Chaos reigns

Our state Supreme Court has done it again. Now, apparently, it's every village and hamlet, county, town, and city for itself. We can't even call it a patchwork of COVID-19 orders or rules or whatever. It's simply chaos, leaving people like me totally confused. And upset. What is permitted and what is not; what is open and what is not; what is least risky and what is high risk? These are the kinds of questions people might have. And it's unclear where you can go to get answers.

The Wisconsin State Journal has made an attempt to answer the safety question. The article covers activities such as going to a dentist to get your teeth cleaned, or having your hair cut, styled, or colored. But of course no one article can offer sound advice about risks in every situation.

The Milwaukee County Department of Health and Human Service's page for Administrative Orders does not appear to have issued its own Safer at Home order. What it has instead is a "pledge" you can take together with information about what staying at home means, why people should do it, and what activities are permitted (though this element seems to be unchanged since before the WI Supreme Court nullified the Governor's Safer at Home order).

On the other hand, the municipalities surrounding the City of Milwaukee — including the seven communities in Milwaukee County that are covered by Grassroots North Shore — did issue a stay-at-home order to take the place of the statewide one that was nullified. It expires at midnight on Thursday, May 21. It's not clear what will happen after that but the order does state

The prior Wisconsin Safer at Home Order worked to flatten the curve of infections of COVID-19 in Wisconsin, and Wisconsin saw meaningful gains from this proactive step. Milwaukee County data demonstrated that there was an initial peak of COVID-19 cases in early April, but COVID-19 cases have been trending upward in recent weeks and have surpassed the previous peak. With increasing testing capacity, we anticipate increased detection of new COVID-19 cases in the coming weeks that will correspond with identifying significant community transmission. This is a crucial time for Milwaukee County to maintain the momentum in containing COVID-19 in our community and halt further dissemination of the disease....

Future decisions will be based on the COVID-19 data for the county and upcoming orders will necessarily remain fluid and will be based on the above factors as well as emerging data and research.

You can keep up with the latest at the North Shore Health Department. Look for its Reopening Public Spaces page.

Ozaukee County shares a Public Health Department with Washington County. Here's the information about current orders there:

If you choose to reopen your business, you are not in violation of Safer at Home or orders issued by the health department. Under the direction of the Ozaukee County Board Chair, the Ozaukee County Administrator, and the Washington County Executive, the Washington Ozaukee Public Health Department will issue no countywide orders limiting the public or businesses at this time in response to the current status of the COVID-19 pandemic in our counties. The health department will address any localized COVID-19 outbreaks on an individual basis and continue to provide follow up for positive cases and conduct contact tracing. We urge you to refer to our Blueprint FAQ for recommendations on how to safely reopen our counties.

It's unclear whether cities, villages, and towns in the county can issue their own, separate orders.

The League of Progressive Seniors also has a petition so that signatories can pledge to keep everyone safe. The petition preamble states "The League of Progressive Seniors believes NO ONE is expendable. Not older adults. Not workers. No one. We're all in this together." It aims to send a message to our elected officials: "Open when it's safe. Protect the public health. Stop playing politics with our future!"

While we work to make our state safer for all its residents, we don't want to forget that there's a super-important election coming up in November. The presumptive nominee for the Democrats, former Vice President Joe Biden, is holding a virtual rally for Milwaukee on Wednesday, May 20, at 3:30pm. Let's give Joe a healthy dose of our love and devotion by showing up, online, and cheering him on. Let's not let the political pundits — especially the Debbie Downers — conclude that there's an enthusiasm gap for VP Biden. Get all the details and attend the online rally.

Let's also plan ahead just a bit. During Fair Maps Week (May 24-30), we urge you to watch Slay the Dragon, a film highlighting gerrymandering travesties. At the end of the week, when everyone has watched the film, you can talk with a number of Wisconsin luminaries about how we can end gerrymandering in Wisconsin. Sign up for a viewing and also for a reminder about the panel discussion on Saturday, May 30, at 4pm.

And in Grassroots North Shore news, we have two major projects under way right now. The first is our postcards to Ozaukee voters initiative. Volunteers are writing the cards now and sending them out next week. We could use some additional support in the form of funds for stamps. So be generous and donate what you can. We want to reach as many potential voters in Ozaukee as we can, partly to persuade them to vote blue and partly to urge them to vote absentee and be safe. Kick in a little.

Our second initiative is an effort to reach voters who may be purged from the voter rolls. We've acquired the list of names on that purge roster who were registered to vote in our North Shore communities but who may have moved or who may be on the list in error. Using the Democrat's VAN database, we will be looking up the likely party of each name and noting the phone numbers of those who are strong or leaning Democrats. Then we will be trying to reach each one by phone to find out their registration status and to help them navigate to re-register if necessary. If you can help us, please sign up to research, to phone, or to do both. We hope to be ready to begin shortly after Memorial Day and to have finished the project before we turn our attention to the August 11 primary, the Wisconsin State Fair (assuming it takes place), and the Democratic National Convention currently scheduled to begin on August 17.

The events list is beginning to include more virtual ones but it also has some that have been suspended or canceled. Given the confusion about the status of stay at home orders in our state, people should probably contact the venue or sponsoring organization if at all possible to get up-to-date information. What I have included here is what the Southeast Wisconsin and Milwaukee Dems calendars show. Given how much more open for business Ozaukee County already is, it might also be worth consulting the Ozaukee County Democrats' calendar.


Tue May 19, 2020

CBC Virtual Town Hall: Educators, 7pm - 8pm
Telephone Conference

(This event has been changed from May 15) A Telephone Town Hall with Educators, presented by the Congressional Black Caucus as part of a series on the current crisis. Hosted by Rep. Bobby Scott (VA-03), Chair of the House Committee on Education and Labor. Time is tentative. (Recorded earlier town halls are available at the RSVP link.) RSVP.

Wed May 20, 2020

Storm the Capitol with WISDOM, 11am

We need everyone who is concerned about the health of the people in our prisons to contact Governor Evers to let him know that this is the time to use the authority he has as Governor to safely reduce our prison population. Sign up. On the form, let us know how you will contact the Governor, by e-mail, by phone, on Facebook, or any way you are comfortable. We will send you back some ideas - talking points, memes, facts - that you can incorporate into your message... but your message doesn't have to be long or scholarly.

Online: MKE Commissioner of Health, 12:15pm - 12:45pm

Marquette Law School’s Lubar Center presents Dr. Jeanette Kowalik, City of Milwaukee Commissioner of Health, who will talk about the city’s efforts to respond to the novel coronavirus, why the virus has disproportionately affected the African-American community, and whether life will return to normal anytime soon. Click on the words “Watch Now” on the website anytime beginning at 12:15 p.m. to view the program.

Vice President Joe Biden's Virtual Milwaukee Rally, 3:30pm - 4pm

Joe Biden is hitting the virtual road! Join us for a virtual rally in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on Wednesday, May 20th. Once you RSVP, you will receive information on how to access the virtual event. RSVP if you're able to attend.

Wis Election Commission Online Meeting, 4pm - 4pm

Special teleconference meeting of the Wisconsin Elections Commission. Complete agenda will be posted several days before the meeting. Tentative agenda items include: Discussion of Absentee Ballot Issues for April 7 Spring Election and Presidential Preference Primary, Discussion of May 12 Special Election, Discussion of federal CARES grant, and Discussion of ERIC Mailings for 2020. More info.

Gwen Moore Virtual Town Hall about Prescription Drug Pricing, 4pm - 5pm

Congresswoman Gwen Moore and Citizen Action of Wisconsin are parterning on a telephone town hall about prescription drug pricing! Also joining in the discussion will be former Congresswoman Donna Edwards, AFL-CIO president Stephanie Bloomingdale, and a number of other great speakers. We will discuss the role of Big Pharma in setting increasingly unaffordable prices on prescription drugs - and the need to hold drug companies accountable for profiteering off the pandemic. We'll also discuss what Congress can do to ensure treatments and vaccines for COVID-19 are affordable. To join, dial into (866) 976-7785 at the time of the call. RSVP.

Info: Refuel the Resistance, 6pm - 8pm
Bounce Milwaukee, 2801 S. 5th Ct., Milwaukee

This event is canceled for now. Bounce is currently open for delivery and carryout. More information.

Canceled: Drinking Liberally Wauwatosa, 6:30pm - 9pm
Camp Bar, 6600 W. North Ave., Wauwatosa

Camp Bar is closed for now and Drinking Liberally Wauwatosa is canceled. More info.

Democratic Party of Ozaukee County Virtual Meeting, 7pm - 8:15pm
Online </br />Due to the Covid 19 Virus, all meetings of the Ozaukee Democrats will be conducted in a virtual format. Please see newsletter for details. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we navigate these changes. Please email us with any questions.

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

Southwest Dems monthly meeting has been canceled.

Thu May 21, 2020

Virtual Forum: Food System, 6pm - 7pm

A virtual forum on addressing climate change and equity through our food system. Panel members will help to explore: How does our food system promote climate change? What food inequities exist in Milwaukee? How do racial and economic inequities affect health and access to healthy food? What is being done to address food insecurity and promote access to healthy food in Milwaukee? Registration.

Fri May 22, 2020

Newsmaker Event: Cavalier Johnson, 12pm - 1pm

Newly-elected Milwaukee Common Council President Cavalier Johnson will be the featured guest at a virtual Newsmaker Lunch Hour. Johnson will field questions from a panel of journalists from noon to 1 pm. Registration (required).

Sat May 23, 2020

Suspended: Community Brainstorming, 8am - 11am

Community Brainstorming Conference will suspend its monthly breakfast forums until further notice. More info.

Info: Stand for Peace, 12pm - 1pm

In light of the governor's Stay at Home Order, Peace Action Stands for Peace have been suspended until the order is lifted. Stand for peace in the streets of Milwaukee, every Saturday at noon. Organized by Peace Action Wisconsin.

Tue May 26, 2020

Milwaukee Veterans for Peace present a Zoom meeting with Suzanne Gordon, award-winning author & expert on VA Healthcare, 7pm - 8:30pm

"Why the Veterans Administration is so relevant to all Americans, during this global pandemic." Strengthening the VA in the Era ofC OVID-19 Suzanne Gordon, award-winning author, patient advocate, and expert on VA health care, will explore the little known Fourth Missionof the VHA to serve as back up to the civilian sector system in times of national emergency. She will also consider why the VA’s three other missions are even more critical today and why the VHA, as a model of a national health system, should be explored by advocates of Medicare for All or other models of a national health system. Join Zoom Meeting, MeetingID: 795 3109 5949, Password: 2P4Ft2. Dial in +1 312 626 6799 US(Chicago).

Wed May 27, 2020

Info: Refuel the Resistance, 6pm - 8pm
Canceled: Bounce Milwaukee, 2801 S. 5th Ct., Milwaukee

This event is canceled for now. Bounce is currently open for delivery and carryout. More information.

Drinking Liberally Glendale, 6:30pm - 9pm
Canceled: Bavarian Bierhaus, 700 W. Lexington Blvd., Glendale

Bavarian Bierhaus is closed for now and Drinking Liberally is canceled until further notice. Drinking Liberally Glendale meets on the fourth Wednesday of the month. A monthly meetup to eat, drink, and talk politics with like-minded people. More information.

Drinking Liberally Port Washington, 6:30pm - 8pm
Schooner Pub, 114 N Franklin St, Port Washington

No additional information.

Thu May 28, 2020

Info: Mental Health Board Meeting, 4:30pm - 4:30pm

This meeting is presumed to be canceled. Milwaukee County Mental Health Board Meeting. More information.

Sat May 30, 2020

Info: Stand for Peace, 12pm - 1pm

In light of the governor's Stay at Home Order, Peace Action Stands for Peace have been suspended until the order is lifted. Stand for peace in the streets of Milwaukee, every Saturday at noon. Organized by Peace Action Wisconsin.

Slay the Dragon film, 4pm - 4pm
Various times

Slay the Dragon is an incredible film that highlights gerrymandering travesties and gives concrete ways on ending them. The movie follows everyday people, outraged by what they see as an attack on the core democratic principle that every person’s vote should count equally. To receive your link to view Slay the Dragon during Fair Maps Week, click here. Once you’ve watched, come talk with us! Join special guests for a panel discussion on Slay the Dragon and how we have the power to end partisan gerrymandering in Wisconsin on Saturday, May 30 at 4pm CST. Panelists include: Katie Fahey, Voters Not Politicians; Fabi Maldonado, Racine County Board Supervisor; Hans Breitenmoser, Lincoln County Dairy Farmer; Carlene Bechen, Wisconsin Voices Fair Maps organizer. RSVP to the Facebook event to be reminded when we go live.

Mon Jun 1, 2020

Virtual Drinking Liberally Waukesha, 6:30pm - 6:30pm

Drinking Liberally Waukesha may be held virtually with Zoom. Check the link for updates.


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