Who said "winning isn't everything; it's the ONLY thing"? It's often attributed to the late, great Vince Lombardi though a lesser known college football coach seems to have said it first. When it comes to the Trumpcare catastrophe staring us in the face, it's absolutely true. We HAVE TO WIN THIS ONE to prevent hundreds of thousands of our fellow citizens from medical penury or untimely deaths. I'm sure everyone reading this newsletter is doing something to help stave off this disaster.
You know what to do, right? Call Senator Johnson's office (414-276-7282, 202-224-5323). He's saying he will not vote for the "motion to proceed," which is a necessary technical vote to bring the bill up for a vote. You probably won't think much of his reasoning, but remember that winning is the only thing. Ditto with Senator Paul (Kentucky, 202-224-4343) who is basically opposed to all government participation in the health insurance business.
Senator Collins (Maine, 207-622-8414) and Senator Heller (Nevada, 202-224-6244, Facebook) have both said they won't vote for this tax cut for millionaires masquerading as "healthcare reform." It wouldn't hurt to visit their Facebook pages or to send them some email applauding their decision and lauding their courage in the face of extraordinary pressure. A few are wavering, among them Senator Lisa Murkowski (Alaska, Facebook) and Senator Shelley Moore Capito (West Virginia, Facebook).
It looks as if the public outcry might be turning the tide. But Mitch McConnell is wily. So keep it up.
And while we're talking about the necessity of winning, Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo wrote an important post last week arguing that Voting Rights Defeatism is Toxic. It's his response to some of the ways people and pundits reacted to John Ossoff's loss in the Georgia special election. Complaining about voter suppression may provide some emotional balm. But "the simple fact is that Democrats or anyone who believes in voting rights will need to win elections under the current restrictive system to be able to change laws to change that system. The fact that that is challenging and unfair doesn’t change the reality of it. There’s no getting around this basic fact." And that's the bottom line, friends. We are going to have to gird up our loins, sashay into less friendly territories, and figure out some ways to get to 50+1.
To me, that means pulling together rather than squabbling between factions. It means accepting some "impure positions" in our big-tent coalition. It means working with the electoral district and the voters in it starting from where they are and not where we all wish they were. Because right now, WINNING IS THE ONLY THING that will allow us to make a difference — in Wisconsin, in the country, in the world.
Don't get me wrong. Republicans have rigged electoral maps all over the US, wherever they had enough power to act alone. The AP has undertaken an analysis of all 435 congressional races and 4700 state legislative races in the 2016 cycle. Apparently the researchers used the "efficiency gap" tool that was developed for the Fair Elections Project's Wisconsin challenge (Gill v. Whitford) to be argued before the US Supreme Court in the first week of October.
According to the NBCNews account of the AP report, "The analysis found four times as many states with Republican-skewed state House or Assembly districts than Democratic ones. Among the two dozen most populated states that determine the vast majority of Congress, there were nearly three times as many with Republican-tilted U.S. House districts." A separate analysis using different statistical methods provides the same conclusion: "A separate statistical analysis conducted for AP by the Princeton University Gerrymandering Project found that the extreme Republican advantages in some states were no fluke. The Republican edge in Michigan's state House districts had only a 1-in-16,000 probability of occurring by chance; in Wisconsin's Assembly districts, there was a mere 1-in-60,000 likelihood of it happening randomly, the analysis found."
Clearly we have our work cut out for us, but we must not tire or weaken. Thus endeth the lesson. With apologies for its length and some personal ranting.
SPECIAL EVENTS in JULY
We have three very special events coming up in July.
Milwaukee is Fired Up for Tammy! Saturday, July 8, 12pm
Humboldt Park Pavilion, 3000 S Howell Ave, Milwaukee
Grassroots North Shore is co-sponsoring this picnic with Northshore Huddle, The Next Four Years, Grassroots Southshore, and We March Forward-Greater Milwaukee Area. In short, it will be a great gathering of the progressive tribes of the Milwaukee area. I'll have more details in a few days but I understand that there will be food trucks (yay!) and maybe some lawn games. (You can find out a bit more on Facebook). It promises to be fun so I hope we'll have a good crowd of great progressives from the North Shore!
Fair Elections Town Hall, Sunday, July 16, 4:30pm - 6:30pm
North Shore Presbyterian Church, 4048 N Bartlett Ave, Shorewood
The US Supreme Court has scheduled oral arguments for Gill v. Whitford for the first week in October, a very good sign that the case could be decided in time to affect the 2018 elections (if our side wins, of course). While we await further developments in that litigation, we are also pressing forward with a public campaign to reform Wisconsin's process for drawing electoral districts in the future. There is no more pressing issue in our politics today: as long as the party in power can rig the maps so that is cannot lose its majority in the state legislature, our democracy will remain in serious jeopardy. At this Forum, you'll hear from the experts about the issues at stake in the court case and about the campaign to make Wisconsin's redistricting process non-partisan going forward. I hope you'll come. Please RSVP so our intrepid volunteers will know how many goodies to make.
A House Warming for our New Offices, Sunday, July 23, 3pm - 5:30pm
5600 W. Brown Deer Rd, Brown Deer
Come help us “warm” our new offices on Sunday, July 23, from 3-5:30pm. We’re celebrating our new home at 5600 W. Brown Deer Road with festive treats and a tour of the new digs. I think you'll find the new office spacious and much more easily accessible. There's great parking and an elevator for those entering the building from the parking lot. More details are forthcoming but I'm told they will involve a creative way you can help make our new place showcase our values and convictions. Stay tuned. But also RSVP!
Mon Jun 26, 2017
On the Issues: Problem-Oriented Policing, 12pm - 1:15pm
Marquette University, Eckstein Hall, 1215 W. Michigan St., Milwaukee
Michael Scott, director of the Center for Problem-Oriented Policiing, will discuss this approach to dealing with crime and disorder. It places a high value on new responses that are preventive in nature, that are not dependent on the use of the criminal justice system, and that engage other public agencies, the community and the private sector when their involvement has the potential for significantly contributing to the reduction of the problem. RSVP (required).
"Brainwashing of My Dad" Film, 5:30pm - 8pm
Shorewood Village Center, lower level, 3920 N. Murray Ave., Shorewood
Find out more about Citizen Action's Radio-Active campaign working to break the right-wing media monopoly in Milwaukee and enjoy a documentary that chronicles the impact of conservative media on our politics and our country. As filmmaker Jen Senko tries to understand the transformation of her father from a nonpolitical, life-long Democrat to an angry, right-wing fanatic, she uncovers the forces behind the media that changed him completely. Bring a friend, all are welcome! RSVP. Contact: Terri Williams, 414-218-5384.
Immigration Issues Event, 6pm - 7:30pm
Zablocki Library, 3501 W Oklahoma Ave, Milwaukee
County Supervisor Marina Dimitrijevic will discuss the non-discrimination resolution she authored, ICE activities, and how we can be of help to our undocumented neighbors. Sponsored by Indivisible Milwaukee.
Coping with PTSD, 6:30pm - 8pm
NAMI Office, 3200 S. 3rd St., Unit 6, Milwaukee
NAMI Greater Milwaukee will host a presentation on "Coping with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)" by veteran Mark Flower, co-founder of DryHootch. He will share his recovery and will describe how to recognize the signs and symptoms of PTSD, basic coping strategies to help manage symptoms, and resources on where to seek help.
Quality Policing Town Hall, 7pm - 8:30pm
Black Historical Society, 2620 W. Center St., Milwaukee
How do we address the rising violence in Milwaukee? Town Hall Meeting and panel discussion with Community Coalition 4 Quality Policing, Prof. Michael Scott, Milwaukee Police Department, and Milwaukee Office of Violence Prevention. (Also see the On the Issues discussion with Prof. Scott earlier in the day.) Sponsored by CC4QP and NAACP.
Wed Jun 28, 2017
Community Justice Council, 9:30am - 11am
Clinton Rose Senior Center, 3045 N. Martin Luther King Dr., Milwaukee
Milwaukee Community Justice Council Meeting of the Whole. The topic will be "Re-entry." More information.
Marquette June Poll, 12:15pm - 1:15pm
Eckstein Hall, 1215 W. Michigan St., Milwaukee
How are voters viewing President Trump after five months in office? In Wisconsin,what do voters think are priorities for the state? Charles Franklin, professor of law and public policy and director of the Marquette Law School Poll, and Mike Gousha, distinguished fellow in law and public policy, will provide the details of our latest poll of 2017. Additional topics will include how the public views potential changes to health care, the withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement, support for NATO, and the various investigations of Russian involvement in the 2016 campaign, as well as how well Wisconsin is addressing the needs of local communities all across the state. RSVP.
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 action 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
Sparkle Ashley Fundraiser, 6pm - 6pm
Art Bar, 722 E. Burleigh St., Milwaukee
Join friends and neighbors to learn more about Sparkle Ashley's campaign for County Supervisor in District 18, currently held by Deanna Alexander, and help support Sparkle's vision for Milwaukee County. Sponsor: $500 | Friend: $250 | Supporter: $100. Suggested Contribution: $50. All contributions gratefully accepted. Contribute online. Or, mail checks to PO Box 250246 Milwaukee, WI 53225. RSVP.
Segregation in Waukesha County, 6:30pm - 8:30pm
Waukesha Public Library, 321 Wisconsin Ave., Waukesha
The Hidden Impact of Segregation on Waukesha County: a presentation by Reggie Jackson from the Dr. James Cameron Legacy Foundation (America's Black Holocaust Museum) that looks at the historical forces creating residential segregation. Hosted by Waukesha Public Library.
Thu Jun 29, 2017
Close MSDF Campaign Launch, 5pm - 7pm
MATC, Room M605, 700 W. State St., Milwaukee
Watch the premiere of Tim Coursen’s video about Milwaukee Secure Detention Facility (MSDF). Mr. Coursen is an independent producer who has made several videos about Wisconsin’s unjust penal system. A panel of Ex-Prisoners Organizing (EXPO) leaders will respond to this video. Then Janos Marton will speak about Just Leadership USA’s #CLOSErikersCampaign which prompted New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to commit to closing Rikers Island. At 6 pm, march to MSDF for a prayer vigil for all of the people who have died in MSDF and a press conference.Wisconsin’s unjust revocation policies lead to the unnecessary incarceration of thousands of men and women every year because of crimeless revocations. The state incarcerates many of these individuals at MSDF. These policies, which disproportionately harm people of color and people with disabilities, tear families apart, disrupt communities, and drain resources that could instead be used to build safer and stronger communities. RSVP.
Healthcare: What Is the GOP Plan?, 6pm - 8pm
Muskego Public Library, West Janesville Road, Muskego (Room 4)
Ron Johnson or staff surrogate has been invited to come and explain the Senate Health bill to us and take our questions. In the possibility that neither Johnson nor staff can come, we will invite you to hear about the latest information of what is in the Senate Health repeal bill ("Trumpcare") and help us decide the direction of our new "Healthcare for All" Organizing Cooperative campaign.
Marcelia Nicholson Fundraiser, 6:30pm - 9:30pm
Milwaukee Athletic Club, Superior Ballroom, 758 N. Broadway, Milwaukee
You are cordially invited to join Milwaukee County Supervisor Marcelia Nicholson as she celebrates her 29th Birthday with a Golden Gala! Host and Sponsor List Options Shimmer - $50 Shine - $100 Sparkle - $250 Glitter - $ 500 Gold - $1000 $50 suggested donation. RSVP. Checks can be sent to Marcelia for Milwaukee, PO Box 1879, Milwaukee, WI 53201.
Fri Jun 30, 2017
The Economics of Trumpcare, 12pm - 1pm
1028 E Juneau Ave, Milwaukee (Knickerbocker Hotel)
Speaker: Jack Norman, Retired Business Reporter for the Milwaukee Journal, Research Director at the Institute for Wisconsin's Future, Economic Consultant for the Milwaukee County Board, Milwaukee Public Schools Board of Directors and AFSCME. Lunch provided. RSVP or FOR MORE INFORMATION, Contact Karen Royster.
Sun Jul 2, 2017
March for Impeachment, 11am - 11am
Milwaukee County Courthouse, 901 N. 9th St., Milwaukee
March to demand Congress DO THEIR JOB and remove Donald Trump from The White House. Organized by Wisconsin Progressive Alliance.
Resistance Cookout, 12pm - 12pm
Mitchell Park, 524 S. Layton Blvd., Milwaukee
Join with fellow progressives for a Resistance Summer Community Cookout. Enjoy some food, spend time with friends old and new, and celebrate all we've accomplished so far in resisting the radical agenda of the Trump administration. RSVP.
Mon Jul 3, 2017
Drinking Liberally Waukesha, 6:30pm - 9pm
Clarke Irish Pub, 314 W. Main St., Waukesha
No meeting in July. More information.
Wed Jul 5, 2017
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 action 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.
Grass Roots South Shore Meeting, 6pm - 6pm
Cudahy Library, 3500 Library Dr., Cudahy
Grass Roots South Shore will hold its monthly meeting. Grass Roots South Shore meets on the first Wednesday of each month. For more information call Jim Balk, 414-218-5944.
Thu Jul 6, 2017
Mental Health Board Meeting, 8am - 8am
American Serb Hall, 5101 W. Oklahoma Ave., Milwaukee
Milwaukee County Mental Health Board Meeting. Budget Approval. More information.
DPMC Issues Committee Meeting, 6:30pm - 8pm
Amalgamated Transit Union, 734 N. 26th St., Milwaukee
The Democratic Party's Issues Committee will hold its monthly meeting. All Democrats are welcome to participate. Enter from the parking lot.
Sun Jul 9, 2017
Jon Brostoff Fundraiser, 11:30am - 2pm
The Backyard, 2155 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., Milwaukee
Come enjoy a beautiful afternoon of yard games, complimentary food, tunes, and conversation about how we can restore progressive values to Wisconsin, together. Donor Levels: Host: $500 Benefactor: $250 Friend: $100 Suggested Contribution: A monthly donation of any amount! Contributions may be made online.
Mon Jul 10, 2017
Our Revolution MKE Meeting, 6pm - 8
International Assn. of Machinists, 2609 W. Oklahoma Ave., Milwaukee
Chapter meeting of OWR-Milwaukee with discussion of what the group has been up to and a review the OWR Founding Convention. RSVP.