Citizen Action Weekly: Friday, April 10th

Citizen Action Weekly: Friday, April 10th

Friday, April 10th

Thanks to All the Volunteers in Citizen Action’s Spring Election Program

The April 7th election was historically messed up and undemocratic!

However, the effort of all the volunteers who made thousands of phone calls in the middle of the pandemic is the best of American democracy.

Thanks to the volunteers and Citizen Action staff we were able make over 22,000 phone calls in support of Jill Karofsky and knock nearly 4,000 doors this spring.

We will need this effort and so much more this year to defeat President Trump and elect more progressive leaders to the State Legislature.

Thank you to the Citizen Action members who ran for office this spring election. We wish you the best on Monday, April 13th when the results are announced.

  • Chris Larson, Milwaukee County Executive
  • Katie Rosenberg, Mayor of Wausau
  • Dennis McBride, Mayor of Wauwatosa
  • JoCasta Zamarripa, Milwaukee City Council, District 8
  • Liz Sumner, Milwaukee County Board, District 1
  • Joseph J. Czarnezki, Milwaukee County Board, District 11
  • Sylvia Ortiz-Velez, Milwaukee County Board, District 12
  • Tom Kilian, Wausau City Council, District 3
  • Sarah Watson, Wausau City Council, District 8
  • Ka Lo, Marathon County Board, District 5 & Wausau School Board
  • Yee Leng Xiong, Marathon County Board, District 19, Village of Weston Board of Trustees, and DC Everest School Board
  • Jonathan Fisher, Marathon County Board, District 38
  • Mark Martello, Tomahawk School Board
  • Steven Schreier, Oneida County Board, District 4
  • Sandy Fischer, Langlade County Board, District 2
  • Lindsay Dorff, Brown County Board, District 4
  • Megan Borchardt, Brown County Board, District 8
  • Cassandra Erickson Brown County Board, District 19
  • Barbara Dorff, Green Bay City Council, District 1
  • Randy Scannel Green Bay City Council, District 7
  • Emily Voight, Calumet County Board,  District 3
  • Zoe Roberts,Eau Claire County Board, District 27
  • Donald Mowry, Eau Claire County Board, District 9
  • James Dunning, Eau Claire County Board, District 20
  • Connie Russell, Eau Claire County Board, District 4

Help Elect Tricia Zunker for Congress, Tuesday, May 12th

The 2020 election fight continues immediately in the 7th Congressional District where Citizen Action co-op member Tricia Zunker is running to replace Sean Duffy. The election is scheduled for Tuesday, May 12th.

We need your help making calls! Please contact your regional co-op organizer to get involved from home.

If you live in CD 7 you should apply today for your absentee ballot!

For anyone in need of a Tricia Zunker yard sign, you can one pick up from my Tricia’s home in Wausau. Please send Tricia a message on facebook and she will provide her address and make sure signs are left out for you.

TAKE ACTION: COVID-19 Reponse

The need to organize has never been more urgent than in this great national emergency.

The government only acts in the common interest when average people organize to make our collective voices impossible to ignore. Great leadership is not a matter of chance, it is called forth by active and engaged citizens working together.

This Action Center will be a clearinghouse for Citizen Action members and friends to focus our voices on enacting necessary policies to the scale of the crisis.

Citizen Action’s COVID-19 demands of elected leaders are guided by these principles.

  1. With lives hanging in the balance, we don’t have the luxury of dwelling on past mistakes. There will be a future time for honest accounting.
  2. We must suspend normal politics, and do absolutely everything possible to save the maximum number of human lives.
  3. We must fight for true equity. We cannot allow a replay of Hurricane Katrina on a bigger scale, where race and class often decided who lived and who died.
  4. We must put aside outdated limits on what is possible, and act with the radical boldness of Americans in past national emergencies such as the Great Depression and both World Wars.
  5. Crisis mitigation is our first priority, but we must not waste the opportunity to sow the seeds of a more just and equitable America that is resilient to future disasters.

Health Care Policies to Contain the Pandemic

The Challenge

COVID-19 has spread invisibly across the entire population. To stop the contagion we must test and treat everyone with symptoms, and then once there is sufficient testing capacity, community-wide, identifying seemingly healthy people spreading the infection.

The Barrier

The high cost of care in our profit-crazed medical system is a major barrier to containing the pandemic. A Citizen Action/Health Value Hub survey of 1,000 Wisconsinites found that in the past year nearly half had avoided necessary medical care due to cost.

The Citizen Action Plan

Citizen Action has developed a plan for Wisconsin to guarantee universal free testing and treatment.

1) Use emergency powers granted by the federal government to deploy BadgerCare to guarantee that everyone has health coverage during the pandemic.

2) Immediately expand BadgerCare by accepting the Medicaid Expansion authorized by the Affordable Care Act. (This covers at least 75,000 more people, and frees up $340 million that can be immediately put into the COVID-19 fight).

3) Mandate that health insurance plans pay for all treatment resulting from seeking medical attention for COVID-19, including pre-existing which make the virus more dangerous.

Action Needed

We need you to contact Governor Evers, your State Senator, and your State Representative, and urge them to make free testing and treatment for COVID-19 part of the relief bill now being drafted. This Free treatment must include care for any pre-existing conditions that are contributing to the intensity of the COVID-19 symptoms.

  1. Email Governor and Legislators
  2. Call the Governor and Your State Legislator

Governors #1-608-266-1212
Leg Hotline # 1-800-362-9472

Citizen Action’s Memo to Governor Evers on Free Testing and Treatment
Listen to Citizen Action’s Robert Kraig discuss our agenda on the Earl Ingram Show.

Actions to Address the Economic Fallout of COVID-19

The Challenge

Now that the coronavirus is spreading invisibly through the population, the best available containment strategy is drastically curtailing social interactions, putting the economy into what some economists term a “medically induced coma.” This has led to the largest surge in unemployment ever measured, faster than even during the Great Depression!

The only way to prevent economic ruin for millions of average people and small businesses is bold unprecedented government action.

The Barrier

Just as happened during the Wall Street financial meltdown of 2008-2009, business as usual politics is directing a lion’s share of the resources to rescuing big corporations, rather than working and middle class Americans, or small businesses.

The federal government is already injecting more money into the American economy than ever in American history, and there will be many more federal and state relief bills. This is a once in a lifetime moment, and perhaps our only opportunity, to make the structural reforms needed to prevent a climate genocide and to radically reduce economic and racial inequality.

Citizen Action’s Proposals

We are rapidly developing a series of policies which will help average people weather this storm while also building towards an equitable and sustainable economy.

Our first proposal is to waive all utility bills for those out-of-work during Wisconsin’s stay-at-home rule. State regulators have already directed most Wisconsin utilities to “stop utility disconnection for nonpayment for all customers” during the COVID-19 emergency. This is a good start, but deferring payments simply pushes the problem down the road by building up debt hard-pressed homeowners and renters may never be able to repay.

If we have to tighten our belt, we believe giant corporations should have to do so too. Citizen Action would support using state money to pay the utilities back, if they agree to stop dragging their feet on the needed climate transition by making major and accountable investments in conservation and renewable energy that dramatically increases the number of family supporting jobs.

Action Needed

Sign Citizen Actions Petition demanding the state stop utilities from charging Wisconsin’s jobless workers during the crisis!  Once you sign, you will be offered additional action opportunities.

Citizen Action of Wisconsin Holds Virtual Town Hall With Members From All Across the State

Members of the various Citizen Action of Wisconsin Organizing Co-ops from around the State, joined together in a Virtual Town Hall, organized by Co-op Development Director, Kevin Kane. With very little notice, 70 people convened virtually via Zoom conferencing. Citizen Action’s Organizers and members of the management team also joined in the call. The meeting started with an address from Executive Director Robert Kraig, about the political and personal consequences of the Coronavirus, and what our next steps could be as an organization and as individuals.

Kevin Kane then addressed which issues we could still organize around, outside of our ongoing electoral work. The work that we could continue to explore includes the continued work of achieving Healthcare For All, Helping members and allies find ways to make their homes more green, and thereby creating more green (and preferably Union)  jobs, continuing to utilize a race class narrative in our communications and work, and we explored issues that have arisen as a result of the pandemic, such as mortgage relief.

Then, we were able to breakout into smaller groups, and really dig into what matters most to our members. Not surprisingly, Healthcare was at the top of the list of issues, as the pandemic truly illustrates the dire need for Healthcare reform. A close second was continuing to work across the State to help homeowners increase their use of renewable energy, like solar. There is a lot of research that can be done on the front end for folks to upgrade their homes, and this can be done during the pandemic, and acted upon once the stay in place orders are lifted.

One thing is for sure…These times require us to reinvent the way to organize, and this first meeting proves that we are ready and able to continue organizing during these unprecedented times. Stay tuned for future Virtual Town Halls!

“Shamocracy” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

In this week’s episode we dig into the scandalous pandemic primary forced on Wisconsin voters by a conservative establishment that will stop at nothing to win. The panel also talks about the double gut punch Wisconsin progressives felt with the exodus of Bernie Sanders from the presidential contest. We close with a discussion of the next big big battle in Madison, the fight for a meaningful state response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Citizen Action COVID-19 Action Center

Listen Now – Episode #437
Download MP3
Press Clips

Facebook post of the week