Friday, January 13, 2017

1/12 Potluck Summary

Thanks to everyone who made it to this week’s progressive potluck last night! We had another great gathering with excellent topics discussed, ranging from events to campaigns to rallies to art. Below is a summary for folks who couldn’t make it and want to keep up, or if you came and want a review.

Local Elections

We had the pleasure of hosting three candidates for local office: Nick Dutton running for city council in District 7, David Marshall running for city council in District 4, and Laurie Cooper Stoll running for school board in La Crosse County. All three are excellent candidates and are happy to take on any and all volunteers to help get them elected! All are running against incumbents, and we are going to need to pound the pavement to get their names out in the public to make sure these progressives get into office. Email Peter at if you want to volunteer.

Climate Action Festival

Kathy Allen heading up the Coulee Region Climate Alliance is organizing the 2nd annual climate action festival and looking for volunteers to help organize the event. Last year, the festival was more focused on awareness and local organization publicity, but this year we are hoping to focus more on specific action to defend our planet. Contact Kathy Allen at if you want to help with this event.

Trump Healthcare Accountability Rally

This Sunday 1/15 at 1:30 in Cameron Park (across the street from the People’s Food Co-op), there is a rally to hold president elect Donald Trump accountable. Trump stated explicitly that he would not make cuts to Medicare and Medicaid, and now as Republicans in Congress move rapidly to make cuts, it is time to tell our president-elect that he must live up to his word. There are 9 rallies in Wisconsin alone, and this national event is hoping to garner national news coverage. It is our job to highlight the discrepancies of our incoming president as he fails to fulfill his campaign promises, so that we can show all those who he fooled that he has no intention of helping out everyday Americans, but instead is going to serve his rich, corporate interests. Please, please try to make it out to this event: All you have to do to make a difference is show up! There will be signs available, or make your own if you’re inspired. If you are someone who uses or has used Medicaid, Medicare, health insurance from the ACA marketplace, please consider speaking at the rally to share your experience and why you are concerned about the proposed healthcare repeals. Contact Ken Tschumper at to let him know if you care to speak at the rally.

Progrestival update

On February 4th, starting at 6 PM, there will be a local coalition-building event lovingly called the “Progrestival” at the Concordia Ballroom. We will have free food and music for activists all over the La Crosse area. This event will be an opportunity to socialize and network with other people working in progressive political and social organizations in the area. Attendance is free, and groups are encouraged to attend to talk about their work. Tables and half tables are available for groups that want to have space for posters, literature, etc. We are asking for $10 for a full table and $5 for half, but let the organizers know if cost is a barrier. Please contact Kevin ( or RoZ ( for more info, or contact Avery Van Gaard ( to reserve table space for your group.

Forum on alternative transportation

There will be a forum on transportation at City Hall coming up on Wednesday the 18th. The main point of our discussion was that the road through the marsh is being pushed by monied interests, and it is frankly hard for officials to turn down money. If we are going to beat the northwest corridor for good and get better bike lanes and bus routes, we need to work on economic arguments for how it will be fiscally responsible and better for the City to invest in infrastructure changes to decrease cars, traffic, and emissions (while creating jobs).

Listen To Your Mother looking for auditioners

The second annual performance of Listen to Your Mother is coming up! This show is a showcase of diverse stories written and performed by locals on their experiences of motherhood, which can be about a mother or mother figure in your life, or your experience as a mother. The directors are inviting people to audition: Feb. 8th 5-9 PM, Feb. 13th 5-9 PM, and Feb 18th 8:30-noon. To schedule auditions, email

April Social Justice Week at UW-L

Social Justice Week 2017 on the UW-L campus is coming up in April, a wonderful program started by our excellent school board candidate Laurie Cooper Stoll. It is still early for details, but stay tuned and contact Lori if you want more info or if you want to work on the event.

DPW caucus

The Democratic Progressives of Wisconsin, a caucus in the State Democratic Party, is looking for members. This caucus came out of the experiences of national convention representatives for Bernie Sanders, who joined the party and felt the need for a way to organize all of the party members and keep pushing for progressive representation. If you are a member, please consider signing up. Here is the Facebook page. You can also contact Obbie ( to get signed up, he is gathering membership info in La Crosse and is on the County Exec Board.

Democratic Party Outreach Committee

The party outreach committee is looking to work on connecting with those in our community who are very likely to be targeted by the Trump administration and his supporters and investigate how we can best support them. They are also looking to expand the party base in rural areas and talk to voters who will be increasingly disillusioned as Trump and the Republican party fail to help them. They are also working on contacting new members harnessing the energy from the election. If you want to get involved, reach out Sara (, the committee chair.

Polling Place investigation

The polling places of La Crosse are far less than satisfactory. Many people are required to travel farther than they are able, especially those who lack their own car. At the Democratic Party meeting this Monday night, we are planning to introduce a motion to work on researching locations and hopefully proposing them to the city with our evidence of how they will increase voter turnout and thus aid our city in becoming more democratic and fair. You can contact Peter ( for more info.

Clean Water campaign

La Crosse County has had previous reports of high chromium-6 levels in municipal water, and the city seems to have done nothing about it. This is a carcinogen created from steel manufacturing and coal power plant functions, but unfortunately there is no federal regulation of the chemical. However, California regulates the chemical at 0.02 ppb, while La Crosse water is at 0.73 ppb, an incredibly high concentration. The local Sierra Club chapter will be heading up a task force to investigate this further and work to hold our city officials accountable for ensuring clean water is available to all of our residents. Our infrastructure is crumbling across the nation, and after mass deception and tragedy in Flint, MI we have seen that, unfortunately, the responsibility for ensuring that water is safe has been shifted to private citizens and activists. Contact local Sierra Club Rep Cathy ( to get involved.

Our Wisconsin Revolution

At this point I am sure you are all ready to go to the Progrestival, but you might be thinking, ‘I’ll be so excited and energized, what should I do earlier that day?’. Well, luckily we have another amazing event right beforehand! Convenient we know. February 4th at 3 PM at the South Side Neighborhood Center (1300 S. 6th St.), Our Wisconsin Revolution is having a meeting for the start of the La Crosse branch. Our Revolution is an organization founded by Bernie Sanders to continue the momentum his presidential campaign created. Ths group will find, endorse, and help progressive political candidates run for office, as well as work on issues locally and on the state level. We encourage everyone reading this to get involved, and you can rest assured that it will be talked about at future meetings.

Indivisible: A Practical Guide for Resisting the Trump Agenda

Indivisible is a fabulous guide on resistance in the upcoming months and years. We highly recommend, if you can find some time, that you at least download it, flip through it, and save it for future use.

Monica and Peter

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