Cautiously optimistic

Let's begin with some good news: the Covid-19 Omicron wave is rapidly dissipating in Wisconsin. This morning's Journal Sentinel reports that the number of ICU patients with Covid-19 and the numbers hospitalized with the disease are both at lows last seen in summer 2021. At least until the next variant hits us, we seem to be in a reasonable place. Responsible people might want to continue to mask up in crowded, indoor spaces. And those of us who are especially vulnerable should remain cautious. But overall, it's welcome news. The rapid development of effective vaccines has had a lot to do with weathering the storm. Read "Why Covid-19 vaccines are a freaking miracle" to find out more about how we got these shots so quickly.

Unfortunately, the rest of the news remains pretty awful. Besides the horrendous events in Ukraine, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) heard oral arguments yesterday in a case that involves the Environmental Protection Agency's ability to regulate greenhouse gasses. And it did not go well for those of us hoping that the country and the world can at least mitigate catastrophic climate change. Amy Howe at scotusblog.com has the full story. But as she reports, "The oral argument occurred on the same morning that a panel of scientists convened by the United Nations issued a major new report that warns of dire effects from climate change and concludes that nations are not doing nearly enough to cope with a warming planet." As the Washington Post notes in an analysis before the oral arguments on February 28, "With the court’s conservative justices increasingly suspicious that agencies are overstepping their powers, the case’s outcome could not only reshape U.S. environmental policy but also call into question the authority of regulators to tackle the nation’s most pressing problems." We'll know more when the decision is rendered this summer but it's looking like bad news from the Court. Again.

So let's do what we can to improve life here at home. The League of Women Voters of Wisconsin is looking for volunteers to be election observers for the April 5 nonpartisan election. Here's their appeal: "Volunteer election observers help ensure we have a fair election by watching for signs of voter disenfranchisement and intimidation and by monitoring the way Wisconsin’s election laws and procedures are being applied. Even if you only have a couple of hours on Election Day, you can still make a difference. Sign up to be an election observer today! Learn more and sign up to volunteer." Russian aggression in Ukraine reminds us that democracy is both precious and under attack. Do your part to shore it up, please.

Two of our Grassroots North Shore communities have candidate forums for school board memberships and for municipal offices this week. For Whitefish Bay, the event is on Zoom at 7 pm, Thursday, March 3. Bay Bridge is hosting and the League of Women Voters is moderating. Here's the link to the event. It becomes available when the event starts Thursday evening. In Shorewood, the forum will be live-streamed on Facebook on Sunday, March 6, at 12:30 pm. Sponsored by the Shorewood Women's Club (SWC) and moderated by League of Women Voters Milwaukee County (LWVMC), the candidates for school board and for Village Trustee will be participating in person, but the audience will connect via the SWC Facebook page. You do not need a Facebook account to tune in to the live feed. If you get wind of any others, pass on the details to me at [email protected].

Tonight, President Biden will give the first State of the Union address of his presidency. (Last year's speech to a joint session of Congress doesn't count as a SOTU speech because ... reasons!) He's scheduled to begin his address at 9 pm EST or 8 pm CST. You can watch on TV or streaming online. The Milwaukee County Democratic party and the 4th CD are hosting an online "watch party" beginning at 7:15 with discussion both before and after the speech. You can register here.. His approval ratings need a boost. So tune in.

Finally, anyone who is concerned about the highly gerrymandered maps in Wisconsin, where our state is said to be the worst in the nation on this issue, is invited to create a #MadAboutMaps video to be posted to social media on March 15 — designated as Mad About Maps Day. The Fair Maps Coalition has extensive online help about when and how to participate. The link above will point you in the right direction. Read the call for participation and then signal that you plan to take part.

 

EVENTS

Tuesday, March 1

#MadAboutMaps Day in Wisconsin, All Day Every Day
Virtual

The State Supreme Court will rule on Wisconsin’s legislative maps soon. Though these maps aren’t fair right now, we will not stop raising our voices until we bring an end to partisan gerrymandering in our state. That's why we're organizing a social media day of action to raise awareness about the popular policy priorities that are not being addressed because of rigged voting district maps. To participate in the #MadAboutMaps Day, visit the Facebook page with links and full instructions for filming your own video, sending it to the Fair Maps Coalition Director of Communications for captioning, getting the captioned video back, and then uploading your video on #MadAboutMaps Day: March 15! Here’s a Mad About Maps Sample Script you can adapt to talk about the issue that matters to you. Let us know you plan to make a video.

Drinking Liberally MKE, 6:30pm - 7:30pm
Zoom

Drinking Liberally MKE will be virtual during the winter months. More information. Here's the Zoom link.

350 Milwaukee Virtual Meeting, 7pm - 8:30pm
Online

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.

Dems State of the Union Watch Party, 7:15 – 9:00pm
Virtual

Join the Milwaukee Democratic Party and the 4th CD for a State of the Union Watch Party. We will be watching, having a chat during the speech and a dialogue afterwards. President Biden will start the speech at 8:00pm. Registration.

Wednesday, March 2

Marquette Law School Poll, 12:15pm
Online

Poll director Dr. Charles Franklin and Alan Borsuk, senior fellow in law and public policy, will discuss the results of the first Marquette polls of 2022, covering candidates for Senate and governor, approval rates for some political figures, public concern about certain issues, and other items. Their webcast will be broadcast at 12:15. After the presentation, information will be available online.

Cavalier Johnson Fundraiser, 5:00 – 6:30pm
The Cooperage Milwaukee, 822 S. Water St., Milwaukee

Acting Mayor of Milwaukee Cavalier Johnson will have a fundraiser for his campaign toward assuming a full term as mayor. This event will be a great opportunity to learn more about the work that he is doing for our city. Contribution Levels: $50, $100, $250, $500. All contributions are gratefully accepted! RSVP online. Or email [email protected].

Living Liberally Waukesha, 6:30pm
Club 400, 322 Williams St., Waukesha

Living Liberally Waukesha meets on the first Wednesday of the month, in the upstairs bar at Club 400. All attendees should be vaccinated and wear masks when not eating or drinking.

Deb McGrath for Congress, 6pm - 7pm
Zoom

Discussion of America’s critical national security challenges in the 21st Century. Deborah Baldus McGrath, Former Army Captain, Retired CIA Officer, Candidate for Congress in the 3rd Congressional District of Wisconsin. With Special Guest Lieutenant General (USAF, RET) James Clapper, United States Air Force, former Director of National Intelligence Via Zoom Conversation. RSVP Here. Suggested Donations: $1,000 Sponsor | $500 Co-Host | $250 Supporter | $75 | $25 Guest, Student and Active Military. Meeting link provided in ActBlue email receipt upon RSVP. Please note that the email is sent automatically within seconds of your RSVP. If you do not receive the email, contact [email protected] with questions. If you prefer to write a check you can! Just email [email protected]

Drinking Liberally Waukesha, 6:30pm
Club 400, 322 Williams St., Waukesha

The meeting has moved to Club 400 and will be in the upstairs bar area. All attendees should be vaccinated and wear masks when not actively eating or drinking. More information.

Fat Tuesday Virtual Trivia Fun, 7:00pm — 8:00pm
Online

The Ozaukee Dems are sponsoring this fun virtual event. Grab your goodie bag complete with its very own hurricane, then tune in for fun online trivia with fellow dems. Be sure to invite your friends - play as a team! Save your spot and get your goodie bag!

Thursday, March 3

Whitefish Bay SCHOOL BOARD & VILLAGE BOARD CANDIDATES, 7pm - 8:00pm
Virtual

Hosted by Bay Bridge and moderated by the League of Women Voters Milwaukee County. The link will be live on Mar. 3, at 7 pm.

Saturday, March 5

Stand for Peace, 12:00 – 1:00pm
Brady Street & Farwell Avenue, Milwaukee

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

Sunday, March 6

Shorewood Candidates Forum, 12:30pm
Online

Learn more about the candidates for Shorewood Village Board and School Board. This forum is sponsored by the Shorewood Woman's Club and will be moderated by the League of Women Voters Milwaukee County (LWVMC). LWVMC is a non-partisan political organization encouraging informed and active participation in government. It never endorses a specific candidate or political party. The candidates will be appearing in person, but the audience will be remote. Community members can tune in via live feed on the Shorewood Women's Club Facebook Page. You do not need a Facebook account to tune in to the live feed. We welcome your questions in advance for the candidates at [email protected] by March 1.

Tuesday, March 8

Jill Underly Fundraiser, 5:00 – 6:30pm
MobCraft Beer Brewery and Taproom, 505 S. 5th St., Milwaukee

Jill Underly, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, will have a fundraiser in Milwaukee. Contribution Levels: Champion: $500, Sponsor: $250, Advocate: $100, Friends: $50. Contributions of any size are greatly appreciated! RSVP.

Drinking Liberally MKE, 6:30 – 7:30pm
Zoom

Drinking Liberally MKE will be virtual during the winter months. More information.

350 Milwaukee Meeting, 7:00 – 8:30pm
Zoom

The Milwaukee chapter of 350.org is part of an international movement of ordinary people working to end the age of fossil fuels and build a world of community-led renewable energy for all. Virtual meetings take place on the second Tuesday of the month. More information.

Saturday, March 12

Stand for Peace, 12:00 – 1:00pm
North Avenue & Sherman Blvd., Milwaukee

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

Monday, March 14

Milwaukee Mayoral Debate, 11:45am – 1:30pm
Italian Community Center, 631 E. Chicago St., Milwaukee

Milwaukee Mayoral Debate with Cavalier Johnson & Bob Donovan to address the critical issues facing the city. Lunch is included at no cost. Seating is limited. Masks are encouraged at all times except for eating and drinking. Sponsored by the Wisconsin Policy Forum, Greater Milwaukee Committee, and Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce. More information and registration.


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