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 karen.kirsch@citizenactionwi.org 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 noah.reif@citizenactionwi.org.

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

Bill Kaplan: Trump and GOP don’t have Wisconsin’s back

Bill Kaplan: Trump and GOP don’t have Wisconsin’s back

Trump has foolishly proclaimed: “Trade wars are good, and easy to win”. Wisconsin Democratic Senator Tammy Baldwin cut to the chase: “Wisconsin farmers have been hit hard by Trump trade wars with China, Mexico, Canada and the European Union. More than 1,600 dairy farms have gone out of business since Trump took office”. Foreign retaliatory tariffs have been imposed on Wisconsin agricultural products: dairy, corn, cranberries, ginseng, kidney beans and soybeans, as well as beef and pork. “The trade war has hit farmers already beset by years of low commodity prices … . U.S. farm income dropped 16% last year … . U.S. agricultural exports to China dropped by more than half in 2018 after the trade war began …” (Time).

Alarm bells are clanging. Julie Bomar, Director, Wisconsin Farmers Union, said: “Farmers … are confronted by an economic crisis that is more severe than any since the 1980s. Now the weather and continuing trade wars are causing even more concern as we look forward to another distressing year in farm country.” Wisconsinite “Jim Mulhern, chief executive of the National Milk Producers Federation, said dairy exports to China have dropped 54% so far this year. ‘Any step away from an agreement that further escalates tensions puts recovery of these sales further out of reach’, he said” (Wall Street Journal).

Last week, Trump escalated: 10 percent U.S. tariff on $300 billion of Chinese imports to America. “The trade war between the United States and China entered a more dangerous phase …, as Beijing allowed its currency to weaken, Chinese enterprises stopped making new purchases of American (Wisconsin) farm goods and … Trump’s Treasury Department formally labeled China a currency manipulator.” The fallout and fear was immediate: the stock market lost 767 points, the worst day of the year. The plunge was followed by days of ups and downs. The Washington Post headline was scary: “Impulsive acts (by Trump) propel trade war with China”. Finally, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel was blunt: “Wisconsin farmers are losing as China halts purchases of U.S. ag products”.

Trump, detached from reality, prattles on: “American Farmers know that China will not be able to hurt them …”. Despite Trump’s fanciful boast, U.S. tariffs on China don’t even cover the cost of Trump’s limited aid to farmers. It gets worse: “Richest farmers get most of bailout” (Washington Post). Meanwhile, Wisconsin farmers will again receive peanuts – and Trump’s trade wars are hurting other regular folks.

“Trump has yet to articulate a clear and coherent set of objectives. He often speaks about the revival of American manufacturing, but in talks with the Chinese, his administration has focused instead on making it easier for American companies to operate in China – something that seems unlikely to increase employment in Wisconsin” (New York Times). Moreover, economic growth is slowing around the world, but Trump is clueless about the approaching downturn. Nothing but tweets.

Trump and the faltering GOP don’t have Wisconsin’s back. Only a clean Democratic sweep in 2020 will bring change.

–Kaplan wrote a guest column from Washington, D.C. for the Wisconsin State Journal from 1995 – 2009.

“White Supremacist terrorism” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

“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
Press Clips

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

Links:
Tony Evers pushes background checks, red flag law in the wake of shootings.
Wisconsin Republicans show no signs of tackling gun violence after massacres in Texas and Ohio.
Sen. Johnson: Red Flag Laws Could Present Rights Issues.
Madison State Rep. Calls for Assembly Speaker to Resign.
Wisconsin Democrats try again for Medicaid expansion.
Evers and Dems seek Medicaid expansion…again.
‘I’m being excluded’: Paralyzed Rep. Jimmy Anderson on Speaker Vos’ denial of accommodations.
Cap Times Editorial: What Robin Vos doesn’t know about disability rights is … everything
Will taxpayers give Foxconn $172,000 – $290,000 per job?

Bill to accept federal Medicaid money to be introduced today in Wauwatosa

Bill to accept federal Medicaid money to be introduced today in Wauwatosa

Today, August 5th state legislators who support accepting federal Medicaid money to expand BadgerCare will introduce new legislation to save the state money and cover tens of thousands more Wisconsinites with health coverage.

The event is at the Wauwatosa Public Library at 12:15pm. If you want to attend arrive by Noon.

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. 

Please share stories about the legislation on social media next week and 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.

Do you have a healthcare access story?
We want to hear from you. Contact: Claire.Zautke@citizenactiowi.org

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, 350.org, 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 jolie.lizotte@citizenactionwi.org.

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 noah.reif@citizenactionwi.org.

“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.

LISTEN NOW – EPISODE 402
Download MP3
Wisconsin Fair Elections Projects

Citizen Action Media Clips

Facebook post of the week

“Gerrymandered” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

“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.
LISTEN NOW – EPISODE 402
Download MP3
Press Clips

Wisconsin Fair Elections Projects

Links:
Leaders won’t let lawmaker who uses wheelchair participate in meetings by phone.
Disability rights specialist: Rep. Anderson likely has case for lawsuit.
GOP could dodge Gov. Evers to gerrymander Wisconsin again.
GOP leaders refute claim they plan to circumvent governor in redistricting process.
Republicans signal they will seek Democratic governor’s approval for new election maps.
Tony Evers calls for more water protections against nitrate contamination.
WI Conservation Voters: Gov. Evers’ announcement on nitrate pollution is a commitment to protecting our health.
Kamala Harris unveils ‘Medicare for All’ plan that preserves role for private insurance
Sanders says Kamala Harris’ health care plan is ‘not Medicare for All’

Southeastern Wisconsin Co-op Organizer

Job Description: Southeastern Wisconsin Co-op Organizer

Objective: Citizen Action of Wisconsin seeks a dynamic and socially committed person to join our organizing team and lead an innovative multi-issue membership organizing project. This is a full time (40-50 hrs/week) salaried permanent position located in Milwaukee.  Some evenings and weekends required, as well as in-state travel and occasional out-of-state travel.

Description of Work: This position reports to the Organizing Director, and the successful applicant will work to advance a revolutionary membership organizing model pioneered by Citizen Action of Wisconsin known as an Organizing Cooperative. This position involves organizing, maintaining, and growing a critical mass of dues-paying supporters in our locally based, member-led co-op model.  The Co-op Organizer together with member-leaders and Citizen Action staff will advance diverse issue and electoral campaigns that have real impact on their community and make large scale changes in Wisconsin to open up opportunity for all. The position includes a 6 month training and trial period. More information about Citizen Action of Wisconsin Organizing Cooperatives can be found here.

Organizational Background: Citizen Action of Wisconsin is an issue focused non-profit organization committed to achieving racial, gender, 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.

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.

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Work with staff and local member teams to lead a local Organizing Cooperative.
  • Recruit new, and retain current, dues-paying co-op members through relationship building, fundraising, and leadership development.
  • Directly organize and develop activists and leaders to participate in Citizen Action issue and election campaigns. This may include leadership of some issue campaigns. Current issues include Healthcare For All, Voting rights and Good Government, and 100% renewable energy/100% living wage jobs.
  • Coordinate program and logistics for public events, mobilizations and other grassroots activity.
  • Participate in small and large dollar fundraising in collaboration with CAW staff.

Specific Responsibilities also include

  • Embrace and effectively utilize new communications technology, working within Citizen Action’s cutting-edge social networking and web technology programs to augment on-the ground organizing.
  • Help organize coalitions and networks of members to advance critical issues of local importance in tandem with Citizen Action staff together with a wide range of prospective allies.
  • Work in a focused way to advance strategic goals, and provide timely weekly reporting of organizing progress.
  • Integrate Citizen Action’s values-based communication into all organizing work.

Desired Experience:

  • Experience in labor, community, political or faith-based organizing, experience with or a strong interest in learning relational organizing as well as a commitment to working on racial justice issues,  working with communities of color, and with a multicultural base of individuals.
  • Experience with large and/or small dollar fundraising.
  • Experience working with a broad array of organizations in a coalition on issues of social and economic justice.

 

Required Qualifications:

  • Philosophical commitment to progressive values of economic, gender, racial, anti-oppressive, and environmental justice and equity along with health care freedom for everyone in Wisconsin and America.
  • Ability to understand public policy issues and translate them into organizing issues that motivate average people to act.
  • Strong creative strategic thinking skills and willingness to innovate in fast moving issue campaigns and meet deadlines.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills, including ability to produce effective flyers, email alerts, coalition reports, blogs, and effective social media posts.
  • Excellent listening, interpersonal and problem solving skills, strong personal time management skills, organization skills, and the ability to work under pressure, and the ability to resolve conflicts while maintaining effective relationships.
  • Intermediate computer skills including email, composing documents, designing flyers, working with databases, and social networking (Familiarity with NationBuilder, GoogleDocs, Google Analytics, Hootsuite, as well as managing Facebook pages and/or Twitter accounts).
  • Ability to undertake periodic travel in Wisconsin and occasionally out-of-state.

 

Desired Qualifications (Not required):

  • Experience with designing and implementing strategic legislative and or electoral issue campaigns.
  • Experience working with a broad array of organizations in a coalition on issues of social and economic justice.
  • Experience with working on racial justice issues and/or working in communities of color.
  • Experience with online list-building and voter files a plus.
  • Demonstrated ability to meet fundraising goals.
  • Bilingual/multilingual a plus.

 

Salary and Benefits:  This is a full-time position which includes health care, dental and employer-matched 401K, life insurance, disability insurance, cell phone allowance, and other benefits.  Some weekend and evening hours required. Base salary rate is $40,000.00 annually, and is negotiable upon offer of employment based on experience and qualifications. This is a union position, represented by OPEIU Local 9, AFL-CIO. 

 Application Process:  E-mail cover letter and résumé to Angelique Rogers (Organizing Director) at angelique.rogers@citizenactionwi.org.  Please, no calls.

Bill Kaplan: Democrats lead on bread-and-butter issues

Trump launched (tweeted) another broadside Saturday …, calling a prominent black congressman’s Baltimore district a ‘disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess … no human being would want to live there’” (Washington Post). Why? “Republican officials say Trump is harnessing the anger of those who continue to feel left behind despite the strong economy, and steering their fury toward (minority) members of Congress he has accused of bad-mouthing the country and embracing socialist policies” (Post).

Trump and the GOP should be worried. Despite their “rhetorical appeals to white working-class (and rural) voters (this has) not been matched by legislative accomplishments aimed at their economic interests” (New York Times). Just tax cuts for corporations and the rich. And, notwithstanding low unemployment there is trouble: “Wisconsin, where 10 counties that (Trump) won in 2016 lost manufacturing jobs” (Times); Wisconsin’s “economy depends on manufacturers. They’re worried that a downturn is approaching” (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel); and “Trump in Milwaukee says farmers are ‘over the hump’ as dairy farms continue to close (over 1600) in Wisconsin” (MJS).

Wisconsin congressional Democrats have a different approach than Trump and Republicans: pass bread-and-butter legislation, while standing up for farmers and middle and working class folks. Over the last few weeks the Democratic-led House has strengthened the Affordable Care Act (ACA), increased the minimum wage and passed pension reform. And, Wisconsin Democratic Senator Tammy Baldwin has led the way to improve and strengthen federal support for state dairy farms, while decrying the Trump trade wars and resultant pain and misery for Wisconsin farmers. Baldwin has been impressive in representing the entire state, regardless of political allegiance. Let’s look at the Democratic record.

ACA: The Democratic-led House voted to block the sale of “junk insurance” with scanty benefits and no coverage of preexisting conditions, restored funding for ACA advertising and outreach, lowered drug prices and intervened in the federal lawsuit where Trump and the GOP are trying to have the ACA declared unconstitutional. All Wisconsin Democrats stood up for the ACA, while Wisconsin Republicans voted no. Baldwin supports upholding the ACA in the federal lawsuit, but Wisconsin GOP Senator Ron Johnson does not.

Minimum wage increase: House Democrats passed an historic $15 minimum wage — “would lift the earnings of 27.3 million workers” (Post). This would cover 829,000 workers in Wisconsin, mostly adults and full-time workers (Economic Policy Institute). The Wisconsin House delegation voted along party lines. Baldwin supports, while Johnson does not.

Pension reform: The House passed a bipartisan bill to save failing troubled pension funds. 25,000 Wisconsin workers and retirees will benefit. All Wisconsin Democratic representatives and GOP Representative Sean Duffy voted yes (other state GOP representatives voted no). La Crosse Democratic Representative Ron Kind said: “Hardworking Wisconsinites deserve peace of mind and certainty that they’ll receive the benefits they’ve earned when they retire.” Baldwin has led on pension reform and is a chief sponsor of a Senate bill with 25 other senators. Will Johnson vote to help regular folks? It’s past time!

Bread-and-butter issues, morally right and politically smart.

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 karen.kirsch@citizenactionwi.org

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 noah.reif@citizenactionwi.org.

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: Kevin.Kane@citizenationwi.org

SIGN Petition to Electric Utilities to Rebuild the Driftless.

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