Friday, May 29th
Citizen Action statement on racist murder of George Floyd
Citizen Action of Wisconsin stands in solidarity with the family and friends of George Floyd, thousands of protesters across the country, and every person who loves humanity, in demanding that the four offers involved in his murder be swiftly brought to justice.
We strongly agree with our compatriots and our fellow People’s Action affiliate, Take Action Minnesota, that the protests in Minneapolis and in many other cities are “demonstrations of our pain and a cry for justice. It is an old pain borne of the historic, violent, publicly funded oppression of Black people… George Floyd should be alive today and prosecuting offers for his murder is the beginning, not end of justice.”
It is hard for us to believe that anyone other than a police officer would be able to avoid immediate arrest when such damning video evidence of a crime is available. The four day delay in the officer responsible being arrested and charged, and the failure to charge (as of this writing) the other officers who stood by and watched a murder, has badly damaged public confidence in the investigation and contributed to the turbulent events on the streets of Minneapolis. Before we can even begin to heal, justice must be brought to the four police offers involved in this racist murder and anyone else who tried to cover it up.
But the healing cannot stop there, because what happened to George Floyd, and all the other victims of publicly sanctioned racist murder we have come to know over the last decade, is ultimately caused not by a few bad apples but the structural racism that is at the very core of the American criminal justice and policing system. The system of mass incarceration grew out of the backlash against the civil rights and black power movements of the 1960s, and has made the U.S, the most incarcerated and over-policed country in the history of the free world. Only a massive shift in resources away from the publicly funded oppression of Black people, poor people, the Latinx community, and many many others and invested in our communities and a humane, anti-racist, and just system of public safety.
TAKE ACTION for #GeorgeFloyd.
Citizen Action announces first round of State Legislative endorsements
Citizen Action is proud to announce our first State Legislative candidate endorsements for the 2020 Fall elections. All endorsed candidates completed a Citizen Action questionnaire and interview with a local co-op steering committee. Final endorsement votes were made by Citizen Action’s statewide board. There will be more rounds of State Legislative candidate endorsements.
- SD 10: Patty Schachtner
- SD 30: Jonathon Hansen
- AD 8: JoAnna Bautch (co-op member)
- AD 11: Tomika Vukovic
- AD 13: Sara Rodriguez
- AD 24: Emily Siegrist (co-op member)
- AD 57: Lee Snodgrass
- AD 90: Kristina Shelton (co-op member)
- AD 91: Jodi Emerson (co-op member)
- AD 92: Amanda White Eagle
TAKE ACTION: Expand BadgerCare & Free COVID-19 Testing & Treatment!
It’s time for us to unite across our differences and work together to deliver free testing and treatment for COVID-19 for everyone in Wisconsin. We need to open BadgerCare to everyone without insurance and require insurance companies to provide free COVID 19 testing and treatment without any copays or deductibles, we can ensure that all Wisconsinites have the health care we need through this crisis.
Contact your state legislators today in support.
Take Federal Action for Healthcare coverage for COVID-19
The US Senate will soon take up the next COVID-19 response bill – the HEROES Act – that was recently passed by the House of Representatives. We want to encourage the Senate to add a health care guarantee into the bill. A health care guarantee would put everyone without health insurance during the pandemic onto Medicare or Medicaid so that no one would be without affordable care during the pandemic.
Here’s what we’re doing: We need you to use this online tool run by People’s Action to record a short video statement telling Senators Johnson and Baldwin that we support a health care guarantee in the HEROES Act. The online tool is very easy to use. We’ve put together a toolkit that explains how to use the online video recording tool as well as a sample script that you can modify for your remarks. DIRECTIONS ARE HERE
Green Homes, Good Jobs
As many of you know, local Citizen Action of Wisconsin members have been working hard to help homeowners save money on utility, reduce carbon emissions, increase the value of their home, and build green sector jobs across the state. We have been working with our green bank partners across the state to offer homeowners financing for energy efficient upgrades such as new insulation, air sealing, new windows/doors, new HVAC units, and solar panels. This program is a very important first step in building a better, greener economy in Wisconsin.
While these home upgrades are important to reducing residential carbon emissions they are merely one part of a larger effort to create a greener economy across our state. The more homes we upgrade the more jobs we create in the green energy sector. Every home we help upgrade builds demand to create change. Every home we help upgrade helps send a message to our power providers that we demand green energy. Every home we upgrade helps us lobby our elected leaders to invest in green solutions. Every home we upgrade tells Wisconsinites that our best weapon against the economic crisis is green energy.
America is facing its worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. We need to redesign our economy to face this crisis. Citizen Action of Wisconsin believes that the solution is green. By upgrading your own home not only can you save money RIGHT AWAY and you can help build that green economy that will save our country. We have a goal of upgrading 100 homes before the end of the year. We currently have 25 homes going through the upgrade process. You can learn more about how you can upgrade your home right here. If you are interested in learning more please contact Kevin Kane at kevin.kane@citizenActionwi.org to schedule a phone call.
Virtual Town Hall: Federal Jobs Guarantee & Green Jobs Now!
Congress will be debating the next stimulus likely after the 4th of July. Join Citizen Action’s Executive Director Dr Robert Kraig and leaders as we document a new major project together with national partners such as People’s Action to raise the issue of a major jobs guarantee in the next wave of federal action, as well as green pro-climate jobs now, and why that is more possible than you might think.
Wisconsin’s unemployment rate is now HIGHER than it was during the Great Recession. The idea that all of the jobs lost will now come back is not realistic (and the old job market left people out back then too). Only a massive public investment directly into job creation (not tax breaks) can work. The federal government is already publicly subsidizing jobs, through “Work-Share” and/or PPP, it is time to be even more intentional (especially in socially beneficial industries like healthcare, energy efficiency and infrastructure!)
Join us Thursday June 11th at 6pm for a virtual town hall as we lay out major actions that can and should be taken to transition Wisconsin from relief to recovery! RSVP here is join us June 11th at 6:00 PM, RSVP is required to join.
Join Citizen Action of Wisconsin on June 3rd, 6pm, for a small group e-meeting discussing expanding work sharing and creating green jobs across the state.
Thanks in part to the efforts of Citizen Action of Wisconsin members like you, over 14,000 Wisconsinites have been helped by the expansion of Wisconsin’s work sharing program. This program reduces layoffs, helps area businesses and puts more money into the pockets of hard working Wisconsinites. We are still working hard to expand this program.
You can learn more about this program, help expand it AND help our efforts to create green jobs across our state by joining one of our upcoming small group e-meetings. Please use one of the following links to RSVP for one of our upcoming small group meetings. You must RSVP in order to attend.
Consumer Protection Team Healthcare Survey
Do you know anyone who is struggling with an unpaid medical bill? How about complaining that a preventive test they thought was covered, is now not? Take our Citizen Action healthcare survey to help us fight back against the big health insurance companies and healthcare providers (e.g. clinics, hospitals) that are hurting everyday people seeking care.
We need to hear about your experiences to help us shed light on just how many people are being treated unfairly and even in some cases, unlawfully. Many healthcare consumers don’t know why they are receiving large bills after a medical appointment or procedure as the medical complex hides behind an intimidating system of billing, codes and approval protocols.
Volunteer Opportunities in North Central Wisconsin
Citizen Action of Wisconsin has significantly increased our field team this year. Currently, we have staff all across the state making calls to see how people feel about accepting the Medicaid money to expand BadgerCare, while ensuring that all receive free testing and treatment for COVID – 19.
YOU CAN HELP!! These are real conversations, and they can help to change the political landscape by creating an echo chamber. That echo is this: Here is the problem, here is the solution, and this is who is standing in the way of us getting what we need and deserve. Even if candidate calls are not for you, these may be. People are typically more receptive, and many of them want to share their stories and make a connection. Not only could this turn into more voters voting for the people that we need to win the victories that we seek, but it increases the visibility of Citizen Action, and will result in more people being proactively involved in government at all levels.
If you would like a one-on-one or even a virtual phone bank training prior to getting started, we can make that happen too. Please reach out to Central Wisconsin Organizer Joel Lewis at 715-551-2525 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Help promote the work-share efforts in our state and how you can help promote green homes and a green new deal. Many workers and employers are still learning about how they can utilize work sharing and you can help! This could be the difference between a person being able to keep their job(s) and continue to pay their bills or being laid off. It could help keep a small business, nonprofit or municipal entity operational and preserve jobs. The more of you that help with this, the more people and businesses we can help!! Reach out to your organizer if you would like to get involved or simply join one of the meetings listed below.
Lastly, we are really lucky to be working on the green homes and green new deal campaigns! Green homes is something that has been years in the making, and it all started in Northern and Northwest WI!! Feel free to reach out to your organizer for a history on this campaign. According to the Nature Research Defense Council (NRDC), “Residential Energy Efficiency Leads the Way on CO2 Reduction. One of the major highlights of the report that the single largest source of CO2 equivalent emissions from a single intervention is residential energy efficiency.” This is about solar panels, but that is not all! Join one of the meetings below to learn more. Also, if you would like to look into upgrading your home, or know someone that would like to, go here to sign up to see if it is worth our time to help you accomplish this!
Citizen Action in the News
Citizen Action’s Robert Kraig was on the Jeff Santos radio show to discuss the pandemic, the VP sweepstakes, and the theory that Michelle Obama will end up the Democratic presidential nominee in 2020.
Up in the northwoods the Vilas County News Reporter ran an OPED from Citizen Action’s statement on the Wisconsin Supreme Court social distancing ruling.
Citizen Action’s Robert Kraig was on the Earl Ingram Radio Show for 60 minutes where he discussed the fundamental flaws in modern conservatism revealed by the botched COVID-19 response.
We welcome Tobita Chow, director of Justice Is Global, a special project of People’s Action, to discuss the dangerous effort shift public attention away from the disastrous pandemic response by scapegoat China, risking a dangerous military competition between the two most powerful nations on earth. This cynical divide-and-conquer politics is sparking a wave of racial hatred aimed at Asian Americans. We talk about how our success requires embracing principles of anti-racist solidarity and international cooperation. We also review the latest COVID-19 news, including huge delays in unemployment insurance claims.
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