July 17, 2018

In literature Science Fiction takes current trends and shows through exaggeration where, if left unchecked, they may lead us. George Orwell's novel, 1984 was published in 1949 but returned to the best-seller lists in 2017. The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood, published in 1985 is not only back on the best-seller list but is also a successful television show. They both speak to today's conflicts and the decimation of societal norms.

I mention this because I recently saw Boots Riley new film, Sorry to Bother You. Yes, it is a comedy but it has the same power as 1984 and The Handmaid's Tale. Here in Wisconsin, we see state Republicans extolling our low unemployment but hear nothing about the stagnant salaries, shrinking middle class, and safety nets under attack.  Much like Jonathan Swift's A Modest Proposal, Riley presents a chilling solution, the return of slavery albeit marketed as a safe existence free from the worries of providing for oneself and one's family.

Orwell and Atwood did not provide a roadmap for averting potential catastrophic outcomes but we have one -- VOTE. 

So that you can be an informed voter, here is our first piece from one of November's candidates, Emily Siegrist who is running in the 24th Assembly district.

I have had the privilege to work in the medical field for about 15 years, in diverse roles including combat medic in the National Guard, dialysis technician, registered nurse, and now as a Nurse Practitioner. I have worked in emergency departments, free clinics and primary care clinics targeting underserved, marginalized and medically vulnerable populations.  Now I have decided to run for state assembly in the 24th district. Why? Because I have seen the economic and physical hardship that comes from a lack of health insurance or a lack of access to care, and I want to build a Wisconsin that ensures this basic human right for our future generations.  The state legislature needs to act to expand BadgerCare to all Wisconsinites.  
Health insurance provided by an employer has been the norm in this country since the years following the Great Depression.  During times when healthcare costs were relatively low, this was a viable solution.  As costs have risen, employers have sought to limit coverage and shift more of the cost to their employees.  Additionally, some employers have cut employee hours and reclassified employees as independent contractors to limit or deny benefits.  The current employer mandate clause of the Affordable Care Act applies to companies of 50 or more full time employees, defined as 30 or more hours a week.  This leaves nearly 100 million Americans between the ages of 18 and 64 to purchase health insurance in an open market.  The costs for such plans can be unconscionably high - a friend of our family living in River Hills has seen her premiums double in the past 3 years, and she now finds herself spending more for her family’s health insurance than her mortgage.   
Forgoing health insurance is simply not a reasonable option.  Uninsured people who find themselves with a significant illness can easily see their life savings and retirement accounts wiped out from medical bills in the blink of an eye.  An emergency coronary artery bypass surgery averages nearly $100,000 in the US, not including the aftercare or the weeks off from work for recovery.  Intensive care units routinely charge $3,000-5,000 per day, not including physician and pharmacy costs.  Treatments like bone marrow and solid organ transplantation are so expensive that insurance is considered a prerequisite before treatment can be seriously discussed.  Medical debt is the #1 cause of personal bankruptcy filings in the United States.
For those who are uninsured, costs are also less likely to correspond to quality care.  Without insurance, most people are reliant on emergency departments to receive care.  Emergency rooms are expensive and cannot be expected to take ownership of managing chronic problems.  Primary care clinics are ideally suited to just that purpose, but without insurance, many patients do not have access to a primary care physician.  Very manageable conditions (hypertension, diabetes) that are ignored will eventually and inevitably worsen, and the complications that ensue (strokes, heart attacks, kidney failure) are catastrophic both physically and economically.  Prevention is unquestionably better than trying to put the toothpaste back in the tube.  
BadgerCare was originally introduced in 1999 to provide coverage for families with uninsured children during the transition from welfare to the workforce.  It is currently available to anyone in the state earning less than 185% of the federal poverty limit, plus some select other groups.  Coupled with recent expansion in coverage under the ACA, Legislation currently tabled in the Madison would seek to expand BadgerCare+ to offer it as a coverage option for all Wisconsinites, regardless of income.  This expansion is in our collective best interest.  Premiums would benefit from an “economy of scale” and be highly competitive with commercial plans.  We would be promoting the health of Wisconsin’s workforce, leading to fewer lost hours and greater productivity.  We would be able to contain costs by helping to develop the medical infrastructure that guides medically vulnerable people from the emergency departments to primary care offices.  We will reduce the public cost of complications of chronic disease by focusing on evidence-based management and prevention.  
It seems unlikely that this legislation will see a fair debate in the State Senate or State Assembly.  it is indefinitely tabled. In limbo.  Rotting on the vine.  The current proposal from the majority parties in those bodies, as well as Governor Walker, is for the state to defray the cost of health care premiums for low-income Wisconsinites by providing subsidies directly to the private insurers.  This is nothing more than business as usual and will do nothing to contain costs or expand coverage.  Please contact your state senator, your state assembly representative, the governor’s office.  Tell them that you want BadgerCare for All to be considered in their next legislative session.  

EVENTS

Tues July 17, 2018

Incarceration and Family, 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Daniels Conference Center, 3466 W. Hampton Ave., Milwaukee
State Senator LaTonya Johnson presents this Empower-MKE event, titled 53206: A Discussion on Incarceration and the Family. There will be a presentation by UW-Madison Professors Lawrence Berger and Mike Massoglia, followed by time for questions and answers.
https://www.facebook.com/events/2055119851421414/

Wed July 18, 2018

Refuel the Resistance, 5 pm - 8 pm
Bounce Milwaukee, 2801 S. 5th Ct., Milwaukee
Weekly gathering at Bounce Milwaukee's mezzanine bar for networking, inspiration or just to vent. Bring along any evidence of your civic, resistance from the last week to get a beverage (up to $7) on the house, and compare notes with other individuals and groups working to make things better. More information.

Drinking Liberally Wauwatosa, 6 pm - 9 pm
Red Dot, 6715 W North Ave, Wauwatosa
Come join fellow Wauwatosa progressives for good conversation. http://livingliberally.org/drinking/chapters/WI/Wauwatosa

Southwest Region Dems Meeting, 7 pm  
Studz Pub Sports Bar & Grill, 6833 W. National Ave., West Allis
NOTE NEW DATE AND PERMANENT LOCATION. Southwest Dems will hold their monthly meeting. Region 5 covers Franklin, Greendale, Greenfield, Hales Corners, Milwaukee (Southwest), West Allis, West Milwaukee. For more information contact southwestdems@gmail.com.

Thurs July 19, 2018

Restoring Driver's Licenses, 6 pm - 7 pm
Voces de la Frontera, 1027 S. 5th St., Milwaukee
In the 2019 Wisconsin legislative session, State Representatives JoCasta Zamarripa and David Crowley will introduce legislation to ensure that the right to drive in Wisconsin is not denied to anyone based on their immigration status or income. They will be special guests at this community forum where Voces de la Frontera will plan the fight to restore driver licenses for immigrants in Wisconsin!  More information on the driver's license situation:
https://www.facebook.com/events/413524242482399/

Andy Lamb Meet and Greet, 6:30 pm - 8 pm
The home of Mark and Eilene Stevens, Bayside 
To rsvp and get the location email Eilene at eilene.stevens@gmail.com

Thomas Frank Author Event, 6:30 pm 
Shorewood Public Library, 3920 N. Murray Ave., Shorewood
Thomas Frank, the acclaimed political analyst, historian, journalist, and author of Listen, Liberal! and What’s the Matter with Kansas? will talk about his new book, Rendezvous with Oblivion: Reports from a Sinking Society. Inequality has manifested itself in our cities, jobs, travel, and politics, where in 2016, millions of ordinary people rallied to the presidential campaign of a billionaire who meant them no good. These accounts of folly and exploitation are unified by Frank’s distinctive voice, sardonic wit, and anti-orthodox perspective. They capture a society where every status signifier is hollow, the allure of mobility is a con game, and rebellion often yields nothing.

Milwaukee County Fundraisers for Kathleen Vinehout, 7 pm - 9 pm
Art Bar, 722 E Burleigh St, Milwaukee, WI 53212
This is a great opportunity to visit with Kathleen, learn more about her, introduce her to friends or family that are on the fence, and show your support for this exceptional lawmaker who will be an outstanding governor!

Milwaukee County Fundraisers for Kathleen Vinehout, 7 pm - 9 pm
336 Wisconsin Avenue, Waukesha, WI
Monthly Membership Meeting.

Fri July 20, 2018

"Why We Fight" Film, 6 pm 
Peace Action, 1001 E. Keefe Ave., Milwaukee
Eugene Jarecki’s 2005 acclaimed documentary describes the rise of the U. S. military–industrial complex and its 50-year involvement in the wars led by the U.S., especially the 2003 Invasion of Iraq. Discussion after the film. Free and open to all interested. Sponsored by End the Wars Committee of Peace Action-WI.

Sat July 21, 2018

NAACP Monthly Meeting, 11 am - 1 pm
2745 N. Dr. Martin Luther King Dr., Milwaukee
The monthly membership meeting of NAACP Milwaukee Branch. The meeting is held in the basement conference room.

Stand for Peace, 12 pm - 1 pm
Varies.
Find the week's location here.
Stand for peace in the streets of Milwaukee, every Saturday at noon. Organized by the United Nations Association of Milwaukee, Peace/Conflict Committee.

Mon July 23, 2018

CANDIDATES FORUM, Assembly District 23, 6:30 pm 
Whitefish Bay Public Library, 5420 N. Marlborough Dr., Whitefish Bay
Hosted by OFA Whitefish Bay and moderated by the League of Women Voters.
For more information:
Contact Paul Geenen at paul.geenen9@gmail.com.

Tues July 24, 2018

Earnell Lucas Meet and Greet,  6 pm - 7:30
4845 N. Newhall Street, Whitefish Bay, WI
For additional information please contact Shirley at shirley.horowitz@att.net

Shared Values Unity Gathering, 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Wauwatosa Library, Firefly Room, 7635 W. North Ave., Wauwatosa
Sandy Zellmer will discuss the August 14 primary and November 6 general elections. Candidates who will speak: Tom Palzewicz, Congress (Sensenbrenner's seat); Julie Henszey, State Senate (Vukmir's seat); Robyn Beckley Vining, State Assembly District 14 (Kooyenga's seat); Dennis McBride, State Assembly District 13 (Hutton's seat); Danielle Shelton, Milwaukee County Circuit Court (Dallet's vacated seat); Earnell Lucas, Milwaukee CountySheriff. Coordinated campaign field organizer Emily Firlinger will give updates. Literature will also be available for other candidates.  RSVP:  Sandy Zellmer  zelltosa@sbcglobal.net or 414-315-0291/LM

Fall of Wisconsin: Author Event, 7 pm 
Boswell Book Co., 2559 N. Downer Ave., Milwaukee
Wisconsin native Dan Kaufman chronicles one of the most dramatic political upheavals in the country. The Fall of Wisconsin is a searing account of how the state’s progressive tradition was undone and turned into a model for national conservatives. The book is a deeply reported, neither sentimental nor despairing, account of the remarkable efforts of citizens fighting to reclaim Wisconsin’s progressive legacy against tremendous odds.

Wed July 25, 2018

Lt. Governor Candidate Forum, 6 pm - 8:30 pm
First Unitarian Society of Milwaukee, 1342 N. Astor St, Milwaukee
Candidates for Lieutenant Governor will participate. The event is hosted by The African American Roundtable, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort, Progressive Moms of Wisconsin, Mothers Against Gun Violence, and the Social Justice Council of the First Unitarian Society of Milwaukee. Questions from the audience will be accepted.  RSVP (space is limited)

Refuel the Resistance, 5 pm - 8 pm
Bounce Milwaukee, 2801 S. 5th Ct., Milwaukee
Weekly gathering at Bounce Milwaukee's mezzanine bar for networking, inspiration or just to vent. Bring along any evidence of your civic, resistance from the last week to get a beverage (up to $7) on the house, and compare notes with other individuals and groups working to make things better. More information.

Drinking Liberally Glendale, 7 pm 
Bar Louie, 5750 N. Bayshore Dr., Glendale
Drinking Liberally Glendale meets on the last Wednesday of the month. Come drink a beverage or two of your choice and talk about Liberal stuff.

Thurs July 26, 2018

Kathleen Vinehout Fundraiser, 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Lake Bluff Condominiums, Community room, 1300 N. Prospect Ave., Milwaukee
Description: Join State Senator Kathleen Vinehout, Democratic candidate for Governor, to hear her vision for a better Wisconsin and tell her what issues are important to you. Host $1,000 Patron $500 Friend $250 Suggested contribution $100 RSVP: Campaign coordinator, 262-470-3956

Fri July 27, 2018

Beyond Sherman Park, 6:30 pm -  pm
Parklawn Assembly of God, 3725 N. Sherman Blvd., Milwaukee
Beyond Sherman Park: Join the conversation and interact with community leaders, government officials, and local journalists. Hosts include Milwaukee PBS's Portia Young and WUWM's LaToya Dennis. Discussion starts at 7 pm. Free and open to the public. Note: the program is being recorded and will be broadcast on Milwaukee PBS 10 and WUWM Radio 89.7 FM on August 10 at 8am.
RSVP: milwaukeepbs.org (ticket holders get priority seating)

Gubernatorial Debate, 7 pm 
Radio and Television
The Wisconsin Broadcasters Association Foundation will present a debate among the Democratic candidates for governor. The broadcast may be carried on radio and television stations around Wisconsin.

Sat July 28, 2018

Community Brainstorming, 8 am - 11 am
St. Matthew CME Church, 2944 N. 9th St., Milwaukee
Community Brainstorming Conference Breakfast Forum Breakfast: 8 am, Program: 9 am All Are Invited, Come and Participate.  http://www.communitybrainstorming.org/.

Stand for Peace, 12 pm - 1 pm
Varies.
Find the week's location here.
Stand for peace in the streets of Milwaukee, every Saturday at noon. Organized by the United Nations Association of Milwaukee, Peace/Conflict Committee.

 


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