This week's newsletter is designed to be participatory. In other words, we're hoping you'll make some noise about things that really matter to people who need to hear our roars! Our government of the people, by the people, and for the people is in serious trouble. And it seems that only We the People can begin to save it. Several topics are on our to-do list ahead of the 2022 election season. Here are three: Fair Maps for Wisconsin, Fair Elections, and Gun Safety.
The issue of electoral maps is gnarly and multi-faceted. Our own Mark Gennis has written an excellent letter to the editor on the subject:
Court plans few map changes
I was dismayed but not surprised that our Supreme Court voted 4-3 to basically maintain the current legislative district maps. The most specious argument seems to have come from Justice Rebecca Bradley who contended that the justices must make as few changes as a way to “respect the past choices lawmakers have made.” Where was the respect shown to all of the lawmakers ten years ago when the maps where drawn behind closed doors using computer algorithms known only to a few, to maximize Republican’s advantage? Where was the respect shown to the voters of Wisconsin who have repeatedly voiced their desire to eliminate partisan redistricting?
Justice Bradley further contends, “Claims of political unfairness in the maps present political questions not legal ones.” She further states that the questions “must be resolved through the political process and not by the judiciary.” How can the voters use the political process when the current political process has essentially been stripped of meaning?
Is not the right to vote a legal question? Is not the right to have all votes counted equally a legal question? How can issues so fundamental to our democracy not have the weight of a “legal” question to this Court? The outrageous maps created ten years ago removed any chance of reform through the political process. The Wisconsin Supreme Court has just placed our democracy on very thin ice for another ten years. With global warming, it is unclear just how long this ice will even last.
Your ACTION ITEMS: contact your state legislators whatever their party and tell then to uphold the governor's veto. Or use the Legislative Hotline to contact them by phone: 1-800-362-9472. And then spread the word. Share at least one segment of Kristin Brey's “My Take” with 1 group, 2 friends, and/or 3 family members on social media or by email. Watch "What can YOU do" And follow Brey on Facebook.
Next up, the "Freedom to Vote Act", currently languishing in the Senate. This is Senator Joe Manchin's tweaked version of the "For the People" Act that passed the House of Representatives ages ago. Today's Washington Post analyzes some of the possibilities for getting around the filibuster and passing the bill. Your ACTION ITEM: Contact BOTH Wisconsin Senators with your message of support — Senator Baldwin and Senator Johnson. You may think Senator Johnson is a lost cause (and of course that's true), but according to a survey by Data for Progress, a strong majority of voters — Democrats, Independents, and Republicans — support the measure, Republicans by 54% to 31%! It can't hurt to let Senator Johnson know his voters' views.
We've waited a respectful and decent interval since the deaths of four students at the Oxford, Michigan High School. Now it's time for outrage. Your ACTION ITEM: Send President Biden a letter urging him to make gun safety legislation a higher and more urgent subject in his words to the nation. To help you along, we drafted such a letter that you can copy and paste into the web form the White House has set up. You can download it (Word format) and edit it to your liking. Or you can write your own. The form for contacting the President and/or the Vice President is here.
Our country faces many problems, not least of which is low political engagement, especially in off-year elections. Grassroots North Shore formed in 2004 to try to be part of the solution. As a supporter of Grassroots North Shore, YOU are the TIP OF THE SPEAR, as they say. If you missed our Annual Fundraiser with Jill Wine-Banks and three outstanding local legislators, you can watch the recording on YouTube. Once you've done that, we humbly ask you to help us keep the lights on, the phonebanks humming, the postcards flowing, and this newsletter arriving in your inbox every week.
Tue Dec 14, 2021
Drinking Liberally MKE, 6pm - 8pm
Drinking Liberally MKE will be virtual during the winter months. 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.
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 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
Tenorio for Treasurer Fundraiser, 5:30pm - 6:30pm
You're invited to a virtual fundraising reception to support Angelito Tenorio's campaign for State Treasurer. Special guest speakers will be announced. Contribution Levels: Sponsor: $500, Host: $250, Advocate: $100, Supporter: $50. Contributions of any size are greatly appreciated. RSVP.
Wed Dec 22, 2021
Community Justice Council, 9:30am - 11am
Milwaukee Community Justice Council Meeting of the Whole will have an Online/Virtual meeting. More information.
Sat Dec 25, 2021
Suspended: Community Brainstorming, 8am - 11am
Community Brainstorming Conference will suspend its monthly breakfast forums
until further notice. More information.
Wed Dec 29, 2021
Sara Rodriguez Fundraiser for Lt. Gov., 5:30pm - 7pm
MobCraft Brewery & Taproom, 505 S 5th St., Milwaukee
State Rep. Sara Rodriguez, a Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, will have a fundraising event in Milwaukee. More information and RSVP.
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