Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Native American Heritage Monthr

November is Native American Heritage Month. Here are some local and online programs and speakers. I'll add more as I learn of them.

November 1: A free online town hall from the National Constitution Center on "Native Peoples and Redefining U.S. History," from 11 a.m. (our time) to noon. Speakers include historians, Ned Blackhawk, Brenda Child, and Richard White. They will discuss Blackhawk’s national bestseller, The Rediscovery of America: Native Peoples and the Unmaking of U.S. History. Jeffrey Rosen moderates. Register for the link at https://constitutioncenter.org/calendar/native-peoples-and-redefining-u.s-history

On November 1 at 1:30 p.m. Central, the School Library Journal will host a webcast on Native Storytelling in Children's Books with Angeline Boulley and Cynthia Leitich Smith discussing Indigenous representation, craft, and the future of Indigenous kid lit, moderated by Dr. Debbie Reese. Register at  https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_x34tOmIFTKGcgwLQIDpGpw#/registration

On November 2 at 4 p.m., an online webinar  from the University of Mississippi will feature Joshua Whitehead, a Two-Spirit, Oji-nêhiyaw member of Peguis First Nation (Treaty 1). He is currently a Ph.D. candidate, lecturer, and Killam scholar at the University of Calgary where he studies Indigenous literatures and cultures with a focus on gender and sexuality. Register here. https://olemiss.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_P852028NQISn-Tir20X9gQ#/registration

On November 3, the National Constitution Center will host a student program on " Civic Stories: Indigenous Influence on the Constitution" from 11 a.m. to noon our time. Learn more at https://constitutioncenter.org/calendar/civic-stories-indigenous-influence-on-the-constitution

On November 4, the National Museum of the American Indian and Teaching for Change will host "Native Knowledge 360° and Teaching for Change Virtual Teach-In" for a day of online conversation, curriculum highlights, and ideas exchange. The teach-in will be held virtually via Zoom. Registration required. https://www.teachingforchange.org/native-knowledge-360-teach-in

On November 6:  Keynote Speaker Leanne Vigue will speak about The Lasting Trauma of Indian Policies in the United States on Indigenous Students from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the UWL Student Union. More info: https://www.uwlax.edu/events/?e=29287

On November 16, UWL will host a screening of the film, Warrior Lawyers: Defenders of Justice from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the UWL Student Union. Learn more here: https://www.uwlax.edu/events/?e=29294

More resources 


Saturday, October 28, 2023

Roots of war Sunday


At 2 p.m. on Sunday, members from the Coulee Region Coalition for Palestinian Rights will explore the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, its historical context, and the role of the U.S. in a panel discussion.  

A moderated Q&A session will follow after the discussion. 

Registration is optional. The registration form also allows you to submit questions you would like the panel to address in advance. 

Register here: https://www.lacrosselibrary.org/event/community-conversations-roots-war-gaza-34354

Volunteer opportunity

We're excited to let you know about our upcoming Rice Pantry event on Friday, Nov 3rd, at the Hmoob Cultural and Community Agency, 1815 Ward Ave, La Crosse. We're in need of volunteers - Calling for Volunteers - and would love your help with setup, language support, guiding cars, loading rice, and cleanup. Here's the link to register: Sign-Up Form

Thank you for thinking about joining us to support our cause. Your support means a lot to us.

Warm regards,

Julia Yang
Office Assistant & Volunteer Coordinator

Cia Siab, Inc.
Building a Culturally Vibrant Hmoob Community.

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Friday, October 20, 2023

Short Term Rentals

We recently received this notice about short-term rental legislation coming before the city council.

In general, short-term rentals may reduce the availability of affordable housing, especially when houses are purchased by businesses specifically to be short term rentals.  Some communities are restricting ownership and operation of short-term rentals.

This is from Joe Leinfelder:

Dear Neighbors,

I hope you are well.  I want to connect to discuss the upcoming City of La Crosse Judiciary & Administration Committee (J&A) meeting on October 30 as Short Term Rentals (STRs) will be on the agenda, and ask for fast action from you.  Short Term Rentals are taking families out of neighborhoods.  I have attended several neighborhood meetings to discuss STRs and the overall viewpoint is clear. A large number of people have valid reasons for not wanting them in their neighborhoods but if they are allowed, there must be all reasonable, lawful restrictions possible.   

When I review the recently passed Comprehensive Plan, which gives outstanding direction, I see that a focus is on growing neighborhoods. The conversion of a home to a STR stunts that growth and triggers other severe issues including loss of school, tourism and other tax revenues.

I also would like to better understand how an R1 home can be converted to a rental with no change in the status in the zoning designation.

I will be asking the City's Judiciary & Administration Committee (J&A) on October 30, at 6:00pm, to continue to review the ordinance as well as the application process, before moving to next steps.  Anything we can do to control the growth of STRs in La Crosse is a great step to growing our population.

I am asking you to immediately call or write to all City Council members as well as attend the J&A meeting on October 30, at 6:00 pm at City Hall, when the unsatisfactory, proposed STR ordinance is on the agenda. You can use this address to email all councilmembers at once: zzcouncilmembers@cityoflacrosse.org

Many voices need to be heard and they need to be heard soon. You can speak at the meeting and/or register at the beginning of the meeting against the STR ordinance. The sign-up rules and agenda are here. Hopefully, the City Council will take a large step back, and do much more review, perhaps with new citizen input, before bringing the STR ordinance to a vote.

These are some controls to ask for:

  • A public hearing must be held prior to conversion to allow neighbors within 300 feet of the proposed conversion to provide input and raise special concerns.
  • No current location grandfathered in. 
  • The owner’s and property management’s contact information must be provided to all properties within 300 feet.  Proper management must be located within 30 miles and available at all times to respond to issues.
  • Number of occupants shall not exceed limits of Wisconsin Uniform Dwelling Code, must be posted in STR, and must be stated in the permit. 
  • Limit the number permits of STRs in residential areas.
  • Placard visible from street right-of-way containing telephone number and name of local property management representative.
  • Outdoor activity, and any amplified sound, must be between 10:00am – 10:00pm, with limits on size of activity based on space.
  • No excessive noise, fumes, glare.
  • Yards must be maintained to match neighborhood upkeep.
  • Garbage pick-up – timely.
  • Parking is an issue and must be addressed.  
    • Parking plans in place, with parking only in driveways and in front of STR.
    • No vehicle traffic should be greater than normally expected in the neighborhood.
  • Maximum number of days the dwelling may be rented shall not exceed 180 days per calendar year.
  • Minimum property rental period is to be 6 consecutive days.
  • Fee: $1,000 registration with annual $250.00 renewal and health inspection $250.00.
  • Identify fines for poorly run STRs.
  • Fire plan must be given to the fire department.
  • Complaint telephone line created for reporting issues.


I believe Madison, WI has done a great job developing an ordinance.  I  believe La Crosse can also be the leader in developing an ordinance that is right for neighborhoods.  Just like the Comprehensive Plan, it takes time to get it right.

Here are some examples from around Wisconsin.









Let me know if you have time to connect or if you have questions. 

Thank you,

Joe Leinfelder




Thursday, October 19, 2023

America's Town Hall Nov. 1

Join historians Ned Blackhawk, Brenda Child, and Richard White for a conversation on Blackhawk’s national bestseller, The Rediscovery of America: Native Peoples and the Unmaking of U.S. History—a sweeping retelling of American history. They will explore five centuries of U.S. history to shed light on the central role Indigenous peoples have played in shaping our nation’s narrative. Jeffrey Rosen, president and CEO of the National Constitution Center, moderates.

Register to attend online. Wednesday, Nov. 1 at 11 a.m. Central time.

Friday, October 13, 2023

DEI Listening forums

Public Invited to County Listening Sessions

Input will inform county’s 5-year equity roadmap

La Crosse County’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) consultant is hosting a series of virtual and in-person community listening sessions throughout October.
The public forums will be an opportunity for people to speak about ways La Crosse County can better serve all communities in our county.

“These sessions are open to everyone, and we want as many of you as possible to show up and be heard,” said Chanin Kelly-Rae, the county’s consultant. “This is about finding the tools to build a La Crosse County where all people can be successful.”

Kelly-Rae is working with La Crosse County to create a five-year DEI roadmap with actionable goals to present to the county board. Gathering public input from a broad range of community members is an important part of that process.

“This project shows that La Crosse County is serious about challenging all forms of discrimination,” said Monica Kruse, La Crosse County Board Chair. “I encourage people to get involved to show that empowering diverse perspectives can benefit everyone.”

Seven virtual listening sessions are being organized, plus in-person sessions in La Crosse, Holland, Holmen, and Onalaska. The sessions are open to the public and will be led by Kelly-Rae. People are encouraged to bring ideas on how to make county government more responsive to all communities, and to share their unique perspective on living in La Crosse County.

La Crosse County Virtual Community Listening Sessions (click the link to register/participate):

La Crosse County In-Person Community Listening Sessions (registration encouraged but not required):

  • Monday, Oct. 23, 2-3:30 p.m., Onalaska Public Library, 741 Oak Avenue South, Onalaska: Register Here]
  • Monday, Oct 23, 5-6:30 p.m., Ho Chunk-Nation, Three Rivers House, 724 Main St., La Crosse: Register Here]
  • Tuesday, Oct. 24, 10-11:30 a.m. Holmen Public Library, 121 W. Legion St., Holmen: [Register Here]
  • Tuesday, Oct. 24, 5-6:30 p.m., HCCA, 1815 Ward Ave., La Crosse[Register Here]

To learn more about the county’s DEI project, please go to lacrossecounty.org/diversity.

 Eric Timmons, Marketing and Strategic Analyst

608.785.9563 I Subscribe to our newsletter here!


Wednesday, October 11, 2023

MLK Nominations open

From La Crosse Waking up White:

Nominations Sought for the 2024 Martin Luther King, Jr. Leadership Award 

For questions about the nomination process or to request a paper copy, contact Rebecca Schwarz at mlkdaylaxaward@gmail.com or Carolyn Bostrak at 608-792-2283.  Nominations can also be made online via the following Google Forms link: https://forms.gle/xDfGmUCSPzEKHv2EA
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Leadership Award was established in 2009. The purpose of this award is to recognize leadership in and commitment to building community, enhancing diversity, and working for justice. This award recognizes community members whose leadership include the following: 
  • Efforts are directed toward creating tangible, permanent and/or systemic positive change in the Greater La Crosse Area  
  • Efforts are focused on issues of social justice, equity, diversity and inclusion, unearned privilege (may include other  justice issues that mirror Dr. King’s work, e.g., race-equity, anti-poverty, peace, nonviolence) 
  • Efforts work to empower and impact next generation 
  • Efforts include devoting personal energies beyond one’s “paid position” 
  • Efforts to create positive change in areas outside of the Greater La Crosse area 
  • Any additional considerations or contributions 
The nomination application and materials should address the above qualities in detail. 
The award will be presented at the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Celebration at Viterbo University Fine Arts Center, 929 Jackson St., La Crosse, at 7 p.m. Monday, January 15, 2024. 
The featured speaker for the event is Rev. Dr. Alexander Gee, the CEO of The Center for Black Excellence and Culture. He is also the founding Lead Pastor of Fountain of Life Church, and founder of the Nehemiah Center for Urban Leadership Development, as well as its renowned initiative, Justified Anger. Gee is a published author, adjunct faculty, community activist, life coach, international lecturer, and relief worker. Gee is considered a serial social entrepreneur, having started four successful small businesses and initiatives that currently employ nearly 40 staff. In recognition of his work within the local community, Dr. Gee has received numerous honors, such as the 1994 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Humanitarian Award from the City of Madison. Dr. Gee studied at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Fuller Seminary, and Bakke Graduate University. He is the author of two books and host for the award-winning podcast, Black Like Me.
Information about the MLK Event 
Where: Viterbo University Fine Arts Center,  929 Jackson St., La Crosse, WI 54601
When: 7 p.m. Monday, January 15, 2024 
Admission: *FREE*
For event information, contact Richard L. Kyte at rlkyte@viterbo.edu or Keith Knutson at kaknutson@viterbo.edu

To submit nomination online materials go to https://forms.gle/DgKU4Pc53eSmhDrq7
To contact the selection committee, request a paper nomination form, or submit a paper nomination form: 
Email: Rebecca Schwarz at mlkdaylaxaward@gmail.com 
Mail: Leadership Award ℅ Rebecca Schwarz, 212 11th St S, La Crosse WI 54601
Fax: Leadership Award ℅ Antoiwana Williams 608-615-1060
Nomination deadline: The forms must be received by Wednesday, November 1st, 2023, 11:59 p.m.

Tuesday, October 10, 2023

Neighborhood development meeting

On Wednesday evening, there will be a meeting of people interested in discussing the planned development of the old Heeter's garage site at the end of Campbell Road. The city has already granted a vacation of part of part of Campbell Road for the developer. Neighbors have concerns about the project.

If it matters, there is no bus route in this area. East of Losey from Farnam to Hixon Forest and West of Losey to East Ave. and from Main to Myrick Park is a "transit desert."

This is from GENA, but anyone interested in development in the city would be interested.

In the spirit of continued cooperation with our city and our greater neighborhood, we will be inviting our districts’ Alderman (districts 4 and 5) and the GENA leadership to attend as well.
The involvement of ALL of our neighbors in addressing this concern is important.  Your input is both appreciated and extremely valuable in our collective efforts.

[D]emonstrating our concerns is so much more impactful when supported by large numbers.  If you have any questions or concerns about this meeting, need help getting to the meeting or wish to discuss something related to this matter feel free to reach out to one of us. genalacrosse@gmail.com

Monday, October 09, 2023

Indigenous People's Day


La Crosse Indigenous Peoples' Day

Monday October 9

10 a.m. - Flag Raising & Proclamation  at City Hall

11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. - CELEBRATION at Riverside Park

The day will include:

Speakers, Performances, Traditional Lacrosse tournament, Traditional games, Food and Merchandise Vendors, Informational tables and Interactive booths

In collaboration with:

  • The Ho-Chunk Nation La Crosse Youth and Learning Center,
  • Ho-Chunk Nation,
  • Franiscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration 
  • City of La Crosse Parks, Recreation & Forestry

Tuesday, October 03, 2023

Solar La Crosse Tour, 10/6-8


Poster for National Solar Tour, October 6-8, 2023

This year, for the first time, the City of
La Crosse will participate in the

Friday, 10/6 - Special Solar School Tour!

Saturday, 10/7: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and
 Sunday, 10/8: 1 to 4 p.m.
On-your-own tour of solar sites in La Crosse

Have you been considering solar but would like to learn more about the process? Are you unsure about how to get started or how to find installers?

This on-your-own tour of solar installations in La Crosse will help you get answers to your questions and talk to those who have already taken the step! 

If you would like to sign up as a tour site on Saturday and/or Sunday, please fill out this form: https://forms.gle/WFuRAvuLPaoeEcBB6 or call 608-315-2693.

Let us know you'll be on the tour (not required!), and we can send you updates and extra information! Call or text 608-315-2693 or use this link https://tinyurl.com/RSVPLaXSolarTour

Friday, October 6 from 3 to 4 p.m.: Tour the solar installation at Hamilton

Elementary School
, 1111 7th Street South and learn more about SOLS (Solar on La Crosse Schools).

There will be information about the project, speakers, treats, activities, and information about how we can support SOLS in its efforts to get solar sooner on district schools.

A tour of the installation will begin at 3:15 p.m. after introductory remarks by speakers, including Dr. Aaron Engel, Superintendent of the La Crosse School District. Learn more about Solar on La Crosse Schools here.

On Saturday, October 7 and Sunday, October 8, check out tour sites on your own. A tour map will be available by October 6. 


Visit the event page for more information!