what's happening this week

Congress has returned and is getting very busy with investigations of the Trump administration. We have a Presidential Primary Debate coming up on September 12 with Debate Watch Parties (see the events list below for details). We'll keep our eyes on both of these stories.

But the good news, for now at least, is that Stanley Greenberg, a long-time Democratic pollster, has a new book out — R.I.P. G.O.P. — in which he predicts that "[t]he year 2020 will produce a second blue wave on at least the scale of the first in 2018 and finally will crash and shatter the Republican Party that was consumed by the ill-begotten battle to stop the New America from governing." As we say in my family, "from his lips to G-d's ears!" (Michelle Goldberg, in the NYTimes online, has an excellent op-ed about this book.) Still, we can't afford to become cocky. I know I have flogged these events in nearly every newsletter lately, but deep canvassing is really important.

Here's why: Wisconsin may well be the "tipping point" state — the one that decides whether the USA goes in a new direction or sinks into authoritarianism. And all it takes to be on the right (by which I actually mean the left) side is a few extra votes per ward. So we are working to contact voters who don't always vote because if we turn them out next year, we could turn out Trump and his cronies! We have three more deep canvasses scheduled and we need your help to get to everyone on our list. Please sign up.

The days, dates, and times of these events are as follows:

And don't forget to sign up for the Grassroots Northshore Annual Potluck Picnic at Cahill Park (in Whitefish Bay) from 4:30-7:30pm on Sunday, September 15.

We'll know in the next week or two whether as a country we've made any progress on gun safety legislation since the mass shootings in El Paso, Dayton, and Odessa. Pat Slutske provides us with a view of the "mental illness" argument against universal background checks and other sensible controls.

Pat Slutske

So now we have it. The president is scampering away from the idea of improving background checks to fight the gun violence pandemic. But they do have a proposed solution: lock up those mental cases, crazy people, and sickos that commit violence with a gun.

Nope, that is not the answer. Why? Because

  • only 3 – 6 % of the people who commit gun violence, it is estimated, have a recognizable mental illness;
  • many other countries have the same mental health issues as we do, but not the gun violence;
  • modern treatment for mental illness does not confine the person in some hidden-from-view, sequestered institution where the standards of care are barely human (think children in cages with no soap or toothbrushes);
  • and even the mentally ill have civil rights.

And what a windfall for those on the right who believe there is no good idea that cannot be privatized. We can throw together some shoddy buildings, call them mental institutions, and lock away those with mental defects. We can charge fees that amount to extortion, but have most of that money go to profit, not to the care of those that are being warehoused. We can keep them so medicated that they can barely function, making them so much more docile and easy to manage.

I know this is a bit conspiratorial, but I believe that it can happen here. So many things are happening that in isolation seem like no big deal. But when you start to put them together, the result looks an awful lot like how fascism has worked in any number of places to install autocratic, tyrannical, despotic regimes. Fascism is not a political ideology, but a phenomenon that is used to change government by taking advantage of what already exists: white supremacy, xenophobia, nationalism, hatred, and so many others. For the record, I did not come up with this on my own, but my view was fashioned by what we read and discussed in a grad school course devoted to Fascism that I sat in on last year. Some pretty scary stuff, made even scarier when what you are reading seems to be actually happening today. So, yes, I really wonder if building a bunch of mental institutions based on locking up the loonies might just be part pretext.

I am reminded of the often quoted passage from Martin Niemöller (1892–1984) a prominent Lutheran pastor in Germany:

First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out— because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.


Tue Sep 10, 2019

Josh Kaul: On the Issues, 12:15pm - 1:15pm
Marquette University, Eckstein Hall, 1215 W. Michigan St., Milwaukee

Josh Kaul, Attorney General of Wisconsin, will talk about his firsteight months on the job and his priorities as the state's top lawenforcement official. RSVP required.

Tearman Spencer Fundraiser, 5pm - 8pm
Garfield's 502, 502 W. Garfield Ave., Milwaukee

Reception to support Tearman Spencer for Milwaukee City Attorney. All contributions gratefully accepted. Learn more. RSVP and more information.

Women in Government Event, 5:30pm - 7:30pm
Wisconsin Historical Society, 816 State St., Madison

Join Wisconsin Women in Government for its first annual members event.The organization for more than 30 years has been celebrating and supporting women at every level of government, Wisconsin's only scholarship organization for women seeking a career in government. More information and registration.

Drinking Liberally MKE, 6:30pm - 8:30pm
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 need. Come share a pint with your fellow progressives! Drinking Liberally MKE meets on the second Tuesday of every month, hosted by Matt Filipowicz.

How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia, 6:30pm - 6:30pm
University School of Milwaukee, 2100 W. Fairy Chasm Rd., River Hills

The University School of Milwaukee Global Scholars program presents Masha Gessen, winner of the 2017 National Book Award and bestselling biographer of Vladimir Putin, who reveals how, in the space of a generation, Russia surrendered to a virulent new strain of autocracy. The book is titled The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia. This event is free, but registration is required. RSVP.

350 Milwaukee Meeting, 7pm - 8:30pm
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 Sep 11, 2019

Refuel the Resistance, 6pm - 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 - 8pm
Libby Montana, 5616 W Donges Bay Rd, Mequon

On September, 11 UWM Professor Shale Horowitz, PhD. will address the current state of US/China relations and engage in conversation topics which could include the Trade War, 5G Internet and Restrictions on Huawei, Chinese Space Technology, and other topics of general interest. Professor Shale Horowitz, PhD. is a leading authority on the topic of US-China relations. In addition to his work at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Dr. Horowitz is on the faculty of Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing, China.

Thu Sep 12, 2019

Debate Watch Parties, 6:30pm - 10pm
Various Locations

Watch with like-minded folks. Share your views. And have some fun!

Ferrante's Restaurant, 10404 N. Port Washington Rd., Mequon, 6:30-10:00pm, organized by Grassroots North Shore.

Peace Center,1001 E. KeefeAve., Milwaukee, 6:30-10:00pm, Sponsored by Milwaukee for Bernie.

Bounce Milwaukee, 2801 S. 5th Ct., Milwaukee, 6:30-10:00pm, organized by the Milwaukee County Democratic Party.

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.

Rigged: The Voter Suppression Playbook, 6:30pm - 6:30pm
All People's Church, 2600 N. 2nd St., Milwaukee

"Rigged: The Voter Suppression Playbook" is sponsored by WAVE and co-sponsored by Grassroots North Shore. Doors open at 6:30 pm, screening begins at 7pm.

Democratic Primary Debate, 7pm - 10pm
Televised on ABC News (WISN channel 12) and Univision.

Ten candidates have qualified for this debate. They will all be included in this debate.

Sat Sep 14, 2019

Fighting Bob Fest, 9:30am - 3:30pm
Pfiffner Park, 1100 Crosby Ave., Stevens Point

The Stevens Point chapter of Our Wisconsin Revolution with The Progressive Magazine and The Cap Times invite you to a day of progressive conversation in the spirit of Wisconsin's Robert "Fighting Bob" La Follette. Speakers include Jim Hightower, Spencer Black, and many others who will speak on various issues. Lunch available for purchase from Mama Mai' s Noodles. FREE and open to the public – Donations accepted at the door. RSVP and more information. Kickoff event takes place in Madison (see September 6 for details).

September Weekend Action, 10am - 5pm
Various locations

September Weekend of Action: Get out and talk to our community about issues and plans for 2020!

GrassRoots NorthShore, 2-5 pm, 5600 W Brown Deer Rd, Brown Deer. RSVP.

MKE Democratic Action Team, 10am- 5pm, 2405 E Wyoming Pl, Milwaukee. State Rep. Jonathan Brostoff will talk about issues of importance in his district before the canvass. RSVP.

MKE Central City Dem Team, 11am-5pm, Washington Park Library, 2121 N Sherman Blvd, Milwaukee. RSVP

Stand for Peace, 12pm - 1pm
Sixteenth Street & Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee

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

Deep Canvassing Event, 2pm - 4:30pm
GRNS office, 5600 W. Brown Deer Rd., Suite 116, Brown Deer

Deep canvassing does not seek to get votes for any particular candidate or party. Instead, its purpose is to listen to specific voters' concerns. The techniques canvassers use and the script require canvassers to work in pairs and to have a real discussion with voters. Help Grassroots North Shore get to know voters in the area. Training will be provided. RSVP.

Laughing Liberally Milwaukee, 8pm - 10pm
Comedy Sportz Theater, 420 S. 1st St., Milwaukee

Laughing Liberally Milwaukee presents a night of progressive political comedy. In addition 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 Primitivo Torres from the immigrant and refugee rights organization, RAICES. Advance tickets ($8).

Sun Sep 15, 2019

September Weekend Action, 12pm - 5pm </br />MKE Central City Dem Team, Sherman Phoenix, 3536 W Fond Du Lac Ave, Milwaukee
September Weekend of Action: Get out and talk to our community about issues and plans for 2020! RSVP.

GRNS Annual Potluck Picnic, 4:30pm - 7:30pm
Cahill Park, 4950 N. Woodruff Ave., Whitefish Bay

Grassroots North Shore will hold its annual picnic, with lots of good food and political activists. The theme this year is Climate Change: This Generation and Beyond. Conservation Voters Director Seth Hoffmeister will be a special guest speaker. Pulled pork and chicken sandwiches provided; popular potluck salads and desserts desired. Doors open: 4:30; Food served: 5:15, Speaker: 6:00. RSVP.

Mon Sep 16, 2019

DPMC Issues Committee Meeting, 4:30pm - 5:30pm
Amalgamated Transit Union, 734 N. 26th St., Milwaukee

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

Milwaukee Dems Meeting, 6pm - 6pm
Amalgamated Transit Union, 734 N. 26th St., Milwaukee

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.

Tue Sep 17, 2019

Political Open Mic, 6pm - 8pm
Third Space Brewing, 1505 W. St. Paul Ave., Milwaukee

The 2020 US presidential election is almost a year away. Join NEWaukee and Bridge the City to discuss ways we can work together to ensure every vote counts, for all elections locally and nationally. This Political Open Mic will give residents, elected officials, nonprofit leaders, and the business community a platform to share solutions to the challenges our communities face around voting. More information, list of invited speakers, and RSVP.

Wed Sep 18, 2019

Ed Fallone Luncheon Event, 12pm - 1:15pm
Riverfront Pizzeria, 509 E. Erie St., Milwaukee

The Wisconsin Justice Initiative will host an informal "salon" luncheon. Supreme Court candidate Ed Fallone, a Marquette University Law School professor, will talk about his campaign and his qualifications and take questions from the audience. The cost of the salon is $14, which covers the buffet lunch of an entre, pizza, salad, and garlic bread. There will be vegetarian options. RSVP.

Rebecca Kiefer Campaign Fundraiser, 5pm - 7pm
Jackalope Lounj - Wicked Hop, 343 N. Broadway, Milwaukee

Event to support the campaign of Rebecca Kiefer for Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge. Host: $500 | Sponsor: $250 | Friend: $100 | Suggested contribution: $50. All contributions gratefully accepted. RSVP and Contribute. Checks can also be mailed to: Kiefer for Judge 5027 W. North Ave. Milwaukee, WI 53208.

Drinking Liberally Wauwatosa, 6pm - 8pm
Red Dot, 6715 W. North Ave., Wauwatosa

Come join fellow Wauwatosa progressives for good conversation. DLW meets monthly on the 3rd Wednesday at 6 p.m.

Refuel the Resistance, 6pm - 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 Wauwatosa, 6:30pm - 9pm
Walter's, 6930 W. North Ave., Wauwatosa

Come join fellow Wauwatosa progressives for good conversation. More info.

Southwest Region Dems Meeting, 7pm - 7pm
Studz Pub Sports Bar & Grill, 6833 W. National Ave., West Allis

Southwest Dems will hold their monthly meeting. Region 5 covers Franklin, Greendale, Greenfield, Hales Corners, Milwaukee (Southwest), West Allis, West Milwaukee. For more information contact [email protected].

Thu Sep 19, 2019

Women Vote, Women Run, 4pm - 6pm
Women's Club of Wisconsin, 813 E. Kilbourn Ave., Milwaukee

The Woman's Club of Wisconsin presents a networking and lecture event featuring Kathleen Dolan, Distinguished Professor and Chair at UW- Milwaukee, and author of the book When does Gender Matter? Women Candidates and Gender Stereotypes in American Elections. Other featured guests include State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski and former WPR host Joy Cardin. The event is sponsored by First Business Trust & Investment. Tickets ($10).

Citizen Action Brew Fest Fundraiser, 5pm - 8pm
Coakley Brothers Water Building, 400 S. 5th St., Milwaukee

Join Citizen Action for a tasty evening of camaraderie and fun! Beverages - Appetizers - Silent Auction. More info.

WI for Warren, 5:30pm - 7:30pm
Cedarburg Art Museum, W63 N675 Washington Ave, Cedarburg, WI

The art museum has a beer garden/food/entertainment on Thursday nights so we will put on our Warren gear and meet up with other Warren supporters at the beer garden to talk and be a presence for EW in Cedarburg.

Sat Sep 21, 2019

Warren Table at Bay View Bash, 11am - 7pm
S. Kinnickinnic Ave. between Potter and Clement, Milwaukee

Join the Warren for President table at the South Shore's biggest summer party, registering new volunteers, canvassing, helping new voters get registered, and passing out buttons. Sign up now for a two-hour shift! More info on the event. RSVP.

NAACP Monthly Meeting, 11:30am - 1pm
2745 N. Dr. Martin Luther King Dr., Milwaukee

Monthly membership meeting of NAACP Milwaukee Branch. The meeting is held in the basement conference room.

Stand for Peace, 12pm - 1pm
Tenth Street & Wells Street, Milwaukee

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

Wis for Warren House Party, 5:30pm - 8pm
2405 E. Wyoming Pl., Milwaukee

Come to a house party supporting Elizabeth Warren for President andtalk about Elizabeth's vision for real, structural change in thiscountry. Come learn about how you can get involved with Team Warren!Snacks & drinks will be provided so please RSVP. All are welcome at this event.

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