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Saturday, September 22, 2018

Another world is possible


I am quite sure every woman on earth has had at least several of experiences similar to those described by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. If we let it be, this is how this world is - the moral hierarchy of authoritarians  (as described by Prof. George Lakoff in Moral Politics: "The hierarchy is: God above Man, Man above Nature, The Disciplined (Strong) above the Undisciplined (Weak), The Rich above the Poor, Employers above Employees, Adults above Children, Western culture above other cultures, America above other countries. The hierarchy extends to: Men above women, Whites above Nonwhites, Christians above nonChristians, Straights above Gays.").

Working Families Party is calling for a solidarity walkout on Monday. "On Monday, September 24 at 1 pm ET/ 10 am PT people from all over the country will take part in a national walkout to stand in solidarity with Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. Please wear black and walk out from wherever you are — home, work, school — and then capture it in a selfie to post to social media with the hashtag #BelieveSurvivors. Click here for more information and to invite your friends"

It's a very small gesture but it's a step . Another world is possible if we don't get lulled into the media fueled lala land where Trump/NoTrump is the one and only subject of the day, if we don't accept minority rule, if we want a livable future, we will act. Every day. I hope you can participate.

I was going to write a short post to encourage everyone to see Michael Moore's new film, Fahrenheit 11/9. This is the perfect segue.

At the front, he asks, "How the fuck did we get here?" And then he masterfully, in my opinion, and logically crams some of the most important clues to that mystery into an hilarious, heartbreaking, maddening, saddening, frightening, stomach-twisting, tear-jerking Michael Moore movie.

Some say it's too disjointed, but to me it's like a multi-voiced fugue with all the seemingly disconnected stories woven together to describe exactly how the fuck we got here. And, more importantly, how we can make a different future.

Moore, an activist, believes activists, including those people whose activism is only, so far, the urge to throw up, have to get out there and say hell no. Hell no to raising a generation of traumatized by mass shootings teens, to crappy pay and conditions and inhumane treatment of public servants, ignoring mass murder by elected rich white guys whose only concern is turning a profit for cronies, compromises that keep the same well- connected, well-funded centrists in control, and so much more. (It's the duopoly, as Nader might say.)

It's a call to join and take over the party, run for office, stand up to corporate elitists whether they're the heads of corporations, the heads of parties, the heads of unions, or our own (supposed to be) public servants.

Go see it. It's at the Marcus on Ward Avenue at least through Wednesday. Take your young friends and then urge them to get active, too.


Wednesday, September 19, 2018

September 22: 156th Anniversary of preliminary Emancipation Proclamation


AAMAN’s
4th Annual Juneteenth Citywide Celebration
Saturday, September 22, 2018
12:00 Noon to 5:00 p.m.
South Side Neighborhood Center and Poage Park
FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States.

From its Galveston, Texas origin in 1865, the observance of June 19th as the African American Emancipation Day has spread across the United States and beyond.

This year there were two dates of Celebrations in La Crosse. The First Celebration was on Saturday, June 23, 2018 featuring the Enduring Families Project’s African-American Living Historical Tour.

During the American Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln issued the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation on September 22, 1862, with an effective date of January 1, 1863. This issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation on September 22nd is what inspired our second Juneteenth Celebration on Saturday, September 22, 2018.

Opening: 12:00 p.m. to 12:20 Shaundel Spivey, Cultural Liaison with the School District of La Crosse will have students present “What Juneteenth Means to Me.”

There will be two Reenactments Performed by the Enduring Families Project of the African American Living History Bus Tour that took place at AAMAN's Saturday, June 23, 2018, Juneteenth Celebration. If you missed those Tours, you will be well informed and educated about the history of African-Americans in La Crosse, Wisconsin.

1:35-1:50 p.m. Mandela Barnes, Democratic Lieutenant Governor candidate: Inspiring young people to register and vote in November.

The 1st 150 Participants EAT FREE. Meal provided by Piggy's Restaurant: Beginning at 1:50 p.m.
• Pulled Pork with Honey Dijon BBQ Sauce on Brioche Rolls
• Pickle spears
• Penne Pasta Salad

2:00-3:00 p.m. Participants visit Vendors, Organizations, City, and County Booths, Northgate Hair and Wigs-Rochester-MN Salon, Democratic Party, League of Women Voters, La Crosse Human
Services, Sheriff’s Department printing ID’s for kids and their parents, Rich Sims from UWL with
Student group sharing Basketball Handling to Kids and More!

Thanks to our Sponsors:
Enduring Families Project, Gundersen Lutheran Health System, Sheriff’s Department, La Crosse County Democratic Party, Viterbo University, La Crosse Historical Society, City of La Crosse, Explore La Crosse, La Crosse Parks &
Recreation, and La Crosse County.

For complete details or addition information contact Cecil Adams at aamancfmlp@gmail.com and visit https://www.aaman.online/juneteenth2

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Mayor's Home Energy Challenge


New Program Offers Incentives to Property Owners Who Make Energy Efficiency Improvements
La Crosse homeowners who want to save on energy bills this winter and increase the comfort of their homes now have up to $4,100 in incentives available to them, depending on the variables explained in the fact sheet attached. Mayor Tim Kabat is launching the Home Energy Challenge, which gives the first 100 households who sign up the ability to receive incentives to cover a portion of the costs of making their homes more energy-efficient through insulation and air sealing.
The launch event is taking place at the home of Casey and Sonja Meehan, who chose to make home energy improvements themselves and are encouraging other homeowners to do the same. Casey and Sonja moved to La Crosse in the summer of 2014. They loved the idea of being able to walk, bike, or bus to work, the proximity to all the amenities downtown and on local college campuses, and the potential to be part of a close-knit neighborhood. One detractor was the poor energy efficiency of the older 1920s home that they purchased, but quickly realized that was something they could fix.
“Our home still had the original insulation in the attic, so it was really cold in the winter. After we had the work done, we noticed right away that the temperature in the house was way more comfortable. In addition to making our house more livable, we knew that the improvements were going to save us money in the long run as we wouldn’t be using as much heat.  We also felt it was simply the right thing to do from an environmental standpoint,” said Casey.
For the Mayor, launching this initiative is also about La Crosse residents coming together to make the City one of the most sustainable communities in Wisconsin. “If we accomplish our goal of 100 homes, the City would reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by 290 metrics tons per year, the equivalent of 317,676 pounds of coal burned or taking 62 vehicles off the road. That’s a really great investment in our community and our planet,” said Mayor Tim Kabat.
At the launch event, the Mayor will be joined by the City’s partners in the Home Energy Challenge- Xcel Energy and Focus on Energy. In addition, several local employers will be present who will be encouraging their employees to participate in the challenge.
For more information on the incentives being offered and more details about the program, go to http://www.cityoflacrosse.org/energychallenge

Monday, September 10, 2018

Fighting Bob Fest - La Crosse Saturday, Sept. 15



Saturday 9/15 from 3 pm - 7 pm
 - Our Wisconsin Revolution La Crosse is hosting a day of training, music, games and food. Participants will also get to hear from some local elected officials and progressive Wisconsin voices. The keynoter will be John Nichols. 

Look for the fest, including canvassing training, music, organizing and more, at Cameron Park and The Brick House 228 5th Ave. South La Crosse, WI. 

Thursday, September 06, 2018

Rise for Climate - Sept. 8

from Coulee Region Sierra Club


Please join the Coulee Region Sierra Club and other local and regional organizations and leaders at the Rise for Climate event at 2 p.m. on Saturday, September 8 in La Crosse's Riverside Park near the big fountain. 

Rise for Climate is a global day of action to end the era of fossil fuels. This event is one of thouands being held around the world to demand our local leaders commit to building a fossil free world that puts people and justice before profits. No more stalling, no more delays: it’s time for a fast and fair transition to 100% renewable energy for all. Read more about it at https://riseforclimate.org

The list of speakers below includes 
  • Coulee Region Group Vice Chair Kathy Allen talking about the Sierra Club's Ready for 100 campaign and the Sierra Club's endorsements in the upcoming elections: 
  • Ho-Chunk Nation Member Bill Greendeer to talk about holding leaders in  responsible for the well-being of existing and next generations (Seven Generations principle) and also the ethical idea of the Rights of Nature 
  • Organizer Janette Dean to welcome everyone and explain why environmental policy is the fastest way we can protect our planet 
  • Member of La Crosse's Hmoob/Hmong Community to share Hmoob environmental concepts that apply to climate protection
  • UWL Professor Paul Reyerson to speak on the latest global and national climate science and impacts 
  • Sustainability Institute's Casey Meehan to speak on Midwestern state impacts & some of the many opportunities and benefits of sustainability 
  • Speaker to share the city and county's emissions reductions progress as part of their Sustainability Indicators and related goals 
  • Coulee Region Sierra Club Vice Chair Kathy Allen to share their candidate endorsements and to share CRSC's Ready for 100 effort (100% renewables by 2050 or sooner) 
  • Ken Tschumper, Former Minnesota State Representative to talk about MN's clean energy legislation and MN's 2018 Candidates 
  • La Crosse Democrats spokesperson Avery Van Gaard to read a climate-related statement from WI Gubernatorial candidate Tony Evers & WI Rep. Jill Billings 
  • Charles (Chuck) Davis, Sr. of Tomah - Oglala Lakota, of the Oceti Sakowin

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

Important stuff coming up

First, if you haven't signed up to help make calls and knock doors for Scott Walker & Co.'s desperately needed replacements, ?!why the heck not!? Do you really want another term of environmental, public services, and infrastructure disasters? Do you want mining companies and CAFOs to decide the quality of our air and water? Do you want even more millions of tax dollars doled out to Walker cronies with no strings attached? Call NOW and sign up to help. (608 615-1733)

Second, while we dither, the planet's burning up. Come to the Rise for Climate rally on Saturday and make a commitment to push for real action. Changing a few lightbulbs and riding your bike around when it's nice out isn't going to cut it. We need big and deep changes right away. (And be sure to start out at Pride in the Park, in the north half of Riverside).

There are many events to highlight, but you can check the calendar (and let is know if something is missing!)

One more important and timely event from Viterbo's Ethics Institute:

THE LATEHOMECOMER AUTHOR KAO KALIA YANG TO OPEN THE D.B. REINHART INSTITUTE FOR ETHICS IN LEADERSHIP LECTURE SERIES AT VITERBO UNIVERSITY SEPT. 13

Kao Kalia Yang, educator, filmmaker, and author of the award-winning book The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir, will open the D.B. Reinhart Institute for Ethics in Leadership’s fall 2018 lecture series at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 13 in the Viterbo University Fine Arts Center Main Theatre.
The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoiris the story of her and her family’s move from the Ban Vinai Refugee Camp in Thailand where the author was born in 1980 to Minnesota in 1987. It is the firsthand account of a journey from place to place many Hmong people have had to make to find “home.” The book received a Minnesota Book Award and was a finalist for several other prestigious honors.

Read more at the link.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Progressive Media Project FREE Workshop

Some of us attended this last year. Highly recommended and FREE (including free breakfast and lunch).


The Progressive Media Project, with the support of the BRICO Fund, is again offering six FREE full day op-ed writing workshops this fall throughout Wisconsin—including La Crosse on Friday, November 2.

The workshops are free, open to anyone, and is a great opportunity for those interested in further developing writing skills for advocacy work. REGISTRATION HERE.

Location: Ho-Chunk Nation - Three Rivers House, 724 Main St. La Crosse Date: Friday, November 2, 2018

Time: 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM

Here is the FB page for the La Crosse workshop- https://www.facebook.com/events/270228463809267/


We founded the Progressive Media Project in 1993 to diversify and democratize our nation’s op-ed pages. We train activists and staff from nonprofit social justice organizations to write op-eds, and we edit and distribute op-eds to newspapers around the country, with an emphasis on lifting up voices that are underrepresented in the mainstream media.


Tuesday, August 21, 2018

White supremacism and transmisogyny tolerated in a local organization

Warning: quotes of abusive white supremacist and transmisogynist language

White supremacism comes in many more forms than shouting racial slurs or engaging in blatantly discriminatory behavior. In addition to these forms of 'hard' white supremacism, there is also a wide array of behavior which can be called 'soft' white supremacism- things which enable or sanction more blatantly harmful behavior and make spaces harmful to marginalized and oppressed people. The same problem exists for other kinds of oppressive or abusive behavior, particularly transmisogyny.

Recent events within the La Crosse Area Freethought Society (LCAFS) regrettably exemplify one of these forms of 'soft' white supremacism. A toxic member of this organization occasionally posts racist and transphobic content to the group's e-mail listserv. In April 2017, he made a series of statements denying the validity of transgender people, saying things like “We have to help people accept who they are, not who they wish they could be. No one should be changing their bodies,” “People don't get to choose. Science does. Genetics does,” and “they they don't have a womb and can't bear a man a child.” I called for him to be banned for abusive behavior, but when that call was rejected I settled for joining in on pointing out all the reasons he was wrong, none of which had any effect as this is the Internet.

The grounds on which he was not banned were stated by one of the LCAFS board members: “That's not how we roll here. In this group, the freedom of speech is incredibly important, and we are not in the business of kicking people out just because the words they say ruffle some feathers. Now, if a member crosses a line and begins advocating violence, threatening others, directly harassing others, etc- then that is an offense that we would consider removing a person for.”

The idea that transmisogynist language is merely “ruffl[ing] some feathers” but is not itself abusive, and the idea that it is not itself “cross[ing] a line” imply that transmisogynist language is not a problem or not harmful. The problem with a policy that only direct harassment is worthy of removing someone from the group is that it creates a hostile environment for people who are part of the targeted group. I'll talk about the problem with the “free speech” argument momentarily

The issue of this toxic member came to a head this May, when he posted a link to a YouTube video by a notorious white supremacist organization (Southern Poverty Law Center page about them: https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/extremist-files/group/american-renaissance) about supposed racial IQ differences; he claimed it was part of an earlier discussion and called it “controversial” and was “sure it will generate some discussion”. Several people briefly discussed its merits, including one who pointed out that that group is “a nasty pool of hate and misinformation” and another who wrote a lengthy apology for the statistical merits of discussion supposed racial differences in IQ.

White supremacist propaganda has no place in civil society. Free speech does not mean a free-for-all; it relies on rules. Fraud is banned; nobody would dare use a “free speech” defense for scam artists. Credible threats are banned. Speech or ideas delivered in a disruptive manner is generally banned (although sometimes necessary, but then it's not on "free speech" grounds). Similarly, many ideas which have been discredited are not given a platform; universities are not in the habit of inviting speakers to seriously discuss perpetual motion devices, Cartesian vortices, or phrenology. The phrase “sifting and winnowing” implies that some ideas deserve to be discarded.

The argument that there are racial differences in IQ is technically true on the surface level, but white supremacists use this statistical trivia to imply that there are inherit genetic differences between races; this conclusion has been debunked repeatedly (see https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/The_Bell_Curve or http://www.dartmouth.edu/~chance/course/topics/curveball.html). In short, IQ is measured according to culturally-biased tests which effectively measure socioeconomic status, not any kind of 'inherent' intelligence.

The racial IQ argument is still used, despite the fact that it's useless, because those who spread it are not trying to make rational, logical arguments. White supremacists do not argue in good faith. They misportray themselves in order to manipulate people into believing things that are not true. They skirt the edges of the rules of civil debate, breaking rules in spirit while carefully abiding by them in letter. They gradually gain control of the discourse through these and other techniques such as gaslighting, or even seize editorial control if possible. Their target audience is not people who understand the arguments or situation, but people who are new to the ideas or confused. They use the techniques of cults and abusers (side note: these are also the techniques of contemporary right-wing authoritarian regimes like the ones in Turkey, India, and the United States).

After several days of discussion of whether or not this person should be removed from the group, with all except me agreeing that he should not be, he returned stated that his reason for posting the video had been taken completely the wrong way. "Every single one of you have missed the point," he said.  However, if you think that this was a prelude to him distancing himself from the video and clarifying that he only posted it for discussion purposes, I'm afraid you're in for a disappointment. "If IQ is genetic, we can identify the genes and use genetic engineering to make children smart, regardless of race."  It went downhill from there.

After the LCAFS leaders again refused to ban him, I snapped and made a somewhat regrettable comment attacking the person, the leadership of the Freethought Society, the other members, and the organization as a whole. In response, I was banned. I was informed that the reason I was banned was that my comment was borderline abusive.

Let's go back and check the scoreboard.

The transphobic white supremacist was not banned or told to stop his abusive behavior. I, however, was banned for being rude. What else is there to conclude but that the LCAFS leadership considers rudeness directed at them as being worse than transmisogyny and white supremacism?

E-mail responses from one of the LCAFS leaders highlighted that their reasoning was that I was not able to “conduct [my]self in a reasoned and measured way” and that “the manner in which [I] expressed [my]self via email crossed the line into abusive language”. Has there ever been a better example of middle-class white obsession with form over function? Or of privilege so extreme that there are no real-world consequences, and so everything is regarded as purely academic and aesthetic?

I was told that “We don't have a list of topics that are off-topic, nor do we have an intention of developing such a list and policing it”; I see no reason why transmisogynist and eugenicist statements should not be considered abusive under the same policy by which I was removed (which, for what it's worth, I have never seen; in all my years in LCAFS, I never even knew there were bylaws. I cannot recall there ever being elections to the board. It is not a democratic organization).

Unwilling to let the matter rest, I attended LCAFS's monthly “Think And Drink” social gathering at a local restaurant in July. One of the founding leaders of LCAFS graciously allowed me to address the group, where I reiterated the necessity of removing this toxic and abusive racist from their organization. The only response I received was that another one of their leaders, the one who had kicked me off of the discussion list, refused to tell me whether the person in question had been banned from the group, and threatened to have management remove me from the restaurant. Instead, I had a lengthy side conversation with the other leader, where we completely spoke past each other- I again repeated the importance of removing the person in question, while he focused entirely on my behavior. He also decided to tell a story about “racism” against him, a white man, when he was a child; needless to say, I was not swayed by his story of a Native American neighbor telling his child not to play with him because he was white.

He concluded by telling me to drop it. However, white supremacism and transmisogyny have no place in society, and especially not in organizations which claim to be progressive. Individuals and groups trying to spread those kinds of hate work by worming their way into the discourse, presenting lies as fact, and trying to sway people who are new to these discussions. They cannot be allowed to have access to any potential recruiting ground. They do not have a right to equal access to forums, because their strategy is to poison the well.

The La Crosse Area Freethought Society must remove this toxic and abusive person. Until they do, all people and organizations should be wary of LCAFS. I also urge all readers to be more vigilant about unsalvageably toxic individuals and manipulative techniques, both in your organizations and in your personal lives.

For more about how white supremacism and other forms of abusive behavior are tolerated and perpetuated by people who might themselves not "be racist", read these excellent articles:
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/10-ways-white-liberals-pe_b_8068136

Kevin Hundt

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Ron Johnson staff office hours

Just notified Sen. Ron Johnson's staff will hold office hours on THURSDAY, AUG. 16 from 8:30 to 9:30 am at the Campbell Town Hall, 2219 Bainbridge Street.

One question, for example, why isn't Sen. Johnson demanding all families torn apart by D Trump's "zero tolerance" policy be immediately reunited? What about the bus full of school children bombed by the US in Yemen? Etc.

How much do you want change? (location update)

The candidates are chosen. Now we have just a few months to work for the change we want.

How much do you want a state government that promotes affordable healthcare (maybe even Badgercare) for all rather than spiraling premiums,  junk policies, and punishments for the working poor? How much do you want a real DNR with real scientists driving policies that protect the environment? How much do you want fair maps and a return to Wisconsin's commitment to clean government? How much do you want official recognition that catastrophic climate change must drive an immediate switch to statewide renewable clean energy? How much do you want fair funding for great public schools pre-k through university? How much do you want decent multi-modal transportation infrastructure that serves all the state? How much do you want our job and small business development agencies to actually benefit local and state small businesses (with audits and accountability for incentives given). How much do you want our state to stand up for the rights of all its citizens?

That's how much we all need to work, from now until election day, to make those changes. Sign up to canvass, phone bank, and text bank. Donate if you can. Make sure everyone you know plans to vote in November. Make sure they know why this is so important.

Even if you've never canvassed, or you don't like calling strangers, or you don't want to talk politics, just remember what's at stake and how much you want change.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Tony Evers, will join lieutenant governor candidate, Mandela Barnes, at ***LOCATION UPDATE*** Pearl Street Brewery, 1401 St. Andrew Street on Friday at 3 pm. Drop by to meet them and sign up to make a change this November.

Thursday, August 02, 2018

Defend the census

The 2020 census is just around the corner. What could happen if incompetents or malicious actors get their hands on running the census? Plenty!

For example, a contractor could be hired to print and distribute the census but then file for bankruptcy and get a ruling that we taxpayers still owe them millions for not printing it. Yes, that has happened already.

Anti-immigrant (to be polite) Trumpolytes like Steve Bannon and Kris Kobach could push very hard for a citizenship question on the "must complete under penalty of law" census.  Yes, that is happening, too. This Mother Jones mag article tells us why Republicans are working to undercount minority voters in large states. This NYT article describes states' attempts to block it by suing the Trump administration.



This site is collecting citizen comments for the Commerce Department. You have until August 7 to weigh in.

We already know that numbers matter. Republican gerrymandering is but one arrow in their "total minority rule" quiver. 

Small states' outsized representation in the US Senate also affects who gets on the Supreme Court. Small state voters' votes count much more than votes of those who live in larger states. If the census can be rigged to undercount minorities in large states whose "vote power" is already diluted, it will get worse faster.

2012 Slate article pointed out that, "one Wyoming voter has roughly the same vote power as four New York voters." The authors of One Nation After Trump note that by 2050, about 30% of voters will elect about 70% of US senators.

Jud Lounsbury, writing in The Progressive magazine, shows how this skews the vote by numbers and race:
"That means in North Dakota a voter—who is most likely to be white—has three times more say in who gets to become President. And it means that a California voter—who is most likely to be not white—has a vote that is worth only about 83 percent as the rest of the country."

David Yaris, author of It's Time to Fight Dirty, details all the ways Republicans have used the constitution, written to ensure power for wealthy white men, to retain power for a minority of voters and how those same tactics can bring back majority rule.

Until then, working to make sure as many as possible vote and as many as possible are counted in the census will dilute the voter suppression initiatives. (And consider staying in or moving to one of the small states where one vote really counts as more than one in national elections.)

Monday, July 30, 2018

City Fair Housing Survey

from the City of La Crosse website:

7/30/2018 - Please take the City’s Fair Housing Survey
 
The City of La Crosse is preparing a fair housing study and we need your input. This study will examine patterns of race, poverty, and housing needs in the region. Your opinion will help La Crosse improve housing for its residents. By taking the survey, you also will have the chance to win a $50 Visa gift card! The deadline to take the survey is September 1, 2018.     

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/LaCrosseFairHousing

Thursday, July 19, 2018

This is why we need all progressives to get active yesterday.





Medicare for All because progressives


The La Crosse County Democratic Party has a Medicare for All campaign going on locally. Get involved! Pick up info at their HQ, 115 Fifth Ave South, or at the fair through Sunday afternoon or email the co-chairs.

Progressives within the party are making a difference. The Unity Reform Commission recommendations, including weakening the power of "super delegates" to skew primary results, are on the path to approval. New progressive candidates are showing strength across the country. National Dem legislators are getting more forcefully behind progressive programs (most of which supported by a majority of Americans, don't forget).

This is happening in part because of strong issue oriented organizations and in part because hundreds and thousands of progressives have joined the Dem party, run for party offices, moved progressive priorities, and recruited and supported progressive candidates. Ground up institutional changes do not happen in a hurry. And they don't happen if change-makers get discouraged when the traditional power base pushes back.

It's a there and back again, long, hard, frustrating, rewarding, necessary quest. And every one is needed. They have the money but we're supposed to have the people. Do we?

Let's show up now for Medicare for All, retaining Democrats in the US Senate (it is possible to take power from the regressives currently in power),  more diverse progressive candidates, more people centered legislation, and a more sustainable future. Show up outside AND show up inside.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Monday - Immigration issues at Dem Meeting

On Monday, July 16, the La Crosse County Democratic Party will host former immigration attorney, Chuck Berendes, and pediatrician, Dr. Mark Neumann, to talk about the legal and human health issues involved in the Trump administration's immigration policy. Both spoke at the June 30 Legalize Humanity rally held in Burns Park. Both have excellent info for anyone wishing to understand the issue better. If you did attend the rally, here's a chance to hear more and ask questions about the issues. If you missed the rally, here's a chance to learn why this inhumane treatment of legal human beings legally seeking asylum must change. The meeting is on Monday, July 16 at 6:30 p.m. at the Dem's HQ, 115 Fifth Avenue South. Please attend and invite other. You need not be a party member to attend!

The meeting will also include information about the eight remaining candidates in the Democratic primary for governor (absentee in person voting begins on Monday, July 30 in the area). If you missed the very good WUWM debate/forum on Tuesday, July 11, you can listen to it via links provided here (audio linked in three sections). Another opportunity to hear from four of the candidates is coming up this Sunday as Wisconsin's Choice hosts it's "Final Four" forum (there's a local watch party for this event starting at 6 p.m. on Sunday, July 15 at the Concordia Ballroom).

Also, Pete K is asking people with campaign yard signs to take a selfie and send it to him for a dynamic visual project he's working on. If you have a sign, please use the form to submit. If you don't but want one - order online or get candidate signs at party HQ.

On Wednesday, August 15, we will know which candidate will be running against Scott Walker in November. If we want better roads, more accountability of our public money, cleaner government, a functioning science-based DNR, the road to health care for all, social safety net programs that don't treat participants as criminals, the start of more fair elections, and protections against the Trump administration's intended dismantling of every good government program fought and died for since about 1900 (watch out women voters!), and much much more, then we'd better be ready to commit to canvassing, working, donating, phone banking, volunteering, text banking, registering people to vote, taking people to vote and every other thing we can do to make a positive change for the future.

We are working on a CHANGE THE FUTURE workshop sometime in the middle of August so we will know how to get more involved. Watch this space for more details.

Friday, July 06, 2018

Elections coming

US Senator Bernie Sanders will campaign with US Senator Tammy Baldwin on Saturday, July 14 in Eau Claire at the Lismore Hotel, 333 Gibson Street. Doors open at 8:00 a.m.
If we have any hope of blocking and stopping some of the most extreme, anti-human, anti-environment, anti-future policies and judges, we must keep this US Senate seat away from Republicans. Thanks to millions and millions of Koch and other RW money, Tammy Baldwin is being bombarded daily on the air and online by those who want to keep the senate as Donald Trump's great big open door to the abyss. You can help by donating and by offering to help phone and text bank and canvass. The Dem HQ has sign up sheets and should be offering training for those who need it.


ENVIRONMENTAL VOTERS: There are many Americans who say they are very concerned about the environment but do not vote. The latest Coulee Region Sierra Club newsletter has an article about the Environmental Voters Project: "Did you know that 20.1 million registered US voters identify climate change or other environmental issues as one of their top two priorities? However, only 10.1 million of these environmentalists voted in the 2016 presidential election which was decided by just 770,000 votes," The environmental Voters Project hopes to change that equation. Sign up with them to help educate and motivate the enviro-vote.

ACLU VOTERS: The ACLU wants to make sure everyone concerned about civil and human rights - from immigrant and refugee treatment to unequal and outrageous treatment black and brown people must live with every day to eroding rights of the GLBTQ community to privacy issues and much more - get out and vote." You can join the ACLU Voters team to help GOTV for justice voters.

August 14 is primary election day in Wisconsin. We will choose candidates to run against the Walker administration in November: Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, US Senator (Tammy Baldwin has no primary opponent), and down the ticket.  There are five parties represented on the ballot: Republican, Democrat, Green, Libertairan, and Constitution. You may only vote for candidates in one party (if you vote for a Dem, all your votes must be for Dems) or your vote will be invalid.

You can find out what's on your ballot (along with lots of other info - how to register, where to vote, etc) at myvote.wi.gov.

You may vote absentee in person beginning July 30. Check with your municipal clerk for hours of availability.

Lots of events are coming up to help you decide how to cast your ballot:

Gubernatorial candidates will appear in forums or "debates" on

In addition, Wisconsin Public Television has a resource online, Wisconsin Vote,  to provide information about voting and about specific candidates.

Gerrymandering, electoral college, machine hacking, and who knows what else have made the playing field uneven. Michael Moore recently reminded us that Republicans have won the popular vote only once in the last seven presidential elections. Don't count on a wave or flip or pendulum. Count on overwhelming voter numbers.

Now's the time to make sure you are ready to vote, make sure everyone you know is ready to vote, make sure you are doing everything you can to help candidates you want to win, make sure you are pushing back against incorrect info and against those who say what most Americans want is some kind of "fringe pie in the sky." No. It is what MOST Americans want.



Monday, July 02, 2018

Climate Crisis - Act NOW

from the Sanders Institute:


The world is not only facing climate “change” we are facing a CLIMATE CRISIS.

For thirty years, scientists have warned that we were changing the climate and now those predictions are coming true with a vengeance:
  • The five hottest years on record have all taken place since 2010
  • The 2017 hurricane season caused more damage than any other natural disaster in U.S. history
  • California wildfires devastated a million acres. 
  • And weather events have cost the American economy alone 240 billion dollars a year
We need to start addressing this climate crisis and we need to have started yesterday. This video gives an overview of climate change, how we got where we are, and what we can do now.

There is ample evidence that climate change is happening. 97% of scientists believe not only that climate change is happening, but that humans are causing climate change.
The National Climate Assessment is a report compiled by over 300 experts guided by the Federal Advisory Committee.

Read more at https://www.sandersinstitute.com/blog/the-climate-crisis 

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

#FamiliesBelongTogether March update

[POSTER MAKING THURSDAY 3 p.m. Cameron Park]


The March details: Plan to BEGIN AT CITY HALL at 11:30 a.m. There is parking in the city Hall lot and in the nearby Western Technical College lots. Also the #4 MTU bus stops on 7th Street, one block from City Hall.

March to BURNS PARK at 8th & Main for a rally at noon.

Dress for the weather. Bring sun screen. Bring a reusable water bottle. Bring your signs and intentions to not make this rally your last effort, but rather make it the first step toward electing different people to office AND not falling into the 'both sides are equal' mind f**k trap.

That means registering to vote and making sure others are registered and then voting. But not just voting. It means volunteering to help good candidates (or at least better than the other guy candidates for now) so that things don't actually get worse. It means joining a party to transform it and the candidates it offers for office. It may also mean running for office locally or within party leadership or pushing for legislation that will not allow politicians to illegally detain, torture, imprison, and dismiss refugees and their legal claims of asylum. (See the latest issue of The Commoner Call for details).

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Sierra Club potluck Tuesday

On Tuesday, the Coulee Region Sierra Club will hold its annual summer potluck picnic starting at 6 p.m. at Onalaska's Rowe Park (Shelter #1). Hotdogs, utensils, and some beverages will be provided. Please bring some food to share with others. Everyone is welcome (you don't need to be a member).

This isn't a meeting and there won't be a program. It''s a chance for those of us interested in the environment to come together, learn about what is happening locally to get people informed and involved, and what we can do together to ramp up local environmental action.

Nationally, the Sierra Club is encouraging municipalities and counties to commit to moving to 100 percent renewable energy - for city and community use - by 2050 or sooner. We will be working to encourage the City of La Crosse to make that Ready for 100 commitment soon and hope that example will help and encourage other communities in our area to make the move (as Madison and Eau Claire have already done in Wisconsin). There are many local and regional initiatives happening, too. This picnic will be a chance to share and connect (and eat great food and play horseshoes).

No RSVP needed. Tuesday, June 26 at 6 p.m. Shelther #1, Rowe Park (near the library) in Onalaska.


Today's La Crosse Tribune could have been called the environmental edition. From the front page to the features and letters, you could learn about how climate change is affecting us locally, how Winona is planning to replace its current fleet with electric vehiclesc to the continuing dangers and environmental disasters caused by our fossil fuel addiction.

Larry Sleznikow, of La Crosse Citizens' Climate Lobby, in his op ed, wrote about the importance of VOTING for those interested in the environment. Amazingly, a good chunk of people who say they are very concerned about the environment and climate change don't vote. "Voting amplifies our voice and along with other like-minded voters, becomes a shout that politicians will hear, pay attention to and act upon. We desperately need positive action by all levels of government to address climate change and environmental degradation. Resulting legislation should be bipartisan and well thought out using the best scientific information available. Denying or ignoring problems is not an option future generations can afford."

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Families Belong Together

[UPDATE] If you would like to help plan this event, please attend the planning meeting fro 4 to 7 p.m. on Sunday at St. Rose Convent. For more info, email Kade.]

From MoveOn:



The executive order that Donald Trump has signed is not a solution to the crisis created by his administration; it keeps kids imprisoned indefinitely, and doesn't reunite thousands of separated families. But it does show the administration is reacting to public pressure, so we will continue to increase our pressure for justice at hundreds of events on Saturday, June 30, to say that families belong together—and free.

Donald Trump and his administration are cruelly separating children from their families.
But we won't allow it to continue. On June 30, we're rallying in Washington, D.C., and around the country to tell Donald Trump and his administration to stop separating kids from their parents!
Trump and his administration have been systematically criminalizing immigration and immigrants, from revoking Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) to ramping up intimidating ICE tactics. 
Join us on June 30 to send a clear message to Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress: Families Belong Together! 

UPDATED INFO: Meet at 11:30 at La Crosse City Hall. March to Burns Park for noon rally. RSVP at link. Please forward to all.

Rallies and marches are not enough. We must elect decent human beings to represent us. Decent human beings do not do OR support and make excuses for those who do evil like this. 



and: 
ACLUDaily Kos
National Alliance to End Sexual Violence
SALDEF
#VOTEPROCHOICE
DC Immigration Hub
National Iranian American Council
SEIU
270 Strategies
Democracy for America
National Justice for Our Neighbors
SIECUS
350.org
Dulles Justice Coalition
National Latina Institute for Reproductive HealthSierra Club
Action Together Massachusetts
End Rape on Campus
National Network to End Domestic Violence
     Sojourners
Action Together Network
Equal Voice Action
National Nurses United
South Asian Americans Leading Together
Advancement Project
Every VoiceNational Partnership for Women & Families
Southern Poverty Law Center
American Federation of Teachers
Families Belong Together
National Women’s Law Center
Stand Up America
Al Otro Lado   
Families USA
NCJW 
Sum of Us
Alliance for Youth Action
Feminist Majority Foundation
National Domestic Workers AllianceSwingLeft
American Constitution Society
Foreign Policy for America
National Education AssociationTax March
American Human Rights Council (AHRC-USA)
Gamliel
NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice
The Leadership Conference
Amnesty International USA
GreenLatinos
Network of Spiritual Progressives
The Workmen’s Circle
Arab American Institute
Greenpeace   
NextGen America
Truman National Security Project
ASISTA
Hand in Hand: The Domestic Employers Network
One Billion Rising
UltraViolet
Avaaz 
Health Care Voter
Organizing for Action
Unitarian Universalist Association
Bend the Arc
Human Rights Campaign
Pantsuit Nation
Unitarian Universalist Service Committee
Blue Future + the Youth Progressive Action CatalystIndivisible
ParentsTogether
United We Dream
Brand New Congress
Japanese American Citizens League
People For the American Way
VDay.org
Center for Community Change
Jewish Voice for Peace
People's Action
Voto Latino    
Center for Biological Diversity
JStreet
Planned Parenthood Federation of America
Win Without War
Center for Gender and Refugee Studies
Latin America Working Group
Positive Women's Network-USA
Women's March
Center for Victims of Torture
Lawyers for Good Government
Presente.org
Women's Refugee Commission
Centro de los Derechos del Migrante, Inc.
Leadership Conference of Women Religious
Priorities USA
YWCA USA
Chicago Women Take Action
Let America Vote
Progressive Change Campaign Committee
Children's Defense Fund-Texas
LGBTQ Task Force
Progressive Turnout Project
Coalition on Human Needs
Little Lobbyists
Public Citizen
Congregational UCC Greensboro
MarchOn
Rainforest Action Network
Constitutional Accountability Center
Moms Rising
Really American
CREDO
NARAL
Resistance Labs