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.
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.
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.