Tuesday, February 28, 2023

The Energy Fair, June 23-25

It may seem a little early, but if you want to present, the deadline is March 15. And, if you want to attend, now is the time to start planning. The Energy Fair, in its 32nd year, has never been more important!

The Energy Fair is a place to celebrate and explore renewable energy and sustainable living.  Each year the Fair brings 11,500+ attendees together to learn about clean energy, connect with others, and take action toward a just energy transition. 

The fair is held near Custer, Wisconsin, just outside of Stevens Point. This year's dates: June 23-25.

Engage with Education:

Friday, February 24, 2023

Supreme opportunity

We have just about one month to make sure the Wisconsin Supreme Court returns to serving the people of Wisconsin rather than insurrectionists, Q, #TFG, ALEC*, various right wing PACs or worse. 

If you can talk or write, you need to get involved in this campaign. Yes, 24 percent of voters turned out for the primary, but that is PITIFUL! We need to convince every voter to vote. Why do Republican legislators get to do whatever they want to enrich themselves and their crony contributors and ignore what most Wisconsin voters want, like bodily autonomy for women and marijuana decriminalization, funding for public schools, fair maps, voting rights, Medicare for All, DNR regulations to ensure clean water and more? Because of hyperpartisan gerrymandering kept in place by a right wing court.

If you have some money, you can donate to the candidate or to organizations helping get out the vote, like Indivisible, the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, and Citizen Action of Wisconsin,

If you can talk and have the equipment needed, you can volunteer to make calls or send texts.

If you don't want to call, you can write letters to Wisconsin voters. Or you can canvass. Or you can write a letter to the editor, or talk to every eligible voter you know to make sure they vote on April 4.

Make voting a thing. Invite your friends and family. Go out to lunch and then go vote absentee in person. Start a VOTES FOR WOMEN event with your faith community, book club, sports team, or sisterhood. Lead a Bus-2-Vote event or a Veggies & Voting party. We need EVERYONE. We NEED EVERYone.

Absentee-in-person voting will begin on Tuesday, March 21 and ends Friday, March 31st.  In the City of La Crosse, voting an absentee ballot in person is allowed only during the posted hours noted below: 

Tuesday–Thursday, March 21st-March 23rd 8:00a–4:00p
Monday–Thursday, March 27th-March 30th 8:00a– 4:00p
Friday, March 31st 8:00a–5:00

Also, "an elector who, due to disability or impairment, which includes being immunocompromised or having symptoms of COVID-19, 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.  Contact the City Clerk's Office at 608-789-7510 upon your arrival."

Absentee ballots may be requested by anyone for any reason. The easiest way is through the myvote.wi.gov website, but you can also request one by mail or in person. Check with your clerk's office for details. Remember that anti-democracy Republicans in the state legislature, backed by the right-wing state Supreme Court have prohibited ballot drop boxes and now require that each voter return her/his/their own ballot in person to the clerk. 

If you are not registered or need to change your registration, do it now. You can register with your clerk, online, by mail, or at your polling place on April 4, election day. But, don't wait. Do it now.

Some people think the only elections that matter are those held every four years for president. With respect, that is just plain dumb. The upcoming state Supreme Court election is the most important election if you believe in women, in climate crisis, in clean water, in social justice, in public schools, in our state's motto, FORWARD.


* Another important judicial race that on the April 4 ballot is for Wisconsin's Fourth District Court of Appeals. Former State Assembly person and current Dane County judge, Chris Taylor, is running for this seat. In 2013, as the State Representative from Madison, she joined the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a Koch-funded industry "bill mill" that writes and shops right wing legislation to state legislatures around the country, helping to expose the corporate takeover of gerrymandered state legislatures. 

Monday, February 20, 2023

CANCELED: Achieving Drawdown

UPDATE: Unfortunately due to the coming winter storm, we’ve had to cancel the Jonathan Foley event that was scheduled for February 22nd at 7pm. We hope to reschedule for later this semester, but nothing has been confirmed yet.


By now you may have heard that we are in big trouble because of 100+ years' worth of fossil fuels use and emissions. Increasingly dire warnings to change--and we're not just talking about a few light bulbs--seem to have little impact on the "normal" everyone seems so happy to get back to after the pandemic that some say is over (but it isn't).

The thing that doesn't seem to be sinking in is that this crisis is not a cyclical thing that will eventually get better. When climate scientists and world leaders say this is an existential threat, they really mean it. Already millions of people, not to mention other fellow creatures, are ceasing to exist from clinate-change-caused drought, heat, floods, fires, starvation, and displacement. 

Change must come. La Crosse's new climate action plan is a good start for local action, but this commitment must be taken seriously and duplicated in every city, town and burg around the world. The action steps can't be cherry-picked; the plan is the whole blanket needed to smother the fire. Pulling out only a few threads will not work. The action steps can't be just for the poor and powerless. When it says people have to switch from driving alone in their fossil-fueled cars to taking buses and riding bikes, it doesn't just mean people who aren't rich have to do this. It means all the people. Yes, even you.

As Inger Anderson, the Executive Director of the U.N. Environmental Programme said last fall, “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.”

What does a "root-and-branch transformation" mean? That is the question. And, maybe, the other one is how will we get to such a transformation, quickly, deeply, fairly, and  equitably?

Sunday, February 19, 2023

Vote Tuesday

Tuesday is primary election day. These primaries are notorious for low voter turnout. On the ballot are four candidates for state supreme court, a race that's  supposed to be non-partisan but isn't. The top two vote-getters will advance to the April election. The winner will be on the court for 10 years. The outcome will affect state climate action, environmental protections, schools, transportation, voting districts and rights, law enforcement and prisons, women's rights, mining, social programs, and just about everything else.

If you haven't already voted, you MUST vote on Tuesday. Find your polling place here: myvote.wi.gov. If you are not registered or need to change your registration, you can do that at your polling place. If you need a ride to vote, email ride2votelax at proton.me

Your choices: the woman who who is not afraid to say she is in favor of women's rights to control their own bodies (because that is not a political issue), Judge Janet Protaseiwicz, or the man whose highest priorities will be fairness and justice, Judge Everett Mitchell. We need both of these candidates to advance to the April election.

For school board, the problem is not who is on the school board so much as how the school board has been relegated to powerlessness by its governance system. The real problem may be unelected entities who seem to treat our students like widgets and our schools like warehouses. The real problem is a district that somehow thinks it is not a part of the problem of and the solution to climate collapse. The real problem is an administration that thinks public input means inviting people to agree with you after you've already made the decisions based upon a closed and limited view of the issues. 

That will not be solved by school board members who seem ok with being bullied and gas-lighted. Of course, we don't want a board that gets its marching orders from Q or Moms for Liberty. But, as we have seen, you can have intelligent, equity-minded members on the board who believe they are powerless to change things. For example, even after the disaster of a referendum showed that real facts and teacher, parent, and public input were sorely lacking, more big decisions have been made based on the same flawed model.

Who will change this? The three guys on a postcard have been endorsed by the La Crosse Waking Up White Collaborative. That's a start. But, we will continue to need to talk with them about concerns and priorities. The fourth candidate (vote for FOUR), the only one who has Indicated a willingness to speak up and speak out on climate, social justice, and equity, is Kevin Hundt. 

After the primary, we have to push the remaining candidates to be clear about their priorities, including what solutions they can offer under the current system, and whether they are open to changing the current system. Voters must ensure that we continue to engage at every level with the school board and administration as they make plans that will affect our community and planet far into the future.

Monday, February 13, 2023

Community Rights speaker

Paul Cienfuegos, who was the featured speaker at the 2018 Progresstival, will be at Pearl Street Books on Thursday, February 16 at 4 p.m. to talk about his book, How Dare We? Courageous Practices to Reclaim Our Power as Citizens.  Read more at the link. 


Thursday, February 09, 2023

LASO Fiesta Feb. 11


Return to calendar

LASO Fiesta: Planting Seeds for our Future

A student org event from Latin American Student Organization

LASO Fiesta: Planting Seeds for our Future

The Latin American Student Organization is hosting their annual event Fiesta Saturday, February 11. Join us as we celebrate how far we've come and encourage our guests to continue to grow in the future. If you are looking for an enlightening night with food, live music by GRUPO CANDELA, and fun be sure to purchase a ticket at the UWL Information Desk located in the Student Union or online at https://www.efoliotickets.com/FolioProd/Events.aspx?VId=37.

From  to  at Student Union Bluffs Room.