opportunities galore

Grassroots North Shore is dedicated to education around vital issues and engagement to help make the changes we all want to see. In years like this one when there are either no or very few elections, we like to focus on a few key issues. High on our list this year (and pretty much every year) are race relations, voting rights, the environment, gun safety, public education, criminal justice reform, immigration, and healthcare. We will undoubtedly sponsor programs and activities around most if not all of these issues over the next eight months. Our Facebook page, our website, and this newsletter are the surest ways to keep track of our activities and to RSVP for the ones of most interest to you. So LIKE us on Facebook, VISIT our website, and of course READ this newsletter!

Apropos of our interest in voting rights, there's been big news about gerrymandering this past week. While the US Supreme Court is still deciding whether to declare extreme partisan gerrymandering unconstitutional in the two cases before it (one from Maryland and one from North Carolina), a three-judge district court in Michigan unanimously ruled that state's maps for state and federal offices unconstitutional. Moreover, it has mandated that the state redraw the districts before the 2020 election. (See the Washington Post article, April 25, 2019.) If this outcome sounds familiar, it should. As Nicholas Stephanopoulos points out in his electionlawblog post, The Emerging Consensus of the Lower Courts, "The decision is ... further proof that, while the Supreme Court continues to debate the issue, the lower courts have found a way to identify—and invalidate—extreme gerrymanders."

Lest you think that this issue is too esoteric or too minor for your attention, let me explain why it is foundational — to our democracy and to the hopes we have for our beloved state of Wisconsin. You see, unless we achieve fair maps, we cannot change who sits in our Assembly or our Senate. The election last November showed that the Assembly district maps (on which the state Senate district maps are dependent) are so partisan in their makeup that even the sort of wave election we saw last fall cannot make a dent in the grip the GOP has on legislative power. Although the statewide vote for Assembly went heavily for Democrats (roughly 54%), Republicans "won" 63 of the 99 seats!

None of the issues we care deeply about — the state of our environment, criminal justice reform, the funding of public education and rethinking the role of tax dollars in voucher schools and so on — can be successfully addressed with the GOP so firmly in control. In truth, the legislators do not need to listen to their constituents when elections are forgone conclusions. Even if a huge majority of WI counties (46 of 72 and counting) and huge support among voters back nonpartisan redistricting (the January Marquette Law School poll measured support at 72% statewide), our current legislators will not pay any attention. Unless we raise our voices so that they can no longer ignore us.

That's why we're asking you to take an hour or so to send postcards to the members of the Joint Finance Committee to "flood the zone" and let them know that we really care about this issue! We've organized some postcard parties to get the job done but we need your help. We have everything you will need — including postcards with a simple message already printed on them, pens, stamps, and names and addresses. Really, all we need is YOU. Please take a little of your time to make this postcard campaign a success! You can sign up for one of the three currently scheduled events right here.

  • Tuesday, April 30 at our office (5600 W Brown Deer Road, Suite 116),1:30-3:30pm

  • Friday, May 3 at our office (5600 W Brown Deer Road, Suite 116), 3:00-4:30pm

  • Thursday, May 9 at at Martha Pincus's house (7045 N Belmont Ln, Fox Point, 53217), from 5:00-6:30pm

As we move deeper into May, we're holding a public presentation on why Milwaukee is and remains such a segregated city. On Sunday, May 5, Reggie Jackson, Head Griot for America's Black Holocaust Museum, will speak to us about this issue and will offer some ideas about how we address the problems. The event will take place at Plymouth Church (2717 N Hampshire St, Milwaukee) from 3:00-5:00pm (doors open at 2:30). Please RSVP so our team of hearty volunteers will know how to gauge the amount of light refreshments they plan to serve.

Finally, recruiting good candidates and giving them the support they need to be successful in our Assembly districts are vital to our success. Fortunately, Emily Siegrist has declared that she will run again for the 24th Assembly District. To that end, Kath Michel and I — plus a distinguished list of co-hosts — will be holding a pre-campaign kickoff and fundraiser for her. Even if you don't live in the 24th Assembly District, you can help her win by giving what you can and by coming to the event at 4:00-6:00pm at my house (7759 N River Edge Dr, Glendale). You can RSVP by email or by phone (612-590-9112) and you can donate online. You can also learn more about the event on Facebook.


Wed May 1, 2019

Refuel the Resistance, 5pm - 8pm
Bounce Milwaukee, 2801 S. 5th Ct., Milwaukee Calendar: Social

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.

Grass Roots South Shore Meeting, 6pm - 8pm
Cudahy Library, 3500 Library Dr., Cudahy

Grass Roots South Shore meets on the first Wednesday of each month. For more information call Jim Balk, 414-218-5944.

Sat May 4, 2019

SILENCED! Navigating Global Threats to Press Freedom, 9am - 12pm
Fireside Lounge, UWM, 2200 E. Kenwood

Assaults on press freedom come in many forms. Authoritarian regimesclose down media outlets and arrest or attack journalists. Social media is weaponized against dissent. Implicit threats of reprisal foster media self-censorship. In ostensibly open societies like our own, government officials try to undermine press credibility with charges of "fake news". Reporters' lawful requests for public information are resisted or ignored. Meanwhile, a changing information environment calls into question the viability of the existing business model for news providers. A distinguished international panel of journalists takes a comprehensive look at how social, political and economic forces are threatening your right to know.

Stand for Peace, 11am - 11:45am
Wisconsin Avenue & 19th Street, Milwaukee

Note change of time because of the UNA luncheon. Stand for peace in the streets of Milwaukee, every Saturday. Organized by Peace Action Wisconsin.

UNA Global Citizens Awards Luncheon, 11:30am - 11:30am
Redeemer Lutheran Church, 631 N. 19th St., Milwaukee

The United Nations Association of Greater Milwaukee will have its Annual Global Citizens Award Luncheon, with Keynote Speaker Terence Blackburn. Registration 11:30, Lunch and Program 12:00. Open to the public. Cost: $35:00 per person, $15.00 student/low income, $40.00 at door without reservation. Reservation (deadline April 29) and more information.

Sun May 5, 2019

MKE Segregated Housing, 2:30pm - 5pm
Plymouth Church, 2717 N. Hampshire St., Milwaukee

Grassroots North Shore will host a forum on why Metro Milwaukee has the most segregated housing in the country. Reggie Jackson, Head Griot of the Black Holocaust Museum, will talk about who perpetuates this segregation and what we can do to change it. Free and open to the public; light refreshments served. RSVP.

Mon May 6, 2019

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

Former U.S. Attorney James Santelle will speak to the group about legal topics, including the findings in the recently released Mueller report. Drinking Liberally Waukesha meets the first Monday of each month. More information.

Tue May 7, 2019

League of Women Voters of Milwaukee County Annual Meeting of the Membership, 5:15pm - 8:30pm
The Wisconsin Club, , 900 W. Wisconsin Ave, Milwaukee

5:15 pm - Social Gathering - Cash Bar) 50/50 Raffle to support League Centennial activities; 5:45 pm - Dinner (Vegetable Wellington, Grecian Whitefish or Chicken Piccata); 6:15 pm - Speaker: Jodi Habush Sinykin; 7:00 pm - Break, Cake & Coffee; 7:15 pm - Business Meeting*; 8:30 pm - Adjournment ~ Special Presentation on the Foxconn Water Diversion Lawsuit ~ Our speaker is Attorney Jodi Habush Sinykin, a League member and legal counsel to Midwest Environmental Advocates. She will provide an overview of the environmental issues at play, and an update on the lawsuit against the state DNR over the decision to divert Great Lakes Basin water to the straddling community of Mount Pleasant to meet the manufacturing and commercial needs of the promised Foxconn Technology Group complex. RSVP today for this important meeting! Cost: LWVMC members - $40* (includes dinner) | Your nonmember guests - $50 (includes dinner) *Members may attend the speaker portion and/or business meeting only at no cost (reservation required so we have enough seating). Free parking - enter lot on 10th St. between Wells & Wisconsin.

Wed May 8, 2019

Unlearning Racism: Tools for Action - Milwaukee Course, 1pm - 5pm
YWCA Southeast Wisconsin, 1915 N Doctor M.L.K. Jr Dr, Milwaukee

Eliminating racism is an ongoing process that involves a willingness to learn about, and begin, undoing, the adverse impact of racism on individuals, organizations, and communities. This six-part workshop series examines the history and impact of racism and what participants can do about it.

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 - Mequon, 6:30pm - 7pm
Libby Montana, 5616 W Donges Bay Rd, Mequon

With special guest Carly Wilson from Emerge Wisconsin. More info.

Thu May 9, 2019

Drinking Liberally West Allis, 6:30pm - 9pm
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 May 11, 2019

Stand for Peace, 12pm - 1pm
Stand for peace in the streets of Milwaukee, every Saturday at noon. Organized by Peace Action Wisconsin.

Pre-Campaign Kickoff for Emily Siegrist, 4pm - 6pm
Home of Nancy Kaplan and Stuart Moulthrop, 7759 N. River Edge Dr., Glendale

Tired of GOP domination of WI's state Assembly? Fed up with Vos and Fitzgerald mucking up our state? Well, Emily Siegrist is part of the solution. Show her some early love by coming to her Pre-Campaign Kick-Off and donating what you can. Donate online and RSVP by email or phone (612-590-9112). See the event on Facebook and sign up there if you'd rather.

Mon May 13, 2019

Grass Roots South Shore Meeting, 6pm - 8pm
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.

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