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Wis Democracy Campaign “Let’s Start Afresh” PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Matt Rothschild, Wisconsin Democracy Campaign   
Friday, 22 January 2021 11:08

biden-inaugural-addressMADISON - Dear Friend, I hope you’ve had a nice week.

As for me, I’ve been alternating between relief and giddiness since, as you know, I’d been worried about Trump staging a coup for the better part of the last four years.

And I appreciated President Biden’s wise words in his Inaugural Address, as I wrote in an op-ed for the Wisconsin Examiner, which you can see here:

“Let’s start afresh

I was also pleased to publish an op-ed in Urban Milwaukee with Angela Lang, the executive director of BLOC (Black Leaders Organizing in Communities), on why it’s imperative for Wisconsin Republicans to stop repeating the lies about the election and stop inciting the rabble. Here is that column:

A Plea to State Republicans


This week, we kept doing what we do, day in and day out, at the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, and that’s to track the big money in our politics.

Here’s our final tally on the money the Democratic Party of Wisconsin and the Republican Party of Wisconsin hauled in last year:

State Dem Party Raised Nearly 2.5x More Than State GOP in ‘20

And here’s our initial tally on the money being thrown around in the race for school superintendent:

Top Contributors to the Candidates for State School Superintendent

matt-rothschildI hope you have a nice, relaxing weekend after all the turmoil we’ve witnessed and endured over the last four years.

Best,

Matt Rothschild
Executive Director
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P.S. I hope you’ll support the urgent work we do here for a full democracy, where everyone has an equal voice. Donating is easy. Just click here. Or donate the old-fashioned way by sending a check to us at 203 S. Paterson St, Ste 100, Madison WI 53703. We really appreciate it!

 
Gov. Radio Address - Vaccine Eligibility for Wisconsinites 65 and Older PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by GOV Press Wisconsin   
Friday, 22 January 2021 10:47

covid-19-vaccinationMADISON — Gov. Tony Evers delivered the Democratic Radio Address Thursday on vaccine eligibility for Wisconsinites 65 and older, which begins Mon., Jan. 25, 2021.

Audio file of radio address.

Hello, Wisconsin. Governor Tony Evers here.

tony-eversWisconsinites across our state are ready and anxious to get vaccinated and that’s great because that’s how we kick this pandemic to the curb.

That’s why this week we announced starting Monday, January 25th Wisconsinites ages 65 plus will be eligible for the vaccine.

This is great news and will help save lives in one of the populations we know is particularly vulnerable to severe effects of the virus.

Although it’s important to remember that this process is going to take time to get everyone vaccinated, we’re going to move as quickly as we can and we encourage folks who are 65 or older to connect with their primary care provider or find more information at dhs.wisconsin.gov.

The amount of vaccine we get from the federal government will determine how quickly we get through this group of approximately 700,000 Wisconsinites, but our healthcare partners, pharmacies, and local and tribal public health folks are ready and up to the task. They are getting to work with the supplies we do have to get to as many people as possible, as quickly and safely as possible.

Thank you.

 
Legislature must take action on PFAS after latest DNR testing results PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Melissa Agard Press   
Friday, 22 January 2021 10:22

pfas-contaminationDNR Sampling Results Show broader presence of PFAS in Madison Area Lakes


MADISON — Today, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced the presence of elevated levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) in surface water samples taken from Madison-area lakes and along the Yahara River. Senator Melissa Agard (D-Madison) and Representative Samba Baldeh (D-Madison) released the following statements regarding the DNR’s announcement and the need for legislative action:

Senator Melissa Agard:

melissa-sargent“Water is life. We must protect the health and safety of all in our community. This includes taking all the steps we can to ensure that our waterways are clean and that the wildlife that depend on it are protected. The results released today by the DNR should serve as a wake-up call to the GOP as the realization of how pervasive this problem actually is. The fact that PFAS were found in samples in every lake within the Yahara Chain confirms the need for immediate and decisive action. PFAS are not only detrimental to human health, but also environmentally destructive. We must take steps to protect our health and safeguard our communities; it is imperative that everyone have access to clean water.

“Swift action to set comprehensive standards and remediation requirements in our state regarding PFAS pollution must be a priority to all Wisconsinites. Harmful toxins in one of our most fundamental and necessary resources is a great impairment on our communities and wildlife. It is past time to take action to mitigate this basic injustice. I am proud to be a lead author of the CLEAR Act (2019 SB 302) which establishes acceptable levels and standards, monitoring requirements, and response actions of PFAS chemicals that are harmful to our health. There is no time to waste when it comes to the health and safety of our children and families and the natural world. I call on my legislative colleagues to take up this important bill immediately.”

 
Governor's Radio Address - Calling for Bipartisan Compromise COVID-19 Bill PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by GOV Press Wisconsin   
Friday, 15 January 2021 11:58

tony-eversWisconsinites should put politics aside and work together to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.


MADISON - Gov. Tony Evers delivered the Democratic Radio Address on Thursday calling for the Assembly to pass Assembly Bill (AB) 1 as amended and passed by the Senate this week.

Audio file of radio address

Hello, Wisconsin. Governor Tony Evers here.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect our small businesses, workers, students and parents, and the health and safety of our friends and neighbors, I called on the Legislature to pass legislation to address our most pressing COVID-19 response needs.

This week, the Senate passed a bill that—while it's not the compromise we originally proposed—AB 1 as amended by the Senate is a good start to support our state’s response to this pandemic and is a step in the right direction.

I’ve been grateful to work together with Republican Senate Majority Leader LeMahieu to find common ground and pass a bill that reflects a good faith effort to compromise and be bipartisan.

Wisconsinites believe, as I do, that we can and should put politics aside and work together.

I am calling on the Assembly to pass this bill as amended and send it to my desk without delay. Let’s get this done and let’s start this new legislative session and 2021 on the right foot.

Thank you.

Last Updated on Friday, 15 January 2021 18:06
 
Wis Democracy Campaign - 10 Ways to Fend Off the Far Right PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Matt Rothschild, Wisconsin Democracy Campaign   
Friday, 15 January 2021 11:19

trump-insurgency-storm-congressMADISON - Last Saturday, I was invited to speak to the Madison Civics Club. Originally, I was going to talk about how to make democracy work better in Wisconsin. But after the rightwing putsch on Jan. 6, I knew I had to talk about the threat from the far right in our country.

Here’s the video of my talk, which lasts for the first 20 minutes or so. Then there are a few questions and answers, and then Rep. Mark Pocan adds his own insights and his personal experience. The whole thing runs about an hour. I hope you like it:

Madison Civics Club - Rothschild/Pocan

On Monday, I decided to condense my advice, so here’s what I posted:

10 Things You Can Do to Fend Off the Far Right

Please feel free to share these with your friends, who I’m sure are as worried about the fate of our country as you and I are.

matt-rothschild-2018We also posted an item on how the Republican Attorneys General Association, which gets financial support from big Wisconsin companies, urged people to go to Washington for the “Stop the Steal” event. See which companies those were:

Wisconsin Backers of GOP Group That Promoted January 6 Event

I hope you like this week’s offerings.

Best,

Matt Rothschild
Executive Director
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****

P.S. You can count on us to stand up for democracy and to expose those who are intent on destroying it. If you appreciate the urgent work we’re doing, please send us a tax-deductible gift today by clicking here.

 
Green Jobs Bill in first 100 days? Battleground Wisconsin Podcast PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Citizen Action of Wisconsin, Matt Brusky   
Friday, 15 January 2021 11:13

green-jobs-bgwSTATEWIDE - We discuss President Trump’s latest impeachment, shocking new details of his failed insurrection, and the Wisconsin Republicans who are aiding and abetting the violent overthrow of American democracy. We welcome Citizen Action Climate & Equity Director Rafael Smith to discuss a groundbreaking opportunity to pass a large New Deal-style green jobs program (Jobs for Economic Recovery Act) in the first 100 days of the Biden Administration and how you can get involved in making it a reality. The legislation, which has major traction the Senate and House, will put millions of jobless Americans back to work, dramatically improve racial equity and expand opportunity for depressed rural areas.

We also dig into Governor Evers’ State of the State speech and new fissures in the Republican state legislature that resulted in Senate Republicans splitting from the Assembly by cutting a deal with the Governor on COVID-19 relief.

Listen Now – Episode #475
Download Mp3
Press Clips

 
Jaeger Opposed to Sulfide Mining in Wisconsin PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Karl Jaeger, Jaeger For Wisconsin   
Wednesday, 13 January 2021 10:35

metallic-sulfide-mining-runoffAssembly District 89 candidate doesn't want Back 40 Mine in Menominee County or any sulfide mining to endanger our clean water, land, and air.

Read more...
 
Wis Democracy Campaign - We Were Warned! PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Matt Rothschild, Wisconsin Democracy Campaign   
Thursday, 07 January 2021 21:25

trump-insurgents-enterMADISON - Like you, I’m outraged about the mob that ransacked the Capitol yesterday, and I wanted to share with you my thoughts on what happened, so here they are:

I Was Not Surprised by the Mob Assault on the Capitol

As you may know, we’ve been chronicling the threat that Trump has posed to our democracy since he went down that escalator five years ago. When you’ve got the time, you might want to peruse our handy guide on Trump and fascism here:

https://www.wisdc.org/news/trump-and-fascism

Today, I’ve got a couple worries.

First, I’m still very concerned about what Trump might pull in the last 13 days of his term in office if the Cabinet doesn’t remove him via the 25th Amendment, which they should do right now.

And second, I’m worried about his followers. They are fueled not just by a cult of personality but also by appeals to racism, red-baiting, anti-Semitism, irrationalism, and ultra-nationalism. We’ll need to combat those appeals long after Trump has left 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

Here at the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, we’ll be doing all we can to highlight the risk that this authoritarian movement still poses. And we’ll call out those elected officials in Wisconsin who coddle it, among them Ron Johnson, Tom Tiffany, and Scott Fitzgerald.

matt-rothschildAt a time like this, it’s important that all of us join groups that are defending our democracy. If you’ve not yet become a member of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, please do so now by clicking here.

Or join other groups like the ACLU, the League of Women Voters, Public Citizen, Stacey Abrams’s group Fair Fight, or any number of organizations that are doing great work.

Get involved. You can’t combat the anti-democracy forces alone, but together we can preserve, defend, and expand our democracy so that everyone has an equal voice and so that no one has to see a day like yesterday ever again.

Best,

Matt Rothschild
Executive Director
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Citizen Action on Charging Decision in Shooting of Jacob Blake PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Citizen Action of Wisconsin Press   
Thursday, 07 January 2021 10:16

kenosha-jacob-blake-shooting-wsjMilwaukee: Late yesterday afternoon Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley announced his decision not to criminally charge the police officer who shot Jacob Blake seven times in the back this summer.

Citizen Action of Wisconsin stands in solidarity with Jacob Blake, his family and friends, hundreds of thousands of protesters across the country fighting for racial justice, and every person who loves humanity and is demanding real action to address America’s structurally racist criminal justice system.

As the Wisconsin Examiner reported: “Michael Graveley said his role was only to make a narrow legal decision over whether there was probable cause that the officers committed a crime.” Gravely and many legal analysts point out that it is extremely difficult to prove that a police officer in a shooting did not act in self defense, whether or not it's true.

This means that the laws and legal precedents that have created the current self-defense standard have racist impact, as Black people continue to be shot and killed by law enforcement officers without legal consequences. This is a threat to the entire justice system, which cannot operate effectively when large segments of society justifiably do not have faith in its decisions.

Michelle Alexander’s penetratingly eloquent The New Jim Crow and Ibram X. Kendi’s brilliant pair of books Stamped from the Beginning and How to Be an Antiracist, call for every moral person to use their power to disrupt and unwind structural racism.

While DA Gravely may well be right that the case is unwinnable under current standards, this does not absolve him of moral responsibility. In the era of slavery and Jim Crow, heroic attorneys filed cases and DAs pressed charges that they knew would be shot down by a racist legal system. We should expect no less today.

Graveley’s decision also passes on responsibility to lawmakers, who have the power to create a legal system where black lives matter and everyone is truly equal under the law. But so far Wisconsin’s state leaders  have not proposed or pursued effective action up to the scale of the problem.

For Professor Kendi, one can’t meet his definition of antiracist without both recognizing the deep racism in our society and in each of us, and taking effective action to replace racist structures. For him the defining mark of antracism is effective deeds, not words or personal reflection. All those with substantial power such as our political leaders, corporate leaders, and at a lesser level of power nonprofit leaders, and every person with love in their hearts for all humanity must do more

Citizen Action asks every elected leader, and every person within the sound of our voice with influence over these leaders, to take meaningful steps to unwind the structural racism that made the murder of George Floyd and the shooting of Jacob Blake possible. Meanwhile, our thoughts and prayers are with Jacob Blake and his family.

Last Updated on Saturday, 09 January 2021 10:21
 
Democrats on Kenosha DA's Announcement of No Charges in Jacob Blake Case PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Courtney Beyer   
Wednesday, 06 January 2021 16:54

jacob-blakeJacob Blake was shot seven times in the back and paralyzed by Kenosha police. Our laws fall miles short of adding up to a system of justice.


MADISON - The following is a statement from Democratic Party of Wisconsin chair Ben Wikler on the Kenosha County District Attorney’s office decision to pursue no charges in the police shooting of Kenosha resident Jacob Blake this August:

kenosha-jacob-blake-shooting-wsj“The safety of every Wisconsinite, regardless of race, must be at the center of our laws, and violation of that safety must lead to accountability. This is not justice. Not for Jacob Blake, who was shot seven times in the back and paralyzed by Kenosha police. Not for his children, who will be forever traumatized by the violence they witnessed that day. And not for the Black community in Wisconsin, which has seen their lives systemically devalued at the hands of police for years without accountability. Today’s decision is yet another gut punch to those who have been organizing and protesting in defense of Black lives.

“Our justice system falls excruciatingly short of its promise of equal protection under the law for all Americans, and our laws fall miles short of adding up to a system of justice. Wisconsin, with some of the worst racial disparities in the nation, has incurred a particular debt to the Black community that continues to grow. If our laws do not prevent or address injustice, it is time to change them. We must fight for a just, equitable, and anti-racist Wisconsin. Black lives matter.”

Last Updated on Friday, 08 January 2021 17:04
 
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