lobby our elected leaders to invest in green solutions.  Every home we upgrade tells Wisconsinites that our best weapon against the economic crisis is green energy.

America is facing its worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.  We need to redesign our economy to face this crisis.  Citizen Action of Wisconsin believes that the solution is green.  By upgrading your own home not only can you save money RIGHT AWAY and you can help build that green economy that will save our country.   We have a goal of upgrading 100 homes before the end of the year.  We currently have 25 homes going through the upgrade process.  You can learn more about how you can upgrade your home right here.  If you are interested in learning more please contact Kevin Kane at kevin.kane@citizenActionwi.org to schedule a phone call.

Virtual Town Hall: Federal Jobs Guarantee & Green Jobs Now!

Congress will be debating the next stimulus likely after the 4th of July. Join Citizen Action’s Executive Director Dr Robert Kraig and leaders as we document a new major project together with national partners such as People’s Action to raise the issue of a major jobs guarantee in the next wave of federal action, as well as green pro-climate jobs now, and why that is more possible than you might think.

Wisconsin’s unemployment rate is now HIGHER than it was during the Great Recession. The idea that all of the jobs lost will now come back is not realistic (and the old job market left people out back then too). Only a massive public investment directly into job creation (not tax breaks) can work. The federal government is already publicly subsidizing jobs, through “Work-Share” and/or PPP, it is time to be even more intentional (especially in socially beneficial industries like healthcare, energy efficiency and infrastructure!)

Join us Thursday June 11th at 6pm for a virtual town hall as we lay out major actions that can and should be taken to transition Wisconsin from relief to recovery! RSVP here is join us June 11th at 6:00 PM, RSVP is required to join.

Join Citizen Action of Wisconsin on June 3rd, 6pm, for a small group e-meeting discussing expanding work sharing and creating green jobs across the state.

Thanks in part to the efforts of Citizen Action of Wisconsin members like you, over 14,000 Wisconsinites have been helped by the expansion of Wisconsin’s work sharing program.  This program reduces layoffs, helps area businesses and puts more money into the pockets of hard working Wisconsinites.  We are still working hard to expand this program.

You can learn more about this program, help expand it AND help our efforts to create green jobs across our state by joining one of our upcoming small group e-meetings. Please use one of the following links to RSVP for one of our upcoming small group meetings. You must RSVP in order to attend.

Wednesday June 3rd 6:00 PM meeting co hosted by Carol DiBiasio-Snyder

Consumer Protection Team Healthcare Survey

Do you know anyone who is struggling with an unpaid medical bill?  How about complaining that a preventive test they thought was covered, is now not? Take our Citizen Action healthcare survey to help us fight back against the big health insurance companies and healthcare providers (e.g. clinics, hospitals) that are hurting everyday people seeking care.

We need to hear about your experiences to help us shed light on just how many people are being treated unfairly and even in some cases, unlawfully. Many healthcare consumers don’t know why they are receiving large bills after a medical appointment or procedure as the medical complex hides behind an intimidating system of billing, codes and approval protocols.

Volunteer Opportunities in North Central Wisconsin

Citizen Action of Wisconsin has significantly increased our field team this year. Currently, we have staff all across the state making calls to see how people feel about accepting the Medicaid money to expand BadgerCare, while ensuring that all receive free testing and treatment for COVID – 19.

YOU CAN HELP!! These are real conversations, and they can help to change the political landscape by creating an echo chamber. That echo is this: Here is the problem, here is the solution, and this is who is standing in the way of us getting what we need and deserve. Even if candidate calls are not for you, these may be. People are typically more receptive, and many of them want to share their stories and make a connection. Not only could this turn into more voters voting for the people that we need to win the victories that we seek, but it increases the visibility of Citizen Action, and will result in more people being proactively involved in government at all levels.

If you would like a one-on-one or even a virtual phone bank training prior to getting started, we can make that happen too. Please reach out to Central Wisconsin Organizer Joel Lewis at 715-551-2525 or email him at joel.lewis@citizenactionwi.org

Help promote the work-share efforts in our state and how you can help promote green homes and a green new deal. Many workers and employers are still learning about how they can utilize work sharing and you can help! This could be the difference between a person being able to keep their job(s) and continue to pay their bills or being laid off. It could help keep a small business, nonprofit or municipal entity operational and preserve jobs. The more of you that help with this, the more people and businesses we can help!! Reach out to your organizer if you would like to get involved or simply join one of the meetings listed below.

Lastly, we are really lucky to be working on the green homes and green new deal campaigns! Green homes is something that has been years in the making, and it all started in Northern and Northwest WI!! Feel free to reach out to your organizer for a history on this campaign. According to the Nature Research Defense Council (NRDC), “Residential Energy Efficiency Leads the Way on CO2 Reduction. One of the major highlights of the report that the single largest source of CO2 equivalent emissions from a single intervention is residential energy efficiency.” This is about solar panels, but that is not all! Join one of the meetings below to learn more. Also, if you would like to look into upgrading your home, or know someone that would like to, go here to sign up to see if it is worth our time to help you accomplish this!

Citizen Action in the News

Citizen Action’s Robert Kraig was on the Jeff Santos radio show to discuss the pandemic, the VP sweepstakes, and the theory that Michelle Obama will end up the Democratic presidential nominee in 2020.

Up in the northwoods the Vilas County News Reporter ran an OPED from Citizen Action’s statement on the Wisconsin Supreme Court social distancing ruling.

Citizen Action’s Robert Kraig was on the Earl Ingram Radio Show for 60 minutes where he discussed the fundamental flaws in modern conservatism revealed by the botched COVID-19 response.

Press Clips

“Scapegoating China” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast 

We welcome Tobita Chow, director of Justice Is Global, a special project of People’s Action, to discuss the dangerous effort shift public attention away from the disastrous pandemic response by scapegoat China, risking a dangerous military competition between the two most powerful nations on earth. This cynical divide-and-conquer politics is sparking a wave of racial hatred aimed at Asian Americans. We talk about how our success requires embracing principles of anti-racist solidarity and international cooperation. We also review the latest COVID-19 news, including huge delays in unemployment insurance claims.

Listen Now – Episode #444
Download MP3

Facebook post of the week

Citizen Action Weekly: Happy Memorial Day Weekend

Citizen Action Weekly: Happy Memorial Day Weekend

Friday, May 22nd

TAKE ACTION: Expand BadgerCare & Free COVID-19 Testing & Treatment!


It’s time for us to unite across our differences and work together to deliver free testing and treatment for COVID-19 for everyone in Wisconsin. We need to open BadgerCare to everyone without insurance and require insurance companies to provide free COVID 19 testing and treatment without any copays or deductibles, we can ensure that all Wisconsinites have the health care we need through this crisis.

Contact your legislators today in support.

Recap of “Covid vs Everybody: Communities of Color Townhall” 

On May 15, Citizen Action organizers held a virtual town hall that focused on a covid related conversations for communities of colors.  Covid-19 has disproportionately impacted people of color. Covid can strike any of us but the people that have been denied care and support for generations are being hit the hardest. 

In this town hall, Milwaukee leaders touched on food insecurity, unemployment, and healthcare in communities of color. They explored perspective, solutions, then demands  for following issues in these communities that were affected the worse during the pandemic. Rick Banks, Leader of St Joseph Accountability Coalitions, shared demand and how the community can get involved with holding the only hospital on the northside accountable for closing the health disparity gap.  Alex Hagler, local business owner of a wellness  center and fresh food organizer, shared tips and resources on fighting food insecurity during the pandemic. 

Important questions and a need for action was raised during this hour. Our Community of color townhall reached about 30 viewers on Facebook and Zoom.  This is the first of many conversations around our communities that will continue even once Covid-19 ends!

For more information or a recording from this town hall, please contact Southeastern Co-op Organizer, Trevonna Sims at trevonna.sims@citizenaction.org

Join Citizen Action of Wisconsin for our small group e-meeting to discuss expanding work sharing and creating green jobs across the state

Thanks in part to the efforts of Citizen Action of Wisconsin members like you, over 14,000 Wisconsinites have been helped by the expansion of WIsconsin’s work sharing program.  This program reduces layoffs, helps area businesses and puts more money into the pockets of hard working Wisconsinites.  We are still working hard to expand this program.

You can learn more about this program, help expand it AND help our efforts to create green jobs across our state by joining one of our upcoming small group e-meetings.  Please use one of the following links to RSVP for one of our upcoming small group meetings.  You must RSVP in order to attend.

Tuesday May 26 4:00 PM meeting co hosted by Susan Garcia Franz 
Thursday May 28th 6:00 PM meeting co hosted by Tamara Thomson
Wednesday June 3rd 6:00 PM meeting co hosted by Carol DiBiasio-Snyder

Coffee w/your Co-op: Social Distancing Edition 2.0

Grab your beverage of choice, comfy chair, and join our Citizen Action Northeast Co-op for coffee from the comfort of your own home!

Co-op leaders will be discussing our push our advocacy on a county-to-county basis since the Wisconsin Supreme Court repealed Governor Evers’ Safer-at-Home Order. Connect with other progressives and learn what Citizen Action is up to as we navigate this challenging time until we can meet at our favorite coffee shop again.

See facebook event page.

You must RSVP to noah.reif@citizenactionwi.org to receive log in.

Volunteer Opportunities in Central Wisconsin

Citizen Action of Wisconsin has significantly increased their field team this year. Currently, we have staff all across the state making calls to see how people feel about accepting the Medicaid money to expand Badgercare, while ensuring that all receive free testing and treatment (mentioned above). YOU CAN HELP!! These are real conversations, and they can help to change the political landscape by creating an echo chamber. That echo is this: Here is the problem, here is the solution, and this is who is standing in the way of us getting what we need and deserve. Even if candidate calls are not for you, these may be. People are typically more receptive, and many of them want to share their stories and make a connection. Not only could this turn into more voters voting for the people that we need to win the victories that we seek, but it increases the visibility of Citizen Action, and will result in more people being proactively involved in government at all levels. If you would like a one-on-one or even a virtual phone bank training prior to getting started, we can make that happen too. Please reach out to Central Wisconsin Organizer Joel Lewis at 715-551-2525 or email him at joel.lewis@citizenactionwi.org

Below, you will read about how you can help promote the work-share efforts in the state and how you can help promote green homes and a green new deal. This can be done in a variety of ways, but for starters, we recommend that you join one of the e-meetings listed below. Many workers and employers are still learning about how they can utilize work sharing and you can help! This could be the difference between a person being able to keep their job(s) and continue to pay their bills or being laid off. It could help keep a small business, nonprofit or municipal entity operational and preserve jobs. The more of you that help with this, the more people and businesses we can help!! Reach out to your organizer if you would like to get involved or simply join one of the meetings listed below.

Lastly, we are really lucky to be working on the green homes and green new deal campaigns! Green homes is something that has been years in the making, and it all started in Northern and Northwest WI!! Feel free to reach out to your organizer for a history on this campaign. According to the Nature Research Defense Council (NRDC), “Residential Energy Efficiency Leads the Way on CO2 Reduction. One of the major highlights of the report that the single largest source of CO2 equivalent emissions from a single intervention is residential energy efficiency.” This is about solar panels, but that is not all! Join one of the meetings below to learn more. Also, if you would like to look into upgrading your home, or know someone that would like to, go here to sign up to see if it is worth our time to help you accomplish this!

Co-op Leader Appointed to Governor’s Task Force on Student Loan Debt!

Northeast Wisconsin Steering Committee member Renee Gasch has been appointed to Governor Ever’s Task Force on Student Loan Debt. Renee is a founding member of the co-op and is a strong statewide leader on the fight to end partisan Gerrymandering. She also serves on the De Pere sustainability commission. We are extremely proud of Renee and her tireless leadership on progressive causes across the state! If you have any questions or a story to share with Renee about your experiences with Student Loan Debt, please contact her at renee.gasch@gmail.com

Join U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin on Facebook Live, Thursday, May 28th 6pm.

We are partnering with Wisconsin Organizing Together Coalition for a Facebook Live event next Thursday, May 28th, 6pm – 7pm.  RSVP here.  The virtual event will highlight contributions of frontline workers leading us through the Coronavirus pandemic.

Trump cut millions in funding for the CDC and fired the pandemic response team. He called the virus a hoax. As a result of his inaction, workers are now suffering. Join us for a virtual event to highlight contributions of frontline workers leading us through the Coronavirus pandemic.

Join us Thursday, May 28, 2020 at 6 PM – 7 PM

Citizen Action in the News

The Capital Times gave a huge shout out to Citizen Action on our response to the Wisconsin Supreme Court decision overturning the Governor’s social distancing directive.

Citizen Action’s Kevin Kane was on the Earl Ingram Show to discuss the most neglected tool in pandemic relief, the work sharing program that Citizen Action is promoting. 

Citizen Action’s Robert Kraig was on the Jeff Santos Show to discuss the House pandemic relief bill, and how it could be improved.

“Expand BadgerCare & free COVID-19 testing and treatment” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

We discuss the latest pandemic developments, including: a major study finds that 36,000 lives could have been saved if the US implemented mandatory social distancing earlier; Governor Evers’ moves over $1 billion in federal money to ramp up testing and tracing; and the state is now a patchwork of COVID-19 policies with some counties and municipalities lifting Safer at Home restrictions early. Robert briefs us on U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal’s new bill guaranteeing free COVID 19 testing and treatment to everyone in America by dramatically expanding Medicare. Next, we look at what is being done to expand voting opportunities in Wisconsin this fall. We close with a look at the growing strength of progressive talk radio in Wisconsin.

Listen now – Episode #443
Download MP3
Press Clips

Facebook post of the week

Citizen Action Weekly: There is no pandemic plan for Wisconsin!

Citizen Action Weekly: There is no pandemic plan for Wisconsin!

Friday, May 15th

Supreme Court Shifts Life & Death Responsibility for Pandemic onto Legislature

What the state now must do to save lives and successfully open the economy is clear: will the GOP Legislature start doing its job?

GOP legislative leaders may think they won a victory this Wednesday in their campaign to strip powers from Governor Evers, but they have actually shifted an immense burden of moral responsibility to themselves. The moral of the story for one Aesop’s fables encapsulates the moment: Be careful what you wish for, less it comes true.

The scientific consensus is overwhelming on how to best save lives, and restore the level of public confidence necessary to safely re-open the economy. Now the leaders of the Legislature have a choice: actually cooperate with Governor Evers to do the hard work of quickly implementing an effective response, or continue their campaign of obstruction and face the moral and political consequences for the human and economic toll.

By their very acts of publicly undermining the Governor’s popular emergency measures, and inducing the Wisconsin Supreme Court majority to render one of the most divisive and nakedly partisan decisions in Wisconsin history, they have made the task harder by prematurely ending state-wide social distancing without any back up plan, and undermining the social unity and commitment to norms necessary to contain a pandemic.

Because the Evers Administration took bold necessary action, and the millions of Wisconsinites who followed the directives voluntarily, no matter what the personal and economic sacrifice, Wisconsin made tremendous progress over the last 6 weeks in reducing the rate of infection. According to the CEO of the Medical College, Wisconsin has the reproduction rate  (the number of additional people each Covid positive person infects) down to 1.0, the minimum for moving to more targeted virus containment strategies. But if the reproduction rate increases even slightly, to 1.1 or higher, the virus will within a few weeks begin spreading out of control.

We are in danger of losing all these hard won gains if the Legislature does not immediately fund, to whatever scale is necessary, a robust targeted containment strategy. There is an overwhelming scientific consensus, being pursued by the most effective pandemic responses around the globe, on what must be done to contain the pandemic and safely re-open the economy. There is no choice between public health and the economy. The economy will not bounce back until Wisconsinites feel safe, regardless of what politicians tell them to do.

  • Fill the containment gap created by the sudden and premature ending of mandated social distancing with a well resourced and targeted approach that is capable of identifying and isolating new pockets of infection as soon as they emerge. This includes:
    • Universal and rapid testing that reaches asymptomatic Wisconsinites and is immediately available in all at risk public and business locations.
    • A massive ramp up in contract tracing which means hiring thousands of new public health workers.
    • A medical surveillance system capable of rapidly intervening and isolating all of the new hotspots identified through testing and contact tracing.
  • Free testing and treatment are a necessity because of cost barriers which are unique to the unique profit-centered American health care system. Without an enforced guarantee of no out of pocket costs, hundreds of thousands of Wisconites will avoid testing and treatment, even if they have COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Reinforce the norm of social distancing in all public interactions. In Wisconsin, there is much damage to repair. The mixed messages and the divide and conquer politics must end. GOP leaders must join Governor Evers in reinforcing this social ethic and dispense with their divisive rhetoric of oppression and liberation. The Supreme Court majority did the opposite in their divisive and dog-whistle racism oral arguments.
  • Create enforceable safety requirements for all workplaces. Workers cannot be forced to choose between their health and their livelihoods. (The WMC’s preferred voluntary standards will not work, and were immediately violated by some taverns the evening of the Supreme Court ruling)

These core elements of effective and effective pandemic containment are not just Citizen Action’s position, this is an overwhelming consensus of public health experts and responsible elected leaders across the globe. Some of these items will cost money, and if the majority of the Legislature will not invest the necessary resources, whatever it takes, the costs of inaction will be astronomical. The stakes could not be higher as Dr. Rick Bright, the former Director of Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority testified in Congress today: “Without clear planning and implementation of the steps that I and other experts have outlined, 2020 will be the darkest winter in modern history.”

Wisconsin has done it before. In 1918, when there were three major parties and as much partisan contention as today, Wisconsinites pulled together to take unified action on the worst pandemic in our history.  “Wisconsin was the only state in the nation to meet the crisis with uniform, statewide measures that were unusual both for their aggressiveness and the public’s willingness to comply with them.”

“We have entered a season of consequences. In a pandemic success depends on elected leaders putting aside the divisions of normal politics and pulling together to take effective and decisive action,” said Robert Kraig, Executive Director of Citizen Action of Wisconsin. “The GOP leadership of the Legislature got what it wanted, and stripped the Governor of much of his power to lead in this crisis. The onus of responsibility now falls squarely on their shoulders. It is our hope that they will elevate their leadership to the demands of the challenge we face, and work in concert with Governor Evers to do not what is politically convenient but what is required to save lives.”

See Citizen Action response to Wisconsin Supreme Court decision here.

Citizen Action case for free COVID 19 testing and treatment here.

“Supreme Chaos” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

We review this week’s lawless and partisan Supreme Court decision overturning Governor Tony Evers’ Safer at Home order and throwing Wisconsin into chaos. We discuss how local governments and their health departments are responding to protect people in their communities and why pressure must now be placed on Republican state legislators to fix their public health disaster. We talk about the new Marquette Law Poll which finds the presidential race in Wisconsin within the margin of error, and partisanship trumping facts in public perception of the pandemic. We also thank Citizen Action co-op member Tricia Zunker for running a strong race in the 7th Congressional District special election and out performing the district in the face of a massive infusion of right-wing cash for her opponent.

Listen Now – Episode #442
Download MP3
Press Clips

Citizen Action Wisconsin is helping protect paychecks & prevent layoffs

Citizen Action has been working hard to offer support to employees and employers through Wisconsin’s unique work sharing program. Work sharing was a program the state of Wisconsin started after the nation’s last recession in 2008. This program allows employers to reduce hours of two or more staff members while letting those employees collect unemployment.

Employees using work sharing are able to work fewer hours, stay on their health insurance and collect unemployment.  Employees are also able to collect the $600 a week federal unemployment passed by Congress as part of the CARES act.  

Please use this link to watch a video explaining this program and to sign up to join one of our twice a week webinars outlining this program.

As part of our COVID19 relief efforts Citizen Action of Wisconsin has been helping sign up businesses to take part in this program.  We has signed up around 20 businesses across the state.  Some of the businesses and non profits we have helped include UW-L Athletic system, the City of Milwaukee Park Department, the La Crosse YWCA and many more.

We have been working with a statewide network of Citizen Action members to get the word out and help as many businesses as possible.  Our statewide action team is meeting every Thursday from 4:00 to 5:30.  

If you know any businesses or employees who could be helped by this program please join us for our weekly team meetings hosted over Zoom.  You can RSVP to join us using this link.  RSVP is required to join.

Addressing Climate & Equity through our Food System

Thursday, May 21st, 6 PM – 7 PM

Join us for a panel discussion to inform citizens and the Milwaukee City-County Task Force on Climate and Economic Equity. The Task Force, created by our Milwaukee City and County governments, will address the inequities in our community with changes that need to be made to address climate change.

Panelists:

  • Bruce Wiggins: City Planner (Retired) – Moderator
  • Deneine Powell: Executive Director, Groundwork Milwaukee
  • David Johnson, MUP: Urban Farmer – Cream City Farms
  • Sylvia N. Wilson, PhD: Program Director, Teens Grow Greens

Panel members will help us explore:

– How does our food system promote climate change?
– How do we change our food system to mitigate climate change?
– What are the food inequities in Milwaukee?
– How do racial and economic inequalities affect health and access to healthy food?
– What can be done to address food insecurity and promote access to healthy food in Milwaukee?

RSVP and register for this event.

For more information check out the facebook event page.

Help Brown County Residents Now!

Brown County has quickly become a center for COVID-19 in Wisconsin. As of Thursday, May 15th the county health department has reported almost 2000 confirmed COVID cases, trailing only Milwaukee County. Even in the midst of this outbreak, organizations like We All Rise African American Resource Center and Casa ALBA Melanie have been serving our black and brown community in Green Bay.

Last Saturday, the Northeast Citizen Action of Wisconsin co-op hosted a COVID-19 relief discussion with several progressive organizations in the Greater Brown County Area.

If you are looking to help support directly impacted communities and have the means to do so, we encourage you to start here:

We All Rise African American Resource Center- Green Bay

The center desires to meet the basic needs of clients while providing a comprehensive set of healing services for our African American community members at no cost to them. Their doors have stayed open during the duration of shelter-in-place and they can use your support. If you can, please support them by donating essential items! You can also donate by visiting their wishlist!  You can also support their work financially by visiting https://bit.ly/3fA8s54.

If you have questions about the center or how you can help, contact Rachel Westenberg at rachel@weallriseaarc.org.

Casa ALBA Melanie- Green Bay

Casa ALBA Melanie is the Hispanic Resource Center of the greater Green Bay area.  Our mission is to nurture the well-being and wholesome development of all members of the Hispanic community living in the region. You can learn how you can support their work directly by visiting https://www.casaalba.org/how-to-help.html and by following their COVID updates here.

Northwestern WI Co-op Host’s First “Kitchen Table Conversation on May 14th

Dr. Rita Simon, Steering Committee Chair and member-leader of the Healthcare Issue team, hosted the co-op’s first “Kitchen Table Conversation.” This event’s topic was about the immediate action we can take around healthcare during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Simon shared a powerpoint, video, and information regarding the benefits of Medicare for All during this time of crisis. These events are made for members to invite friends and family interested in the topic to learn more about what they can do to organize and how to get involved with Citizen Action.

Contact breana.stanley@citizenactionwi.org if you’re interested in hosting your own!

Healthcare Co-Op Joins Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul to Defend the ACA

Healthcare Co-Op leader, Zena Blom has personal reasons to defend the ACA but she didn’t just decide to speak out publicly for herself, she was thinking of others who might come after her. People forget what was life before the ACA but if you were personally helped by its passage, you never forget.

Zena testified about one of the most popular features of the ACA which is pre-existing condition protection. Insurance companies used to be able to pick winners and losers in their insurance pool and if you were a person living with any kind of condition or precarious health issue, you were a loser and couldn’t obtain coverage. That changed with the ACA and not only did it change lives, it saved lives and we are not going back.

Recently, President Trump doubled down on his support for the Texas lawsuit which would rip coverage away from 20 million and eliminate Medicaid expansion in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. This just can’t happen and everyday Americans are speaking out about it.  If you want to be more involved please join the Co-Op, your voice is exactly what is needed.

Facebook post of the week

Citizen Action Weekly: Friday, May 8th

Citizen Action Weekly: Friday, May 8th

Friday, May 8th

Citizen Action launches #WhoCaresForUs?

Watch new video ad.

Americans are stepping up to care for one another during this pandemic. Isn’t it time we had a government #WhoCaresForUs? We need our state leaders to pass new legislation that ensures working people who care for us have the equipment they need to stay safe and that all of us can access the COVID tests and treatment we need to get and stay well. Contact your state legislative representatives 

Vote for Tricia Zunker for 7th Congressional District

Return your absentee Ballot today!

Your absentee ballot needs to be back to your municipal clerk by 8pm on election day. Either mail it back or drop it off with your municipal clerk so it gets there in time.

If you’re voting in person, make sure to take social distancing precautions. Polling places will be open in Congressional District 7 on May 12 from 7am to 8pm. To find your polling place, click here.

If you need additional help locating your absentee ballot or any other information about this election, call the Democratic Party of Wisconsin’s voter assistance hotline at 608-336-3232

To volunteer from home making calls to voters for Tricia contact zoe@citizenactonwi.org

“Politicians, not regular justices” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

We discuss the damage the coronavirus is reaping, largely unmitigated by the federal government’s response, and the mounting reactionary/corporate pressure on state and local government to court disaster by prematurely scuttling social distancing. We review the shameful Wisconsin Supreme Court public hearing this week in the Vos-Fitzgerald lawsuit against Gov. Evers’ Stay at Home order. The tone and irrationality of the right-wing majority again embarrassed Wisconsin nationally, and revealed to the world a cabal of unethical politicians in robes masquerading as judges. We welcome Citizen Action co-op member Tricia Zunker to talk about her May 12th special election for the 7th Congressional District in Northern Wisconsin. We close with Citizen Action Northcentral WI Co-op steering committee chair Don Dunphy, to discuss the Citizen Action grassroots campaign for Zunker, and the importance of joining a regional co-op to build progressive power.

Learn more and join a Citizen Action’s Organizing Cooperative.

Listen Now – Episode #441
Download MP3

Citizen Action in the News

Executive Director Robert Kraig was on the Jeff Santos Show and discussed how to get a real progressive response to the pandemic. Listen here

Citizen Action has been in the news this week for our work to elect Jill Karofsky to the Wisconsin Supreme Court and to support Citizen Action co-op member Tricia Zunker in her run for Congress in the 7th District Special Election coming up Tuesday.  While we are listed along with all the big spending by corporate interests and right-wing billionaires, it is not really an apples to apples comparison. Whereas big corporations and rich reactionaries like the Koch brothers are corrupting our democracy, Citizen Action is restoring democracy by empowering average people to have a voice and seek a better state and country. By this standard, it is really an apples to poison fruit comparison.

Movement Politics Conversation with Candidates: Health Care

Last Saturday, Citizen Action hosted a Zoom candidate conversation about healthcare. The conversations was led by Health Care for All Director, Claire Zautke and Executive Director Robert Kraig and organized by Movement Politics Director, JoAnna Bautch.

State Legislators and 2020 candidates participated in a conversation on integrating advocacy and policies that support healthcare as a fundamental human right within their campaigns.

This is the first of more conversations with candidates and legislators about healthcare and other important issues. The next candidate Zoom conversation will be about the NEW Race, Class, Narrative Project. It will be on Saturday, May 23rd at 10am. Contact: Joannab@citizenactionwi.org for more information.

Citizen Action’s Movement Politics program develops, prepares, and supports new political leaders that will support people-centered leadership. To learn more, please contact JoAnna Bautch, Movement Politics Director joannab@citizenactionwi.org.

Citizen Action of Wisconsin is helping to prevent layoffs by expanding Wisconsin’s “work sharing” program 

The COVID19 crisis is crippling Wisconsin’s small businesses.  Citizen Action of Wisconsin members has been leading an effort to protect jobs, guarantee paychecks, prevent layoffs, keep people on their health insurance and get people the money they need to make it through this crisis.  We would like YOU to join our efforts.

Wisconsin’s unique “work sharing” program can help people RIGHT NOW!  Work sharing allows businesses and nonprofits to reduce employee hours while keeping those employees on the company health insurance and allowing employees whose hours have been cut to collect prorated unemployment.  This program also allows employees to receive the $600/week in additional unemployment funded by the federal government. For more information on work sharing as well as a video and an FAQ please visit this link.

In order to help families across Wisconsin we need to speak with employers and workers across the state.  You can join our statewide outreach team by joining us for a weekly Zoom call every Thursday at 4:00 PM.  For more information and to RSVP please visit the following link.  You MUST RSVP in order to attend.

If you know of 5-10 people who might be interested in learning more about this program I would be happy to set up a small town hall over Zoom.  Please reply to this email and pick a date/time for the town hall and we can get it set up.

Coffee with your Northeast WI Co-op: Covid-19 Relief, Saturday, May 9th, 10am

Grab your beverage of choice, comfy chair, and join our Citizen Action Co-op for coffee from the comfort of your own home!

Connect with other progressives and learn what Citizen Action is up to as we navigate this challenging time until we can meet at our favorite coffee shop again.

Co-op Organizer Noah Reif will share Citizen Action’s response to COVID-19 and how we can make organize on a local level to this extremely challenging time. If you are involved with another org and COVID-19 relief, feel empowered to share the work you are engaged in so we can support one another. The zoom link will be sent once you RSVP.

RSVP Here

Join us for Northwestern Co-op Virtual Coffee with Your Co-op! May 11, 2020 @ 10:00am 

Brew your favorite caffeinated (or not!) beverage and join your Northwestern Wisconsin Organizer, Breana, as she talks about Citizen Action’s work during the COVID-19 Pandemic and it’s rapid response for affordable and attainable healthcare as well as hearing about what members would like to work on during this time. This would be a great time for brainstorming and strategy building. The Zoom link will be provided via email after you register here for the event! See you then!

Health Care for All Co-Op Covid 19 Town Hall

This past Wednesday, the Co-Op sponsored a Town Hall to talk about how this is the time to push for change and how the pandemic has laid bare the inadequacies of our current healthcare system.

They talked about Citizen Action’s Theory of Change, addressing the 3 Faces of power. And framed the Covid 19 issue within that theory.

We have FIVE ways to be involved right now.

  1. Lobby around Who Cares for us (see above)
  2. Lobby the your Federal Representatives

Reach out to your House Representatives and call on them to co-sponsor the Medicare Crisis Program.

If you need a reminder, here an updated summary of the bill .

Take Action Here

  1. Phone Bank for Tricia Zunker, CD 7 Congressional candidate

Email Karen.Kirsch@citizenactionwi.org

  1. Join the healthcare co-op and officially support us
  2. Listen to our weekly podcast to stay up to date on what is next (see above).

Join Us for a Zoom Call Addressing Climate & Equity through our Food System

Join our Citizen Action Climate Justice team for a panel discussion on May 21th, at 6:00 PM. The Zoom call will inform citizens and the City-County Task Force on Climate and Economic Equity, which has been charged with addressing long standing economic inequities in Milwaukee and what changes we need to be made to address climate change and inequality.

Panel members will help us explore:

  • How does our food system promote climate change?
  • How do we change our food system to mitigate climate change?
  • What are the food inequities in Milwaukee?
  • How do racial and economic inequalities affect health and access to healthy food?
  • What can be done to address food insecurity and promote access to healthy food in Milwaukee?

Click here for more information and to RSVP.

Take Our Survey: Citizen Action of Wisconsin is leading a people powered COVID19 relief effort

Citizen Action of Wisconsin is crafting a response to the COVID19 crisis that will help put money in people’s pockets, reduce unemployment, reduce utility costs, help small businesses, expand healthcare, fight climate change and protect Wisconsin’s green business sectors.

Some of our programs might be able to help you right now!  Please fill out this survey to find out if our programs can help you.  Please feel free to share this survey with anyone struggling during this time.  We would like to get as many people as possible to fill out this survey.

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