Saturday, March 31, 2018

Third Annual Social Justice week begins April 2 at UWL

A week of presentations - with afternoon and evening sessions led by experts from across the country - will raise awareness of different kinds of social justice issues during the third annual Social Justice Week at UW-La Crosse, April 2-6.

A full schedule of daily brown bag lunches, research sessions, roundtables, panel presentations, and featured speakers who highlight the collaboration and dedication to social justice topics are planned. This year's theme is, "Building Revolutionary Communities." Many events feature UWL students', faculty, and staff research and expertise. Other presentations will tap educators and activists from around the country - along with a social justice rapper.

Among the evening plenary sessions are:
  • April 2 - 7:30 to 9:00 p.m. - Victim to Victor by Vanessa McNeal, director and producer of "The Voieless," Hesprich Auditorium, Graff Main Hall
  • April 3 - 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. - Products of a Revolution by Gwen Brown and Ronald Smith, president and director of Something New, Hesprich Auditorium, Graff Main Hall
  • April 4 - 7:30 to 9:00 p.m. - Native Appropriations, Indigenous Social Media, and Responding to Racism by Adrienne Keene, assistant professor at Brown University, Hesprich Auditorium, Graff Main Hall
  • April 5  - 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. Challenges to First Generation College Students in College by Annette Lareau and Stanley I. Sheerr, professors at the University of Pennsylvania, 1400 Centennial Hall
  • April 6 - 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. Social Justice Concert - We Can Mend the Sky with the UWL Concert Choir, Annett Recital Hall, Center for the Arts and 9:00 to 10:00 p.m. G. Yamazawa, social justice poet, rapper, and comedian, Entertainment Cafe, UWL Student Union
View complete daily schedules and get more information at

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Moms Demand Action - next steps

From Moms Demand Action - La Crosse:

We were thrilled to see such a turnout for the March For Our Lives! What an inspiring day! It was a testament to what we can accomplish working together. 

Next up - complete the rest of our Asks! As discussed, some of us are shy on the phone. Sundays are a great time to call if you prefer leaving a message. A sample script for Ron Kind would be: "Hello, my name is x and I'm calling from La Crosse, WI. I am calling today to ask Ron Kind to return his NRA donations. I have voted for Representative Kind in the past, and I have been proud to do so. However, I cannot in good conscience continue to vote for anyone with blood on his hands. Please return the money, and do not accept more in the future. Thank you for listening." Of course, you can tweak the script to make it more personal! One office call is GREAT, but a call to all three numbers would be EVEN BETTER! We hope this script for Ask 5 gets your creative juices flowing for Asks 6 and 7! 

If you have questions, please email Moms Demand Action La Crosse leaders.

What can you do??
  1. Sign up for Mom's by texting "act" to 64433*
  2. Join our Facebook group, Moms Demand Action-WI. WE WILL BE DISMANTLING OUR LA CROSSE PAGE VERY SOON.
  3. Ask friends outside of La Crosse to join our meetings. We are located in La Crosse, but are happy to include smaller communities nearby.
  4. Ask our Representative, Ron Kind, to return his NRA donations. [Editor's note: According to Open Secrets, a campaign contribution database, Kind's last donation from the NRA, $4,900, came in 2010. His last donation from the National Shooting Sports Foundation, $2,500, came in 2016.] He can be reached at: (La Crosse phone) 608-782-2558 (fax) 608-782-4588 . His D.C. Phone number is (202) 225-5506 and fax is (202) 235-5739. His Eau Claire office phone number is (715) 831-9214*and fax is (715) 831-9272. A petition can be found at
  5. Contact our senators about the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act. This has already passed in the House, and is very dangerous! It would allow concealed carriers in one state to travel and conceal in another, essentially turning the weakest state laws into nationwide laws. Our Senators are Ron Johnson and Tammy Baldwin.     
Ron Johnson's D.C. Office phone is (202) 224-5323 and fax is (202) 228-6965
Milwaukee office phone is (414) 276-7282 and fax is (414) 276-7284      
Oshkosh office is (920) 230-7250 and fax is (920) 230-726.     

Tammy Baldwin's D.C. office phone is (202) 224-5653 
La Crosse office phone is (608) 796-0045 
Madison office phone is (608) 264-5338 
Milwaukee office phone is (414) 297-4451 
Green Bay office phone is (920) 498-2668 
Eau Claire office phone is (715) 832-8424 
Wausau office phone is (715) 261-2611

She does not have fax numbers listed for any of her offices per her website. 

Both Johnson and Baldwin have Facebook pages.

7.  Ask the chairs/members of the State Assembly Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety to immediately schedule a hearing on Assembly Bill 428. This bill would require the owner of a lost or stolen gun to report it missing within 24 hours of discovery. The Assembly Republican leadership has said that they are done and will not be coming back to session. If that is the case, this bill is dead for this session. They CAN come back, they just may not want to.
  Telephone numbers: (608) 266-1182 and (888) 534-0086
  Fax: (608) 282-3686

Telephone numbers: (608) 266-9175 and (888) 534-0059

Other members are: Ott, Jacque, Horlacher, Novak, Bernier, Krug, Goyke, Kessler, Zamarripa, and Crowley. Their contact information may be found at

8. Join a March for Our Lives on March 24. ✔️

9. Advocacy Day in the Capital is April 5! This is a chance to meet with our lawmakers to talk about gun legislation we do, and do not, support. Schedule is roughly from 8:45am- 2:30 pm, and includes training before you're expected to meet with lawmakers. Please talk to a Leader if seriously interested. There are ways to help remotely if you cannot physically be there.

We will send an email out when next month's meeting date/venue is secured! 

Thank you!
- La Crosse Leads

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Next steps

"A moment is different than a MOVEMENT. Every great movement is about sacrifice," of time, of energy, of effort, and more. People need to make today's moment a sustained movement. - Joe Madison, Civil/Human Rights activist

Hundreds turn out for a rally in Cameron Park after the La Crosse March for our Lives on March 23
More than 800 rallies around the country gave students, parents, teachers, veterans, elected leaders, survivors, and others an opportunity to voice their determination to end the rule of the NRA. Speakers at the La Crosse rally included students and teachers, those who have lost friends and loved ones to gun violence, elected officials urging people to take action by voting, and health workers who understand the links between lax gun laws and domestic abuse, suicide, at-risk families, and other dangers in our communities.

The Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort (WAVE) is encouraging those wishing to, "make sure the March For Our Lives keeps moving forward," to sign up for more information at their web site

In addition, a very important election is happening right now in Wisconsin
State Supreme Court - the court is currently dominated by Republican-backed judges. Rebecca Dallet is the only candidate left in the race not endorsed by the NRA. If you'd like to work to make sure at least one of the Wisconsin Supreme Court justices is not backed by the NRA, you may wish to help the Dallet campaign by volunteering to canvass (knock on doors) in your neighborhood, making calls from your home, and/or voting. See the ACLU's Wisconsin Supreme Court scorecard for more.

Corporations are not people - in La Crosse County, voters may support an advisory referendum that will add our county to the list of those supporting a constitutional amendment that would clearly state money is not speech and corporations are not people. There's been a huge increase in "dark" money to candidates after the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling granting "free speech rights" (reduced restrictions on the spending of money) for corporations. The NRA has taken advantage of this new climate, donating big to candidates, and, more importantly, in outside spending. Some research shows that illegal contributions from outside the country have been passed through groups like the NRA because of this ruling.

VOTE! In most area Wisconsin municipalities, voters may vote "absentee in person" in their clerks' offices this coming week (Monday, March 26 through Friday, March 30). Contact your clerk for hours. Otherwise, vote on Tuesday, April 3. MyVote Wisconsin will tell you how to register and vote, what's on your ballot and more.

When it comes down to it, marching but not voting (and engaging and speaking out and organizing and paying attention) is like thoughts and prayers. It sounds good but it won't make change. As US Representative and "people's politician" Shirley Chisholm once said, "You don't make progress by standing on the sidelines, whimpering and complaining. You make progress by implementing ideas."

Today's organizers, Ken Tschumper, Jacob Sciammas, Ben Morris, Gretchen Guinn Paquette, and others, deserve great credit for making this event happen in a very short time. Today's speakers (see list below) made clear how many lives and communities this issue touches. Thanks to them and to all the others individuals and organizations that helped spread the word.

If your group or organization would like to post or blog at this site, please email couleeprogressive at hotmail. We need to get together, work together, and stick together to make needed changes.

Let this be one of the first steps.

Today's speakers included:
  • Pastor Ben Morris: We can end gun violence and still be hunters.
  • Mayor Tim Kabat: There is no place for gun violence in La Crosse
  • Betsy Riling: I want to teach in a safe school not an armed bunker
  • Father Konopa: What Catholicism teaches us about gun violence
  • Marley Richmond: I go to school to learn not to be shot at
  • Prof. Richard Breaux: Guns, civil rights and race relations in America
  • Libby Miller: Please keep guns out of schools
  • Cheryl Hancock: It’s a bad idea to arm teachers
  • Tara Johnson: Guns cost La Crosse taxpayers, families & children
  • Bishop Jim Arends: A little religion can go a long way to end gun violence
  • Rep Jill Billings: Democrat proposals for gun safety in the Wisconsin Legislature
  • Sister Laura Nettles: Gun violence hurts us in many ways
  • John Havlicek: Teachers do not want to be armed
  • Kate Nelson: Stop blaming people with mental health problems for gun violence
  • Prof. Mike Smuksta: A little history on gun control in America
  • Chris Clair: The truth about the Heller Decision and the Second Amendment
  • Dr. Mark Neumann and Dr. Bob Freedland: Guns and public health.
  • Sen Jennifer Shilling: Welcoming new voices and leaders on gun issues
  • Bishop Jay Lambert: The moral imperative for ending gun violence
  • Gretchen Guinn Paquette: Moms Demand Action and you can too

Friday, March 23, 2018

African American Living HIstory Tour

The African American Mutual Assistance Network, Inc. (AAMAN) and The Enduring Families Project and
The La Crosse Historical Society
proudly introduce the
African American Living History Tour
of La Crosse
Saturday, June 23, 2018
Seating is limited to 24 passengers per tour. There will be four tours leaving at different times starting at 11:30 a.m. Registration is first-come-first served. If necessary, a waiting list will be created.
Register NOW! It FREE and open to the public. A Goodwill Donation is encouraged to cover expenses, such as bus rental, costumes, programs, etc. 

March Updates - Please Share

For more information contact Ben Morris, Gretchen Guinn Paquette, & Jacob Sciammas: (608) 403-5628 &

March and Rally to Stop Gun Violence March 24 in La Crosse.

The March and Rally Against Gun Violence planned for La Crosse on March 24th, 2018 will feature  school, religious, political and community leaders from the Coulee Region.

In La Crosse, the March Against Gun Violence starting at 12:30 from Burns Park (8th & Main St.) will be followed by a Rally at Cameron Park (5th & King St.) at 1:00pm.

This event is in conjunction with the national and international March for Our Lives that will be
occurring around the world on that date. The March for Our Lives events are a direct result of student activism to end gun violence after the high school shooting in Parkland Florida on Feb. 14th, 2018 that killed 17 students.

The Rally speakers are a cross section of political, religious and community leaders in western Wisconsin as well as students concerned about gun violence in schools.

Gretchen Guinn Paquette and Ben Morris; Welcome. Music by Bob Bovee.

1. Pastor Ben Morris; We can end gun violence and still be hunters.
2. Mayor Tim Kabat; There is no place for gun violence in La Crosse.
3. Betsy Riling; I want to teach in a safe school not an armed bunker
4. Father Konopa; What Catholicism teaches us about gun violence
5. Marley Richmond; I go to school to learn not to be shot at.
6. Prof. Richard Breaux; Guns, civil rights and race relations in America.
7. Libby Miller; Please keep guns out of schools.
8. Cheryl Hancock; It’s a bad idea to arm teachers.
9. Tara Johnson; Guns cost La Crosse taxpayers, families & children
10. Bishop Jim Arends; A little religion can go a long way to end gun violence.
11. Rep Jill Billings; Democrat proposals for gun safety in the Wisconsin Legislature.
12. Sister Laura Nettles; Gun violence hurts us in many ways.
13. John Havlicek; Teachers do not want to be armed.
14. Kate Nelson; Stop blaming people with mental health problems for gun violence.
15. Prof. Mike Smuksta; A little history on gun control in America.
16. Chris Clair; The truth about the Heller Decision and the 2nd amendment.
17. Dr. Mark Neumann & Dr. Bob Freedland; Guns and public health.
18. Sen Jennifer Shilling; Welcoming new voices and leaders on gun issues
19. Bishop Jay Lambert; The moral imperative for ending gun violence.
20. Gretchen Guinn Paquette; Moms Demand Action and you can too

For up-to-the-minute updates, please go to March for Our Lives – La Crosse on Facebook:

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Saturday march update

Please meet at BURNS PARK (8th & Main) on Saturday at noon. (This park is accessible via #4 bus - State & 7th stop).

A march to Cameron Park (5th Ave S. & King St) will begin at 12:30 pm.

Free pro posters to dowload and print at your fav print shop:

Please contact Jacob with questions.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Vote - Here's why

In most municipalities in our area of Wisconsin, voters may cast ballots "absentee in person" in their clerk's office during the two weeks before election day. This week and next (through Friday, March 30) you can vote (contact your clerk for details). If you are volunteering to drive voters on election day (April 3) or have a busy schedule that day, it's a great way to vote in a less hectic environment and not worry about getting to the polls on time. You may also register to vote at your clerk's office or change your registration if needed.

If you want to REGISTER, you will need to supply PROOF OF RESIDENCE. Find the list of approved documents here.

For INFORMATION ABOUT VOTING - what's on your ballot, where do you vote, are you registered, etc - visit Note that voters must supply an approved ID when they vote. For most of us that's a Wisconsin driver's license, but if you don't have one the list of approved documents is at (If you need a Wisconsin ID for voting purposes, you may get one FREE OF CHARGE at the local DMV).

On the Wisconsin ballot are 
  • local office elections including county and school board positions
  • the state Supreme Court election (remember, Rebecca Dallet is the only candidate left in the race who is NOT endorsed by the National Rifle Association)
  • a state referendum on getting rid of the State Treasurer's office (so no one will be able to monitor where Scott Walker's government-cash-to-cronies program is sending our tax dollars) and 
  • a La Crosse county advisory referendum encouraging the county to support a constitutional amendment that specifies that money is not equal to speech and corporations are not people
Embarrassingly, many spring elections have super low turnouts and may let a few motivated people stick us with a bad Supreme Court justice for the next TEN YEARS. So, don't let this happen to us. Go and vote this week, next week, or on Tuesday, April 3. Take your friends and neighbors. Go with your co-workers over a lunch hour. 

And then start thinking about the next election - a primary for governor in August. Learn about the candidates and plan to actively support one of them (not the one we have now please) by volunteering, donating when you can, and helping to get out the vote. 

Here's one good reason to get active: Monday night's tele-town hall on INEQUALITY  presented by Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. 

Friday, March 16, 2018

March 24 March is on

UPDATE: The rally will be at Cameron Park starting at noon. Facebook event here.

After much confusion caused in part by people from someplace else setting up online leaderless events (DON'T do that!) local orgaizers are planning a La Crosse March for Our Lives on Saturday, March 24. Details are being worked out now. If you would like to help, speak, or otherwise get involved, please email couleeprogressive at hotmail and we'll forward your note to organizers. 

Monday, March 12, 2018

March 24 - 10th Annual Grassroots Fest

To be sure there will be other events happening on March 24th, but this one should be near the top of your list.

Attend the 10th annual Wisconsin Grassroots Festival, at Wisconsin Heights school, Hwy 14, between Mazomanie and Black Earth.  This is a gathering of excellent progressive people, talks, 21 break-out sessions, silent auction of cool stuff, good food, tablers, and more. It is one of the best ways to connect with the state's progressive movement.

Speakers will include Sen. Tammy Baldwin, Rep. Mark Pocan, John Nichols, Lisa Graves, and Matt Rothschild.

It starts at 9 a.m and goes until about 5 p.m.

The Wisconsin Grassroots Network is a true People Power organization. 
We charge NO DUES, NO SUBSCRIPTION FEES, NO MEMBERSHIP FEES of any kind! We DO NOT sell (or rent) our mailing list to anybody! WE DON'T SEND FUND RAISING EMAILS.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Progressive caucus

Next Saturday, the new Progressive Caucus of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin will hold its first General Assembly. This is a very important time for progressives from all around the state to come together and get organized to make changes in the state party that will reverberate up to the national level. You can join the party at the event if you're not already a member though all progressives, are welcome to join the effort (see below).

If you are interested in carpooling, please use this form. There's not registration for the event, but if you can donate a bit to help pay costs, there's a link at the bottom of the page. Please spread the word and plan to attend.

Spring DPW Progressive Caucus General Assembly 

We are very excited to say that 2018 has arrived and we are very close to breaking the established political doors down and bringing about a political revolution here in Wisconsin. We will be working with many progressive groups and individuals regardless of whether or not they are associated with the Democratic Party.

There can be no revolution if we confine ourselves within the walls of our own political party. We need to blow the doors open and welcome all who hold progressive values. If we are in this fight together we can make HUGE gains within the Democratic Party and at all levels of government. It’s all about the numbers, PEOPLE POWER!

There is no doubt that the numbers we need are out there and eager to help, we just need to find them and make it possible for them to engage with the political process. This will be incredibly challenging to accomplish but we know it’s possible. Many said that getting a progressive caucus going within the Democratic Party of Wisconsin was impossible but here we stand. Let’s stand together and continue to make the “impossible” happen!

March 17, 2018 the DPW Progressive Caucus will be holding a general assembly meeting. We need your help to expand our strategic plan moving into the 2018 elections and beyond. Whatever ideas you have we want to hear it, we want the entire body of the progressive caucus to be represented. With every battle won we want everyone to be able to say “I did that”. If you would like to help us create a winning strategy please set some time aside on March 17th.
Last but not least, please consider donating to our efforts to create a more progressive government and Democratic Party. Thank you!

DATE: 03/17/2018
Time: 1PM - 5PM
Venue: Chula Vista Resort
             2501 River Road
             Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965
Facebook Event Page

Saturday, March 10, 2018

La Crosse Human Rights Commission Members Resign

A few weeks ago, 4 members of the La Crosse Human Rights Commission resigned. Check out the La Crosse Tribune article here. The HRC, together with local advocates and social workers, had uncovered and investigated extensive class and racial discrimination surrounding housing in La Crosse, and were pushing for the city to take action to push back against it. The city wants the HRC more focused on education and awareness, but commission members are dedicated to action and stepped down.

Their statement of resignation follows.

"Good evening! The Human Rights Commission was reorganized in 2015 by Mayor Tim Kabat. That is when several of us were asked to join the Commission. Over the last year the Human Rights Commission has: Felt a lack of trust in the system, A lack of communication with the Mayor and his staff, We desired to advocate and assist our fellow community members, We’ve seen an increase in the number of Discrimination Reports filed, We’ve been constantly told that we cannot act on social justice/diversity situations, The expectations from the Mayor of the commission has became different from what we signed up to do, Seen changes made to the Commission without any communication or chance for input, Felt a lack of commitment and action to diversity and anti-discrimination, and That the Commission lacks the ability to effect policy and governance changes. If the mayor is wanting a group to provide education and events that should be done by staff from the city. If your Human Resource department isn’t capable or you do not have diverse enough staff to do this work that is a reflection on the mayor and the city of La Crosse. You need to diversify your hiring and your training. The Commission would like to thank Genean, Patricia, and all of the other brave individuals that used the processes to speak up and shine light on the issues and our community. We apologize that we were not able to take action. I Shaundel Spivey, I Will Van Roosenbeek, I Elizabeth Digby-Britten, I Rose Reinert Have decided to resign from the Human Rights Commission. We hope that city of La Crosse will continue to examine itself and the discriminatory practices and actions of the individuals corporations and other entities that contribute to this great community. We hope that the city will examine the charge of the Human Rights Commission and either give it the teeth that it needs to do the job or change the job altogether."

If you are moved or upset about any of this, please contact the Mayor's office and voice your concerns and feelings.

Monday, March 05, 2018


Because of bad weather, the Frances Moore Lappe talk scheduled for March 5 was postponed. The new date is March 19.

Unfortunately, there are a few other important events happening that evening. You'll have to choose or clone:

"Building Our Future: Hmoob Womxn Leading" is a program offered by the Western Technical College Asian Club from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Lunda Center.

La Crosse County Democratic Party's monthly meeting which will host three Democratic candidates for governor at 6:30 p.m. at the Ho-Chunk Three Rivers House.

Holmen School Board candidate forum at 7 p.m. at the Holmen School District Office


The Blue Ribbon hearing that was cancelled on Monday, March 5th due to weather...has been re-scheduled! Mark your calendars for Monday, March 19th. We have just over a week to get our facts, get our LEA gear or some orange apparel, and get our butts over to Northwoods Elem. School that day right after school! NOW IS THE CHANCE TO BE HEARD ON PUBLIC SCHOOL FUNDING!

THREE more events

Tonight there is a screening of the imoortant documentary, Killing us softly (how women are treated in the media) at 6 p.m. in the Hall of Nations, Centennial Hall, UWL.

Wednesday evening at 6:30 pm, a program called Cycles for Change will describe how bicycling can be a vehicle for social change. "Based in the Twin Cities, Cycles for Change works at the intersection of social justice and the bicycle movement. Grounded in the values of equity, justice, inclusion, and self-empowerment, the organization works to establish equity and safer spaces for underrepresented and marginalized communities." Room 2201 Centennial Hall, UWL.

FRIDAY at 4:30 p.m. Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Andy Gronik, will have a Meet and Greet at the Bodega BREW Pub in La Crosse.

Sunday, March 04, 2018

This week

Things to do this week. 

First, make sure you are and everyone you know is registered to vote. Start at In February, many primary voters learned they had been purged from the rolls. In fact, the Democratic Party of Wisconsin is asking anyone who may have been purged to contact them. There are groups in our area working to make sure people are registered. Consider joining those efforts. 

1 p.m. Public input into state panel exploring better ways to fund public schools at Northwoods Elementary School

7 p.m. [UPDATE: PER THE POST WE PUT UP WHEN WE HEARD THE UPDATE, THE EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED UNTIL WEATHER PERMITS RESCHEDULING. Frances Moore Lappe will speak on Democracy at Viterbo University in the Fine Arts Center. Viterbo is donating space for this event sponsored by La Crosse United to Amend. There are still expenses (speaker fees, transportation costs) and if you can help out with a donation for costs already paid, please contact La Crosse United to Attend for details

2:15 p.m.  Amina Gautier, author, The Loss of All Lost Things reading and reception in room 120 UWL Student Union.

5:00 p.m.  International Coffee Hour - topic: Education. Informal discussion with international students and faculty in Hall of Nations, Centennial Hall, UWL

6:00 p.m. Public input about redoing Jackson Street - should there be bike lanes? in Carrol Auditorium of the Viterbo University School of Nursing, 10th and Jackson

noon  Teach In: Rape Culture. Bring a lunch and discuss. In Hall of Nations, Centennial Hall, UWL 

5:00 p.m. International Women's Day reception and program at Hall of Nations, Centennial Hall, UWL

5:00 p.m. International Women's Day event at Hackberry's above the People's Food Co-op, 315 Fifth Avenue South.

Please help us keep the calendar full and up to date! Email your event or use the form!

Friday, March 02, 2018

Public input on public schools + a reminder

notice from OWR:

The Blue Ribbon Commission studying how to fix school funding inequities will hold a public hearing Monday March 5th, 1:30-6pm at North Woods International School, 2541 Sablewood Rd, La Crosse.

Please come offer testimony from your personal experience or in your area of expertise. Please attend even if prefer not to offer testimony. Come even for a short time. The commissioners will notice how many people show commitment to reforming school funding by making the effort to attend as well as offer testimony. More details here.

If you wish to share concerns with the Commission, but can't make it in person, you can submit testimony in writing to the Commission co-chairs, Rep. Joel Kitchens and Sen. Luther Olsen at and



Don't forget Saturday's Climate Action Festival from 1 to 4 pm at the First Congregational Church. We have only a very short time to make drastic changes for a sustainable future.