Thursday, June 29, 2017

More on citizen action

On Tuesday, Our Wisconsin Revolution - La Crosse chapter hosted a Meet your City Government event at the Myrick Park Center. Moderated by Prof. Richard Kyte of Viterbo University's Ethics in Leadership program, the panel included Mayor Tim Kabat and members of the La Crosse City Council, School Board, and City Committees.

According to one attendee, "Mayor Kabat encouraged people to CALL their elected reps - not email, as it’s more direct- regarding matters of concern. He encouraged people to CALL him (608 789-7500) when they had issues of vital importance and didn’t know where to go. Maybe it's time for people to call their council members, committee members, and the mayor, and call again and again…respectfully of course. AND give kudos to the Planning Committee, direct positive feedback to those members, saying their approach is helpful to civic engagement."

Calling or speaking with an elected in person is a most effective way to communicate. But, especially if you are lobbying for a specific program change or innovation, emailing can also be useful because you can include graphics, charts, and links to background information. Or if you are contacting the entire city council (since public hearings before all the council members are now much more difficult), emailing may be the most effective and efficient way.

Another way to get involved: you can nominate yourself to serve on a City Board or Committee

We also need to make sure that those we call actually count and respond to our calls (or emails or letters). How many times have you been asked for your name, address, and phone number when called Sen. Ron Johnson's office? (Maybe that's a bad example since 90% of the time you will either get the chance to leave a voice mail, or, more often than not, get a message that the voice mailbox is full). [Ron Johnson's contact info is here.]

Speaking of effective citizen action, this email came today:

#AllOfUs, Democracy Spring, Democratic Socialists of America, Our Revolution, The People's Consortium, and Progressive Democrats of America are working together to organize, coordinate, and support sit-ins at Senate offices across the country on Thursday, July 6th inspired by ADAPT’s courageous nonviolent sit-ins last week targeting Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell . We will target as many Republican Senators as possible with a common demand that they vote NO on the Better Care Reconciliation Act.

Healthcare is a right, not a privilege. Our country needs single-payer, Medicare for All that leaves no one out. But right now we must do everything we can to defend the tens of millions who will suffer if Trumpcare passes. If ordinary people rise up and demonstrate that this bill is morally unacceptable, if we put our own bodies and liberties on the line to show our neighbors that human lives are stake, we have a real shot at stopping this bill from becoming law.

Sign up now.

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