U.S. Supreme Court Threatening Health Care of Millions

For Immediate Release–March 2, 2020
Contact: Robert Kraig (414) 322-5324 robert.kraig@citizenactionwi.org

U.S. Supreme Court Threatening Health Care of Millions

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

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.”


Citizen Action endorses Chris Larson for Milwaukee County Executive

For Immediate Release: January 29, 2020
Contact: Robert Kraig (414) 322-5324 robert.kraig@citizenactionwi.org

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

City of Milwaukee Common Council

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

Milwaukee County Board

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

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


Movement wins on Election night

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.

Kissy Coakley, will be the first African-American woman to serve on the Minnetonka City Council.

Tuesday’s Elections Show Impeachment Might Not Boost GOP As Much As It Hoped.
3 takeaways from Tuesday’s elections in Kentucky, Virginia and Mississippi.
Election Results 2019: GOP Incumbent Refuses to Concede in Tight Kentucky Governor Race.
People’s Action candidates and agenda win last night! Setting the stage for a big 2020.
Full-court press for Pfaff puts GOP senators in a bind.
Evers sits on the Senate floor as Republicans fire his ag secretary.
Wisconsin tourism secretary designee confirmation unsure, ‘there’s a storm brewing’
Foxconn wants to omit firefighting sprinklers in part of its factory, and a consultant says that’s safe.
Anticipating Thursday’s special session on gun safety? Don’t blink.
Legislature set for another clash with Tony Evers.
What hasn’t happened in health care. Some health legislation passes, but major issues fall from legislature’s agenda.

Vote in People’s Action Presidential Endorsement Process

Vote in People’s Action Presidential Endorsement Process

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 encourage our members to watch the Iowa forum!

You won’t see anything like this during the other mainstream TV debates.

People’s Action is hosting one more Presidential Candidate Forum

Saturday, October 26th
Las Vegas, Nevada
3:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Sign up to watch via live stream

Read completed People’s Action questionnaires returned by candidates.

Citizen Action Cooperative Members Vote in People’s Action Presidential Primary Candidate Survey

Citizen Action is surveying its organizing cooperative members on their attitudes in the Democratic presidential primary election.

We are encouraging all members to VOTE in the survey.

The survey will be open for members to vote between Friday, October 18th – Sunday, November 3rd.

For more information contact matt.brusky@citizenactiowi.org

“Sensenbrenner to retire” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

“Sensenbrenner to retire” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

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


Wisconsin Republican Jim Sensenbrenner won’t run for re-election in 2020 after more than 40 years in Congress.
Sensenbrenner by the numbers and the tales.
New Marquette Law School Poll finds Biden leading Trump.
Mark Pocan sees political winds shifting in Wisconsin.
The 10 counties that will decide the 2020 election.
No progress in dispute between AG Kaul, Republican lawmakers.
Legal Standoff Continues Between Attorney General, GOP Lawmakers.
Open records request reveals overwhelming opposition to lame duck session.

Citizen Action Weekly: Labor Day Weekend

Citizen Action Weekly: Labor Day Weekend

Happy Labor Day Weekend

Attend a Labor Day event.

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.

See list of events.

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 ben.wilson@citizenactionwi.org 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.

View media coverage: Eau Claire Leader Telegram, WEAU TV 13 Video, WEAU TV 13 II, WQOW TV 18,

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

DONATE today

Join Citizen Action in Iowa for Presidential candidate forum

To attend contact: Angeliqu.Roger@citizenactionwi.org

“Time to Retire” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

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.


Facebook post of the week


“Time to Retire” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

“Time to Retire” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

We review the big news that Rep. Sean Duffy is resigning from Congress, sparking widespread speculation about the election to replace him. Guest panelist 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.
Listen Now – Episode #406
Download MP3
Press Clips

Attend Citizen Action Brew Fest, Thursday, September 19th, 5pm

U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy explains decision to retire over health concerns for unborn child.Sean Duffy facebook post.
Congressman Pocan says anything is possible in CD 7.
Mark Pocan touts fall priorities in Congress, urges Democrats to discuss health care as ‘a value’.
GOP lawmakers’ attorney agrees to confidentiality deal
Evers calls on ‘adults’ to solve conflict with Kaul, GOP.
Lame-duck fallout: Wisconsin politicians still don’t have a way to settle lawsuits as more than 12 cases sit unresolved.
Lawsuits on hold as budget committee delays action.
Wausau School Board Asks State To Ban Native American Mascots In Public Schools.
Momentum Grows to End Native American Mascots in Wisconsin.
Proposal on banning Native American mascots in Wisconsin schools gains traction in Milwaukee area.
Journal Sentinel Slams “Liberal” News Site.

Bill Kaplan: Trump flails, McConnell blockades

Bill Kaplan: Trump flails, McConnell blockades

In 2018, Trump praised Chinese President Xi: “He’s now president for life. … he’s great. … Maybe we’ll have to give that a shot someday.” Jaw-dropping! And, acting like a tin-pot dictator, the mercurial Trump is taking the U.S. economy down. Trump said: “Trade wars are good, and easy to win.” The unhinged Trump has escalated his trade war with China. Predictably, the Dow Jones plunged 623 points. More than a whiff of recession in the air.

“Domestically, the manufacturing sector contracted for the first time in a decade. Sales of U.S. exports have decreased at the fastest pace since August 2009” (Washington Post). And the Wall Street Journal headlined: “China Deals ‘Body Blow’ to Struggling U.S. Farm Belt” (more than 1,600 Wisconsin dairy farms gone under Trump). Our enfant terrible (Trump) looking for a scapegoat said: “My only question is, who is our bigger enemy (Federal Reserve Chair) Jay Powell or (Chinese President) Xi?” The U.S. is becoming a banana republic.

An out-of-control Trump “ordered” all U.S. companies to leave China. Then this weekend Trump said he had “second thoughts” about escalating the trade war. He backed away from his bombast and claimed he was making progress with China. Later Trump backpedaled and said he was “misinterpreted” and “regrets not raising the tariffs higher” (Washington Post). Not a “stable genius”. Alarming.

Meanwhile, the GOP-led Senate refused to act as a check and balance on a dangerous White House. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and GOP senators are running from microphones. McConnell craves power and will do anything to remain Majority Leader. Having held up Obama Supreme Court nominee Judge Merrick Garland until after the 2016 presidential election, McConnell no longer claims that he was “letting the people’s voice be heard”. If a U.S. Supreme Court justice were to die in 2020, McConnell said: “Uh, we’d fill it.” No shame.

Worse, McConnell has enforced a blockade on bread-and-butter and other legislation passed by the Democratic-led House. Wisconsin Democratic Senator Tammy Baldwin said: “Generally, Senator McConnell has not shown himself likely to schedule legislation for consideration on the floor unless he personally supports it and unless he get signals from (Trump) that the (White House) supports it. Sadly, that makes the prospects low that we’ll get a chance to have a vote.” Examples abound.

House Democrats strengthened the Affordable Care Act (ACA): blocked the sale of useless bare bones “junk” health insurance, restored funding for ACA advertising and outreach and lowered drug prices. And, the House passed an historic $15 minimum wage, helping 27.3 million Americans, including 829,000 Wisconsinites. Finally, Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi led in passing a bipartisan pension protection bill (Butch Lewis Act), helping over 1 million Americans, including 25,000 Wisconsinites. McConnell is not allowing the Senate to vote on these bills. Time to end the GOP blockade.

The late Arizona GOP Senator John McCain implored the Senate: “Stop listening to the bombastic loudmouths… . They don’t want anything done for the public good.” Unlike Trump or McConnell, always a hero.

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

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 Claire.Zautke@citizenactionwi.org 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: Kevin.Kane@citizenactionwi.org

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 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
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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.

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