Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Progresstival 2018 and more new events!

The PROGRESSTIVAL planning committee has set a date, time, and place, so please mark your calendars (and don't you DARE cross schedule your event!) for
> An Ecosystem of Activism <
More details will be coming later in November. In the meantime, if your group would like to table at this event, please email couleeprogressive at hotmail. And, if you'd like to see what happened at last year's event, please check the event page!

Here are a few new events happening soon that we just learned about:

Saturday, November 4: Help out AAMAN (African American Mutual Assistance Network)'s Clara Fields School by shopping at Barnes and Noble between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. (or you can shop online between Nov. 4 and 8 and use their code - 12263018 - at checkout).

UPDATE! DATE CHANGED to Sunday, December 3: For our Future Wisconsin is presenting a three hour workshop (1 to 4 p.m.) on LEVERAGING LOCAL MEDIA for your local grassroots organization. Join For Wisconsin's Future's Communications Director, Joe Zepecki, for a special and free 3 hour training focused on improving your or your local grassroots organizations ability to get your messages and events more effectively covered by local media. Joe Zepecki has over a decade of experience in senior political communication here in Wisconsin.  They need at least 15 people to run the event which will be held at 2020 Caroline Street (French Island). RSVP by emailing Christian Foust.

Next week, Thursday, November 9 there will be training on Fundamentals for Decentralized Organizing from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Landmark Center in Viroqua. See link for details.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Coming up this week (October 30-November 5)

The City of La Crosse 2018-2022 Capital Improvement Budget is wending its way through the machinery. You can view it here. There haven't been well publicized (if any) opportunities for public input besides individuals following the budget through committees and emailing their council rep or mayor. On Thursday, the budget will be on the agenda at the Finance and Personnel Committee. This is an opportunity for the public to make comments (no longer guaranteed at meetings of the entire council). Check out the proposed budget and the Mayor's comments. Get there before 6 p.m. so you can fill in a comment form before the start of the meeting.

Tuesday, October 31
Deadline for application for scholarship from the Women's Alliance of La Crosse

Continuation of Great River Writes events and workshops around the Coulee Region.

noon Leadership talk with two Dairyland Power administrators at Viterbo (room 107)

6 p.m. FILM: Hmong Memory at the Crossroads at the UWL Student Union Theater

Wednesday, November 1
This is the start of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). Let's all write a November novel and share them at a potluck in January. Or maybe we could start a Brautigan style Library for Unpublished Works (though I guess that is the internet now). Anyway, get ready to start your novel.

ENROLLMENT OPENS for Affordable Healthcare Plans for 2018. Yes, it's still alive and yes you can still get subsidies to help you pay premiums and yes you can get FREE HELP finding a plan. But the enrollment period has been cut in half. So don't wait. And if you want to help get the word out, use resources available at RaisingWomensVoices.net (scroll down for link to file of flyers, brochures, etc)

5 p.m. Feminism on Tap will talk about area non-profits at the Root Note

7 p.m. Climate Change and the Mission of Citizens' Climate Lobby at Myrick Park Center

Thursday, November 2
all day Greater La Crosse Area Diversity Council Conference: Pro-Active Strategies for Inclusion in Today's Workplace and Community at Western TC's Lunda Center must register

5 p.m. Chili Cook-off Fundraiser for State Senator Jennifer Shilling (or contribute online) at the Concordia Ballroom

6 p.m. PUBLIC HEARING at La Crosse Finance and Personnel Committee regarding 2018-2022 Capital Improvement Budget. Among other issues, discuss adequate funding to rebuild the Memorial Pool next year. City Council Chambers

Friday, November 3
4 p.m. A week of Global Initiatives events kicks off with food, dance, and music from around the world (and networking with the many organizations in our area with worldwide connections) at the Myrick Park Center.

7 pm The former Wisconsin Poet Laureate Max Garland reading and open mic at Encore, 114 S Main Street, Viroqua

Saturday, November 4
10 am "Writing in the shadow of Walden" workshop with former Wisconsin Poet Laureate Max Garland at Encore, 114 S Main Street, Viroqua

5:30 p.m. Chili Cook-off to benefit the Coulee Region Humane Society at Greengrass Cafe

Sunday, November 5
10 a.m. Fair Trade Fair at People's Food Co-op, 315 Fifth Ave S.

10 a.m. Winter Market at the Myrick Park Center

4 p.m. Church & State (one of the most brilliant plays Anne Drecktrah's ever read!) a presentation of the wonderful Alt Truth Project at the Brickhouse, 228 Fifth Ave. S.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Focus on Healthcare

March for Health Round 3 SATURDAY 10/28/17 1-3pm Cameron Park

From Indivisible La Crosse:  Our goal is to show our legislators that the citizens of our compassionate community are committed to equal rights to healthcare. We live in a time when, somehow, health coverage has become a controversial issue, when our leadership has chosen to support private business interests in a for profit healthcare industry over human lives. To Indivisible La Crosse, this is not acceptable.

Healthcare is not a Democratic issue or a Republican Issue. Healthcare is a Human issue.

We March to demonstrate to our elected officials our continued belief in health coverage for all and in repairing the flaws of the Affordable Care Act.

More info on this event will be updated as we are able to put it together. For now, please mark your calendars and share this event. This is a follow up march to the April 1st, 2017 and July 8th, 2017 marches. We hope that we can bring in even more media to bring more light to this issue on a local and state level. Our other goal is to pull in more people and political leadership to discuss their views on healthcare coverage. 

SPEAKERS include Mike McCabe


Healthcare.gov Affordable Healthcare Plans program is ALIVE and well ... it could be better but we still have it. A new Citizen Action report comparing premiums and payments required of those who enroll in Wisconsin and Minnesota notes that,
  • Wisconsin health insurance exchange premiums for single coverage will be on average 79% to 99% higher than premiums in Minnesota, before tax credits are applied. That is a difference of over $1,800 a year.

  •  The health insurance cost differential will be even worse for some major Wisconsin cities. Rates in La Crosse are 136% higher than the Minnesota average, rates in Eau Claire are 116% higher, and rates in Milwaukee are 112% higher.
This is what happens when ideology trumps everything, even people's lives. 

Because of concentrated and sometimes deliberate efforts to misinform people about the ACA, many don't realize that the program is still running, that they can still sign up for plans, that subsidies are still available for most people, and that free help is still available.

Raising Women's Voices is on it. They have produced a series of social media posts, flyers, fact sheets and brochures you can use to help get the word out. Why not print some out and stand near your neighborhood school or grocery store. Get a few friends together, make a couple of large signs, stand on a busy corner, and hand out brochures. They want it to fail. They've taken online enrollment offline on Sunday mornings when many church groups used to gather congregants to help sign people up. They've reduced the enrollment period. They've spread false information. So now it's up to all of us to do what we can..

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

De-licensing gaining steam

Unbelievable in all but Scott Walker's Wisconsin. But at least now I will be able to become a doctor because I once gave my cat a pill! Woo-hoo!! Or maybe my cat could become a doctor ...

from Kathleen Vinehout:

Proposal to De-license Occupations Gains Steam in Senate

Imagine you are with your loved one who is in the hospital. Night comes. You prepare to leave, gently kissing your loved one “good night”.

As you walk down the corridor and into the hospital parking lot, you might wonder how your loved one will feel in the morning. Will things be better, worse or stay the same?

One thing you don’t worry about is the quality of care provided to your loved one because the nurses working the night shift are licensed by the state.

Nurses and other professionals follow “standards of care” that are spelled out in their education and clinical training. They follow licensing and board requirements set in state law. Patients are protected from incompetent nurses by a board that oversees the practice of nursing. This is true for dozens of other professionals in Wisconsin.

Recently, a Senate committee on which I serve passed two bills that set up a process to potentially de-license professionals. Senate Bill 288 establishes a partisan appointed council that reviews licensing, registration or other state approval for ALL occupation and professional licensing in Wisconsin. Senate Bill 296 creates a process for self-certification that allows a person to claim “state certification” even though they may have no training or experience in their chosen occupation.

Electricians, nurses, certified public accountants, plumbers, physical therapists, doctors, and other professionals will have their licensing and continuing education requirements reviewed by a non-elected, partisan council. The Council would have the power to write and introduce a bill making changes to the laws governing occupational licensing. These powers are generally reserved for lawmakers.

The process set up by these bills is eerily similar to a process laid out in an August 2017 publication of the ideologically conservative Mercatus Center:

Policymakers…would be wise to follow these steps:
1) Pass legislation that sets an ambitious goal for the elimination of licenses and the reduction of licensing burdens.
2) Establish an independent commission charged with examining the state’s licensing laws. …the commission should be charged with evaluating all licenses.
3) The commission should be charged with setting a comprehensive path for licensure elimination and reform. The authorizing legislation should commit elected officials to accepting the commission’s recommendations in their entirety or not at all.
…the institutional structure that we recommend borrows elements from other reforms that have succeeded in eliminating favoritism. In particular, it allows elected officials to cast conspicuous votes in the public interest while giving them some degree of “cover” from the special interests that will inevitably be harmed by the elimination of their regulatory privilege.

Let’s break down that last sentence.

The elected officials cast “votes in the public interest” – your elected representative is voting to de-license your plumber. “Giving them some degree of ‘cover’” – your elected official is now able to say, “I didn’t really want to de-license your plumber, but it was part of a larger bill and I couldn’t change the bill.”

“Special interests that will inevitably be harmed”—those “special interests” would be the plumbers’ union or the nurses’ association.

The public likely did not hear about the de-licensure plan because the daylong hearing by both the Senate and Assembly committees happened at exactly the same time as the public hearing on Foxconn. The Foxconn hearing dominated headlines, not the concerns of over 100 Wisconsinites who traveled to Madison to testify or register against the de-licensure bills. Those speaking in favor of the bills were, almost exclusively, conservative ideological groups.

When I asked what problem the bills were trying to solve, proponents said they wanted to eliminate “fence me out” legislation that left people unable to get into a desired profession. When I asked them to provide me a list of professions with licenses that create a “fence me out” problem, they did not give me a single example.

Over the years, the Legislature created licensure requirements in conjunction with professionals. If we have unnecessary licensing, committees of the Legislature should review details of a professional license and determine if change is necessary.

Setting up a process to de-license professionals by unelected appointees is an attempt by conservative ideological groups to remake Wisconsin in their own image. In fact, a republican colleague commented that these ideological groups have become a shadow legislature.

These bills need to be stopped.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Walker in Ona/Action Items/Job Opening

First, if you'd like to help Scott Walker (aka Governor POO) announce his re-run for governor, here you go. (8:30 a.m. November 6, Empire Screen Printing in Ona).
Join Governor Scott Walker and Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch for a special announcement rally! Your support the past few years has been crucial to our success, and the future is bright for Wisconsin. Join us as we rally to keep our state headed in the right direction.
That evening at 6 p.m., Our Wisconsin Revolution - La Crosse will host the unPOOPular (but not unpopular) gubernatorial candidates for a forum at the Brickhouse (corner of King and Fifth Ave. S). If you can help, please email OWR-La Crosse with subject line: WILL HELP WITH FORUM so they can give you details.

And, by the way, OWR-La Crosse wants your participation right now!
You might have heard that OWR- La Crosse is hosting a Governor's Candidate Forum on Monday, Nov. 6th at 6 p.m. at the Brickhouse (228 5th Ave. S, La Crosse). They want to know the most pressing question on your mind for the next Governor of Wisconsin. Click here to submit a question by midnight on Saturday, Oct. 28th. They'll shape the questions to candidates based on these responses. So please fill out the survey and share it around!
And, Citizen Action of Wisconsin reports that On Wednesday, Tammy Baldwin and her fellow co-sponsors will release their federal bill to allow people to buy into Medicaid. If you are already a member of Citizen Action's Healthcare for all statewide organizing co-op, you'll have a chance to sign on in support. If you're not, you could join now OR you can start writing your letter to the editor in support of this bill.


Citizen Action of Wisconsin is seeking a dynamic and socially committed person to lead our democratic and member-driven organizing work in Northeastern Wisconsin. This position is located in Northeast Wisconsin, preferably in Green Bay or the Fox Cities.There is a great group of leaders and members already heavily engaged in the Citizen Action Northeastern Wisconsin Co-op who are looking for the right organizer to take help them take their critical work to the next level. Please forward this to any qualified candidates you know in Northeast Wisconsin. The job description and information and how to apply are here. Watch this video to learn more about Citizen Action of Wisconsin’s innovative Organizing Co-op model.

This week (October 23-29)

[UPDATE: Link to submit public comments online regarding Xcel (aka Northern States Power Wisconsin) request to increase rates and fixed fees again is now fixed. Come to the 10/25 public hearing and/or submit comments online at: http://apps.psc.wi.gov/vs2015/ERF/comment/filecomment.aspx?util=4220&case=UR&num=123. For more info about this issue, see links below.]

So much is going on this week, we will all need clones. If your event is missing email coulee progressive at hotmail or use the form.

UWL Fashion Week begins with speakers, films, discussions, and events. Fashion week - fashioning resistance, identity, future purpose.

6:00 p.m. Bluffside Neighborhood Association monthly meeting at the First Congregational Church (Losey Blvd & Main Street)

7:00 p.m. Liberated Threads: Black Women, Style, and the Global Politics of Soul - Lecture by Dr. Tanisha Ford in 1400 Centennial Hall, UWL

4:00 p.m. Transformation and Legitimation in Post-Apartheid Universities, a talk by JC van der Merwe, director of the Institute of Reconciliation and Social Justice at the University of the Free State, South Africa in room 3314 of the UWL Student Union

6:00 p.m. Mariah Idrissi: Changing the Face of Fashion, part of Fashion Week, in the UWL Student Union Theater

6:00 p.m. Upper Northside Logan Neighborhood Association monthly meeting at Trinity Lutheran Church

6:30 p.m. DACA Dreamers, a discussion with Ryan Cornett of Senator Tammy Baldwin's office at the First Baptist Church, West Ave. & Main Street

7:00 p.m. Groundwater Pollution in La Crosse County - Where? Why? What Can We Do? a public forum hosted by the Sierra Club at the Holland Town Hall, W7937 County Rd MH, Holmen. "The World Watch Institute has considered factory farms to be “mini Chernobyls” due to the endless amount of pollution created by these operations and emptied out into the air, groundwater, and soil. The damage will only continue to escalate without some type of intervention in the way we allow food to be produced." - The Agriculture Society

7:00 p.m. Corporate Slaughterhouse info meeting hosted by Concerned Citizens for Smart Growth at Westby Elementary School, 122 Nelson Street This forum is concerned with issues similar to the water pollution forum - industrial farming, lack of regulation, lack of local control, pollution of precious and vital resources

7:00 p.m. Book Discussion - For the Love of Cities at Pearl Street Books

noon Social Justice Teach-In in the UWL Student Union Theater

3:00 p.m. PUBLIC HEARING concerning Xcel Energy request for ANOTHER rate increase at the Main Public Library, 8th and Main. Xcel continues to request (and get) rate increases so they can maintain a 10% or more rate of return for investors.Read details in the Initial Brief of Northern States Power Company Wisconsin at this link. In addition to increases in the cost of electricity and gas, they also want an increase in the fixed customer charges for residential, farm and small commercial classes from $14.00 to $17.00. Part of the "need" for the increase is reduced demand for energy (interestingly, the "need" for the dangerous, expensive high voltage power lines now crisscrossing much of the Coulee Region was based upon Xcel's prediction of increased demand. Huh.) In addition, "the Company is proposing to separate or 'unbundle' the current volumetric energy rate into a delivery charge and an energy charge to be listed separately on the customer's bill." As efficiency of lights and appliances increases, solar prices drop like a stone, and home batteries become more affordable, the possibility of cutting the cord from ever increasing rates for mostly-coal-generated power is becoming more attractive and feasible. Until then, this is an important opportunity for public input. (You are also supposed to be able to submit written comments by October 26 but the portal for comments is closed at the moment.

4:00 p.m. PUBLIC HEARING on DNR public recreation opportunities at the Stoney Creek Inn in Onalaska

4:30 p.m. FILM: The True Cost (of Clothing), part of Fashion Week programming in UWL's Graff Main Hall Auditorium

5:00 p.m. Community reception to thank and honor Ruthann Schultz of the La Crosse YWCA at the Freighthouse.

6:00 p.m. La Crosse Area SURJ discusses Reparations - no location given but I think it's at People's Food Co-op

6:30 p.m. Downtown Neighborhood Association Organizing Meeting at WTC's Integrated Tech Building (325 8th St. North) in room 401

6:30 p.m. The Phosphorous Paradox: Global Change in Freshwaters a talk by distinguished speaker in the life sciences, Professor Stephen Carpenter, Ph.D in room 1309 Centennial Hall, UWL

7:00 p.m. Fair Votes, Fair Maps: How Partisanship Threatens Democracy a program hosted by the League of Women Voters- La Crosse in room 102 Wimberly Hall at UWL.

7:00 p.m. FILM: Screaming Queens - The Riots at Compton's Cafeteria hosted by the UWL Pride Center in the UWL Student Union Theater

7:00 p.m. Sustainability in the Fashion Industry a talk by Dr. Anupama Pasricha in room 1400 Centennial Hall at UWL.

9:30 a.m. Help Restore the Hoop House with Hillview Urban Agriculture (sign up for a shift - see link) meet at Washburn Neighborhood Garden

noon  Women's Fund of Greater La Crosse Fall Luncheon - register ASAP - at the UWL Student Union

5:00 p.m. Matter Behavior in Exotic States - Topological Defects and Phase Transitions a public lecture by Nobel physicist Michael Kosterlitz in 1400 Centennial Hall, UWL (reception for Dr. Kosterlitz begins at 4:30 p.m.)

6:30 p.m. League of Women Voters book club: Al Franken - Giant of the Senate at JavaVino

7:00 p.m. Meet your county and state government hosted by Our Wisconsin Revolution - La Crosse in the County Admin Building (6th and State) basement auditorium

7:00 p.m. Oskar Ly - Queer Activism and Design Aesthetic, part of Fashion Week, in the UWL Student Union Theater

9:30 a.m. Help Restore the Hoop House with Hillview Urban Agriculture (sign up for a shift - see link) meet at Washburn Neighborhood Garden

5:30 p.m. Measuring Resilience - Whole Ecosystem Experiments a talk by distinguished lecturer in the life sciences, Professor Stephen Carpenter, Ph.D in 1400 Centennial Hall, UWL

5:30 p.m. Think and Drink with La Crosse Area Freethought Society at JavaVino

1:00 p.m. March for Health Round 3 for Change hosted by Indivisible La Crosse at Cameron Park

8:00 p.m. Queer Halloween at American Legion Hall, Post 52 (711 6th Street South)

10:00 a.m. No Longer Business As Usual - How Systematic Racism Affects Faith Communities Sunday service of Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of La Crosse at 401 West Ave S.

Also, Democracy for America is looking for people to host November 2 phone banks to help GOTV for Virginia's November 7 elections. If you can host an event (or even just sign up to call yourself), visit the link. The Sierra Club notes, "A win for Koch-funded climate-change denier Ed Gillespie would be a victory for Trump's toxic agenda in 2018 and beyond -- so we need to pull together behind Democrat Ralph Northam now." A strong GOTV effort is needed to counter (unfathomable) Democrats' notoriously low turnout in "off" years.

And, the McCabe for Governor campaign is seeking field team and activist volunteers to help knock doors, make calls, canvass, host events, and more. If you can help, sign up at the link. (McCabe is scheduled to appear at the October 28 March for Health)

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Progressives Caucus/Run for Something

First, the Democratic Party of Wisconsin Executive Committee has finally approved the new DPW Progressive Caucus strategic goals which means the DPW PC will be able to start meeting, planning, and acting to make our state and state party more progressive. Matthew La Ronge, the DPW PC chair reports, "As of less than a week ago the caucus strategic plan was approved by the DPW Executive Committee. Now that we are official, the executive committee of the caucus (which consists of Tammy Wood, Austin Kieler and me) will be discussing and deciding what committees within the caucus will be needed in order to ensure that our goals are achieved. Once committees are created, chairs for each committee will be elected. Chairs of each committee will have a seat on the executive committee of the caucus." Watch for a general meeting of the caucus some time this winter. You can follow the DPW PC on FB (for now - non-FB alternatives coming).

We need more people to join the party to provide more energy and momentum to update and improve it. The next La Crosse County Dem Party meeting (Monday, November 20 at 6:30 p.m. at the Ho-Chunk Three Rivers House, 8th and Main in La Crosse) is the most important of the year. Those who are or become party members by November 15 will be able to VOTE FOR A NEW BOARD. If you regularly work for, contribute to, and/or vote for Democratic Party candidates, please join the party so that you will have a say in who those candidates are and what priorities and policies they support.


The Onalaska School Board will begin accepting papers from potential candidates on Monday. It's not clear whether this is a special nomination period for those wishing to run in the November 28 recall electionn or whether the OCTOBER 31 deadline for papers is standard for annual board elections. Here's what their website says, "Citizens interested in running for the Board need to circulate nomination papers and file the campaign registration statement and declaration of candidacy no earlier than the conclusion of the Board meeting of October 23, 2017 and turned in no later than 5:00 p.m. October 31, 2017." So, if you are interested in running for the Ona School Board, get hopping because some papers need to be turned in by the end of the month. Read more at their website.


There will be three seats available on the La Crosse School Board this spring. There should be a potential candidate workshop scheduled soon (details coming) along with more information about how to file and run for that board. Watch for more details here and/or in local media or at the School Board's webpage.

We will soon have a page with info about running for local offices - links, deadlines, forms, etc. Watch for that resource and consider running for something in the spring. Also, there is a candidate training workshop scheduled for later this fall in Tomah. The more progressives we have on local boards and committees, the more experienced local leaders we will have to run for state and federal offices.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Involvement is key

First, apologies for missing an important event scheduled for Wednesday, October 18. Lewis Kuhlman of the La Crosse City Planning department will talk about how to navigate the city's online legislative information center. He will speak at 6 p.m. at the La Crosse Public Library, 8th and Main. This website is an important tool for citizen activists - it can help you find out when an important public hearing will be, track a piece of local legislation, or contact members of the city council or a board or committee. At the same time, it's not the easiest site to navigate so here's a chance to get some expert advice (and maybe offer suggestions for improvement).

While we're at it - did you know you can nominate yourself to serve on a city or county committee? Well, yes, you can! In most cases, citizen committee members are appointed from a pool of applicants, so first, you need to get your application in. For the city, visit the LIC Boards, Commissions, Committees page for the list, then complete the Application for Appointment to City Boards, Commissions, and Committees and mail it in. For the county, check the list of County Committees. Each committee link should have the committee chair listed along with contact information. If you would like to be considered the next time an opening comes up, email or send a letter to the chair with your contact information, your background and experience, and your reasons for wishing to be considered (use the city's application as a guide for what information to include).

Keeping up with what's going on is not always easy. There are so many causes and alerts - from national legislation to local ordinances. Locally, often info portals are opaque and hard to navigate, sometimes agendas are not posted until the very last minute, meetings are sometimes held at inconvenient times (like 10 a.m. on a work day) ... Here's a great TED Talk about it:

For state and national issues, it's good to join or subscribe to groups and organizations who send out action alerts. Some of the best are 5calls, Wisconsin Democracy CampaignCitizen Action of Wisconsin, the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters, Common Cause Wisconsin, The Southern Poverty Law Center, and the Center for Media and Democracy. A list of other great resources is below the calendar on the right of this page. What's missing? Please send links to your favs in the comments or email coulee progressive at hotmail.

You can also use sites like WisDC and PR Watch and Open Secrets to track campaign contributions and online fact checkers (but remember, facts don't matter - feelings matter!) though beware "fact checkers" run by right wing extemists!

You can also support local groups like League of Women Voters, which is hosting a Fair Maps event on October 25 and Our Wisconsin Revolution, hosting a Meet your County/State Government event on October 26, in their efforts to inform the public about voting and government. 

Whatever you do to keep yourself engaged and informed, one more step you can take is help others get more engaged and informed. Forward/Like/Retweet alerts to others, take a friend to a meeting or event, hold a neighborhood phone bank once a week to talk about and call about a few important issues, buy a subscription to a good mag (like The Progressive, The Nation, or Mother Jones, for example) for a relative, help a few students or colleagues deconstruct a misleading ad.

If you are pressed for time, hard schedule yourself some activist time once a day or a few times a week. Really. If you write in just one-half hour for activism every few days you could make several calls, work on a letter to the editor, attend a few events, or compose a blog post for Coulee Progressives.

What else? Please contribute to this list of ideas.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Things to do this week (October 16-22)

First, from the La Crosse Collaborative to End Homelessness (get more details at link):
The Warming Center is currently in need of volunteers as they prepare to open their doors on November 1, 2017. Here is a message from Mark Schimpf, The Warming Center Coordinator:
The La Crosse Community Warming Center (413 3rd Street S) is an emergency shelter that is open November 1st through April 30th, 7:00pm-8:00am daily.  We serve around 40 homeless adults per night, while fostering an environment of compassion and hospitality.  Volunteering at the Warming Center offers the opportunity to serve those most in need in our community and to make a difference in their lives through kindness and compassion.  We have a wide variety of volunteer roles available, from direct roles in shelter to supportive roles, and I believe that we can find a role here to fit your schedule, your skills, and what you would like to get out of the experience.  Training and on-going support is provided.
Important events happening this week. Please try to make it to at least one and spread the word! If your event is missing, please submit it using the form or by emailing coulee progressive at hotmail.

Monday, October 16
6:30 p.m. La Crosse County Democratic Party holds a very important meeting which includes a guest speaker who is a community organizer from Venezuela and board nominations for next year, your chance to help elect a diverse progressive leadership. If you normally work for, support, donate to, and/or vote for Democratic Party candidates, you need to join and get active in the party so you will have some influence over the candidates, goals, and policies it supports. The meeting is in the Ho-Chunk Three Rivers House, 8th and Main.

Tuesday, October 17
5:00 p.m. Fundraiser for Rep. Steve Doyle at the Old Crow, 100 Third Street South.

6:30 p.m. La Crosse Citizens Climate Lobby monthly meeting. CCL's online climate guest for October is Barbara Love, Professor Emeritus UMASS-Amherst. The meeting will be held at 401 West Avenue South. Please email lacrosseccl@gmail.com for more info and links to the pre-meeting audio.

As CCL looks to build relationships across race and culture, our October guest is Barbara, Professor Emeritus of Social Justice Education at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. She taught graduate classes on foundations of social justice education, design development and facilitation skills, and on self-awareness for social justice educators and liberation workers. She is recognized globally for her work on organizational and societal transformation and on issues of diversity, inclusion, and liberation. She directs the Black Liberation and Community Development Project of the International ReEvaluation Counseling Communities. Her publications appear in a variety of journals and anthologies and focus on personal, organizational, and societal transformation and strategies for liberation.
 6:30 p.m. Grandview Emerson Neighborhood Association monthly meeting at Emerson  Elementary School. 

Wednesday, October 18
noon Better Together: Improving Behavioral Health in our Community hosted by La Crosse Interfaith Leaders Coalition at the English Lutheran Church, 16th and King Streets. Please register in advance if possible because lunch is provided. The event is free but donations to help pay expenses are welcomed. 

5:30 p.m. A meet & greet fundraiser for gubernatorial candidate, Dana Wachs will be held on French Island. Please RSVP at link for more details. 

6:30 p.m. Powell-Poage-Hamilton Neighborhood Association monthly meeting will be held at the Southside Neighborhood Center. 

Thursday, October 19
International CREDIT UNION DAY. Credit unions are cooperatives (October is national co-op month) which were started to provide their member-owners services and affordable prices. If you're not up on the history of co-ops and especially if you don't know the difference between Sam's Club and a real cooperative, let that be your self-education goal for the month. It's a radical history that seems to have been forgotten by some co-ops (for example, many rural electric co-ops) and deserves to be remembered and put to work today. Here's a good resource: For All the People: Uncovering the Hidden History of Cooperation, Cooperative Movements, and Communalism in America by John Curl. 

6:30 p.m. My Neighbor is Muslim, the first of a four part series of interfaith discussions led by Vince Hatt, former director of Franciscan Spirituality Center. There is a fee to help cover expenses.

7:00 p.m. Shane Bittney Crone, an LGBT advocate, writer, and speaker, and the subject of the film Bridegroom: A Love Story. Unequaled will speak in the Bluffs room of the UWL Student Union. 

Friday, October 20
6:00 p.m. Madame President's 60th Birthday - Art Auction & Fundraiser for The Center: 7 Rivers LGBTQ Connection at Java Vino

7:30 p.m. Appropriate performed by UWL Theater Department at Toland Theater, Center for the Arts, UWL
Saturday, October 21
8:00 a.m. LGBTQ Frontrunners inaugural run. Meet at The Center, 230 6th Street South

5:00 p.m. 59th Annual La Crosse County Democratic Party Fundraiser Dinner at the Concordia Ballroom (1129 La Crosse Street) including good food, local and state political leaders, silent auction, half/half drawing, and door prizes. This event raises funds to help the party have a local headquarters in 2018. Join and get involved. $15/person (in advance would be great) or $6 for 6 and under.

7:30 p.m.  Appropriate performed by UWL Theater Department at Toland Theater, Center for the Arts, UWL

Sunday, October 22
2:30 p.m. Appropriate performed by UWL Theater Department at Toland Theater, Center for the Arts, UWL


Citizen Action of Wisconsin has a statewide Healthcare for All cooperative that has been working to find ways for Wisconsin residents to have affordable health insurance. On Thursday, when Donald Trump drove another spike through the Affordable Care Act, CA was ready, Here's their report:
[W]ithin hours of Trump’s preemptive strike on health coverage Citizen Action organized a major press conference to release our own numbers showing the BadgerCare Public Option would protect Wisconsinites from Trump’s health care sabotage and lower health insurance rates and deductibles by an average of 24%.

Next week we will intensify our statewide organizing to force this bill onto the legislative agenda, and make it a leading issue in the 2018 elections.

The polls are clear that the tide of public opinion has turned, and we have the greatest opportunity in decades to build a movement that ultimately leads to Medicare for All.
You can join Citizen Action's Healthcare for All co-op or donate to their health care emergency fund. (And remember that there will be another local rally for healthcare at the end of this month).

Saturday, October 14, 2017

All in on ending local control

(via Frac Sand Sentinel)

New bills, SB687/AB479. attack local governments' abilities to make land use decisions and the public's ability to influence these decisions. These bills will render most of the conditional use permit provisions in your town and county zoning ordinances useless. They relegate public opinion in the conditional use permit process to an afterthought that cannot by itself be used as part of the decision making process. This effort also upsets over a century worth of Supreme Court precedent and will almost certainly lead to multiple town lawsuits.
This legislation is supposed to have a joint Senate-Assembly public hearing on Tuesday, October 17th. There has yet to be an official announcement. Because it is a joint hearing, this is the only public opportunity to participate. This will be in the Capitol, but we don’t know the exact time or location. We need as many people as possible to attend and either register against this bill or testify.
Please email <wtowns@wisctowns.com> or call Rick Manthe ASAP and let him know if you can attend and register/testify.
The bill is complex, and requires an in-depth explanation. A bullet point summary and in-depth explanation are linked here: SB387-AB479 Summary

2017 - 2018 LEGISLATURE
Section 7. 59.69 (5e) of the statutes is created to read:
1059.69 (5e) Conditional use permits. (a) In this subsection:
111. “Conditional use” means a use allowed under a conditional use permit, 
special exception, or other special zoning permission issued by a county.
132. “Substantial evidence” means evidence of such convincing power that 
reasonable persons would accept it in support of a conclusion. “Substantial evidence” 
does not include public comment that is based solely on personal opinion, 
uncorroborated hearsay, or speculation.
17(b) 1. If an applicant for a conditional use permit meets, or agrees to meet, all 
of the requirements and conditions specified in the county ordinance, the county 
shall grant the conditional use permit.
202. The requirements and conditions described under subd. 1. must be 
reasonable and measurable, and may include conditions such as the permit's 
duration, and the ability of the applicant to transfer or renew the permit. The 
applicant must demonstrate that the application and all requirements and 
conditions established by the county relating to the conditional use are, or will be, 
satisfied, and must demonstrate such satisfaction by substantial evidence. The 
county must demonstrate that its decision to approve or deny the permit is supported 
by substantial evidence. Public testimony alone is not substantial evidence and 
cannot be the sole basis for the county to deny a conditional use permit.
4(c) Upon receipt of a conditional use permit application, and following 
publication in the county of a class 2 notice under ch. 985, the county shall hold a 
public hearing on the application.
7(d) Once granted, a conditional use permit may remain in effect as long as the 
conditions upon which the permit was issued are followed, except that the county 
may impose conditions relating to the permit's duration, and the ability of the 
applicant to transfer or renew the permit, as well as any other additional, reasonable 
conditions that are specified in the zoning ordinance.
12(e) If a county denies a person's conditional use permit application, the person 
may appeal the decision to the circuit court under the procedure es contained in s. 
1459.694 (10).
Contact your senate member and your assembly member - calls are best with email follow up - to let them know how you feel about this power grab. Please also copy these department heads and the governor.

State Government Department Heads
Include these emails when contacting legislators about concerning legislation
This first list is composed of all government agency Department Heads, Natural Resources Board members, Health Services etc., and of course the Governor’s Office.

Gov’t Agency Heads
And, Send your testimonies / emails to Committee Chair Senator Frank Lasse Sen.Lasee@legis.wisconsin.gov and ask them to submit your testimony for the record. Also please cc your email to Senator Vinehout:  Sen.Vinehout@legis.wisconsin.gov
The Trempealeau County Board will take up a resolution opposing certain provisions in these bills, so you might also consider contacting your county board rep and chair to ask them to oppose this legislation.