Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Jail Ministry

First, kudos to the La Crosse County Board and all those who worked on the change to the program for inmate phone calls. As described in the La Crosse Tribune, the county will now provide 30 minutes of free phone call time per day for those in the county jail. The parasitic system of contractors profiting from the unfortunate seems never ending. This change is one small step to helping people which will help us all.

We got this note from the local jail ministry:

If you are looking for a way to make a difference this holiday season, please consider giving to the La Crosse Jail Ministry.  Our ministry works to connect current and former inmates to one of the faith communities that serve in the La Crosse County Jail.  When released, we also provide a group of volunteer mentors (Circles of Support) to help the inmates with the transition to normal life. We also work to provide supplies to them while in the jail or warm clothes upon release. 

My role as a chaplain is to manage and facilitate all these community connections. We also want to be there for them when they are feeling hopeless and grieving, either for their loved ones and/or for their actions.  When I can help someone find their faith, or when I can offer compassion and a listening ear, I feel blessed to be in this role.

Our ministry could use your support:

First, we and the inmates we serve need your prayers and your good thoughts.

Second, we could use your financial help, as we are currently behind in our donations this year.  You can make a tax-deductible donation at

Third, our inmates need supplies. You can find a list on our website, or you can contact me for additional ideas.

I wish you peace and blessings this holiday season!


Chaplain Ann Wales

Mailing Address for Communication: P.O. Box 2675, La Crosse WI 54602
Mailing Address for Packages: 333 Vine Street, La Crosse WI 54601

Monday, November 28, 2022

Radical Generosity at The Center

GivingTuesday is a Movement that Unleashes the Power of Radical Generosity Around the World.

How can you participate?

Join The Center: 7 Rivers LGBTQ Connection as we spend Tuesday 11/29 sharing our stories of giving and participate in our online fundraiser! You can bid on amazing items! 

Sunday, November 27, 2022

Habitat Fundraiser

If you can't participate, just donate, volunteer, or shop at the ReStore.

Eat at Milwaukee Burger and Support Habitat for Humanity La Crosse Area

Milwaukee Burger Company is hosting a fundraiser for Habitat La Crosse Area on Monday, November 28th from 3-9 pm. 10% of all sales will be donated to Habitat for Humanity La Crosse Area supporting our mission of providing families with a place to call home.

Don't worry about cooking dinner Monday night! Take the family out for dinner or get a group of friends or co-workers together and enjoy dinner at Milwaukee Burger Company!

3039 Medco Court
La Crosse, WI 54601
Habitat for Humanity La Crosse Area is a tax-exempt 501(C)(3) nonprofit organization.

Saturday, November 19, 2022

The Online-iverse

There are some great online opportunities coming up to learn and connect.

A free MOOC is just starting on Coursera. The Age of Sustainable Development offers a timely look at the drivers of the climate crisis. Taught by Prof. Jeffrey Sachs, Columbia University, the course covers inequality, economic development, poverty and wealth, health care, human rights and gender equity, food systems and more. Sign up for free and work at your own pace while interacting with more than 100,000 classmates from around the world.

On Sunday, November 20, at 4 p.m., the Howard University School of Law will host a read-along of the “1619 Project” with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and Howard University Knight Chair in Race and Journalism, Nikole Hannah-Jones. Jones will be joined by Lisa Crooms-Robinson, Howard University constitutional law professor for a conversation moderated by Sydne Clark, Howard University student and spoken word artist. Register to attend online and submit questions or watch the program on YouTube

On December 7, Third Act, a national movement for 
climate activist elders, will celebrate its first year with an online program. In addition to a review of first year accomplishments, they'll talk about plans to ramp up the Banking on our Future initiative in 2023. Register here.

On January 7, attend Transportation for America's day-long Transportation Camp. Transportation Camp DC is an annual unconference. Each year, the participants create the program by proposing and leading sessions on the topics that matter most to them. This year’s event will include a virtual option, allowing attendees to view the keynote, select hybrid sessions, and virtual-only sessions from the comfort of their own homes. Space is limited. Learn more and register here.

Help Ukrainians


The Franciscan Spirituality Center recently befriended the monastic sisters at the Dormition of the Mother of God Monastery and are partnering with them to offer this special event. All items are handcrafted, and proceeds from the sale will benefit people in Ukraine affected by the war.

- AND -

The La Crosse Welcome Circle (LWC) is a new community organization. Its goal: To assist Ukrainians who wish to temporarily resettle here in southwestern Wisconsin. Though many will return to their homeland when possible, the LWC offers peace and hope in the meantime.

The LWC is a member of HIAS, an international resettlement organization started in 1881. Most recently, HIAS aided Afghans in their resettlement all over the U.S. With its guidance, the LWC can assist Ukrainian newcomers in navigating their environment, including government programs, social services, and finding jobs and housing.

The La Crosse Welcome Circle has identified the steps needed to assure an easy transition, but we need your help in expanding the important work we do to include the rest of the Coulee Region. Our goal is to ensure newcomers are settled and on their own, including financially, within six months. Currently, Ukrainians have a two-year limit in the United States.

LWC has teamed with Couleecap, Inc., a 501 (c) (3) charitable organization, to receive donations and to disburse funds. This ensures that all donations are tax deductible and all expenses are carefully audited.
Here’s how you can help: Donate, volunteer, sponsor, provide housing or transportation. Read more at the site.

Friday, November 18, 2022

Earth Fair Volunteers


The 2023 Earth Fair Committee is looking for new volunteers for the upcoming Earth Fair. Specifically, a Vendor Tent Coordinator & Main Shelter Coordinator. Commitments include once a month meeting and help with set up and coordination on the date of the Earth Fair - April 30th.       

Email us to learn more!

Thursday, November 17, 2022

We will not stay silent


Free admission; donations accepted

Join Susan Fox and Diane Breeser as they present Repro-Active: "We Will Not Stay Silent," an evening of voices-in monologues, poetry, essays, short plays, and articles.

For those of you who enjoyed the enjoyed The "Alternative Truth" Project, this production is for you! We are standing up for truth through live dramatic readings of classic and new plays and adding our voices to the resistance.

Although the subject of reproductive rights is a serious one, half of the material Fox and Breeser found for “We Will Not Stay Silent” handles it with biting humor and satire. There are some very moving pieces, of course - 
but all of them are timely and cover a spectrum of circumstances on a very personal matter.

These readings on reproductive rights will be followed by a discussion with special guest, Wisconsin State Representative Jill Billings. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Candidate training

Apply now for the few remaining places in Wisconsin Progress' Advanced Candidate Training on Saturday, December 10 in La Crosse. "Our Advanced Local Campaign Trainings are a comprehensive course in campaign planning for local candidates. Folks interested in running for city council, school board, county board, and other local positions will learn essential skills to create a winning campaign. We will cover campaign planning, fundraising, budgeting, voter contact, and effective campaign messaging. These one-day trainings are consistently highly attended and well received."

There will be several city council and school board elections in the spring, with papers due on early 2023. If you are considering running to progressive La Crosse, this is a great opportunity. Registration form at

If you are unable to attend this session, there are two virtual sessions planned on December 19 and January 7. Follow this link for more information:

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

The next steps

From Wisconsin Democracy Campaign: 

Campaign Finance Reform and the Work Ahead for Justice

by Matthew Rothschild, Executive Director

Speech to the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin delivered November 10, 2022

Good evening! I’d like to thank the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin for inviting me to speak with you tonight, and I also want to thank Ellen and Melanie for putting the arm on me.

Tonight, I’d like to talk with you about the urgent need for campaign finance reform, and I want to talk with you about all the money that flooded into Wisconsin – over $300 million – this election cycle.

That money enriched the media consultants, and it enriched the radio and TV stations, and it enriched YouTube, but it didn’t enrich you and it didn’t enrich our political dialogue.

Instead, it splattered mud on all our screens, and I’m sure you were as sick of that mud as I was.

Some of those ads, I need to say here at the outset, were reprehensible and racist, especially the ads paid for by a group called Wisconsin Truth PAC, which was founded by and primarily funded by three billionaires: Diane Hendricks of ABC Supply, the richest woman in Wisconsin who is infamous for urging Scott Walker to turn Wisconsin into a red state and a right to work state; and Richard and Elizabeth Uihlein of Lake Forest, Illinois, who own the Uline corporation, and are huge donors to Republican candidates across the country.

Diane Hendricks and the Uihleins also happen to be the two families that reaped $200 million each in just one year alone from that tax benefit that Ron Johnson insisted on putting into the tax code.

Wisconsin Truth PAC spent $29 million to reelect Ron Johnson. That’s like a 15% tip.

And it smacks of corruption.

Let me give you another example. In the Tim Michels race, he self-funded, providing $17 million to his own campaign, or about 75 percent. And who among us can do that? But he also leaned on his brothers.

They each maxxed out in their direct donations to him, giving his campaign $20,000 each, the legal limit, which is way too high a limit. It’s about six or seven times the amount you can give your favorite candidate for President, for instance.

And what did the Michels brothers do once they had maxxed out?

They then turned around and gave $1.5 million each to the Republican Party of Wisconsin, which, shortly thereafter, gave Michels $3 million and change.

Basically they turned the Republican Party of Wisconsin into a laundromat.

And they made a mockery of the limit we impose on contributions to candidates.

But the problem of money in politics is a bipartisan problem.

Continue reading at link.

Monday, November 14, 2022

North-South Corridors

From La Crosse Area Transit Advocates

They're back!

There will be a presentation about the coming study at the LAPC meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 16 at 4:30 p.m. in Room 1700 County Admin Building (6th & State) or you may attend virtually. Get details and the links to join from the meeting packet at the LAPC website.

Your attention is needed. How will climate collapse be part of this study? Where is the little public transportation icon? What exactly do "safety" and "operations" mean? What kinds of bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure will be included?

Pay attention and get involved. 

This report tells us in cold scientific terms what nature has been telling us, all year, through deadly floods, storms and raging fires: we have to stop filling our atmosphere with greenhouse gases, and stop doing it fast. We had our chance to make incremental changes, but that time is over. Only a root-and-branch transformation of our economies and societies can save us from accelerating climate disaster.” - Inger Anderson, Executive Director, United Nations Environment Programme, October 27, 2022

Sunday, November 13, 2022

Budget time

I would love to live in a community that includes the public in its budget process. Some cities host people's budget sessions to educate about where tax money is being spent and let residents share ideas and priorities. Others include opportunities for people to vote on items to include in their budget, and still others, surveys and invitations for community participation.

Here, not so much. Not only do you have to know when and where pertinent committees will discuss parts of the budget by navigating the very clunky and opaque Legistar site, you also have to know how to read and understand the budget documents. Then, you have to find out who to contact if something seems to be missing (and then be told that's part of a different budget (implied: you idiot!))

So, just in case you have time, understanding, and inclination, here's your notice that on Monday (tomorrow)  at 6 p.m. the City Council will hold a public hearing on and then approve the 2023 operating budget (click here to get to the document and avoid several layers of Legistar hell). 

Do you know what's in it? Do you know what's not in it? This is could be part of Ope! Publishing's Demystifying City Government series ... 

Even if you don't have a clue about the budget or what's in it, I encourage you to attend and/or email the council about making this process much more people-friendly going forward. We need education, input, and participation.

Several City Council seats will be open in spring (will you run?) Let's make transparent and connected government part of the requirement for candidates.

Demand Action

From Indivisible:

We need Democrats to stay in session for the remainder of this calendar year so we can minimize the harm Republicans can do by:

  • Accomplishing as much legislative clean-up as possible. This means passing wildly popular bills like the Marriage Equality Act, and Electoral Count Act reforms that are ready to pass on the floor, but we know Republicans would never bring up for a vote. 
  • Preventing hostage taking in the 118th Congress. This means lifting the debt ceiling so Republicans don’t have a hostage to take next year–threatening Social Security, Medicare and the entire global economy!

Fill out this form right now and we’ll connect you to your Representative. Tell them to do everything in their power to pass as much good legislation as possible, and to protect against Republican hostage taking.


From Michael Moore, Quit Being Wimps:

Protect our coastlines


This bill would protect American coastlines and coastal communities, including along the Great Lakes, from sea level rise and coastal erosion. It’s received bipartisan support in both the Senate and the House. Learn more about it at

To email your members of Congress, follow the instructions below:

Open a browser on your laptop, desktop, tablet or phone, and paste/type in

Type in your street address to find your members of Congress, and then click “Go.”

Enter your contact info, personalize the default messages with something about yourself or customize the messages for your members of Congress, and then click “Send.”

Saturday, November 12, 2022

Empathy with Purpose

From La Crosse Area League of Women Voters:

We invite you to join the LWV of Wisconsin's statewide webinar “Implicit Bias Training
—Empathy on Purpose”,
 led by Maria Douglas, Sr., DEI Specialist for the LWVWI, on November 17th from 6:30 to 7:30 pm.  The training is open to all members and the public.

Then on November 21 from 7:00 to 8:00 pm, the LWV La Crosse Area is hosting a local Lean-In Discussion to explore what implicit bias is. UWL Professor Laurie Cooper-Stoll will facilitate this conversation, exploring implicit and explicit bias in the Coulee Region. All are welcome to submit questions in advance at Together, we will discuss how our attitudes and biases affect our actions. Diversity, equity, and inclusion are core principles critical to LWV La Crosse current efforts to empower voters and defend democracy.

Register for one or both of these events here:

Friday, November 11, 2022

World Peace Day

From Vets for Peace:

Over one hundred years ago the world celebrated peace as a universal principle. The first World War had just ended and nations mourning their dead collectively called for an end to all wars.  Armistice Day was born and was designated as, “a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated."

After World War II, the U.S. Congress decided to rebrand November 11 as Veterans Day. Honoring the warrior quickly morphed into honoring the military and glorifying war. Armistice Day was flipped from a day for peace into a day for displays of militarism.

Veterans For Peace has taken the lead in lifting up the original intention of November 11th – as a day for peace. As veterans, we know that a day that celebrates peace, not war, is the best way to honor the sacrifices of veterans. We want generations after us to never know the destruction war has wrought on people and the earth.

Veterans For Peace has been celebrating Armistice Day almost since the organization's inception, with a few chapters doing yearly events. Since 2008, with the passing of an official Veterans For Peace resolution, it became a VFP national effort. Each year, chapters across the country "Reclaim Armistice Day" by pushing the celebration of peace into the national conversation on Veterans Day.

This year, Armistice Day coincides with world leaders convening in Egypt for the 27th UN Climate Change Conference (COP27). Not only is the US military the largest single institutional emitter of greenhouse gasses, the US military has long been deployed in wars for oil, natural gas, and other resources. The US military is a key player in the climate crisis and the US cannot meaningfully address the ongoing climate crisis without ending its ongoing addiction to war and militarism. 

That’s why, as US negotiators head to COP27 to make speeches about the importance of addressing the climate crisis, VFP and allies are taking action to call on the US Government to live up to its rhetoric by disclosing the carbon impacts of military operations and taking meaningful action to address the climate crisis. 

This year, Veterans for Peace is reclaiming Armistice Day as a day to stand up for peace, strive to truly end war, and address the climate crisis with bold direct action.

Visit Vets for Peace for 11 WAYS TO TAKE ACTION.


Thursday, November 10, 2022

Community Transportation Academy

Please take advantage of these transportation-related opportunities.

Transit Equity Day, Feb. 4, is an annual reminder that safe, accessible, sustainable, clean, affordable public transportation is a civil right. Started by the Labor Network for Sustainability, TED is a way to combine equity, climate action, and public engagement. If you or your group, organization, or business would like to help plan TED in La Crosse, please email for more details.


Apply by December 1, for

1000 Friends of Wisconsin is excited to announce the Community Transportation Academy, debuting in La Crosse in Winter/Spring 2023! Applications are open until December 1, 2022.

What: FREE ten-week course that helps bridge the gap between community advocates and transportation planning entities, and provides community members with skills and knowledge to advocate for safe and accessible transportation networks that work for everyone. Learn about transportation plans and processes, interact with local and national experts invited as guest speakers, take local tours, connect with other participants, and more.

When: Wednesdays from 4-6pm, February 15 - April 26, 2023 (no class March 15)

Where: 4 in-person sessions in La Crosse, 6 virtual sessions via Zoom, plus online participation and engagement through the UW learning management system, Canvas.

Who: Community members, local elected leaders, city and county staff, and college students in the La Crosse area who are interested in learning more about local transportation to be a better advocate! No previous knowledge or experience required.

How: Visit to read more on the 1000 Friends website and apply. Questions? Email Susan Gaeddert, Community Programs Director, at

Wednesday, November 09, 2022

Nominations open

From LaX Waking Up White 

Nominations are now open for the 2023 Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Leadership Award. The purpose of this award is to recognize leadership in and commitment to building community, enhancing diversity, and working for justice in the Coulee Region. 

The award will be given at the 2023 Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Celebration on January 16, 2023 at Viterbo University, Fine Arts Center.

Applications are due Wednesday, November 30, 2022, 11:59 pm. See below for information on how to submit nominations. 

A wide group of people representing many of the active groups in our area working toward the justice goals of Dr. King will serve as the committee to select the 2023 award recipient.

The speaker for the event will be Dr. Andre E. Johnson, an author, scholar, researcher, curator, senior pastor and
entrepreneur. He is a well-known speaker on topics including social change, the Henry McNeal
Turner Project, conflict meditation, and theology.

For media statements or questions please contact Vanessa DaughterofLois at or Carolyn Colleen Bostrack at 608-792-2283.

This event will also be livestreamed on Facebook at

Nominations can also be submitted via this link.