Senator Ron Johnson (R-ALEC) will be at Old Town Inn, Westby (100 E. Old Town Road), to speak this Saturday at 4:00pm for Vernon Republicans' Lincoln Day Celebration and call to caucus. THIS IS NOT AN OPEN-TO-THE-PUBLIC event. UPDATE - Just got this email from Citizen Action of Wisconsin. Good GRIEF!!!
patriotic, that's what Citizen Action of WI supporter Earl
Good believes. That's why for months we've (including Earl) been
showing up to Congressional offices, calling every day, writing
letters/emails/postcards & more. And it's why our members took
part in town halls and rallies across the state last week during the
Congressional Recess, including a 500+ person rally in Greenfield and
150+ in Wausau. Complete with empty chairs for, and a large cardboard
cutout of, Senator Ron Johnson.
And what do we get for it? A "cease and
desist" letter (click
for full letter) from the Senator's office (signed
"staff"). Senator Johnson is trying his best not to hear our
concerns about the future of healthcare, about the future of our
country and the fate of our families.
There's another Congressional Recess coming up, and the ACA hasn't
been repealed yet. Join us in saying "We will NOT Cease and
In fact, today we hand-delivered a video to his office of our 500+
person town hall/rally so they could hear directly from us, since they
skipped out on our town hall. Our members have been showing up,
calling, emailing, letter-writing and more. And we won't stop.
First, we are looking for a few people to donate some snacks for this event. Could you bring any one of these: bread, chips, crackers, cheese, spreads, dips, veggie tray, fruit tray, nuts, dried fruit, muffins,
cookies, bars, brownies? If yes, please contact the food committee!
We have an impressive list of groups attending the climate action festival this year to share their knowledge, including:
First, WE ARE WORKING TO SET UP ACLU "resistance training" IN LA CROSSE. Right now we're looking for a pub/restaurant event room or other suitable (has good wifi, accessible, central location) venue. Please email couleeprogressive[at]hotmail.com to get on the team.
The Progressive Potluck scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 25 has been rescheduled to Wednesday, March 1 at 5:30. If you need to fill a gap created by this schedule change, consider stopping by School Board candidate Laurie Cooper-Stoll's postcard potluck (link does not work if you are not on FB) between 2 and 10 p.m. (1520 State Street) and then attending the Alternative Truth Project, 7:30 p.m. at the Pump House.
On February 27, there will be a La Crosse District 7 candidate forum (Nick Dutton v. Gary Padesky) at the First Congregational Church (Main Street & Losey Boulevard). This is part of the Bluffside Neighborhood Association meeting which begins at 6 p.m. The candidate forum is last on the agenda, so probably will not start until 6:40 or so.
February 28 is Farm & Rural Lobby Day at the State Capitol sponsored by Wisconsin Farmers' Union.
Registration for the third Democracy Convention is now open! Democracy Convention 2017 is taking place August 2 - 6, at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. This year's theme is "Universalizing Resistance, Democratizing Power!" *Reserve your spot before April 1 and receive a t-shirt at the convention!
than one conference, the Democracy Convention houses ten conferences
under one roof. With the Democracy Convention, we recognize the
importance of each of these separate democracy struggles, as well as the
need to unite them all in a common, deeply rooted, broad based,
movement for democracy.
Lodging & Dining
The Democracy Convention is now taking reservations for on-campus lodging and dining August 2 - August 6
at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. Campus lodging and dining
options are a low-cost, convenient way to ensure all of your needs are
met on campus while attending the Convention.
It appears that Nick Dutton has advanced to the April primary in La Crosse's 7th District along with the incumbent, Gary Padesky. Nick came in second among four candidates. Unofficial results show he edged out third place candidate, Jim Bagniewski, by just five votes. The Board of Elections will certify results in a few days. For now, we are happy to see such a strong showing by Nick!
And Tony Evers trounced his opponents, netting nearly 70% of the vote for State Superintendent of Public Schools. His April opponent will be Lowell Holtz ("kidservative"), a voucher supporter who will probably have unlimited campaign cash from those who believe public schools should be replaced by private, religious schools.
Sadly, only EIGHT PERCENT of Wisconsin voters bothered to turn out for this important primary. Does this meet the "failed democracy" criteria or what?
One April election that is destined to be a disaster is the UNOPPOSED right wing Annette Ziegler who is running unopposed for a 10 year Wisconsin State Supreme Court term (UNopposed). Our only hope is a write in campaign - if you know of a suitable candidate (a real one! not Mark Twain this time!) we could convince to run an online, web based write in campaign with support from across the state, please email couleeprogressive[at]hotmail.com.
This is an unofficial
report about what happened at the February 20 La Crosse Democratic Party
meeting. This is just an observer's report. It is not official minutes.
These views are not those of the Dem party or its officials. Any action
items noted below are identified as such from notes taken at the
meeting. This is not in any way official Democratic Party communication.
It is hoped that this info will be helpful for those who were not able
to attend the meeting but who wish to participate in building the party.
the chair was ill and many people were grateful that he was able to
make it through the meeting and appreciated the effort.
"There's a direct relationship between the ballot box and the bread box,
and what the union fights for and wins at the bargaining table can be
taken away in the legislative halls." - Walter Reuther, past president United Auto Workers Union
The speaker was Terry Hicks who is the editor of the Union Herald,
a union newspaper that reaches about 4,000 union and other households
in western Wisconsin. Hicks is also an officer in the local AFL-CIO and
has been a past La Crosse Dems chair. He talked about how many union
members believed Donald Trump when he promised to bring back
manufacturing jobs. He noted that after the 100,000+ people in Madison
failed to stop the Republican war on (public) unions, some union members
wondered how to fight back. Unions are looking for new ways to organize
and rebuild. He acknowledged that sometimes Democrats' actions (for
example, some Dems' support of the Trans-Pacific Partnership) have
pushed union members away.
[There's more ... read the whole report at the meeting notes page (including the exciting conclusion to the Keith Ellison resolution revolution).]
education is under attack, nationally and in our state. Betsy DeVos
will do everything possible to replace public education with charter,
private, and religious schools. So will our state government. And so
would two of the candidates running for State Superintendent of Schools.
If you are not a member of the Democratic Party or don't want to be, then just skip this one. But if you normally work for, contribute to, and vote for Dem candidates, consider joining the party so you will have more chance to influence the direction of the party - policies, priorities, goals, and candidates - going forward.
You can join at the meeting. Complete this form and bring it with your dues. The next meeting is Monday, February 20 at 7 p.m. in the lower level of the Ho-Chunk Three Rivers House, 8th and Main. Read more here.
The speaker will be Terry Hicks, member of the Western Wisconsin AFL-CIO Council, editor of the La Crosse Union Herald and former La Crosse Democratic Party chair. Unions are facing threats from every corner. Just this month, the Wisconsin Senate passed a bill prohibiting state and local governments from requiring contractors bidding on projects to enter into collective bargaining agreements. Nationally, Republicans are seeking to replicate Wisconsin's ACT 10. Why did Donald Trump hold a rally at South Carolina's Boeing plant? Might it be the resounding defeat Boeing workers handed union organizers last week?
There will also be a vote on whether or not the La Crosse County Democratic party will urge state party officials to vote for Keith Ellison as DNC chair. Ellison, who was a strong Bernie supporter during the primary campaign, has pledged an active-in-every-county-of-every-state system of support, candidate growth, outreach, and rejuvenation. He's been endorsed by Senators Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Chuck Schumer, and Tammy Duckworth plus many other elected officials and organizations.
The party continues to seek new members, perspectives, ideas, and energy, from committee work to volunteer drivers for free rides to the polls on Tuesday, Febtuary 21. More information will also be provided about the party's Third Congressional District Convention in March.
"The moneyed interests in the party allowed the deregulation of Wall
Street and then encouraged the bailout of the Street. They’re barely
concerned about the growth of tax havens, inside trading, increasing
market power in major industries (pharmaceuticals, telecom, airlines,
private health insurers, food processors, finance, even high tech) and
they’ve allowed labor unions to shrink to near irrelevance. Unionized
workers used to be the ground troops of the Democratic Party. In the
1950s, more than a third of all private-sector workers were unionized; today, fewer than 7 percent are.
"It’s not enough for Democrats to be “against Trump” and defend the status quo. Democrats have to fight like hell against regressive policies Trump wants to put in place, but Democrats also need to fight for
a bold vision of what the nation must achieve — like expanding Social
Security, and financing the expansion by raising the cap on income
subject to Social Security taxes; Medicare for all; and world-class free
public education for all.
"The party must change from being a giant fundraising machine to a movement. It
needs to unite the poor, working class and middle class, black and
white — who haven’t had a raise in 30 years, and who feel angry,
powerless and disenfranchised."
If you agree with Reich, this is your chance to make a difference.
As you may know, Orwellian ads are running nearly two years before the next Congressional election priming voters to associate the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) deficits with one of its supporters, Ron Kind (see La Crosse Tribune letter to the editor). One reason to go to this event might be to push back against any people who have been sucked in by this blackwhite commercial and set them straight about who the real villains are. To be sure, many of us wish Obama and his fellow Democrats would have pushed for and passed Medicare for All, but that didn't happen. At least we have something even if it is crappy for many many people. At least many many people now have some kind of health insurance (if not always health care).
Whatever you ask or say, make sure you GO TO THE RIGHT PLACE!
Our other Wisconsin Ron - Johnson, Senator (R) may be joining more than 200 Republicans who are refusing to meet with voters during the break. He did offer a telephone town hall yesterday, but if, like me, your jacket pocket zipper jammed and you weren't able to dig your phone out in time to answer the call from his office, you were out of luck. No way to get in except through the secret phone call. No answers (except "leave a message" or "mailbox full") at his three offices. No access.
Some constituents are trying to set up "Ron Johnson invited" town halls around the state, but at this point, all pretenses are kind of moot. Why meet with people who don't like you? The campaign cash will continue to flow from the super wealthy crony donors.
Speaking of "not listening" at the state level ... You may have read of our "really not listening" session with State Rep. Lee Nerison (R - 96th) on March 8. About a dozen Vernon and Crawford county residents and land owners were treated very rudely by Nerison's aide. She showed up 12 minutes late with a policeman, refused to unlock the office door, refused to take notes, and finally, when politely asked to schedule a couple of in-district, public, open to all listening sessions where the Rep himself would attend and talk about major issues, she stormed from the room. If you live in Nerison's district, please call every day to request at least two open to the public, accessible listening sessions that Nerison will attend before the end of April. 608 634-4562.
We need Nerison to represent us regarding access to public fishing/hunting areas, high capacity wells, CAFOs, phosphorous and mercury pollution, DNR staffing and funding, supporting basic science and scientific research, and much more.
Update! Nerison co-sponsors 2017 Senate Bill 44 Relating to: designating cheese as the state dairy product.
Great article in The Nation. "As I learned more about that week, I felt as if I’d opened a magical wardrobe into a world where black and white people met as equals and enjoyed one another, for a few hours, anyway. It was like seeing a luminous parallel America where everything seemed possible, even if it wasn’t in the end."
We are in need of a few volunteers for our Clara Fields pre-k reading program. For just 1-hour per-day, Monday – Friday or any day you can volunteer.
Our Sessions are 8 to 10 a.m., 8 a.m. to noon, or 10 a.m. to noon.
Volunteers will be assisting Mrs. Adams, our Executive Director with 1 to 2 students as requested. The volunteer will be given instructions daily and have the same student(s).
Volunteers, with an admitted child and/or grandchild, volunteering 10-hours a week or more, will receive reduced tuition.
If you know of anyone who would like to volunteer, please let me know: 608-519-2367. If you are interested, please goto: http://aaman.us/volunteer.html to register and you may share this link with others.
La Crosse Listening Session at the La Crosse Public Library
Next, from Citizen Action (thanks, Jackie!)
A General permit for dredging in all Wisconsin lakes has been applied for and two hearings will be held on February 14 and 16. Also, public comments will be accepted via email until March 3, 2017. The email can be sent to email@example.com
The permit will allow the following:
Removal of up to 25 cubic yards or material per landowner on all in
land lake shores and 100 cubic yards on the Great Lakes (25 cubic yards
is 2 ½ dump trucks)
Will have limited or non-existence DNR review and oversight.
Allow the removal of woody debris, trees and other fish and habitat structures.
Allow dredging in up to 5 feet of water.
May hasten the spread of invasive species between and across lakes.
Will destroy critical riparian habitat and spawning beds
No notification of dredging to neighbors even though their lakeshore could be negatively impacted.
Destruction of endangered species. Untrained individuals (home owners
can fill out application forms so they have to state that there are no
endangered species in the dredged area. However, unless the home owner
is also an aquatic biologist they have no way to accurately identify
plant, invertebrate or other species as potentially endangered.
this is a permit and not legislation the only way to stop is to flood
the DNR with comments opposing this permit. Contacting our legislators
won’t work. These groups are trying to exploit a loop hole in the law
that is designed to help projects like the Tree Drops on Lake Menomin to
create a state wide environmental disaster.
permit is being promoted by a company that dredges lakes, the builder’s
association and the realtors. If you would like more information, call
Wisconsin Wildlife Federation District 3 Rep Jim Swanson at 715-232-8266.
CONSERVATION LOBBY DAY - MARCH 29! VERY IMPORTANT A
recent study showed 18 percent of all wells in the state are
contaminated with bacteria that indicate the presence of disease-causing organisms. Learn more.
a group representing some of the state's biggest polluters directly
interferes with policies that determine the quality of our drinking
water, it's time to fight back!
Dairy Business Association (DBA) has had its say with Gov. Walker, now
we need to make sure our voices – and the voices of families who can't
drink their water – are heard. That's why we need you to join us at Conservation Lobby Day on March 29th.
of wealthy, powerful special interests run the DBA – and its priority
is to ensure factory farms continue to operate with as little oversight
Walker has repeatedly colluded with this group to loosen any attempt at
protecting drinking water even as manure poisons families across the
week, Walker’s budget proposal included a directive to evaluate moving
regulation of factory farms out of the DNR. That terrible idea would
make enforcing clean water rules even more difficult. The DBA presented
it to Walker’s staff weeks before he released the budget.
A general strike is when a substantial portion of the population refuses to work in order to pressure a change in government policy. The general strike on February 17th is intended to be a nationwide general strike (national strike) against unconstitutional and unethical policies advanced by federal government officials. This post covers its inspiration, purpose, and how to participate. Lastly, it closes with why a local movement is important and some links.
Please comment to suggest activities for people to participate in the general strike that would have a great impact in the community.
While the Occupy movement held general strikes in the past, Francine Prose’s opinion piece in The Guardian rekindled the idea for 2017. She writes, “Let’s designate a day on which no one (that is, anyone who can do so without being fired) goes to work, a day when no one shops or spends money, a day on which we truly make our economic and political power felt, a day when we make it clear: how many of us there are, how strong and committed we are, how much we can accomplish.”
A general strike is different from a rally or protest in that the target is economic. Occupy’s target was Wall Street. The goal is to send a message to government officials by disrupting business though acts of non-violent civil disobedience and demonstration. One of the main topics of 2016’s election was the economy and job. If elected officials do not deliver on improving the economy, their chances of reelection will be hurt. If the people’s wealth doesn’t go to powerful lobbying interests, their influence may be diminished.
Further, not participating in the economy for a day can demonstrate valuing people over profit. Your time could be used volunteering; your money could be contributed to a charity or to take a little off a burdensome debt, like a student loan; both could be used to build a community with a potluck, letter writing or calling campaign, fundraising drive, or just being present for someone.
Strike4Democracy lists the reasons for the strike as upholding democracy, human rights, the environment, and ethics In public service. It is seeking progressive polices on issues that affect equality, workers’ rights, healthcare, education, energy, and the environment. Their purpose is somewhat nebulous, but a past iteration of f17strike.com listed the following more focus demands:
No Ban, No Wall. The Muslim ban is immoral, the wall is expensive and ineffectual. We will build bridges, not walls.
Healthcare For All. Healthcare is a human right. Do not repeal the ACA. Improve it or enact Medicare for All.
No Pipelines. Rescind approval for DAPL and Keystone XL and adopt meaningful policies to protect our environment. It's the only one we've got.
End the Global Gag Rule. We cannot put the medical care of millions of women around the globe at risk.
Disclose and Divest. Show us your taxes. Sell your company. Ethics rules exist for a reason and presidents should focus on the country, not their company.
During official strike days you can do the following:
Don’t Work (If you can). Instead plan or take part in an event in your community:
Plan/Participate in a Day of Service
Join with other like-minded folks and occupy public space with positive messages of resistance and solidarity.
Do not purchase anything.
“#BreakLunch” Use your lunch break to disrupt and participate:
Use social media to show how you #BreakLunch. Tweet, FB, Instagram, and Snapchat messages that support democracy. Include hashtags #BreakLunch, #GeneralStrike, #F17
Donate your lunch money that day to cause you believe in. Post about it and use those same hashtags.
Get creative and show the world how you #BreakLunch
Reach out to your representatives in Washington DC or your state and tell them why you are “striking” today, and post about it using strike related hash tags.
If you are a teacher or student, please consider participating in the Teach-In on Democracy. Keep your students engaged.
This is not a National Day-Off; we’ve got work to do!! Get out and get busy!!! Be Peaceful! Have fun!
While there are two state capitals within 125 miles, La Crosse area citizens can be a part of the larger strikes, protests, and rallies here. It doesn’t make sense to travel to St. Paul, Madison, or further, especially in opposition to fossil fuels that impact so much policy decision-making. Local events can have the impact of strengthening and deepening local ties, while still remaining connected by the larger movement via the internet. Coulee Progressives and its members have helped make that happen, and can build a network for a robust public discourse, not just for this general strike, but for future events. Where is the best place to demonstrate outside? Who’s got a PA system? Where can rallies be held indoors? What other groups may want to be involved? Who are the newspaper, radio, and television contacts that will get this on the air? These are questions that will be important for rapid response events and helping to keep action local.
Strike4Democracy’s group members compiled a list of local chapters participating in the general strike for people to reach out to. Coulee Progressives may not be directly aligned with their values, but can help guide interested strikers into taking meaningful action locally without having to travel far.
One general strike likely won’t be enough to change federal policy, so February 17th isn’t the end. The Women’s March is holding a general strike on March 8th. Some have suggested a strike on April 15th to pressure the release of tax documents. Occupy Wall Street held general strikes on May Day (or International Workers Day). Keep the pressure on in every way that is meaningful to you!
Again, please comment to suggest activities for people to participate in the general strike that would have a great impact in the community.
This Sunday night, at 7 p.m. Central, join MoveOn and allies for Ready to Resist: Emergency
Call #3 to hear from the mayor of Minneapolis Betsy Hodges and United
We Dream's Cristina Jimenez about how cities and towns can be the
frontlines of resistance to Trump, share strategies for the week ahead,
and prepare for "Resistance Recess," when we will directly address
members of Congress who will be back home from D.C.
During this call Sunday,
we’ll look at how through a trio of strategies—focusing on cities,
Congress, and corporations—we can weave together a successful movement
that resists and wins. We'll discuss opportunities to take peaceful and
strategic action this week to make a difference and grow this movement.
Here's more about the leaders from across
the resistance movement who we'll hear from this Sunday, February 12:
Cristina Jimenez, executive director and co-founder
of United We Dream, will unpack what she’s learned from immigrant
communities around the country about this latest coordinated deportation
sweep—what is new and what isn’t, and what we can do about it.
Mayor Betsy Hodges of Minneapolis, Minnesota, will
discuss how cities like hers can stand up as "sanctuary cities"—and
more—against deportations and be the frontlines of resistance to Trump.
Hugh Espey, executive director of Iowa Citizens for
Community Improvement, one of the country’s premier trainers in
“bird-dogging”—the skill of asking tough questions of elected officials
in public—will lead a training in how to make the most of the upcoming
February congressional recess.
Jennifer Epps-Addison, president and co-executive
director of The Center for Popular Democracy, will share how Disney
employees are organizing to get Disney to stop collaborating with Trump.
Georgia Hollister Isman, state director of Rhode
Island Working Families Party, will illuminate how 1,000 people showed
up at a spaghetti dinner hosted by Rhode Island Senator Sheldon
Whitehouse, sparking a mobilization that’s stiffening the spines of
Democrats to truly meet this extraordinary moment.
The first Ready to Resist call on January 22, shattered a
Guinness World Record—for the most people engaged in a "single live
conversation"! And the truly amazing part? The average
listener participates in Ready to Resist calls for 55 minutes—nearly 4
times as long as the average telephone town hall listener—which tells me
that participants are finding the content valuable.
But what matters is not how many of us get on the phone together—what matters are the actions that we take together. Which is why on this Sunday's
call—and on every Sunday call—you’ll learn about specific actions to
take in the upcoming week to make a difference. (Want a sneak peek of
one of this week's actions? Join or host a Valentine’s Day Let’s Make a Date rally at your members’ of Congress local office this Tuesday, February 14).
First, the La Crosse County Democratic Party will offer rides for voters wishing to vote absentee in person at the city clerk's office in La Crosse and Onalaska Monday, Feb. 13 through Friday, Feb. 17 and on election day, Tuesday, Feb. 21. If you would be available to drive, please email us and we'll forward your info to the coordinator (include your name, contact info (phone and/or email) and times and days you are available!)
IF YOU KNOW OF SOMEONE WHO NEEDS A RIDE TO VOTE, PLEASE ASK THEM TO CALL 608 769-5286
And, if YOU haven't voted yet, please DO. You can vote absentee in person at your municipal clerk's office (in City of La Crosse, City Hall, it's M-F between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. You can find out about your specific absentee in person polling place and hours at myvote.wi.gov. Election day is Tuesday, February 21. PLEASE MAKE SURE TO TAKE APPROPRIATE PHOTO ID WHEN YOU GO TO VOTE.
Tony Evers is the current Superintendent of Public Schools. He is a public school advocate. He has TWO challengers so there is a primary. HE MUST WIN THIS PRIMARY to advance to the general election in April. Primary turnouts are notoriously abysmal so it is imperative that we turn out and TURN OTHERS OUT to vote.
Evers is endorsed by the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the Wisconsin Education Association Council (WEAC), the School Administrators Alliance, and more. As we enter the era of public schools under a US Secretary of Education who has spent her career trying to end public school, we need a strong advocate for schools, children, families, and teachers in Wisconsin.
Other events coming up this week (check the calendar at couleeprogressives.org) include One Billion Rising-La Crosse Rises, La Crosse Reads events, Sustainable La Crosse meetings and forums, La Crosse Citizen Climate Lobby, Indivisible meeting, Jill Billings fundraiser and more.