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Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Earth needs you!

The catastrophe in Paris might well serve as the poster event for what is happening to our climate. As Notre Dame burned, French president Emmanuel Macron vowed to rebuild it.

Unfortunately, as many have noted, there is no Planet B, there is no chance to "rebuild" our planet if we are unsuccessful in drastically reducing greenhouse gas emissions in short order to avoid an unrecoverable tipping point.

If you think this is too over the top, please read The End of Ice by Dahr Jamail or The Uninhabitable Earth by David Wallace-Wells. Time is ticking. We are way past changing a couple of light bulbs.

George Monbiot's recent article in the Guardian lays it on the line. He says, "Only rebellion will prevent an ecological catastrophe."

When the problem is so huge and overwhelming, it's hard not to just throw up your hands and give in to the inevitable. Tell that to Greta Thunberg.

So what CAN we do?

On Thursday, April 18, the Sustainable La Crosse Commission will host a public program on clean energy planning in La Crosse including future plans to go all in on clean renewable energy. Your participation is needed to show support for this initiative and help carry it forward. Please come to the meeting - this Thursday at 5:30 pm in the County Administrative Building, 6th & State to learn about the plans and how you can help.

Already more than 100 cities, including Chicago, and four whole states have committed to moving totally off of fossil fuels by 2050 or sooner. If you live in La Crosse, sign the petition. If you don't, start the process to get your community to commit to 100% clean energy as quickly as possible.

The Coulee Region Sierra Club will have more info at its Earth Fair booth at Myrick Park on April 28 and host a Green New Deal event in May.

On Thursday, April 25 at 4:30 pm, Rep Ron Kind will speak with Green New Deal supporters on the UWL campus. The room has not been finalized yet but we will be sure to update the calendar as details become available. The US must become a leader in cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

These are the types and scopes of changes we need to push for right now. We can make our own personal changes, but we must also work very hard to make those changes at the city, county, state, and national levels. This is more important than basketball championships, cancer fundraisers, or anything else you can think of. This is MOST important. In the words of a dear PA diner patron interviewed on a FOX television program, "Ultimately, the other issues are all solvable. But if the planet starts catching on fire and we’re all dead, it doesn’t do us any good to see how much money we can make.”

Monday, April 08, 2019

Conservation Congress and more

This week's opportunities for citizen action and education include:

* MONDAY, April 8 Conservation Congress Spring meetings around the state at 7 pm (La Crosse County meeting is at Onalaska High School). You may also participate online for the first time ever! Vote on issues important to our environment. See Sierra Club's voting guide at
And Frac Sand Sentinel asks folks to print and take two copies of this resolution: OPPOSE THE BACK FORTY PROPOSED METALLIC SULFIDE MINE

* THURSDAY, April 11 - Watch the film, DARK MONEY at the Rivoli Theater at 6:30 pm and talk about the influence of anonymous big donors to our political system. Co-sponsored by La Crosse for People Powered Democracy, Medicare for All WI 3rd CD, and Blue Jean Nation.

* SATURDAY, April 13 , join a Sierra Club Climate Conversation, 10:30 am to noon, at the South Community Library: Imagining our Carbon Free Future. What will a community powered by 100% clean renewable energy look like? How will our transportation and food systems change? What will our neighborhoods look like? How should we be preparing now to make the transition smoother? Bring your ideas and actions, things you are doing or plan to do, and great ideas you've experienced or read about. We'll build on the January Climate Conversation event and compile and prioritize an action list for the coming year.

There's more coming up. Check the calendar (and add your event if it's not already there).

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Social justice, ethical cities, citizen action

One of the great things about the Coulee Region is our wealth of higher education institutions. This coming week, April 1-5, the Institute for Social Justice at UW-La Crosse is hosting a week of speakers, panels, exhibits, and workshops designed to "elevate silenced voices.

Check out the list of FREE Social Justice Week events at their website.

On Thursday, April 4, Charles Montgomery, author of The Happy City opens Viterbo University's interdisciplinary conference on The Ethical City with a keynote speech at 7 pm in the Fine Arts Center. The conference runs through April 6 and requires registration. Montgomery's speech is free.

In addition, don't forget to VOTE on Tuesday if you haven't yet. The Wisconsin Supreme Court race is super important. Remember, Hagedorn worked for the Walker administration. Judge Lisa Neubauer did not.

Also this week:

* April 4 state budget listening session with State Senator Jennifer Shilling and Rep. Jill Billings at 5:30 pm at the Northside Policing Center, 713 St. James St. With the nearest Joint Finance Committee hearings in River Falls, these local sessions are extra important to help show support for Governor Evers' budget proposals.

* A Coulee Region group of Democratic Socialists of America is starting and will meet April 6 at 10 am. Get more info by emailing couleesocialists at gmail or call or text 608 632-6166.

* The April 6 54th Annual UWL International Banquet, 6 pm at the UWL Student Union, offers food from around the world, international music, and the chance to demonstrate support for our diverse community. You must purchase tickets in advance.

Friday, March 22, 2019

More on Lobby Day

If you’ve never been to lobby day or you’re a longtime attendee, this year will be a special one. Be sure to register here! 

We’re honored to welcome Gov. Evers as we kick off this important day for Wisconsin’s environment. Since taking office, Gov. Evers has set a vision for safe drinking water and clean energy and he has proposed a state budget that prioritizes the environment in so many ways. We are thrilled that he will be able to talk directly with conservation leaders about his priorities.

This year’s afternoon sessions will include:

Fair Maps in Wisconsin
Sachin Chheda, chair of the Wisconsin Fair Maps Coalition, will discuss the consequences of partisan gerrymandering and the legislative proposal to fix the process and end map-rigging in Wisconsin forever.

How to Talk Persuasively to Those Who Don’t Already Agree with Us
Matt Rothschild, executive director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, will offer communication tips to use with your neighbors, co-workers, fellow congregants, and anyone else you know.

Responding to Threats from Sulfide Mining Expansion
Guy Reiter, community organizer and traditional Menominee living on the Menominee Reservation, will discuss efforts currently underway to stop the expansion of sulfide mining in Wisconsin, including the Back Forty project – a proposed mine in an area of great cultural significance to the Menominee Nation.

Clean Energy in Wisconsin
Kate Beaton, Wisconsin Conservation Voters western organizer and Eau Claire City Council member, and Heather Allen of RENEW will discuss local actions that are moving Wisconsin to 100 percent renewable energy. It’s a great opportunity to learn policy ideas and local organizing tips to usher in the clean energy era to your community.

More sessions are being finalized.

The lobby day experience is unique. You join hundreds of like-minded folks from across the state who share your concerns about our water, air, and land, and share your message directly with legislators.

A FREE BUS will leave from Tomah at about 7:30am. You must register in advance for the bus.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Citizen Action opportunities

Remember, you may vote Absentee In Person from now through Friday, March 29 (M-F, 8:30 am to 5:00 pm at City Hall if you're a City of La Crosse resident. Check your municipality clerk for details or look yourself up at for details).

On Thursday, March 21, learn why we must be involved and vigilant and proactive. Hear Holocaust survivor Magda Brown at 7 pm at the Viterbo Fine Arts Center. The program is free and open to the public.

Over the weekend, attend the 11th Annual Grassroots Fest in Mazomanie on Saturday (many great guest speakers) OR canvass (door to door visiting with neighbors and/or leaving printed material) to help people learn about the very important race for Wisconsin Supreme Court justice. Sign up here for Saturday and here for Sunday.

On Tuesday, March 26, Grandview-Emerson Neighborhood Association (GENA) is hosting a City Council Candidate Forum at 6:30 p.m. at the Myrick Park Center. Council candidates for District 4--John Lash and Larry Sleznikow--as well as candidates for District 5--Samuel Grenier and Justice Weaver--will participate in a candidate forum sponsored by GENA and the UWL Student Association. The public is invited. Send any questions you would like the candidates to discuss to Brief GENA meeting prior starting at 6:30pm.

On Wednesday, March 27, Wisconsin Conservation Voters is hosting hundreds of Wisconsinites from around the state for a Lobby Day at the state Capitol. Governor Tony Evers, who has declared 2019 the Year of Clean Water in Wisconsin will kick off the event. Anyone is welcome. There is a FREE BUS going to Madison from Tomah. YOU MUST SIGN UP TO SECURE A SPOT ON THE BUS.This is a very important event where individuals can make a real impact.

On Thursday, March 28, attend a state budget listening session at 5:30 pm at the Holmen Public Library with our local elected leaders (there will be another budget listening session on April 4 at 5:30 pm at the Northside Policing Center).

There's lots more coming up including several chances to advocate for action on catastrophic global warming and a clean environment. Watch the calendar for updates (a calendar-only view is available at, too). Link and share (and share your events!