August 9 may be months away but the time to register and educate voters about the new districts, rules for absentee voting and like is NOW. Supermarket Legends legend Linea Sundstrom is holding on online voter registration training on Sunday, May 1, at 7pm. To attend, send an email to her at [email protected]. The Zoom link will arrive in your email on Saturday, April 30. Grassroots North Shore is organizing efforts to register eligible high school students at Nicolet, Brown Deer, and Whitefish Bay schools. And we could use a lot of help. So more about this volunteer opportunity as plans firm up. Also keep in mind that we will be sending postcards and organizing some phoning ahead of the August election. More information coming soon.
If you have not already done so, request an absentee ballot at MyVote.WI.gov. Voting absentee is still the safest method and it also allows those who can work the polls as election inspectors or election observers to do so on Election Day. To be an election inspector, you can contact your municipal clerk to find out what's needed. You'll find phone numbers for many North Shore municipalities on our page for early in-person voting. If you live in Milwaukee County, you can also apply to be an election inspector for the city. Here's a link to the Milwaukee City Election Commission information about election inspectors. You'll find a link to the online application and other helpful bits at the bottom of the page. To help with voter protection, both before and during the elections, volunteer with the Voter Protection Team.
The matter of drop boxes and also the question of assisting voters with disabilities to return absentee ballots were argued at the Wisconsin Supreme Court on April 13. NPR has extensive coverage of the hearing and the issues. No decision has yet been rendered but one could be issued in the next few weeks.
Also, be sure to mark your calendars now for the Grassroots North Shore US Senate candidate forum. We're going to have two parts to this event: first, an online virtual forum moderated by Kathleen Dunn on Sunday, June 5, and second, a meet-and-greet outdoor gathering at Virmond Park on Sunday, June 12. I can't tell you how vital voting in this primary will be. Choosing a candidate for the general election in November is always important but this year we have an excellent chance to give Senator Baldwin a partner instead of an opponent. A lot of really interesting candidates are vying for the nomination. This event will give you a chance to meet and talk to them in person.
And while I'm forecasting the future, here are two other events you might want to pencil in. On Thursday, May 12, the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin and also the county chapters in Dane, Milwaukee and Ozaukee counties are presenting a talk by Reggie Jackson on "How We Got Here: The Hidden History of Diversity in America." You can sign up here. And on Sunday, May 19, a Wisconsin Justice Initiative featuring Mark Joseph Stern (staff writer at Slate) will tackle the question "Can Democracy Survive This Supreme Court?" Stern will discuss the court's justices, decisions, and trends and the dangerous paths the Court may be taking and will entertain questions from attendees at the event, which will be held from 5:30 - 7:30 pm at The Cooperage. Get more information and sign up.
There's a lot of shrugging about the virus going on, but you should know that, according to the New York Times Tracker, cases of COVID-19 in the Milwaukee Metro area have increased by 50% in the last two weeks. While the seven-day average stands at 303 daily cases, that's an 18% increase over Monday's seven-day average. In other words, cases are beginning to increase at a fast clip. You should definitely order home test kits from the federal government. You might also want to consider masking in indoor public spaces and observing social distancing for the next few weeks as this wave waxes (and then, we hope, wanes).
A new Marquette University Law School poll will be released on Wednesday, April 27, at 12:15pm CDT. The survey looks at preferences for the Republican and Democratic primaries being held in August as wall as a host of salient issues. Poll director Charles Franklin will talk with Alan Borsuk, senior fellow in law and public policy, about the findings. You can watch the video beginning at 12:15. Just click on the "WATCH NOW" button. The full poll will also be posted after 1pm.
As you're probably aware, richest-man-in-the-world Elon Musk is apparently going to buy Twitter and take it private, assuming that the deal passes regulatory muster. What that will mean for the social media behemoth remains to be seen. But there's plenty of speculation. He says he's a "free speech absolutist" who believes that anything that's legal should not be removed from the site. So no content moderation. However, there's what he says he'll do and then there are the downstream effects. As NPR points out, "[e]xperts who study social networks fret about Musk's push to loosen the rules of engagement on Twitter. They say that could give license to harassers, trolls and others who abuse the platform to target people. They also worry relaxing the rules on Twitter will empower those looking to exploit the platform by spreading misinformation, or flat-out lies, about political events, government officials and matters related to public health and safety." In short, the prospects are like dark clouds: threatening stormy weather.
Wednesday, April 27
Milw Co. Comm. Justice Council Meeting, 9:30 – 10:30am
The Milwaukee (County) Community Justice Council will have a meeting of the whole. Zoom link.
Marquette Law School: Wis Poll Results, 12:15 – 1:15pm
Marquette Law School's poll results of its statewide survey will be discussed by Dr. Charles Franklin and Alan Borsuk, senior fellow in law and public policy. Watch the video by choosing the "WATCH NOW" button at 12:15 on 4/27. After the webcast the information will also be available online. More information on the topics included in the poll is available.
Mapping Racism and Resistance, 7:00 – 9:00pm
Christ Church Episcopal, 5655 N. Lake Drive, Whitefish Bay and virtual
This presentation will deal with the shape of racial covenants in Milwaukee County and what has been the resistance of such covenants by members of the Black community. Anne Bonds, UWM Department of Geography; Reggie Jackson, Nurturing Diversity Partners; Derek Handley, UWM Department of English; and Lawrence Hoffman, Groundwork Milwaukee will present their finding using archival research, rhetorical analysis and GIS mapping. Registration.
Thursday, April 28
Privacy and Personal Data, 1:00 – 2:30pm
History professor Sarah E. Igo will talk about Social Security numbers and how they relate to identity, identification, and privacy in the modern context. Registration: uwsuper.edu/sarah-igo This is the last of five events in The Data Deluge: Privacy in a Connected World series hosted by UW–Superior. Get more information and links to the other presentations in the series.
Workers, Labor Leaders and Community Members to Honor Wisconsin Workers Who Lost Their Lives on the Job, 5:30 - 6:30pm
Zeidler Union Square, 301 W Michigan St, Milwaukee
Local workers, union officials and community leaders will gather at Zeidler Union Square to mark Workers Memorial Day, remembering workers who have died while on the job. The labor movement has always led the charge to protect working people from workplace injury, illness and death. This April 28, union members, leaders and allies across the country will observe this day by coming together to organize workers and to call on employers and our government for workplace protections from COVID-19, violence and heat illness, among other hazards.
Friday, April 29
Post-2020 Election Administration , 12:00 – 1:00pm
In the wake of the 2020 election and the pandemic, controversies involving election administration have loomed large. Panelists will discuss election administration topics including absentee ballots, drop boxes, voter signature requirements, and more. Registration.
Saturday, April 30
1st Congressional District Convention, 9:30am – 3:00pm
Fireside Restaurant & Lounge, 2810 30th Avenue, Kenosha
The convention will elect party officials, pass resolutions, and conduct other congressional business. More information and registration.
Stand for Peace, 12:00 – 1:00pm
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.
Sunday, May 1
Gwen Moore Birthday Celebration, 5:00 – 6:30pm
Ivy House, 906 S. Barclay Street, Milwaukee
Rep. Gwen Moore will have a birthday celebration and fundraising event for the upcoming election. (Guests must be fully vaccinated and may be asked to provide a negative covid test.) Registration.
Days Without LatinX and Immigrants, 11:00am
Voces de la Frontera, 737 W. Historic Mitchell St (corner of 8th & Mitchell)
Members of the Latinx and immigrant community are organizing a two-day strike. On Sunday, join us as we march from New Voces office to Sen. Ron Johnson’s office. More information.
Wednesday, May 4
Fair Courts: Racial Discrepancies in Sentencing and Representation, 6:00pm
The League of Women Voters of Wisconsin will host the last webinar in the Fair Courts series featuring a discussion on racial disparities in both sentencing as well as representation on the bench and in our law schools. Retired WPR host and League member Joy Cardin will moderate the panel discussion. Audience members will have a chance to ask questions at the end. Wisconsin has some of the most severe disparities in imprisonment rates between Black and white people. One of every 36 Black Wisconsinites is in prison, according to the Sentencing Project. Additionally, Wisconsin’s state-level judiciary is one of the whitest in the whole country, according to the Gavel Gap Report. We will assess these two topics, look at the causes, impacts and potential solutions. Register.
Living Liberally Waukesha, 6:30 – 8:30pm
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.