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Friday, August 28, 2020

August 30: People's Convention

THE TIME IS NOW 

 For far too long we have watched both corporate-funded political parties pillage and devastate our country, our communities, and our families. Now it is time for us to ask: What kind of world do we want to build from the ashes of this pandemic and economic depression?

 One week after the Democratic and Republican national conventions, people from all walks of life will come together to discuss the state of the nation and plans to form a major new political party in America. A party free of corporate money and influence. A people’s party.

Join us on Sunday, August 30, from 3 to 6 p.m for The People’s Convention. The Convention will be digital and broadcast live to YouTube, Facebook and Twitter pages with millions of subscribers and followers.


SPEAKERS
Dr. Cornel West, Professor of the Practice of Public Philosophy at Harvard University and Professor Emeritus at Princeton University. Author of 20 books and commentator on CNN. Bernie 2020 surrogate and co-host of the Tight Rope Podcast.

Sen. Nina Turner National co-chair of the Bernie Sanders 2020 presidential campaign. Host of the Hello Somebody Podcast. Former President of Our Revolution. Served Ohio in the state senate and Cleveland in the city council. Former professor of African American history.

Marianne Williamson. Author, spiritual leader, activist, Democratic presidential candidate in 2020. Has written 13 books and multiple NYT bestsellers. Co-founder of the Peace Alliance.

Sen. Mike Gravel. Former U.S. Senator from Alaska. Democratic Presidential Candidate in 2020 and 2008. Read the Pentagon Papers into the public record. Founder of The National Citizens Initiative for Democracy, for direct democracy in America.

Danny Glover. Award-winning actor and activist. UNICEF Ambassador. Former Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Development Program. Recipient of multiple NAACP awards and Emmy nominations. Supporter of many unions, including postal unions. Bernie 2020 surrogate

Chris Hedges. Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist, former foreign correspondent, Middle East Bureau Chief and Balkan Bureau Chief at the New York Times. Author of several best-selling books, writes for many national publications, and is host of the Emmy Award­–winning RT America show On Contact

And more.

AGENDA
The People’s Convention will discuss plans to build the largest party in America in the next four years, including building local hubs and state parties, sending representatives to Congress and local office in 2022, and winning the presidency in 2024. We will discuss why we must finish the political revolution in a major new people’s party and how we can do it.
The Convention will feature live speakers, recorded video montages and presentations, and a regional organizing breakout session.

We will broadcast video compilations of hundreds of people across the country sharing why they need a people’s party and how they are organizing to bring it to life.

At the conclusion of the Convention we will hold a historic vote on forming a major new corporate-free political party in America.

Four years from now, at the People’s Convention of 2024, when The People’s Party stands poised to sweep Congress and the White House, we will look back and celebrate this gathering as the moment that our country turned the page on the Second Gilded Age. The moment that we took fate into our own hands. The moment that we gave rise to a new progressive era.






Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Friday rally

From La Crosse Waking Up White:

Local La Crosse Black youth have organized a rally.  We encourage you to attend as a way to stand with and  "Amplify the Voices of Black Youth" in our community. 

Join local organizers THIS Friday (8/28) at 6 p.m. at City Hall.

Hear the voices in your local community and LISTEN to local youth about why ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

"As we continue to see injustices happening around our country, we ask you to join us at City Hall (outside by steps) in La Crosse. We are looking for more progressive changes locally in our community and hope we can lead by example for the rest of the country."

https://www.facebook.com/events/3437026486337204/

And remember, while the Kenosha police chief blamed protestors for their own deaths at the hands of a 17 year old Illinois right wing militia member Trump supporter, peaceful protesters' lives were taken


Monday, August 24, 2020

PLAN TO VOTE

Election day is November 3, but NOW is the time to start voting! And here is the magic word:


Are you registered? If not, many people can REGISTER ONLINE at myvote.wi.gov.  Otherwise, print, complete, and mail your registration form (be sure to include a copy of approved PROOF OF RESIDENCE).

Have you moved or had a name change since you last registered? If yes, update your registration at myvote.wi.gov OR, print, complete, and mail your registration form (be sure to include a copy of approved PROOF OF RESIDENCE).

Have you requested your absentee ballot? If not, in most cases, you can request your absentee ballot at myvote.wi.gov If that doesn't work, print, complete, and mail your Absentee Ballot Application.

When your ballot arrives, VOTE RIGHT AWAY!

Read the instructions. Use the correct marking tool (in La Crosse, BLACK BALLPOINT PEN). Have a witness available - you only need ONE witness. Vote for only one person for each office unless otherwise indicated. You may leave sections blank if you wish.

When your ballot is marked, fold it and put it in the envelope.
  • Seal the envelope
  • Sign the envelope
  • Date the envelope
  • Have your witness sign on the witness line
  • Have your witness fill in her/his COMPLETE address on the witness address line. 
Mail your ballot as soon as possible
(There is already postage on the ballot envelope. You DON'T need to add a stamp,)
= OR =
Drop your ballot in municipal drop box if available 
(in La Crosse, there are two drop boxes in the City Hall lot)  

TRACK YOUR BALLOT at myvote.wi.gov

If you have questions, issues, or need assistance, CONTACT YOUR MUNICIPAL CLERK.
(La Crosse, Onalaska, or find yours at myvote.wi.gov)

Absentee ballots will be mailed during the last half of SEPTEMBER, so if your ballot is requested, you can be finished by October 1 if you want.  You can still vote during the absentee-in-person period or on election day, but given all the possibilities for disruptions and to free your schedule for helping others vote during those times, please consider VOTING ABSENTEE.

If you need assistance getting your correctly marked, sealed, signed, and witnessed ballot to the La Crosse City Hall drop box, please email coulee progressive at hotmail. Include your contact info so we can arrange date/time.



NONONONONONONONONONONONONONONO

BLACK LIVES MATTER


Jacob Blake
Shot seven times in the back by Kenosha police while returning to his car, where his children sat waiting, after helping to break up a fight.

Sunday, August 23, 2020

8/25: Call the Senate to #SaveThePostOffice

On Tuesday, August 25,
the American Postal Workers Union!

We'll hand out flyers at the PO.
Flyers provided.

If you can't help hand out flyers, please share online.
Madison: (608) 240-9629  *  DC: (202) 224-5323

La Crosse: (608) 796-0045  *  DC: (202) 224-5653




Celebrate the Right to Vote




Even as celebrations are planned and happening around the country to commemorate the result of ONE VOTE margin in the Tennessee legislature that provided the last state needed to ratify the 19th amendment giving WHITE women the right to vote, many are not celebrating.

Still, the nearly 100 year battle for women's suffrage provided a model for following struggles including the Civil Rights Movement, the Anti-War movement, and the Environmental Movement. So, maybe we can celebrate an imperfect milestone, appreciate the strong organization that grew from it, and know that inclusion and cooperation is necessary in current and future struggles.


August 26, 2020 League of Women Voters of the La Crosse Area Celebrates Centennial Year
League of Women Voters of the La Crosse Area celebrates the conclusion of its Centennial Year: commemorating 100 years since the US Congress passed the 19th Amendment

At 11:45, August 26, in front of the blue-baby egg sculpture southeast of City Hall La Crosse, Mayor Tim Kabat, along with representatives of La Crosse County Board will present a proclamation recognizing the 100 years since Congress passed the 19th Amendment providing women full suffrage rights. LWV members and the public are invited to attend this short ceremony. Please bring bells, horns or whistles as well as masks.

 At noon several area churches, synagogues and mosques will ring their facilities’ bells to commemorate the centennial of both the amendment and the League of Women Voters. This bell ringing reenacts the original celebration of the ratification of the 19th in August, 1920 as reported by the Madison Capital Times.  Local Leagues across the state are planning similar bell ringing on August 26 at noon in their communities. 

The League of Women Voters is a non-profit, non-partisan, national organization whose purpose is to promote informed and active participation in government at all levels. Like government, the League functions on several levels—local, state, regional and national.LWVLA is also a part of the state and national Leagues.

Sunday, August 16, 2020

NEXT Saturday, Aug. 22 at 11 a.m. SAVE THE POST OFFICE, part 2




On Saturday, August 14, four local activists spent a bit of time near the La Crosse Post Office waving signs and educating visitors about the in-plain-sight strangling of the U.S. Postal Service. Citizen action CAN make a difference. Citizen pushback stopped a PO drop box purge in Montana. Citizens have been protesting outside Postmeister General DeJoy's home demanding that he halt the purges and slowdowns. DeJoy, a top GOP fundraiser, holds millions of dollars worth of stocks in XPO Logistics, a USPS contractor with a history of labor violations.

Pressure is mounting on Speaker Pelosi to reconvene Congress and hold hearings. Friday, VICE reported that internal USPS documents showed that the PO planned to remove more than 500 high speed sorting machines  Earlier in August Kimberly Karol of the Iowa Postal Workers Union blew the whistle on new policies that banned overtime. She also noted that some sorting machines were being removed. People around the country noticed that mail drop boxes were being removed (the USPS said this was routine). Last week, Trump admitted that he wanted to make it harder for people to vote (against him) using the U.S. Postal Service.

The U.S. Constitution gives Congress the power to establish a postal service and "postal roads" (mail routes). In addition, U.S. Criminal Code says, "Whoever knowingly and willfully obstructs or retards the passage of the mail, or any carrier or conveyance carrying the mail, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than six months, or both." 

Read more about it. Tell others. Understand that the Postal Service is a SERVICE not a business. Saying that it's losing money is like saying that the elementary school is losing money. And the reason, they need more money from Congress to provide service is because of an earlier assault led by Republicans called the pre-funding mandate which requires the Postal Service to sit on more than $40 BILLION to pre-fund retiree benefits for the next 75 years. 

New reports indicate Congress may call an "urgent" hearing and require DeJoy to testify on August 24. Speaker Pelosi and other Democratic Congressional leaders are calling on DeJoy to testify and giving an August 21 deadline to produce documents relating to "postal service sabotage."

Trump and his cronies aren't just trying to kill off an effective, egalitarian, accessible voting system. They are also denying the timely delivery of medicines, checks, legal documents, drivers' licenses, and much more. 

PLAN TO ATTEND - WEAR A MASK - BRING A SIGN
BRING A FRIEND - SAVE THE USPS!

In the meantime, contact our Congressional representatives, call the White House, and email and call these men who make up the USPS Board of Governors.



Friday, August 14, 2020

SATURDAY 9=11 a.m. SAVE THE POST OFFICE!

 
 
A couple of local activists just contacted me about the crisis with the USPS. Even as Trump's henchmen remove sorting machines and mail boxes around the country, Congress is going on vacation. By the time they return there may not be any Post Office left. Yet local news, a main source of information for many people, has said nothing about it.

Tomorrow from 9 to 11 a.m., we are going to stand by the PO (masked and distanced) with SAVE THE USPS! Congress must reconvene! and other eye-catching signs in hopes that more attention will be paid right now while there's still time to act.

Some states are taking action because messing with elections for state candidates is against state laws. Dogged reporting in Montana has awakened bi-partisan action there. But with Congress on vacation who knows what irreversible damage can be done? It's only taken the new Postmaster General a few weeks to drastically slow mail delivery and cause the PO to send notices to several states that ballots may not be delivered in a timely manner.

If you can't make it tomorrow (kind of late notice) then let's go there every morning to draw attention to this murder - of the PO and of our ability to vote - before it's too late.h

Save the Post Office. Contact Congress - tell them to return from vacation and save the PO. Contact the Board of Governors.

Hundreds of US mail sorting machines are being taken out of service, VICE and CNN report

Donald Trump and his Postmaster General are sabotaging democracy

New Jersey Congressman seeks grand jury probe of Trump PO moves

Dozens of Montana USPS drop boxes removed

USPS confirms removal of dozens of public mailboxes from Oregon cities

Trump officials could face criminal charges for USPS sabotage 



 

 

 



We have DIAL-IN access!


Those without internet access may dial-in by phone (audio only) to the August 19 virtual town hall on policing in La Crosse. Spread the word. Better, possibly for future events, would be a simultaneous live broadcast on network tv with the opportunity for people to phone in questions.

But, this option will allow more to participate.Thank you to the organizers! Be there! Wednesday, August 19 from 6 to 8 p.m.
Call in by Phone (audio only)
    United States: +1 (877) 422-8614
Meeting extension: 4955502#

Thursday, August 13, 2020

August 19 - Virtual Town Hall on policing in La Crosse

A virtual Town Hall on “Policing in Our Community. Where do we go from here?” will be held online on Wednesday evening, August 19 from 6 to 8 p.m.. Panelists will include members of BLACK, Cia Siab, Systems of Care, La Crosse Area Family Collaborative, the City's Human Rights Commission, and the La Crosse and UWL Police Departments.

Questions may be submitted in advance though there's no information about how to do that.

It appears that you must have internet access in order to view this event. That's a big problem. There is not, apparently, any dial-in access. 

In the old days, you would have an event broadcast live on local television and a phone-in option to submit questions. This could be done with these events, too.

So, if you are able to attend, do. And if you aren't, contact the city and ask them to broaden accessibility by finding an online service that offers phone dial-in access, and/or by broadasting live over the air (not cable) and accepting phoned-in questions.

Surveys for you

We Want This

When you get a chance to have input on a public project or visioning, take it. Take advantage of these three opportunities now.
The DOT keeps asking what we want for La Crosse Street and we keep telling them, "NOT what you're proposing!" and they keep moving forward with what THEY want (not the same thing) anyway. So, while they are asking for citizen input, we can't guarantee they will listen to it.

The "reconditioning project" is scheduled for the summer of 2022, but the next, and possibly, final, deadline for the public to review and submit any comments is August 14, 2020.  Submit written comments to Amanda Zacharias, contact person, at Azacharias@benesch.com.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in person public meetings have been suspended, and the DOT has replaced them with this virtual "Public Involvement Meeting." Find the link to attend at https://wisconsindot.gov/Pages/projects/by-region/sw/16-lacrosse/default.aspx

In 2015, the last time the DOT tried to revive the North-South highway nobody in the city wants either, the City hired Toole Design Group to provide an alternate vision of our transportation future. The group spent several days in La Crosse talking to groups, facilitating public input sessions, and making people feel like someone was finally listening. And I'm sure it wasn't cheap.

In their final report, they presented beautiful drawings of what we could have if planners really cared about people-centered, safer, multi-modal, climate conscious systems. Among the promises, a beautiful protected bike lane on Losey (the only straight-through north-south transportation corridor for several blocks, and a route that passes directly to retail and service establishments along that corridor) AND PBLs on South Ave. AND on La Crosse Street, too. (Protect bike lanes, also called cycle tracks, are those that have a physical barrier - planters, poles, blocks, curb, parked cars, etc. between bicyclists and moving traffic. It makes bicyclists feel much safer, widens the age and ability range of people comfortable bicycling, and increases safety and comfort of car drivers. See the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) Urban Bikeway Design Guide.)

La Crosse Street particularly needs better and safer bike infrastructure because it passes directly near a school, a major park, and the UWL campus. This street, too, is the only straight-shot east-west corridor on the far north of south La Crosse. A protected bike lane on this important corridor would encourage and support more and safer bicycling at a time when the climate crisis demands we get out of our single-occupant, greenhouse-gas-emitting cars.

How disappointing, then, to see that the city spent all that money, and the community, time and effort, on nothing. The reconstruction of Losey resulted in ZERO bike infrastructure. ZERO. Not even the inadequate, unsafe painted lanes some still believe in. And the DOT's plans for La Crosse Street are no better. Not only is there not improved safety for bicyclists,  the plan calls for the street to be widened to provide a WIDE turn lane which will require the removal of dozens of trees. (Why do we need to be an extra wide lane that will remain empty most of the time?) They are planning exactly the opposite of what we want and need. When people warn about rule by robots, I think we just need to look at the DOT to see what that's like - outdated, inaccurate metrics fed into the system at one end and blindly pooped out at the other regardless of changing transportation modes and needs.

Please check out the plans, then email the DOT representative and tell them that.

Two more chances for input:

The City of La Crosse and Downtown Mainstreet are asking the public for ideas for the ‘Imagine 2040 La Crosse Downtown Plan. Stop by the outdoor Design Studios on Wednesday or Thursday to participate in person. The main studio is set up at the Main Street Plaza in the Heron walkway. Or visit the one at the Grounded Patio Cafe or the Downtown Mainstreet office. To take the ONLINE SURVEY, click here

Another transportation survey - this time WisDOT is planning the transportation system of the future and they are looking for public input (though, again, may not pay any attention to it). #Connect2050 is the long-range, statewide plan for the next 30 years. Fill out the survey at http://connect2050survey.com

Monday, August 10, 2020

Free ride for absentee ballot return in no-emissions EV



Until the battery runs out, if you have an absentee ballot, I'll give you a ride to the City Hall ballot drop box in an electric vehicle. Mask required. One person at a time. Email Couleeprogressive-at-hotmail to arrange. No time guarantees.

Fare thee well

The City of La Crosse Park Department will remove the statue from the north end of Riverside Park on Tuesday morning, per local news reports. Work Monday has been stopped due to possible severe storms. Part of the road on the north section of the park is blocked but walkers and bicyclists still have access. The too-long-delayed end of a bad marketing campaign has finally arrived. We celebrate.

Saturday, August 01, 2020

Tell La Crosse County - Pass 100% Renewable/Zero Carbon Resolution



More details about an important local action YOU CAN TAKE to fight the climate crisis:

Wisconsin Conservation Voters, Sierra Club, Citizen Action, and NextGen members have signed petitions, emailed their local elected officials, and published letters to the editor calling for the La Crosse County Board to set a goal of 100 percent clean energy by 2050.
The La Crosse County Board is listening!
On Monday, August 3, the La Crosse County Planning, Resources, and Development Committee will consider a resolution to set a goal of 100 percent clean and zero carbon energy by 2050 and will offer the first opportunity for the community to show support for clean energy directly and publicly. 
We don't need to wait for the state and federal government to do something about clean energy. We can make change now in our local communities. Communities like Eau Claire and Green Bay have proven that real change can happen right now on the local level.

Here are the two ways you can show your support:
  1. Speak up at the meeting for the public comment period at 5 p.m. at the county building (212 6th St. N., La Crosse) in the County Board Room (# 1700). Official testimony may only be given in person. See the agenda here

  2. Email or call the committee members with support for the resolution before the meeting on Monday
Patrick Scheller, pscheller@lacrossecounty.org, 608-769-8502
Dan Hesse, dhesse@lacrossecounty.org, 608-797-4696
Peggy Isola, pjerome@lacrossecounty.org, 608-519-7365
Rick Cornforth, rcornforth@lacrossecounty.org, 608-781-0210
Kevin Hoyer, KHoyer@lacrossecounty.org, 608-786-0058
Karen Keil, KKeil@lacrossecounty.org, 608-385-0280
Dale Hewitt (La Crosse County Planning Staff), dhewitt@lacrossecounty.org 

Public speaking not your thing? Sign our petition here or send an email to the full County Board here. Or do both!