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Monday, September 18, 2017

Trumpcare II - Red Alert


RED ALERT! Call your senators to oppose the new and even much worse Trumpcare bill (Graham-Cassidy) heading for a vote, without a CBO score or public hearings, very soon. Indivisible has a guide with background info and scripts. 

Call both Senators - there's a script for Rs and for Ds. This bill is awful.


Recusal

Two candidates for Wisconsin Supreme Court attended and spoke at Monday evening's La Crosse County Democratic Party meeting. Madison attorney, Tim Burns, talked about his humble roots, his background as an attorney taking on big insurance companies and his desire to represent fairness for all citizens as a Supreme Court judge. Rebecca Dallet is a Milwaukee county judge who was a Milwaukee county assistant district attorney and a special assistant United States attorney before that.

Both talked about their backgrounds and values and some challenges they see in the current supreme court. One issue both talked about was the need for an improved recusal policy.

Others agree which is why Common Cause Wisconsin is partnering with the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin to hold three public hearings around the state on the need for stronger recusal rules. (Unfortunately, Common Cause apparently believes that Wisconsin's western border ends at Madison since none of the three hearings are scheduled west of that city).

If you can attend the October 24 Madison event (or the October 2 event in Green Bay or October 11 in Milwaukee), please do. OR better, if you are connected to Common Cause Wisconsin and/or LWV, please lobby those groups to hold a fourth hearing in La Crosse.

The sad reality is that "care one whit about the state's supreme court races or the court's recusal rules" is probably near the bottom of most voters' list of things they want to spend time on. A determined and well-organized right wing took over our state court after a decade of big dark money, questionable campaign ads, recount shenanigans, and low voter turnout. Somebody needs to start caring about this stuff.

Here are more details from the organizers:

CC/WI Has Organized Three October "Public Hearings" on the Issue:
in Green Bay, Milwaukee and Madison
 
Last April, the Wisconsin Supreme Court embarrassed itself and every citizen of our state when it discussed in “open conference,” and then voted 5 to 2, to reject a timely, reasonable and needed proposal that would have established reasonable thresholds for recusal for elected municipal court judges, circuit court judges, state court of appeals judges and state Supreme Court justices in cases where they received campaign contributions from a defendant or plaintiff appearing before them, or were the beneficiaries of spending by an “outside” special interest group.

We think this issue is far too important to simply be swept under the rug and forgotten. Therefore, Common Cause in Wisconsin has organized three "public hearings" on the issue to occur in October. On October 2nd, we will be in Green Bay and on October 11th in Milwaukee. Finally, we will hold a public hearing on October 24th in Madison, where two current Wisconsin Supreme Court Justices will talk about why more effective recusal rules are essential.

Wisconsinites would be surprised to know that our state is considered among the four worst states in the nation with regard to the strength of our recusal standards for campaign contributions. In fact, we have none, and the current state recusal “non-standard" was written by Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, which has spent millions of dollars over the years to elect conservative state supreme court justices. The “standard” was adopted verbatim by a 4 to 3 vote, seven years ago. It essentially says that each justice may decide for themselves whether to recuse in a case involving a party contributing to her or him.

Since that time, contribution limits to candidates have vastly increased and outside spending has risen exponentially. Public financing for state Supreme Court candidates who voluntarily agreed not to accept campaign contributions was repealed (in 2011) and now more money than ever before dictates the outcome of state Supreme Court elections and, increasingly, elections for state Court of Appeals, circuit court and even municipal court. Furthermore, the Wisconsin Legislature and Gov. Scott Walker enacted into law drastic changes to Wisconsin campaign finance law in 2015 that legalized campaign coordination between outside special interest groups and candidates. That means that “anything goes” and there is no wall between candidates and their financial backers.


Sunday, September 17, 2017

What's coming up? (September 18-24)

It's important for us to connect as much as possible. If you can volunteer, please do. If you can help
spread the word about events, please do. If you can organize an event, please do. If your event is not listed here, please submit it using the form or by email.

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 18 
6:00 p.m. Holy Trinity-Longfellow Neighborhood Association monthly meeting at Trinity Lutheran Church.

6:30 p.m. La Crosse County Democrats meet at the Ho-Chunk House (8th & Main) Speakers will be Wisconsin Supreme Court candidates Tim Burns and Rebecca Dallet. Once again, if you are not a member of the party, now is the time to join. This is the party that will probably generate the candidates we will work and vote for. If you want a say in who those candidates are (or even if YOU will be one of them) and what their priorities will be, then you need to join and have a say. Because otherwise, you are leaving the most important decisions to others.

7:00 p.m. Eva Schloss, Holocaust Survivor and childhood friend of Anne Frank at Viterbo Fine Arts Center (there is a charge for this important event)

7:00 p.m. Hearts and Minds: The Interrogations Project at Winona State University

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 19
2:00 p.m.  New Role, New Me?: The Challenge of Identity Transititions, a TEDxUWLaCrosse event in room 150 Murphy Library, UWL.

6:00 p.m. Suicide Prevention Awareness Event at Riverside Park

6:00 p.m. Freedom of Speeech - Ideals & Realities - a community conversation at the Main Public Library

6:00 p.m. Community vs Corporate Rights - Intro Workshop in Sparta

6:30 p.m. Grandview-Emerson Neighborhood Association monthly meeting at Emerson Elementary School

7:30 p.m. And then they came for me ... Remembering the world of Anne Frank at the La Crosse Community Theater (Weber Center)

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 20
8:30 a.m. Suicide Prevention Summit all day at the Radisson

noon  Community Conversations - Ending Homelessness at English Lutheran Church (16th and King Streets)

4:30 p.m. La Crosse Area Planning Committee public hearing including 2017-2020 Transportation Improvement Project List (which includes the Clinton Street bicycle paint and other issues) in room 1107 County Admin Building (6th & State)

6:00 p.m. Healthcare is Broken - What is its future? Four stories for conversation. Sponsored by .be and held in Hackberry's (over the Co-op)

6:45 p.m. Powell-Poage-Hamilton Neighborhood Association monthly meeting at the Southside Neighborhood Center.

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 21
7:00 p.m. Showing Up for Racial Justice orientation at JavaVino

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 22
10:00 a.m. Humanitarian Openstreets Team Mapathon to map vulnerable regions affected by natural disasters. Bring a laptop if you can. 245 Cowley Hall, UWL.

1:00 p.m. Planning meeting for 2018 Juneteenth celebration - everyone welcome

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 23
1:30 p.m. Rally for Voting Rights at Cameron Park - sponsored by the La Crosse County Democratic Party and featuring state and local political leaders and candidates. On the eve of the Wisconsin gerrymandering case before the Supreme Court and as the Pence-Kobach Election "Integrity" Commission ("a committee of crackpots") continues to prove the Onion is now irrelevant, this rally will educate and infuriate and activate. Rain site: The Brickhouse

2:00 p.m. Fall Festival on the Farm to benefit GROW La Crosse at Deep Roots Community Farm, Cty Rd YY.

Also, there will be a RALLY FOR MIKE MCCABE FOR GOVERNOR on Monday, September 25. If you can help with the event, please email lacrosse.for.mccabe-at-gmail.

Let us know what's missing!

Monday, September 11, 2017

WEDC & Foxconn

Citizen Action of Wisconsin

Today Citizen Action of Wisconsin released a new report on how the Governor Walker's jobs agency WEDC is thousands of jobs shy of their target, and why it doesn't bode well for Walker's plan to have them manage the $3 billion giveaway to Foxconn. Will you ADD YOUR NAME to help us challenge this vote before the next scandal?

Our research revealed the following today:

  • Of the 337 WEDC awardees with established job creation goals at least 3 years old, 60% (203 awardees) failed to meet their goals.
  • Those 203 corporate recipients are behind their goals by over 14,000 jobs, more than even the most rosy expectations from the Foxconn proposal!
  • Those 203 companies that still have not hit their jobs goal in at least 3 years have already received $94.8 million in verified tax credits from WEDC, with another $158 million awarded but not yet dispersed
  • Many WEDC recipients have outsourced other jobs while taking state tax credits.
This research is extremely timely, the State Legislature is going to be voting very soon on giving out the largest job creation tax credit program ever issued by an American state, and they expect it to be run by WEDC. We need to get the word out that this deal is a scandal waiting to happen, especially since our findings rely on WEDC's own data which we know can't fully be trusted. Any Senator or Representative that is thinking of voting for the Foxconn deal this week should think long and hard about whether they want to be held accountable for potentially the biggest economic scandal in Wisconsin history.
Click here to ADD YOUR NAME to our challenge to WEDC's running the Foxconn deal, and that the Foxconn deal should happen at all. This ensures we know to keep you updated on the issue

Sunday, September 10, 2017

What's coming up? (September 11-17)

This week - LOTS going on. Please use this form to send your event for the calendar or email couleeprogressive at hotmail.

Monday, September 11
6:30 p.m.  Weigent-Hogan Neighborhood Association meeting at 401 West Avenue South

7:00 p.m. Preview of Ken Burns' and Lynn Novick's documentaryVietnam at Weber Center with panel of vets following (you may be interested in reading this article from Counterpunch).

7:00 p.m. Writing in Stone with Terese Agnew at Viterbo University Fine Arts Center

Tuesday, September 12
ALL DAY - Day of Action for FAIR MAPS

Noon  League of Women Voters Lunch and Learn at Moxie's Pub (RSVP for Lunch - optional)

5:30 p.m. Mike McCabe announces his candidacy for governor and local supporters will celebrate and watch the event at the Bodega Brew Pub

6:00 p.m. La Crosse Area Transit Advocates meeting at Jules

6:30 p.m. La Crosse Citizens Climate Lobby meeting at 401 West Avenue South

7:00 p.m. Our Wisconsin Revolution La Crosse planning meeting for Saturday's Fighting Bob Fest at the Ho-Chunk House (8tt h and Main)

Thursday, September 14
11:30 a.m. Workshop on Language Access to people whose first language is not English for employers, community members, and service providers at the Southside Neighborhood Center, 1300 6th Street South (please RSVP at link)

6:30 p.m. League of Women Voters Book Club - The Conscience of a Conservative at Java Vino (please RSVP at link)

Friday, September 15
6:00 p.m. Ron Kind Corn Roast at West Salem Fair Grounds

Saturday, September 16
4:00 p.m. Fighting Bob Fest in La Crosse at Copeland Park Oktoberfest Shelter

Sunday, September 17
4:00 p.m. Beer By Bike Brigade ChickenQ Fundraiser for Warming Shelter at Myrick Park with music by TUGG

7:30 p.m. And then then came for me  ...   Remembering the world of Anne Frank at Weber Center








Saturday, September 09, 2017

New events and opportunities

Today and tomorrow in Winona, Minnesota, the Winona Dakota Unity Alliance is hosting the Great Dakota Gathering, Homecoming, and Pow-wow all day today and Sunday, Sept. 10 at Unity Park (east end of Lake Winona). The event is a commemoration and homecoming, as well as an opportunity to educate people about the Dakota "Trail of Tears," when the Dakota were executed, imprisoned, and forcibly removed from their homeland (in present day Minnesota) following the Dakota War of 1862.

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Starting tomorrow, White Awake is hosting a three session (9/10-10/1) online workshop: Growing Roots Deeper Than Whiteness to Rise for Racial Justice. You can register (for a fee) at the link. The first session begins Sunday evening.

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If you would like to table at Fighting Bob Fest - La Crosse (Saturday, September 16 from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Oktoberfest Shelter in Copeland Park), please contact info@ourwisonsinrev.com or owrlacrosse@gmail.com. Donations will be accepted. You will need to bring your own table and chairs.

Please spread the word to your members. Please also share the flyer and the press release.





Thursday, September 07, 2017

Voting Rights

PLEASE MARK YOUR CALENDAR and plan to attend the RALLY FOR VOTING RIGHTS in La Crosse on Saturday, September 23 at 1:30 p.m. at Cameron Park.


The freedom to vote is a core American value, giving each of us a say in the direction of our country and our community. But defending that freedom against the the Pence-Kobach commission’s threats to our rights depends on you -- your activism and your engagement. And by standing together, we’ve already made a real impact.That’s why I’m rushing you this update about our response to the Pence-Kobach “election integrity” commission, and how you can help fight back -- I hope you’ll read to the end.
President Trump has claimed -- without evidence -- that millions of people voted illegally in 2016. Concerns only grew when Trump tried to back up his lies by putting notorious vote suppressor Kris Kobach in charge of a new commission that could pave the way for new, nationwide voting restrictions.
Since then, the commission has tried to collect and store voters’ private information (an illegal practice we’re suing to end -- more on that below) and completely ignored what we can do to encourage more eligible Americans -- not fewer -- to participate in our democracy.
Here’s what we’re doing to respond to the Pence-Kobach commission, and how you can help:
  • Today, we are releasing “Flawed From The Start” -- our new report that exposes the Pence-Kobach commission’s failures -- and calls for a balanced and bipartisan serious effort to improve our election systems and ensure every eligible American has a voice. The report compares the Pence-Kobach commission’s flaws to previous bipartisan commissions that advanced positive, proactive reforms that better protected our right to vote and lowered barriers to participation. Please take a moment to read our report, then share it far and wide!
  • Our lawsuit against the Pence-Kobach commission under the federal Privacy Act is still going strong -- and has the potential to end the Commission’s illegal data grab for good. You’ll be the first to hear of any new developments. You can read more here.
  • We’re organizing actions for next Tuesday when the commission holds its next meeting, including a Facebook Live townhall that evening. We’ll use that energy to work with local election officials in our communities to expand voting rights and modernize our elections. Email us at grassroots@commoncause.org to get involved with these efforts!
  • Finally, Common Cause members across the nation are continuing to speak out against the Pence-Kobach commission by submitting official public comments -- over 25,000 have already spoken out. You can read the comments that have already been submitted on the commission’s website -- or submit a comment of your own!
The freedom to vote is the cornerstone of our democracy, and every generation has struggled to defend and expand it. Now it’s our turn -- and I’m so glad to have you on our side for this fight. It takes every one of us to stand up for and defend our democracy, now more than ever.

Allegra Chapman, Director of Voting and Elections,
and the team at Common Cause

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Fighting Bob Fest/Our Wisconsin Revolution - RSVP



The 16th Annual Fighting Bob Fest is less than two weeks away! Here's all the news of where to be Sept. 15-17, 2017

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Friday, September 15, 2017 at 7:00 p.m.
The Progressive presents
The 16th Annual
FIGHTING BOB FEST
2017 KICK-OFF
at The Barrymore Theatre, 2090 Atwood Avenue, Madison, Wisconsin
Featured speakers include:
Senator Tammy Baldwin   *   Congressman Mark Pocan
Jim Hightower   *   Randy Bryce   *   Nina Turner
Thomas Frank   *   John Nichols   *   Mandela Barnes
Mahlon Mitchell   *   Christine Neumann-Ortiz
Norman Stockwell
Robert M. “Fighting Bob” La Follette, founder of The Progressive magazine, promoted chautauquas to bring people together to raise hell and organize.  Fighting Bob Fest continues this tradition.
Admission is Free.
Donations accepted at the door and throughout the evening.
For more on Fighting Bob Fest 2017 visit
www.FightingBobFest.org
Additional event information to be announced.
*********************************************************
Saturday, September 16, 2017
Our Wisconsin Revolution in Collaboration with The Progressive is taking
FIGHTING BOB FEST
ON THE ROAD!
Please join us after the Friday kick-off for TWO Saturday events!

10am – 2pm   MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN
Tripoli Shrine Center, 3000 W. Wisconsin Ave.
4pm – 8pm   LA CROSSE, WISCONSIN
Oktoberfest structure at Copeland Park, 1130 Copeland Park Dr.

The 16th Annual Festival of Progressive Politics Celebrating the legacies of Fighting Bob La Follette and Fighting Bob Fest founder Ed Garvey
Calling on the power of the people!   Featured speakers:
Nina Turner, President national Our Revolution
Jim Hightower, favorite regular Fighting Bob Fest speaker of The Hightower Lowdown
Terrance Warthen and Sarah Lloyd, Co-Chairs - Our Wisconsin Revolution
David Bowen, WI Assembly District 10 (MKE)
Matt Rothschild, Wisconsin Democracy Campaign (LAX)
Featuring local citizen activist panels on: enacting racial justice and protecting our water, land, and air, by building community power.
More details on speakers and panels to come. Stay Tuned!

Admission is FREE – Donations are very welcome.
Food will be available for purchase.
If you are interested in volunteering or your organization is interested in tabling at these events, contact info@ourwisconsinrev.com for details.

Please RSVP:
For the Milwaukee Event
https://actionnetwork.org/events/fighting-bob-fest-2017-milwaukee
For the LaCrosse Event
http://ourwisconsinrev.com/events/fighting-bob-fest-2017-la-crosse/

What Is Our Wisconsin Revolution?
Our Wisconsin Revolution is an independent, member-driven and democratic organization that educates, agitates, organizes, and is working to elect thousands of everyday Wisconsinites in this state. We envision a real democracy, a fair economy, a clean environment, and an efficient and transparent government that works for the many not the few.

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Also, in Madison on September 16 and 17, The Capital Times presents its first annual "Idea Fest" on the UW-Madison campus - information and registration online at www.captimesideafest.com

Monday, September 04, 2017

What's coming up? (September 5-10)

Thanks to everyone who attended Sunday's first annual Open Streets event in downtown La Crosse. If you enjoyed it, please thank Carolyn Dvorak, Southwest Region Director at the Wisconsin Bike Federation and Robin Moses, Executive Director of Downtown Mainstreet, Inc.

If your event is missing from this list, please use the form or email couleeprogressive - at - hotmail.

Tuesday, September 5
BUY YOUR TICKETS RIGHT NOW so the award-winning film, Equal Means Equal, can be shown (via TUGG) in La Crosse on Wednesday evening, September 13. Organizers must sell at least 48 more tickets by September 6 in order for the film to be shown. Because it's a TUGG event, a minimum number of tickets must be sold in advance for the film to be screened. The Equal Rights Amendment, passed by Congress in 1972, needs two more states to ratify it (Nevada became the 36th state to ratify on March 22 of this year) for it to become an amendment to the US Constitution. 

Wednesday, September 6
5:00 p.m.  Twin Cities-Milwaukee-Chicago Intercity Passenger Rail Service public meeting to discuss  plans for a second rail line each way through La Crosse. If you would like to show support for this clearly needed service, please attend the meeting in Conference Room 2106 of the New County Administrative Building (6th and State).

5:00 p.m. Feminism on Tap monthly gathering at 4 Sisters 4th Street Bar and Catering

6:30 p.m.  Standing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) is hosting a Book Club discussion of Ta-Nehisi Coates's article The Case for Reparations at Pearl Street Books. "This is the perfect time to get involved in the book club as we will discuss what book to read next. Please bring a book suggestion if you have one. We are planning to meet every other week on Wednesdays, but please comment if you are interested but cannot do this time. If there is enough demand for a different time we may consider changing it."

Thursday, September 7
6:30 p.m. Faith and Feminism: Resistance and Persistence in the Church is talk by theologian and author Gina Messina at the Franciscan Spirituality Center, 920 Market Street.

Friday, September 8
7:00 p.m.  Beer/Wine/Cheese/LTEs  Join La Crosse Citizen Climate Lobby to socialize and write letters to the editor. See link for details.   

8:00 p.m. So You Think You Can Drag? Fundraiser for The Center - 7 Rivers LGBTQ Connection at the La Crosse Center.

Saturday, September 9
All Day Pride in the Park in Riverside Park. This annual event is hosted by The Center - 7 Rivers LGBTQ Connection. It's a great chance to connect with friends, listen to great music, get useful info, and have a great time. 

7:30 p.m. Theory of Relativity Encore Scholarship Fundraiser at UWL.

Sunday, September 10
11:00 a.m.  PRIDE Family Picnic in Copeland Park
2:00 p.m. Theory of Relativity Encore Scholarship Fundraiser at UWL

And, other important news:

A couple of weeks ago an important new initiative began. Please spread the word.
"[T]he Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism is partnering with ProPublica and its Documenting Hate project to collect reports of bias incidents and hate crimes in our state. The nationwide project includes dozens of news, academic and advocacy organizations that have joined to expose the impact of bigotry in America.
 
"Beginning today, the Center is asking residents who have witnessed or experienced hate crimes or incidents of bias to report them using the form on our website. These reports will be used for our reporting on bigotry and become part of ProPublica’s national database. Names of submitters will not be shared outside of the coalition without the submitter’s permission."

Friday, September 01, 2017

Sunday OPEN STREETS and more

Just a reminder that on Sunday, September 3, from noon to 4 p.m., we'll have a chance to take back some of the downtown La Crosse territory normally given over to cars during the first annual OPEN STREETS LA CROSSE event.

Main Street will be closed to motorized vehicles from 9th Street to Fifth Ave. The car-free route continues down Fifth Avenue to King and then turns west to Fourth Street. With Burns Park and the La Crosse Public Library Plaza at the east end and Cameron Park at the west end, it's a long space with lots of room for businesses, organizations, artists, food vendors, musicians, and regular people to enjoy the afternoon.

Included in the fun will be a two block long Protected Bike Lane demonstration and a one block long woonerf (shared street) demonstration.

It's time to devote some of this valuable property to people not cars or parking.

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An alert has been issued by the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters. State Senator Tom Tiffany's Industrial Acid Mining bill is moving ahead and there will be a public hearing on Thursday, September 7 at 9 a.m. at the Ladysmith High School (1700 Edgewood Ave. E.)

If you can attend the hearing, please do. Otherwise, please sign the petition and contact your legislators. This is a dangerous bill that would further poison our waters for corporate gain.

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Remember to get your tickets NOW to the film Equal Means Equal, a TUGG event scheduled for Wednesday, September 13. For a TUGG film event to happen, organizers must sell a minimum number of tickets in advance by a set deadline or the film will not happen. As of now, at least 48 MORE tickets need to be sold in just FIVE DAYS. (If the event is cancelled for lack of support, no one is charged for any tickets). Please spread the word about this important film about women's equality and the Equal Rights Amendment. 

While checking on this film, I see that there is a SECOND TUGG EVENT, a screening of What the Health, on the following night. This film is also available for online viewing.


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And, you can still donate to help the La Crosse School District host its Second Annual Black Youth Summit.