What we're facing

It's hard not to despair. The news about the state of our democracy has been particularly dispiriting of late.

Last week, the Wisconsin Supreme Court "handed Republicans a major victory in the legal fight over redistricting Tuesday, ruling the court would take a 'least changes' approach to redrawing the maps Republicans passed in 2011." And it would not take partisan gerrymandering into account. At all. Justice Rebecca Bradley reasoned that because the current electoral maps were passed by the legislature and signed into law by the governor in 2011, those "policy choices" must be respected. See the full story in the November 30 edition Wisconsin Public Radio. The ruling is a set-back in the ongoing effort to prohibit partisan gerrymandering in Wisconsin and the nation.

Our best recourse, frankly, is to organize and get out the vote when the four elections we'll see in 2022 come around. We have to win more elections in Wisconsin if we hope to head off disaster. In the meantime, TAKE ACTION! Call and/or your state legislators to urge them to uphold Governor Evers's veto of the electoral maps the legislature passed — even if your legislators are Republicans. It matters. We must raise our voices and then raise our votes! Find contact information for your Assembly and Senate representatives here or reach them by phone at the Legislative Hotline: 1-800-362-9472. And while you're making calls, contact your congressional representative and Wisconsin's senators to urge them to vote for the two bills in the Senate that would protect voting rights and elections: the bills are The John Lewis Voting Rights Act and The Freedom to Vote Act. Find the contact information for your officials here. And then promise yourself that you will work hard to elect state and national office holders who oppose partisan election maps and who are prepared to protect our democracy.

Yesterday, the esteemed journalist Barton Gellman published "DRUMPF’S NEXT COUP HAS ALREADY BEGUN" in the latest edition of The Atlantic. He writes "For more than a year now, with tacit and explicit support from their party’s national leaders, state Republican operatives have been building an apparatus of election theft." At one point, Gellman discusses research on who participated in the January 6 insurrection. Several traits are noteworthy but the researchers note that the average age of those who have been charged is 41.8 (as compared to violent extremists in other parts of the world who are most likely to be in their 20s and 30s). Also, economic distress did not figure prominently in the lives of those who attacked the Capitol ("only 7 percent of the January 6 insurgents were jobless, and more than half of the group had a white-collar job or owned their own business"). In fact, the strongest correlation among those who participated is political geography: "Other things being equal, insurgents were much more likely to come from a county where the white share of the population was in decline." Dare we say it: it's the racism, stupid. It's a long article with several important insights into the mindsets of those who support the Big Lie. But it's worth reading the whole thing.

There are some bright spots in the landscape we ought to mention also. The DOJ is using Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act to sue Texas over its redistricting maps. The basis of the suit is that the state's electoral maps have not provided Black and Brown people an opportunity to elect their preferred candidates. Majority Leader Schumer wrote a letter to his Senate colleagues yesterday to express "his ongoing expectation that the Senate will pass the Biden administration’s sweeping Build Back Better package via reconciliation 'before Christmas.'"

And in welcome news closer to home, "Conservative group finds no signs of widespread voter fraud in Wisconsin." The conservative group at issue is the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty, the same group that brought the suit arguing that the Wisconsin Supreme Court should use a "least change" strategy for adjudicating the electoral maps. And despite finding no fraud, WILL is still urging changes to election processes. Meanwhile, the Gabelman show investigating the same election, at a potential cost of $676,000, bumbles along.


Wed Dec 8, 2021

12 Ways to Save Democracy, 7pm - 8pm

Virtual conversation with Matt Rothschild, executive director of Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, and Rep. Francesca Hong, WI State Assembly - District 76. Rothschild’s latest book spells out the crucial reforms we need to have a fully functioning democracy. From banning gerrymandering and curbing big and dark money to rooting out racism and providing economic democracy, Rothschild presents a thoughtful blueprint for moving Wisconsin forward. Register.

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 or call Jim Balk, 414-218-5944.

Thu Dec 9, 2021

Mental Health Board Meeting, 8am - 8am

This is a teleconference meeting (see Agenda for details). Public Comment: none. More information.

Fri Dec 10, 2021

4th CD Virtual Holiday Party, 6pm - 6pm

More information to come.

Sat Dec 11, 2021

UN Association of MKE, 10am - 12pm

For more information check.

International Human Rights Day, 11am - 12:30pm

The event will feature three speakers with extensive international human rights experience on voting rights, assembly rights, & asylum. Register or Watch Livestream./p>

Stand for Peace, 12pm - 1pm
Highway 100 & North Avenue, Wauwatosa

Stand for Peace has resumed in-person events with masks and social distancing. Check for more information. Organized by Peace Action Wisconsin.

Mon Dec 13, 2021

Grass Roots South Shore Meeting, 6pm - 8pm
Cudahy Library, 3500 Library Dr. , Cudahy Calendar: Social

Created by: [email protected] Grass Roots South Shore holds its monthly meeting on the second Monday of each month. For more information call Jim Balk, 414-218-5944.

Tue Dec 14, 2021

Drinking Liberally MKE, 6pm - 8pm
Estabrook Beer Garden, 4600 Estabrook Drive, Milwaukee

Drinking Liberally MKE will now be getting together in person on the second Tuesday of the month. (It will move to a virtual meeting if the temperature is forecast to be below 50 degrees or heavy rain is in the forecast.) To get to the Estabrook Beer Garden parking lot, enter from the north, on Hampton Ave. More information.

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 Dec 15, 2021

Cavalier Johnson for Mayor Kickoff, 5:30pm - 7pm
Broken Bat Brewing Co., 135 E. Pittsburgh Ave., Milwaukee

Common Council President Cavalier Johnson is a candidate for Mayor of Milwaukee. This event is a reception to support his campaign. RSVP.

Democrats Seat Flipping Party, 5:30pm - 7:30pm
Dead Bird Brewing Company, 1726 N. 5th St., Milwaukee

Join Assembly Democrats for a fundraiser to help them flip more seats from red to blue in the 2022 election. Please attend only if fully vaccinated against COVID-19 (if eligible per CDC guidelines). Please wear a mask when not actively eating or drinking. RSVP.

Sat Dec 18, 2021

Stand for Peace, 12pm - 1pm
Port Washington Road & Silver Spring Drive, Glendale

Stand for Peace has resumed in-person events with masks and social distancing. Check for more information. Organized by Peace Action Wisconsin.

Mon Dec 20, 2021

Milwaukee Dems Meeting, 6pm - 8pm

Milwaukee County Democrats meet monthly to discuss party business, hearspeakers 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.


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