the CON in Foxconn

Just in case you hadn't heard: The Foxconn deal is expensive (about $4 billion), constantly changing, and a scam. A real con. How do we know? Just look at the news from late June 2018, when the company announced it was reneging on a plan to build a HUGE factory (fab10) to build HUGE flat screens and would instead build a less cutting-edge plant (fab6) that would manufacture much smaller flat screens for tvs and hand-held devices (see (see jsonline.com). That was the operative word for a few months. At which point the company acknowledged that "the project was being 'adjusted' in response to changing global economics" (Wisconsin State Journal). That instead of a factory, it would largely be creating an "R & D hub" that would employ mostly engineers and researchers rather than the blue-collar workers it had originally promised.

The changing stories garnered national news largely, I think, because our *resident got involved and appeared at the groundbreaking ceremony (see USA Today on June 28, 2018). But there was so much blowback that tRump had to cajole the company into reversing itself. So on February 1, Foxconn announced that "it is returning to its plan to make flat screen panels at a new plant in Wisconsin following an appeal from President Donald Trump" (CNN.com). Still a spokeswoman for the company would not or could not say whether the company was offered any additional incentives or inducements to change its mind, "how the decision affects the mix of work to be done on the site, or how many of the hired workers would be involved in manufacturing. She also could not say how many employees would be tech workers and engineers doing research and development" (CNN.com).

The whole saga is a sad tale of the sort that Foxconn has engaged in with other entities, including another US state: a prescient June 2017 article in Market Watch is headlined "Foxconn’s history of broken promises casts a shadow on Wisconsin news". An article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel wonders "Wisconsin gave Foxconn a rich subsidy package. Did we overpay? Some experts say we did" (Februaury 2, 2019). Although much of the $4 billion has yet to be "earned" by the company, Racine County has already spent large amonts of largely borrowed moner acquiring property, building roads, and providing sewers ("Fact check: Taxpayers have already spent money on Foxconn"). The AP story also notes that state taxpayers could be on the hook for a major portion of the funds localities spend.

It's hard to see how Wisconsin wins through this deal and even harder, after the GOP rammed through its bills hamstringing Governor Evers in the lame-duck session, how the state extricates itself from this con.

Nevertheless Grassroots North Shore will carry on with its Mid-Winter Warmup on Sunday, February 10! Hot sandwiches will be served. You are invited to bring a side, salad or dessert. Suggestions: your Specialty Side or Salad (complementary to hot sandwiches. Please limit to servings of 8 - 12) OR Home Baked Cookies or Bars (1 - 2 dozen). (All items are to be plated and ready to serve. (If you have questions, please email kgolden@wi.rr.com). The event is free and open to the public (though only GRNS members can vote on the slate of candidates to sit on the steering committee for the next two years). We have a lot to celebrate and a lot to do to get ready for the 2020 election. Join us. Please RSVP.

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Weekly Newsletter_1.29.19

I'm sending the newsletter a bit earlier than usual because of the weather — so you'll have time to check whether events you may be interested in this week will be cancelled for either snow conditions or the extreme cold. I recommend that you check with the event sponsors if there is no web page or Facebook event page. The events included in this email were posted on the Milwaukee County Dems' calendar or the shared calendar of a group of southeast WI grassroots organizations as of noon on Monday, January 28.

The event Grassroots North Shore had scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 30, HAS BEEN CANCELLED and will be rescheduled at a later date. Stay tuned.

Baring more bad weather, our Mid-Winter Warmup will take place as scheduled on Sunday, Feb. 10, at the North Shore Presbyterian Church (4048 N. Bartlett Ave, Shorewood). Please RSVP for more information.

In spite of the awful winter weather, though, activists should use the snow and cold cancelations to get busy with other projects. So What To Do Right Now: phone the Governor's office reminding him to include money in the current budget for the Legislative Reference Bureau to plan to draw new electoral maps in 2021. You can reach his office by phone at (608) 267-2560. You can email your request to EversInfo@wisconsin.gov. The latest Marquette poll shows that a whopping 72% of Wisconsin voters want a nonpartisan process for creating both state legislative districts and congressional districts. Well over half the counties in Wisconsin have passed resolutions calling on state government to draw fair maps for our elections. Add your voice.

If you are at a loss for words, keep your message to the Governor simple, but you can include the following points:

  • Despite the fact that 54 percent of Wisconsin voters voted for Democratic candidates for the State Assembly, Democrats now hold only 36 of 99 seats. That disparity between votes cast and seats won may be the largest in the nation.

  • We have the most partisan gerrymandering of state legislative districts by any state in the country.

  • The $850,000 Robin Vos wants to defend his indefensible, partisan 2011 voter maps would be a good initial source for this funding.

After you call Governor Evers, phone your state Assembly representative and state Senator, even if he/she is a Democrat, to talk about the process, to co-sponsor the bill Senator Hanson will shortly introduce to the Senate and Representative Robyn Vining will introduce in the Assembly, and to urge hearings and passage of these bills. To find who represents you and their phone numbers, start at the legislative directory and type your address into the form labeled "Find Your Legislator." You can talk about transparency, voting rights, fairness and democracy in your discussions with legislators and with the governor.

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GRNS newsletter for January 22

At our Mid-Winter Warmup and Annual Meeting, on Sunday February 10 at the North Shore Presbyterian Church (4048 N Bartlett Ave, Shorewood, 53211), we will be hearing from Judge Lisa Neubauer, a candidate for Wisconsin Supreme Court justice in the April election. In addition, we will outline two areas of intense interest and activity for the coming year — the environment and nonpartisan redistricting — and soliciting other areas of work from you, the supporters of Grassroots North Shore. So please don't miss it! (We'll be serving up sloppy joes, a variety of side dishes, and a selection of desserts — all prepared by a dedicated group of volunteers.) The doors open at 4:30pm; the business meeting will begin around 5:15; food will be served at about 5:30pm; and Judge Neubauer will speak at approximately 6pm. Please RSVP.

I will be bringing everyone up to date on the nonpartisan redistricting issue at the meeting but as part of the Fair Maps Coalition we want our supporters to engage right now in a lobbying campaign to encourage Governor Evers to include funds in his proposed bienniel budget for a fairer redistricting process when the state is required to draw a new electoral map both for state legislators and for US representatives in 2021. The process we want to establish would ensure full public transparency, protect everyone's civil and voting rights, and make sure the maps are fair. To that end, a new bill will be introduced in both houses of the legislature in the next 10 days or two weeks.

What We Want You To Do Now: phone the Governor's office and ask him to include money in the current budget for planning a process for drawing fair maps in 2021. You can reach his office by phone at (608) 267-2560. Although it seems to be less effective than a phone call, you can also email your request to EversInfo@wisconsin.gov.

When you have taken care of that ask, phone your state Assembly representative and state Senator, even if he/she is a Democrat, to talk about the process and to urge hearings and passage of the bills that will be introduced in both chambers. To find who represents you and their phone numbers, start at the legislative directory and type your address into the form labeled "Find Your Legislator." You can talk about transparency, voting rights, fairness and democracy in your discussions with legislators and with the governor.

Also, please sign up to attend "Beyond the Budget: Our Wisconsin Priorities" to hear from Representatives Jonathan Brostoff, David Bowen, and Evan Goyke. They will let us know what the Dems have planned for the current legislative session and will answer questions about topics of interest to you. The event will take place at the Brown Deer United Methodist Church, 5736 W. Brown Deer Road. Doors open at 5:45pm and we aim to wrap up by 8pm. Grassroots is a co-sponsor of this event — it's free and open to the public.

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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
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Even when we win, we have to fight on

The fight for the meaning of Wisconsin's last election on November 6 is not over yet. It's possible — though still not very likely — that our Lame Duck governor will hede our newly elected governor's request to veto the Lame Duck bill our (gerrymandered) Republican legislature just passed in the dead of night. You know, just like Governor Jim Doyle, who stopped the high speed rail project in light of the 2010 election results because the incoming governor was opposed to it and Doyle did not want to tie the new governor's hands. (You can read about Doyle's decision in the Wisconsin State Journal in an article dated November 5, 2010.)

So it is worth contacting Scott Walker's office to let him know how you feel. You can reach it by phone — (608) 266-1212 — or through on online form — walker.wi.gov/contact/contact-form. Tell him elections are supposed to have consequences and that signing the bill — if he chooses to do that — will too. Or tell him he'll be tarnishing his reputation and his legacy. Or just tell him NO. Whatever moves you the most.

Both the local and the national press have worth-the-read articles about the power grab going on in Wisconsin (and in Michigan). The first one covers territory no one else (that I know of) has covered — namely the role of corporate money in the legislature's actions. In the articles linked below, I've included a key quotation to give you a sense of how seriously even organs like USA Today are taking the broader issues involved.

Meanwhile, come celebrate our election victories at the Camp Bar (4044 N. Oakland Ave., Shorewood) from 6-8 pm tonight! Grassroots North Shore is hosting an Election Victory Party with free pizza and popcorn (the beer or other libations are on you). Lots of great North Shore progressives will be there. Be sure to RSVP though, so we make sure we have enough pizza and popcorn for everyone. I'll be there and so should you!

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We're back, baby!

We did it! Democrats won all of the executive branch offices in WI: governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state, and treasurer. So congratulations are due both to the great candidates we fielded (Tony Evers, Mandela Barnes, Josh Kaul, Doug La Follette, and Sarah Godlewski) and to the Grassroots North Shore participants who worked hard all fall with our canvasses, phone banks, and postcard writing. Congratulations too to Senator Tammy Baldwin who handily defeated Leah Vukmir. Early in this cycle she was considered to be quite vulnerable, but it certainly did not turn out that way. We also made important inroads in Waukesha county! We need to build on our successes and to go at it again in the spring when we support a candidate for Justice Shirley Abrahamson's seat on Wisconsin's Supreme Court. But that is a subject for another day and another newsletter!

What our decisive vote at the executive level means: Evers intends to accept the Medicaid expansion, make sure public schools are fully funded, create new measures of accountability for voucher schools, and try to reinstate collective bargaining for public employees. How much he can do on his own remans to be seen. He's unlikely to get much cooperation from a legislature that is at least as dominated by Republicans as it has been under Walker. Meanwhile, Josh Kaul has promised to withdraw Wisconsin from the lawsuit that seeks to overturn the Affordable Care Act (also known at Obamacare).

Because there is a limit to what the executive officers can do on their own, that brings us to the pernicious effects of gerrymandering. Getting rid of political gerrymandering has wide, bipartisan support across the country. Nonpartisan commissions of various types were approved by referenda in Michigan, Missouri, and Colorado (also possibly Utah). Ohio had passed such an initiative earlier this year. A few days ago, a panel of three judges ruled unanimously that Maryland must redraw its congressional district maps before the 2020 election. In Pennsylvania, the state supreme court ordered a new congressional map for the 2018 elections, resulting in gains for Democrats. Democrats in North Carolina hope that their own state supreme court will follow Pennsylvania's example.

Here in Wisconsin we do not have recourse to a ballot initiative that can itself alter the way both state and federal districts are drawn. Nevertheless, ballot initiatives were passed by huge margins in five Wisconsin counties: Eau Claire (74%), Sauk (72%), Outgamie (72%), Winnebago (69%), and Lincoln (65%). Of the 72 counties in Wisconsin, 41 have passed a county resolution supporting nonpartisan legislative and congressional redistricting.

But the results of the last election show how unbeatable the GOP gerrymander in this state is. According to the Fair Elections Project and Wisconsin Voices, although only 45% of the votes cast for state Assembly went to Republicans, they held onto 63% of the seats in the Assembly. As the press release from those two organizations makes clear, the state Assembly make-up seriously misrepresents the preferences of Wisconsin voters.

But we do have two potential avenues of change. On April 2, a new challenge to the Republican-drawn legislative boundaries will be heard by the same 3-judge panel that ruled the state's maps unconstitutional when it last heard the case. (It was returned to Wisconsin for a new trial by the US Supreme Court on a technical issue involving the standing of those who filed the original suit.) A second lawsuit from the Assembly Democratic Campaign Committee has also been filed and may be consolidated with the Democratic voters' case (Wisconsin State Journal, 11/8/2018).

Our second avenue relies on our new governor. The legislature can send Governor Evers its preferred new map in 2021, but Governor Evers can veto it if he finds it as politically gerrymandered as the current map. If the governor and the legislature are at an impasse, judges will have to draw fair maps, as they did in 1981, 1991, and 2001.

The bottom line is this: the struggle for fairness continues in Wisconsin just as it more publicly continues in Georgia and Florida. Democrats had a very good night on November 6, 2018 — taking back the majority in the US House of Representatives, taking at leaset 7 governorships and several state legislatures — but voter suppression remains rampant across the country. Labor rights and human rights remain under attack. Immigrants, LBGTQ communities, Jews, and Muslims (to name only a few of the biggest "out" groups) remain threatened everywhere. We can heave a sigh of relief about the elections we just won, but we cannot rest on those laurels. Once we have had a few days of respite, we need to take up our tasks again.

The events list is quite short this week and probably will stay relatively calm through the holidays, but I urge you to take this moment to support Grassroots North Shore, and the Democratic Party of Milwaukee County, the Democratic Party of Ozaukee County, and the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. All of these organizations need new blood and more treasure!

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How We Win? It's all up to YOU

We had a great turnout for John Nichols on Sunday as he gave a rousing talk on How We Win. (If you missed it, we should be able to link to it in a few days. I'll include it in next week's newsletter.) And the polls in general, both nationwide and in Wisconsin, are looking pretty hopeful (here are the polls from Real Clear Politics, generally right-leaning in my experience, and a complicated look at where the US House of Representatives elections nationwide stand from FiveThirtyEight's point of view). But hope is not a plan! And we need a plan if we want to win.

So here's HOW WE WIN. Grassroots North Shore has provided the Democratic Coordinated Campaign with an in-kind donation of its office space and communications. So we are hosting a variety of campaign activities on our website under the link "Coordinated Campaign Events." All we need is your participation.

What the events pages will NOT tell you is that we also host postcard writing parties and phone banks both for additional volunteers and for getting out our voters whenever we are hosting a canvass or other activity. So you can RSVP for a canvass and then give us a call (414-236-4259) and let us know that you will be coming to our office, not to canvass (we realize that knocking on doors is not something everyone can do) but to participate in one of the other activities we support.

We will provide you with everything you need to be effective — including walk or phone lists, scripts, pens for recording data, water, snacks, and for those canvassing, a partner or a driver if you would like. We have postcards, stamps, and names and addresses plus sample messages for those of you who feel most comfortable working on that project.

I promise not to nag every week but I want to reiterate just how important it is for real human beings like yourselves to talk directly to others — either face-to-face at their doors or on the phone — and share your vision, your passion for our candidates. We want everyone who is eligible to be a voter. And the only way we know how to do that is to ask them.

To make it easy for you to sign up, here is a long list of links to the phone banks and canvasses we have scheduled:

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are you a cynic?

In Lady Windemere's Fan, Oscar Wilde has one of his characters define a cynic as someone "who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing." Well the price of a ticket to hear John Nichols tell us "How We Win" is only $20. But its value? Priceless! That's the value of Grassroots North Shore to Dems, liberals, progressives, and anyone who worries about the direction Wisconsin is taking. Our annual fundraiser — Democracy: Assembly Required — has to raise enough money to keep our rent paid and our communications with you flowing.

As an all-volunteer organization, we bring you important information at election time, information like early voting dates and times in your village, town, or city plus the list of candidates the group has endorsed (see the web page devoted to 2018 endorsements). In years when Wisconsin doesn't hold four elections (sheesh!), we bring you vital informational programming like last spring's Focus on Immigration.

Please be as generous as you can.

In addition to our fundraiser (which, by the way, we hold only once a year), we need your help if we are to change Wisconsin's direction in the near future. Our healthcare dollars, our roads, our public education, and much more are at stake. Gerrymandering will remain a problem in this state unless we elect a Democratic Governor and Lieutenant Governor this fall. And it would help if we loosened the GOP stranglehold on our state assembly. We need to withdraw our state's participation in a lawsuit designed to destroy the Affordable Care Act and the only way to do that is to elect Josh Kaul as our next Attorney General. Elections have consequences. With your help, we will make the consequences positive for a change!

Grassroots North Shore, as a contributor to the state's Coordinated Campaign, is hosting canvasses every Saturday morning and every Sunday afternoon (after the Packers game!) from now until the election. We are also hosting phone banks, both to recruit volunteers for our canvasses and to reach out to potential voters in our area. In both cases, we will have all the information you need to be effective and we will go over the scripts for each canvass or phone bank so that you are comfortable with what we are saying. You can find dates and times for these events on our Coordinated Campaign Events page. The site lists the next three canvass dates and the next three phoning dates. If you can't volunteer until later, please call 414-236-4259 and leave a message.

Give us a few hours of your time, and together we will transform the world!

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Voting Rights and Your Civic Duty

A day late but here's the rest of this week's Grassroots North Shore newsletter. And let me start with an event that was just announced but has voting as its mission:

When We All Vote North Shore, Tuesday, September 25, 6pm
Whitefish Bay Library, 5420 N. Marlborough Drive, Whitefish Bay

Grassroots North Shore member Charles Trimberger is sponsoring a When We All Vote event. That entire week is reserved for the national kickoff of When We All Vote, the nonpartisan voter registration initiative launched by Former First Lady Michelle Obama. Anyone interested is encouraged to attend, even those who are not eligible to vote because of age or citizenship. Volunteers who are interested in recruiting and registering younger voters are especially invited. For additional information, email Charles or call (414) 315-4400. You can find the event on the When We All Vote Facebook events page.

Voting rights are NOT spelled out in the US Constitution, though they are often included in state constitutions and statutes. In all cases, they are a tangle of regulations governing how and where citizens can register to vote, what times polls open and close, who is eligible to access an absentee ballot, who is eligible to vote early (plus when and where early voting will take place), what rules govern provisional ballots, and more. In other words, voting is a complicated weave of laws, court decisions and behaviors that are often difficult to understand and largely invisible to the average citizen.

In Wisconsin, as in other states where Republicans have complete control of the governorship and the legislature, the last eight years have seen a substantial number of changes to voting laws generally making it harder for some populations to vote accompanied by a number of legal challenges to them. Chief among these are early voting regulations and redistricting (gerrymandering).

Shortly after the Republican party gained control of Wisconsin's government, early voting was, by statute, limited to 10 days, always ending at the close of business on the Friday before election day, and could not include any evening or weekend hours. That meant the end of a revered tradition called Souls to the Polls that took place in largely African-American churches on the Sunday immediately preceding the election. Moreover, each city, village, and town was limited to a single early voting location. So the roughly 1500 residents of River Hills could vote early but only at the Village Hall and the roughly 600,000 residents of the city of Milwaukee also could vote early during business hours but again only at City Hall. Fortunately, federal courts have weighed in so that early voting dates and places are now more responsive to voters' needs. In fact, early voting in the city of Milwaukee will begin in September.

Here is a preliminary account of early voting places and dates in the North Shore:

Shorewood: Oct. 1 Nov. 1, M-F, 8:00 am - 4:30 pm, Friday, Nov. 2, 8:00 am -5:00 pm, Shorewood Village Hall (25 days)
Whitefish Bay: Oct. 22 – Nov. 1, Monday – Thursday, 8:00-4:30. Friday, Nov. 2, 8:00-5:00. Whitefish Bay Village Hall (10 days)
Fox Point: Thursday, October 25, 8:00 am – 6:00 pm, Friday, November 2, 8:00 am -5:00 pm, Fox Point Village Hall (2 days)
Bayside: October 22 - 31, 8:00 am - 6:00 pm, Monday – Wednesday, Nov. 1 and 2, 8:00 am -5:00 pm, Bayside Village Hall (10 days)
Glendale: Oct. 1 – Nov. 2, 8:00 am - 4:30 pm , M-F, plus Wednesday, Oct. 17, 7:00 am - 7:00 pm, Tuesday, Oct. 23, 7:00 am -7:00 pm, Friday, Nov. 2, 8:00 am - 5:00 pm, and Saturday, Oct. 20, 8:00 am 12:00 pm, Glendale City Hall (26 days)
River Hills: October 22- November 2, M-F, 9:00 am until 5:00 pm, River Hills Village Hall (10 days)
Brown Deer: October 22-November 1, M-F, 8:00 am – 4:30 pm, Friday November 2, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm, Brown Deer Village Hall. (10 days)
Mequon: Oct.15 – 19, 8am - 4:30pm, at Clerk’s Office in City Hall. Monday, Oct.22 – Nov. 1 early voting moves to the Common Council Chambers at City Hall, 8 am – 4pm, Friday, November 2, 8:00 am - 5:00pm. (15 days)
Town of Cedarburg: Oct. 15 – Nov. 2, M-F, 8:30 am until 4:30 pm, Town Hall, (15 days)
City of Cedarburg: Oct. 15 – October 31, M-F, 8:30 am -4:30 pm., Thursday and Friday, Nov. 1 and 2, 8:30 am until 5 pm (15 days)
Town of Grafton: Oct. 22 - Nov. 1, M-Thurs., 8:30 - 4:30 pm, Fridays, open from 8:30 am – Noon (10 days)
Village of Grafton: not confirmed but usually Monday – Friday, Oct. 15 -Nov. 2, 8:30 am - 4:30 pm, Village Hall (15 days)

Gerrymandering — the practice of drawing district lines for Congress, State Senate, and State Assembly to favor the candidates from a particular political party — is a national problem and a disgrace. In Wisconsin, the practice was challenged in federal court, all the way up to the Supreme Court, in a case known as Whitford. That case was ultimately sent back to the trial court on the technical issue of "standing" (whether Professor Whitford and his fellow plaintiffs had the right to a hearing on their challenge to a statewide election map). Last week, Whitford was refiled, with some additional plaintiffs and some additional information about the harms to voters. And the Assembly Democratic Campaign Committee filed yet another lawsuit, following the road map Justice Elena Kagen laid out in her concurring opinion on the original Whitford case. You can read a detailed explanation of these legal actions at Election Law Blog in a post by Nicholas Stephanopoulos.

Neither of these cases will be decided in time for relief in the upcoming November elections, but their impact could be enormous, for good or for ill, once they are decided. Meanwhile, several states &mdsah; including Michigan, Missouri, and Utah — are hoping to pass ballot initiatives to take redistricting out of partisan hands and return more fairness to national and state elected bodies. Pennsylvania's State Supreme Court has put new, nonpartisan district maps in place for the 2018 election cycle. And there are a number of states, including Wisconsin, where legislative solutions are being proposed by grassroots groups such as the Fair Maps Coalition (Grassroots North Shore is a member) and legislative bodies (41 of the 72 counties in Wisconsin have passed resolutions calling for fair maps for our state).

In addition, cases in Maryland and North Carolina continue to wend their way through the court system.

So, what's all this got to do with you? Progressives, liberals, Democrats, and yes small-d democrats need you to vote this November. You can vote on election day — Tuesday, November 6, from 7am to 8pm — or you can vote early (see the chart above for more information). You, your family, your friends, and your neighbors: everyone should check their own voter registration by going to https://myvote.wi.gov/en-us/ and clicking on "My Voter Info." You will also be able to find out when you last voted, who your elected officials are, what your polling place is, and what will be on your ballot.

Voting is a right you have to exercise to maintain and it is the ONLY obligation of citizenship that guarantees that you will wake up in a representative democracy on November 7, 2018. Urge everyone you know, regardless of their political leanings, to use their right to vote every time an election rolls around!

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Hurry Up, Please. It's Time!

With Labor Day in the rearview mirror, it's time for Grassroots North Shore to take action. And we have a plan! Beginning on Wednesday, September 19, we will be holding weekly phone banks, first to recruit canvassers from a list of volunteers in earlier campaigns and then to talk directly to voters to remind them to vote – early if possible.

We will begin door-knocking and talking face-to-face with voters on September 29, just as Micelle Obama's When We All Vote week of voter registration activities is winding up (September 22-29) and some communities — including the City of Milwaukee — will have just begun early voting or soon will. (Grassroots North Shore's website will have a complete listing of each communities' early voting times and places within the next 10 days or so.)

So please sign up! In general you will find our sign-up pages for election activities under the tab Elections 2018 —> Coordinated Campaign Events. Below are links to the first five phone banking opportunities (all taking place at our office at 5600 Brown Deer Rd, Suite 16) and the first five canvass shifts. We will provide everything you need so you don't have to call from your own cell phone for the phone banks! For the canvasses, you can use a smart phone to access minivan for your walk list if you download the app and then let Eilene Stevens know.

Phone Banks
Wednesday, September 19, from 5:30 pm to 8 pm
Tuesday, September 25, from 5:30 pm to 8 pm
Wednesday, October 3, from 5:30 pm to 8 pm
Tuesday, October 9, from 5:30 pm to 8 pm
Wednesday, October 17, from 5:30 pm to 8 pm

Canvass Shifts
Saturday, September 29, from 10 am to 2 pm (two shifts)
Sunday, September 30, from 3:30 pm am to 5:30 pm
Saturday, October 6, from 10 am to 2 pm (two shifts)
Sunday, October 7, from 3:30 pm am to 5:30 pm
Saturday, October 13, from 10 am to 2 pm (two shifts)

Additional phone banks and canvasses are scheduled throughout the remainder of the campaign season. See our Elections 2018 for dates and times.

While you're signing up to pitch in for the campaigns, don't forget Grassroots North Shore's Annual Picnic, a special evening lecture by the renowned Reggie Jackson on Do Black Votes Matter? and our fall fundraiser with John Nichols. You will find all three listed on the GRNS Events page and on our Facebook events page.

And if you want to know the campaign contribution limits for statewide offices, we have you covered. The Wisconsin Ethics Board has posted a handy chart.

On a final note before we head into the Events listing: I was hospitalized with endocarditis followed by a stroke in January 2018, which explains why I've been absent from Grassroots North Shore events and this newsletter for 8 long months. But now I'm back, baby! And very glad to be able to walk and talk like an almost normal human being. But typos remain a problem. If you see some, please excuse them.

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