Sunday, July 30, 2017

What's happening this week (July 31-August 6)

First, Ron Malzer and Margaret Dihlmann-Malzer hosted a successful fundraiser for US Senator Tammy Baldwin on Saturday. More than 70 people attended. Sen. Baldwin is high on the Republican target list as they work to build a filibuster proof majority in the Senate in 2018. This is a very important election. If you were not able to attend, you can donate online or sign up to work on her campaign. Republicans have unlimited funds to throw at this race, so we must demonstrate unlimited PEOPLE POWER. 

Monday, July 31 - at 10 a.m. if you can, attend the Board of Public Works meeting to demonstrate your support for enhanced bike/ped infrastructure AND at 7 p.m. attend SURJ orientation at People's Food Co-op AND Queer Coloring and Cocktails will be happening also at 7 p.m. at JavaVino ANDcontact your state representatives about the very bad Foxconn deal (see below). 

Tuesday, August 1 - Our Wisconsin Revolution-La Crosse meets at 7 p.m. at the Ho-Chunk Three Rivers House (8th and Main) AND La Crosse United to Amend will meet at 7 p.m. to plan an April 2018 referendum supporting an overturn of Citizens United. 

Thursday, August 3 - At 6 p.m. public hearing by the La Crosse Finance and Personnel Committee. 

Also, there's a weekend of training in nonviolent civil disobedience in Viroqua August 11-13 presented by Ethan Hughes, co-founder of Possibility Alliance in Missouri, and Brenna Cussen Anglada, a founding member of St. Isidore Catholic Worker Farm in Wisconsin. They will pull from the wisdom of the Center for Applied Nonviolent Action and Strategies including nonviolent practice and theory, forms of social rganizing, dilemma actions, restorative justice, momentum-driven change, nonviolent communication and honing fearlessness. There will be an emphasis on possible frac sand mine actions. 

The event will be held at the Landmark Center, 500 E. Jefferson St., Viroqua. There's no set fee but donations are gladly accepted to help cover expenses. For more information and to register, please contact Joe Orso

AND Cory Doctorow, writing in Boing-Boing exposes the facts of the Foxconn CON Scott Walker is trying to push in a special session vote as early as TUESDAY. CNN Money reports on Foxconn's record not fulfilling its promises in the US and gladly replacing human workers with robots. Plus,
"American workers should be wary," said Eli Friedman, associate professor of international and comparative labor at Cornell University, adding that Foxconn had a history of getting "headlines that rarely match the reality." He pointed to an announcement in 2013 by Foxconn of plans to build a $30 million plant in Pennsylvania that have so far not come to fruition.
Educate yourself about this "over the top" very bad deal (including the environmental consequences) and contact your state representatives. (And anyway, Wisconsin workers should be making (and installing) solar panels not TV panels.)

The Story of Stuff - A short video on the problems of consumerism

Please take 20 minutes to watch this video succinctly explaining how consumerism exploits the planet and the people who live on it. Even if you are already on board with these ideas, it is a good refresher and a great tool to share with others you know who may not understand the problems.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Important public hearings in La Crosse

Sustainable City, La Crosse, whose mayor has signed on to the Sierra Club's Ready for 100 (percent clean energy) initiative and the US Conference of Mayors National Climate Action Agenda (Climate Mayors) (pledge to meet Paris Climate targets in their own communities) is inviting public input into plans and budgets for 2018 and beyond. Many of these public hearings are related to transportation, including parking, public transportation, and bicycle/pedestrian infrastructure, but there are other more general opportunities for public input and action, too. [Thanks to Lewis for notifying about bike/ped meetings.]

In 2016, the transportation sector greenhouse gas emissions eclipsed energy generation sector in the United States. Walking or bicycling can have a dramatic impact on an individual's climate "footprint." Switching from private car commuting to public transportation can also make a big difference.

This means we must prioritize plans and programs that reduce the numbers of private car trips (by design and/or by pricing), especially those made with only one occupant per vehicle, and increase the number of trips made by walking, biking, public transportation, and car pools.

This is not some happy hippy dream world. This is what we need to do in order to move toward clean renewable energy and meet Paris Climate Accord targets. And this is what we must support and push at public hearings.

We have a climate-committed Mayor and a new and active City Council. We have labeled ourselves "sustainable," and we have forward thinking city and county planners who get it.

Now, it's time for US to help them by showing up at these meetings and being vocal in our support.

Please try to make it to one or more of these events and please go with a friend or neighbor to double your impact. If you are unable to attend (10 a.m. is not a great time for working people to get to a public hearing) you may email members of the committee prior to the meeting if possible with your comments

July 31 at 10 a.m. in City Hall Fifth Floor Conference Room, the Board of Public Works will take up agenda item #17-0888: Resolution approving the development of an engineering plan for the King Street Neighborhood Greenway based on the Bicycle-Pedestrian Advisory Committee’s concept plan recommendation. [This is bike and pedestrian friendly infrastructure that will support more people biking and walking to work and school.]

August 3 at 6 p.m. in City Hall Council Chambers, the Finance and Personnel Committee will have a public hearing on a resolution to spend funds allocated in the Capital Improvement Program on bike route signs (File #17-0733) [This will sign a route from Onalaska to La Crosse, encouraging and facilitating intercity bicycle commuting] and on the King Street Neighborhood Greenway (#17-0888). There will also be a resolution and report on the costs* of operating and maintaining the downtown parking system. [*Not including costs to environment, health, air quality, and safety of pedestrians and bicyclists.]

[*For more on taxpayer subsidized low cost or free parking in the city, see this excellent article by Chris Hubbuch in the March 16 La Crosse Tribune: The price of parking: La Crosse eyes changes to fees, technology.   
But the actual costs are far greater, said Mike Giese, who chairs the Sustainable La Crosse Commission and was representing La Crosse County at Wednesday’s meeting. Giese pointed out the city would need to charge $317 a month per stall to cover the true cost of building and maintaining the ramp and the lost tax revenue from having a parking ramp occupying prime downtown real estate.“We’re subsidizing the private automobile to a tremendous degree,” Giese said. “I contend what differentiates a successful city from an unsuccessful city is whether they charge for parking.”]

August 14 at 4 p.m. in the City Hall Council Chambers the Plan Commission will host a public hearing on the Capital Improvement Program, including:
  • Increased funding for the Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan implementation (To achieve all the objectives in the plan in 20 years, the City will need a TENFOLD increase in funding)
  • Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan update in 2022
  • A bike trail connecting the Black River Beach Neighborhood Center to Copeland Park
August 17 at 4:30 pm. in the City Hall Fifth Floor Conference Room, the Sustainable La Crosse Commission will meet to discuss 2016 Sustainability Indicators and will identify sustainability projects to be supported and promoted in 2018. If you have suggestions, email committee members before August 17 or attend the meeting if you can.

September: The La Crosse Board of Estimates will be talking about the 2018 budget including having some public hearings (don't know when yet). This is what is known so far (per Mayor Kabat):
 The Board of Estimates will be meeting on September 11, 12, 19 and 20 to go over the 2018 operating budget.  All are held in the Common Council chambers starting at 4:15 PM

I recommend checking in with our office as we get closer to those dates to confirm.  Typically the first two meetings (11th and 12th)  are presentations from the city departments on their 2018 requests. The last two (19th and 20th) are the deliberations by the BOE. 

The final recommended budget is usually put together and voted on by the BOE on October 9th and 10th – after we get final info from the State of Wisconsin.
 It would be great if one person or a team of people had time to monitor the city's Legislative Information Center (which you almost have to do on an hourly basis sometimes) to peruse agendas when they are published (often very shortly before the meeting time) and alert us when something will be coming before committees. If anyone would like to volunteer for this task, please email!

In the meantime we will try to note important meetings where public input is required and/or invited.

And ... NOT a meeting, but an opportunity for public input. The city's Bike Ped Advisory Committee is updating its "Suitable for Bicycles" map. They want to make sure that streets marked in green are comfortable for people to ride on. What routes do YOU choose when you bike to work, school, shopping, etc? If you were sending a family with children off on a day of bicycling around the city, what streets would you mark as safe? Check the draft map here, and submit your comments by August 14.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

What's coming up? (July 24-30)

Hope you can make it to important events this week. If you know of an event that's missing, please submit it via this form or email it to

First, an update on the health care conference call held Sunday evening. After reports from activists who have engaged in sit ins and demonstrations, started and participated in actions at the state level, and those who have run for office, we heard an update about the upcoming week's schedule with respect to health care.

On Tuesday, Republicans will try to get enough votes via a motion to proceed to start voting on different versions of their "plans" from the BCRA (Better Care [sic] Reconciliation Act) which would through about 22 million people off of health care to the "Repeal and Run" version which would remove health care from up to 34 million. Whatever happens on Tuesday, Moveon and other organizations are getting ready to respond. Here are four things people can do:

+  For updates throughout the week, text CARE to 668366.

+  On Monday, Tuesday, and until a bill is either stopped or passed, call your senators (you can connect via Moveon's tool if you call 844-432-0883)

+  However it comes out, Moveon and other groups are asking people to set up a Lives On The Line National Day of Action on Saturday, July 29 (what can we do locally? More info about this at

+  Moveon and others are facilitating the Neighborhood Listening Project to canvass door to door across the country. Training and materials supplied - sign up at the link.

On Monday, July 24, at 10 a.m. the La Crosse Board of Public Works will be talking about parking assessments (did you know there was a public hearing about this on July 10?) and the possibility of using city outlets for EV charging AND if you want to virtually join the nationwide March for Health Care for All, you could call Rep. Ron Kind to tell him to co-sponsor HR 676, a Medicare for All bill introduced earlier in this session AND you can attend the Live Your Feel Fundraising info meeting to benefit The Center LGBTQ Center (you MUST RSVP at the link) AND Bluffside Neighborhood Association holds its monthly meeting at 6 p.m. at the First Congregational Church (corner of Losey and Main).

Tuesday, July 25 at 6 p.m. the Logan Northside Neighborhood Association meets at Trinity Lutheran Church AND  La Crosse SOUP holds its summer event at 6 pm at the Root Note AND you can MEET Mike McCabe (who will announce as a Democratic candidate for governor in September) at 7 p.m. at the Grand Hotel Ballroom (above The Pearl Ice Cream Shop).

Wednesday, July 26 marks the start of the Monroe County Fair (through Sunday) AND there's a Vernon County Board forum at 7 p.m. at the Vernon County Courthouse.

The next Progressive Potluck will be on Thursday, July 27 starting at 6 p.m. Meet and talk to local activists about how to make things better. Please email for location.

Friday, July 28: Progressives book club (email for details).

Saturday, July 29. Maybe there will be a Lives on the Line action (see above - will post if something gets set up). There is definitely a fundraiser for US Senator Tammy Baldwin beginning at 5:300 p.m at 331 S. 28th St in La Crosse (please RSVP by emailing emma OR call 608 663-6300). If you can't attend you can still DONATE ONLINE.

If you would like to be involved in planning next year's PROGRESSTIVAL, please email!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Health care (again)

Tomorrow (Sunday) night, is hosting a Ready to Resist conference call about health care. (see more below)

In addition, on Monday, July 24, there will be a March for Medicare for All in Washington, DC (and related marches across the country (closest to La Crosse is in Rockford, IL). You can view the DC event at their website.

And, a recent article, Message to Democrats: Get on Board with Medicare for All, or Go Home, talks about a House bill introduced earlier this year (HR 676) by Rep. John Conyers and how pressure is mounting on those Democrats (guess who?) who haven't yet signed on,

So, maybe on Monday everyone in the Third CD could do a PHONE March for Medicare for All by pledging to call Rep. Ron Kind's office (DC: (202) 225-5506 or La Crosse: (608) 782-2558) in solidarity with the real marches and tell him to join the 115 co-sponsors of HR 676 (including fellow Dem reps Mark Pocan, Gwen Moore, and Keith Ellison, among 112 others) ASAP because that's what most people want and need. See below for talking points.

FIRST: Sunday's conference call:

Ready to Resist mass movement call, this Sunday, July 23 at 7 p.m. Central Time for some #RealTalk on Trumpcare—including our successes in stopping it so far and how the next few days may unfold—and to prepare for the upcoming August congressional recess.
Click here to RSVP! 

We know we face real challenges—still with health care, and with the Muslim Ban, relentless attacks on immigrants and undocumented youth, the constitutionality of this president, and much more. And yet, our movement is growing strong. Even Republican senators are admitting that "the health care resistance is working."1

This Sunday's speakers and trainers will do what they do best, breaking down the state of play and the actions each of us can take to continue to have the kind of collective impact that is already changing history:
  • Ben Wikler, Washington director for MoveOn, will join us for the third installment of his lively updates on the health care fight from the nation's capitol as we head into a crucial, possibly make-or-break week.
  • Rusty Williams is a fourth-generation, lifelong resident of West Virginia and a leader with West Virginia Citizen Action. When he was diagnosed with cancer in 2012 and left without insurance, Rusty became active in advocating for patients' rights. Trump is headed to West Virginia Monday in a last-ditch effort to persuade Senator Shelley Moore Capito to support his disastrous health care plan, which would cripple the Medicaid program that 30% of West Virginians count on for health care. Rusty will share the story of how West Virginians have effectively organized to stop Sen. Capito from taking away their health care.
  • Mari Cordes, Marcia Dinkins, and Biola Jeje will lead a short training on how to hold members of Congress accountable for their votes during the upcoming monthlong August congressional recess. Mari Cordes has been a registered nurse for 30 years and is the former local union president of Vermont Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals and a founding board member of Rights and Democracy Vermont. Marcia Dinkins is the executive director of the Mahoning Valley Organizing Collaborative in Youngstown, Ohio. Biola Jeje is National Organizer with Resist Here, a project of the Working Families Organization.
  • Jennifer Epps-Addison, President and Co-Executive Director of the Center for Popular Democracy, will host the conversation.
Because we've continually raised our voices together, 181 days into the Trump administration, we've protected our health care and changed the conversation to continue pressing for Medicare for All.
Click here to RSVP for the call, and we'll dial you in this Sunday at 7 p.m. CT.

You can also listen to Sunday’s call here via live online streaming:
The job of single-payer proponents now, Dr. Paris emphasized, is to make it politically damaging for Democrats who refuse to listen to their constituents and instead remain committed to a failed for-profit system, under which millions remain uninsured.
"We're not going to wait around for our members of Congress to say, 'Now it's politically feasible.' If we wait for that, we're going to be waiting for the rest of my life, your life, and many more lives," Paris said. (from Message to Democrats: Get on Board with Medicare for All or Go Home)

Talking points for your Monday call to Rep. Ron Kind telling him to co-sponsor HR 676
  • There is no Republican plan that won't result in millions of people - from children to veterans - in losing health care coverage.
  • HR 676 is the only plan that would actually cover everyone and would save money
  • HR 676  is the only fiscally responsible way to cover everyone and would bring health care costs down by reducing administrative expenses and profits
  • Polls show that a majority of Americans favor a single payer Medicare for All health care program
For more general talking points about why a single payer health plan is better than other options, visit the Physicians for a National Health Program FAQ page. 

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Calling all Creatives! OPEN STREETS

[from Wisconsin Bike Fed]

Calling all La Crosse food vendors, art vendors, & local businesses: Get your spot now for La Crosse Open Street, September 3rd, 2017, 12-4pm

La Crosse Open Streets is a partnership between the Wisconsin Bicycle Federation and Explore La Crosse with support from Downtown Mainstreet, Inc, the City of La Crosse and the La Crosse City Vision Foundation.

La Crosse Open Streets is an event that will take place Sunday, September 3rd during the seventh year of the La Crosse Labor Day Bicycle Festival. This is an effort to bring a new event to the area, while still capitalizing on the audience that will already be attending the Bicycle Festival.

2012 Open Streets Minneapolis
Open Streets events create car-free spaces where people and families can exercise and play; at the same time, neighborhood businesses and vendors can engage the community and visitors in new ways. We will use about a mile of downtown streets for this special event, activating space that is otherwise quiet on a Labor Day afternoon, and bringing new customers and sightseers to businesses. 

Open Streets is a worldwide movement modeled after Ciclovia, which began in Bogota, Columbia. The idea focuses on minimizing the use of cars and temporarily promoting biking, walking and active living in the communal spaces that are otherwise dominated or made unsafe or unhealthy by moving and parked cars. 

Open Streets events are designed to be recurring – possibly weekly or monthly through the summer. The idea is to give a glimpse of other ways to get around and use city space. While there are events throughout world, the most famous Open Streets events are in places like Toronto, LA, and St. Petersburg, Florida. 

We would like to begin by creating an annual event. While we know that temporary car-free spaces allow community involvement and support physical activity or the broadening of transportation choices, creating a welcoming community and encouraging people to return, we also know that it is difficult to imagine those choices with so many cars. The Open Streets event temporarily shows what is possible.

The City of La Crosse will close a stretch of downtown between Cameron Park and Burns Park. A map will be created to illustrate where activities will take place including yoga, dance, art, hula hooping, ladder ball, bean bag toss, jenga blocks, bubbles, bike checks, bicycle skills courses and more. Organizations and businesses are invited to participate and encouraged to have an activity for participants. Food trucks and craft vendors will also be invited. 

A Facebook page has updates leading up to the event. Open Streets will be promoted on social media and printed posters, post cards, fliers, signs and maps.

Please contact Carolyn Dvorak to reserve space outside your business or along the route and for event sponsorship.

Carolyn Dvorakcarolyn.dvorak-at-@wisconsinbikefed.orgO: (608) 709-2945
C: (608) 317-2825 cell

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Here is an interesting article from the Nation on voter turnout from the presidential election, and the paterns that are present. There are a lot of narratives about Trump voters and working to recruit from the center, but it looks like a more promising group is in the votes of independents are those farther left. Hopefully Democrats catch on to this issue. Definitely worth a read.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

What's Coming Up (July 17-24)

Quite a range of events this week. If you are planning an event or meeting, please check our calendar to make sure you're not cross scheduling. If we are missing your event, please submit it or email!

Monday, July 17: Meet at 1:30 at the Onalaska City Hall to protest Scott Walker. He's supposed to be there between 2 and 4 p.m. AND At 4:30 there's a meet & greet & fundraiser for Kathleen Vinehout at Fayze's. Vinehout, a state senator, will be making a second run in the Democratic gubernatorial primary AND at 6:30 p.m. there's an important meeting of the La Crosse County Democratic Party at the Ho-Chunk Three Rivers House. Guest speaker: Kathleen Vinehout

Tuesday, July 18: At 6 p.m. you are invited to join the local Sierra Club in cleaning up River Valley Drive until about 7:30 AND 7 p.m. there are two important meetings. La Crosse United to Amend will hold a planning meeting at Java Vino AND Our Wisconsin Revolution will meet at the Ho-Chunk House.

Wednesday, July 19: The La Crosse Interstate Fair begins this day and continues through Sunday, July 23. If you have a candidate or a cause, this is a great place to connect with people and hand out information. Admissions is free. AND the La Crosse Area Planning Committee meets at 4:30 p.m. in the county building. Among the agenda items, "Transportation Demand Management: Next Steps."

Thursday, July 20: The Trempealeau County Fair begins and runs through July 23. Again, if you have events, candidates, causes to educate people about, there will be a lot of people in one place. Go here.

Saturday, July 22: Hillview Urban Agriculture's Bountiful Garden Tour from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. See the link for ticket and route info AND the annual Rail Fair Benefit and Fundraiser will take place in Copeland Park.

On Sunday, July 23: Get your Mediterranean fix at the annual St. Elias Mediterranean Fest from noon to 5 p.m. at 716 Copeland Avenue.

Will update as new events come to our attention!

Scott Walker in Onalaska Monday

Scott Walker will be at the Onalaska City Hall Monday afternoon. If you would like to join the protest - decimated DNR, poo in our drinking water, millions "lost" in WEDC giveaways, schools defunded , drug testing for poor Medicaid recipients but not rich cronies receiving government aid, ethical challenges (to be polite), deteriorating roads, 17th the century public transportation, still no budget, etc - please come with your sign and voice. Meet at 1:30 at City Hall.

Friday, July 14, 2017

SEE Me, READ Me - Culturally representative books

[We learned of this initiative from Laurie Cooper-Stoll, Founding Director, Institute for Social Justice at UWL)

In our community, and in our schools, the availability of books that represent people and children of color as heroes and protagonists are extremely limited, or absent. A community group — Showing Up for Racial Justice — has asked the La Crosse Public Education Foundation to partner in an effort to purchase books that are culturally representative, and give those books away to community children in grades pre-kindergarten to 12.

The plan is to purchase books, from a book list that is being  vetted through experts in the community, and have those books available for distribution at both the Mathy Center and Erickson Club of the Boys & Girls Club of Greater La Crosse at their Back-to-School events on August 24. 

In addition, there will be a “Read Me” event on Sunday, August 27 at both North and South La Crosse locations for children and young adults who received books to come and read their book to community adults, or have a book read to them by community adults. 

Some books will also be available to give away to children who were not able to attend the Boys & Girls Club event on August 24. Any remaining books not distributed directly to children will be given out to School District of La Crosse teachers through a “grant” application process for use in their classroom libraries.

Where Your Donation Goes:
Books will be purchased through any available vendor at the most reasonable price. Organizers hope to involve a local vendor – Pearl Street Books – that is partnering in the project.

  • $30 buys 2 books
  • $60 buys 4 books
  • $90 buys 6 books
  • $150 buys a 10-book set covering all grade levels
All donations to LPEF are tax-deductible and will be acknowledged via letter. LPEF adds a small surcharge to offset credit card processing fees and related expenses. For more details, go to our About Support-a-School page.
  • If fundraising falls short of the goal, money will be used to fulfill as much of the project as feasible.
  • If fundraising exceeds the goal, the project will be expanded or money will go to a similar purpose at the same school.

Monday, July 10, 2017

July LCDP Meeting - Independents, Are you Independent?

Just a heads up to anyone in La Crosse county, there will be a Democratic Party meeting next Monday at the Three Rivers House (724 Main Street) in the basement starting at 6:30 PM. Here is a link to the Facebook event. I know that many who follow this blog do not identify as Democrats and have valid complaints about the party. However, I think this quote from the Nation makes a strong case for independents joining a party.

'While around four-in-10 voters say they’re independents, very few are actually swing voters. In fact, according to an analysis of voting patterns conducted by Michigan State University political scientist Corwin Smidt, those who identify as independents today are more stable in their support for one or the other party than were “strong partisans” back in the 1970s.' (Full Article if you are interested)

I think everyone reading this can take a minute to think about how often they vote across party lines or for third party candidates. If you find that it is rarely to never, come join the party to be a part of the candidate selection process and push for what you want to see in politics.

Sunday, July 09, 2017

What's coming up (July 10 through 16)

Several important meetings and online actions this week. Please participate in as many as you can! If your event is missing from our calendar, please submit it via this form or email us.

Monday, July 10 - The Weigent-Hogan Neighborhood Association will hear from Karl Green Community, Natural Resources and Economic Development Agent for La Crosse County Extension about emerging trends in demographics and housing choices for the City of La Crosse and the neighborhood. The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. at 401 West Avenue South.

Tuesday, July 11 is full of important stuff. At noon, hear about "Overconsumption of Native American Imagery and Ongoing Results" at a free talk by Dan Green, UWL, hosted by the La Crosse County Historical Society. The program will be at the Riverside Museum in Riverside Park. AND at 6:30, the La Crosse chapter of Citizens' Climate Lobby will hold its monthly meeting at 401 West Avenue South. Email them for more details AND Starting at 7 p.m. New Directions/Indivisible La Crosse will host a social at John's Bar, 109 Third Street South. 

On Wednesday, July 12, take part in the nationwide DAY OF ACTION FOR NET NEUTRALITY sponsored by dozens of groups, organizations and businesses.

On Thursday, July 13, the Wisconsin DOT will host a public information and input session on the rebuilding of South Avenue starting at 5 p.m. at Central High School, Losey and Green Bay. So far, plans are light on bicycle infrastructure, so if you are interested in sustainable transportation for our future, please attend and have your say. Or visit the link to find out how you can comment directly to the folks working on this project via email. AND The La Crosse Common Council meets at 6:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers, City Hall, 6th and La Crosse Streets. There is no agenda available yet, but it is expected that the Council will decide on the future of Memorial Pool. At last week's Finance and Personnel committee meeting, a rebuild of the pool with historic designation consideration at its current site, was agreed. It's probable there will not be a public hearing, but having as many people as possible at the meeting registering in support will help with getting the pool back as soon as possible. 

On Saturday, July 15, Wisconsin Progress is hosting a READY TO RUN candidate training in Richland Center and Chippewa Falls. You can sign up here

SPECIAL:  PLEASE ATTEND MONDAY, JULY 17 LA CROSSE COUNTY DEMOCRATIC PARTY MONTHLY MEETING beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Ho-Chunk Three Rivers House (8th and Main) A very important by-laws vote will take place at the meeting and State Senator Kathleen Vinehout will speak. Vinehout has recently registered to challenge Scott Walker for governor. You do not need to be a party member to attend and if you wish to join, you may do so at the meeting. 

This public notice initiates the public comment period for the La Crosse Area Planning Committee Public Participation Plan and Title VI Non-Discrimination Program and Limited-English Proficiency Plan. The public comment period officially ends at 3:00 pm on September 15, 2017. To submit comments or to request these documents in an alternate format, please contact me at or at 608.785.6141

Battle for the Net on July 12

On July 12, 2017, websites, Internet users, and online communities will come together to sound the alarm about the FCC’s attack on net neutrality. Learn how you can join the protest and spread the word at

Right now, new FCC Chairman and former Verizon lawyer Ajit Pai has a plan to destroy net neutrality and give big cable companies immense control over what we see and do online. If they get their way, the FCC will give companies like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T control over what we can see and do on the Internet, with the power to slow down or block websites and charge apps and sites extra fees to reach an audience.

If we lose net neutrality, we could soon face an Internet where some of your favorite websites are forced into a slow lane online, while deep-pocketed companies who can afford expensive new “prioritization” fees have special fast lane access to Internet users – tilting the playing field in their favor.

But on July 12th, the Internet will come together to stop them. Websites, Internet users, and online communities will stand tall, and sound the alarm about the FCC’s attack on net neutrality.

The Battle for the Net campaign will provide tools for everyone to make it super easy for your friends, family, followers to take action. From the SOPA blackout to the Internet Slowdown, we've shown time and time again that when the Internet comes together, we can stop censorship and corruption. Now, we have to do it again!

Learn more and join the action here:

Saturday, July 08, 2017

Healthcare rally TODAY plus more

Just a reminder that today from 2 to 4 is the March for Health - Round 2 for Justice at Cameron Park. Please attend if you can!

Also, a Badgercare For All bill, authored by State Representative Eric Genrich (D-Green Bay) and State Senator LaTonya Johnson (D-Milwaukee),  has been introduced in the Wisconsin Legislature. Citizen Action of Wisconsin, who has been working on this issue for a long time and helped work on the bill, held a State Capitol press conference with leading legislative Democrats to announce the new bill. According to Citizen Action, "The proposal will offer better health insurance with a wider choice of doctors and hospitals for an average of 23% less than corporate insurance. The bill demonstrates that we can dramatically reduce health care costs and increase choice if we use the positive power of our own democratic government in the public interest. It stands in stark contrast to the plans proposed by Congressional Republicans which take health care away from tens of millions of people to fund tax giveaways to the wealthiest Americans."

Citizen Action is about half way toward its goal of signing up 240 Healthcare for All co-op members who would commit to donating $20 per month to hire a full time healthcare for all organizer in our state. Anyone may join. See their website for details.

Meanwhile, the Washington Post is reporting that the White House and Senate are planning a "final urgen blitz to pass health-care law." Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell has said that if a Republican-only bill fails, the Republicans will have to, "... work with Democrats," to shore up the ACA healthcare market. 

In the meantime, the CBO estimates that the BCRA (Better Care [sic] Reconciliation Act) would
  • knock at least 22 million people off of health care
  • cause dramatic increases in premiums and out-of-pocket and deductible costs
  • impose an "age penalty" on older Americans by changing the level of subsidies based upon age rather than income
  • knock at least four million older Americans off of health care
  • have adverse affects on Medicare
  • knock  thousands of veterans off of health care
  • kill off hundreds of rural health clinics
  • devastate states' struggles to cope with the current opioid crisis

Monday, July 03, 2017

Coming up this week (July 5 through 8)

There are several opportunities for public action and input coming up this and next week. Please check the calendar for daily updates. If your event is missing, please submit it using this form or email

Wednesday, July 5 - Feminism on Tap hosts a Summer Social starting at 5:00 p.m. (100 Harborview Plaza)  and local Mike McCabe backers are holding a meeting at 6:30 p.m. (Email Mark for more details).

Thursday, July 6 - The Kane Street Community Garden hosts a Garden Day from 3 to 6 p.m. AND  The Alt Truth Project will do a concert performance of the musical 1776 starting at 7:30 p.m. at the Pump House

Saturday, July 8 - Local activists will hold a Rally & March for Healthcare at Cameron Park from 2 to 4 p.m. AND the Kane Street Community Garden hosts a Garden Day from 3 to 6 p.m.

Ongoing - Remember to check out Citizen Action of Wisconsin's new HEALTHCARE FOR ALL organizing co-op. They are seeking at least 200 people from around the state to join the co-op so they can hire a full time organizer to work on this important issue.

Saturday, July 01, 2017

La Crosse United to Amend - Next Steps

La Crosse United to Amend (the local arm of Wisconsin Ready to Amend) plans to petition the City of La Crosse to put to referendum a resolution for the "We the People Amendment" on the April 2018 ballot. The referendum calls for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution which affirms that:
  • The rights protected in the Constitution are those of individual human beings only
  • The spending of money is not speech, and political spending can be limited to allow all Americans to participate in the democratic process

The group will need to collect 3,800 signatures in a 60 day period. They plan to begin on September 4 and finish on November 3. When the petitions have been certified, the La Crosse City Council will need to approve the resolution for referendum. Already, according to Wisconsin Ready to Amend, more than 730 communities across the U.S. have already passed resolutions calling for a constitutional amendment, including over 105 governments in Wisconsin and 19 state legislatures.

In March, the group will educate and energize voters to approve the referendum.

If you are interested in helping with this effort and did not receive an email from the organizers, please take the doodle poll BY JULY 6 to help find the best date for the next meeting. If you have trouble with the poll, please email the organizers for assistance.

Why is this so important? The Guardian (UK) reports that the Kochs are demanding action from their bought and paid for minions. Open Secrets details how the wealthiest Americans are also top political donors. The Wisconsin Democracy Campaign has many articles showing how wealthy crony corporations and contributors get what they want by donating to the right people.