Citizen Action of Wisconsin Movement Organizing Director Job Description
Organizational Background: Citizen Action of Wisconsin is an issue focused non-profit organization committed to achieving anti-oppressive, economic, and environmental justice. We are dedicated to achieving a Wisconsin and an America where every human being has an equal opportunity to live a meaningful and fulfilling life. Citizen Action of Wisconsin brings together thousands of activists and allied groups across Wisconsin to deepen democratic participation and create an issue environment that advances a progressive public policy agenda.
In late 2017, Citizen Action adopted a cutting edge 8 year issue agenda that was written by hundreds of members across the state. Most fundamentally, we believe that issues matter. It is through transformative issues that capture the public imagination and reveal the dissonance between our nation’s ideals and its economic, social and environmental realities that average people see their stake in the public sphere and are motivated to participate in their democracy and fight for meaningful and lasting change. Current major issues include Healthcare for All and Green New Deal (climate change, and racial/economic equity).
Citizen Action is spearheading the development of innovative new grassroots organizing techniques, and seeks candidates who are interested in embracing new dynamic approaches. More information on current Citizen Action of Wisconsin programs can be found at citizenactionwi.org.
Job Description: Citizen Action of Wisconsin is seeking to hire a dynamic and socially committed person to join our management team as the Movement Organizing Director beginning as soon as January 14th of 2021. This is a full time (40-50 hrs/week on average) salaried position. Some evenings and weekends required, as well as semi-frequent in state day and overnight travel, and occasional out of state travel. Applicants must have a valid drivers license, access to a reliable vehicle, and be able to provide proof of liability insurance. Normally, this position would travel on a weekly/bi-weekly/monthly basis to other regions of the state, but during the COVID-19 public health emergency, it is a majority work from home position. Applicants must have unlimited access to reliable high speed internet and cellular service at home, and an aptitude for/desire to learn how to both conduct organizing and manage a team of individuals across the state via virtual and phone communication. Women, Bi-racial/People of Color, members of the LGBTQ+ community, and formerly incarcerated individuals are strongly encouraged to apply.
This position reports directly to the Associate Director and involves maintaining, growing, and evolving a democratic membership organizing model pioneered by Citizen Action of Wisconsin known as an Organizing Cooperative (a modernized chapter system). Citizen Action of Wisconsin currently supports 7 member driven Organizing Co-ops that cover 80% of the state geographically. This position will involve day to day direct supervision of 2-5 regional Citizen Action of Wisconsin Co-op Organizing Staff. The Movement Organizing Director will work with Co-op Organizers and other staff to maintain and grow dues paying membership; integrate statewide (and at times national/federal) issue and electoral campaigns into the local co-ops; as well as work closely with the Executive Director and Climate and Equity Director to lead and advance rural/suburban Climate campaigns in four rural/suburban co-op regions. The Movement Organizing Director will work together with member-leaders and Citizen Action staff to advance diverse issue, legislative, and electoral campaigns that have real impact on our communities and make large scale changes in Wisconsin to open up opportunity for all.
We are on tape from last week’s from the Democratic National Convention, in our long planned counter programming to the proto-fascist Republican National Convention. Will not be able to comment on the latest racist atrocity in Kenosha until next week (but links to our latest statements are below). For this week’s program, on radio row at the Democratic National Convention we taped 4 interviews about a central question for the future of racial justice, economic equality, and the future of the planet: will a future Biden Administration, if we can elect him, be boldly progressive? The alliance between Biden and Bernie Sanders on policy is a great sign, but there are huge challenges to making this alliance between moderates and progressives really happen after the election. We ask two moderates and two progressives for their views. We start the moderates, leading off with Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, whose storied political career in state and national politics has made him a very well informed player within the Democratic Party. Next we talk to Jason Rae, the Secretary of the Democratic National Committee, who knows the inner workings of the party as well as anyone. Then, we talk to two progressives with national reputations. John Nichols the National Affairs Correspondent for The Nation, and one of the most prolific writers in the entire progressive media and a large following in his native Wisconsin. Finally George Goehl, Executive Director of People’s Action (Citizen Action’s national network), bats clean up on our powerhouse panel. George is one of the most respected and strategic progressives organizers in the country.
North Side Rising Campaign Keeps the Lights On for WeEnergies Customers
Last week, North Side Rising and community allies held a rally and march to We Energies calling for an extension of the moratorium on We Energies and utilities from cutting of power to those who can’t currently pay their bills. As of early this week, We Energies had not agreed to a moratorium extension Therefore, Northside Rising held another march and protest at We Energies this Wednesday.
The event focused attention on how important it is for everyone to have essential energy and power. “Please just have a heart, please look at us as people and not as profit,” said Dana Kelley, Citizen Action North Side Rising organizer. “We are struggling,’ said Kelley. “So to struggle to whether you’re going to pay the electric bill, or buy food, that’s not something right now that people need to be struggling and worrying about.”
In addition to the protest, North Side Rising organized people to contact the Public Service Commission to extend the moratorium on cutting off people’s power.
BREAKING UPDATE: On Thursday, the Public Service Commission voted 2-1 to extend the moratorium that bars utilities from disconnecting residential customers behind on their bills to Sept. 1. A huge victory for people in Wisconsin unable to pay their bills due to COVID-19. Citizen Action of Wisconsin got some of the credit, see story in the Milwaukee Journal SentinelRead media from North Side Rising rally.
Driftless Co-op Anniversary Meeting, Saturday, August 29th
On August 29th the Citizen Action of Wisconsin Driftless Co-op will have its one year anniversary of organizing in the area. In honor of the big day we will be hosting a virtual meeting for all our members, friends and allies.
This will be a chance to hear about all the work we have done to expand healthcare, protect voting rights, fight climate change and elect progressive candidates. We will also be laying out our plans for the rest of the year. Several members will be presenting on projects they have been working on with Citizen Action.
We encourage everyone to come out for this very special virtual meeting. Please use the link below to RSVP. Space is limited so RSVP today! Details on how to join this Zoom meeting will be sent once you RSVP.
Citizen Action of Wisconsin will be working with Josefine’s campaign to schedule several days of action to help her win her primary. Keep an eye open for information about the following events
Sending handwritten postcards to voters across the district
Volunteer shifts to drop flyers on voters’ doors
Green Bay Passes City-Wide Mask Ordinance
After a week of intense community discussion, the Green Bay City Council passed a City-Wide mask ordinance 7-5. Mayor Eric Genrich unveiled the proposal at a press conference on Monday. “I think we all want our schools to be open, but in order to do that, we need to crush this curve,” he said. “We all want the Packers season to be back and for fans to be able to witness the games … We want our economy back going strong, but in order to do that, we really need to bring the fight to the coronavirus.”
Green Bay Alder Randy Scannell first proposed a communication last week encouraging a city-wide mask ordinance, however it was not passed through the Policy and Protection committee. Thanks to you, we were able to help over 130 people contact the Green Bay City Council in favor of passing a mask-ordinance! Thank you to everyone who took action with us to encourage our elected leaders to put the health of our community above all else.
Join One of Multiple Solar Jobs & Green Homes Presentation Coming Up
Join a live video Zoom discussion about new ways Citizen Action of Wisconsin has found to help support job creation and fight climate change based on new federal actions that makes it easier for homes to get solar and/or cut mortgage & utility costs.
These presentations will go over what we are doing, how it fits into a movement for change, and how people can help, whether or not they are able to add solar panels. Virtual events are coming up on all the following dates/times:
Wednesday, Jul 29 at 10:00 AM, co-hosted by Connie Raether, click here
Wednesday, Jul 29 at 04:00 PM, co-hosted by Kay Hoff, click here:
Wednesday, Jul 29 at 04:00 PM, co-hosted by Bryan Milz & Renee Gasch, click here
Thursday Jul 30 at 04:00 PM, co-hosted by Jonathan Barker, click here:
Thursday Jul 30 at 07:00 PM, co-hosted by Max Winkels, click here
Friday Jul 31 at 09:00 AM, co-hosted by Jackie Cody, click here:
Friday Jul 31 at 11:00 AM, co-hosted by Laura Lokken, click here
Friday Jul 31 at 01:00 PM, co-hosted by Karen Lemke, click here:
Tuesday Aug 4 at 03:30 PM, co-hosted by Rebecca Alwin, click here
Tuesday Aug 4 at 05:00 PM, co-hosted by Randall Wendt, click here
Thursday Aug 6 at 07:00 PM, co-hosted by Michael Karolewicz, click here
Vote August 11th & Volunteer for Citizen Action Candidate Kristina Shelton
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 Kristina Shelton in the 90th assembly district.
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 Kristina win her election by sending texts, calling voters, and helping do lit drops in her district. You can help learn more about her action opportunities by visiting //www.kristinaforassembly.com/volunteer.
North Central Organizing Co-op is Working on a Solar Group Buy…Help Create Union Jobs and Cut Your Energy Bills and Carbon Emissions All at Once!
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. According to the Nature Resource Defense Council, reducing the carbon emissions coming from our home is the number one thing that we can do to reduce our carbon footprint. Plus, it’s good for the pocketbook!
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 North Central 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/Wausau area! Sign up here!
Fair Maps Coalition Update – Marathon County
Citizen Action of Wisconsin members from all across the state are part of the Fair Maps Coalition, and there has been some movement in the North Central region to get Fair Maps resolutions and/or referendums passed. Currently, the Marathon County Board of Supervisors is preparing to vote on a Fair Maps resolution. This will be the 2nd time that this has been attempted. The difference is that this time there is a new board, and several new members now exist. But the votes will be close!! Calling your County Board Supervisor, if you’re a Marathon County resident, and telling them that you support this, could be the difference between them voting yes or no! If you would like to call your County Board Supervisor, you can identify them and find their contact information here!
If you would like to stay up-to-date on the Fair Maps Coalition and the work that they are accomplishing, check out their latest newsletter, and stay tuned for future issues. One of the founding members of the Citizen Action of WI North Central Organizing Co-op is featured in this newsletter!
Citizen Action in the News
Citizen Action’s protest last week in Milwaukee on COVID-19 relief, led by our new African American led North Side Rising project, included the demand that the Public Services Commission extend the moratorium on utility shut-offs. On Wednesday the PSC reversed itself and extended the moratorium until October. Citizen Action got some of the credit in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel story on the decision.
Citizen Action’s Robert Kraig sat down for a deep interview with People’s Action Executive Director George Goehl on how progressives can build governing power in the Biden Administration. It was a full episode of the Next Move Podcast, the newest feature of People’s Action, Citizen Action national federation of state and local social justice groups.
Citizen Action’s Robert Kraig was on the Jeff Santos Radio Show to discuss progressive movement building, following an interview with path-breaking African American Political Scientist Adolph Reed. The program, which originates from Boston, is replayed on the commercial progressive radio stations in the Madison and Milwaukee media markets. Citizen Action’s Battleground Wisconsin is also featured on these stations every week.
The panel digs into the uncontrolled spread of COVID-19 in Wisconsin, now one of the worst 19 states in the country in containing the virus. How bad is it? What is the State Legislature, the Evers Administration, and local governments doing about it? As the federal cut-off of pandemic unemployment benefits looms, the panel discusses dissension in the ranks of the GOP, and the likely inadequate proposal they will make to the Democrats. We also look at the immense economic impact being inflicted on working Americans, and the disproportionate impact on communities of color. Will right-wing conservatives in The Senate and the White House get their act together, or will they unleash a historic wave of utility cut offs, hunger, evictions, and foreclosures? Listen Now – Episode #452 Download MP3
For Immediate Release–March 2, 2020 Contact: Robert Kraig (414) 322-5324 [email protected]
U.S. Supreme Court Threatening Health Care of Millions
Wisconsinites with pre-existing conditions, marketplace health insurance, at grave risk of having coverage taken away by right-wing federal judges
Statewide: Today the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear a case being pushed by the Trump Administration that could take health care away from millions of people in America. The court will take oral arguments in October, and likely rule in early 2021, on a case that seeks to overturn the entire Affordable Care Act (ACA). The timing cynically capitulates to the Trump Administration’s politically-motivated request to move until after the 2020 election what would be one of the most unpopular decisions in American history.
In December, a Republican dominated Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals panel ruled in favor of the Trump administration in Texas vs. United States, striking down the ACA’s individual mandate. President Donald Trump and U.S. Attorney General William Barr are using the case as a vehicle for invalidating the entire ACA, including the popular protections against pre-existing condition discrimination.
If the ACA was struck down the following provisions would be eliminated from federal law:
Guaranteeing coverage to individuals with pre-existing conditions, impacting an estimated 852,000 to 2.436 million Wisconsinites.
Prohibition of price discrimination against individuals with pre-existing conditions. In Wisconsin, without this protection a patient with a pregnancy could be charged $17,060 more, and someone with metastatic cancer could be charged $140,510 more.
Free coverage of preventative care such as mammograms and colonoscopies for 2,804,258 Wisconsinites.
Mental health parity.
Prohibition of gender discrimination in coverage and pricing.
Prohibition of age discrimination in pricing, the so-called “age tax.”
Prohibition of lifetime and annual care limits.
Protections against junk health care plans by requiring that all essential health benefits be covered.
Substance abuse coverage.
Resources and funds to hold insurance companies accountable to regulation.
In addition, 153,000 Wisconsinites would have their health coverage taken away if the ACA was struck down, according to a recent study by the Urban Institute.
Citizen Action is urging lawmakers to codify the ACA’s consumer protections and health insurance regulations in state law to protect Wisconsinites in the event of a damaging U.S. Supreme Court decision. Senate Bill 37, sponsored by Sen. Jon Erpenbach, is a huge step in this direction. Citizen Action is also urging lawmakers to create a plan, triggered by an adverse court decision striking down the ACA, to replace marketplace plans for people who buy insurance on their own and the federal subsidies that make them more affordable.
“The nullification of the ACA by right-wing judges is a predictable human-made disaster that would wreak havoc with the lives and livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of Wisconsinites,” said Robert Kraig, Executive Director, Citizen Action of Wisconsin. “We urge state lawmakers to take action to put the popular federal protections against pre-existing condition discrimination and other insurance industry abuses in state law, and beyond the reach of activist federal judges.”
For Immediate Release: January 29, 2020
Contact: Robert Kraig (414) 322-5324 [email protected]
Citizen Action endorses Chris Larson for Milwaukee County Executive
Announces more key endorsements in Milwaukee area spring elections
Milwaukee: Today Citizen Action of Wisconsin, a statewide membership group headquartered in Milwaukee, announced its endorsement of state Senator Chris Larson for Milwaukee County Executive. Additional spring election endorsements we would like to highlight include candidates in three key Milwaukee Common Council races: State Representative JoCasta Zamarripa in the 8th district; Marina Dimitrijevic in the 14th district; and Fred Royal in the 7th district.
In the hotly contested Milwaukee County Executive race, Citizen Action members and board leaders decided that Senator Larson, who is a Citizen Action member, made the strongest and most comprehensive case for bold reform of county government. “Chris Larson would be the first progressive Milwaukee County Executive in modern history,” said Robert Kraig, Executive Director of Citizen Action of Wisconsin. “Local Citizen Action members are particularly excited about Senator Larson’s strong support for using the power of county government to address the climate crisis in a way that provides living wage jobs for people currently locked out of economic opportunity.”
While we are endorsing Larson, Citizen Action members also were impressed with Milwaukee County Executive candidate State Representative David Crowley, and believe he would also be a solid progressive leader for Milwaukee County.
In the 14th Common Council District, Citizen Action is endorsing Marina Dimitrijevic. “As our County Supervisor, Marina Dimitrijevic has led the way to reduce the county’s environmental footprint,” said Kraig. “She authored Milwaukee County’s Greenprint and her plan to eliminate forever plastics will make an enormous impact in keeping our waterways clean. At City Hall, I know she will be a partner in our efforts to win a Milwaukee Green New Deal which dramatically reduces community-wide greenhouse emissions and creates family supporting jobs for those who need them most.”
In the 8th Common Council District, Citizen Action is endorsing State Representative JoCasta Zamarripa, who is a member of our board of directors. “In this majority people of color southside district we believe JoCasta will do a tremendous job of bringing the diverse voices of the area to City Hall,” said Kraig. “We also believe that Zamarripa will be a strong progressive leader who will fight for Citizen Action’s climate and racial equity agenda.”
While Citizen Action is endorsing JoCasta Zamarripa, members and board leaders concluded that her opponent Justin Bielinski is aligned with our values, and also would be a positive voice at City Hall.
Citizen Action also made endorsements in a number of other Milwaukee Common Council and County Board races, as well as the Milwaukee Comptroller and Wauwatosa mayoral races.
Milwaukee area endorsements
Milwaukee County Executive
City of Milwaukee Common Council
Milwaukee County Board
The Primary Election is Tuesday, February 18th and the General Election is Tuesday, April 7th.
We discuss this week’s election results from around the country, and what they portend for 2020. We look at the significance of high profile victories in the Kentucky and Virginia and highlight some amazing members of the Working Families Party and People’s Action affiliates who won elections. We analyze the latest escalation of the Legislature’s partisan war against Governor Tony Evers: the State Senate firing of Agriculture Secretary Brad Pfaff. What does it mean, and who in Governor Evers’ cabinet is their next target? Foxconn wants to omit sprinklers from part of their new factory (what could go wrong?), the special session on gun safety comes and goes with no action, and the top electoral issues, healthcare reform, remains a no show in the legislature, despite GOP vows to do something about pre-existing condition discrimination.
Citizen Action of Wisconsin is member of the national organizing network, People’s Action. People’s Action is driven by local and state organizing. People’s Action was founded in 2016 to ignite a movement of millions that captures the rising demand for change in our society. We have our sights set on the future and the world we’re aiming to build. Here’s what we’re fighting for.
Elections Matter: 2020 Presidential Primary
We believe elections should revolve around everyday people, not candidates. Elections also need to be centered on our issues and our long term Platform.
That’s why we decided to switch things up for 2020. We’re bringing leading Presidential contenders to four early primary states for Q&A forums — and real grassroots leaders are running the show.
We already complete the first forum in Des Moines, Iowa in September. Nearly 50 Citizen Action members attended the forum and 3 asked questions of the Presidential candidates.
We discuss the surprise announcement that Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner is retiring after 40 years in Congress, setting off CD 5 candidate speculation. We take stock of his fractious legacy. The panel reviews the new MU Law Poll which continues to reveal a vulnerable President Trump and plenty of opportunity for Democratic presidential candidates in 2020. We talk about a new The Hill article which includes Sauk County on a list of the 10 bellwether counties that will determine the 2020 election. Citizen Action is building a new organizing co-op this fall and winter in the region. We discuss an open records request by citizen-activist Sheila Plotkin revealing overwhelming public opposition to the GOP’s lame duck session last year, which was entirely ignored by the gerrymandered GOP majority. Listen Now – Episode #407 Download MP3 Press Clips
Attend Citizen Action Brew Fest, Thursday, September 19th, 5pm
On Monday, September 2, America will celebrate the achievements of the union movement – safe workplaces, the 8-hour workday, collective bargaining contracts that build our middle class — and we pledge to keep up the fight for all working people.
Celebrate Labor Day on September 2. Join with union brothers and sisters and community members around the state as we honor all who labor at these great union-made events in Wisconsin.
Welcome Co-op Organizer Ben Wilson in Southwestern Wisconsin!
Ben will be working in the last part of 2019 to build our newest Organizing Co-op, the Southwestern WI Organizing Co-op covering La Crosse, Vernon, Monroe, Juneau, Crawford, Iowa, Sauk, and Richland Counties. Email [email protected] to find out more information and join the co-op!
Ben grew up in the Driftless region in a small town called Lansing on the Iowa side of the Mississippi river, directly between Prairie du Chein Wisconsin and La Crosse Wisconsin. He grew up in a family owned super club in his hometown of 1000 people so he understands the hardships rural voters and small business owners face in our current political climate. His interest in politics began at a very young age while helping his mother in her successful run for city council.
Ben drifted away from politics during college to study marketing. He spent most of his 20s traveling the country doing marketing events all across the country. He has currently worked in 49 states and has lived in Hawaii, Las Vegas, Seattle, Phoenix and Madison Wisconsin. While his work in marketing had opened amazing doors for him and allowed him to see more of this country then he ever dreamed of the marketing world left him wanting a career path that would leave more of a lasting, positive impact on the world around him.
After returning to Wisconsin in 2015 he become involved with the Bernie Sanders campaign during the 2016 presidential primary. Eventually he joined the field staff of For Our Future’s 2016 canvass team eventually being promoted to the role of Lead Canvasser during the campaign’s Get Out the Vote efforts. The heartbreaking loss of the 2016 election only strengthened Ben’s resolve to fight to make the world a better place. During the 2018 midterm election Ben served as Lead Organizer with For Our Future, helping to flip seven rural Southwestern Wisconsin counties from red to blue. Most recently Ben was able to travel to Washington DC to take part in the Need to Impeach day of action lobbying members of Congress directly to begin impeachment inquiries against Donald Trump.
Everyday Ben wakes up with a focus and drive to fight for issues close to his heart such as fighting climate change, healthcare for all, LGBTQ+ rights, income inequality, criminal justice reform and political corruption. In his free time Ben likes to spend time with his nine year old Pit Bull Bliss, play video games, binge television shows, swim, cook and travel. He is an avid comic book reader and considers himself a foodie. Ben is thrilled to be fighting in Southwestern Wisconsin and building the first Citizen Action co-op in the area!
Northwestern Co-op Hold Vigil for Gun Background Checks in Eau Claire
Citizen Action Northwestern co-op organized a candlelight vigil Wednesday at Phoenix Park in Eau Claire. State Rep. Jodi Emerson, school board president Eric Torres and local victims of gun violence talked about why they believe universal background checks are necessary.
The vigil was attended by about 75 people and was well covered by the local media.
Rep. Emerson and Gov. Evers introduced a plan to have universal background checks in Wisconsin. Republicans have not been supported background
checks and say it’s unlikely bill will get a floor vote
Healthcare Co-op Long Term Care Meeting
Members of the healthcare co-op met with Susannah Dyen from Caring Across Generations. They discussed the caregiver shortage and how to build a movement around the caring economy. Solutions discussed were raising the wage and guarenteeed paid leave. We need to keep the discussion going within our community that our elders deserve good care, love and respect and the people that do this work are very valuable.
Attend Citizen Action Brew Fest, Thursday, September 19th, 5pm
We review the big news that Rep. Sean Duffy is resigning from Congress, sparking widespread speculation about the election to replace him. Guest panelists Claire Zautke and Robert discuss comments by Congressman Pocan about healthcare in the 2020 election. We also talk about the fallout of the GOP’s lame duck power grab from Attorney General Josh Kaul and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s unfair slamming of the new progressive newspaper, Wisconsin Examiner. Finally we welcome Citizen Action co-op member Tricia Zunker, president of the Wausau School Board, to discuss her work to retire Native mascot imagery from Wisconsin public schools.