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Wednesday, December 02, 2020


On December 3rd, Citizens' Climate Lobby is asking us to call our U.S. Senators and Representative to ask them to cosponsor the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act. That’s becauase a few days later, members of CCL chapters across WI and MN, along with hundreds of our fellow Citizens’ Climate Lobby volunteers, will lobby Congress for all of us, and our phone calls will help underscore that we want strong legislation.

Call Congress on December 3rd. Put the date in your calendar and use this website to get the script, phone numbers and to log your calls.

Monday, November 30, 2020

Police in Schools - Speak Out

Cia Siab, Inc. supports removing SROs from the School District of La Crosse. BIPOC youth should be able to feel safe and be safe at school.

Support our demand to remove SROs from schools by sending a letter to the La Crosse Board of Education. Or, register to speak at the December 7th La Crosse Board of Education meeting at 6pm
by calling 608-789-7659.

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From La Crosse Waking up White:

On 11/16/18  Dr. Engel, superintendent of La Crosse School District gave his recommendations/report to the La Crosse School Board concerning School Resource Officers. 

Here is his full report.

The School Board will vote on whether to change the present contract with School resource officers on Dec. 21st 6 pm meeting.  If you want to have input you can register to speak at the Dec. 7th, 6pm School Board meeting by calling 789-7659

Here is the "summary" of Dr. Engel's report:
School-to-Prison Pipeline: Key findings show that the markers of the school-to-prison pipeline are present in the School District of La Crosse.
1. The School District of La Crosse relies on exclusionary discipline at higher rates than other school districts.
2. The School District of La Crosse disproportionately disciplines and suspends students of color, students in poverty, male students, and students with disabilities.
3. Juvenile arrests occur at higher rates in the City of La Crosse than in comparable cities.
4. Black juveniles are disproportionately arrested in the City of La Crosse.
5. Graduation rates for Black students and students with disabilities have declined while graduation rates for reference groups have grown or stayed the same, expanding graduation gaps. 
6. The La Crosse SRO program is staffed and funded at a higher rate than other comparable school districts.   
RECOMMENDATIONS The School District of La Crosse is committed to providing an educational environment where all students and families are safe, welcome, and included. Therefore the District must shift away from punitive disciplinary practices, the criminalization of students and actions that contribute to the school-to-prison pipeline. To achieve this, the following actions are recommended: 
1. Develop and implement School District of La Crosse philosophies and disciplinary practices that reduce punitive approaches to student misbehavior and eliminate the criminalization of students. 
 2. Develop and implement School District of La Crosse philosophies and practices that lead to proportionate disciplinary and arrest outcomes for historically marginalized students.
 3. Expand and shift to therapeutic and restorative practices for students who have challenges with behavior. 
4. Expand proactive social service resources within the School District.
 5. Reduce the ongoing, routine presence of SROs in school buildings while retaining consistency of responding officers. 

6. Establish an SRO Oversight Committee  

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Letter to Editor (La Crosse Tribune, Sunday, November 29, 2020)

Recently, the Tribune opined that police should remain in our schools. Asking if the school community is better off with police, they concluded, “We haven't heard anything that says otherwise.”


Clearly, someone is not listening. Recent public programs have highlighted students, teachers, counselors, and parents telling us that police in schools cause stress, harm students' educational experiences and attainment, feed the school to prison pipeline, sometimes act inappropriately, apply different standards to white and non-white students, and require funds that could pay for more education professionals.

The Tribune said that police in schools have been a success. But the testimony, statistics, and research presented don't point to success.

This kind of non-listening keeps bad policies, inequality, and racism in place. Dismissing others' experiences because they don't fit with a preferred world view, closes off opportunities to improve how things work. Ignoring the facts because they may upset the way it's always been blocks change and inclusion.

The superintendent's recommendation to keep police in the schools after all the testimony, studies and data, was very disappointing and, to me, cowardly. People are telling us that this program causes stress, harm, and pain. Listen.

I hope the school board has the courage to listen to those whose lives are adversely affected by this unnecessary and harmful program. I hope they will remove police from our schools and use the money to hire teachers and counselors whose goal is to assure the best educational outcome for every student.

Cathy Van Maren, La Crosse


Tuesday, November 17, 2020


On Thursday, November 19, attend an ONLINE public hearing on redistricting reform being hosted by Governor Evers' People's Maps Commission. The hearing, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., will focus on the Third Congressional District. Visit this link to find how to register to testify. You may also submit written comments by using this form.

And, from the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign:


Dear Friend, 

The Wisconsin Supreme Court is taking public comments on a proposed rule that would pre-rig the process for the drawing of legislative and congressional district maps and would likely lead to another gerrymander in Wisconsin. 

The proposed rule was submitted by the rightwing Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty (WILL), and it has the following flaws: 

First, it would jump any legal challenge to redistricting immediately to the Wisconsin Supreme Court rather than let that challenge work its way through the courts in a normal fashion. The establishment of a record at the lower court level would enhance transparency and enable the citizens of Wisconsin to grasp the evidence in the case and the competing arguments as they wend their way through the courts. 

Second, nonprofit public interest organizations and concerned citizens could get aced out of any hearing on redistricting maps before the Wisconsin Supreme Court. The WILL petition, in Section 5(b), requires only that the political parties be heard by the Court in any dispute over the maps. It does not allow room, explicitly at least, for groups like ours that have a longstanding interest in this issue to be heard. Redistricting is not simply a dispute between the parties. 

Third, the proposed rule that WILL is advancing gives the Court the leeway to disregard the procedures and requirements laid out in the rule itself. So that’s no rule at all if it allows you to toss everything out the window and just do what you want. If you’re going to have a rule, it should be abided by, and it should be transparent, and it should be applied in a fair manner. 

So I have a favor to ask: Please write the Wisconsin Supreme Court today and tell them that you oppose this rule and tell them why in your own words. 

At the top of your letter, please note that you are writing concerning Rule Petition 20-03 relating to legal challenges to redistricting

If you copy your letter into this form by Nov. 22 at 5:00pm via the Wis. Fair Maps Coalition, we’ll submit it for you. 

Thanks for your help! 


Matt Rothschild Executive Director

Monday, November 16, 2020

The Progressive Turn

 At 3 p.m. Monday, November 16 via Zoom.


Heather Gautney, Associate Professor of Sociology, Author, Crashing the Party: From the Bernie Sanders Campaign to a Progressive Movement

Zephyr Teachout, Associate Professor of Law
Author, Break 'Em Up: Recovering Our Freedom from Big Ag, Big Tech, and Big Money


Todd Melnick, Clinical Associate Professor of Law and Director of the Law Library Fordham Law School


Sunday, November 15, 2020

People's Budget Public Listening Sessions

Office of Governor Tony Evers  
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 12, 2020 

Gov. Evers, Lt. Gov. Barnes to Host People's Budget Virtual Listening Sessions 

 MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers and Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes today announced a series of People's Budget virtual listening sessions as the state begins the 2021-2023 state budget process. Gov. Evers and Lt. Gov. Barnes will host four virtual, issue-based budget listening sessions to hear directly from families and workers about the issues affecting Wisconsin. The first virtual listening session will occur on Tues., Nov. 17, 2020 at 6 p.m. and will focus on healthcare and public health in Wisconsin. 

“Our first budget was crafted by and with the people of our state, and this budget will be no different,” said Gov. Evers. “The listening sessions for our 2019-21 budget were successful in helping us develop a budget that reflected the stories, experiences, and priorities of folks across our state. Although we won't be able to host these listening sessions in-person this time around, I look forward to visiting with Wisconsinites virtually and hearing their thoughts and feedback as we put together the People's Budget.

A full schedule of these listening sessions is available below and on the governor's website here. All participants must register to attend on the governor's website here. Wisconsinites are also welcome to submit written comments on any topic at any time here. Members of the press are invited to attend and will receive RSVP information in advance of the listening sessions.

Budget Listening Session on Healthcare and Public Health

Tuesday, November 17, at 6 p.m. 
Register to attend here

Budget Listening Session on Environment, Infrastructure, and the Economy
Wednesday, December 2, at 6 p.m. 
Registration will be live one week before the listening session date.

Budget Listening Session on Criminal Justice Reform
Tuesday, December 8, at 6 p.m. 
Registration will be live one week before the listening session date. 

Budget Listening Session on Our Schools and Education 
Wednesday, December 16, at 6 p.m. 
Registration will be live on week before the listening session date.