Alert, alert, alert

If you're down or disgusted by the Barr interpretation of the Mueller report, the best thing to do is work with Grassroots North Shore to support Judge Lisa Neubauer and WIN the Wisconsin Supreme Court election on April 2. Early voting ends on Friday, March 29. You can find info about early voting in our North Shore communities on our site.

We need people to canvass and call potential voters and we need people to write postcards, both supporting Judge Neubauer's election and urging the Joint Finance Committee and other legislators to fund the nonpartisan redistricting proposal Governor Evers recently sent to the legislature. We believe there will be public hearings on April 5 in Janesville, on April 11 in the Milwaukee area, on April 15 in River Falls, and on April 24 in Green Bay. We will be working with the Fair Maps Coalition to attend as many of these hearings as we can, to line up people to speak to the issue, and to send postcards to make the point to the members of that committee and to our own representatives in the Assembly and the Senate. We'll have sign up sheets for the hearings soon — I will send an action item in the next few days so you can participate if possible (we will also arrange some ride sharing opportunities). So be sure to look for that.

In the meantime, we're starting with sending out postcards to legislators. You can sign up below for the first four of those opportunities. And in case you don't know, the US Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments in two other gerrymandering cases today — one from Maryland (with the Republicans as the plaintiffs) and one from North Carolina (with the Democrats as the plaintiffs). Our own Whitford case will be heard again in July and will likely end up back at the US Supreme Court during the 2019-2020 term. On the two cases being heard today, we expect a decision by the end of June.

GRNS wants to pull its weight for the upcoming election and for the nonpartisan redistricting plan. But we need your help! We can't always affect what happens in our national politics, but we can have an important, even a decisive, impact on our state. Give us a couple of hours of your time, and we will help turn this state around. Here are the events we have scheduled:

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All Hands on Deck edition

Now is the time to come to the aid of the state of Wisconsin! Specifically the lowest turnout election of our various election cycles: the spring 2019 nonpartisan election featuring only one statewide race. Election Day is Tuesday, April 2. Grassroots North Shore is providing a host of opportunities to help boost turnout in the North Shore. Please sign up for at least one!

From most-needed to also helpful, here they are:

We have oodles of Neubauer yard signs we are giving away. So come engage in an election activity and get a free sign or two! Or just stop in when the office is staffed to get yours. All signs must go before Tuesday, April 2: Election Day! Here's when you can pick up signs from our office (5600 W Brown Deer Rd, Suite 116):

  • Wednesday, March 20, 4:00 to 6:00pm
  • Thursday, March 21, 11:30am to 1:30pm and 5:00 to 7:00pm
  • Monday, March 25, 10:00am to 12:00 Noon
  • Tuesday, March 26, 2:00 to 5:00pm
  • Saturday, March 30, 2:00 to 5:00pm

Speaking of which, early voting has begun all over the state. My husband and I voted yesterday in Glendale so that we could fully participate in getting others out to the polls before and on election day. You can too — and you should. You can visit our Early Voting Information page for a link to the municipality where you live to get further information about when and where to go.

I know everything we do is important. But elections, as we should all realize by now, have pretty serious consequences. We need to make sure we elect really good people, up and down the ballot. Otherwise, we risk disappointment, if not disaster. Grassroots North Shore has endorsed Lisa Neubauer for WI Supreme Court. There are too many county, city, and school board elections in our area for our organization to be tracking all of them. But you can find out what's on your specific ballot at MyVote and read up on your local candidates before you vote. I urge you to be informed. And I urge you to vote.

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spring elections are on the way!

Grassroots North Shore has endorsed Lisa Neubauer, Chief Judge of the Appeals Court, for a seat on the WI Supreme Court. She will be a fair, independent jurist with the kind of temperament we need on our highest state court. To learn more about her qualifications, visit our Endorsement page. The election will be held on Tuesday, April 2, and we need every supporter of Grassroots North Shore to vote! (That means YOU, dear reader.) You can vote early in person in your community. See our Early Voting page for more information.

GRNS will be having a number of canvassing, phoning, and postcard-writing events ahead of the April 2 election to help get out the vote for Neubauer. And we could use your help. Here are the dates with links for you to sign up (just tell us what you want to do when you come):

We will have additional canvassing, phoning, and postcard writing events posted soon. Stay tuned.

And on a final note, I want to bring to your attention a notice being circulated by the Progressive Caucus of the Wisconsin Democratic Party. A party stalwart and state legislator has suffered a devastating blow and needs everyone's help to rebuild. Please read the call for action and give what you can.

Early morning Sunday February 17th, A fire broke out and engulfed Senator Kathleen Vinehout and her husband Doug's home. Kathleen has always been there, to help people in Wisconsin. She tried to save us from Scott Walker. Kathleen was one of the supper 14, who left this state for Illinois, to try and stop the fiasco that the republicans maliciously and infamously, passed through the legislature.

Losing everything, is hard enough, when the weather is warm and the sun is shinning, but it is cold and Kathleen and Doug lost everything, including their IDs. They made it out with the shoes on their feet and the clothes on their back. Our DNC Rep. Andrew Werthmann, has started a fund for our Senator, to help her through this horrible ordeal. Pleas find compassion and help by donating and/or passing the word on. If you are able, I implore you to give a small dollar amount to help Kathleen, because she has always been there for us!

DONATE TO HELP KATHLEEN

YOU CAN ALSO MAIL A DONATION TO:
Andrew Werthmann
1012 Chauncey St.
Eau Claire, WI 54701

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Milwaukee & WI win!

Have you heard? The Democratic National Convention in 2020 will be held in Milwaukee! I'm so excited that the 46th President will be chosen here. In our fair city. There will no doubt be oodles of opportunity for volunteers to help with the convention. So keep summer 2020 open!

Meanwhile, we have a state to run. So you'll want to come to our St. Patrick's Day program at the Ovation Sarah Chudnow facilty (10995 Market St, Mequon): Beyond the Budget: Our Wisconsin Priorites. We'll hear from Representatives Bowen, Brostoff, and Goyke. Plus Judge Lisa Neubauer, our endorsed candidate for Wisconsin Supreme Court, will speak and give us a chance to talk to her.

And a final reminder about the 2019 election. Early voting in most communities begins March 18. You can find more information about your community's early voting schedule on our website page. We have posted hours and locations for most of our North Shore cities, villages, and towns. Plus there's a link to each one's website so you can follow up if our information is incomplete.

Election day is Tuesday, April 2. This will be a low turnout affair. So your progressive vote can really make a difference! Lots of communities have races for school boards. Grassroots North Shore does not track all of these races (there are just too many), but YOU should. And you should vote. Every time, in every election!

For that upcoming election, Grassroots North Shore has chosen not to endorse either candidate in the race for Milwaukee Milwaukee County Circuit Court, Branch 40. Instead the Endorsements Committe has issued the following statement.

Milwaukee County Circuit Court Race, Branch 40, April 2nd election

Candidates sometimes request that we consider them for an endorsement. In some cases, the selection is obvious, because one of the candidates may espouse Progressive tenets while the other clearly does not.

In the upcoming Milwaukee County Circuit Court election, Branch 40, the Endorsements Committee reviewed the two candidates, Judge Andrew Jones and Assistant State Public Defender Danielle Shelton.

No consensus was reached by the Endorsements Committee. Instead, the committee decided to offer our membership information and materials that would allow people to reach their own conclusions. Each candidate submitted a short statement and responded to a set of five questions. Their statements and responses can be found on our Endorsements page. We hope you will find them helpful.

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we persist!

Grassroots North Shore is making great headway on informing voters about the importance of the upcoming April 2 election for Wisconsin Supreme Court. By the time the election rolls around, we will have sent out more than 1100 postcards and made hundreds of phone calls. We're gearing up to do some canvassing, too, both for this election (the weather will break sometime soon, won't it?) and to get a running start on the madness that will be the 2020 cycle of elections — when there will once again be FOUR elections! But we will need everyone's help to reach our lofty goals.

Here's what we have lined up right now:

Saturday, March 9, from 2-4, at our office (5600 W Brown Deer Rd, suite 116). Please RSVP.

Tuesday, March 12, from 6:30-8pm, at Martha Pincus's house (7045 N Belmont Ln, Fox Point, WI 53217). Please RSVP.


We wil provide additional opportunities soon. So stay tuned.

You can find some (still incomplete!) early voting info on our web page devoted to that topic and our endorsement of Chief Judge Lisa Neubauer for the Wisconsin Supreme Court on our Endorsements page. You can find some information about her and her approach to the job of judge there. But you'll find more information on her web page and from this wonderful video introduction to her. I hope you'll take the time to read about her and watch her intro.

We are also hosting a not-to-be-missed program — featuring Representatives David Bowen, Jonathan Brostoff, and Evan Goyke — "Beyond the Budget: Our Wisconsin Priorities" on Sunday, March 17 from 3-5pm (doors open at 2:30) at Ovation Sarah Chudnow (10995 Market St, Mequon, WI 53092). Chief Judge Lisa Neubauer will also be on hand to say a few words and take questions about her candidacy. We hope you will come. Please RSVP.

And in our weekly peek at some national news you may have missed with all the hoopla around the Michael Cohen bombshells and the failed summit with North Korea, Pat Slutske has written up an important US Supreme Court decision for us:

On Wednesday, February 20, 2019, the Supreme Court issued its opinion in Timbs v. Indiana, that considered whether state governments must comply with the Eighth Amendment: "Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted." This freedom dates back to the Magna Carta!

Historically, the 14th Amendment was ratified to ensure that the individual liberties in the Bill of Rights would be protected against state governments' infringement. SCOTUS had already held that most of the protections in the Bill of Rights do apply to the states, but it had not specifically ruled on the Excessive Fines Clause. Noting this exception, the Indiana Supreme Court announced that it would "decline" to impose "a federal test" on Indiana.

At the heart of this controversy is the process called "civil asset forfeiture," often derided as legalized theft. If an individual is simply accused of a crime, and not necessarily charged or convicted, their assets may be seized through a civil proceeding. It is not necessary to prove these assets have a direct connection to the crime in question: dubious allegations seem to suffice. And there is this: civil proceedings do not afford the accused the due process safeguards found in criminal law. For too many years, this process has been used by various governmental and law enforcement agencies to guarantee a profitable revenue stream.

But in a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court for the first time held that the Eighth Amendment's prohibition against "excessive fines" applied to all 50 states under the Due Process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. While the decision will no doubt generate a myriad of questions, and likely be the basis for other court filings, there is much to celebrate.

You can read the court's full opinion here.
You can find the sources for this article on the GRNS website.
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GRNS newsletter: what a winter!

Is this the winter of our discontent, or what? I don't know about your place, but ours is piled high with frozen snow wherever you look and I hear more is on the way. But bad weather doesn't stop intrepid North Shore progressives from taking action! Below you'll find a healthy list of things you can do over the next couple of weeks.

On the Grassroots North Shore agenda, we have a number of opportunities coming up. We should have Senate and Assembly bill numbers by the time Governor Evers holds his budget address (Thursday, February 28, at 6pm). That means it's time to start lobbying your representatives in Madison to hold hearings and to pass these bills. We're holding a postcard and phone banking party for just that purpose on Saturday, March 2, from 2-4 pm. Bring your cell phone and join the fun. All you need to do is RSVP and show up. We'll have everything you need: stamped postcards, a way to look up contact info for your reps, and addresses to remind left-minded North Shore voters that there's a vital election coming up on April 2 (with early voting generally starting two weeks ahead of that date — see our Early Voting Info page for more detail).

There will be more opportunities to write postcards, phone voters (and Wisconsin legislators) and canvass for Lisa Neubauer all during March. I'll have pages to RSVP for those events on our calendar.

We have also rescheduled the informational event we had to cancel on account of this crazy weather in January. We're holding our Beyond the Budget meeting with Representatives Jonathan Brostoff, David Bowen, and Evan Goyke on Sunday, March 17, from 2:30-5pm, at the Ovation Sarah Chudnow community. You can RSVP online or on our Facebook page.

Judge Lisa Neubauer will also be at this event to speak about why she is running to replace Justice Shirley Abrahamson on the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Now that we have progressive Democrats in all five constitutional offices, we need a Supreme Court that will cease rubber-stamping the radical conservative agenda the Walker administration promoted. Judge Neubauer's opponent in this race is not just a hard-right judge. He has founded a school that allows the firing of teachers for being gay and the expulsion of students if they or their parents are gay. In recent years, he has received more than $3,000 for speeches to the Alliance Defending Freedom — which the Southern Poverty Law Center labels a hate group — that has supported criminalizing sodomy and sterilizing transgender people. Unlike her opponent, Judge Neubauer has a long and distinguished career as a thoughtful, fair, and impartial jurist. She has earned the endorsement of a wide range of law enforcement and legal professionals as well as an endorsement from Grassroots North Shore. I hope you will join us on March 17 to meet Judge Neubauer and hear her views.

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spring elections are on the way!

Grassroots North Shore has endorsed Lisa Neubauer, Chief Judge of the Appeals Court, for a seat on the WI Supreme Court. She will be a fair, independent jurist with the kind of temperament we need on our highest state court. To learn more about her qualifications, visit our Endorsement page. The election will be held on Tuesday, April 2, and we need every supporter of Grassroots North Shore to vote! (That means YOU, dear reader.) You can vote early in person in your community. See our Early Voting page for more information.

GRNS will be having a number of canvassing, phoning, and postcard-writing events ahead of the April 2 election to help get out the vote for Neubauer. And we could use your help. Here are the dates with links for you to sign up (just tell us what you want to do when you come):

We will have additional canvassing, phoning, and postcard writing events posted soon. Stay tuned.

And on a final note, I want to bring to your attention a notice being circulated by the Progressive Caucus of the Wisconsin Democratic Party. A party stalwart and state legislator has suffered a devastating blow and needs everyone's help to rebuild. Please read the call for action and give what you can.

Early morning Sunday February 17th, A fire broke out and engulfed Senator Kathleen Vinehout and her husband Doug's home. Kathleen has always been there, to help people in Wisconsin. She tried to save us from Scott Walker. Kathleen was one of the supper 14, who left this state for Illinois, to try and stop the fiasco that the republicans maliciously and infamously, passed through the legislature.

Losing everything, is hard enough, when the weather is warm and the sun is shinning, but it is cold and Kathleen and Doug lost everything, including their IDs. They made it out with the shoes on their feet and the clothes on their back. Our DNC Rep. Andrew Werthmann, has started a fund for our Senator, to help her through this horrible ordeal. Pleas find compassion and help by donating and/or passing the word on. If you are able, I implore you to give a small dollar amount to help Kathleen, because she has always been there for us!

DONATE TO HELP KATHLEEN

YOU CAN ALSO MAIL A DONATION TO:
Andrew Werthmann
1012 Chauncey St.
Eau Claire, WI 54701

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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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