Sunday, March 31, 2024

Social Justice Week at UWL


Social Justice Week's goal is to help inspire conversation with research to reinvigorate our lives with realistic and achievable goals to make a change in our communities. This year we want to highlight how identities and intersections of identities impact our communities. The University of Wisconsin La Crosse and the people of the La Crosse area hold many identities within it that shape our experiences in the community. We each navigate space differently and desire a community where everyone feels a sense of belonging. 

‘Building belonging’ 

UW-La Crosse will celebrate its eighth-annual Social Justice Week April 2-4 with the theme “Building belonging: Identities shaping communities.”  

The celebration, organized by UWL Diversity & Inclusion in partnership with the Social Justice Institute, features a series of public events where faculty, staff and students can share their research and stories, and start conversations about what social justice means to them. It will explore how identities and the intersection of identities shape people’s experiences as part of a community.  

This year’s keynote speakers are: 

  • Dina Zavala, formerly of UWL and currently vice president for Inclusion, Equity and Community at Carleton College 
  • Jonathan Locust, formerly associate vice president of Equity & Inclusive Excellence at Winona State University and currently founder/CEO of Locust Group consulting firm 
  • And Nicole Collins, research associate for the Pluralism Project at Harvard University. 

The event is free and open to the community, although guests are asked to register. 

UWL’s Social Justice Week is sponsored by Wisconsin Public Radio, DREAM, the College of Arts, Social Sciences & Humanities, the College of Business Administration, the School of Education, the School of Visual & Performing Arts, the Office of Multicultural Student Services, and the UWL Parent Fund.  

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

March 27: Friendbanking for Uninstructed


Wednesday, March 27
4:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Main Library

Come eat some food and learn about voting "Uninstructed" on April 2nd to send a message to President Biden that he needs to stop supporting the genocide of Gaza, and how to talk to friends, family, and other people you know to ask them to vote "Uninstructed" as well.

Come any time between 4:30 and 6:30 and stay as long as you like.
The demands of the "Uninstructed" movement are:
1. An immediate & permanent ceasefire in Gaza
2. An end to the siege of Gaza
3. Reinstate humanitarian aid and UNRWA funding
4. End unrestricted aid to Israel

Monday, March 25, 2024

Business Women's Roundtable


Business Women's Roundtable - La Crosse
Thursday, March 28 from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. 
3500 Hwy 16 
(by Valley View Mall south entrance)


Celebrate, engage and network with other business women in the greater La Crosse area on Thursday, March 28th at 11:00 am. This event will take place at the WWBIC Southwest office in La Crosse and features a panel of four Wisconsin business experts: DOA Secretary Kathy Blumenfeld; Michele Carter from the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development; Jenifer Cole from the Wisconsin Women's Council; and Dr. Kamaljit Jackson from WWBIC.

Register here:

March 30 Powwow

Join the Ho-Chunk Nation for its inaugural Founder’s Day Powwow!


 Contest singing & dancing
– Moccasin Tournament
– Lacrosse games
– Arts and Craft Vendors
– Concessions

Grand entries noon & 7pm

Powwow Contact: Waylon Pettibone
(715) 299-5508

Drug & alcohol-free event.
Not responsible for lost or stolen items.
Contestants must show Tribal ID or CDIB.

Friday, March 22, 2024


 Free and open to all.

March 26, 2024 7:00 PM, Fine Arts Center Main Theatre - Unbought

Unbought is a music theatre piece presenting the dramatic stories of three African American women: journalist and women's suffrage activist, Ida B. Wells; Shirley Chisholm, the first African American in the U.S. Congress, and the first African American woman to run for President; and Sally Hemings, the slave with whom Thomas Jefferson fathered six children. The music is drawn from classical, jazz, and popular works by African American composers. 

This production is brought to Viterbo University in a partnership between the Sister Thea Bowman Center, Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, D.B. Reinhart Institute for Ethics in Leadership, and Fine Arts Center Arts for Young America School Series.

Visit Viterbo University's website for more information. Thea Bowman Week is March 25-27, 2024.

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

There are two Republican-approved constitutional amendment quesrions on the spring ballot. Here's what Wisconsin Common Cause says:

Both Measures Could Adversely Affect Elections

On the April 2nd Spring Election ballot in Wisconsin, in addition to contests for local offices, judgeships, school board members and other positions, the Wisconsin Legislature had directed that there were also be two constitutional amendments passed by the Republican majority in the Legislature over the last several years to be put before voters for approval or rejection.

These questions received comparatively little public attention, but they are extremely important in how they may affect elections and democracy in Wisconsin and in your ability to participate in those elections fairly and freely.

In order to help you better understand these questions and their implications we defer to election law legal and policy expert, attorney Doug Poland of the Madison law firm of Stafford Rosenbaum, and one of the founders of the public interest consortium Law Forward, which defends and prosecutes many voter rights cases. Law Forward filed the legal challenge on behalf of 19 named Wisconsin plaintiffs to the 2021-22 Wisconsin gerrymander of state legislative districts last August which ultimately resulted in 2024 Act 94 – the establishment of new, constitutional and far more fair state legislative district maps for the upcoming 2024 August primary and November general elections.

Here is how Mr. Poland ably explains the two constitutional amendment questions. (Read more at the Common Cause page).

And here's the word from the Wisconsin League of Women Voters:

No matter our race, background or zip code, Wisconsinites know that voting is a fundamental right yet a handful of politicians want to limit funding for our elections without any plan to make sure election administrators have the support and supplies they need to help voters make their voices heard.

How long we have to wait in lines to vote, how many polling locations are open, and the speed of results are all determined by how much money our state allocates to fund our elections. Vote no on constitutional amendment question 1.

Elections are a lot of work. Clerks rely on a whole host of outside experts, volunteers, and community members to make sure our elections are run smoothly and the results are accurate. A handful of politicians want to make the jobs of our election heroes even harder. That’s why we’re voting no this April on question 2!

These constitutional amendments are rooted in disinformation and a lack of consideration for voters and our hard working local election administrators. Let’s keep conspiracies out of our elections.

Vote NO this April on both constitutional amendments.

Read more about it at their website.

Monday, March 18, 2024

Fifteenth Annual
Wisconsin Grassroots Festival

Saturday, May 4, 2024
Lawrence University
Warch Campus Center
711 E Boldt Way
Appleton, WI 54911
The Wisconsin Grassroots Network (WGN) provides support to community-based grassroots organizations, helping them to grow. Our Grassroots Festival encourages networking among these organizations and is an ideal venue for connecting them to citizens who are looking for a way to get involved. We provide these services to promote democracy, justice, and equality throughout Wisconsin.

For details and updates, click "Wisconsin Grassroots Network Website"

Organizations begin tabling set up at 7:30 am. Click Tabling to see the suggested donation and other details. You can reserve online until May 1 or send your information and donation by mail.


The Grassroots Festival presents a unique opportunity for organizations and citizens to meet, exchange ideas, and establish mutually beneficial connections.

Registration on site begins at 8:00 am. Click Register to see ticket categories and suggested donations. Food is included with admission categories. You can register ahead of time online until May 1, or register on site the day of the event.

The Festival's opening event begins at 9:00 am.

Keynote Speakers:
  • John Nichols, journalist, author, and national affairs correspondent

  • Alan Minsky, Executive Director of Progressive Democrats of America 

  • More to come…
Breakout Sessions:

Choose 3 of 18 breakout sessions. Here’s just a sample of the sessions: 
  • Youth in Activism
  • Money in Politics
  • Rights of Nature 
  • Farm Sustainability Rewards Project
  • The State of School Finance in Wisconsin: 2024 Edition


  • Tom Kastle

  • The Raging Grannies of Madison 


  • Garrison Keillor

  • Our Wisconsin Revolution Live Music


Sunday, March 17, 2024

March 23: SEED SWAP

From the La Crosse Public Library:

Join us for a celebration of all things seeds, featuring conversations with gardening experts and a community wide seed swap!

All About Seeds: 10am - 11am
Are you interested in learning about: 1.) The seeds you plant? 2.) How to start seeds for tomatoes, peppers, cabbage, kale, etc.? Or 3.) How to save seeds from your vegetable garden? Join gardener and seed enthusiast Bjorn Bergman for an introduction to all things vegetable seeds. Bjorn will talk about the history of vegetable seeds, the why and how to save seeds, how to start seeds at home PLUS answer your seed questions. 

Seed Swap: 11am -12pm
Following the talk, join us for a seed swap! Please label seeds with identifying information. No seeds? No problem! Everyone is welcome to join the seed swap and pick up seeds from local seed savers and community organizations like the Kane Street Garden!

About the presenter: Bjorn Bergman is passionate about growing food and eating seasonally. Each growing season his family keeps a large garden at their home in Viroqua and they love spending time preserving the harvest by drying, canning, freezing, and fermenting. Since 2011, he has been obsessed with learning about and practicing seed saving. Bjorn loves sharing his passion for and knowledge about sustainable living with others.

More info/Register here.

Support Juneteenth Event

Planning for the fourth annual Juneteenth event in La Crosse is going on now. Can you help? Donate? Table? Sponsor? Here's the ask:

Event Hosts
-Black Leaders Acquiring Collective Knowledge (B.L.A.C.K.)  
-Enduring Families Project Enduring Families Project 
-Black Student Leaders

Partner Opportunities:

Please fill out this Link to sign up to partner.  PARTNERING LINK

Your partnership would help provide entertainment, food, speakers,  historical education, community building,  and family friendly and youth activities.  Your partnership can be (1) monetary, (2) an in-kind donation, (3) hosting a table at the event, and/or (4)  recruiting volunteers for the event. 

Monetary Donations (tax deductible):

Checks can be made payable to Black Leaders Acquiring Collective Knowledge (B.L.A.C.K) with  “Juneteenth Celebration” in the memo line and mailed to Black Leaders Acquiring Collective Knowledge, P.O.  Box 694, La Crosse, Wisconsin 54602.  


Thanking PartnersBecause your donations benefit this region and beyond, we would like to say thank you: 

● Donations $100-$499—receive free event tabling at the Juneteenth event 

● Donations $500 and more—receive free event tabling at the Juneteenth event, your organization’s name on the event t-shirt and acknowledgment from the event stage

● In-kind donations—recognized on social media and from the event stage

THANK YOU for your consideration and we look forward to your support of this important historic community  event! Feel free to contact us with questions.  


Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. This  Holiday Commemorates June 19, 1865 when the last of enslaved people heard they were free. It is a US Federal  Holiday. 

The August Ball commemorates the August 1, 1887 Emancipation Day celebrating the liberation of enslaved  people, first in the Caribbean, and then eventually the end of slavery in this country. This Ball has historic roots in its past celebration in the La Crosse community. 


Shamawyah Curtis, 

Hope Restores 

Shaundel SpiveyB.L.A.C.K. 

Denise Christy Moss

Enduring Families Project 

Chaya Davis

Black Student Leaders 

Friday, March 15, 2024

Bike Ped Master Plan Ride & Open House

The Bike-Ped Master Plan update team will host a
an OPEN HOUSE input session on
March 26 from to 4 to 7 p.m. 
(presentation at about 5:30 p.m.)
at the
Southside Neighborhood Center
1300 6th Street South
More details will soon be available from the BikePed master plan page at

Members of the public who are unable to participate in the open house will be able to find draft materials on the Forward La Crosse website and provide feedback via this survey.

In addition to this open house, there will be a bike audit of North-South bike/ped connections earlier in the afternoon. Apparently, this event is limited to by invitation only. You may be able to ask for an invitation by contacting Jenna Dinkel in City Planning.

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

The politics of mental pathology

March 13, 5:30 - 7 p.m.

In the new era of politics, the psychological manipulation of voters is seen as more expedient than offering and driving solutions for citizens' core issues. In Social Media's stupor, the truth seems to be freely opposed, devalued, or at best ignored. To win public office today, performance politics and tugging on constituents' emotional strings are increasingly more powerful tools than offering field expertise and policy solutions. This unmooring from reality is contagious, numbing, and self-sustaining; it is the biggest threat to our democracy.

In a wide-ranging and timely conversation with Jonathan Lemire, world-renowned forensic psychiatrist Dr. Bandy Lee will share insights on the importance of mental fitness in candidates and also the collective mental health of their core supporters. Dr. Lee points out the ineffectiveness of traditional methods of fighting misinformation and emphasizes the crucial role politically unaffiliated, neutral mental health professionals could play in explaining the mass psychosis and mitigating its growth. She also offers guidance on how we can all contribute to restoring faith in democratic institutions and in truth.

Time will be allocated for Q&A.

Cosponsored by Harvard and Princeton Clubs of Washington DC

Green Drinks at Olson Solar




When: Tuesday, March 19th 6 to 7 p.m.

Hosted by Olson Solar Energy

Where: 1447 Oak Forest Dr, Onalaska (about a block down from Harley Davidson)

***Pizza and drinks (alcoholic & non-alcoholic) will be provided***

Olson will give a short presentation but things will remain casual with Olson having a couple people to visit with. After the presentation, open discussions.

To help plan for food/drink PLEASE RSVP by emailing  nnichols4896 AT

Sunday, March 10, 2024



What we stand for

We stand for human rights, responsible global leadership, and the ethical use of American influence and resources. Our campaign advocates for U.S. foreign policy that aligns with these principles.

We believe in America's potential to lead by example, promoting peace, justice, and dignity for all people. Our actions, including voting uninstructed in the Democratic Primary, reflect our commitment to these values and our demand for policies that uphold them.

What we can do

Saturday, March 09, 2024

Input Needed About Housing

From City Planning Consultants:

The City of La Crosse, in partnership with RDG Planning & Design, is conducting a community housing assessment. The assessment aims to identify and develop strategies to meet current and future needs for adequate, safe, and attainable housing in La Crosse. The following is an invitation from RDG to participate in the next round of public input.

After a successful first batch of listening sessions and meetings last week, we are ready to launch our community surveys – and we’d like your help! Below are the links to our online surveys:

Community Survey (English):

Community Survey (Spanish):

Visit the city web site for .pdfs of the survey which may be printed out and distributed to those who may otherwise be unlikely or unable to complete the survey online. If you take/distribute paper surveys, please ensure they are returned to Mara Keyes, City Planning, by April 1 for recording.

The more responses we receive, the better, so after you take the survey, please share these surveys far and wide with your friends, family, colleagues, neighbors, and others.

If you have any questions or concerns, please let us know! We’re happy to help.

Thank you,

Maya Struhar
RDG Planning & Design
301 Grand Ave
Des Moines, IA 50309

Tel: 515-288-3141
Dir: 515-309-3272

Thursday, March 07, 2024


If you are familiar with the mulit-award winning 1619 Project by Nikole Hannah-Jones that looks at US history through the institution and legacy of slavery, you know that the anti-alphabet MAGA crowd came up with it's own revisionist history, "a grab bag of right wing causes," called the 1776 Project.

Who cares?

We should. Because now the 1776 Project PAC is endorsing school board candidates including two who are running in La Crosse.

Just a warning. Vote for good people. Don't vote for bad people. And, don't vote for people you're not sure about.

Wednesday, March 06, 2024

Input session RR bike/ped safety


WisDOT wants to hear from you!  

Join a virtual meeting to discuss pedestrian safety concerns at railroad crossings in the La Crosse region on Wednesday April 3 at 9:00 a.m. via ZOOM.  

RSVP by March 20th by emailing:  

WisDOT is preparing a Bicycle/Pedestrian Railroad Crossing Safety Action Plan and looking to improve safety at railroad crossings for people walking, biking or rolling.  

Join us for a  one hour virtual Zoom meeting to discuss factors that make certain railroad crossings unsafe and identify opportunities to improve pedestrian safety at railroad tracks. We will briefly discuss the statewide effort, but the conversation will focus on La Crosse area railroad crossings. The facilitated discussion will include a short presentation, poll questions and interactive activities to help gather stakeholder input.  

We want your input!  

Join the virtual meeting on April 3rd to discuss pedestrian safety at La Crosse area railroad crossings. Please email Dan McNiel ( by March 20th to RSVP and be sent a link to the Zoom meeting. 

Interactive Comment Map: You can share your feedback today by adding comments and suggestions to the project’s interactive comment map. Use the link below to add your thoughts, review comments from others, and help us improve safety for all people who walk, bike, roll at these locations. 

Please help us spread the word by sharing the comment map with family, friends, colleagues and others who may be interested. Please feel free to share the focus group invitation with others in your network who may be interested in joining the discussion.  

Thank you, 

Kris Sommers, P.E.

Railroad Engineering and Safety Supervisor

WisDOT Bureau of Transit, Local Roads, Railroads and Harbors

Division of Transportation Investment Management

Phone: 608-266-3341

Monday, March 04, 2024

School board

A new but very experienced school board candidate has stepped forward as a write-in candidate. Jim Bagniewski is probably THE most experienced and qualified candidate in decades. His long work with and for the school district combined with his deep community involvement and commitment are the perfect mix. 

Here is his flyer (this barely scratches the surface of his experience) and contact information. 

If you know of other candidates to highlight, please email couleeprogressive at hotmail.

Sunday, March 03, 2024

Support REACH Center

From Coulee DSA:

The REACH Center is applying for zoning changes to increase the services they can offer.
The City Plan Commission is meeting on Monday, March 4 at 4 PM in the City Council Chambers, which are located on the first floor of City Hall, to discuss rezoning of the REACH Center. Here's the link to meeting details: 

On Tuesday, March 5 at 6 PM in the Chambers, the J&A Committee is meeting about the same issue. Link to details of that meeting: 

Please arrive ten minutes early if you intend on voicing support of REACH center rezoning at one of the meetings.

Public comments can also be emailed to City Clerk Nikki Elsen (

And here's a Tribune article that provides context to the situation:

If you cannot attend, here are other options to show your support:
  1.  Call your Council Member. Let them know you support our petition to rezone the REACH Center, allowing for building upgrades and Scenic Bluffs’ Dental services. You can find your Council Members contact information here.
  3. Submit a Statement of Support to the City Council. Let the Council know you support the good work we do here at Scenic Bluffs Community Health Centers and support our petition to rezone the REACH center as we plan to renovate for dental services to meet the growing needs in the La Crosse community.  In 2023, we served close to 1,200 La Crosse County residents, demonstrating the need for our Health Center services in the community. Rezoning will allow Scenic Bluffs Health Center to provide much needed dental services and co-locate in a building with other partners that will offer services to meet legal, housing, and other services for our patients in one location.  Emails of support should be sent to with a copy to Sending to both addresses will ensure all council members and committee members receive your email.