what a week we've had

Today's newsletter begins with local actions and needs, starting with the hunt for a new Grassroots North Shore treasurer. Brenda Stelzer has done outstanding work with the organization for many years, but she needs to step away now. The new volunteer is to begin in April 2024.

The Treasurer is responsible for handling the organization’s bank account, receipts and disbursements, financial reporting, and budget development. They also serve as part of the team that ensures compliance with state and federal election laws (Wisconsin Ethics Commission and FEC). The position is a part-time volunteer role requiring approximately 8 - 12 hours monthly.

We are hoping to find a volunteer who enjoys bookkeeping, is proficient in Excel, and is willing to learn how to navigate various software platforms and ecommerce sites (ActBlue, NationBuilder, PayPal). The role is best filled with someone who enjoys attention to detail. The Treasurer is a member of the Administrative Committee and attends Administrative and Steering Committee meetings once/month.

If you or someone you know is interested in a leadership position with us, please contact Co-Chair Cheryl Maranto or (414) 429-1583.

Grassroots North Shore is organizing efforts to encourage students at MIAD and UWM to vote in the upcoming election. Norma Gilson, who is putting the events together, will hold a zoom meeting to orient volunteers to this activity and provide some key talking points and guidelines. A lead volunteer will meet you at the beginning of your shift and provide you with flyers to give to the students. Please email Norma with the shifts you can do and include your mobile phone number. Shifts are the following:

  • UWM Campus, 11:00 - 1:00: Monday 3/25, Tuesday 3/26, Wednesday 3/27, and Thursday 3/28.
  • MIAD Campus, 11:00 - 1:00: Monday 3/18, Tuesday 3/19, Wednesday 3/20, and Thursday 3/21.

Supermarket Legends is also in need of some volunteers to help register students at MIAD and UWM.

  • Sue Schneidler is organizing voter registration/information events at Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design (MIAD) from 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. on Monday, March 4, and Tuesday, March 5. Email Sue Schneidler at if you are interested in volunteering and indicate the day(s) you are available.
  • We need a few more volunteers at UWM on Monday, March 11, and Tuesday, March 12, from 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. to register students and to remind and encourage them to vote on April 2. If you are interested in volunteering, email Sue Schneidler and indicate what day(s) and time (morning, afternoon, either) you are available.

More than 4700 postcards are going out to strong Democratic women in the North Shore and Ozaukee County. Now we need people to make calls to the recipients of those cards, starting at the end of this week and continuing through Election Day. We are urging people to vote and especially to say NO to the two ballot questions that, if approved, would amend the constitution in ways that undermine the ability of municipal clerks to conduct elections. (More on this issue below.) The League of Women voters has posted a helpful toolkit explaining in detail what these proposed amendments actually mean. Making 4700 calls is a pretty heavy lift, so volunteer by sending an email to Nancy Kaplan. You'll be happy you did!

Keith Schmitz is organizing a Building Captain program in Shorewood to reach Democrats who live in largely inaccessible apartment buildings. Check out the nifty flyer he has put together and, for more detail, check out his description of the roles volunteers can play: Building Captains — Who Does What, Who Needs What. If you are interested in participating, email Keith.

Defeating the ballot questions, and educating voters about why it's so important to do so, makes the April 2 election even more important than usual. To see more detailed arguments against these proposals, visit our web page. But the gist of the matter is this. The ballot language of both proposed amendments leaves out crucial information, allowing them to seem benign. But they are not! Question 1 neglects to tell voters that election administration is an arduous and expensive undertaking. The vagueness of the prohibition, moreover, may make it necessary for municipal clerks to pay rent for the many privately owned buildings that are used as polling places. For many years, the state legislature has under-funded this vital foundation of democracy. As a result, many Wisconsin municipalities have needed outside funding to support elections. Question 2 seeks to prohibit municipal clerks from receiving assistance from other government agencies, such as police departments, IT offices and the like. And both fail to provide critical definitions of key terms, such as "used in connection with the conduct" of an election or what a "task in the conduct" of an election means.

In yet another move to stymy election processes just two days ago, the MAGA Republican senators decided not even to hold a vote on a bill that would have allowed election clerks to start processing absentee ballots the day before Election Day. Waiting until the day of the election means that in Milwaukee, where all the absentee ballots are processed at a central facility, may have to tabulate as many as 100,000 absentee ballots. The results are published all at once, leading to delays in the final count that Cheeto Benito then exploits, yelling that the "late" votes are "fraudulent dumps." Which of course is false. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel published a good piece about what happened to the bill.

We've been crowing about the newly passed election maps for at least a week now. And yet, the case pending at the Supreme Court of Wisconsin has not been closed. It's unclear, to me at least, what the Court is still deliberating about. The maps adopted by the legislature and signed into law pit a number of incumbents against each other. In our own area, the new Senate District 8 sets up a duel between Dan Knodl and Duey Strobel. Dan Shafer (posting on X) notes that "Republican state senators Duey Stroebel of Saukville and Dan Knodl of Germantown will be in the same Senate district under new maps. The seat is up this year. Knodl tells the Ozaukee County News Graphic that he now plans to retire after this term." Nevermind that SD8 is considerably more competitive than it has been since 2011! In fact, it is now "within the margin of effort," a phrase coined by that savvy political pundit and pollster, Michael Podhorzer.

Now, WISPOLITICS has just announced, Knodl may not be retiring after all. He's "considering run for Brandtjen’s Assembly seat." The new maps put Knodl geographically in that district and it might be easier pickings for him since the Ethics Commission has recommended that Brandtjen, along with The Cowardly Lyin’s campaign and others, face criminal charges for a scheme "to evade campaign finance limits."

On the national scene, we have competing narratives about what the vote totals in the primaries held so far actually mean. There's no uncertainty about who the two major party nominees will be of course, but there is a difference in how the split between the certain winner and his opposition matters. When Agent Orange bests Nikki Haley, the win is ofen seen as a brutal beating. Here's a kind of mild version from the New York Times (gifted): "Mr. Trump’s victory over Nikki Haley, the former governor of South Carolina, extends an unbroken streak in the nominating contests. Michigan is his sixth straight triumph, and it is his second, after Nevada, in a state expected to be a crucial battleground come November." The Washington Post (gifted), in constrast, goes full blast: "As Trump continues to trounce Haley, she presses on as MAGA antagonist."

A new and perhaps more nuanced narrative about the races has recently cropped up among progressive and Democratic pundits. These pundits are noticing that TFG is under-performing expectations. That is, he's not beating Haley by the enormous margins the polls have been predicting. Here's the Independent's headline: "Trump beats Haley in Michigan primary but underperforms expectations." The Bridge, a nonpartisan and nonprofit news outlet in Michigan, reports that "Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley won more than 30% of the GOP primary vote in each of those counties, showing Trump could again struggle with college-educated voters that cost him the 2020 election." MSNBC's headline, "Trump’s Michigan victory is not what the polls predicted — and he should be worried," states the problem succinctly. The story notes that the uncommitted votes — organized as a protest message calling for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war — "might as well be a Rorschach test." The uncommitted vote was more substantial than it had been in 2012 but only 1/3 of the uncommitted votes in 2008, when Barack Obama ran for the first time. But the story quickly segues. "There was no ambiguity on the Republican side: Former President Donald Trump underperformed his polls yet again.... Michigan marks the fourth consecutive contest in which Trump’s final margin has fallen short of pre-contest polling averages. In Iowa, polling averages projected a 34% margin over the second-place. The actual result? Under 30%. In New Hampshire, an 18-point margin became an 11-point win. In South Carolina, a 28-point margin became a 20-point win."

I'll end with the flip side: Biden, it seems, is over-performing expectations as reflected in the pre-primary polls. Countdown with Keith Olbermann provides an uplifting view, as does a short Daily Kos diary. But Simon Rosenburg's level-headed commentary in his Hopium Chronicles may be the best of the lot.

One of our fearless leaders, Debbie Patel, informs us that wringing our hands gets in the way of rolling up our sleeves! It's time, people, to start working HARD on that margin of effort. The WisDems will be organizing canvassing, friend-banking, and other work for the weekends of March 16 and 17, and March 23 and 24. The weather is spookily warm (except not today). So plan to get busy. I'll provide links to sign up for these events in the coming days. Meanwhile, peruse the Events listings below and find a way to engage.



Wednesday, February 28

Amazing Faiths Dinner Dialogue, 6:00 - 8:00pm
Congregation Shalom, 7630 N Santa Monica Blvd, Milwaukee

People of all faiths and no faith, all spiritualities and theologies gather in small groups to share a meal and participate in a moderated discussion using a proven model, evoking deep exchanges about lived experiences and the role of faith and/or spirituality in their lives. Through exploration and dialogue, participants learn about the beliefs and traditions of others within an atmosphere of respect and understanding, and are empowered to stand as witnesses for tolerance and inclusion. Register here.

Thursday, February 29

Voter Protection Training, 12:00 - 1:00pm

Sign up for Ballot Cure Training: Interested in getting involved in Team VoPro’s Ballot Curing program? Now is the time to do so! We will be hosting Ballot Cure trainings Thursday (2/29), Saturday (3/2), and the following Monday (3/4). At these sessions, we’ll cover the basics of the ballot cure program, discuss how to help voters remedy errors on their absentee ballots, and train you on how to make cure calls. These calls are incredibly gratifying and we’d love for you to join an upcoming Ballot Cure training! Sign up here.

Saturday, March 2

Stand for Peace, 12:00 - 1:00pm
76th St and Layton, Milwaukee

Stand for Peace demonstrates for peace at a different intersection in Milwaukee County every Saturday.

Tuesday, March 5

Ted Chisholm for Milwaukee County Treasurer, 5:00 - 7:00pm
On Tap at the Brewhouse Inn & Suites, 1203 N 10th St, Milwaukee

Join us on Tuesday, March 5th from 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM to kickoff Ted's campaign for Milwaukee County Treasurer and to celebrate his birthday!

Wednesday, March 6

Urbanists for Mayor Cavalier Johnson, 5:00 - 7:00pm
The Fitzgerald, 1119 N Marshall St, Milwaukee

We are thrilled to invite you to an event that stands at the crossroads of urban development and progressive leadership. This event brings together urban development enthusiasts, community advocates, and friends of Milwaukee who support Mayor Johnson's vision of a thriving, forward-moving city. We are also thrilled to have the Sam Belton Jazz Experience performing live, bringing their soulful jazz music to add to the evening’s atmosphere. RSVP and donate.

Thursday, March 7

Support Liz Sumner, 5:30 - 7:00pm
Dorsia, 1307 E Brady St, Milwaukee

Join with us to help make Supervisor Liz Sumner become the next Milwaukee County Comptroller! With Liz facing an opponent in the race for Milwaukee County Comptroller, this gathering is more crucial than ever. RSVP and donate.

Milwaukee County State of the Union Watch Party, 7:00 - 9:00pm
Broken Bat Brewing Co., 135 E Pittsburgh Ave, Milwaukee

Join WisDems, DPMC, and all other Democratic supporters across Milwaukee County to get updates during the State of the Union and celebrate the successes of the Biden-Harris Administration. Register and sign up here.

Waukesha State of the Union Watch Party, 7:00 - 9:00pm
336 Wisconsin Ave, Waukesha

On March 7th, President Biden will deliver the final State of the Union before the presidential election. We will be gathering at the office to surround ourselves with great friends and fellow Democrats to cheer on our President and kick off our campaigning locally to re-elect him, Vice President Harris and Senator Baldwin. We will be providing drinks and light food. This is going to be a heck of a fun party! Please register and sign up here.

Friday, March 8

International Women's Day, 12:30 - 3:00pm
Marcus Preforming Arts Center, Milwaukee

Join us for an inspiring event on International Women's Day, where women from all walks of life will come together to focus on the critical issue of pay equity and inclusion. This symposium, a collaborative effort by leading women's organizations, including LWVMC, aims to empower women with the knowledge and skills needed to advocate for themselves and others in the pursuit of fair and equitable compensation. Keynote speaker Emilie Aries, author of "Negotiate Like a Boss", will share her insights on negotiation strategies and effective ways to address pay disparity challenges. Attendees will engage in hands-on workshops to gain practical tools and skills. Other speakers will address the importance of civic engagement in advocating for a more just society. The afternoon ends with a lively Happy Hour at St. Kate's (across from the Marcus Center). Register.

Election Matters 2024: Current Challenges to Election Administration, 3:00 - 4:15pm
UW Law School, Rm 2260, Madison or Livestream

Over the last two election cycles, election administrators have worked under increasing pressure and scrutiny to deliver results both fast and accurately. This panel discussion will address the ongoing challenges facing election administrators and assess potential solutions to overcome them, with a catered reception to follow. Panelists include Edward Foley (OSU Moritz College of Law), Alice Miller (Election Center), Rachel Orey (Bipartisan Policy Center), and Mindy Romero (USC Price School of Public Policy). The panel will be moderated by ERC Director Barry Burden (UW-Madison). Register.

Saturday, March 9

Protection March Weekend of Action Phonebank, 12:00 - 2:00pm
St Paul and Water, Milwaukee

Join our March Weekend of Action Phonebank! Protecting voting rights in Wisconsin starts with us. Help protect the vote in Wisconsin by recruiting poll observers for our April election! Poll observers are our eyes and ears at polling locations, and we need your help to recruit them so that voters can safely and easily cast their ballots this spring. All you need is your phone and a computer (laptop or desktop, not a tablet). Training is offered at every phonebank on Zoom, and we provide the script! You will receive a Zoom link for the phonebank in the confirmation email--please check your spam folder if you don’t see this email in your inbox. Sign up.

Stand for Peace, 12:00 - 1:00pm
St Paul and Water, Milwaukee

Stand for Peace demonstrates for peace at a different intersection in Milwaukee County every Saturday.

Sunday, March 10

Forum for Shorewood School Board and Village Board Candidates, 12:00 - 1:30pm
Shorewood Village Center, 3920 N Murray Ave, Shorewood

For a seat on the Shorewood School Board, the candidates with the two highest vote totals in the February 20 primary three candidates vying for two seats on the Village Board will participate in a forum so that voters can become acquainted with their views ahead of the April 2 election.

Tuesday, March 12

PFAS: The Everyday, Everywhere Toxin, 6:30 - 8:30pm

News about PFAS is infiltrating our lives and – appropriately for "forever chemicals" – isn't going away. Contamination from per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, known as PFAS, has been found in sites all over Wisconsin, stemming from any number of the many ways these substances are used. Join us for the first of two virtual webinars that delve into how PFAS get into our bodies, how to protect ourselves, and what is happening at the state and federal level to mitigate this issue. Register. Speakers: Dr. Beth Neary, Co-President of Wisconsin Environmental Health Network, and Meleesa Johnson, Executive Director of Wisconsin’s Green Fire

Wednesday, March 13

Brookings Institute Program on AI Dangers, 1:00 - 2:00pm CST

Join the Center for Technology Innovation at Brookings for a discussion moderated by Senior Fellow Darrell West along with a panel of experts, about the dangers posed by AI and election disinformation and ways to protect the general public. The last year has seen an explosion of accessible generative AI tools, which allow virtually anyone to rapidly and inexpensively create synthetic images, video, audio, and text. As the presidential election approaches, there are serious concerns about an explosion of disinformation and synthetic content that could impact what is expected to be a very close race. Political campaigns have already begun implementing generative AI tools to create advertisements, send robocalls and contact voters, prompting policymakers to propose major legislation and guardrails to protect the integrity of our elections.This event will be open to attend in person or watch online. Online viewers can submit questions via email to [email protected] or on X (formerly Twitter) @BrookingsGov using #AIElections.RSVP.

Support Peter Burgelis for 11th District Alderman, 6:30pm
Una Cafe, 4410 W Forest Home Ave, Milwaukee

Please join Common Council President Jose Perez and Southside Alders JoCasta Zamarripa, Marina Dimitrijevic, Jonathan Brostoff, and Scott Spiker to support Peter's campaign to represent the 11th District as Alderman. Its just a couple weeks until the April 2nd Spring Election! Help Peter's campaign continue its momentum to have a strong and successful finish! RSVP and Donate.

Aldermanic District 10 Candidates' Town Hall, 6:30pm
St Sebastian Parish Hall, 55th & Washington Blvd, Milwaukee

Be an informed voter! Meet the two candidates running to be Milwaukee’s 10th District Alder: Richard L. Gelden and Sharlen Moore. Learn about their visions for the future of Washington Heights, District 10 and the City of Milwaukee. The Town Hall will be moderated by Corrinne Hess, Wisconsin Public Radio Reporter based out of Milwaukee and resident of Washington Heights. Doors open at 6:00pm. Remember Election Day is Tuesday, April 2, 2024.

Thursday, March 14

Conservation Voters , 5:30 - 6:30pm
Whitefish Bay Public Library, 5420 Marlborogh Dr, WFB

Learn about Pres. Biden's Affordable Clean Energy Plan, what it offers, and how you and your friends and family can benefit! In 2022, Congress and the Biden Administration passed the largest investment in climate action in U.S. history. Learn more about the benefits available to install energy efficient appliances and solar panels, reduce your home's energy usage, buy electric vehicles, and much more – all with major cost savings!

Saturday, March 16

Get Out the Vote — Spring Election , 9:00am - 3:00pm
Ozaukee County Dems

Help connect with Ozaukee County voters ahead of the April 2 Spring Election. You can contact us at www.ozdems.org.

Stand for Peace, 12:00 - 1:00pm
Capitol and Oakland, Milwaukee

Stand for Peace demonstrates for peace at a different intersection in Milwaukee County every Saturday.

Sunday, March 17

Get Out the Vote — Spring Election, 9:00am - 3:00pm
Ozaukee County Dems

Help connect with Ozaukee County voters ahead of the April 2 Spring Election. You can contact us at www.ozdems.org.

Know What Is on the April 2 Ballot, 5:00 - 6:15pm

This Grassroots North Shore program focuses on the two ballot questions that propose to change the Wisconsin Constitution. Our speakers — Madison-based attorney Doug Poland and State Senator Mark Spreitzer — will enlighten us by addressing what the proposed amendments say and mean. And why they're on the ballot. RSVP here.


Tuesday, March 19

2024 State of the County Address, 12:00 - 1:00pm
Discovery World, 500 N Harbor Dr, Milwaukee

Here County Executive David Crowley assess the state of our county. Doors open at 11:00am.

Wednesday, March 20

Ozaukee Dems Monthly Meeting, 7:00pm
1930 Wisconsin Ave, Grafton

Program to be announced.

Thursday, March 21

Waukesha Dems Monthly Meeting, 7:00pm
Southminster Presbyterian Church, Richard St, Waukesha

Program to be announced.

Saturday, March 23

4th CD Convention, time TBA
4500 W Custer Ave, Milwaukee

Join us at our Grafton office every third Wednesday of the month at 7:00. Meet like-minded people who are your neighbors and committed to electing Democrats here in Ozaukee County.

Sunday, March 24

DPMC's Annual Gala: 2024 MKE DEMocracy, 5:30 - 8:00pm
Italian Community Center, 631 E Chicago St, Milwaukee

Special guests and speakers will be announced soon. We will also honor our award recipients. Please RSVP names and dietary needs by Friday March 15th to [email protected]. Checks may be sent to 1975 S 70th St West Allis, WI 53219. You can buy tickets through ActBlue. The Deadline for ticket purchases in March 14. Get a wiggle on!

other important links

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