We won but there's still a lot to do

This week I want to call your attention to two important programs sponsored or co-sponsored by Grassroots North Shore; an update on where we stand with gerrymandering (the practice of drawing voting districts to favor a specific outcome); and the effects of the partial government shutdown. In all three areas, I urge you to take some action.

Upcoming Grassroots North Shore Events

On Wednesday, January 30, we are co-sponsoring a forum entitled "Beyond the Budget: Our Wisconsin Priorities." Chris Rahlf, who ran against GOP incumbent Robert Brooks for the 60th Assembly seat, has organized a program with Representatives Jonathan Brostoff, David Bowen, and Evan Goyke that will give us a preview of what to expect now that the five constitutional offices are occupied by Democrats but the legislature remains controlled by the GOP. We will meet at the Brown Deer United Methodist Church, 5736 W Brown Deer Rd, Brown Deer WI 53223. Please RSVP. Doors open at 5:45pm with the program from 6-8pm. There is ample parking behind the church.

We are also holding our "Winter Warmup and Annual Meeting" on Sunday, February 10, at the North Shore Presbyterian Church (4048 N Bartlett Ave, Shorewood WI 53211). We'll be serving a sloppy joe dinner with all the trimmings. Plus we'll hold our annual meeting, bringing you up to date on what the organization will be doing as we get ready for the elections in 2020, and electing a slate of officers each of whom will serve for a two-year term. Please RSVP so we will know how many sloppy joes and other treats to serve.

Gerrymandering as a National and a State Issue

The revised Whitford case is due to be argued in April 2019 in front of the same three judges who ruled the Wisconsin maps an unconstitutional gerrymander in November 2017. From there it will be appealed, no doubt, back to the US Supreme Court, though that step might depend on how SCOTUS rules on the cases from North Carolina and Maryland that it has agreed to hear during this term. Stay tuned for more updates on this issue.

Meanwhile here are two great articles on the state of the issue nationally. Nicholas Stephanopoulos has posted a great piece about H.R. 1 and Redistricting Commissions. (H.R.1 is the first piece of legislation a House of Representatives controlled by Democrats passed.) And here's a sobering look at the issue now that we have a truly conservative US Supreme Court: Will 2019 bring an end to partisan gerrymandering?

Locally, this issue is included in the lawsuits a collection of groups have filed to challenge the laws the GOP legislature passed and ex-governor Walker signed in December 2018. See the Journal Sentinel article "Groups file lawsuit seeking to void laws passed during Wisconsin's lame-duck session."

The Fair Maps coalition, of which we are a member, will be asking supporters to contact Governor Evers to urge him (politely and gently) to include money in the bienniel budget he will propose in February to begin planning for the redistricting that will take place in 2021. Nothing is more important to the health of democracy in WI than fair electoral maps so that voters can choose their legislators rather than legislators choosing their voters. Wisconsin does not provide citizens with the ability to pass binding resolutions to accomplish this goal. But there is good reason to believe that Democrats, Republicans, and Independents alike support nonpartisan redistricting. Forty-one of our 72 counties have passed such resolutions, most of them supporting our current *president. So write or call Governor Evers:

Partial Federal Government Shutdown

The Trump Shutdown is now the longest government shutdown in history. Trump has repeatedly refused to accept a bipartisan deal to reopen the government, and McConnell refuses to bring legislation to the floor, which would easily pass the Senate.

Despite strong bipartisan support, Trump continues to hold workers’ paychecks hostage. Trump said that he was “very proud” of what he’s doing and that he could keep the government shut down for years.

Here is an article from CNN that catalogues some of the ill effects: "Federal Shutdown Effects: 81 and Counting." And an article from NBC News that featured a woman in WI who has rationed her (necessary) insulin to try to manage the financial effects of the furlough: "Federal Worker Forced to Ration Insulin because of Government Shutdown."

Perhaps our Republican Senator, Ron Johnson, needs to know how we feel about the shutdown in general and Mallory Lorge's dilemma in particular. Senator Johnson has three offices in Wisconsin and one in D.C. Let him know by phone that we expect him to pressure Majority Leader McConnell to bring the House bills up for a vote and that we expect Senator Johnson to vote for opening the government and restoring back pay for all those furloughed (including contract workers, assuming some system for identifying them can be devised).

Ron Johnson's offices:
phone: (202) 224-5323 (DC); (414) 276-7282 (Milwaukee); (920) 230-7250 (Oshkosh); (608) 240-9629 (Madison)
email form: https://www.ronjohnson.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/email-the-senator

Wed Jan 16, 2019

Health Commissioner Press Club Event, 11:45am - 1:30pm
Newsroom Pub, 137 E. Wells St., Milwaukee

Jeanette Kowalik, Milwaukee’s Health Commissioner, will be the featured speaker at a Newsmaker Luncheon, sponsored by the Medical College of Wisconsin. Kowalik, who holds a doctorate in health sciences from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, will take questions from a panel of journalists and from the audience at the luncheon.The cost to attend is $20 for MPC members, $25 for non-members, $15 forstudents. Lunch is included. Advance registration and payment are required. RSVP, payment, and more information.

Refuel the Resistance, 5pm - 8pm
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.

District 3 School Board Forum, 6pm - 7:30pm
Atkinson Library, 1960 W. Atkinson Ave., Milwaukee

Milwaukee students, staff, parents and community members are invited to meet the candidates for the Milwaukee Public Schools Board of Directors in District 3, Catrina Crane and Sequanna Taylor. Doors open at 6pm, forum 6:30 - 7:30. Sponsored by Parents for Public School of Milwaukee/PPSMKE, the Hmong American Women's Association/HAWA, Schools and Communities United/SCU and Leaders Igniting Transformation/LIT. More info.

Drinking Liberally Wauwatosa, 6pm - 9pm
Walter's, 6930 W. North Ave., Wauwatosa

Come join fellow Wauwatosa progressives for good conversation. More info.

Southwest Region Dems Meeting, 7pm - 7pm
Studz Pub Sports Bar & Grill, 6833 W. National Ave., West Allis

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.

Sat Jan 19, 2019

Voces de la Frontera Annual Assembly, 9am - 3pm
South Division High School, 1515 W. Lapham St., Milwaukee

Annual Assembly of Voces de la Frontera, including elections for the Statewide Coordinating Committee and charting a course for 2019 through dialogue and strategic planning. The meeting is open to the public. Childcare, lunch and snacks will be provided. More information and registration.

Rohingya Genocide in Burma, 10am - 12pm
Redeemer Lutheran Church, 631 N. 19th St., Milwaukee

The United Nations Association of Greater Milwaukee will present a program outlining the genocide going on in Burma against the Rohingya people. The executive director of the Rohingya American Society in Milwaukee and a UWM student member of the group will speak. Since 1982, the Rohingya people have been denied citizenship and basic human rights both inside their native Burma and in refugee camps throughout southeast Asia. Violence and oppression in Burma have forced many Rohingya to flee to neighboring Thailand and Bangladesh, where they live in abject poverty and where many die each year from disease and starvation. Free and open to the public.

Women's March / Madison, 10am - 4pm
State Capitol, Madison

Women are outraged, organized, and will be back on the steps of the Capitol — with a legislative agenda — to resist and put an end to oppression in all its forms. More info.

NAACP Monthly Meeting, 11:30am - 1pm
2745 N. Dr. Martin Luther King Dr., Milwaukee

Monthly membership meeting of NAACP Milwaukee Branch. The meeting is held in the basement conference room.

Stand for Peace, 12pm - 1pm
Swan Boulevard (92nd) & North Avenue, Wauwatosa

Stand for peace in the streets of Milwaukee, every Saturday at noon. Organized by the United Nations Association of Milwaukee, Peace/Conflict Committee.

Mon Jan 21, 2019

Martin Luther King Day Program, 1pm - 2:30pm
St. Francis of Assisi Church, 1927 N. Vel Phillips Ave., Milwaukee

The 18th Annual Martin Luther King Day Justice Program and March, honoring community members who have risked arrest following King's call for nonviolent civil disobedience. Guest Performers: Singer Kelana Williams, Musician David Nunley, Jazz Saxophonist Juli Wood, Actor DiMonte Henning. Speakers: Alderperson Milele Coggs, Joyce Ellwanger & George Martin. The program will be followed by a march to the Dr. King statue (3 blocks) and open microphone to reflect on Dr. King's message. Sponsored by the Martin Luther King Justice Coalition.

Wed Jan 23, 2019

On the Issues: Flint Water, 12:15pm - 1:15pm
Marquette University, Eckstein Hall, 1215 W. Michigan St., Milwaukee

By now, many Americans have heard about what happened to municipal water supply in Flint, Michigan. But why did it happen? Anna Clark’s new book, The Poisoned City, sheds light on why Flint experienced a public health crisis. The New York Times calls it “[a] comprehensive chronicle of the crisis — with an eye for the institutional corruption and indifference that enabled it.” RSVP required.

Excessive Supervision Forum, 5pm - 8pm
Wisconsin African American Women's Center, 3020 W. Vliet St., Milwaukee

This special event will include a presentation on Columbia University Justice Lab's paper on mass supervision in Wisconsin and a panel discussion featuring people who have been directly impacted by Wisconsin's horrific, racist system of mass supervision. The community forum will be followed by a state budget advocacy training led by organizers with WISDOM, EXPO, JustLeadershipUSA, and the ACLU of Wisconsin. Supper will be served after the community forum. More info.

Poisoned City: Flint Water, 5pm - 6pm
Weasler Auditorium, Marquette University, 1506 W. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee

Marquette Forum presents award-winning journalist Anna Clark, who has covered the Flint, Michigan water scandal from its beginnings, for a talk about her account of the crisis in The Poisoned City: Flint's Water and the American Urban Tragedy. Registration (required).

Refuel the Resistance, 5pm - 8pm
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.

Care Crisis, Long Term, 5:30pm - 8pm
Independence First, 540 S, First St., Milwaukee

A community conversation around the shortage of direct home care workers. Come to this free event and learn more about the workforce crisis. 5:30 Doors open/Refreshments, 6:00-8:00 PM Program. Please contact Karen Kirsch at 414-588-0927 V/Relay with your disability-related accommodation requests by 1/9/19. IndependenceFirst will do its best to honor requests made after this date. RSVP.

District 8 School Board Forum, 6pm - 7:30pm
Bay View Library, 2566 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., Milwaukee

Milwaukee students, staff, parents and community members are invited to meet the candidates for the Milwaukee Public Schools Board of Directors in District 8, Kathryn Gabor, Megan O'Halloran, and Derek Beyer. Doors open at 6pm, forum 6:30 - 7:30. Sponsored by Parents for Public School of Milwaukee/PPSMKE, the Hmong American Women's Association/HAWA, Schools and Communities United/SCU and Leaders Igniting Transformation/LIT. (Unlike other districts, there WILL be a primary election for these candidates on February 19.) More info.

Drinking Liberally Glendale, 6:30pm - 9pm
Bar Louie, 5750 N. Bayshore Dr., Glendale

Drinking Liberally Glendale meets on the fourth Wednesday of the month. Come drink a beverage or two of your choice and talk about Liberal stuff. More information.

Sat Jan 26, 2019

Community Brainstorming, 8am - 11am
St. Matthew CME Church, 2944 N. 9th St., Milwaukee

Community Brainstorming Conference Breakfast Forum. Breakfast: 8 am, Program: 9 am. "While Black: Racial Harassment and Surveillance in Milwaukee and Beyond." Panel: David Bowen, WI State Representative, District 10; Dynasty Caesar, Running Rebels, Youth Representative; Reggie Jackson, Black Holocaust Museum; director and griot Dalila Negreiros, perspective from Brazil, PhD. student. Moderator: Dr. Ruth Russell, Chair: Hon. Russell Stamper Sr. All Are Invited, Come and Participate.

Stand for Peace, 12pm - 1pm
Martin Luther King Drive & North Avenue, Milwaukee

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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