Sunday, March 31, 2019

Social justice, ethical cities, citizen action

One of the great things about the Coulee Region is our wealth of higher education institutions. This coming week, April 1-5, the Institute for Social Justice at UW-La Crosse is hosting a week of speakers, panels, exhibits, and workshops designed to "elevate silenced voices.

Check out the list of FREE Social Justice Week events at their website.

On Thursday, April 4, Charles Montgomery, author of The Happy City opens Viterbo University's interdisciplinary conference on The Ethical City with a keynote speech at 7 pm in the Fine Arts Center. The conference runs through April 6 and requires registration. Montgomery's speech is free.

In addition, don't forget to VOTE on Tuesday if you haven't yet. The Wisconsin Supreme Court race is super important. Remember, Hagedorn worked for the Walker administration. Judge Lisa Neubauer did not.

Also this week:

* April 4 state budget listening session with State Senator Jennifer Shilling and Rep. Jill Billings at 5:30 pm at the Northside Policing Center, 713 St. James St. With the nearest Joint Finance Committee hearings in River Falls, these local sessions are extra important to help show support for Governor Evers' budget proposals.

* A Coulee Region group of Democratic Socialists of America is starting and will meet April 6 at 10 am. Get more info by emailing couleesocialists at gmail or call or text 608 632-6166.

* The April 6 54th Annual UWL International Banquet, 6 pm at the UWL Student Union, offers food from around the world, international music, and the chance to demonstrate support for our diverse community. You must purchase tickets in advance.

Friday, March 22, 2019

More on Lobby Day

If you’ve never been to lobby day or you’re a longtime attendee, this year will be a special one. Be sure to register here! 

We’re honored to welcome Gov. Evers as we kick off this important day for Wisconsin’s environment. Since taking office, Gov. Evers has set a vision for safe drinking water and clean energy and he has proposed a state budget that prioritizes the environment in so many ways. We are thrilled that he will be able to talk directly with conservation leaders about his priorities.

This year’s afternoon sessions will include:

Fair Maps in Wisconsin
Sachin Chheda, chair of the Wisconsin Fair Maps Coalition, will discuss the consequences of partisan gerrymandering and the legislative proposal to fix the process and end map-rigging in Wisconsin forever.

How to Talk Persuasively to Those Who Don’t Already Agree with Us
Matt Rothschild, executive director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, will offer communication tips to use with your neighbors, co-workers, fellow congregants, and anyone else you know.

Responding to Threats from Sulfide Mining Expansion
Guy Reiter, community organizer and traditional Menominee living on the Menominee Reservation, will discuss efforts currently underway to stop the expansion of sulfide mining in Wisconsin, including the Back Forty project – a proposed mine in an area of great cultural significance to the Menominee Nation.

Clean Energy in Wisconsin
Kate Beaton, Wisconsin Conservation Voters western organizer and Eau Claire City Council member, and Heather Allen of RENEW will discuss local actions that are moving Wisconsin to 100 percent renewable energy. It’s a great opportunity to learn policy ideas and local organizing tips to usher in the clean energy era to your community.

More sessions are being finalized.

The lobby day experience is unique. You join hundreds of like-minded folks from across the state who share your concerns about our water, air, and land, and share your message directly with legislators.

A FREE BUS will leave from Tomah at about 7:30am. You must register in advance for the bus.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Citizen Action opportunities

Remember, you may vote Absentee In Person from now through Friday, March 29 (M-F, 8:30 am to 5:00 pm at City Hall if you're a City of La Crosse resident. Check your municipality clerk for details or look yourself up at for details).

On Thursday, March 21, learn why we must be involved and vigilant and proactive. Hear Holocaust survivor Magda Brown at 7 pm at the Viterbo Fine Arts Center. The program is free and open to the public.

Over the weekend, attend the 11th Annual Grassroots Fest in Mazomanie on Saturday (many great guest speakers) OR canvass (door to door visiting with neighbors and/or leaving printed material) to help people learn about the very important race for Wisconsin Supreme Court justice. Sign up here for Saturday and here for Sunday.

On Tuesday, March 26, Grandview-Emerson Neighborhood Association (GENA) is hosting a City Council Candidate Forum at 6:30 p.m. at the Myrick Park Center. Council candidates for District 4--John Lash and Larry Sleznikow--as well as candidates for District 5--Samuel Grenier and Justice Weaver--will participate in a candidate forum sponsored by GENA and the UWL Student Association. The public is invited. Send any questions you would like the candidates to discuss to Brief GENA meeting prior starting at 6:30pm.

On Wednesday, March 27, Wisconsin Conservation Voters is hosting hundreds of Wisconsinites from around the state for a Lobby Day at the state Capitol. Governor Tony Evers, who has declared 2019 the Year of Clean Water in Wisconsin will kick off the event. Anyone is welcome. There is a FREE BUS going to Madison from Tomah. YOU MUST SIGN UP TO SECURE A SPOT ON THE BUS.This is a very important event where individuals can make a real impact.

On Thursday, March 28, attend a state budget listening session at 5:30 pm at the Holmen Public Library with our local elected leaders (there will be another budget listening session on April 4 at 5:30 pm at the Northside Policing Center).

There's lots more coming up including several chances to advocate for action on catastrophic global warming and a clean environment. Watch the calendar for updates (a calendar-only view is available at, too). Link and share (and share your events!

Monday, March 18, 2019

Vote today!

Absentee in person voting starts today for most in the Coulee Region and continues Monday through Friday until March 29. Check with your municipal clerk for details. In La Crosse, it's 8:30 am to 5:00 pm in the City Clerk's office, City Hall. Get details about your ballot, voting place,  and more at myvote.wi.govElection day is Tuesday April 2.

Canvassing is going on this coming weekend to make people aware of this important Wisconsin Supreme Court election. Please sign up for one or more shifts. Use this link for Saturday, March 23 and this one for Sunday, March 24. Many many people don't know anything about this very important election or think it's not "big" enough for them to bother with. We need to educate and motivate!

Judge Lisa Neubauer has the support of more than 300 judges. Brian Hagedorn worked for Scott Walker.

A new team has stepped forward to run for leadership of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin (DPW). Rep. David Bowen, Wisconsin's only Bernie superdelegate in 2016 and current DPW 1st vice-chair, is running for chair on a ticket with Tammy Wood, currently chair of Sauk County Dems and vice chair of the DPW Progressive caucus, and Alicia LortaBen Wikler, former DC director of is also heading a team running for party leadership.

The DPW will use Ranked Choice Voting for its leadership elections this year. To vote on state party leadership, you must be a DPW member and delegate and you must attend the state convention in Milwaukee on June 1-2. If you'd like more info on getting involved to advocate for progressive leaders, policies, and candidates in Wisconsin, please email.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Is there a climate March Friday?

Where are local student climate activists? Is there any action Friday?

Ron Kind listening session Monday 3/18

Kind listening session Monday, March 18 at 2 pm in room 401 of Western TC Integrated Technology Center, 325 8th St. N.

He's still not backing Green New Deal, Medicare for All, or Net Neutrality. (If you want to prepare for all the silly net neutrality arguments, this is a good primer.)

There will still be people outside the 5 pm birthday fundraiser at 4 Sisters, 100 Harborview Plaza in case you can't get to the 2 pm session.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Actions for March 16-18

Over the weekends of March 16-17 and March 23-24, you may be interested in helping with canvassing to educate voters about candidates and issues and to get out the vote. Follow the links to sign up for a shift on Saturday, March 16 or on Sunday, March 17

On Monday, March 18, City of La Crosse and other area residents may begin voting absentee in person. If you're not sure, contact your municipality's clerk. In La Crosse, voting occurs between 8:30 am and 5 pm Monday through Friday through March 29 in the City Clerk's office in City Hall. If you need to register or update your registration, you may do that at the clerk's office. Be sure to bring your voter ID. 

This is a statewide election for Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice. Judge Lisa Neubauer has been endorsed by more than 300 state judges and former judges and has never worked for Scott Walker. Her opponent, Brian Hagedorn, who was legal counsel to Scott Walker has such extreme views that even the Wisconsin Realtors Association withdrew their support. La Crosse County voters will also find a Fair Maps referendum on their ballots: "Should the Wisconsin legislature create a nonpartisan procedure for the preparation of legislative and congressional district plans and maps?"

At 5 pm, Rep. Ron Kind will have a birthday fundraiser at 4 Sisters, 100 Harborview Plaza in downtown La Crosse (PAC Host: $2500 | PAC Attend: $1000). Rep. Kind still has not signed on to either Green New Deal (nor rescheduled the missed meeting with GND supporters) or Medicare for All legislation. In addition, Kind is the only Wisconsin "Democratic" legislator to not yet have a position on the Democrats' Net Neutrality bill, according to

What can you do? Call Kind's office and let him know how you want him to vote. Consider attending the event if you can afford it or join some folks who might be outside the event with Green New Deal and Medicare for All (and even SAVE THE NET!) signs.

At 6:30, the La Crosse County Democratic Party will hold its monthly meeting at the Ho-Chunk Nation Three Rivers House, 8th and Main. We believe Ben Wikler, former Washington DC director of, will be at this meeting. He is running to become chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. Wikler has worked and volunteered for Ed Garvey, Russell Feingold, Tammy Baldwin, and Al Franken among others. His plan is too "boost Wisconsin's grassroots." You do not need to be a member to attend the meeting, but you may join online or at the meeting if you'd like to have a say in how and who Democrats pick to run for office.

Wednesday, March 06, 2019

Get active!

There are many opportunities coming up to get active and continue to support and push progressive programs and policies. 

On Friday, March 8 there will be a legislative forum on the state budget on the UWL Campus featuring several area legislators. The event is free and open to all and will be in room 3314 UWL Student Union (take the #4 bus) from 2 to 3:30 p.m. 

Also on Friday, an informal meet and greet with Governor Evers at the Bodega from 5 to 6:30 pm will give folks the chance to meet our new governor. (There is a suggested donation on the flyer but YOU DO NOT NEED TO DONATE ANYTHING IN ORDER TO ATTEND!!!)  

On Saturday, March 9 the Progressive Caucus of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin (DPW) will meet from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Chula Vista Resort in Wisconsin Dells. Guest speakers will include Nate Timm, the DPW Rural Caucus chair and a leader with the Wisconsin Grassroots Network; Ben Wikler, who is running for chair of DPW (and any other official candidates are also invited), and Ernie Lowe who will discuss strategies for environmental action. In addition, caucus committees will have time to meet and prepare for the coming elections. 

[On Sunday, March 10, daylight savings time begins.]

On Thursday, March 14, at 10 am in Town of Holland Town Hall, there will be a public hearing hosted by the DNR about a water permit for Babcock Genetics, Inc., a La Crosse County CAFO.

On Thursday at 6 p.m. in City Hall, the La Crosse City Council will take up the resolution to ban bicycle lanes on Gillette Street that was not approved at this week's Judiciary and Administration Committee. Email the council, call your own representative, and show up at the meeting if you can (public hearings are not usually held at City Council meetings). 

There are many other events happening, too. Check the calendar for more.

In addition, two important bills are still seeking (local) co-sponsors. 

The GREEN NEW DEAL is legislation that will begin a framework to address catastrophic global warming. So far, the only Wisconsin co-sponsor is Rep. Mark Pocan. Contact Rep. Ron Kind and Senators Baldwin and Johnson to make your views known.

MEDICARE FOR ALL legislation has also been introduced recently. This article points out that 130 House Democrats have not yet signed on as co-sponsors and it lists those members' health care and big pharma contributions. Unfortunately, Rep Ron Kind is on this list.

Tuesday, March 05, 2019

Gov. Evers Meet & Greet Friday

Governor Tony Evers will be in La Crosse on Friday and will host a meet and greet from about 5:00 until 6:30 pm. Location is BODEGA BREW PUB. Donations to help pay for security will be accepted but NOT required. This is the first such event by the governor since he took office in January.

La Crosse County turned out for Evers in November. More than 85% of voters cast ballots and the Evers/Barnes ticket received more than 56% of the votes.