We won! BIG!! And what with all the shenanigans surrounding this election — the Wisconsin Supreme Court and the US Supreme Court both making last-minute rulings favoring the GOP positions — we got plenty of national press. I'll only point you to one, however. The Washington Post's story, published today, highlights not only the HUGE Jill Karofsky victory by more than 10%, but it also reviews the outstanding string of victories Democrats have worked to achieve since 2018. Go read it. It's sure to brighten even this sunny day.
You can review the full statewide results at the Journal Sentinel online.
Ok, with that out of the way, it's on to the next battle: the special election for a representative in the 7th Congressional District, to be held on May 12. And we have a plan for that. We've recruited at least 35 people to write postcards to people in that CD. At an average of 30 postcards each, that means almost 1100 cards. With stamps! And we need your (financial) help with this project. In short, we're doing what we rarely do: asking for donations to fund a specific project. Please be as generous as you can during these anxious times.
The next Wisconsin election is August 11 — 4 months from now. But it's not too early to request an absentee ballot for that election and for the November 3 election. To do it online, go to myvote.wi.gov. If you have already requested absentee ballots for the remaining two elections, you don't need to do this. But if you voted in-person absentee (early voting) for the April 7 election or if you requested an absentee ballot for the April 7 election but not for the other two elections this year, you need to get this matter taken care of sooner rather than later. If we make the requests now, municipal clerks will be better able to plan and we are less likely to see the kinds of bottlenecks that resulted in many voters failing to receive their absentee ballots in time.
The results of the election are in but the cost in public health has to be tracked over the next week or so. I hope to have something to share with you by next week's newsletter.
On the national electoral front, former President Obama endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden today. Senator Sanders has also endorsed former VP Biden. The primary is effectively over. What remains is the contest for ideas. Deep in a Wired story from last week comes this acknowledgement of Senator Sanders's effect on the substance of the campaign: "It’s largely thanks to him that Biden will no doubt run on the most progressive platform in decades." The left wing of the party will continue to work for its principles and ideas. Senator Sanders has promised as much. And former VP Biden seems open to at least some of the ideas Sanders supporters have championed.
If you want to be a delegate to the Democratic National Convention, the Democratic Party of Wisconsin is holding informational sessions to help you. Sign up for one.
Finally, there's the ongoing struggle in Wisconsin to combat the coronavirus. Governor Evers has proposed a long and robust list of actions to help fight the infection and to support the people of Wisconsin as we continue to observe the "Safer at Home" order he issued on March 25. Among them are these proposals:
- Eliminate the one week waiting period for receiving unemployment benefits and provide state-funded back pay for any lost benefits resulting from the delay in suspending the waiting period;
- Prohibit disconnection of utilities from a rental unit during a public health emergency;
- Protect against evictions and foreclosures during a public health emergency;
- Expand the Emergency Assistance program during the public health emergency for families in need who are facing homelessness;
- Provide funding for local governments and health departments to ensure they are able to respond to this crisis and maintain public services;
- Increase funding for the Wisconsin Works Program to assist individuals who want to work but are unemployed due to the public health emergency (individuals may be eligible for benefits under Wisconsin Works even if they aren’t eligible for unemployment benefits);
- Increase funding for Wisconsin food banks to ensure Wisconsinites' basic needs are met;
- Allow waiver of penalties or interest on late tax payments;
- Expand access, support, and services for child care workers and centers;
- Grow the funds available for WEDC’s programs to provide economic relief to small businesses;
- Allow out-of-state and recently lapsed licensed health professionals in good standing the ability to practice during the public health emergency;
- Provide an additional $20 million in broadband expansion grants to increase internet access for the health, agriculture, and education sectors; Increase funding for Medicaid providers to support the healthcare system’s response to the public health emergency; and
- Require that telehealth services are covered by insurance as in-person services normally would.
To put pressure on a recalcitrant legislature, please call and lobby your assembly representative and your state senator. If you don't know who they are or you don't have their contact information handy, you can look them up!
Although the list of events is sparse, I've chosen to begin including them as more virtual events begin to appear. Attending an online event may not be the same as going to one in person, but this is the world we inhabit now. And besides, what else do you have to do?
Tue Apr 14, 2020
Drinking Liberally Grafton, 6:30pm - 8pm
Join your friends for a virtual drink and hear from Organizing Together 2020 Wisconsin, a coalition of organizations, organizers and activists working together to advance progressive issues and defeat President Trump. t's easy to join. Type this into your browser address line and follow the prompts: https://us04web.zoom.us/j/555205531. You can also join us by entering this number into your cell phone: +13126266799,,555205531# US.
Tentative Schedule For Future Meetings
4/28 Meet the Candidates
5/12 Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin
Drinking Liberally Grafton is a destination to meet friends, stay up-to-date on local progressive politics and get inspired to action.
Thu Apr 16, 2020
Panel: Women Assembly Candidates, 7pm - 8pm
Virtual panel discussion featuring three women candidates for the Assembly: Jessica Katzenmeyer, the 2nd ever transgender woman to run for state assembly (District 15); Kristina Shelton, candidate for Assembly District 90; and Lee Snodgrass, the 2nd Vice Chair for the DPW and candidate for Assembly District 57. Registration is free but required to attend. More information.
Sat Apr 18, 2020
Info: NAACP Monthly Meeting, 11:30am - 1pm
2745 N. Dr. Martin Luther King Dr., Milwaukee
The NAACP meeting is likely to be canceled. Call 414.562.1000 for further information. Monthly membership meeting of NAACP Milwaukee Branch. The meeting is held in the basement conference room.
Wed Apr 22, 2020
Community Justice Council, 9:30am - 11am
Clinton Rose Senior Center, 3045 N. Martin Luther King Dr., Milwaukee Milwaukee Community Justice Council Meeting of the Whole. More information on the web and on Facebook. [This event is probably canceled but neither the website nor the Facebook page has a statement to that effect.]
Info: Refuel the Resistance, 6pm - 8pm
Bounce Milwaukee, 2801 S. 5th Ct., Milwaukee
Bounce is currently open for delivery and carryout. Refuel the Resistance is canceled for now. More information.
Sat Apr 25, 2020
Info: Community Brainstorming, 8am - 11am
St. Matthew CME Church, 2944 N. 9th St., Milwaukee
This event may be canceled because of the coronavirus situation. Check back for more information. Community Brainstorming Conference Breakfast ForumBreakfast: 8 am, Program: 9 am All Are Invited, Come and Participate.