Activism Works

All those calls and emails, all that demonstrating and participating in town halls — they've paid off! Even what the New York Times is calling "Plan C" — to "repeal now and replace later" — is DOA. Three Senators — Susan Collins (ME), Shelley Moore Capito (WV) and Lisa Murkowski (AK) — "immediately declared they could not vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act without a replacement — enough to doom the effort before it could get any momentum." I'll have a little more to say on this subject in a bit.

But first,

Some Announcements

Grassroots North Shore moved into our new offices last week. So we're having a "housewarming" to inaugurate our new space. We're serving ice cream and beverages, weather permitting. If it rains and we have to move the party indoors, we'll provide other treats instead.

And like any new tenant, we're decorating! So if you have piles of buttons sitting around and you'd like to give them to a good cause, we will turn those piles into decorations!

Just bring those unused buttons when you come to the open house on Sunday, July 23rd. We will have lots of ribbons for you to create your display or just leave them for us to do. Either way, we will have a wall of political memories.

join us on Sunday, July 23, from 3-5:30 at 5600 W. Brown Deer Road.

And SAVE THE DATE: On Sunday, August 13, GRNS is hosting a presentation by the League of Conservation Voters: "Help Save Our Wells and Waterways." The League will fill us in on the physical and legislative status of wells and waterways, and their protection (or lack of) in Wisconsin. The event will take place at the North Shore Presbyterian Church (4048 N. Bartlett Ave, Shorewood) from 4-6:30pm. Please join us as we turn our attention to vital state issues.


It's not clear what Republicans will try next but it is clear that engaged citizens can and do make a difference. We can't promise it will always work. But we can see that voter resistance can force a change of course. So when Trump and McConnell and Ryan cook up their next nasty "tax cut masquerading as healthcare" stew, you'll know just what to do.

Josh Marshall has what I think is the best explanation of why the Republican plan to repeal the ACA has come such a cropper. First he acknowledges the vital role played by how unpopular the various versions of the legislation was and the equally vital played by "the huge and sustained nationwide activism against Trumpcare." The deeper driver at work, though, is this:

At the outset of Obamacare’s post-legislative history, Republicans were for repeal. Then repeal became ‘Repeal and Replace’, a tacit but highly significant concession that the 2009 status quo ante was not acceptable. Over time, Repeal and Replace got gussied up with claims that the replacement for Obamacare would be better than Obamacare. There was a good deal of vagueness and mendacity packaged into this messaging. But the critical thing was that in the process of evolving from ‘Repeal’ to ‘Repeal and Replace’, Republicans made a tacit concession that those who had gained coverage under Obamacare should in fact have coverage. It was just that Obamacare did it in a flawed way and Obamacare’s replacement would do it better.

The problem, at its core, was that Republicans could not concoct a solution that would maintain coverage for all those who had gained it while their majority wanted deep tax cuts and a sizable portion of their caucus did not understand — or didn't accept — the basic concession Marshall has exposed.

Meanwhile David Leonhardt's "A Project to Nourish Your Political Soul" provides a completely different perspective on what progressives can do to start changing the bitter and polarized climate.

[T]he Trump era is coarsening our discourse. Too often recently I have watched people I respect spiral from a political discussion into a nasty, personal argument. 

So I have a suggestion. By all means, Trump’s opponents should continue to fight — for health care, civil rights, the climate and truth itself. But there is also a quieter step that’s worth taking no matter your views, for the sake of nourishing your political soul. 

Pick an issue that you find complicated, and grapple with it. 

Choose one on which you’re legitimately torn or harbor secret doubts. Read up on it. Don’t rush to explain away inconvenient evidence. 

Then do something truly radical: Consider changing your mind, at least partially.

I'm going to give it a try.

Local Activism at Work

Engagement and activism work locally just as well. On July 10, 2017, concerned Shorewood residents turned out at a Village Board meeting in support of a "Resolution for Justice and Dignity." Chuck Carlson explains what happened and how citizens prevailed:

[T]he Shorewood, WI village board voted 7-0 to approve the Resolution for Justice and Dignity that was presented by the Shorewood Solidarity Network (SSN). This unanimous vote demonstrated a commitment by Shorewood and its residents to “promote the principle of universal respect for the dignity of all” regardless of “race, religion, national origin, ethnicity, immigration status, sexual orientation, sexual or gender identity, or disability.” The passage of this resolution was a positive victory for all who live, work, shop, visit or pass through Shorewood. 

While the 7-0 vote, would indicate a human rights statement resolution was an easy accomplishment, the actual process demonstrates the importance of strong organization and involvement by community members.

Read the rest of the story on our blog.


Tue Jul 18, 2017

Public Schools Say No to Trumpcare!, 9:45am - 10:30am 
MPS Central Office, 5225 W. Vliet St., Milwaukee
In the 2017-2018 school year, Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) expects to receiveapproximately $5 million in federal Medicaid reimbursements to provide vital services including physical therapy, speech therapy, school nurses, transportation, and more. The Republican's healthcare repeal bill would make drastic cuts to Medicaid, while still requiring schools to provide the same services. This would have a devastating effect on the MPS budget, and it's our kids who will suffer because of it. Join Citizen Action of Wisconsin, the MTEA, School Board Director Tony Baez, parents, and educators to stand up for our children in opposition to the disastrous Trumpcare bill. RSVP. Contact: Justin Bielinski, 414-208-9283.

David Bowen Fundraiser, 6pm - 8pm 
Lions Pub, 4515 N, Oakland Ave., Shorewood
You are invited to join Russ Feingold at a benefit for State Representative DavidBowen. The main battleground in the fight for America’s democratic legitimacy is in the states, where races like Rep. Bowen’s will have a bigger impact on our progress than anything Congress takes up this year. Rep. Bowen exemplifies the progressive values needed to turn this state around, and as first chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, his race is vital to rebuilding leadership capacity in our state. Contributions.

Sup. Theo Lipscomb Town Hall, 6pm - 7pm 
Doctor's Park Pavilion, 1870 E. Fox Ln, Fow Point
County Board Chairman Theodore Lipscomb, Sr. invites you to a Chat with the Chairman listening session. More information, 414- 278-4280.

Diversity and Community: Author Event, 7pm - 7pm 
Boswell Book Co., 2559 N. Downer Ave., Milwaukee
Author Evelyn Perry will discuss "Live and Let Live: Diversity, Conflict, and Community in an Integrated Neighborhood." While conventional wisdom asserts that residential racial and economic integration holds great promise for reducing inequality in the United States, Americans are demonstrably not very good at living with difference. Perry's analysis of the multiethnic, mixed-income Milwaukee community of Riverwest, where residents maintain relative stability without insisting on conformity, advances our understanding of why and how neighborhoods matter.

Wed Jul 19, 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 resistance from the last week to get a beverage (up to $7) on the house, and compare notes with other individuals and groups working to make things better. More information.

Development Without Displacement, 5:30pm - 7:30pm 
Black Historical Society, 2620 W. Center St., Milwaukee
Community Conversation: Development without Displacement. Sponsored by District 10 County Supervisor Supreme Moore Omokunde. Special thanks to partners Milwaukee County, WHEDA, LISC, Running Rebels, and the Milwaukee Bucks.

Drinking Liberally Wauwatosa, 6pm - 8pm 
Cranky Al's, 6901 W. North Ave., Wauwatosa
Description: Come join fellow Wauwatosa progressives for good conversation and good beer atone of Tosa's most gemütlich establishments, Cranky Al's. DLW meets monthly on the 3rd Wednesday at 6 pm.

Thu Jul 20, 2017

Green Drinks Milwaukee , 5:30pm - 7:30pm 
Description: Good drinks, good conversation and a chance to network with other environmentally minded people. More information.

Sat Jul 22, 2017

Community Brainstorming, 8am - 11am 
St. Matthew CME Church, 2944 N. 9th St., Milwaukee
Description: Community Brainstorming Conference Breakfast Forum Breakfast: 8 am, Program:9 am Topic: Sex Trafficking in Wisconsin and the U.S. Panelists: Dana World Patterson, Chair, Human Trafficking Task Force of Greater Milwaukee; Judge Joseph Wall, Circuit Court Branch 20; Dennis Walton, Father-Activist, Director/Founder of Made Men World Wide; Judge Rebecca Dallet, Circuit Court Branch 40. Moderator: Martha Love. Chair: Hon. Russell Stamper Sr. All Are Invited, Come and Participate. Details.

Laughing Liberally Milwaukee, 8pm - 10pm 
Comedy Sportz Theater, 420 S. 1st St., Milwaukee
Laughing Liberally Milwaukee presents a night of progressive political comedy. Inaddition to some of the finest progressive comedians Milwaukee has to offer, each Laughing Liberally Milwaukee will feature a special interview with a local political figure, journalist or activist. This month's guest is James Carnell, a Milwaukee area transgender activist focused on building awareness of the equal rights initiatives of the Shorewood Solidarity Network and the Milwaukee Equal Rights Commission. Advance tickets ($8).

Sun Jul 23, 2017

Sunday Demonstration, 12pm - 1pm 
Cutler Park, Wisconsin Avenue, Waukesha
Description: What are you most concerned about? Social justice, democracy, the environment?Join us for a silent demonstration. We meet at Cutler Park in Waukesha on the sidewalk along Wisconsin Avenue near the Public Library. Bring a sign or use one of ours. Sponsored by Grassroots Waukesha.

GRNS Office Housewarming, 3pm - 5:30pm 
Grassroots North Shore Office, 5600 W. Brown Deer Rd., Brown Deer
Grassroots North Shore is celebrating its new home with an ice cream social (or in the case of rain, festive treats) and a tour of the new digs. The new office is spacious and much more easily accessible, with great parking and an elevator for those entering the building from the parking lot. Please RSVP so they will have enough treats on hand.

Wed Jul 26, 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 resistance from the last week to get a beverage (up to $7) on the house, and compare notes with other individuals and groups working to make things better. More information.

Drinking Liberally Glendale, 7pm - 7pm 
Bar Louie, 5750 N. Bayshore Dr., Glendale
Description: Drinking Liberally Glendale meets on the last Wednesday of the month. Come drink a beverage or two of your choice and talk about Liberal stuff.

Thu Jul 27, 2017

Beyond Sherman Park, 6:30pm - 9pm 
Parklawn Assembly of God Church, 3725 N Sherman Blvd., Milwaukee
A 10/36 Special: Milwaukee PBS host Portia Young and WUWM host LaToya Dennis discuss housing, unemployment, education, community pride, and police relations--and the impact all of this has on neighborhoods and residents beyond Sherman Park. Audience members will have opportunities to ask questions and make comments. Free and open to the public. RSVP -- ticket holders enter first. Doors open at 6:30, Discussion at 7:00.

Waukesha Writers Club, 6:30pm - 8pm 
336 Wisconsin Ave, Waukesha, WI
Description: The "Letter to the Editor" section is one of the most widely read part of thenewspaper, offering a chance to reach a broad audience. Letter to our legislators are also an effective way to let them know what we expect of them. Working together gives us the opportunity to discuss the current issues, improve writing skills, develop persuasive techniques that target intended readers, and help each other with idea and suggestions. Sponsored by Grassroots Waukesha (contact).

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