My apologies for the day-late newsletter. Yesterday was just a crazy day in my household. Today, though, is calm and collected.
On Sunday, May 2, Grassroots North Shore held "Mopping Up Wisconsin's Map Mess," a big event about gerrymandering in this state. More than 200 people registered for it. Deborah Patel, who leads the North Shore Fair Maps Action Team, moderated an outstanding discussion panel consisting of Deb Andraca, Assembly Representative for District 23; Mel Barnes, Staff Counsel at Law Forward; and Carlene Bechen, Grassroots Organizer for the Fair Maps Coalition. The video of the event is now available on our YouTube channel. It's well worth your time.
If you want to find out more about the #EndGerrymandering movement in Wisconsin, sign up to attend the next meeting of the North Shore Fair Maps Action Team, on Monday, May 10, at 7pm on Zoom. The meeting, "Across the Divide," will feature folks across the political divide (and from across the country), all working to #EndGerrymandering. The May 10 featured speaker will be Walter Olson, Senior Cato Fellow and Republican co-chair of the Maryland Citizens Redistricting Commission. This meeting will also feature speakers from a variety of political perspectives. Wisconsin was gerrymandered by Republicans. Maryland was gerrymandered by Democrats. No matter where it happens, it hurts us all. Please sign up. You should also sign up to get one or more #EndGerrymandering yard signs. They're free. And they help raise awareness of the issue with your neighbors and passersby.
Right now, the legislative session is in full swing, dealing with a number of issues supporters of Grassroots North Shore care deeply about. But it's really hard, sometimes, to be informed about legislative events until after they happen. Middle Wisconsin, a non-profit and volunteer run online magazine, has recently published an article explaining how and why to sign up for the legislative notification service for topics that may interest you. Have a look. You might want to dip into the other articles on offer also.
Looking ahead: Our next Grassroots Town Hall event, "Green is Good!", will take place on Sunday, June 13, from 7pm - 8:15pm. On Zoom, of course. Co-sponsored by Wisconsin Conservation Voters, Citizen Action of Wisconsin, and Wisconsin Jewish Democrats, the program will feature Glendale Mayor Bryan Kennedy; Wisconsin Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes; and Lisa Geason-Bauer from Evolution Marketing. Kevin Kane from the Green Homeowners Association will moderate the panel. So save the date! Or better yet, RSVP now.
Looking back with an eye toward next year: Here's some granular detail from the April 6 election for the seven North Shore suburbs in Milwaukee County. (Ozaukee County data should be featured in a forthcoming newsletter). The data include vote totals, percentages and turnout by community and by ward for the race for State Superintendent of Public Instruction and for the Milwaukee County Circuit Court, Branch 3 — two of the races in which Grassroots North Shore endorsed a candidate and about which we sent postcards to Democratic women in our communities to urge them to vote. Of course, we cannot claim all the credit for the higher-than-statewide turnout averages in our area, but it looks as if our postcard effort helped our candidates win pretty decisively (except in Ward 2 in River Hills!).
Finally, there is a lot happening in national news that we suspect will affect our local election outcomes, chief among which is today's decision (or punt, perhaps) of the Facebook Oversight Board regarding "the former guy's" presence on the platform. Essentially, the Board concluded that the decision to ban the former president was well-founded at the time but that its "indefinite status" would need to be revisited in six months. In other words, Zuckerberg will have to make the decision himself, six months from now. Meanwhile he-who-shall-not-be-named will have to remain unable to use Facebook or Instagram. (He's been permanently banned from Twitter.) The Board also took the occasion to issue a well-deserved reprimand of Facebook for its failure to provide defined standards for indefinite suspensions. (See Talking Points Memo for one take on this development.) So, some reprieve there but no ultimate decision. Which is unfortunate. The silence from that quarter has been wonderful.
Wed May 5, 2021
Info: Laughing Liberally MKE, 8:30pm - 9:30pm
For information on the latest Laughing Liberally offerings go here.
Thu May 6, 2021
ACLU Action: Broadband / Housing, 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 expansion of broadband service and housing issues. RSVP. More information.
Sat May 8, 2021
Challenges Facing Native Communities, 10am - 11:30am
The UN Association of Milwaukee will have a panel of Native American experts who will discuss Indigenous sovereignty issues such as Native American sovereignty, protecting land, air and water and Traditional Ecological Knowledge, missing and murdered Indigenous women (MMIW), climate justice, gender justice, sacred sites protection, school mascots, and more. Registration (required) and more information.
Stand for Peace, 12pm - 1pm
Layton Avenue & Howell Avenue, Milwaukee
Stand for Peace is resuming in-person events with masks and social distancing. Check for more information. This event will be for Black Lives Matter solidarity. Organized by Peace Action Wisconsin.
Mon May 10, 2021
Fair Maps Action Meeting, 7pm - 7pm
The North Shore Fair Maps Action Team will hold its monthly meeting. The guest speaker will be Walter Olson, Senior Cato Fellow and Republican co-chair of theMaryland Citizens Redistricting Commission. (Wisconsin Republicans and Maryland Democrats gerrymandered their states when they were in power.) Registration.
Tue May 11, 2021
Drinking Liberally Grafton/Mequon, 6:30pm - 8pm
Mel Barnes and Debbie Patel Return to Drinking Liberally Grafton. The last time Mel joined us she talked about her legal advocacy at Planned Parenthood. She has since moved on to Law Forward where she is promoting the adoption of H.R. 1. Long-time friend of Drinking Liberally Grafton, Debbie Patel continues her work advocating for Fair Maps. Both Mel and Debbie have some recent successes to report and will bring us up-to-speed on the current political and legal landscape. Zoom link.
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 the following link for information on whether a meeting will occur. More information.
Wed May 12, 2021
Grass Roots South Shore Virtual Meeting, 7pm - 9pm
Check the link to see if Grass Roots South Shore will have a virtual meeting. More information.
Thu May 13, 2021
The League of Conservation Voters, 9am - 5pm
Climate change and equity are finally getting the attention they deserve around Wisconsin and the country. But we need citizens like you to influence elected officials to prioritize climate action and equity. Join us Thursday, May 13. You can register here. You will learn about Milwaukee County’s local issues, how to build your network, and will leave with the tools and connections to be an effective citizen lobbyist for climate and equity funding at the local level.
Drinking Liberally West Allis, 6:30pm - 9pm
For information on whether the event will take place, check here.
Sat May 15, 2021
League of Conservation Voters, 10am - 11:30am
Climate change and equity are finally getting the attention they deserve around Wisconsin and the country. But we need citizens like you to influence elected officials to prioritize climate action and equity. You will learn about Milwaukee County’s local issues, how to build your network, and will leave with the tools and connections to be an effective citizen lobbyist for climate and equity funding at the local level.You can sign up for that event here.
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.
Mon May 17, 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.