Our mission this week is twofold: cleaning up our environment by starting at home and cleaning up our elections by drawing fair maps. Let's dive in.
This week is Earth Week. So we have a Mythbusters program scheduled for tomorrow, Wednesday, April 14, from 7-8:30pm, with our friend Kevin Kane, of Green Homeowners United. He'll debunk the myth that you can't afford to make your house green. There will be ample time for discussion and Q & A. So sign up.
Also, Wisconsin Conservation Voters is hosting an Earth Week Series you may want to attend:
- Monday, April 19, 2021 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM CT
Documentary Screening: Necessity: Oil, Water, and Resistance;
- Tuesday, April 20, 2021 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM CT
Online sign up form for Youth Climate Panel;
- Thursday, April 22, 2021 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM CT
Online sign up form for Rights of Nature Panel.
In thinking about a longer term, we need to be focused on infrastructure — not roads, bridges, ports, and broadband, actually, but our election infrastructure. Especially the way electoral districts for state and federal representation are constructed. In truth, many political ills in Wisconsin — and indeed in many parts of the nation — are based on gerrymandered electoral maps. The polarization we experience in so many areas is at least in part a product of the way our electoral maps make incumbency virtually invincible. Because districts are in effect drawn to protect those already in power, elected representatives don't really face viable competition in elections. The only real competition for them arises from challenges within their own party's primary. And because only really dedicated — and usually highly partisan — voters tend to vote in political primaries, elected officials are often rewarded for moving to and pleasing the most partisan voters. Wisconsin's current electoral maps were structured just that way in 2011.
But we have a chance to revise the maps as a result of the 2020 census. And nothing could be more important to our political future than using fair maps for our elections going forward. We need electoral maps that ensure voters choose who represents them, rather than the current maps that representatives drew to "choose" their voters. That's why Grassroots North Shore is hosting a program on what we can do about gerrymandering in Wisconsin in a webinar on Sunday, May 2: Mopping Up Wisconsin's Map Mess, from 7-8:15pm. As we get organized for the big elections in 2022, we need to lay the groundwork now to ensure that we will have a more representative state senate and assembly going forward. So please make plans to join us on May 2 for our event on fair election maps.
For a really outstanding article about the process and effects of rigged electoral maps, you can't do better than to read Ryan Grim's essay in The Intercept. The New York Times also had a great op-ed piece in yesterday's online publication on "prison gerrymandering" — the pernicious effects of counting incarcerated people where they are serving their sentences rather than counting them where they come from and will return to after they complete their sentences. A key effect, of course, is to shift political power and funding from urban areas where most of those in state and federal prisons live, to rural and predominantly white rural areas where prisons tend to be located.
Now on to the Events for the coming two weeks.
Tue Apr 13, 2021
Drinking Liberally Grafton/Mequon, 6:30pm - 8pm
Water Street Brewery, 1251 Gateway Dr. Grafton
John DeDakis is a former White House correspondent, former Senior Copy Editor for CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer", and current novelist and educator. All of his novels are set against the backdrop of journalism and weave in current events such as the MeToo movement and "fake news". In fact, his latest novel, "Fake", earned Honorable Mention for the Reviewers Choice Award and was a Finalist for Killer Nashville’s Silver Falchion Award. For more info about John, visit his website:http://www.johndedakis.com. Democracy is a social endeavor. Did you see the video of Trump leaving Washington for the last time on Air Force One? The Marine Band didn't play "Hail to the Chief". The send-off music was "YMCA" by the Village People. Why? Because it's fun. Keeping social groups together requires its members get some immediate gratification as they work for a larger goal. Please join us to catch up with old friends and please invite some new friends to join us. Sign up.
350 Milwaukee Virtual Meeting, 7pm - 8:30pm
350 Milwaukee is part of the global organization building a grassroots movement in 188 countries to address global warming and solve the climate crisis. 350 Milwaukee usually meets every month on the second Tuesday. Check for information on whether a meeting will occur.
Freedom in America Today, 7pm - 8:30pm
Dr. Shelby Steele will speak about freedom in America today. He specializes in the study of race relations, multiculturalism, affirmative action, and consequences of contemporary social programs. Conversation topics will include the free market, education, social safety net, and the future of justice and equality in America. More information and registration.
Wed Apr 14, 2021
Climate Change Task Force, 12pm - 1pm
Panelists from the Governor's Climate Change Task Force will discuss how climate change is impacting all Wisconsinites and how their work through the task force has produced bold and equitable solutions. Introduction by Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes. Registration.
Fixing Politics, 12pm - 12pm
The partisan divide is increasing and public trust in government is diminished. Campaign spending has reached record levels. Our political system benefits those in power and minimizes the interests of the people. Katherine Gehl, businesswoman and author, will discuss a solution. More information and registration.
Justice Reform & Marijuana Legalization, 6pm - 6pm
Zoom / YouTube
Badger Bounceback will be a series of online programs for Wisconsinites to discuss and provide feedback on Gov. Evers' agenda with the goal of working together to help pass a bold, bipartisan budget that will help our state bounce back from COVID-19 to better than we were before this pandemic hit. This fifth session will cover topics such as addressing racial disparities in our justice system, legalizing medical and recreational marijuana, investing in treatment, rehabilitation, and other alternatives to incarceration, and programming to support safe community reentry. More information and Registration. Schedule for the series.
Grass Roots South Shore Virtual Meeting, 7pm - 9pm
Check to see if Grass Roots South Shore will have a virtual meeting. More information.
Thu Apr 15, 2021
Make My House Green, 7pm - 8:30pm
Kevin Kane, with Green Homeowners United, will talk about how you can gain access to large-scale green energy efficiency and renewable upgrades on your home that cut carbon emissions and save money on utility bills. Plus, he will cover how you can do it affordably. Presented by Grassroots North Shore. RSVP.
Fri Apr 16, 2021
Newsmaker: MKE Commissioner of Health, 12pm - 1pm
Kirsten Johnson, Milwaukee’s newly-appointed commissioner of health,will be the featured guest at a virtual event presented by a partnership between the Milwaukee Press Club, and WisPolitics.com. A link will be sent on the morning of the event to view it live. Registration (required).
Sat Apr 17, 2021
Stand for Peace, 12pm - 1pm
LaFayette Hill Road & Lincoln Memorial Drive, Milwaukee
Stand for Peace is resuming in-person events with masks and social distancing. This week's event will focus on Cuba: Lift the Blockade. Check for more information. Organized by Peace Action Wisconsin.
Mon Apr 19, 2021
Milwaukee Dems Virtual Meeting, 6pm - 8pm
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. Information about how to access the meeting will be sent after RSVP.
Tue Apr 20, 2021
Virtual Drinking Liberally MKE, 6:30pm - 7:30pm
Drinking Liberally MKE will get together on Zoom. More information.
Wed Apr 21, 2021
Badger Bounceback: Climate Change & Environment , 6pm - 6pm
Zoom / YouTube
Badger Bounceback will be a series of online programs for Wisconsinites to discuss and provide feedback on Gov. Evers' agenda with the goal of working together to help pass a bold, bipartisan budget that will help our state bounce back from COVID-19 to better than we were before this pandemic hit. This final session will cover topics such as investing in stewardship and making public lands more accessible, addressing lead poisoning prevention, keeping our water clean, addressing climate change and the climate crisis, and protecting our state’s natural resources. More information and Registration. Schedule for the series.
Info: Laughing Liberally MKE, 6:30pm - 8:30pm
For information on the latest Laughing Liberally offerings go here.
Info: Southwest Region Dems Meeting, 7pm - 7pm
Southwest Dems (Region 5) cover Franklin, Greendale, Greenfield, Hales Corners, Milwaukee (Southwest), West Allis, West Milwaukee. For information on when a meeting may be held check here or contact [email protected].
Thu Apr 22, 2021
Mental Health Board Meeting, 9am - 9am
This is a teleconference meeting (see Agenda for details). Public Comment: none. More information.
ACLU Action: Child Care Tax Credit, 7pm - 7pm
The ACLU recently launched its Systemic Equality agenda, a multi-year racial justice agenda seeking to address America's legacy of racism and systemic discrimination. This session of the Systemic Equality Action Series will discuss a child care tax credit. RSVP. More information.
Sat Apr 24, 2021
Stand for Peace, 12pm - 1pm
Stand for Peace is resuming in-person events with masks and social distancing. Check for more information. Organized by Peace Action Wisconsin.