Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Transit Equity and Climate Action

Last chance to register for TONIGHT'S discussion about Transit Equity and Climate Action. Hosted by the Coulee Region Sierra Club, this program will feature Susan Gaeddert, Community Programs Director with 1000 Friends of Wisconsin, a nonprofit organization that helps people make the connection between sound land use planning, transportation decisions and protection of the natural environment. 

This event is part of Transit Equity Days in La Crosse, a national event that highlights the importance of accessible, affordable, useful, sustainability public transportation as a civil right for equity and climate action.

Register for the Zoom link here.




Monday, January 30, 2023

Election coming!

There is a primary election on Tuesday, Feb. 21. 

Included on the ballots: a VERY VERY IMPORTANT Wisconsin Supreme Court primary and other "non-partisan" primaries, including a winnowing of La Crosse school board candidates.

Please plan to vote in this election! Please encourage and help every sane citizen you know to vote in this election. The Supreme Court primary is particularly important. You can read more about it in the New York Times - "The most important election in America."

The City's clerk has released information about the election and absentee ballots:

Absentee ballots for the February 21st Spring Primary have been mailed

Sent to those electors with a request on file

Notice to City of La Crosse Residents

Absentee ballots for the February 21st Spring Primary have been mailed to electors who have a request on file.  If you requested an absentee ballot, please watch for it in your mail and PLEASE READ the instructions and methods for returning your voted ballot.

If you wish to receive an absentee ballot by mail for the upcoming election, you can submit your request at myvote.wi.gov. The deadline to request a ballot by mail is Thursday, February 16th.

In-person absentee voting will open on Tuesday, February 7th and closes on Friday, February 17th with the following location and hours:

La Crosse City Hall – 400 La Crosse Street *this location only

Monday through Thursday 8:00a–4:00p

Friday, February 17th 8:00a – 5:00p by appointment only on this day, call 608-789-7510

Remember to bring your acceptable Photo ID when voting absentee.  You may register to vote during the posted absentee voting hours with acceptable Proof of Residence.  You may also return your voted absentee ballot in person during these absentee hours (do not use the drop box).  For more information on Photo ID, Proof of Residence, returning voted absentee ballots and more, visit the City’s website and search Elections and Voting.

An elector who, due to disability or impairment, which includes being immunocompromised, is unable to enter the polling place may receive a ballot at the entrance to the polling place or curbside.  Electors may also register to vote curbside.  A phone number is posted near the accessible parking.

Questions?  Please call the City Clerk’s Office at 608-789-7510 or elections@cityoflacrosse.org. 

Nikki M. Elsen, WCMC

City Clerk

Sunday, January 29, 2023

Please help fire victims!


Earlier this month, Na'ziah Mclaurin received the  the Linda Lowrey Leadership Award and a $500 scholarship for her school and community efforts at the 2023 Martin Luther King, Jr. program and celebration..

Now, the Mclaurin family needs our support. A fire consumed their home and possessions just a few days ago. 

An online fundraiser has been arranged by Amber West. Currently, about $13,000 of the $20,000 goal has been raised. [UPDATE; As of Feb. 1, the total is $15,255.]

Please help if you can!


Wednesday, January 25, 2023

The Center's Annual Meeting Saturday


The Center's Annual Meeting is returning to an in-person format for 2023!

The event will be held at English Lutheran Church, 16th & King, on Saturday, January 28th.

Breakfast will be available at 10:30 a.m. and the program will start at 11:00 a.m.

Learn more: https://www.7riverslgbtq.org/

Since 2004, The Center: 7 Rivers LGBTQ Connection has been working on behalf of the LGBTQ community to develop and expand understanding of human sexuality, gender identity and the need for equal treatment.

Through educational presentations and advocacy, The Center speaks with school administrators, business managers, government officials and professional organizations on LGBTQ+ related issues. Additionally, The Center offers a welcoming space for all people regardless of sexual orientation or gender identification, provide a wide variety of support groups, organize LGBTQ+ friendly social events, and advocate for LGBTQ+ friendly policies and legislation.

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

1619 Project Read-Along


FREE digital copies of the next two chapters of #The1619ProjectReadAlong, "Race" and "Fear," are available for a limited time! Download here: 1619books.com

The project started in October, so these are not the first chapters, but for a deep dive into the topics AND how they were chosen and structured, this a great series no matter when you start. Fortunately, you can catch up at the website: https://1619books.com/

Friday, January 20, 2023

Sunday - Hmong Diaspora opening reception


The La Crosse Public Library presents Hmong Diaspora: A Spotlight Collection, featuring titles by established and emerging Hmong authors across multiple genres. From January 22 to February 28, a boutique exhibition of vintage Hmong clothing, artifacts, and history exploring the long journey from the mountains of Laos, across the Mekong to the shores of the Mississippi will be on display.

Join the opening day, Sunday, January 22nd at 1 p.m., to celebrate with performances by HCCA’s youth Hmong dance group. Hmong snacks and light refreshments will be provided. 

This event is in partnership with Hmoob Community & Cultural Agency, Lub Zeg Zog Project, and Vang Council of La Crosse.

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Transit Equity Days


Public transportation is a civil right. Getting to school or work or to an appointment, shopping or recreational event should not depend upon whether you can or wish to own or drive a car. Everyone of any age, ability, financial situation, or location, must have access to all of life. Public transportation can provide that access, equitably and sustainably. 

The first Transit Equity Day was established by the Labor Network for Sustainability in 2018 on Rosa Parks' birthday, February 4.

In his 2018 article, "Transit Equity Day: A New Way to Remember Rosa Parks," Jeremy Brecher, working with the Institute for Policy Studies, noted,

"One of the organizers of the Montgomery bus boycott, the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., became America’s best-known spokesperson for civil rights. He helped Americans understand that civil rights included not only the rights to vote and sit up front on the bus, but the right to a decent home, the right to a good job, the right to join a union, and other rights necessary for equal access to a good life.

King recognized that equal access to transportation was one of those essential rights.

Fifteen years after the integration of Montgomery’s buses, he pointed out in A Testament of Hope that many Americans faced discrimination not because they couldn’t get a good seat on a bus, but because they couldn’t get a bus at all.

“The layout of rapid-transit systems,” he pointed out, “determines the accessibility of jobs.” Poorer people needed access to those jobs so they could begin to “move into the mainstream of American life” — which meant they needed transit.

Today, the same issues persist. Access--public transit--is an essential civil right. In addition, we are now facing the unimaginable devastation brought by human-caused global heating. 

Transit Equity Days in La Crosse, January 30 through February 3, is a chance to think about this important public service and asset in our area and how we can improve and strengthen it to make our community more equitable and work on reducing our transportation-related carbon emissions.

Please participate. Attend a program, ride the bus with an elected leader. Share your public transit story. Visit the display at the library. If you haven't taken the bus before, start now. It's one of the best ways to reduce your own carbon emissions. See the full list of events at tinyurl.com/LaXTED2023

Join in!

Monday, January 30 through Friday, February 3 FREE FARES on the MTU!

Wednesday, February 1 FREE FARE on the SMRT Bus!

Ride with your representative - Many city council and county board representatives are scheduling an Office Hour on the Bus. Here's your chance to ride along and talk about the importance of a strong, accessible public transit system. Check the event page for details.

Share your transit story using the online form at tinyurl.com/LaXTEDStory

Thank our essential transit workers by signing the card at https://www.kudoboard.com/boards/cqyFeerp

Check out the displays at the La Crosse Public Library and the Grand River Station Transit Center, 314 Jay Street. 

Monday, January 30 at 1 p.m. - Press event at the Transit Center. Come and demonstrate your support for public transit!

Tuesday, January 31 at 7 p.m. - Join the Coulee Region Sierra Club and guest Susan Gaeddert, 1000 Friends of Wisconsin, for a look at the intersection of Transit Equity and Climate Action. This free Zoom program requires free registration at: tinyurl.com/CRSC-013123

Wednesday, February 1 at 2 p.m. - Participate in a Sustainability Chat on Local Public Transportation hosted by The Sustainability Institute with guests Adam Lorentz, La Crosse MTU, and Peter Fletcher, La Crosse County Planning Committee/Scenic Mississippi Regional Transit. Register here: https://www.sustaininstitute.com/event-details/sustainability-chats-local-public-transportation

Saturday, February 4 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. - The Labor Network for Sustainability will host a live stream with speakers and actions from around the country. Watch on their YouTube channel


Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Sunday: Beyond Roe


La Crosse Community Care event

with PPAWI

Join PPAWI organizers and volunteers this Sunday (1/22) on the would-be 50th anniversary of Roe v. Wade to strengthen our community's commitment to reproductive freedom. 

Enjoy a free latte or cup of coffee and a bagel at J's Cafe while we pack Safer Sex Kits for community partners, plan up coming events for the spring, and share in community. 

Click here to RSVP
 Sunday, Jan. 22nd at 12pm 
Location: J's Cafe - 444 Main St Suite 103

Sunday, January 15, 2023

Monday. Be there.


LA CROSSE, Wis. – Dr. Andre Johnson, a renowned speaker, author, and faculty member at the University of Memphis will present the keynote address at the La Crosse Community Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration at 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 16 in the Viterbo University Fine Arts Center Main Theatre. The event will also be streamed live on Facebook at www.facebook.com/viterboethics.

Doors will open at 6:15 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. Donations of non-perishable food items for the Hunger Task Force are encouraged.

Johnson is an associate professor of Rhetoric and

Saturday, January 14, 2023

Organizers wanted


@WisDems seeks field organizers. Good pay ($935+ per week), unionized, benefits incl health vision dental 401(k) and much more. Come help us save democracy in WI. Election April 4, 2023.

More info/Apply here: https://wisdems.org/get-involved/join-our-team/careers/field-organizer/

Friday, January 13, 2023

It PASSED! A Climate Action Plan for La Crosse

On January 12, the City Council unanimously accepted La Crosse's Climate Action Plan. The result of a year's worth of meetings, planning, prioritizing, studying, debating, learning, and discussing, led by City Sustainability Planner, Lewis Kuhlman, and consulting firm paleBLUEdot llc, the plan puts our city on track to reduce our carbon emissions as pledged in the 2019 "Ready for 100" resolution.
Several community members wrote or spoke in support of the plan at an earlier committee meeting, and Mayor Reynolds and Council Members Neumann. Janssen, and Mindel (the leader of the City Council's Climate Action Plan Steering Committee), added their own strong support at the January 12 meeting of the whole council.
Now, the real work begins, and none too soon. To no one's surprise, assessments of countries' actual emissions reductions weighed against carbon pledges show too little and too late. From the U.S. to the City of Madison, the world is falling short on meeting our goals. This makes it all the more important for more communities to pledge and take actions.

If you haven't yet read the plan, please do. Divided into nine sections, it recommends actions on improving active transportation (walking, biking, and public transit), saving and planting more trees, changing where we permit new housing, speeding up solar installations, and much more.

Importantly, the resolution passed by the council on Thursday also included immediate action pledges to get the city's departments on board right away and ensure a strong first year of action.

This was the end of a wonderful, long process with lots of public input and real listening and inclusion by the team of nearly 50 community members who worked on it. The goals set by the team are minimums--in almost every case, the team wanted it to be understood that faster changes resulting in more emissions is preferred. But, with the help of the consultants, if we achieve the stated goals, our emissions should drop to zero by 2050.

Get involved now. Read the plan and look for ways to help implement it.

Thursday, January 12, 2023

An Evening with Ben Jealous


MLK Symposium – An Evening with Benjamin Jealous

Monday, January 23 from 5:30 - 7:00 p.m. at UW-Madison and Virtual

This is an in-person event that will also be streamed online. The keynote will be followed by a moderated Q&A and the program will conclude with a reception. The live stream will not be available after the event is over. Register for virtual access here.

Join in community for an evening with Benjamin Jealous, a social entrepreneur, changemaker, and former NAACP president. Jealous will reflect on the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., through the lens of his work as a civil rights leader, former investigative journalist, and educator.

The former investigative journalist and Rhodes Scholar has dedicated his life to bringing people together, building diverse coalitions for change, and holding government leaders accountable to the needs of everyday people.

Jealous, who was recently chosen to be the seventh executive director of the Sierra Club, was one of the youngest presidents in NAACP history. He has also served as president of the Rosenberg Foundation, founding director of Amnesty International’s U.S. Human Rights Program, and executive director of the National Newspaper Publishers Association — the largest trade association of African-American owned newspapers. In Mississippi, Jealous was editor of the Jackson Advocate newspaper and a NAACP community organizer. He started his career in civil rights at age 18, working in the mailroom of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

What's undermining our courts?

[Reminder: TONIGHT, Citizen Action of Wisconsin is hosting a Wisconsin Supreme Court candidate forum. Find details here: https://citizenactionwi.link/SupremeCourtForum]

On January 17th, the League of Women Voters La Crosse Area will host a Zoom program to consider how to repair and strengthen public confidence in Wisconsin’s judiciary. Wisconsinites deserve free and equal access to justice and an impartial court system.

The LWV empowers voters and defends democracy through advocacy, education, and litigation, at the local, state, and national levels. Citizens deserve access to impartial and transparent courts. The 2023 Wisconsin Supreme Court primary and election is an opportunity for citizens to voice their commitment to fair and independent courts. Money and weak recusal rules are undermining our courts.

The speaker, Lisa Graves, created True North Research and is its Executive Director and Editor-in-Chief. Ms. Graves also serves as President of the Center for Media and Democracy. In March 2021 Ms. Graves submitted testimony to the US Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Federal Courts, Oversight, Agency Action and Federal Rights “What's Wrong with the Supreme Court: The Big-Money Assault on Our Judiciary.”

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Jan. 18 - La Crosse Welcome Circle

From Interfaith Leaders Coalition:

Please join us on January 18th as the new organization, La Crosse Welcome Circle, shares its story and mission. 

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 18 at NOON at English Lutheran Church, 16th & King and online via Zoom. 

More than eight million Ukrainians have been forced to flee their homes due to horrific attacks by the Russian army.  For many of these people, they will have no home to return to, as the Russians have destroyed over a million apartments and homes throughout the country.
As clergy, we know it is a major obligation to welcome immigrants. 

Locally and in our region, we have welcomed successive waves of immigration - Hmong, Latinos, Somalis, Ethiopians, and most recently Afghans have all found a new home here in the Midwest.

La Crosse Welcome Circle will talk about their mission of saving Ukrainian lives. They have been working hard for many months in reaction to the horrific Russian war on Ukraine, paving the way for Ukrainians to find their new homes here in the Coulee Region.

Come hear their story which is, of course, an American story.

Our Ukrainian newcomers are especially in need of food! Please help with your donations of money and food gift cards on their Welcome Circle Donation website.

Thursday, January 05, 2023

January 18: SOLD


Join La Crosse Polytechnic students and the Rivoli in a screening of SOLD on Wednesday, January 18.

"A girl risks everything for freedom after being trafficked from her mountain village in Nepal to a brothel in India."

This riveting film is based on the highly acclaimed novel by Patricia McCormick. We believe that it would be impactful to host a screening of this movie because it brings light onto a topic that is often in the dark.

This event will have two parts: before the showing, we will have a presentation and Q&A by the local organization Restorative Ink. Restorative Ink is a non-profit organization that works to remove tattoos and branding of human trafficking victims for no charge. All donations collected during the event will go to Restorative Ink. This presentation will last for about 30 to 45 minutes, from 6:30-7:00, followed by a 15 minute break, before transitioning to the showing of the movie.  Not everything is required, but we strongly encourage you to come for all!

Learn more and reserve tickets at: https://sites.google.com/lacrossesd.org/soldthemovie/reserve-a-ticket

Tuesday, January 03, 2023

Undermining Wisconsin's Conservation Legacy


Join the League of Women Voters for this free, online webinar on Tuesday, January 10th from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. This program is based on a recent publication of Wisconsin Green Fire, a non-partisan organization whose mission is to advance science-informed analysis and policy solutions to address Wisconsin’s greatest conservation challenges.

Guest speakers:

Fred Clark – WGF Exc. Director who has worked more than 30 years in WI conservation, including as a forest ecologist for the WI Chapter of The Nature Conservancy and in the WI DNR.

Paul Heinen – WGF Legislative Liaison, working closely with WGF to share its expertise with policy makers. He coordinates with other conservation and environmental groups statewide, and has worked to pass hundreds of new laws including the Acid Rain law, Recycling Program, groundwater bill, deer and wildlife management program changes, and air quality standards for the state.

Mark Thimke – Environmental Attorney from 1979-2021, serving on numerous DNR advisory committees including ones focused on the development of WI water quality regulations and the PCB regulations. He currently services on the DNR PFAS advisory committee and the DNR Economic Development and Green Environment (EDGE) advisory committee.

Register here: