Thursday, December 22, 2022

Jan. 16 - Truth Telling as Healing


The School District of Onalaska is hosting an online presentation from 1 to 3 p.m. on Monday, January 16, Martin Luther King Jr Day, that is free and open to all.

The program will be presented by Nurturing Diversity Partners

We believe our country is currently experiencing a uniquely “teachable time” in its journey towards realizing its founding ideals of liberty and justice for all.

Reggie Jackson & Dr. Fran Kaplan formed Nurturing Diversity Partners to advance and support that journey by using methods they’ve honed over many years to build bridges from our past to our future across racial/ethnic, urban/suburban/rural, generational, and other divides.

Fran & Reggie have been doing this type of work together for over a decade. Reggie is a sought-after speaker, researcher, and writer, with a deep, comprehensive knowledge of how our country’s racial hierarchy developed historically and its impact on our lives today. Dr. Fran has spent fifty-five years working against poverty and for social justice and peace locally, nationally, and internationally. A social change “entrepreneur,” she has founded and led multiple organizations. You can learn more about Fran and Reggie here.

We look forward to partnering with organizations and individuals who seek to join the journey toward equity and build bridges together.

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Winter Emergency help needed

La Crosse Mayor Reynolds Announces Severe Weather Plan

From: Sampson, Brian <>
Sent: Wednesday, December 21, 2022
Subject: Emergency Weather Plan

The Mayor of La Crosse will be making a temporary emergency declaration to allow the use of particular city buildings as 24/7 shelter. The declaration will go into effect at 5 p.m. this evening (December 21) and last until 8 a.m. Monday morning (covering the duration of the storm).

The Southside Neighborhood Center will be the primary building offered with check-in beginning today at 5 p.m. Any guests utilizing the shelter will need to fill out an entry form and will only be able to bring in what can be stored in a 30-gallon tote (when they leave, the belongings will need to be taken with). The facility will be locked down to new entries after 8 p.m. (the police department will be able to drop off individuals if needed). Upon entering, each guest will receive a numbered tote and yoga mat. The maximum capacity will be 40 people.

The Neighborhood Center will be staffed with at least two security guards at all times. We would like volunteers to help support the individuals utilizing the site as well. I have created a google document that people can enter in their names and the hours they want to volunteer for. Please let me know if you would like to sign up for volunteer hours—I’m trying to limit access to as needed only. There will also be a sign-up sheet for meals as well.

This is a fluid situation and the policies/procedures may change as we go along. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Brian Sampson, MSW
Homeless Services Coordinator
City of La Crosse

Monday, December 19, 2022

Black Student Leaders

 Mark your calendar and be sure to get in on this fundraiser for Black Student Leaders with great Mac and Cheese from Mia's Kitchen fro 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, January 15 at Larson's General in downtown La Crosse.

Sunday, December 18, 2022

Everybody Bikes raffle

From Walk and Roll La Crosse:

Bike Raffle to Support Everybody Bikes

A new KHS Enduro 1000 E-Fat Bike will be the grand prize in a raffle to support Everybody Bikes. Tickets are $20 each and a max. of 400 tickets will be sold. Tickets are available at Wrench & Roll Collective and Red Pin­es Bar & Grill, where the drawing will be held Feb. 14 at 6:00 p.m.

Everybody Bikes, UA, is a non-profit with the mission to support severely under-resourced individuals in the community. EBUA provides fully refurbished bikes, along with locks, lights, rear rack, and a helmet. Candidates much be referred to the program through a social agent in town. 

For more info, stop by Wrench & Roll Collective.

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Leaders Igniting Transformation

Leaders Igniting Transformation (LIT) is a Black and  Brown-led independent nonprofit. Founded in 2017, LIT organizes young people to build independent political power for social, racial, and economic justice by engaging  in values-based issues and electoral organizing, direct action, public policy advocacy, and leadership development. LIT works to build homegrown leadership, expand access and opportunity, and promote an equitable society by engaging and organizing the leadership of young people.


Leaders Igniting Transformation is looking for energetic individuals to join the team! 

Civic Engagement Director 

The Civic Engagement Director will help the organization develop and implement creative civic engagement plans that help increase civic engagement amongst young people in Wisconsin, and advance our goal of creating a political home for young people in our state.

Compensation: $82,000 annually

Northwestern Campus Organizer

Leaders Igniting Transform nation is looking for a Northwestern College Organizer. The NWO will organize UW-Eau Claire, UW-La Crosse, and UW-Stout to mobilize and organize young people around civic, electoral, and issue-based campaigns.

Compensation: $47,000 Annually

Benefits Include: Employer-paid healthcare (including vision and dental), wifi & cell, phone stipends, professional development funds, and more! 

Northeastern Campus Organizer

Leaders Igniting Transform nation is looking for a Northeastern College Organizer. The NEO will organize UW-Stevens Point, UW-Oshkosh, and UW-Green Bay to mobilize and organize young people around civic, electoral, and issue-based campaigns.

Compensation: $47,000 Annually

Benefits Include: Employer-paid healthcare (including vision and dental), wifi & cell, phone stipends, professional development funds, and more! 

Get more information and access applications here.

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

You can go solar!


Right now, you can go solar. Whether you live in an apartment or have a shady roof, whether you have lots of money or not, you can help put more solar panels in our community, reducing reliance on coal-produced electricity and reasons to build new fossil fueled generation facilities.

Solar on La Crosse Schools (SOLS) helps raise funds to move our local school district to renewable energy. Not only does this lower carbon emissions, it also reduces the district's energy costs and provides hands-on renewable energy learning opportunities for district students. In addition to helping fund solar installations, SOLS also donates solar learning materials and helps teachers find suitable lesson plans.

Donations to SOLS are held in a designated fund that is securely managed by the La Crosse Public Education Foundation. SOLS is 100% volunteer-powered and all funds are used exclusively to cover the costs of solar energy projects on La Crosse public schools. 

Learn more at the website. And consider joining the leadership team at the December 21 press event at 9 a.m. at La Crosse Polytecnic High School, 228 Fifth Avenue South.

Thursday, December 08, 2022

Grow local gardens & gardeners

From Grow La Crosse:

In celebration of 10 years GROWing together, a group of our founding members, supporters, and past and present board members created a matching fund. The first $5,000 donated to GROW will be matched - that means your gift and impact will be doubled!

We invite you to donate to help us finish this milestone year in a way that will launch us into a new decade of connecting youth to healthy food and nature.

Throughout the past 10 years GROW has evolved into a regional leader in providing garden based education. Today we provide garden lessons at 10 area schools, greenhouse field trips to students pre-K through high school and farm experiences. These programs reach over 3000 students with hands-on seed to table learning. Lessons offer nutrition, science, literacy and math curriculum connections. We engage youth by involving students in the process of growing their food, tasting fresh, healthy produce and gaining knowledge to fuel their bodies and minds with healthy choices.

When we first piloted our school garden program at one school in 2012, we had a goal of eventually reaching more children. Now in our 10th year, to have 10 schools partner with us for hands-on school garden lessons is truly remarkable. Our greenhouse and farm field trip experiences have taken off, allowing our programming to reach youth year-round. Thank you for being a part of growing our mission! Please consider donating again to support quality hands-on garden based learning to positively impact the health of the youth we serve.

Remember, the first $5,000 donated to GROW will be matched - that means your gift and impact will be doubled. Help us reach our total year-end fundraising goal of $10,000 in honor of 10 years of impact and in anticipation of what can be accomplished in the next 10!

Wednesday, December 07, 2022

Reminder - Candidate Training SATURDAY

Reminder - Wisconsin Progress is offering FREE  candidate training on Saturday in La Crosse.

"Our Advanced Campaign Training is a comprehensive six-hour course in planning and executing a successful run for local office. This training is for folks who need more information or have decided to become a local elected official. Avid political activists looking to manage or be responsible for a major piece of a local candidate’s campaign are encouraged to attend. We will cover campaign planning, fundraising, budgeting, voter contact, effective campaign messaging, building your team, and so much more."

If you are not able to attend this session, there will be others, including two online, one on Sunday, December 18 and one on Saturday, January 7. 

Learn more and register at the link:

Tuesday, December 06, 2022


From Coulee Region Sierra Club:

Call the Governor! Stop the I-94 expansion


For more than a decade, environmental, social justice, and transportation equity groups have been fighting an expansion to I-94 in Milwaukee first proposed during the Walker administration. After years of citizen action, including a law suit, Scott Walker pulled the plug. 

Inexplicably, Governor Evers resurrected the project in 2020 and the fight is on again. Read the history of the I-94 expansion here.

Pushing back on the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) plans to expand the highway, a coalition of groups produced a "Fix at Six" alternative, prioritizing fixing the existing roadway, retaining the six lanes, and offering other ways to improve transportation in the area, including support for public transit.

Late last month, WisDOT announced that it still plans to expand the higway to eight lanes and increase the footprint of the project. This is not an acceptable answer. 

Expanding highways does NOT alleviate congestion. In fact, in many cases, congestion increases as more people try to drive on the roadway. 

The I-94 has already caused harm to communities of color by cutting through neighborhoods and business areas, increasing noise and air pollution, and making local transportation more difficult.

With a price tag of more than $1 billion, this project is too expensive, will not solve identified problems, and will make things worse for the people who live in the community. 

This is a concern for everyone in our state. A climate governor would not be proposing even more highway expansions. That money could be better spent on improving public transportation, especially regional and rural transportation, that will seriously address the climate crisis. 

Be aware that WisDOT is not being clear about its latest plan, which incorporates a few of the Fix at Six ideas but is NOT Fix at Six.


The Wisconsin Sierra Club, as part of the Coalition for More Responsible Transportation, has created a call script. We are asking everyone - especially climate and transit activists - to call the Governor's office on Wednesday and strongly urge him to stop the expansion of the highway and back the Fix at Six proposal that was produced by the people of the state.

When you are finished calling, please report your call the Sierra Club using the link below.


Call Governor Evers' office about the I-94 expansion project in Milwaukee that his administration is pushing forward.

Phone number to call: (608) 266-1212

Sample script to use:
Hello, this is [NAME]. I am a Wisconsin resident in [CITY]. I'm calling because I was disappointed to see the Governor's Department of Transportation continue with the I-94 expansion in Milwaukee. 

I'm concerned about this project because [PICK ONE OR MORE POINTS BELOW]:
  • Transportation is a leading cause of carbon emissions, and studies like Transportation 4 America's Congestion Con report demonstrate that adding lanes increases car use and traffic congestion. Continuing to invest in high-emitting infrastructure is not something that a climate champion would do. 

  • Highway expansion projects have harmed Communities of Color and Low Income Communities. Federal Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has called for tax dollars to be used to right the wrongs of racist infrastructure policy decisions. He said "we've also seen countless cases around the country where a piece of infrastructure cuts off a neighborhood or a community because of how it was built." I expect Governor Evers to align with the Biden administration in making racially just decisions on infrastructure in our state.

I hope that Governor Evers will right this error by pushing for WISDOT to study a new alternative that actually addresses the concerns of the community and that repairs the highway in its current footprint, with 6 lanes and an interchange that is not overbuilt, and minimizes air and water pollution and negative impacts to community resources like Valley Park. Additionally, I hope that Governor Evers will prioritize transit, walking and biking funding moving forward.
After you've made your call, please fill out the form! And consider writing comments to submit to WisDOT by January 1.
Here's more information from the 2020 Wisconsin Sierra Club blog about the project:

The I-94 expansion project was and still is a bad idea for so many reasons:

  1. It would worsen the climate crisis. The transportation sector is the largest contributor to anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions in the US. Expanding highway infrastructure that caters to single passenger traffic will increase carbon emissions. This project is in direct conflict with the expressed goals of the Governor’s Climate Task Force.  Here’s the bottom line: climate-friendly governors do not expand highways.

  2. It would negatively impact public health. Because highway expansion almost always increases the number of cars on the road, air pollution increases with these projects. Traffic pollution causes asthma, cardiovascular disease and dementia. Entertaining the idea of expanding a highway during a pandemic is inexcusable.

  3. It would exacerbate racial injustice. Wisconsin’s decades-long focus on highway transportation investments has worsened the region’s racial and economic segregation. Not only are highways a physical barrier, but they also increase air pollution in the surrounding communities - which are Communities of Color.  In 2014, the federal government found that the Zoo Interchange caused “irreparable harm,” to minority communities. This project on the same corridor is no different. Members of low-income and minority communities often lack reliable transportation options. Yet, this project is being reconsidered even at a time of heightened awareness about structural racism in Wisconsin.

  1. It would be costly. Spending money (an estimated $1 billion) on this project at the expense of fixing our local roads and repairing our existing road and transit infrastructure is a big price to pay for a mere 3.5 miles of interstate. Meanwhile, Wisconsin’s public transportation system and local road system are languishing due to lack of investment.

  2. It would not fix congestion as proponents of the project suggest; in fact - highway expansions often make congestion worse shortly after construction is complete! This is because of induced demand -- essentially “if you build it, they will come.” Why should a damaging project move forward to make the very thing proponents of the project want to solve even worse?

12/10 & 11 Activist Summit


Activist Summit for
Justice & Democracy

Election season may have concluded, but organizing for the future never stops. It's time for us to put our collective minds together and works toward a Wisconsin that works for everyone and not just those who are wealthy and well connected. Join us on December 10th and 11th to see how you can be a part of a movement to bring Wisconsin together on shared values.


Thursday, December 01, 2022

Third Party Solar

Today, the Wisconsin Public Service Commission (PSC) voted to allow "third party solar" in our state. This is a super important decision that will make a big difference in who can install solar panels which will move our state off expensive, dirty, Earth-killing fossil fuels.

UPDATE: The PSC's ruling applied ONLY to the specific case before it, as described in this article from The Wisconsin Examiner

While limited to that instance, solar advocates saw the ruling as opening the doors to more widespread adoption of solar power.

“It’s no coincidence that the states with the most solar energy also explicitly allow third-party ownership, making it easier and more affordable for more residents and businesses to use solar energy,” said Chelsea Chandler, climate, energy and air program manager for Clean Wisconsin, in a statement. “This confirmation by the PSC that solar financing is allowed in our state will help Wisconsin meet its ambitious climate goals while helping Wisconsin families, schools, houses of worship, and municipalities benefit from affordable clean energy, even if they can’t afford to pay upfront.”

Wider adoption of third-party financing in our state may well depend on the 2023 Wisconsin Supreme Court race.

This article from Clean Wisconsin explains why allowing a third party to (help) finance solar installations is such a major step in the right direction. "Third-party financing allows people to lease or finance solar panels over time, usually from a company that installs and maintains them. It’s a popular choice for families, schools, houses of worship, local governments and non-profits across the country. In Wisconsin, third-party financing is not explicitly addressed in state law.Power utilities are using a lack of clarity in state law to block Wisconsinites from turning to private financing for solar panels. Our state needs clear statutes that support solar energy for all."

The Solar Energy Industries Association notes that, "Third-party financing allows more Americans to “go solar” by lowering the cost of solar installation and maintenance of a system. Companies continue to develop new products and services to meet growing demand for solar.

Third-party financing is included as a strategy for "Unlocking Solar for Low- and Moderate-Income Residents: A Matrix of Financing Options by Resident, Provider, and Housing Type" published by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. This could be a game-changer for tenants who want to participate in the clean power revolution but have not had a good avenue toward that goal. "Third-party financing is helpful because it reduces the up-front cost for the system and the effort required by the housing provider to install and maintain a PV system. Third-party leasing through power purchase agreements and ESAs are widely used in the multifamily housing sector and require little state support because private partners are willing to work with landlords."

We will soon learn more about how this, along with the incredible solar incentives in the recently-passed Inflation Reduction Act, can help all of us take personal and meaningful climate action.