Citizen Action Weekly: Friday, August 23rd

Citizen Action Weekly: Friday, August 23rd

Friday, August 23rd

Fond Farewell to Northeastern Wisconsin Co-op Organizer Jolie Lizotte and Welcome Home Noah Reif!

This week we say a fond farewell to Northeastern Wisconsin Co-op Organizer Joile Lizotte. While we will miss Jolie very much, we are really excited about her new role with our partner and ally SEIU!  Jolie and Northeastern Wisconsin Co-op members accomplished some amazing things over the past 2 years, including stopping expansion of the Winnebago County Jail, their work on a Fair Maps Resolution, and the exciting new work on housing in the Oshkosh area. In addition, Oshkosh elected a new progressive mayor with Jolie’s support.

Jolie was a constant leader among the staff, coordinating weekly organizer calls and taking over statewide liaison for our Fair Maps work across the state earlier this year. Congrats and best wishes to Jolie on her new adventure!

We are excited to announce that Noah Reif, Fox Cities native, (who has been filling the role of our Northwestern Wisconsin Co-op Organizer) will be moving home to take over the Northeastern Wisconsin Co-op Organizer role sometime in October of this year.  We will be hiring a new Northwestern Wisconsin Co-op Organizer in the weeks to come, and Noah will help transition the new organizer before heading home to organize in the Fox Cities.

Citizen Action joins Congressman Gwen Moore and State Senator LaTonya Johnson to fight for Lower Prescription Drug Costs

While families are struggling to afford their prescriptions, Big Pharma is raking in record profits and increasing prices. This Tuesday in Milwaukee, Citizen Action joined Congresswoman Gwen S. Moore, State Sen. LaTonya Johnson, Marlene Ott of Wisconsin Alliance for Retired Americans, and other allies to demand lower drug prices now and put #PeopleOverProfits.

Contact to get involved in fighting Rx prices.

Leaders Build Campaign for Driftless Organizing Co-op: Good Jobs, Green Homes & Lower Bills 

Continuing a series of events to jump start a new Driftless Organizing Co-op in Western/Southern Wisconsin, 15 labor leaders, county officials, energy experts, farmers, doctors and concerned citizens gathered in Onalaska to talk about how we could upgrade 1,000+ homes to be more energy efficient. Showing that doing so reduces carbon emissions more dollar for dollar than just about anything else, we looked at urging utility companies to access federal USDA funds to create residential upgrade programs at scale. Furthermore, we could create good jobs, lower utility bills and ensure healthier homes.

Supporters are gathering in counties through Western/Southern Wisconsin to say it is time for green homes, fewer emissions, more jobs, lower utility bills and to negotiate directly with utility companies to do it.

For more information contact:

Citizen Action co-op members named to 34 most powerful Wisconsin Latinos list

Congratulations to Citizen Action Co-op members Lori Palmeri and Catherine Emmanuelle on being named to the 34 most powerful Latinos in Wisconsin. Read more about these and other amazing Latino leaders.

Deep Canvassing in Black River Falls & Menomonie

A huge thank you to all of the volunteers and partners who attended our Citizen Action Deep Canvass Training and Action! Our deep canvassing training and script makes having those hard conversations on doors easier and lays the groundwork for our issue campaigns in 2020 and beyond. If you would like to see a deep canvass training in your community, reach out to your co-op organizer to schedule one today!

Attend the Vigil for Victims of Gun Violence in Eau Claire, Wednesday, August 28th

Join Citizen Action on August 28th in a vigil to commemorate all victims of gun violence. There have been more mass shootings in 2019 than days in 2019. Thanks to the leadership of our Governor there is a renewed call for Universal Background Checks.  We will gather to remember the victims, support survivors, and take action. The vigil will begin with speakers at 730PM, followed by a moment of silence at 8 PM. The venue is the Phoenix Park Amphitheatre in Eau Claire.

Citizen Action co-op member Tricia Zunker is helping lead growing statewide campaign to retire Native mascots in Wisconsin schools. 

A growing number of school boards across Wisconsin that already have – or will consider – supporting a proposal to retire Native American mascots thanks in part to an amazing organizing effort of North Central Co-op member, Tricia Zunker. The proposal that is rapidly spreading across the state, was drafted by Zunker and originally passed at the Wausau School Board this month.

The proposal, calls for the Wisconsin Association of School Boards to recommend legislation that would retire Native American mascots and imagery in Wisconsin schools. Currently, 31 of the state’s 421 public school districts still use Native imagery.

Since the Wausau school board unanimously approved the resolution last week and called upon other school boards have signed on. Other school districts that have approved similar proposals, or are slated to do so in the next few weeks, include: Shawano, Appleton, La Crosse, Eau Claire, Madison, Milwaukee, Prescott, Shorewood, and Sun Prairie.

The effort to retire the imagery gained momentum following a January 2017 Antigo Daily Journal that featured a horrifying headline referencing scalping Indians. Unfortunately, the Mosinee School District retained the nickname “Indians” following a community petition to change the mascot was dismissed by the school board.

Tricia Zunker will appear on next week’s Battleground Wisconsin Podcast to discuss the campaign in detail.

Congratulations to our partner, Citizen for a Clean Wausau, on new grant to fight environmental injustice

This week Citizens for a Clean Wausau (CCW) was selected from a nation-wide application process as a grant recipient from the Center for Health, Environment & Justice (CHEJ). CCW is a grassroots volunteer group that monitors the activities and impacts of significant current and past polluters, in order to define the nature and extent of local contamination so that it will be remediated. Many of the members of the group are also founding members and current leaders of the Citizen Action North Central Organizing Co-op.

“We are truly honored and excited to have been selected for this CHEJ grant,” CCW Spokesperson, Tom Kilian, stated. “It will facilitate the group’s strategic plan, structuring and expansion, while affording us invaluable training. Our efforts to date supporting Environmental Justice and the community are just the beginning.”

Brew Fest, Thursday, September 19th

We are one month away from our 2019 Brew Fest fundraiser on Thursday, September 19th in MKE. Please become a co-sponsor of the event by committing to donate $50.00 or more!

“We are the caring majority” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

Guest panelists Claire Zautke, Citizen Action’s healthcare director, tells us about this week’s national day of action to lower prescription drug costs. We also discuss Gov. Tony Evers’ creation of a new office to help achieve his goal of 100% carbon-free electricity by 2050, as well as new data showing Wisconsin’s life expectancy is plummeting, especially for African Americans. We welcome Susannah Dyen from Caring Across Generations to discuss building a national movement to make caregiving a respected profession that it is properly compensated.

Listen Now – Episode #405
Download Mp3

Facebook post of the week

Citizen Action Weekly: Friday, August 16th

Citizen Action Weekly: Friday, August 16th

Friday, August 16th

The AMA Gets Out Of The Way Of Medicare For All

The American Medical Association leaves Partnership for America’s Future which is fighting Medicare for All.

In a huge win for Citizen Action and our partner organizations in other states, the American Medical Association (AMA) has ended their relationship with the Partnership for America’s Future. If you aren’t familiar with the Partnership, they are a coalition of corporate healthcare organizations that support the for profit healthcare system. They oppose Medicare for All and also are against many of the provisions that were in the ACA like Medicaid Expansion.

You can read more about them here.

In May, a group of Citizen Action members traveled to Chicago to protest the AMA’s participation in the group.This is what activism can do.  Who next is deserving of our “attention”? Email with your ideas and to learn more about how you can be involved

North Central Organizing Co-op Members joined members of the Lincoln County and Marathon County Democratic parties to do Issue Canvassing

  It was an exciting weekend, because Citizen Action of Wisconsin and the Chapters of the DPW (Democratic Party of Wisconsin) worked together in the NC region, to do issue based canvassing in Wausau (Marathon County) and Merrill (Lincoln County). It is great to see groups working together, and it will take this kind of unity if we want to be successful in 2020 and beyond.

Rather than knocking on doors to remind or persuade someone to vote for a certain candidate, we were there to listen. And we hit independent and right-leaning doors, as well as the doors of known Democratic voters. When we told a independent voter that we were there to hear which issues mattered to them most, they were somewhat surprised, and in most instances, very willing to talk about what mattered to them.

Chair of the Steering Committee for the NC Organizing Co-op, Don Dunphy, and organizer Joel Lewis went as a team in Merrill. They had at least 2 people who typically vote Republican, but told them that in 2020 they are strongly considering voting for a Democrat. One of the people gave the reason that the cost of healthcare is out of control and the Republicans are offering no solutions to this problem. Other voters were not pleased with how the President speaks about minority groups or with how he acts. We look forward to doing more of these types of canvases throughout the year.

Updates from North Central Co-op

Fair Maps

Co-op member, and all-around community leader, Hans Breitenmoser continues to fight tirelessly for Fair Maps. He believes that this is the top issue, because until this is changed to a more fair system, the politicians are picking the voters instead of the other way around.

For those that have not been following this issue, Hans is a founding Co-op member in North Central WI. He had already passed the State’s 8th County resolution stating that they supported a nonpartisan procedure for redistricting, prior to joining the Co-op. One of his goals was to spread these resolutions all across the State.

Since then 49 counties have passed similar resolutions. Hans created a toolkit that others around the State could use. He has actively been involved with the Fair Maps coalition, and through this coalition, much has been done, in addition to the passage of these resolutions. And the fight is far from over!

Most recently, Hans was featured in a NY Times article! It is this type of action from our members, and our work with partners all across the State, that will lead to more victories for the people and the planet in the future!

Co-op members get chance to meet new State Chair of the DPW

The Lincoln County Democratic Party had their annual Summer picnic on Lake Alice, in Tomahawk. NC Organizing Co-op members were invited as well, and had the opportunity to meet the new State Chair, Ben Wikler. Many are excited about his leadership experience and what it could mean for the future of WI!

The Healthcare for all Co-op is at Center Street Daze having conversations about Medicare for All and 2020 Election

Last Saturday, Citizen Action Healthcare Co-op members attended Center Street Daze in Milwaukee’s Riverwest neighborhood to talk about Medicare For All and conduct a straw poll for the 2020 presidential election. Most of the people we spoke with supported Medicare for All and said they were fired up about next years election. Bernie Sanders won the presidential straw poll.

Issue Canvassing Workshop: Menomonie, Saturday, 10am

“Face-to-face communication is the most effective way to connect with supporters. Canvassing is a key part of any campaign, however, it can also be extremely intimidating! Learn from Citizen Action how to have difficult conversations with our deep canvassing training and feel more empowered talking about difficult topics. Connect with your neighbors on the issues that matter to you and your community.

The training will begin at 10 AM at the Raw Deal in Menomonie. Afterward, we will put our training into action when we canvass the community together! We look forward to seeing you there!

Saturday, August 17, 10 AM – 2 PM
Raw Deal, 603 S Broadway St, Menomonie
RSVP via Facebook event.

If you have any questions or concerns, please email the organizer at

Unlock the Vote! In Eau Claire

Over 68,000 Wisconsin Citizens are disenfranchised from voting due to laws that disproportionately affect communities of color and individuals of low-income. Thank you to EXPO and in particular, Carl Fields and Sarah Ferber, for their leadership and advocacy. Citizen Action is proud of our member, Representative Jodi Emerson, and her co-sponsorship of the Unlock Lock the Vote legislation.

Brew Fest Fundraiser, Thursday, September 19th

Citizen Action’s annual Brew Fest social and fundraiser is scheduled for Thursday, September 19th at 5pm in Milwaukee. Join us for a fun evening of camaraderie and celebrating the hard social justice work that we’re all passionate about. We’ll have a wide selection of union and locally sourced beer to sample, appetizers, and the ever popular silent auction.

“Boss Vos” Battleground Wisconsin

The panel talks about Boss Vos’ stubborn unwillingness to accommodate State Rep. Jimmy Anderson, a legislator with a disability. We discuss the news that state leaders met with Foxconn officials this week in the wake of reports that taxpayers will pay $172,000 – $290,000 per job, if there are any. Governor Evers floats the idea of a special session on gun violence and pays a visit to the heart of right-wing political darkness, WMC. Clean Wisconsin and other environmental groups sue EPA over Trump’s retrograde coal power rule, and we discuss the presidential candidacy of Sen. Kamala Harris.

Listen Now – Episode #404
Download MP3

Working Families Party Presidential Endorsement Interviews

Bernie Sanders
Saturday, August
17th at 6:00pm (interview at 6:30pm)
RSVP to join us for watch parties at Bounce Milwaukee here or  Art*Bar here   

Bill de Blasio
Sunday, August 18 at 7pm ET/4pm PT

Kamala Harris,
Thursday, August 22 at 6:30pm ET/3:30pm PT

Cory Booker
Friday, August 23 at 7:30pm ET/4:30pm PT
Sign up to participate in any interview.

Facebook post of the week

Citizen Action Weekly: Friday, August 9th

Citizen Action Weekly: Friday, August 9th

Friday, August 9th

TAKE ACTION: State legislation introduced this week to accept federal Medicaid money. 

This week state legislators who support accepting federal Medicaid money to expand BadgerCare introduced new legislation to save the state money and cover tens of thousands more Wisconsinites with health coverage.

The media announcement event in Wauwatosa featuring the Governor, Lt. Governor and state legislators was attended by a dozen Citizen Action members.

The legislation is open for co-sponsorship.  We are encouraging everyone to contact their state legislators and tell them to co-sponsor.  You can call your legislators at: 1-800-362-9472. 

Encourage your family and friends to call their representatives.

Accepting the federal money remains extremely popular with the public and a common sense thing to do. We need to keep pressure on state legislators and will continue to work to make accepting the Medicaid money a reality, even if it requires another election to succeed.

Do you have a healthcare access story?
We want to hear from you. Contact:

Northwestern Wisconsin Co-op responds to farm crisis in state

Citizen Action organizer Noah Reif and former organizer and current state senator Jeff Smith attended a community forum on the deepening farm crisis facing Wisconsin’s small family farms. Issues ranging from milk prices, healthcare costs and Trump’s trade war were discussed.

“We believe healthcare is a human right and that’s another part of mental health. If you get hurt on the farm and can’t go get it taken care of. It just compounds, gets worse, and ultimately we want to make sure people are being able to go in and take care of these needs when they happen rather than 10, 15 years down the line when it’s too late,” said Citizen Action organizer, Noah Reif.

Read media from the event.

Issue Canvassing Workshop: Black River Falls, Saturday, 10am

Learn how to have those scary political conversations on the doors, or at the dinner table with that difficult family member! The training will last roughly an hour; afterwards we will put our new skills to the test and canvass the community together.

Saturday, August 10, 10 AM – 2 PM
Revolution Coffee, 38 Main St., Black River Falls

RSVP via Facebook event.

If you have any questions or concerns, please email the organizer at

Health Care Co-Op at Center Street Days in Milwaukee

Citizen Action will be at Center Street Days to talk to people about the organizing co-op and Medicare for All.  Stop by and say hello if you attend and vote in our Presidential straw poll.

North Central Organizing Co-op members meet with Sen. Tammy Baldwin & attend a Student Loan Debt Task Force Roundtable, and more!

The North Central Organizing Co-op has had one of those weeks that feels like an entire month worth of events and activities. On Sunday, the Steering Committee had their bi-weekly meeting. In case you’re not familiar, the Steering Committee is made up of 13-15 people, democratically elected by the membership every two years. They are what makes this a member organization as they approve or disapprove of the work that the Co-op Organizer does.

On Monday, North Central Organizing Co-op members, and all around community leaders, John and Mary Robinson held a meet and greet for US Sen. Tammy Baldwin. Healthcare was a top issue of discussion. Sen. Baldwin made a statement about the various health care bills being touted by the Democratic Presidential candidates. She said rather than arguing over which shade of blue is better, just pick blue! A healthy reminder that we need to stay united rather than divided.

On Tuesday, August 6th, Gov. Evers’ Student Loan Debt Task Force held a roundtable discussion in Wausau. This task force is led by the WI State Treasurer, Sarah Godlewski. Members of the North Central Organizing Co-op helped to find citizens to speak in this discussion and helped to promote the event. It was surprising to hear how many people are saddled with student loan debt. A couple of the people even exclaimed that they may not have their student loans paid off before they die!

Lastly, this Saturday, August 10th, Members of the Citizen Action of WI NC Organizing Co-op will be teaming up with members of the Marathon County and Lincoln County Democratic Parties to do issue-based canvassing. We really need to understand the issues that people are most affected by or worried about in our region, and it’s great to have the opportunity to work with other groups on this. If you would like to join, people are meeting up at 10 am.

Lincoln County: Meet at the home of Melissa Schroeder, 510 N Genesee St. Merrill, WI
Marathon County: Meet at the Marathon County Dem Office, 218 Sherman St. Wausau, WI

Call NC Organizer Joel Lewis at 715-551-2525 if you would like to be involved.

Save the Date: Brew Fest Fundraiser, Thursday, September 19th

Citizen Action’s annual BrewFest social and fundraiser is scheduled for Thursday, September 19th at 5pm in Milwaukee. Join us for a fun evening of camaraderie and celebrating the hard social justice work that we’re all passionate about. We’ll have a wide selection of union and locally sourced beer to sample, appetizers, and the ever popular silent auction.

The event is sponsored by the UAW! Current co-sponsors include: Mark Thomsen, Tanya Atkinson, State Senator Chris Larson, Rebecca Lynch, Scott Spector, Martha Pincus, Bruce Colburn, Kathleen Mulligan-Hansel, State Rep. David Crowley, Marina & Eduardo Dimitrejevic,  Marcus White, Emily Siegrist, Peter Rickman, State Rep. Jonathan Brostoff, Chris Rockwood, Cain Oulahan, Gary Goyke, Guy Costello.

If you would like to co-sponsor the Brew Fest for a donation of $50.00 or more contact

Brew Fest Facebook event page

“White Supremacist terrorism” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

We discuss the growing death toll of white supremacist terrorism, last week’s mass shootings, and the tepid response from Wisconsin GOP leaders. State Senator Jon Erpenbach joins us to talk about this week’s introduction of legislation to expand BadgerCare. A new study says Foxconn jobs will cost state us $172,000 – $290,000 per job, or an astounding 6 to 10 times the national average. Finally, Citizen Action co-op organizer Noah Reif tells us about door canvassing this Saturday at 10 am in Black River Falls and next Saturday in Menominee.

Listen Now – Episode #403
Download MP3

Working Families Party Presidential Endorsement Interviews

Elizabeth Warren
Tuesday, August 13th at 4:30pm (interview at 5:00pm)
RSVP and join us for watch parties at Puddlers Hall here or Art*Bar here

Julián Castro
Thursday, August 15th at 6:30pm (interview at 7:00pm)
RSVP to join us at the WFP downtown HQ here or in Washington Heights here

Bernie Sanders
Saturday, August 17th at 6:00pm (interview at 6:30pm)
RSVP to join us for watch parties at Bounce Milwaukee here or  Art*Bar here

Facebook post of the week

Citizen Action Weekly: Friday, August 2nd

Citizen Action Weekly: Friday, August 2nd

Friday, August 2nd

Milwaukee Celebrates Green New Deal Task Force Creation

Thursday evening in Milwaukee at the beautiful Wisconsin Black Historical Society, over 50 Citizen Action members and allies joined together to celebrate a 3 year effort to create a City of Milwaukee and Milwaukee County Green New Deal task force to create a long term plan for the area to meet international climate targets and addresses the horrendous level of racial economic inequality in Milwaukee.

Citizen Action members from the Southeast Wisconsin Organizing Co-op are playing a very active role in leading this campaign. This work is being coordinated by the Milwaukee Economic Climate Justice Coalition (MECJC), which includes Citizen Action, Sierra Club,, and other partners. The Milwaukee Area Labor Council endorsed the task force, and there will be members of organized labor on the panel.

Task Force sponsors, Milwaukee Common Council President Ashanti Hamilton and Milwaukee County Supervisor Supreme Moore Omokunde, attended and laid out the process and timeline for the task force to produce recommendations. Both leaders also answered questions from those in attendance.

Event speakers clarified that If nothing is done in the very near future, we’re headed for a climate genocide. This disaster will disproportionately affect and impact our most marginalized communities already dealing with decades of de-industrialization and structural racism. This our opportunity to make Milwaukee a national leader on two of the biggest challenges of our time: catastrophic climate change and racial inequality.

Read more about campaign in Shepherd Express.

Save the Date: Brew Fest Fundraiser, Thursday, September 19th

Citizen Action’s annual BrewFest social and fundraiser is scheduled for Thursday, September 19th at 5pm in Milwaukee. Join us for a fun evening of camaraderie and celebrating the hard social justice work that we’re all passionate about. We’ll have a wide selection of union and locally sourced beer to sample, appetizers, and the ever popular silent auction.

Brew Fest Facebook event page

Members of North Central Organizing Co-op participate in the WiLD Training

Four members of the North Central Organizing Co-op took part in the WI Leadership Development (WiLD) Training in Wausau this past weekend. At these trainings, people learn how to use their story and the stories of others to help push an issue. The Citizen Action team focused on continuing to use referendums for Fair Maps (an end to partisan gerrymandering). This is an intense, 2.5 day training.

The team joined 45 other participants.

Fair Maps Summer Kick-off for Northeast Co-op

The Northeast Co-op will be holding it’s summer kick-off for our Fair Maps Campaign on Tuesday August 6 at 6-7:30 at the Kress Family Library in De Pere (we’ll be in the Emil and Gail Fischer Room 1 in the basement). Join us to learn more about state legislation introduced this month for non-partisan redistricting and prison gerrymandering and strategize how we can take action to support these measures this year. For more information contact Jolie Lizotte at

Driftless Organizing Co-op Kickoff: Campaign for Green Jobs

As many of you know, Citizen Action WI has been holding a series of conversations around southwestern and western Wisconsin, the “Driftless” area, about how we might build a Rural & Urban Alliance that could seek to heal that which has caused so much strife in Wisconsin – the urban/rural divide.

From meetings and deep listening in small towns and cities we discovered an opportunity to rebuild Driftless communities post-storms by urging our local utilities to apply for federal funds to create good green jobs and upgrade homes to be energy efficient. But we only have until Sept 30th until the next USDA funding deadline!

In the next few weeks, we will have multiple opportunities to meet and discuss how to advance both of these causes through the launch of a new Organizing Co-op campaign with full-time organizer to advance that as long as it takes. We welcome you to join “kick-offs” on how to (1) urge our utilities to act, (2) build a rural/urban alliance, and (3) make it an ongoing campaign able to make serious change in our communities able to negotiate with power!

Upcoming organizing events in August will take place in Reedsburg, Platteville and Onalaska! The next meetings are:

Reedsburg on Wednesday, August 7th, 6pm
Reedsburg Library, 370 Vine St, Reedsburg.
Reedsburg event details.

Platteville on Thursday, August 8th, 6pm
Driftless Market, 95 W Main St, Platteville.
Platteville event details

Onalaska on Thursday, August 22nd, 6pm
Onalaska Public Library, 741 Oak Ave Room A, Onalaska
Onalaska event details

Issue Canvassing Workshop: Black River Falls, Aug. 10th, 10am

Learn how to have those scary political conversations on the doors, or at the dinner table with that difficult family member! The training will last roughly an hour; afterwards we will put our new skills to the test and canvass the community together.

Saturday, August 10, 10 AM – 2 PM
Revolution Coffee
38 Main St., Black River Falls

RSVP via Facebook event.

If you have any questions or concerns, please email the organizer at

“Gerrymandered” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

Wisconsin Fair Election Project Director Sachin Chheda joins us to discuss new state legislation for fair legislative maps and the possibility GOP leadership could attempt to dodge Gov. Evers to gerrymander Wisconsin again. We also talk about Speaker Vos refusing to make  accommodations for Rep. Jimmy Anderson to participate in committee meetings and Gov. Evers looks to protect water from nitrates. We also review the latest Democratic presidential news and Robert takes a first look at Kamala Harris’ new healthcare plan released this week.

Download MP3
Wisconsin Fair Elections Projects

Citizen Action Media Clips

Facebook post of the week

Citizen Action Weekly – July 26th

Friday, July 26th

Eau Claire City Council Takes Action on Affordable Housing Crisis

Thanks to the excellent work of Citizen Action members on the ground and our elected members, the Eau Claire City council allocated $200,000 to purchase and prepare land for small, single-family homes. In addition City Councilors Andrew Werthmann and Kate Beaton authored an amendment to move $500,000 from the 2023 budget to next year, 2020, to fund the development of multi-family affordable housing. We are proud of our co-op members who spoke in support of additional funding and our elected officials for demonstrating true shared governance and responsibility to the needs of their community. You can find out more about the story and other important local issues through our member Julian Emerson’s excellent independent reporting!
(Councilmember & Co-op Member Andrew Werthman)

Burnett County Board Passes CAFO-Moratorium

The Burnett County Board voted 16-3 in favor of the proposed moratorium on livestock facilities licensing after nearly three hours of a public hearing at the Government Center. Citizen Action members Kim Dupree and Linda Hendrix joined in the fight, in addition to their current work on CAFO expansion in Polk County.

Our members and allies are merely the latest in communities taking action to fight ruinous factory farms from taking hold in Northwest Wisconsin.

HealthCare Co-op is looking for leads

Do you know anyone that has had the following experiences with our healthcare System:

Surprise Medical Bills:

Patient has a procedure done at an in-network hospital with an in-network doctor, only to receive a bill after (SUPRISE!) from the anesthesiologist.

Preventative VS. Diagnostic:

Women patients that go in for the yearly mammogram but because of dense tissue, need to have an ultra sound and because of that, the screening cost ends up costing the patient hundreds of dollars instead of being free under preventative care.  A similar scenario happens to patients that go in for their screening colonoscopy.

If so, please refer them to our healthcare organizer Karen Kirsch @ 414-588-0927 or

Updates from North Central Organizing Co-op

What an exciting week it has been.

First, leaders with the Wausau Chapter of OWR (Our Wisconsin Revolution)  wanted to organize a response to Duffy’s support of Trump’s hateful speech aimed at AOC and the squad.

Some Co-op members, including Steering Committee member Lauren Henkelman, are active with OWR. Several groups came out in support of the squad, and in opposition to hate. You can see coverage of the rally here.

That was Monday.

On Tuesday, Citizens for a Clean Wausau, which also has several members from our Co-op, gave a presentation to the Park and Rec Committee at Wausau City Hall. Tom Kilian led the presentation, and it was encouraging, because City aldermen and City staff really seemed to take it seriously. As usual, fears over the cost of cleaning up any environmental contamination are seemingly the biggest hurdle we have in getting a good remediation plan in place. But progress was certainly made. You can see some media on this here.

Then, Tuesday night, love won again! Last month, Marathon County followed Gov. Evers’ lead, and passed a Pride resolution.

Several Co-op members were involved in this. Then, some County Board Supervisors decided to bring it back for a revote! It seemed like they had the votes…but, the attempt to bring it back for a revote was defeated! All of the no votes to the left are the people who support June being recognized as Pride month. Here is some coverage of that meeting.

Thank you to everyone who has made this one heck of a good week. If we continue to stand together and fight together, there is nothing that we cannot accomplish!

Southeastern Co-op

Big moment in Wisconsin history and for Citizen Action! A coalition of various organizations, activist, and elected officials got together and help pass a local version of Green New Deal at the Milwaukee County Board. In general, the plan will be to focus on giving poor communities and communities of color an economic opportunity to train and obtain for “green” new jobs. While tackling unemployment we will also combat climate change and racial injustices. We are proud of all our comrades and honored to be part of this movement.

What’s Next?

We have a huge event scheduled for Aug 1st at 6 pm at the Wisconsin Black Historical Society (2620 W Center St. Milwaukee, WI 53206). Join us to celebrate Milwaukee’s Green New Deal!  It’s all about creating jobs for North and Southside Milwaukee residents, and putting an end to climate genocide! Click on the link for more information: Milwaukee’s Green New Deal Kickoff Celebration


Good Government Meeting

We are kicking off our Good Government team next week. Come join us at Black Sheep 216 S. 2nd St. Join us at 6 pm Monday Aug 29th. We will be talking about ranked choice voting, tuition free college, Wisconsin pensions, fair maps, voter registration and more!

Check out Citizen Action Press Clips!

Facebook post of the week:


Citizen Action Weekly: July 19, 2019

Citizen Action Weekly: July 19, 2019

Friday, July 19th

Citizen Action member teams up with Tom Perez of the DNC to talk about the ACA and Medicaid Expansion

Healthcare Co-op member, Mike Bernstein, joined a press conference with the DNC’s Chair Tom Perez at the Clock Shadow Creamery in the fifth ward of Milwaukee.

As a former CEO and CFO of several big health systems on the West coast, he was able to testify to the financial issue that Wisconsin is suffering higher healthcare costs as a result of the continuing battle against the ACA and the rejection of the Medicaid money.

We are always proud of our activism of our members.

North Central Organizing Co-op Updates

Founding member of the North Central Organizing Co-op, Rob Norton won his recall election in Merrill, WI, along with all but 1 incumbent. Some of our Co-op members in Merrill helped him with his efforts.

Co-op members, and people from various other organizations joined

Lights for Liberty events all across the state, including in Wisconsin Rapids, Wausau and Minocqua. You can see news coverage of the Wausau event here.

NC Organizing Co-op member Scott Kirby and other co-op members have been working hard in Oneida and Vilas County on Fair Maps, and Move to Amend resolutions. The Oneida County Board refused to take up either issue, so co-op member Jackie Cody and others decided to make progress in the County by organizing township by township!

They completed knocking doors on July 10th, with a total collection of 542 signatures. This is 100 signatures above the required 15% of voters in the last election of 2018 which was the governor’s race.

The next step is to present the signatures to the City of Rhinelander Clerk, Val Foley, on Tuesday, July 23rd at 3 PM. Fourteen circulators and a core group of six knocked on every door in a neighborhood. Three of the core six were Citizen Action members Steven Schreier, Tom Jerow and Jackie Cody. Citizen Action member Scott Kirby, was one of the several individual circulators contacting friends. Scott’s infant son, Elton, made his political debut at the first organizing meeting. Elton is lucky to have a dad politically involved.

“There were very few residents who were not interested in signing the petitions. People were receptive and knowledgeable about the two issues. They want the opportunity for their voice to be heard as it should be in a democracy. So it is now up to the Rhinelander City Council to place it on the April 7, 2020 ballot.  It would be respecting the will of the people,” stated Jackie Cody.

At the City of Rhinelander Council meeting of Monday, August 12th, Tom Jerow, Citizen Action member, will be speaking to the Council to place the referendums on the April 7, 2020 ballot.  “The Council could decide to pass the resolutions without allowing the residents to vote.  The residents that signed the petitions are expecting the referendum to be on the ballot,” stated Cody.

Signature collection also took place at the Northwoods Pride Festival, Northwestern Lounge’s Wednesday Trivia Night and at the Farmer Market on one Saturday.

Citizen Action member, David Barnhill, aided volunteers in Eagle River to complete their collection of signatures as of July 16th. The group collected 175 signatures. The number of signatures needed were 112. Co-op member Kay Hoff, Mike Gerlach and four more volunteers knocked on every door in Eagle River!  Petitions will be given to the Eagle River City Clerk on Wednesday, July 24th.  The Council meeting has yet to be scheduled.

There are individuals in the towns of Hazelhurst, Pelican, Crescent and Pine Lake in Oneida County who will be approaching their town boards requesting the two issues be on the April 2020 ballot. Kay Hoff is seeking to find volunteers to approach at least four towns in Vilas County.

Working with George Penn of WI United To Amend was very helpful. George is also coordinating with Fair Elections Project about the progress of petitioning.

Jeff Smith & Jodi Emerson Ride the Bus!

Two of our elected co-op members held office hours on the Eau Claire city bus last Friday. State Senator Jeff Smith and Representative Jodi Emerson met dozens of constituents. From the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram: “This is amazing,” said Brooke Whiterabbit, 29, who recently moved to Eau Claire from Barron County. “I never would have gone to anything like this if it were anywhere else. I never would have reached out to a legislator on my own.”

Read Eau Claire Leader Telegram article

(Pictured: Jeff Smith in the foreground, Jodi Emerson in Bue)

Having Scary Conversations- Issue Canvassing Training (August 10 & August 17)

Canvassing is an extremely important part of taking action, but it can also be kinda scary! If you wish that you felt more confident when canvassing, this training is for you. Our organizer, Noah, will be facilitating a conversation on how to navigate the scary parts of talking politics on doors, or even with that one difficult family member. The August 10th training will take place in Black River Falls, and the August 17th training will take place in Menomonie. More details will be on the way soon so stay tuned! If you have any questions or would like to have a training in your community, contact Noah at

Lights for Liberty- Eau Claire

We are proud to join in solidarity with the nationwide protests that took place on July 12th. Our members are deeply disturbed by the humanitarian crisis on our southern border that has been fabricated by the current administration. It is critical that we stand with those in our community who are targeted and we pledge to be allies in the continuing fight.

Ballots & Brunch/Ballots & Brews Event with NextGen

Over the last week, Citizen Action has partnered with NextGen in their push to expand ballot accessibility in the state of Wisconsin. This included events in Eau Claire and Hudson. We are proud to support the push to expand ballot accessibility and ensure that the voices of voters are truly heard across the state.

Southeastern Co-op

Good Government Issue Team

Join us on Monday on the 29th at Black Sheep 216 S. 2nd St. 6 pm (across the street from our office) for our new Good Government Meet. We have lots of exciting things that will be discussed at our first meeting. We will be discussing things like ranked choice voting, voter registration, fair maps, election integrity, and we will have a direct report from our State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski! State Treasurer Godlewski is working on pensions for Wisconsinites and tuition free college. Join us in our conversation to find out how we’re going to tackle these issues. 2020 is around the corner and we can’t afford to sit on the sidelines.

Acción Ciudadana 

Expect a call in the next few days from us in the next few days. We’re going folks to let them know we’re meeting up in the next coming up month. There we will talk strategy about moving forward. Talk to you all real soon.

Steering Committee Election Winners

We had three open seat up this election cycle. Thank you to all the folks who applied and if you didn’t get a chance to run we strongly encourage you all to join our issue team. Congrats to Vice Chairman Eric Marsch for his reelection. Also, congratulations to the new Steering Committee members Ashlie Benson and Zena Blom. Super excited to have you all on board.

Eco-Justice Task Team

Join us on Aug 1st at 6 pm at the Black History Historical Society Museum for our Green New Deal campaign kick off. We’re going to be talking about how to get involved and what we have coming down the line in the next few weeks. We want to push these Green New Jobs in communities of color and low income. Join this revolutionary campaign and help us kick off Milwaukee into the future. We this more than ever.

HealthCare for All Co-op

With the Tony Evers signing of the budget, the Co-op has decided to hit the reset button on issues they would like to concentrate on.  We are forming new issue teams so let us know which team you want to be on.

“Amanda Stuck steps up” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

We discuss Donald Trump and his campaign doubling down on racist, white nationalist appeals this week. Wisconsin Congressman Sean Duffy says Trump’s tweets were not racist and denies calling four congresswomen anti-American. We are joined by Citizen Action member and State Representative Amanda Stuck who announced this week she is running for Congress. Citizen Action’s Kevin Kane stops by to discuss the new member organizing co-op we are organizing in the “Driftless” area of Wisconsin and how you can get involved in an initial campaign to get area utilities to accept federal funds to create energy efficiency jobs in the region upgrading homes at no cost to residents.

Listen Now – Episode #401
Download MP3

To get more information about the Driftless Organizing Cooperative:

SIGN Petition to Electric Utilities to Rebuild the Driftless.

Citizen Action Media Clips

Facebook post of the week


Citizen Action Weekly: Friday July 12th

Citizen Action Weekly: Friday July 12th

State Legislature Must Take Action to Protect Health Coverage

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

In a telephone news conference this week, Citizen Action of Wisconsin and seven state lawmakers called for urgent state legislative action to protect Wisconsinites from the health care chaos that would be unleashed by an adverse decision in a federal court case challenging the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Oral arguments started this week in federal appeals court on the case of Texas v. United States, which President Donald Trump and U.S. Attorney General William Bar are using as a vehicle for invalidating the entire ACA, including the popular protections against pre-existing condition discrimination.

Under Governor Scott Walker, Wisconsin was the second plaintiff in the case until Governor Tony Evers and Attorney General Josh Kaul were able to pull out after a state court temporarily invalidated GOP lame duck restrictions on withdrawal from lawsuits.

Joining the news conference where State Senator Chris Larson (D-Milwaukee), State Representative Jodi Emerson (D-Eau Claire), State Representative Amanda Stuck (D-Appleton), State Representative JoCasta Zamarripa (D-Milwaukee), State Senator Jeff Smith (D-Eau Claire), State Representative Jimmy Anderson (D-Fitchburg), and State Representative Jonathan Brostoff (D-Milwaukee).

Listen to a recording of the entire Wisconsin news conference here.

Speakers at the news conference made the case that eventual U.S. Supreme Court action invalidating the ACA is a clear and present danger in 2020. Therefore, it is critical that state lawmakers put the law’s critical consumer protection in state law by the end of the legislative session. If the ACA was struck down the following provisions would be eliminated from federal law:

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

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

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

“We can’t count on Washington to be listening to us,” Rep. Amanda Stuck. “We need to take action now and protect the people here in Wisconsin at the state level.”

“I have two daughters who are out of college and haven’t really hit that career job yet. So it’s really important to me that they’re able to be on our health insurance until they’re 26 years old,” said Rep. Jodi Emerson. “Having health care protections for young people as they start their career is so important. If the ACA is done away with, if this case succeeds, our young adults are really going to be at risk for not being covered because of the gig economy that’s going on and maybe having a couple of different part-time jobs. As a mother of two twenty-year-old girls, this is really important to me.”

“This shouldn’t be a partisan issue, this should be bipartisan,” said Sen. Chris Larson. “Everybody gets sick. The only people who will, frankly, be protected if this lawsuit succeeds is the health insurance industry.”

“The Republican challenge of the Affordable Care Act is cruel, it’s reckless and it will ultimately hurt our nation’s most vulnerable population,” said Rep. JoCasta Zamarripa. “When healthcare options become limited or unattainable, it’s people of color – especially women of color – like myself who are the most harmed.”

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

Read media from Tuesday’s call with state legislators.

The Joint City-County Task Force in Milwaukee on Climate & Economic Equity passes the Common Council unanimously! 

On July 9th, the Milwaukee Common Council passed a Citizen Action supported resolution calling for the creation of a joint city & county task force that seek to address the climate crisis according to the guidelines set by Paris Accord while also being intentional about who benefits from a 100% Just Transition.

A big thank you goes out to Common Council President Ashanti Hamilton for his sense of urgency and leadership in making this a reality.

Lastly, On Tuesday July 16th at 1pm in room 201-B, the resolution goes before the County Parks, Energy and Environment committee for passage and we would love if members would come out and support.

If you’re interested in attending or our campaign in general you can contact the Organizer Rafael Smith at

Attend Lights for Liberty events

Today, Friday July 12th, 2019, Lights for Liberty: A Vigil to End Human Detention Camps, will bring thousands of Americans together to protest the inhumane conditions faced by refugees.

Eau Claire
Phoenix Park
330 Riverfront Terrace, Eau Claire
8pm – 9:30pm
Event Details

Milwaukee City Hall
200 E Wells St, Milwaukee
Event Details

Wauwatosa City Hall
7725 W North Ave, Wauwatosa
7:45 – 9:15pm
Event Details

Houdini Plaza
111 W College Ave, Appleton
Event Details

Sturgeon Bay
Market Square Parking Lot in front of City Hall
421 Michigan St, Sturgeon Bay

Washington Island
Schoolhouse Beach Pavilion
1824 Washington Harbor Rd, Washington

Medicare for All and the Democratic Primary

Citizen Action Executive Director Robert Kraig spoke to a group of healthcare activists from GrassRoots South Shore this week. He detailed the various bills in Congress and reviewed where many of the first tier presidential candidates stood on the issue. It is clear that healthcare will be the top issue in 2020. If you want to get involved in Citizen Action’s healthcare organizing contact Karen Kirsch at Make no mistake Wisconsin is the pivotable state next year and this is THE issue so your involvement in paramount.

Southeastern Co-op Update 

Having an awesome time at the LULAC Convention and joining our Latinx family in solidarity with the issues they are facing. We have developed long lasting relations with folks locally and all over our nation. We have had lots of folks interested in supporting and learning more about our Accion Ciudadana. Specifically, folks wanted to learn more about the co-op.

For more information about the Southeastern Co-op contact:

Updates From the North Central Organizing Co-op

In Merrill, WI one of our Co-op members is facing a recall election. The election is taking place this Tuesday, July 16th. His name is Rob Norton, and he has served the City of Merrill since 2012. Please make sure you vote if you live in Merrill.

“Lights for Liberty” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

We welcome Citizen Action co-op member Mireya Sigala-Valadez to discuss the Lights for Liberty national day of action event she is helping organize in Eau Claire where people will gather Friday night in solidarity to end refugee camps and to protest the inhumane treatment of refugees. Co-op member and State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski gives her take on the signed state budget and organizes us to fill out her new student loan surveys. We discuss the Texas lawsuit to end the Affordable Care Act and what state legislators are preparing to do to in response. Gov. Evers says Foxconn will only create 1,500 jobs. The 2020 Presidential Election heats up in Wisconsin this week with candidate visits and Trump fundraiser.

Listen Now – Episode #400
Download mp3

Facebook post of the week

Weekly – July 5th

Weekly – July 5th

Friday, July 5th

The State Budget Endgame: Where do we go from here?

By Robert Kraig, Executive Director

On Wednesday morning Governor Tony Evers signed the Republican budget. While it was much better than it would have been without the threat of his veto pen, and Evers was able to improve it with some important vetoes, there is no escaping the fact that it did not include the two top priorities he was elected to achieve: BadgerCare expansion and full fair funding for public schools. Read More