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New Legislation Would Fix Unemployment Benefits Problems PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jon Erpenbach. State Senator 27th District   
Friday, 17 July 2020 10:41

unemployment-wi-wkowBills would roll back barriers to Unemployment Insurance (UI) imposed during decade of misguided anti-worker legislation.

Over 1,000 Wisconsinites Participate in Climate Change Listening Sessions PDF Print E-mail
Written by Lt Gov Office Press   
Friday, 17 July 2020 10:01

flooding-east-river-gbPeople learn more about how the climate crisis is impacting people across the state and to hear about potential solutions.

MADISON - On Wednesday evening, Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes hosted the fifth and final listening session of the Governor’s Task Force on Climate Change via video teleconference.

The task force held the virtual listening sessions in order to learn more about how the climate crisis is impacting people across the state and to hear about potential solutions the state should adopt. Over a thousand Wisconsinites from Superior to Sturgeon Bay to Mazomanie joined Lt. Gov. Barnes and task force members virtually.

mandela-barnes“I’m incredibly grateful to the people who took time out of their days to join us for these listening sessions and shape the work of this task force,” said Lt. Gov. Barnes. “People from every corner of the state came forward to share personal stories and make their voices heard, and we’re committed to ensuring their concerns drive our climate solutions.”

The five listening sessions also included expert presentations from organizations and local government leaders working on sustainability, conservation, environmental justice, and renewable energy. Some of the presenters included Deneine C. Powell, Executive Director of Groundwork Milwaukee, Mayor Gordon Ringberg of the City of Bayfield, and Patrick Pelky from the Oneida Nation.

Those who could not attend the virtual listening sessions are encouraged to submit comments, recommendations, and concerns for the task force’s consideration on the task force’s website, The deadline to submit comments is July 31, 2020.

We Are Here MKE Seeks Community Partner Commitment to Racial Equity PDF Print E-mail
Written by End Domestic Abuse WI, Jenna Gormal   
Friday, 17 July 2020 10:00

domestic-violenceInitiative by collective to end domestic abuse looking for folks to promote culturally specific programs in their respective communities.

MILWAUKEE – We Are Here MKE is a collective comprising the culturally specific domestic and sexual violence programs in Milwaukee, WI. The collective includes:

The initiative was created to amplify the expertise of culturally specific programs in their respective communities and bolster awareness of culturally specific programs' existence, so that survivors from those communities - who for reasons including bias, racism, and mistrust of systems based in historical systemic violence do not feel comfortable utilizing mainstream programs - know that alternatives exist, and finding safety is possible.

At present, culturally specific programs do not have access to the vital data necessary to meet the needs of their communities, and they are not equitably represented or meaningfully heard in decision-making conversations about funding and the policies and protocols that directly impact victims and survivors they are designed to serve. This results in mainstream programs receiving higher levels of funding and awareness, leaving culturally specific programs underfunded and under-resourced, despite their expertise.

The We Are Here MKE initiative has 3 primary goals:

  1. Access data in an ongoing fashion regarding domestic violence (DV) and sexual assault (SA) incidents responded to by the Milwaukee Police Department (MPD) that strengthens collaborative efforts with all DV/SA service providers.
  2. Strengthen coordination with MPD district stations serving culturally specific communities.
  3. Develop and launch a multilayered campaign featuring the culturally specific programs’ presence and expertise.

"This is not about taking money away from mainstream programs," says Antonia Vann, Executive Director of The Asha Project. "We don't have a deficit mindset. We know that there is enough money for all of our programs to meet the needs of survivors. Milwaukee is diverse and all organizations have a role to play in serving victims in the city. This is us saying that we are here, we exist, we want to help, and we need the data, the collaboration, and the funding to do it."

We Are Here MKE is taking initial steps to move forward with their three goals, which serve to fulfill their vision of a world where ALL survivors can have access to safety and live fully in their dignity with love and respect in Milwaukee. Because this essential vision cannot come to fruition without the committed support of community partners, the collective urges key stakeholders to fund and elevate the work of Black and Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC) leadership in serving the community. They invite folks who are ready to demonstrate their commitment to racial justice work to reach out to The Asha Project Executive Director Antonia Vann at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin: The Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence is the leading voice for victims of domestic abuse in Wisconsin. At End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin, we educate shelter and program volunteers and advocates, law enforcement, legislators, and community members to provide safety and support to survivors. We strive to shift Wisconsin from the attitudes and beliefs that cause domestic violence to values of mutual respect and equality, and we partner with communities in the effort to prevent and end domestic abuse. We encourage reporters to include the National Domestic Violence Hotline number [1−800−799−SAFE(7233)] in their stories for victims who need help. A list of local Wisconsin domestic violence victim service providers can be found at

WHEFA Has Successful 2020 Fiscal Year Helping Wisconsin Nonprofits PDF Print E-mail
Written by GOV Press Wisconsin   
Friday, 17 July 2020 09:18

ed-grad-dayWHEFA saved Wisconsin nonprofit institutions nearly $70.6 million by refinancing outstanding debt and completed 21 financings for such institutions totaling more than $1.1 billion.

MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers Thursday commended the Wisconsin Health and Educational Facilities Authority (WHEFA), which just issued its 2020 Fiscal Year in Review for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2020.

The report indicates WHEFA saved Wisconsin nonprofit institutions nearly $70.6 million by refinancing outstanding debt and completed 21 financings for such institutions totaling more than $1.1 billion. WHEFA financing during this fiscal year will help create an estimated 369 new jobs and maintain 1,054 jobs, while an estimated 2,485 construction jobs will be created for new capital projects.

tony_evers“After 41 years, WHEFA continues to deliver access to capital at the lowest cost to the State’s nonprofit organizations,” said Gov. Evers. “Most, if not all, of the Wisconsin’s nonprofit acute care hospitals, senior care and educational facilities are impacted by the current pandemic and continued access to capital is vital to these important institutions in the short-and long-term.”

Highlights from the fiscal year in review include 19 different nonprofit borrowers at 39 Wisconsin locations benefited from bond proceeds during the fiscal year 2020, including five long-term care organizations, nine acute-care organizations, three private schools, and two other nonprofit facilities. These Wisconsin nonprofit organizations employ more than 38,000 people.

“We are very thankful for the support of the Governor as we continue to serve nonprofits during these unprecedented times," said Executive Director Dennis Reilly. “Closing this fiscal year marks another successful year assisting a variety of nonprofits throughout the state and we look forward to continuing our mission to finance and refinance critical infrastructure projects for Wisconsin nonprofits.” 

WHEFA, created by the Legislature in 1973, has been providing active capital financing assistance to Wisconsin nonprofit organizations since 1979. Bonds issued by WHEFA do not utilize any state funds or constitute an indebtedness of the state. The state has no liability to repay any obligation issued by WHEFA under any circumstances.

Last Updated on Saturday, 18 July 2020 09:36
Executive Order Creates Governor's Task Force on Broadband Access PDF Print E-mail
Written by GOV Press Wisconsin   
Thursday, 16 July 2020 10:52

broadband-map-northwoodsGroup charged to expand high speed internet access to every residence, business, and institution in the state.

Last Updated on Thursday, 16 July 2020 11:08
Evers Grants Eighteen Pardons PDF Print E-mail
Written by GOV Press Wisconsin   
Thursday, 16 July 2020 09:51

jailedEach of these people earned a pardon by serving their sentence and making positive contributions to society.

MADISON – Gov. Tony Evers granted pardons this week to eighteen individuals. The Governor’s Pardon Advisory Board heard from applicants virtually on June 23, 2020. Applicants who the Board recommended for pardon were forwarded to Gov. Evers for final consideration.

tony-evers“A pardon won’t fix the challenges facing our criminal justice system, but it can have a tremendous impact on a person’s life,” said Gov. Evers. “Each of these people earned a pardon by serving their sentence and making positive contributions to society.”

Gov. Evers granted pardons to the following people:

  • James Hernon, now 59 years old, was struggling with addiction when he assisted another individual in burglarizing a home 20 years ago in exchange for the proceeds and drugs. He now works with the Milwaukee Rescue Mission, the same organization he credits with helping him recover from his drug addiction. Mr. Hernon lives in West Allis.
  • Steven Johnson, now 58 years old, was 23 when he caused a tragic car accident in which his best friend was killed. He was a pallbearer in his friend’s funeral, and he has garnered the forgiveness of the victim’s mother, who supports a pardon. He has been diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor and has asked for this pardon before dying. Mr. Johnson lives in Marshfield.
  • Taranda Westmoreland, now 45 years old, made several unauthorized charges on a credit card when she was 26. She has since obtained a master’s degree and now works to serve others in need, including minors, folks with special needs, and persons experiencing homelessness. Ms. Westmoreland lives in Milwaukee.
  • Barry Plotnick, now 65 years old, was 21 years old and struggling with addiction when he and his friend broke into a drug store and stole several bottles of valium. After completing his sentence, he went on to become a successful small business owner in the produce industry and is married to his wife of 20 years with children and grandchildren. Mr. Plotnick now lives in the State of Georgia.
  • Loretta Childs was 22 years old when she knowingly wrote bad checks to obtain some items for resale. She quickly took responsibility, is now 38 years old, and has maintained employment while raising her children. Ms. Childs lives in Milwaukee.
  • Matthew Raasch, now 41 years old, was struggling with drug addiction when he cashed fraudulent checks to support his addiction. He now volunteers and works with Waukesha County inmates and drug and alcohol treatment courts as a mentor to those struggling with addiction. Mr. Raasch lives in Waukesha.
  • Elandis Peete was 18 when he sold cocaine to an undercover police officer. Now in his forties, he opened his own trucking business, mentoring and hiring formerly incarcerated folks to help them become productive members of the community. Mr. Peete lives in Wauwatosa.
  • Shelesia Parham, now 51 years old, was 23 when she forged her mother’s name on multiple withdrawal slips for her mother’s account. Her relationship with her mother is mended and she fully supports a pardon. She has become an owner of multiple newspapers in Racine and previously hosted a weekly gospel hour on local radio. Ms. Parham lives in Racine.
  • Kerry Brunner, now 59 years old, was in his early twenties when he was convicted of several offenses connected to a drug addiction, including delivery of cocaine and cashing a stolen check. He is married with children and grandchildren, has been a small business owner, and is currently working in his local school district as a custodian. Mr. Brunner now lives in the State of Missouri.
  • Keith Butler, now 40 years old, was 23 and homeless when he was caught selling drugs to undercover police officers. He now is a devoted father who volunteers in his community, including previously as an assistant coach with the Green Bay Packer Pee Wee League Neighborhood Youth Sports Organization. Mr. Butler lives in Milwaukee.
  • Markeese Walker, now 40 years old, was 22 when he was convicted of fleeing an officer. He has since become an active community member and volunteer, who received adamant support from many, including a former Milwaukee law enforcement officer. Mr. Walker lives in Milwaukee.
  • Andrew Ophoven was arrested by three plain-clothed detectives for selling marijuana 20 years ago. He has since gone to school for culinary arts and hospitality management. Mr. Ophoven hopes someday he will be able to own his own restaurant.  Mr. Ophoven lives in Waukesha.
  • Michael Andersen, now 40 years old, sold marijuana and shoplifted 20 years ago. He now has a daughter and has obtained associate degrees in marketing and business. Mr. Andersen lives in West Allis.
  • Yusef Moore, now 49 years old, was convicted of several offenses relating to his addiction to drugs in his early thirties. He has taken remarkable steps including obtaining a master’s degree from Loyola University of Chicago, helping others struggling with addiction by becoming a substance abuse residential counselor, and working with persons experiencing homelessness. He received support from the Court in his application for pardon, works the 12-steps, and is an active member of his faith community. Mr. Moore lives in Greenfield.
  • Terry Howell-Dixon is 65 years old and nearly 30 years ago failed to report an increase in income which resulted in an over-grant of public assistance and food stamps. She has maintained steady employment, is a mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, and is heavily involved with her faith community. Ms. Howell-Dixon lives in Milwaukee.
  • LaFondra Thomas was 19 when she committed a series of check forgeries. She since obtained her HSED and worked for the same company, AT&T, for 21 years. Ms. Thomas now lives in the State of Texas.
  • Sonny Valeriano, now 34 years old, was 20 years old and struggling with a death in the family when he decided to sell marijuana for some quick cash. He began his pursuit of higher education while still in confinement and has since pursued multiple degrees to become a massage therapist. Mr. Valeriano lives in Milwaukee.
  • Richard Baker, now 39 years old, made a series of mistakes as a young man that resulted in several convictions including bail jumping, obstructing an officer, and escape. He credits his turn to religion as the reason for his reform. He has since obtained his HSED and works as a hunting and fishing guide in Minnesota, where he resides.

The Wisconsin Constitution grants the governor the power to pardon individuals convicted of a crime. A pardon is an official act of forgiveness that restores some of the rights that are lost when someone is convicted of a felony, including the right to serve on a jury, hold public office, and hold certain professional licenses. A pardon does not result in an expungement.

Under Executive Order #30, individuals convicted of a Wisconsin felony may apply for a pardon if they completed their sentence at least five years ago and have not committed any new crimes. Individuals currently required to register on the sex offender registry are ineligible for a pardon.

The pardon application and instructions for applying are located on the Governor’s website:

The Governor’s Pardon Advisory Board will continue to meet virtually monthly and will be reconvening again on July 21, 2020 and will air on

Public health groups denounce new Trump move sidelining CDC PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Hill Press   
Thursday, 16 July 2020 09:36

trump-pence-coronavirus-briefingPublic Health experts fear move to bypass CDC may lead to a cover-up.

A Trip Worth Taking Right Here PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jeff Smith, State Senator District 31   
Wednesday, 15 July 2020 19:38

trempealeau-co-bikesWe can enjoy all of the great things Wisconsin has to offer, opportunities to go outdoors and explore in these summer months, while staying safe and social distancing.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 July 2020 20:10
LWVWI Files Brief to Protect Registered Voters from Polling List Purge PDF Print E-mail
Written by League of Women Voters Wisconsin   
Wednesday, 15 July 2020 09:47

gb-vote7-47lineFair voting advocacy group seeks to keep WEC from purging voters from the polling lists based on information provided by the flawed ERIC movers list.

Last Updated on Thursday, 16 July 2020 10:08
League of Women Voters of Greater Green Bay Announce Next Candidate Forum PDF Print E-mail
Written by League of Women Voters of Greater Green Bay   
Monday, 13 July 2020 16:39

univ-student-voteDemocratic Candidates for 90th Assembly District, incumbent Staush Gruszynski and challenger, Kristina Shelton, will face off virtually on Wednesday, July 15, 2020 at 10:00 a.m.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 14 July 2020 18:01
Sen. Hansen Encourages People to Apply for People’s Map Commission PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wisconsin Senate Democrats, Jay Wadd   
Friday, 10 July 2020 12:26

wi-fair-mapsNew Map Commission will give regular people a chance to help draw district boundaries that can be used fairly.

MADISON - State Senator Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) is encouraging constituents who are interested in creating a non-partisan redistricting process and fair maps for future elections to apply to serve on Governor Evers’ People’s Commission on Maps.

dave-hansen-senate“Throughout my efforts to pass non-partisan redistricting in the Legislature I have heard from many constituents who support the idea that the people, not politicians, should be in charge of drawing the legislative maps used in our elections,” said Hansen. “Thanks to Governor Evers’ creation of the People’s Map Commission people will now have a chance to help draw district boundaries that can be used to create fair and competitive elections.”

Governor Evers announced the creation of the People’s Map Commission on Thursday with the goal of having the public draw legislative district maps that are used to elect state legislators. 51 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties support a nonpartisan redistricting process.

capitol-night-wiscWhen Republicans took full control of state government they created one of the worst gerrymanders in the country that locked them into power ever since. They did it cloaked in secrecy even setting up a private office outside the Capitol and requiring their members to sign on-disclosure agreements to hide their scheme from the public.

It was shameful. Their actions showed a complete distrust in the voters and denied the people the ability to elect the candidates they preferred. When people wonder why the issues they care about continue to go unaddressed in Madison it is because the Republicans and their corporate donors don’t support the people or the issues they truly care about.”

Senator Hansen is inviting anyone interested in serving on the commission to fill out an application at the Commission website.

“It’s way past time that the people have their say in how our elections are run. And the first step starts with creating fair, competitive maps that are drawn in an open and transparent way.”

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