GRNS: let's kick off 2018

There's a lot going on now that we have entered the new year. Two really important events I want to highlight:

  1. Our annual meeting and shared supper will take place on Sunday, January 28 from 5 pm. In addition to a brief business meeting to elect new leaders, we will hear from some notable candidates such as Tom Palzewicz (running for the 5th Congressional District against Jim Sensenbrenner), Dan Kohl (running for the 6th Congressional District against Glenn Grothman), and Randy Bryce (running in the 1st Congressional District against Paul Ryan) plus Robert Kraig from Citizen Action. We have a real shot at unseating some of these incumbents, but of course, it will take lots of people power to make it so. I hope you'll come out to this event to support the candidates and Grassroots North Shore.

  2. Grassroots North Shore is starting a book club GRNS is starting a book club to better understand the world we live in and to learn what actions we can take to make it better. At our first meeting, on Wednesday, January 24, from 6-8pm (with a second session tentatively planned for Saturday, February 3, from 9:30-11: 30 am), we will hold a two-hour discussion focused on the book, Runaway Inequality: An Activist's Guide to Economic Justice, by Les Leopold.

Please sign up to attend the annual meeting/dinner and the first meeting of the book club.

On the crazy news front, there's already a surfeit of coverage. If you read any national news outlet or watch any prime time news broadcast, you don't need me to bring you up to speed. But there's a not-so-well covered concern about exactly how the news media are handling the bizarro stuff emanating from the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, Washington, D.C. In particular, how the media and the rest of us are responding to those abominable tweets.

George Lakoff, the renowned linguist and cognitive scientist (author of such seminal books as Metaphors We Live By), has an especially cogent piece on the problem. At the risk of trying your patience, I am including his entire tweet stream here. Feel free to scroll down to the EVENTS list below and skip the lecture!

Trump uses social media as a weapon to control the news cycle. It works like a charm. His tweets are tactical rather than substantive. They mostly fall into one of these four categories.


The tweets either get his framing established first, knowing that whoever frames first tends to win. Or when things look bad for him, he diverts attention or attacks the messenger. And when he wants to test public opinion, he puts out an outrageous trial balloon. Each tweet gets his message retweeted so he dominates social media. Reporters, social media influencers, and many others fall for it hook, line, and sinker. Every time. They retweet, share, and repeat his messages ad infinitum. This helps Trump tremendously.

They may think they’re negating or undermining him, but that’s not how human brains work. As a cognitive scientist, I can tell you: repeating his messages only helps him. First, it focuses all attention on Trump’s antics. This makes his nonsense seem like the most important thing in the world. It’s called the “focusing illusion” – and it’s a large part of why he got elected in the first place. It makes him larger than life. Second, constant repetition of his Trump’s messages embeds them deeply in the brains of millions of people. Whether it’s locking up his opponents or threatening nuclear war, he has the power to control tens of millions of brains via tweets. He focuses them on his chosen topics. Third, the constant attacks and outrage increase his credibility with his base. He can portray himself as a victim of the “establishment” – under constant attacks (which he provokes with tweets). He acts, his opponents only react. He is in heroic control.

I understand the desire to portray Trump as childish or deranged. But do you deal with a child or a deranged person by sinking to their level? Do you mock and scorn them, or trumpet their ridiculousness on the front page? No.

Imagine if we took a different approach to Trump’s social media antics. Imagine if we put them in a small, quiet corner of the newspaper. Imagine if they were only a minor throwaway item at the end of the newscast. Imagine greeting them with calm clarity, not instant outrage.

Imagine if we took back OUR power from this disgraceful man. Imagine if WE decided what was important, rather than dancing to Trump’s tune. Imagine if a tweet were just a tweet (or evidence in a criminal case), rather than the dictator of our reality.

We have the power stop him. But we must stop letting him control our media -- and our minds. It’s time to give Trump a Twitter Time Out. Let’s shrink him down to size. Let’s take this weapon out of his hands.

Think of Trump as a puppeteer, his tweets as the strings, and anyone who retweets/shares him as the puppet. Cut the damn strings!

TALK ABOUT THE TRUTH: Fram the real issue (e.g., Russia, foreign policy, business connections).

NOTE ATTEMPT TO DIVERT ATTENTION: Say that he's diverting attention. When claims are false, say why.

GO BACK TO THE REAL ISSUES: Don't spend too much time on diversions. Get right back to the issue at hand.


Thu, January 4

Emergency Town Hall, 6 pm
Clara Mohammed School, 317 W. Wright St, Milwaukee

Emergency call to action to address the urgent need for emergency placement, housing, and services for women, children, and teens in MKE. Several elected officials have committed to attending and supporting this call to action. More info.

Fri, January 5

Neglected Dangers: Author Event, 6:30 pm
University School of Milwaukee, 2200 E. Fairy Chasm Rd., River Hills

Michele Wucker, commentator and policy analyst, will speak about her book "The Gray Rhino: How to Recognize and Act on the Obvious Dangers We Ignore." A Gray Rhino is a highly probable, high impact, yet neglected threat. Gray Rhinos are not random surprises, but occur after a series of warnings and visible evidence. Floods in Houston, devastating wildfires in California, and the rise of mass shootings are timely examples. But leaders and decision makers keep failing to address obvious dangers before they spiral out of control. Light refreshments will be served. Registration requested.

Sat, January 6

Stand for Peace, 12 pm – 1 pm
27th Street & Oklahoma Avenue, Milwaukee

Stand for peace in the streets of Milwaukee, every Saturday at noon. Organized by the United Nations Association of Milwaukee, Peace/Conflict Committee.

Voces de la Frontera Member Meeting, 2 pm
Voces de la Frontera, 1027 S. 5th St., Milwaukee

Join Voces members to plan this month's work to fight for the clean Dream Act, and to stop 287g and the hate bill AB190, and talk about organizing to invite the entire community to the upcoming Annual Assembly. Call 414-643-1620 for More info.

Dr. Martin Luther King Celebration, 6 pm
Laborers' Local 113 Hall, 6310 W. Appleton Ave., Milwaukee

All are welcome to the 28th annual event celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King. Free admission, food, refreshments and entertainment. Keynote speaker: State Rep. David Crowley. Sponsored by UAW 469 Human and Civil Rights Committee. Contact: Chairperson DiAndre Jackson, 414-659-4684.

Sun, January 7

UBLAC Mass Meeting, 2 pm – 4 pm
New Hope Youth and Family Services, 7113 W Capitol Dr., Milwaukee

UBLAC welcomes you to attend, invite, and support this first Mass Meeting of 2018: build, engage, educate, and work together with a focus on Community and Black Liberation. More info.

Mon, January 8

Tim Burns Fundraiser, 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm
Iron Horse Hotel, 500 W. Florida St., Milwaukee

Fundraiser to support the campaign of Tim Burns for Wisconsin Supreme Court. Tim will answer your questions about the law, about who he is, and about what he stands for. Contribution levels: Host $1,000, Co-host $500, Sponsor $250, Friend $100, Suggested: $50. Online contribution. More info.

Citizen Action Movement Politics, 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
Citizen Action office, 221 S. Second St., Suite 300, Milwaukee

Attend Citizen Action's monthly Movement Politics committee meeting in the Milwaukee region to plan 2018 Spring Election candidate screening for Milwaukee County Board and selected members running for other local offices. Please join in! RSVP. Email or call or 414-315-4127.

Grass Roots South Shore Meeting, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Cudahy Library, 3500 Library Dr., Cudahy

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

Drinking Liberally Waukesha, 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Clarke Irish Pub, 314 W. Main St., Waukesha

The guest speaker will be Kathy Champeau, who studies the legislation impacting education and especially teacher certification, providing information which the public generally is not aware of but impacts all public school students in Wisconsin. More information.

Anti-Bullying Video and Discussion, 6:30 pm
Zilber School of Public Health, 1240 N. 10th St., Milwaukee

You are invited to view the Anti-bullying music video "No Amount of Tears." Guest speakers County Supervisor Peggy West, Alderman Ashanti Hamilton, Alderman Tony Zielinski, and State Representative David Crowley will also discuss governmental responses to the problem of bullying. More information.

Tue, January 9

City-Wide Curriculum Building, 4 pm – 7 pm
Washington Park Library, 2121 N. Sherman Blvd., Milwaukee

All educators, of every age, are welcome. This session will include interactive curricular ideas, courtesy of 200 Nights of Freedom, designed to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Milwaukee Fair Housing Marches of 1967-1968. There will be plenty of collaborative workshop time to develop your own justice-minded activities in order to evaluate the Milwaukee we've created and envision the Milwaukee we need. Resources. More info.

Clean Water Event, 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Milwaukee Yacht Club, 1700 N. Lincoln Memorial Dr., Milwaukee

Join Midwest Environmental Advocates to welcome Equal Justice Works Fellow Jacklyn Velasquez, a 2017 Vermont Law School graduate and member of the Big Pine Paiute Tribe of Owens Valley, California. Jacklyn’s passion for environmental and cultural justice were strengthened while working with her Tribe to secure their rights to water in a fight with powerful interests including the City of Los Angeles. Tickets are $25 and include hearty appetizers and a cash bar. More information: Lauren Rudersdorf.

Conversations on Race, 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Brown Deer United Methodist, 5736 W. Brown Deer Rd., Brown Deer

Conversations on Race is for people who are ready to discuss how we are approaching racial issues both personally and systemically. It is a time to learn about the fears, angers, prejudices, systemic privileges and spiritual power that we each hold. With the events in Charlottesville we will continue our discussion of White Supremacy and the impact everyday in American culture and life led by Lisa Jones and Joe Masterson. This event is open to the public and is handicap accessible.

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

Now, more than ever, Drinking Liberally is a space to gather, support each other, and form the progressive community we're going to need to get through the next four years. Come share a pint with your fellow progressives! Drinking Liberally MKE meets on the second Tuesday of every month, hosted by Matt Filipowicz.

350 Milwaukee Meeting, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Urban Ecology Center, 1500 E. Park Pl., Milwaukee
350.ORG is the global organization building a grassroots movement in 188 countries to address global warming and solve the climate crisis. 350 Milwaukee meets every month on the second Tuesday. More information.

Wed, January 10

Refuel the Resistance, 5 pm – 8 pm
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.

OFA Whitefish Bay Meeting, 7 pm
401 E. Beaumont Ave., Apt. 311, Whitefish Bay

The new OFA (Organizing for Action) Whitefish Bay chapter will have an action planning meeting to discuss issues of concern in our community. Sheldon Wasserman, Milwaukee County board member, will discuss Whitefish Bay’s political map, and Erica Flynn, candidate for State Representative on the south side of Milwaukee will discuss the process she went through in deciding to run for office. RSVP.

Election Integrity, 7 pm - 9 pm
321 West Wisconsin Avenue, Waukesha (Waukesha Public Library)

Karen McKim from the Wisconsin Election Integrity will talk about the appropriate use and management of election technology, which is the weakest link in Wisconsin's elections-administration practices and the one that gets least serious attention. This event is sponsored by the Waukesha Chapter of Our Wisconsin Revolution.

Thu, January 11

GRSS Spring Election Kickoff, 5:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Barbiere's Italian Inn, 1021 Milwaukee Ave., South Milwaukee

Grass Roots South Shore's kickoff event will start with pizza; then several elected officials including Sen. Chris Larson are expected to speak. Three members of GRSS will be running in the spring elections: Leah Schrieber (an Emerge participant) for Oak Creek School Board; Mike Johnson for Cudahy School Board; and Steve Shea for Milwaukee County Supervisor. To finish the evening teams will form to do phone calls to voters.

Drinking Liberally West Allis, 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Studz Pub Sports Bar & Grill, 6833 W. National Ave., West Allis

Drinking Liberally West Allis meets on the second Thursday of the month. Free discussions and fellowship. Good food and specials available.

Sat, January 13

Citizen Action Candidate Interviews, 9 am – 12 pm
Citizen Action office, 221 S. Second St., Suite 300, Milwaukee

Join Citizen Action members and leaders to interview 2018 Spring election candidates for the Milwaukee County Board and Citizen Action Organizing Cooperative members who are running for other Milwaukee area municipal offices in the Spring election. This screening committee will make endorsement recommendations to the Citizen Action Board. RSVP. Email or call 414-315-4127.

UN Successes and Failures, 10 am – 12 pm
Redeemer Lutheran Church, 631 N. 19th St., Milwaukee

Gary Shellman, PhD, will speak on “Successes & Failures of the U.N. - 1945 to 2017" and conclude with a brief assessment of the outlook for UN - United States relations today. The United Nations represents the end of colonialism and was founded in the hope of achieving lasting peace, a healthy world, and improved economic opportunity. Prof. Shellman's research and teaching as a historian focus on 19th and 20th Century Europe. Free and open to the public.

Stand for Peace, 12 pm – 1 pm
Hawley Road & Bluemound Road

Stand for peace in the streets of Milwaukee, every Saturday at noon. Organized by the United Nations Association of Milwaukee, Peace/Conflict Committee.

Sun, January 14

Martin Luther King Birthday Celebration, 1:00 pm – 3:30 pm
Marcus Center For The Performing Arts, 929 N. Water St., Milwaukee

This event focuses on keeping the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. alive. Its programming highlights the youth in our community who every year interpret Dr. King’s words through an art, speech and writing contest. In addition, various cultural arts organizations take center stage in Uihlein Hall, truly demonstrating the excellence of our arts community. The event concludes with the Paulette Y. Copeland Reception in Bradley Pavilion. The theme for this year is: “Take a Stand for Truth and Justice.” FREE and open to the public! More info.

Mon, January 15

Milwaukee Public Library King Day Celebration, 9 am – 5 pm
MLK Library, 310 W. Locust St., Milwaukee

Milwaukee Public Library will host a full day of activities honoring the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Since 2009, the MLK branch has opened on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day to offer a celebration filled with poetry, music, dance, crafts, games, and community services. More information.

MLK Jr. Celebration, 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm
Saint Francis of Assisi Church, 1927 N. 4th St., Milwaukee

Join with the MLK Jr. Justice Coalition, for its 17th annual birthday salute to the life and movement of Dr. King! This family friendly event will include speakers, music, songs, and a dramatic reading from the last day of King's life. The event concludes with a march to the King Statue (4 blocks) at 2:30pm for an open mic. More info.

DPMC Issues Committee Meeting, 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm
J&B's Blue Ribbon, 5230 W. Bluemound Rd., Milwaukee

NOTE NEW LOCATION. The Democratic Party's Issues Committee will hold its monthly meeting. All Democrats are welcome to participate.

Milwaukee Dems Meeting, 6 pm
J&B's Blue Ribbon, 5230 W. Bluemound Rd., Milwaukee

NOTE NEW LOCATION. Program: Social justice issues and Milwaukee. A panel discussion on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's dream — When will it be great for ALL of us? Panelists:

  • Reggie Moore - Director, Office of Violence Prevention at City of Milwaukee
  • Markasa Tucker - Director, African American Roundtable - Wisconsin Voices, Inc.
  • Supreme Moore Omokunde - County Supervisor, District 10
  • Marisabel Cabrera - Immigration Lawyer & Former Chair, DPW Latino Caucus

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

Democratic Black Caucus Party, 7 pm – 9 pm
Skybox Sports Bar, 2213 N. Dr. Martin Luther King Dr., Milwaukee

Democratic Black Caucus of Wisconsin Launch Party: "Continuing the Dream," a special mixer to celebrate the new brand and mission of the Black Caucus! More info.

Tue, January 16

Tom Palzewicz Fundraiser, 6 pm – 8 pm
Red Dot Tosa, 6715 W. North Ave., Wauwatosa

Please join Tom Palzewicz for a Winter Gathering In Wauwatosa, with special guests Khary Penebaker & Chris Rockwood. Tom is running to replace Jim Sensenbrenner in Congress for the 5th CD. Contributions of any size are welcome. Suggested contribution levels: Host: $500 | Sponsor: $250 | Friend: $100 | Supporter: $50.Online contributions. Please RSVP.


Women's March 2018, January 20
Milwaukee County Courthouse, 901 N. 9th St., Milwaukee

Nationwide march on the first anniversary of the historic Women's March in Washington, D.C. and elsewhere. More information.

Grassroots North Shore Book Club, January 24, 6-8 pm
join us for a 2-hour facilitated discussion of a pressing issue. Our first meeting will explore runaway inequality with a focus on the book Runaway Inequality: An Activist's Guide to Economic Justice, by Les Leopold. More information.

Grassroots North Shore Annual Meeting and Dinner, January 28, 5 pm
North Shore Presbyterian Church, 4048 N. Bartlett Ave, Shorewood

A chance for progressive camaraderie and good food while we meet some of the great candidates who are going to help us take control of the US House of Representatives in November! More information.

Spring Primary Election, February 20
Primary for these nonpartisan offices: Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice, Wisconsin Court of Appeals Judge, County Supervisor, County Circuit Judges, and in some localities, municipal officials.

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