Will You Help Tricia Zunker Win?

Does working to elect Tricia Zunker in the 7th Congressional District special election a week from today seems somehow less important than other things in your life these days? Well, think again. Not only is it important in its own right to recapture David Obey's former seat in Congress. It's important to help elect former VP Joe Biden — or at least prevent the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. in D.C. from being reinstalled by an act of Congress.

So, supposing there is an Electoral College tie as a result of the November 3 election. How does the election get resolved? The House of Representatives, that's how. Each state's delegation gets one vote. As currently constituted, Wisconsin's delegation — four Republicans and three Democrats — would undoubtedly cast its vote for he-who-shall-not-be-named. But it's the NEWLY ELECTED HOUSE that will vote on January 6, the new members having been sworn in on January 3. And that's why the winner of the 7th CD election is so important. If Zunker wins, the state delegation will be evenly split between Democrats and Republicans (barring an upset victory in one of the other congressional districts on November 3). You can read all about it on the 270 to Win website.

The moral of the story, as you know: elections matter. Still, in order to win gerrymandered districts like the 7th Congressional District, we absolutely must turn out every voter we can. The last day for voters to request absentee ballots is Thursday, May 7. After that date, we will be doing what's known as "ballot chasing." Not only will we be calling every Democrat in the district. We will be calling everyone who requested an absentee ballot to make sure they received it and to urge that they return it as soon as possible.

You can choose whether to use the ThruTalk Dialer — that's a system that makes the calls through your computer and displays a 608 area code to the recipient — or to use the Open VPB software — that's a system that displays the name and phone number of the person you are to call and then you dial the number using your own phone. Either system works, but the Dialer is faster and more efficient. Both systems record responses on the screen so no one needs to enter any data manually. For right now, you will be calling voters who have not yet requested absentee ballots. I hope you will choose one and devote at least a couple hours to this effort. The simplest way to get started is to visit a page of instructions and links the Democratic Party of Wisconsin has put together. If for some reason, that page does not work for you, here are links to the dialer, the script the dialer uses, to a video of training to use the dialer (the password is 1K!AV859), to the most recent OpenVPB, and a brief guide for using the OpenVPB. Please sign up to call but before you do, learn a little about Tricia Zunker and her campaign.

There is at least raw data suggesting that voting in person on April 7 resulted in an increase in covid-19 cases with this caveat: we don't yet have enough data to make the causal connection yet. But the correlational connection is certainly visible in the graph a Daily Kos blogger has produced. So it's a good idea to continue to use absentee ballots if at all possible. Grassroots North Shore has published an extensive "how-to" guide for using myvote.wi.gov to request absentee ballots for the August 11 and November 3 elections. At the end of the text you will also find links to two videos that also walk the viewer through the process. And the Politics/Elections/Campaigns committee of GRNS is working to ensure that the seven communities in Milwaukee County's North Shore provide a request form to every registered voter. Shorewood seems likely to provide a printed copy and a detailed voter guide in the quarterly publication that it sends to all residents. Both Bayside and Whitefish Bay mailed request forms to all registered voters for the April election and River Hills seems to have done so by email. We hope these villages will do so again. Glendale is going to discuss the effort at its May 11 City Council meeting. So that leaves Brown Deer and Fox Point as the odd villages out. We'll be working on them!

Our strategy for reaching voters in Ozaukee County will rely on targeted postcards. Starting in a couple of weeks, we will be organizing volunteers to write postcards to likely Democratic voters in the county, urging them to request absentee ballots and to support Democratic candidates down the whole ballot. Assembly districts, a state senate district, and a congressional representative will be elected in November. We need to elect strong progressives to the state legislature as well as to the US Congress. If you want to help us reach voters in Ozaukee County, contact me at nancyannkaplan@gmail.com, or Norma Gilson to let us know. And whether you can volunteer to write postcards or not, we need your financial support for this project.

Meanwhile, the news on the coronavirus front is grim. An unreleased CDC report with data modeled by FEMA and obtained by the New York Times anticipates an explosion of covid-19 cases over the next few weeks and on into the summer. Although there is some reason for skepticism about the numbers (see the piece by Josh Marshall on Talking Points Memo), the document predicts that the count of new cases will rapidly balloon to 200,000 per day and the death toll will reach 3,000 per day by June 1 — a mere three weeks from now. Naturally, the White House claimed the model was faulty. Regardless, Wisconsin cases continue to climb in spite of the "Safer at Home" measures we have taken. In other words, we need to redouble our efforts at social distancing and block our ears to the shouted (and armed!) demands that economic activity be resumed immediately. The Wisconsin plan — The Badger Bounce Back — is available on the Department of Health Services website. So far, the state is meeting only one of the seven criteria for renewing full economic activity. Two others do not yet have enough data to evaluate their status.

Again this week, the events list is slim and many entries announce cancellations or suspensions. A few look as if they might be happening despite the "Safer at Home" order but I can't be sure. They're still on the calendars on which the list is based but it would be prudent to call ahead before attending. The one event with no contact information is the meeting of the DPMC Issues Committee. The chair of that committee has been ill and so may not have updated the listing. I doubt that the meeting will take place since the Amalgamated Transit Union Building where it is scheduled to take place is of course closed.

Tue May 5, 2020

Virtual Drinking Liberally MKE, 6:30pm - 6:30pm
Zoom

Drinking Liberally MKE will meet virtually. Download the Zoom app, for free, on a computer or phone. At 6:30 join the virtual happy hour. More information and Zoom link.

Wed May 6, 2020

Info: Refuel the Resistance, 6pm - 8pm
Bounce Milwaukee, 2801 S. 5th Ct., Milwaukee

Bounce is currently open for delivery and carryout. Refuel the Resistance is canceled for now. More information.

Town Hall: Protect the Vote, 6pm - 6pm
Online

Join this town hall with Assembly Democrats for a discussion on making voting safe in the upcoming elections. You will have an opportunity to submit questions during the town hall or post questions in advance here. Register.

Thu May 7, 2020

DPMC Issues Committee Meeting, 4:30pm - 4:30pm
Amalgamated Transit Union, 734 N. 26th St., Milwaukee

The Democratic Party's Issues Committee holds its meeting on the first Thursday of each month. All Democrats are welcome to participate.

Fri May 8, 2020

CBC Virtual Town Hall: Educators, 2pm - 3pm
Online

A Telephone Town Hall with Educators, presented by the Congressional Black Caucus as part of a series on the current crisis. Hosted by Rep. Bobby Scott (VA-03), Chair of the House Committee on Education and Labor. (Recorded earlier town halls are available at the link below.) RSVP.

Sat May 9, 2020

Phone Bank for May 12 Special Election, 9am - 6pm
Online

Call from home! Contact voters in the 7th Congressional District to make sure they can vote in the safest way possible to elect Tricia Zunker in the special election to replace Sean Duffy. Shifts are 9:00am-12:00pm, 12:00pm-3:00pm and 3: 00pm-6:00pm. Sign up.

UN Assn of MKE, 10am - 12pm
Redeember Lutheran Church, 631 N. 19th St., Milwaukee

This meeting is presumed to be postponed for the time being. More information.

Stand for Peace, 12pm - 1pm
Suspended

In light of the governor's Stay at Home Order, Peace Action Stands for Peace have been suspended until the order is lifted. Stand for peace in the streets of Milwaukee, every Saturday at noon. Organized by Peace Action Wisconsin.

Laughing Liberally Milwaukee, 8pm - 10pm
Comedy Sportz Theater, 420 S. 1st St., Milwaukee

Laughing Liberally Milwaukee is presumed to be canceled for the time being. More info.

Sun May 10, 2020

Phone Bank for May 12 Special Election, 9am - 6pm
Online

Call from home! Contact voters in the 7th Congressional District to make sure they can vote in the safest way possible to elect Tricia Zunker in the special election to replace Sean Duffy. Shifts are 9:00am-12:00pm, 12:00pm-3:00pm and 3: 00pm-6:00pm. Sign up.

Mon May 11, 2020

Phone Bank for May 12 Special Election, 9am - 6pm
Online

Call from home! Contact voters in the 7th Congressional District to make sure vote in the safest way possible to elect Tricia Zunker in the special election to replace Sean Duffy. Shifts are 9:00am-12:00pm, 12:00pm-3:00pm and 3: 00pm-6:00pm. Sign up.

Grass Roots South Shore Meeting, 6pm - 8pm
Cudahy Library, 3500 Library Dr. , Cudahy

Grass Roots South Shore holds its monthly meeting on the second Monday of each month. For more information call Jim Balk, 414-218-5944.

Tue May 12, 2020

Phone Bank for May 12 Special Election, 9am - 6pm
Online

Election Day! Call from home! Contact voters in the 7th Congressional District to make sure they can vote in the safest way possible to elect Tricia Zunker in the special election to replace Sean Duffy. Shifts are 9:00am-12:00pm, 12:00pm-3:00pm and 3:00pm-6:00pm. Sign up.

Drinking Liberally Grafton/Mequon, 6:30pm - 8pm
Water Street Brewery, 1251 Gateway Dr. Grafton

Mel Barnes from Planned Parenthood Advocates will talk about the politics of providing health care services for women and their families. Here's the Zoom link our virtual meetings.

Info: Drinking Liberally MKE, 6:30pm - 8:30pm
Art Bar, 722 E. Burleigh St., Milwaukee

Watch for information on virtual Drinking Liberally MKE meetings

350 Milwaukee Meeting, 7pm - 8:30pm
Urban Ecology Center, 1500 E. Park Pl., Milwaukee

350.ORG is the global organization building a grassroots movement in 188 countries to address global warming and solve the climate crisis. 350 Milwaukee meets every month on the second Tuesday. More information.

Wed May 13, 2020

Canceled: Grass Roots South Shore, 6pm - 8pm
Cudahy Library, 3500 Library Dr., Cudahy

Grass Roots South Shore meets on the second Wednesday of each month. For more information call James Balk, 414-218-5944.

Info: Refuel the Resistance, 6pm - 8pm
Bounce Milwaukee, 2801 S. 5th Ct., Milwaukee

Bounce is currently open for delivery and carryout. Refuel the Resistance is canceled for now. More information.

Thu May 14, 2020

Drinking Liberally West Allis, 6:30pm - 9pm
Studz Pub Sports Bar & Grill, 6833 W. National Ave., West Allis

Drinking Liberally West Allis is presumed to be canceled because of the coronavirus situation.

Sat May 16, 2020

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

The NAACP meeting is likely to be canceled. Call 414.562.1000 for further information. Monthly membership meeting of NAACP Milwaukee Branch. The meeting is held in the basement conference room.

Info: Stand for Peace, 12pm - 1pm
Suspended

In light of the governor's Stay at Home Order, Peace Action Stands for Peace have been suspended until the order is lifted. Stand for peace in the streets of Milwaukee, every Saturday at noon. Organized by Peace Action Wisconsin.

Mon May 18, 2020

Canceled: Milwaukee Dems Meeting, 6pm - 6pm
Amalgamated Transit Union, 734 N. 26th St., Milwaukee

Milwaukee County Democrats meet monthly to discuss party business, hear speakers on current topics, pass resolutions, and network with other progressives. All interested Democrats are invited.

 


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