It's only mid-June but already it feels as if the Dog Days of August are here! The events list below is still pretty thin. But there are a few events that will be taking place IN PERSON! YAY!! Drinking Liberally Milwaukee is going to hold its next meeting (this evening) at Estabrook Park's Beer Garden; Drinking Liberally Wauwatosa is going to hold its meeting (for vaccinated people) tomorrow at Camp Bar (6600 W. North Ave., Tosa); and the League of Progressive Seniors is celebrating its 5th Anniversary on Jackie Boynton's patio on June 24. See the particulars in the event list.
And Grassroots North Shore is dipping its toes in the face-to-face (but still masked) waters. Beginning Wednesday, June 23, 2021, the Grassroots North Shore office will be open for limited hours to distribute Fair Maps Signs! Hours will be Wednesdays, 4:30 – 6:30pm and Saturdays, 11am – 1pm. A donation of $5 per sign is appreciated. Please wear a mask in the building. Our office is at 5600 W. Brown Deer Road, Suite 116, Brown Deer, WI 53223. It would help immensely if the For the People Act could pass the U.S. Senate. But we need to keep pushing this issue with the Wisconsin legislature. In particular, we urge you to call your Assembly and Senate Representatives to urge them to hold a public hearing for Assemby Bill 395 and its Senate companion SB 389. You can find their contact info here. (For a wealth of information you can use to talk to you representatives, your family, and your friends, visit the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign's web page for Fair Voting Maps). Then pick up your phone AND your sign!
Gerrymandering is just one way of rigging elections to ensure a desired outcome. But there are of course many others. We're seeing an avalanche of legislation all across the country that seeks to limit who can vote, how people can vote, and when they can vote. The Brennan Center For Justice has just completed and published an analysis of these bills and have concluded that "the harshest voter suppression bills enacted this year have been introduced and enacted in starkly partisan fashion by Republican legislatures and governors." Senator Joe Manchin's belief that election and voting rights legislation should be bipartisan notwithstanding, the GOP has launched this attack on the fundamental tenet of democracy without support from voters or the other major party. Democracy requires that the will of the people, as expressed through elections, must be honored.
Even more worrisome is the parallel effort to give legislatures in Republican-controlled states the tools they could use to overturn future elections, both presidential elections and those for lower offices, including state and local ones. For a great account of what's happening where, see "14 GOP-Controlled States Have Passed Laws to Impede Free Elections" in Mother Jones. "While GOP-controlled legislatures rush to make it harder for Democratic constituencies to vote, they are also intensifying their control over how elections are run and how votes are counted, after Trump tried to overturn the 2020 election results."
These paired actions — tightening control over access to the ballot box and politicizing and corrupting the administration of elections — have been mounted in the wake of "the former guy's" efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election, concerted efforts that included intense pressure on the Department of Justice to take up the *resident's cause" and a violent insurrection on January 6 whose purpose was to interfere with the certification of the Electoral Collage votes that elected President Biden.
To many of us, the GOP efforts sound alien and bizarre. But the project of winning elections by suppressing votes and controlling the rules for administering elections have been around for at least a century and half. In this morning's Plum Line post, "Rand Paul offers an accidentally useful Jim Crow analogy in rationalizing his party’s illiberal shift", Greg Sargent unmasks the logic of these maneuvers: "What’s important about these shifts is that they seek to formalize and facilitate what we saw in the months after the 2020 election. It isn’t simply about trying to work the refs or about bending the rules to suit political ends. It’s about changing the rules at the outset to make a rejection of the popular will something that’s part of the legal process." The purpose, Sargent writes: "limiting the involvement of the public in decision-making." I hope you'll read and think about the whole article. It frames the events of the last nine months in a novel and revealing way.
Tue Jun 15, 2021
Immigration Policy Effects in Wisconsin, 12pm - 1pm
Four speakers will talk about the prospects for immigration reform under the Biden administration and within Congress, and how bipartisan changes might help solve workforce problems in some of Wisconsin’s largest economic sectors. More information and registration.
Outdoor Drinking Liberally MKE, 6pm - 8pm
Estabrook Beer Garden, 4600 Estabrook Drive, Milwaukee
Drinking Liberally MKE will get together in person. To get to the beer garden parking lot, enter from the north, on Hampton Ave. The meeting will switch to virtual if the forecast is for temp below 50 or heavy rain. More information.
Wed Jun 16, 2021
Juneteenth: Promise of Freedom, 4pm - 5pm
Join Dr. Charles Taylor, author, speaker and diversity expert for an enlightening journey to understand the real meaning of Juneteenth — examining slavery, the abolition of slavery, Blacks in American history, and the contemporary social problems rooted in the slave experience. Gain a better understanding why racial disparities still exist and why the promise of freedom has been so elusive. An open Q&A will be offered at the end of this event. Free event sponsored by DreamBank, Madison. Registration.
Drinking Liberally, Tosa, 6:30pm
Camp Bar, 6600 W. North Ave., Tosa
Got your jab(s)? Let's get together! We'll meet at 6:30 p.m.this Wednesday, June 16, at Camp Bar, 6600 W. North Ave.
Info: Laughing Liberally MKE, 6:30pm - 8:30pm
For information on the latest Laughing Liberally offerings go here.
Democratic Party of Ozaukee County , 7pm
Join us via Zoom.
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].
Sat Jun 19, 2021
Stand for Peace, 12pm - 1pm
Lincoln Memorial Drive & Lafayette Hill Road, Milwaukee
Stand for Peace is resuming in-person events with masks and social distancing. The focus will be on Cuba. Check for more information. Organized by Peace Action Wisconsin.
Mon Jun 21, 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.
Wed Jun 23, 2021
Community Justice Council, 9:30am - 11am
Milwaukee Community Justice Council Meeting of the Whole will have an Online/Virtual meeting. More information.
Info: Drinking Liberally Glendale, 6:30pm - 9pm
For information on whether the event will take place, check here.
Thu Jun 24, 2021
Mental Health Board Meeting, 9am - 9am
This is a teleconference meeting (see Agenda for details). Public Comment: none. More information.
League of Progressive Seniors' 5th Anniversary, 5pm - 7:30pm
Outdoors: 3945 North Harcourt Place, Shorewood
This is both a celebration and a fundraiser. All donations appreciated — suggested amount $50. Checks may be brought to the celebration or mailed to League of Progressive Seniors, 2111 N. Booth St., Milwaukee, WI 53212. Qustions? Email Patty Yunk or Jackie Boynton.
Sat Jun 26, 2021
Thiensville Family Fun, 10:30am - 10:30am
Ozaukee Democrats represent! Please join us and participate in the Thiensville Family Fun Before the Fourth parade. Have fun, support democracy, support Democrats, and get in your steps! We have a handy sign-up form here. Please sign up to get updates as we go along, and pass the word to family and friends. The sign-up form also asks about your interest in the Cedarburg Fourth of July parade — that event hasn't been confirmed yet, but we will be there too if it's on.
Stand for Peace, 12pm - 1pm
76th Street & North Avenue, Milwaukee
Stand for Peace is resuming in-person events with masks and social distancing. Check for more information. Organized by Peace Action Wisconsin.