I get it. The difference, I get it.  We are all good people who care about others, our families, friends, neighbors, community. It’s just that, as a Progressive, our sense of community goes so much further than that of Conservatives'. For Conservatives that sense of community only extends as far as their own interests. Progressives view our community as global.

Eilene Stevens 3762.60pc

Eilene Stevens

Eilene Stevens's activity stream


  • published Who's the Biggest Loser? in Newsletter 2022-11-17 09:06:35 -0600

    Who's the Biggest Loser?

    The events list is even shorter this week than last and may be nonexistent as we head into Thanksgiving week. So I plan to take the week off: no new newsletter on Tuesday, November 22!

    I'm sure you've heard the good news: Democrats will retain control of the US Senate. And that means judges and administration officials can be appointed over the next two years. With the body split evenly, however, appointments are likely to be slowed by the power-sharing agreement currently in place. This scheme means that every committee will have an equal number of Democrats and Republicans on it. And tie votes mean taking the issue to the full Senate for a vote on what's known as a discharge petition. Vice President Kamala Harris would then be needed to break the tie. It's a cumbersome and time-consuming process that just slows all the work of the Senate down.

    Just as important: with the House likely to be in Republican hands, the Senate could take over the January 6 investigation. With power-sharing, however, Democrats would be unable to issue subpoenas, seriously hamstringing the investigation.

    These are just two strong reasons for working hard to elect a 51st Democrat. A 51st Democratic senator would mean quicker appointments and no need for discharge petitions. It would mean investigating committees could issue subpoenas. Senator Raphael Warnock is currently campaigning in a run-off election against Herschel Walker in Georgia. We want to make sure he wins, again. The election is scheduled for December 6. So there's no time to lose! Here are four excellent ways to get involved:

    1. Donate

    2. Phone
      Fair Fight 2022 GA Runoff Election Phonebanks
      Georgia Coalition for the People’s Agenda
      Indivisible (Grassroots North Shore is a member organization)

    3. Text
      Georgia Coalition for the People’s Agenda
      Georgia Working Families Party

    4. Write postcards and/or letters
      Vote Forward

    The results in Wisconsin were a resounding success, and a BIG WIN for Grassroots North Shore. We really worked hard this election cycle and it seems to have paid off. According to the Village clerk, turnout in Shorewood was a whopping 93% of voters registered before Election Day, although as you will see below, the analysis in Urban Milwaukee has a lower number.

    In fact, turnout in the state was lower than it had been in 2018 — about 74% of voters registered before Election Day turned out four years ago while this year's turnout was probably about 63%. Nevertheless Governor Evers tripled his margin of victory! For a detailed analysis of the turnout and election results, John D. Johnson's piece in Urban Milwaukee is worth a careful read. (For another analysis of the Wisconsin results, you can watch a half hour discussion with Shawn Johnson and Matthew DeFour with WisconsinEye.) Here's a key point, though:

    Every community in Milwaukee and Waukesha counties gave Evers a higher proportion of the vote in his re-election campaign. Only one municipality in Ozaukee County and two in Washington County swung the other way. Evers flipped Greendale, Greenfield, and River Hills in Milwaukee along with Port Washington and Thiensville in Ozaukee.

    The largest shifts came in Wauwatosa (+24), River Hills (+24), Whitefish Bay (+23), Bayside (+22), Mequon (+22), Elm Grove (+21), Fox Point (+21) and Brookfield (+20).

    A lot of the blue shifts came in communities where Grassroots North Shore had extensively sent postcards, phoned, leafletted, and canvassed. According to Johnson's piece, turnout in the North Shore communities was as follows:

    • Bayside: 77%
    • Brown Deer: 73%
    • Fox Point: 84%
    • Glendale: 80%
    • River Hills: 85%
    • Shorewood: 81%
    • Whitefish Bay: 84%

    We can't take all the credit of course, but the results reinforce the message: campaigning in every imaginable way is hard work — and it pays off.

    The national results are not complete yet, but they are stunning. Not only did Democrats hold the Senate, they also picked up at least three governors: in Maryland, the first Black man, Wes Moore, was elected; in Massachusetts, the first woman, Maura Healy, was elected; and in Arizona, Katie Hobbs, the first Democrat elected as Governor since Janet Napolitano resigned in 2009, defeated her MAGA-maximun opponent! John Fetterman won his race for US Senate in Pennsylvania, picking up retiring Republican Senator Pat Toomey's seat. Although Republicans have so far gained five House seats (see the coverage at the New York Times), the out party on average gains around 25-30 in midterm elections!

    So who was the BIGGEST LOSER of the midterms? Why none other than TFG (that's The Former Guy, DT) who apparently was the butt of endless jokes on Monday's late night comedy shows. He's going to announce his third run for the White House tonight, we hear. Good luck with that, I say! And in more zany news, a Russian soldier, who claims he was acting on orders, removed a llama and an irate raccoon from the Kherson zoo in Ukraine. You can read the story and watch the video at Newsweek.

    Read more

  • published FORWARD indeed! in Newsletter 2022-11-10 10:29:01 -0600

    FORWARD indeed!

    With this newsletter, Grassroots North Shore is sending an enormous THANK YOU to all the many, many Grassroots North Shore volunteers:

    • who wrote postcards and letters,
    • who distributed yard signs,
    • who phoned nearly 6300 women,
    • who delivered flyers,
    • who stood outside libraries with election signs,
    • who dropped off sample ballots in Cambridge Woods,
    • who went to UWM, MIAD, MSOE, and MATC to register young people to vote, then to encourage early voting and finally to urge them to vote on election day, and
    • who canvassed with Neighborhood Action Teams and the Ozaukee Dems.

    We worked as hard as we could right up until the polls closed last night. And it looks as if it paid off big time. Let this election be a lesson: we cannot ever afford to sleep through an election — ANY ELECTION — ever again.

    We won't know specific turnout numbers for some time yet but we do know that both statewide and locally we won a huge victory. We probably lost the race for State Treasurer but Governor Evers won re-election with a much healthier margin than he had in his first election four years ago. And despite their extreme gerrymandering of the election maps, the Republicans failed in their bid to win a veto-proof majority in the state legislature. Governor Evers can wield a veto pen whenever he needs to prevent the state legislature from enacting harmful laws!

    Attorney General Josh Kaul will also win re-election. As I write this, the Journal Sentinel has not yet called the race, but with 99% of the vote counted, Kaul leads by 1.4%. Unfortunately, Wisconsin will continue to be represented in the US Senate by the pernicious ignoramus Ron Johnson, but we can take some comfort from the fact that the young and talented Mandela Barnes kept it close. Doug LaFollette will probably be re-elected with a .3% of the vote, although there may well be a re-count of that race.

    Election results for State Senate and State Assembly can be found on the Election Results page of the online Journal Sentinel.

    Although control of the US Senate and the US House are not decided yet, Democrats racked up a huge win, in my view, simply by defying the doomsaying predictions of the pre-election pundits. Republicans were expecting a so-called "red wave." Generally in midterm elections the party that holds the White House, in this case President Joe Biden, loses a lot of seats in both the House and the Senate. Not this time! In the New York Times online, one article begins "Democrats showed up, Trump-backed candidates underperformed and inflation wasn’t the whole story." It goes on to say that "across the East Coast, in Virginia’s northern suburbs and mixed areas of Rhode Island and New Hampshire, embattled Democrats managed to hang on. They even knocked off a few Republicans here and there. In many tight races, abortion and Mr. Trump’s looming presence may have been the G.O.P.’s undoing."

    In the Washington Post's first analysis, Trump lost by backing flawed candidates like Mehmet Oz. And in three toss-up races yet to be decided — Blake Masters (R) vs Mark Kelly (D) in Arizona, Herschel Walker (R) vs Raphael Warnock (D) in Georgia, and Adam Laxalt (R) vs Catherine Cortez Masto (D) in Nevada — Democrats are favored in two. And Democrats also won two new governors' races: Maura Healy will replace the outgoing Republican governor in Massachusetts and Wes Moore will replace the outgoing Republican governor in Maryland. Democratic governors in Kansas (!), Michigan, New York, New Mexico, Minnesota — and let's not forget Wisconsin! — won re-election. Josh Shapiro, the current Attorney General in Pennsylvania, will retain the governorship there too, keeping that state in Democratic hands. And it looks like Kari Lake will go down to defeat in Arizona where that state's current Attorney General, Katie Hobbs, has a small lead. You can check in on the gubernatorial races at Politico.

    Finally, abortion rights won where it was on the ballot: Voters support abortion rights in all five states with ballot measures: "Voters in California, Vermont and Michigan on Tuesday approved ballot measures enshrining abortion rights into their state constitutions, while those in the traditionally red states of Montana and Kentucky rejected measures that would have restricted access to reproductive care." In Wisconsin, constitutional amendments must be initiated by the state legislature, and there's little hope that the 1849 law banning abortions here will be overturned any time soon. Alas. But the strength of this issue in the election was clearly underestimated.

    The events list this week is really short and will probably remain so as we head into the winter holidays. But I want to make you aware that in Wisconsin, we have an upcoming election (the primary on February 21 and the general election on April 4). It's vital that we pay attention: in addition to a critical race for a Wisconsin Supreme Court seat, there will be elections for city and village governance as well as for school boards. As we know, MAGA types are vowing to contest local governance at every level. We need to be strong in the fight for our values and our freedoms. More to come on when and how to prepare for these contests.

    Read more

  • published This is IT in Newsletter 2022-11-02 09:03:16 -0500

    This is IT

    ONLY ONE MORE WEEK. Let's focus on what everyone needs to do.

    • VOTE, VOTE, VOTE. Early in person voting is happening NOW. If you live in Bayside, Brown Deer, Fox Point, Glendale, River Hills, Shorewood, Whitefish Bay, or Ozaukee County, you can vote — usually at your municipal clerk's office — until Friday, November 4, at 5:00. See the exact times and locations on our website.

    • In Milwaukee, early in person voting ends on Saturday, November 5, at 3:00pm. There are a lot of early voting sites, including many city libraries, Fiserv Forum, and the UWM Student Union. See the Milwaukee Election Commission page for full details. Voting early is a fantastic thing to do. It helps make Election Day voting easier for many people, since the lines will be shorter; it means you're free to help with GOTV activities on Election Day; and it ensures that your vote will be in on time — just in case your car breaks down or an emergency happens or illness crops up at the last minute!

    • GOTV: this is absolutely the most important thing we can be doing — other than voting ourselves. In the seven North Shore communities, GOTV will take place on Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and Election Day (November 4-8). Sign up for one or more shifts (there are 4 each day) in one (or more) of the following staging locations:
    • Phone voters in the North Shore and Ozaukee County to add to our vote total. This election is all about TURNOUT. So the conversations we have with people are all about motivating them to vote. These ARE NOT "persuasion calls." We're phoning 30-55 year old women who we believe are strong or at least leaning Democrats, who lead busy lives, and who do not always vote in midterm elections. Getting them to the polls, either this week during early voting or on Election Day, will make the difference between having Governor Evers or Governor Michels for the next four years. Also Senator Barnes or Senator Johnson for the next six years. To help out with this important project, contact Nancy Kaplan, 443-465-1920.

    • Volunteer to hold signs at the East Library in Milwaukee. Supermarket Legends is the host for this activity. Contact Norma Gilson, 414-588-1241.

    • Donate to the candidate(s) of your choice: Tony Evers (Governor) and Sara Rodriguez (Lt Governor), Josh Kaul (Attorney General), Aaron Richardson (Treasurer), Doug LaFollette (Secretary of State), Mandela Barnes (US Senate), Gwen Moore (Congressional District 4), Deb Andraca (Assembly District 23), Dan Larsen (Assembly District 60), Darrin Madison (Assembly District 10), Bob Tatterson (Assembly District 24).

    There's a lot happening politically right now:

    • the first trial of five Oath Keepers for seditious conspiracy;
    • a heinous attack on Paul Pelosi in an apparent attempt to kidnap or kill House Speaker Nancy Pelosi;
    • a criminal trial of the Trump Organization;
    • many, many investigations of our former Prez;
    • and of course the war in Ukraine.

    What happens to the January 6 Select Committee in the House of Representatives will depend on who controls the House in the next Congress. The fate of abortion in this country depends on who controls the House and the Senate. Whether Social Security and Medicare remain intact depends on whether Democrats win this election. Whatever you're feeling about our chances, we have to believe that we can prevail. And we have to do the work. Go Team!

    Read more

  • Special GRNS Newsletter: Halloween edition

    I trust that you're enjoying the spring-like conditions this Halloween!

    I'm sending out this "special edition" of the newsletter because some events for tomorrow (Tuesday, November 1) have just popped into my email and I thought you'd like a chance to attend one or more of them. So I'm listing the events for Tuesday and Wednesday just to give you a timely heads up. The full newsletter with events through November 11 will be out tomorrow.

    EVENTS

    Tuesday, November 1

    Mandela Barnes / Newsmaker Breakfast, 7:30 – 9:00am
    Milwaukee County War Memorial Center, 750 N Lincoln Memorial Drive, Milwaukee

    Mandela Barnes will be the featured guest at a Newsmaker event hosted by the Milwaukee Press Club, WisPolitics.com, and the Rotary Club of Milwaukee. Barnes will take questions from a panel of journalists and from the audience at the event, which will include breakfast. Registration deadline was Friday, October 28.

    Coffee with Cory Booker & Mandela Barnes, 10:00 – 11:30am
    Sam's Place Jazz Cafe, 3338 N Doctor M.L.K. Jr Dr., Milwaukee

    Drink coffee with Sen. Cory Booker and Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes! RSVP.

    Save Social Security Rally & March to the Polls, 11:00am – 1:00pm
    Social Security Building, 310 W Wisconsin Ave, Milwaukee

    The League of Progressive Seniors and other groups will have a rally to bring out the vote to preserve Social Security! State Sen. Larson, US Rep. Gwen Moore, US Senator Tammy Baldwin, and the Raging Grannies will appear at the event. Meet at the Social Security Building for a brief rally, followed by a march to the polls to early vote at Fiserv Forum. Remember to bring your photo ID so you can vote! More information and RSVP.

    Wave Event: When Claude Got Shot, 5:00 - 6:30pm
    Online

    Join us Tuesday, November 1 at 5:00 P.M. for an online screening of When Claude Got Shot. Stay with us after the film for a discussion with Claude Motley, the film’s protagonist, and the film’s director, Brad Lichtenstein at 6:45 or tune in then if you’ve already seen the film but want to learn more from some of the folks most deeply involved in its making. Sign up.

    Boogie with Barnes and Booker, 6:30 – 8:00pm
    Allure MKE, 789 N Jefferson St., Milwaukee

    Come out and boogie with Mandela Barnes and Senator Cory Booker for a fun night in Milwaukee! RSVP.

    Wednesday, November 2

    Grass Roots South Shore Meeting, 6:00 – 8:00pm
    Cudahy Library, 3500 Library Drive, Cudahy

    Grass Roots South Shore will have meetings of the members on the first Wednesday of the month. More information.

    Living Liberally Waukesha, 6:30 – 8:30pm
    The Tap Yard, 1150 W Sunset Drive, Waukesha

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


  • published Voting is under way! in Newsletter 2022-10-26 22:19:07 -0500

    Voting is under way!

    Let's start with a little inspiration.

    The vast majority of Americans agree with us [progressives] on ALL the major issues — legal abortion (62%), climate crisis (75%), minimum wage (62%), paid family leave (70%), legal marijuana (91%), unions (71%), Medicare for all (69%), Equal Rights Amendment for women (78%), mass incarceration, tax the rich (80%), free college (58%), free pre-K+ (71%), stopping voter suppression, LGBTQ+ rights (71%), take money out of politics, more gun control (70%), etc. -- Michael Moore

    Now GOTV (Get Out the Vote)!!!! Visit www.mobilize.us to find events near you. I don't need to tell you how vital this election is. But I do need to remind you that TURNOUT is EVERYTHING this year.

    1. If you're able to canvass, that's the best way to turn out voters.
    2. If that's really not possible for you, then do the next best thing: phone. We're calling women in North Shore communities to remind them to vote, and to vote the entire ticket. Contact Nancy Kaplan for information and a phone list!
    3. And make sure ALL YOUR LIKE-MINDED FRIENDS AND FAMILY, no matter where they live, GET TO THE POLLS by or on Election Day, November 8.

    For those of you on the North Shore, here are links to sign up with your community's Neighborhood Action Team:

    Early in person voting is easy and flexible; it should fit anyone's schedule. It begins TODAY! Here are the dates: Tuesday, October 25 - Friday, October 28, and Monday, October 31 - Friday, November 4. Voting takes place at your village or city hall, unless you live in the City of Milwaukee. See the list of early in person voting sites, days and times for the city. The Ozaukee Dems's site says early voting begins on Wednesday, October 26, but don't believe it. You can begin voting TODAY!

    Monday, Bob Woodward released a some sound bites from his numerous interviews with TFG on the Washington Post site to go along with an op-ed explaining why he made the decision. For $45, you can buy the whole set of tapes from Amazon. (It apparently takes 11 hours and 29 minutes to listen to all of it. Frankly, I could not bear to listen to TFG for that long.) If you turn the sound on as you read Woodward's piece, you will hear them both in their own words. As he says in his article, "Much has been written about that period, including by me. But The Trump Tapes, my forthcoming audiobook of our interviews, is central to understanding Trump as he is poised to seek the presidency again." The Daily Kos piece about this article points out that it's behind a paywall. So if you don't have a subscription to the Post, you probably can't read or hear it. Which is too bad. TFG speaking the words you've already seen in print really does vividly remind you that he's a nasty, self-involved moron. Here's the piece on Daily Kos.

    Make no mistake: MAGA-ism is on the ballot this year. The Republican National Committee "says it’s staged thousands of training sessions across the country on how to monitor voting and lodge complaints about midterms." Whether the trainees will actually show up at the polls is unknown. But in Arizona vigilantes are already showing up, some of them armed, to "observe" people using legal drop boxes to return their votes. (Drop boxes ARE NOT AVAILABLE FOR ABSENTEE BALLOTS in Wisconsin.) See more about the Arizona story and the subsequent lawsuit seeking an immediate injunction in an article on Axios.

    It's incumbent on each one of us to work for the state, country and world we want to live in. So what are YOU going to do over the next two weeks so that we don't end up in an increasingly fascist country?

    Corredtion:

    up for Neighborhood Action Teams to canvass in the North Shore were wrong.

    Here are the correct ones:

    Read more

  • published only 3 weeks. Yikes! in Newsletter 2022-10-19 09:57:34 -0500

    only 3 weeks. Yikes!

    The opinion section of the Journal Sentinel Online is difficult to find — I had to use the search function — so you might have missed the editorials on October 12. They all urged voters to turf Ron Johnson out! First there is the editorial board piece headlined "Election deceiver, science fabulist, billionaire benefactor. After 12 years, it's time to term-limit Sen. Ron Johnson. Then David D. Haynes, apparently also speaking for the editorial board, wrote "Given the stakes in Wisconsin's midterm elections, the editorial board has a duty to stand up for voters and against Ron Johnson." And to top it all off, James Wigderson — whom many of you will recognize as a staunch Wisconsin conservative — wrote "I'm a lifelong Republican but sometimes party loyalty asks too much. I'm voting for Mandela Barnes and Tony Evers." All three are worth your time and will lift your spirits.

    It's easy to feel discouraged and to become distracted by polls showing Barnes trailing Johnson and Evers virtually tied with Michels. But the only antidote to being down in the dumps is to take action. The Wigderson op-ed really says it all: "But even more dear to me, and more important to the country, is protecting the Constitution. On this, Sen. Ron Johnson and Republican gubernatorial candidate Tim Michels cannot be trusted." This election comes down to preserving and, where necessary, restoring the America we believe in — where elections are free and fair, where access to the ballot is not a game of gothcha, where everyone has a right to privacy and autonomy, where expression is free but civil. This is the Wisconsin, and the nation, we want to be. But we cannot get there without doing the work.

    This week, we're focusing on getting the vote out in the City of Milwaukee. Success will depend on turnout and the city is the epicenter. Here are some ways to engage:

    • Contact voters outside the new Good Hope Library (7715 W. Good Hope Road, Milwaukee) to hand out flyers urging people to vote for Democrats and a piece of literature with information about early voting sites in the city. Contact Norma Gilson, 414-588-1241.
    • Hand out flyers with information about voting outside MATC. This activity is best done in pairs, so bring a friend. Contact Norma Gilson, 414-588-1241.
    • Make phone calls to women in the Milwaukee portion of Assembly District 10. These are primarily strong and leaning Dems who probably received a postcard from Grassroots North Shore. The phone call is a second "touch" to urge these women to turn out to vote. Contact Nancy Kaplan, 443-465-1920.
    • Canvass every weekend. Sign up with your community's action team:

    Early voting begins on Tuesday, October 25, and generally ends on Friday, November 4. In the 'burbs, early voting generally takes place at your village or city hall. In the city, there are satellite sites as well as City Hall and early voting continues through Saturday, November 5. The hours are 9:00am - 6:00pm weekdays and 10:00am - 3:00pm on Saturdays and Sundays.

    • Midtown Shopping Center, 5740 W Capitol Dr
    • Zeidler Municipal Building, 841 N Broadway
    • American Serb Hall, 5101 W Oklahoma Ave
    • Good Hope Library, 7715 W Good Hope Rd
    • Washington Park Library, 2121 N Sherman Blvd
    • Flores Hall, 2997 S 20th St
    • Clinton Rose Senior Center, 3045 N Dr Martin Luther King Jr Dr

    Additional locations in the city are available during the second week of early voting, October 31 - November 5:

    • East Library, 2320 N Cramer St
    • Mitchell Street Library, 906 W Historic Mitchell St
    • Tippecanoe Library, 3912 S Howell Ave
    • Villard Square Library, 5190 N 35th St

    And the city is also providing three bonus locations, each with its own days and times:

    • Fiserv Forum, Corner of N 6th St & Juneau Ave. 9am-6pm: Tuesday, Oct. 25, Thursday, Oct. 27, Thursday, Nov. 3, and Friday, Nov. 4 plus 10am-3pm: Saturday, Oct. 29 and Saturday, Nov. 5
    • Social Development Commission (SDC), 1730 W North Ave. 9am-3pm: Monday, Oct. 31 - Friday, Nov. 4
    • UW Milwaukee Student Union, 2200 E Kenwood Blvd. 10am-2pm: Monday, Oct. 31 - Friday, Nov. 4

    The final debate between Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes and Sen. Ron Johnson was held last week. If you missed it, you can watch it here. (The first debate is also available.) The one and only debate between Governor Evers and Tim Michels can be viewed on YouTube. If you don't have a full hour to watch it, NBC News offers a good account of the debate between Evers and Michels.

    Cutting Social Security and Medicare are part of the MAGA GOP agenda should they gain control of the House or the Senate or both. Refusing to raise the debt ceiling is apparently part of their bargaining plan to cut funding for these entitlements. Learn more about what they plan and how to push back and prevail; have some free lunch on the League of Progressive Seniors tomorrow, Wednesday, October 19. Here's what's on tap: If you're 60 or over, sign up for a free lunch and help save Social Security and Medicare! Mandela Barnes will be there from approximately 11:00 - 12:00pm. Nancy J. Altman from Social Security Works will be the keynote speaker. Co-sponsored by the Working Families Party, SEIU, Power to the Polls Wisconsin, and Souls to the Polls. The event will take place from 11:00am - 1:00pm at the Shriners Temple, 3000 West Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee. But first you have to RSVP.

    Just FYI, The Milwaukee County Democrats have now opened a new office at 1111 W Mitchell St. I don't know what days and hours it will be staffed yet. But it is a tad closer to us than the office at 2999 S Delaware St.

    Finally for your lighter moment of the day, have a look at Micheal Moore's "Mike's Midterm Tsunami" piece on the January 6 committee hearing last week.


    Email #2-corrections:

    I apologize for the second email in a single day. But the links to the North Shore canvasses this weekend and through to the election have changed, I've just been informed. So here they are:

    And add an event to the list: MICAH is holding its Annual Public Meeting, "MICAH Rising: To Build a Health & Just Community," on Thursday, October 20, from 6:30 - 8pm. The meeting is both in person and on Zoom. The in-person meeting will be held at Canaan Baptist Church, 2975 N 11th St, Milwaukee. To attend the meeting, either in person or on Zoom, please register.

     

    Read more

  • Only 4 weeks left Theme: Minimal by NationBuilder

    Election Day is exactly four weeks from today. So ask yourself what YOU are doing to get us to WIN up and down the ballot. If you haven't become engaged yet, let me list some of the important actions you should take:

    • Make some easy phone calls to strong or leaning Democratic women to make sure to get out their votes. Grassroots North Shore aims to reach more than 6200 people by phone: that means a lot of volunteers! Contact Nancy Kaplan for more information.

    • Canvass with the Democratic Party of Wisconsin every weekend. Sign up with your community's action team:

    • Increase voter turnout in Milwaukee for November 8 by assisting Cambridge Woods Votes with their direct canvass in the UWM Area in Milwaukee Wards 123 and 124. Volunteers will canvass in pairs, stop at all doors, and drop off printed ballots with voter and candidate information. Canvassing will take place on weekday afternoons in October. For more information or to volunteer, call GRNS Steering Committee member Ginny Goode at (414) 332-8252.

    • Volunteer to register folks at 3 DMV offices with Supermarket Legends. The effort is strictly nonpartisan! The locations are 2701 South Chase Ave., 74th & Mill Rd., and 6073 N. Teutonia Ave. Supermarket Legends will supply all the training you need. Contact James Balk, (414) 218-5944.

    • Work with the Wisconsin Dems to protect voters from you-know-who's mischief. Sign up with the Voter Protection Team. They offer plenty of online training to get you started as a poll observer, a voter protection phonebanker, or a voter assistance hotline volunteer.

    • Sign up for the WisDems Ballot Cure program. Some voters need help fixing errors on their absentee ballots. The Voter Protection Team will provide training.

    • Put out yard signs by contacting these people:
      Andy Berger (Fox Point)
      Cheryl Maranto (Glendale)
      Norma Gilson (Shorewood)
      Eilene Stevens (Bayside)
      Shirley Horowitz (Whitefish Bay)
      Kath Michel (southern Oz County)
      Mark Gennis (southern Oz County)

      You can also pick up signs at the Milwaukee Dems office, 2999 S. Delaware Ave, Milwaukee (open M-T, 10am - 7pm, W-F, 11am -7pm, Sat 9am - 1pm) and also at the Ozaukee Dems office, 1930 Wisconsin Ave, Grafton (open W 5 - 7pm and Sat 1-3pm).

    If you live in Milwaukee County, be sure you vote YES on the two advisory referendums on your ballot. The first asks whether the legislature should prohibit assault-style firearms in Wisconsin. The second asks whether you favor allowing people 21 or older to make personal use of marijuana while regulating and taxing marijuana sales. Pass the word about these votes to everyone you know, especially younger people. They are good reasons to vote! You can see the exact text of these referendums on our website. Our Elections tab also has information about early voting and about candidates running in the November 8 election.

    In case you missed it, Mandela Barnes debated with Ron Johnson last Friday. You can watch it on YouTube. And you can watch "Democrat Mandela Barnes DESTROYS MAGA Republican Ron Johnson in Wisconsin Senate Debate," commentary by MeidasTouch Network correspondent Ben Meiselas. Barnes and Johnson will face off again on Thursday, October 13, from 6 -7pm at Marquette University's Varsity Theatre. There are no more tickets to the event but you can watch on WTMJ-TV (Channel 4).

    Also on Thursday, October 13, the January 6 committee will hold its next, and perhaps final, public hearing at 12 noon CDT. I plan to watch it, gavel to gavel, of course. If you're unable to watch it live, MSNBC will have two full hours of recap and analysis beginning at 7pm. And it will undoubtedly be available on YouTube, pretty much like everything else.

    Governor Tony Evers will debate MAGA Republican Tim Michels on Friday, October 14, from 7 - 8pm. The debate is hosted by the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association and six Wisconsin panelists will ask the questions. In addition, three other broadcasters will provide background, context and resources on digital and social platforms. This debate will also be broadcast on WTMJ-TV (Channel 4).

    Finally, a little light something to close out the newsletter: Randy Rainbow sings! You have to see and hear it. Pure genius.

    Read more

  • published let's win this thing in Newsletter 2022-10-05 11:45:05 -0500

    let's win this thing

    I'm sure you've see the ads lambasting Lieutenant Governor and Senate Candidate Mandela Barnes for his proposal to end cash bail for violent suspects. Here's the truth: In a September 2 news release, Barnes said under his plan "the Waukesha perpetrator wouldn’t have been released." Politifact judges the statement to be "mostly true." "Bail is not intended to keep people accused of crimes behind bars. The Wisconsin Constitution states that cash bail can be used only for making sure the accused appears for the next court hearing — meaning judges are not supposed to consider public safety when deciding on the bail amount." Under the Barnes proposal, public safety would be considered as part of the decision to hold a suspect in custody until trial. The "mostly" Politifact attaches to the designation "true" stems from the leeway given to whatever judge is handling the hearing.

    Just Say NO to RoJo

    Although he tries his best to dodge answering questions about it, RoJo's position on banning abortion nationwide is crystal clear. See this piece in the Wisconsin Examiner. And have a look at "Sen. Ron Johnson embraces controversy in reelection bid" in Madison.com. The article looks at the race and how each candidate is characterizing himself and the other candidate.

    Also, "RonJohn Jokes Jan. 6 Mob Taught Us One Thing: How To ‘Use Flagpoles’ As Weapons" but of course the Jan 6 Insurrection was no joke.

    That's all the election news in Wisconsin I plan to cover today expect for this: sign up to protect our freedoms and to keep Trump Republicans from turning the clock back even further than the "glorious days" of the Walker regime: we need to reach every left-leaning voter in our area so that the turnout on our side is even bigger than it was in 2018 and 2020. Do your part!

    And be sure to get your yard signs:
    Andy Berger (Fox Point): about 20 each of Barnes, Andraca, Evers and Kaul;
    Cheryl Maranto (Glendale): 15 Evers/Rodriguez, 3 Kaul (plus a couple more that you can put in a window), and 20 Mandela signs, 2 stand-alone Rodriguez;
    Norma Gilson (Shorewood): 2 Kaul 2 Evers/Rodriguez, 4 Mandela Barnes;
    Eilene Stevens (Bayside): 14 Evers;
    Kath Michel (southern Oz County): 10 Barnes, 5 Kaul, 3 Evers & Rodriguez, 10 Evers;
    Mark Gennis (southern Oz County): 20 Andraca;
    You can use the links above to email the person who has the signs you want. That person will send the address and instructions.

    You can also pick up signs at the Milwaukee Dems office, 2999 S. Delaware Ave, Milwaukee (open M-T, 10am - 7pm, W-F, 11am -7pm, Sat 9am - 1pm) and also at the Ozaukee Dems office, 1930 Wisconsin Ave, Grafton (open W 5 - 7pm and Sat 1-3pm).

    I have a couple of corrections to last week's newsletter:

    • People who want to volunteer to register folks at 2 DMV offices will be working with Supermarket Legends. The effort is strictly nonpartisan! The locations are 2701 South Chase Ave., 74th & Mill Rd., and 6073 N. Teutonia Ave. We'll supply all the training you need. You should contact James Balk, (414) 218-5944.
    • People who want to work with the Wisconsin Dems to protect voters from you-know-who's mischief, should sign up with the Voter Protection Team. They offer plenty of online training to get you started as a poll observer, a voter protection phonebanker, or a voter assistance hotline volunteer. Here's the link.
    • Sign up for the WisDems Ballot Cure program. The November 8th General Election is rapidly approaching, and voters need your help fixing errors on their absentee ballots! Join WisDems for a brief overview of our cure program, followed by a cure phonebank. We'll review why we make these calls, the types of cure "buckets," how to use the VPB and Checklist, and more.

    Finally a snippet of Ukraine war news: Ukraine's armed forces have liberated large swaths of the territory Russia invaded over the summer. There's usually a daily update on the conflict, including maps and a lot of detail, on Daily Kos. The update on October 4, produced by Mark Sumner, explains one feature of their success: "How did Ukraine pull off such a sudden and apparently complete defeat of Russia in an area where Russia has packed in troops and armor? There seems to be one factor that played a major role: radios." To understand why radios have been so important, check out the article!

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  • published Help! I need someone, or really EVERYONE in Newsletter 2022-09-28 09:00:38 -0500

    Help! I need someone, or really EVERYONE

    We have just six weeks to make the change we want to see. So once more with feeling: Grassroots North Shore, the Democratic Party, and every campaign needs YOUR help. I'm really serious: sign up to do something to move Wisconsin forward. VOLUNTEER.

    • Make phone calls, knock doors and drop lit, mime (aka silent) canvass outside local libraries with Grassroots North Shore.

    • Canvass with a Neighborhood Action Team near you (see the Events list below).

    • Sign up for the next Weekend of Action with the Dems. In Ozaukee County, sign up with the links in the Events list below. In Milwaukee County, email the Deputy Organizing Director Jaliah.

    Additional ways to contribute:

    • Volunteer with and/or donate generously to campaigns for Evers and Rodriguez, Kaul, Richardson, LaFollette, Barnes, Moore, Andraca, Larsen, Madison, Tatterson.

    • Register Voters in Milwaukee: The DOT has invited the Democratic Party to return to three Milwaukee DMV offices to continue registering voters. We aim to register 5,000 marginal voters by November. The DMV locations are 2701 South Chase Ave., 74th & Mill Rd., and 6073 N. Teutonia Ave. We'll supply all the training you need. You should contact James Balk, (414) 218-5944.

    • Register voters at MATC. Contact Dave Weingrod.

    • Sign up with the Voter Protection Project to observe at a polling place on Election Day. Make sure voters are not harassed or unnecessarily turned away from the polls.

    • Join the WisDems Ballot Cure Program, a process for contacting voters whose absentee ballots are at risk of rejection and walking them through their options to make sure their votes count.

    Governor Evers has called a special session of the legislature on October 5 to create a pathway for Wisconsinites to repeal Wisconsin’s 1849 criminal abortion ban. His proposal proposal would create a process for referendums in Wisconsin, allowing voters to directly challenge the state’s criminal abortion ban and repeal the archaic law, which has caused healthcare providers to largely cease abortion procedures and has left safe, legal abortion access for women in jeopardy as long as the ban is in litigation limbo awaiting clarity from the courts. What can you do? Call your legislators! Look up how to contact yours from the Wisconsin State Legislature home page.

    You've undoubtedly seen the ads bashing Mandela Barnes for being soft on crime, and subliminally for being Black and radical and somehow affiliated with AOC, Ilhan Omar, and the so-called Squad. But it looks like the real problem is courtesy of the Republicans themselves. Among the other issues, like a very low unemployment rate in Wisconsin and wide-spread criticism of police behaviors, budget constraints have played a big role also. And of course the Republican-controlled legislature approves the budget. Read all about it in Urban Milwaukee.

    Vanity Fair has a splendid piece about Barnes and his candidacy. Barnes led Johnson in the August poll by the Marquette Law School. Read the VF piece and then do what you can to help him win.

    And those of you who can access Twitter and don't mind doing so, have a chuckle with Ben Collins, now a reporter at NBC News and formerly the Senior News Editor at the Daily Beast. He tweaks Johnson for using a Homeland Security Committee hearing to complain about social media companies failing to cover quack treatments for COVID-19. The whole thread is worth a few minutes of your time.

    And still on the lighter side of the news: Kirk Bangstad (proprietor of the Minocqua Brewing Company) has produced a new beer called "Extinct Elephant." Describing it as "A MODERATE Red Ale," he uses the announcement to "mourn the impending death of the Grand Old Party." And to salute Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger "by giving them a gift of beer."

    The January 6 committee will hold its next, and perhaps final, public hearing at 12 noon CDT, on Wednesday, September 28. I plan to watch it, gavel to gavel, of course. If you're unable to watch it live, MSNBC will have two full hours of recap and analysis beginning at 7pm.

    Absentee ballots are being mailed now. If you want to request one, visit MyVote.WI.gov but do it soon. If you're interested in voting in person during the two weeks before Election Day, consult our page for information on days and times for your municipality.

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  • published Hair on fire edition in Newsletter 2022-09-22 16:20:08 -0500

    Hair on fire edition

    Grassroots North Shore held a well-attended campaign kick-off rally in Doctors Park Sunday afternoon. The weather was gorgeous and the speakers were splendid. We had a recorded message from Governor Evers, a rousing speech by Attorney General Josh Kaul, addresses by our four Assembly District candidates — Deb Andraca (AD23), Darrin Madison (AD10), Bob Tatterson (AD24), and Dan Larsen (AD60) — with Mandela Barnes providing a inspiring closing. It all felt good: seeing old friends and new faces in person, shaking some hands, even giving and getting some hugs. (Also, later that evening, the Packers soundly beat Da Bears!) Almost a normal Sunday campaign event.

    But we're not living in normal times. And it's vital that we heighten our awareness of the looming threats, explicit threats of political violence, both here in Wisconsin and in the wider country. For example, you may have thought that when Robin Vos fired Michael Gableman and shut down his ersatz "investigation" of the 2020 presidential election in Wisconsin, we were done with that scam. But we're not — and it is only getting worse. A headline in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel shows the MAGA Republicans moving from investigation to instigation: "Michael Gableman, who produced no evidence of 2020 election fraud in $1 million review, now suggests the country needs revolution" (JSO, 9/19/22). Here's the lead paragraph: "Former state Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman told a group of Republicans this month that a revolution against government officials over the 2020 election has become necessary but said people have become too comfortable to water the 'tree of liberty' with blood." (Gableman, a whale of a man himself, goes on to blame "our comfort ... holding us back" from taking up revolution. In particular it is the obesity of the poor that is the "greatest challenge" to keeping an honest government through revolution!)

    Gableman himself may be just a harmless, overweight blowhard. But TFG's embrace of the faithful QAnon followers at his rally in Ohio last Saturday shows all the signs of deep and dangerous trouble ahead. As the Guardian notes, the rally "was arguably the most visible display to date of Trump’s growing alignment to the far-right group, whose principles were championed by many in the violent mob of his supporters who overran the Capitol during the 6 January insurrection.

    A joint report by the FBI and the homeland security department last year warned that QAnon members posed a significant threat of more violence, particularly because of growing disillusionment in unfulfilled predictions that Joe Biden would be removed from office." (Trump embraces QAnon at rally by playing music similar to its anthem, 9/19/22.)

    It's vital to understand the historical roots of this phenomenon. Here's a brief account from the Guardian: "The Guardian’s 2020 explainer on QAnon also details the antisemitic pillars on which the cult is built. The idea of the all-powerful, world-ruling cabal comes straight out of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a fake document purporting to expose a Jewish plot to control the world that was used throughout the 20th century to justify antisemitism" (9/19/22).

    It's scary bad right now. But hiding under the covers won't make it better. Instead we need to mount a counter-revolution. Not with riots. Not with weapons. Not with vitriol. But with victories through VOTES! We have a mere 49 days — until Election Day. And if Tony Evers loses to Tim Michaels, or Mandela Barnes loses to Ron Johnson, or if MAGA Republicans capture our state, Wisconsin will no longer have a recognizably representative democracy. Our bodily autonomy is threatened, our schools are threatened, our clean air and water are threatened, our healthcare is threatened, our freedoms — freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of dissent — are threatened. We cannot allow our state and our country to descend into essentially one-party rule.

    That's why EVERYONE must do SOMETHING to help win these elections. Grassroots North Shore has organized FOUR ways to engage: handing out flyers; phoning Democrats; mime canvassing; and knocking on doors with the Democratic Party. You can find brief explanations of each of these activities on our 2022 Election Volunteer page where you can sign up for one or more of them. You will then be contacted by the lead organizer with specific information about when it will take place and instructions for you.

    There are many other important things you can also do:

    Lastly, contact 10 family members or friends. Talk to them about this election and how important it is to the future of our state and country. And then ask them to commit to contacting 10 other people to do the same. We're all more open to others' ideas and suggestions when they are people we know and trust.

    Here endeth the lesson.

    Read more

  • published we get to work in Newsletter 2022-09-22 16:16:29 -0500

    we get to work

    We're swiftly moving into campaign mode at Grassroots North Shore. And that means our Annual Meeting (on Sunday, January 26, at the North Shore Presbyterian Church in Shorewood) will be focused on the primary race for WI Supreme Court Justice. Both Professor Ed Fallone and Judge Jill Karofsky will be there to make the case that he or she should be the progressive contender in the April 7 election. You can read a statement from Karofsky and one from Fallone on our website.

    We'll be serving our usual hot and tasty, mid-winter meal. So please RSVP and come!

    Because the weather is so dicey this time of year, we're doing voter contact by postcard before the February 18th primary. (On February 8, though, we are going all out for a Day of Action: canvassing, texting, phoning, AND postcards! Stay tuned for particulars.) So we're holding postcard writing parties at our office (5600 W Brown Deer Rd, Suite 116, Brown Deer) on the following days and times for the rest of January:

    The following days will be added in February, times to be announced and sign-up pages available soon:

    • Tuesday, February 2

    • Thursday, February 4

    • Saturday, February 8

    • Monday, February 10

    • Wednesday, February 12

    Meanwhile, the impeachment trial is using up most of the national news oxygen but stories about Wisconsin's court-ordered voter purge are finding their way onto the "front pages" of several news outlets. Essentially the Ozaukee County Judge who ruled that the Wisconsin Election Commission has to purge 234,000 voters from the roles "forthwith" has now declared the Wisconsin Election Commission plus its three Democratic members in contempt of court. He refused to stay his order while his ruling was being appealed and is now saying that the Election Commission has to begin removing voters immediately. Here's some of the coverage:

    Of course, this kind of local story is, in fact, national news partly because voter suppression is such a prominent tactic in the GOP playbook and partly because our state is so central to the election story of 2020. Trump won the state in 2016 by only 23,000 votes. So our goal is to make sure we turn out more of our voters than they can turn out of theirs. Suppressing the votes in communities of color and in colleges and universities makes sense from their perspective. Those are the places where the extra Democratic votes are going to come from.

    Fortunately, the Democratic Party of Wisconsin is working to contact the people who may be purged, both to reregister those who have moved and to reregister those who were on the list erroneously. We'll have more news and also actions you can take to help in these efforts in the near future.

    Read more

  • published Don't agonize. Organize. in Newsletter 2022-09-22 16:16:12 -0500

    Don't agonize. Organize.

    Breaking News: The great John Nichols will be the LIVE speaker for Grassroots North Shore's virtual annual fundraiser on Sunday, October 4 at 4:15. For those of you who have never heard of John Nichols or attended one of his spirited and uplifting speeches, watch this video for a little taste of what he will bring to us. It's a little long but you don't need to watch the whole thing to get the flavor of his style. He's a native of Wisconsin and is best known as the National Affairs correspondent for The Nation and the associate editor of our own The Capital Times. He'll be a real inspiration to us in these dark days.

    The annual fundraiser supports all of our operations. As you know, we're an all-volunteer group working with our supporters to offer numerous activities — in this year of covid-19 for example, in lieu of traditional door-knocking we've sent out more than 10,000 postcards to voters on the North Shore, in Ozaukee county, and in Milwaukee with more to come — and informational events (which we're learning to do effectively online!). So in addition to staffing the phone banks we schedule, writing and mailing the postcards, and coming to the events we sponsor, we need your help to keep doing what we can to support ideas and candidates who will improve the future for Wisconsin citizens. We'd appreciate your donations — whatever you can afford — either through ActBlue online or by check in the mail. You can send donations to our office: Grassroots North Shore, 5600 W. Brown Deer Road, Brown Deer, WI 53223. A Zoom link will be emailed to everyone who RSVPs.

    The news of Justice Ginsberg's death last Friday struck most of us as a grievous blow — to women's rights, to voting rights, and to democracy. But we must not despair. My husband and I received our absentee ballots in the mail Saturday and filled them out today. We're going to put them in a drop box this afternoon. It feels purposeful and uplifting to be able to vote for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris right now. And I know my ballot will matter: it's my voice in the civic affairs of my state and nation. I hope you have already requested an absentee ballot yourself. If not, don't delay: go to myvote.wi.gov to check your registration, to apply for an absentee ballot, or just to track the progress of your ballot through the process. An absentee ballot is like an insurance policy: even if you receive one you can still vote in person, either during the early voting period or on election day. If you do vote by absentee ballot, though, we highly recommend using your community's drop box to return it. You can find a list of locations for drop boxes on our Elections 2020 page.

    Of course there are other safe and secure ways to vote. You can vote early in person, usually at your village or city hall, on weekdays beginning on October 20 and ending at 5pm on Friday, October 30. You can consult our Elections 2020 page on our website for information on early voting opportunities in our communities and contact information to check on days and times of early voting in your community. (If you live in Milwaukee proper, you can vote early through November 1. See the Milwaukee Election Commission page on early voting for exact information on where and when you can vote.)

    One last thing: if you live in Milwaukee County, you are eligible to be a poll worker (aka Election Inspector) in the city as long as you are 18 and eligible (but not necessarily registered) to vote. And the city still needs as many as 750 more poll workers in order to open a sufficient number of polling places. Those who are in high risk groups for covid-19 should, of course, not sign up. But anyone who is not in a high risk group, including younger people and perhaps those who have already recovered from a bout of the illness, should consider it. Having more polling places translates into shorter lines and less risk for everyone — both those working at the polls and those who vote that day. You can read about it here and sign up here.

    Ok. Just one more thing before the Events list. Yard signs. We will be getting Biden-Harris signs, I promise. And we currently have Neal Plotkin signs, Deb Andraca signs, and Emily Siegrist signs — candidates we have endorsed for the 8th Senate District, the 23rd Assembly District, and the 24th Assembly District, respectively. The simplest way to make sure you'll get yours is to sign up for the signs on our Yard Signs page. We have various places and ways to get them to you and various candidates whose signs we are able to distribute. So get your name on our lists. You'll receive specific instructions by return email as soon as you RSVP.

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  • published It's Election Day! in Newsletter 2022-09-22 16:15:48 -0500

  • published Keep November in our sights in Newsletter 2022-09-22 16:15:34 -0500

  • published Time to get to work! in Newsletter 2022-09-22 16:15:10 -0500

    Time to get to work!

    This week's newsletter is full of ideas about WHAT YOU CAN DO to win the midterm elections in Wisconsin, starting with attending our Save Our State campaign kick-off rally.

    If you have not yet signed up for our Save Our State rally at Doctors Park (1870 East Fox Lane, Fox Point) on Sunday, September 18, from 3:30-5:30pm, you need to take care of this task immediately! Although Governor Evers can't attend in person, he's sent us a video greeting. Our Attorney General Josh Kaul will be there as well as our current Lieutenant Governor and stellar candidate for US Senate, Mandela Barnes. And we will also get a chance to meet and hear from the Assembly District candidates in our area: Deb Andraca (AD 23), Dan Larsen (AD 60), Darrin Madison (AD 10), and Bob Tatterson (AD 24). Here's a map to help get you there: doctors_park_map.jpg
    The event is fully outdoors and the weather promises to be fine! We'd love to see you.

    One note about the Save Our State event. Usually, we hold a picnic each fall and ask for donations to the organization. We are, after all, an entirely volunteer grassroots group, but we do have some expenses (like paying for the website and the newsletter!). This year the venue does not permit us to solicit donations at the park. So I'm asking you to give through our website or by writing a check made out to Grassroots North Shore with "Save Our State" on the memo line. You can mail your check to Grassroots North Shore, 5600 W Brown Deer Road, Suite 116, Brown Deer, WI 53223.

    A new Marquette University Law School poll will be released on Wednesday, September 14, at 12:15. It's an in-person event. So if you just want to read the information for yourself, a news release and poll data will be on the website shortly after 1:15pm. It will also be livestreamed on the website. The poll surveys races for various statewide offices as well as a range of important topics, including the direction of the state, public schools, reaction to the coronavirus pandemic, student loan forgiveness, abortion policy, confidence in the 2020 election, inflation, taxes, gun violence, illegal immigration, crime, climate change, and ensuring votes are accurately counted.

    There are plenty of other ways you can participate in democratic elections in both partisan and nonpartisan activities.

    Join a team and talk to your neighbors from now until election day. You will find the information you need for each of the following Neighborhood Action Teams. Research has shown that talking to people is the surest way to turn out the vote!

    • The League of Women Voters is recruiting Election Observers across the state to observe the November Election on November 8, 2022. Volunteers will 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 hours to spare on Election Day, you can still sign up to be an election observer. Being an election observer is a vital way you can help maintain a strong democracy in our state. Learn more and sign up to volunteer today!

    • Common Cause, a non-partisan organization, is also engaging in a voter protection effort.

    • Team up with the Wisconsin Democratic Party's Election Protection Project.

    YARD SIGNS: right now Grassroots North Shore has some Mandela signs available at various pick-up locations. We should have more signs, I hope for all the statewide candidates, after the September 18 Save Our State rally. Just email the person hosting a distribution site for an address and instructions on where to find the signs. The distribution points are listed by community.

    Bayside/Brown Deer/Fox Point: Andy Berger
    Glendale/River Hills: Nancy Kaplan
    Mequon/Thiensville: Mark Gennis
    Mequon/Thiensville: Kath Michel
    Shorewood: Norma Gilson
    Whitefish Bay: Shirley Horowitz

    The Democrats of Ozaukee County also have signs at the office: 1930 Wisconsin Avenue, Grafton, WI, 53024. To contact the Oz party, visit the website and use the "contact" link at the bottom of the home page.

    And the Democrats of Milwaukee County have yard signs at their office: 2999 S Delaware Ave, Milwaukee. The office is staffed Mondays and Tuesdays from 10am - 7pm. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 11am - 7pm. On Saturdays from 9am - 1pm. You can contact the office by email.

    This week, the Events List is filling out, but before you get to that, a little reminder about what our current senior US Senator is saying and doing!

    Just Say NO to RoJo

    A few days ago, Jennifer Rubin, reformed Republican and opinion columnist for the Washington Post, published a piece with the title Ron Johnson is proving to be a great campaigner — for Democrats. For example, "Johnson — infamous for his conspiracy theories, his racist take on Jan. 6, his involvement in the 2020 coup and his eagerness to spread Russian propaganda — has given Democrats plenty of ammunition in Wisconsin’s critical Senate race." She goes on to note that "In February, he declared that Wisconsin had enough jobs and therefore shouldn’t make a pitch to manufacture new postal vehicles, which would create 1,000 jobs. He also handed Democrats the ultimate political gift: He attacked Social Security."

    And that's not all: after having said in July that he would support a bill codifying the right to marry who you love, he now says he won't back the same-sex marriage bill. According to The Hill, he said he was objecting to the bill on religious liberty grounds, calling the issue "a wound that was healed." In early September, Johnson said he released that statement to get the media “off my backs.”

    Now really is the time to get to work. The first absentee ballots will be mailed from municipal clerks' offices on September 22. The deadline for online registration is October 19. Early in-person voting begins on October 25. And of course election day is November 8. I don't need to tell you how critical — even existential — this one is. So, please, find SOMETHING you can do to help beat back the MAGA Republicans in this state. And get busy!

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  • published Become A Member 2022-09-15 14:55:13 -0500

    Become A Member

    We are a group of volunteers who work to advocate, educate and inform for progressive change and solutions. With your help, we will continue to expand and improve our website and our ability to support progressive candidates.  Your support allows us to continue our newsletter, monthly meetings, action alerts, informative content on issues, and candidate endorsement.

    Help sustain our Grassroots North Shore community by becoming a member for a year or by becoming a sustaining member.

    Pay for your membership in one of two ways:

    1. Send a check payable to Grassroots North Shore to our office: 5600 W Brown Deer Rd, Brown Deer, WI 53223.
    2. Pay by credit card by clicking one of the boxes below and using our ActBlue page.

    Contributions or gifts to Grassroots North Shore are not deductible as charitable contributions for Federal income tax purposes.

    Choose your level of membership:

    • $20 - Individual Membership
    • $30 - Family/Household Membership
    • $100 -Defend Democracy
    • $250 - Protect Democracy
    • $500 - Sustainer
    • $5 - Student or Limited Income
    Donate

  • published Real Talk, Vigorous Campaigning in Newsletter 2022-09-06 12:04:25 -0500

    Real Talk, Vigorous Campaigning

    Good news: disabled voters CAN GET HELP returning their absentee ballots. On August 31, U.S. District Judge Fames D. Peterson ruled that the Voting Rights Act takes precedence over the Wisconsin State Supreme Court's decision in July that outlawed absentee ballot drop boxes and ruled voters must return their own absentee ballot in person to a clerk's office or other designated site. To those with disabilities, returning an absentee ballot in person or even getting it to a mailbox would present a huge, and in some cases an insurmountable, obstacle to casting a vote. Peterson wrote that "Voters shouldn't have to choose between exercising their federal rights and complying with state law." Unfortunately, Wisconsin law still requires that voters put their own ballots in mailboxes and Peterson's ruling did not address the issue. But it's awfully difficult to determine whether every voter put his/her/their own ballot in the mail!

    Yesterday, President Biden — accompanied by the national and Wisconsin heads of the AFL-CIO, the Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh, and Governor Evers among others — came to Milwaukee's Laborfest and gave a rousing pro-labor and anti-trumpist speech. He gave Ron Johnson the treatment when he called Senators Johnson and Rick Scott out over their promises to make Social Security funding subject to annual or five year funding votes in Congress. (Middle Wisconsin has a good piece discussing the horrors of such a plan.) You can watch Walsh's intro and Biden's full speech. (Daily Kos has a synopsis.) It was strong and passionate. Our own taste of the "dark Brandon" visible in his speech last Thursday at Independence hall.

    For Veterans among us: The Tony Evers campaign is looking to get a group of Veterans together to sit on an advisory council. The Veterans would have the opportunity to share issues that they care about, attend a few Zoom meetings with the campaign team, attend a Veteran event (TBD) and help shape the campaign's messaging for Veterans. You will also need to be comfortable being publicly listed as "Veterans Support of Governor Tony Evers." If you are interested, email me and I will pass the information along to the campaign.

    Plan to come to our campaign kick-off rallySave Our State — Sunday, September 18, from 3:30 - 5:30 at Doctors Park (1870 E Fox Ln) in Fox Point. We'll have a message from Governor Evers. Both Mandela Barnes and Josh Kaul will be there. As will our candidates for Wisconsin Assembly: Deb Andraca, Darrin Madison, Dan Larsen and Bob Tatterson. RSVP so we'll know you're coming.

    Yard signs: right now we have some Mandela signs available at various pick-up locations. Just email the person hosting a distribution site for an address and instructions on where to find the signs. The distribution points are listed by community.

    Bayside, Brown Deer and Fox Point: Andy Berger
    Glendale: Nancy Kaplan
    Mequon: Mark Gennis
    Mequon: Kath Michel
    Shorewood: Norma Gilson
    Whitefish Bay: Shirley Horowitz

    The Democrats of Ozaukee County also have signs at the office: 1930 Wisconsin Avenue, Grafton, WI, 53024. To contact the Oz party, visit the website and use the "contact" link at the bottom of the home page.

    And the Democrats of Milwaukee County have yard signs at their office: 2999 S Delaware Ave, Milwaukee. The office is staffed Mondays and Tuesdays from 10am - 7pm. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 11am - 7pm. On Saturdays from 9am - 1pm. You can contact the office by email.

    We only have 63 more days until the election! So have you signed up to volunteer for something yet? How about donating to Evers and Rodriguez, Kaul, Richardson, LaFollette, Barnes, Moore, Andraca, Larsen, Madison, Tatterson? If you don't know anything about these people or what office they seek, visit the Grassroots North Shore Elections 2022 pages. You will also find information about early in-person voting in your community. And here's a link to join in canvassing with the Glendale Neighborhood Action Team. I will have links to sign up for other teams by next week.

    You still have time to request an absentee ballot. Clerks will begin mailing ballots on September 22. If you are voting by absentee ballot, make sure you mail it back by November 1 or deliver it to your clerk's office by November 4.

    Another way you can participate is to write letters to the editor. The Democrats are providing a free virtual workshop on Tuesday, September 20, with examples, tips, and issue information sheets. The workshop will be led by Haley McCoy, said to be "WisDems on-call writing expert." She will be available for questions both during the workshop and for the rest of the campaign. The workshop will take place from 6:00 - 7:00pm. Register here.

    Finally, here are two voter protection opportunities, either with the Democratice Party of Wisconsin or in with Common Cause, a non-partisan organization.

     

    Read more

  • published the lull before Labor Day in Newsletter 2022-08-24 07:40:01 -0500

    the lull before Labor Day

    After Labor Day, Grassroots North Shore will begin its election activities in earnest, but before then there's been an interesting election development in North Carolina. The state's Supreme Court ruled on August 20 that the gerrymandered state legislature "lacked the power to amend the constitution." It seems that the process for amending the state constitution begins in the legislature, as it does here in Wisconsin. The legislature ordinarily has the power to put a constitutional amendment on the November ballot for voter adoption. In this case, though, the court ruled that the electoral maps behind the currently elected legislators had been struck down in 2017 when federal courts found that they discriminated against Black voters. As a result, the legislators representing the illegal districts could not help form the supermajority necessary to pass constitutional amendments.

    Further litigation will presumably resolve the issues but there's an important moral to the story. It seems that two seats on the NC court are also on the November ballot. If Republicans win even one of those seats, the ruling could be overturned. Judicial elections have huge, if largely unheralded, consequences. In Wisconsin, we're currently gearing up big-time for the November 8 election. But close on its heels, we too will have a consequential election for a Supreme Court seat in April 2023. It will be a big one, folks! Our form of government — whether you think of it as a democracy or a republic — takes eternal vigilance and lots of hard, grassroots work. Grassroots North Shore is already planning spring actions. So get ready to work for fall AND spring elections.

    If you have not yet seen it, the latest Marquette Law School Poll was published last Wednesday. The news is moderately positive for Democrats running statewide in this election: Governor Evers tops Tim Michels by a few percentage points and Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes tops Johnson by 7 points. (A Fox News poll shows Mandela up by only 4 points.) But we cannot relax for a second! That's why you should join us in Doctors Park (1870 E Fox Ln, Fox Point) on Sunday, September 18, from 3:30 - 5:30pm for our Save our State rally!

    Just Say NO to RoJo

    In the latest chapter in the life of Senator Ron Johnson, apparently there's a 5-second rule for insurrections. If someone's engagement lasted only seconds, then it doesn't count, right? Asked about his involvement in the effort to deliver fake electors' ballots to then Vice President Pence during the electoral college vote count on January 6, Johnson is reported to have said "I had virtually no involvement. My involvement lasted seconds." Here's the key quotation: "'I think I fielded three texts, and sent two, and talked to my chief of staff that somebody wants you to deliver something,' Johnson told local ABC 12 during an interview in Wisconsin, adding, 'I knew nothing about it.'" You can read about Johnson's effort to duck and cover on yahoo! news.

    In local news, in case you missed it, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos won his primary by fewer than 300 votes. So his challenger is mounting a write-in campaign. Vos has no Democratic opponent, however. So he's quite likely to win the election. If there were a three-way race, though, he might have had a tougher time, with the GOP vote split between Vos and Adam Steen. The situation highlights how important it is for Democrats to run candidates in every district, no matter how gerrymandered. That's why we owe Bob Tatterson, running in the 24th Assembly District, and Dan Larsen, running in the 60th Assembly District, our deep gratitude and as much assistance as we can give them.

    And a little schadenfreude to end on: Just a few days after his close shave with defeat, Vos fired Michael Gableman and shut down the so-called "review" of the 2020 election in Wisconsin. Now he says Michael Gableman could lose his law license over 2020 election review, records violations. But Gableman has already found a new employer: The Thomas More Society, a conservative law firm that was involved in his fraudulent review.

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  • published Election Day is here. Go Vote. in Newsletter 2022-08-08 14:42:02 -0500

    Election Day is here. Go Vote.

    Last call: the primary election is TOMORROW: Tuesday, August 9, from 7am to 8pm at your polling location. A strong turnout for the August election is a sure sign of a strong turnout in November. And it is up to you to make that happen. If you have not yet voted, tomorrow is your last chance. To see a sample of what's on your ballot and to check where your polling place is, visit MyVote.WI.gov. To bone up on the candidates for all the contested races on the ballot, visit our elections page.

    And don't forget to vote in those uncontested primaries as well. Governor Evers, Attorney General Kaul, Deb Andraca (the Assembly Representative for AD 23), Bob Patterson (running in AD24), and Dan Larsen (running in AD 60) — all of them need your votes as well.

    Besides your vote — which is, as you know, a vital right and your civic duty — I hope you will get active with one or more campaigns. Dan Larsen, a Cedarburg attorney, has stepped up to run against Robert Brooks, the incumbent Assembly Representative for AD 60. It's a tough territory for a Democrat but Brooks favors banning some contraception and allowing guns in schools. We need to nix his votes on these terrible ideas. So if you have some time and energy, volunteer with his campaign. Like all candidates, he needs people to knock on doors, call voters, and donate funds to help him with the costs of yard signs, tv and online ads, and the like. You'll be pleased to get acquainted with him through his website. Or work with another candidate. You'll find links to their websites and other online sites on our Elections 2022 pages.

    Now the fall election begins in earnest. To kick things off, Governor Evers, Senator Baldwin, Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes, and a host of other political luminaries will hold a Unity Rally on Wednesday, August 10, at 3:45 in the Deer District: 333 W. Juneau Ave, Milwaukee. Let's give Governor Evers a show of enthusiasm! SIGN UP.

    Things are looking up for the general election on November 8. The Senate has now passed what Bill Gates has called a remarkable moment for congress and the country: — the Inflation Reduction Act. It includes truly fantastic investments in a clean energy future, the ability for Medicare to negotiate some drug prices, and much more. Not, of course, everything we wanted but a big breakthrough nevertheless. On the heels of several other major victories, this soon-to-be-enacted law is, as they say, a game-changer. Maybe for the November elections, but certainly for the future of the earth!

    In other positive news, the Five Thirty Eight poll agregator currently shows Democrats slightly favored to win the Senate. And now that Republicans in several states have nominated weak candidates for important positions, like governors and US senators and secretaries of state, the odds are improving. In the race for Wisconsin governor, Five Thirty Eight shows Evers polling well. The site currently rates the election as "lean R" but just a few days ago it rated the race as "Lean D." In other words, a toss-up. So we definitely have work to do! According to Charlie Cooke of the Cooke Political Report, "One thing that has been noted by both Democratic and Republican pollsters is that given the circumstances, Republicans seem to be underperforming on the generic congressional ballot test." So if we can really ramp up the turnout among our base voters and Dem-leaning independents plus reach a modest percent of disaffected Republican voters, November 8 could be a good day for Wisconsin and the country! Let's get to work!!

    The Events list is pretty sparse this week. So please connect up with a campaign you care about and volunteer. The Grassroots North Shore Election 2022 pages provide links to candidates' campaigns and will reflect the outcome of the primary as soon as firm results are known. We really need everyone to participate as fully as possible.

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  • published CHIPS ARE DOWN FOR ROJO in Econ4Voters 2022-08-05 12:29:43 -0500

    CHIPS ARE DOWN FOR ROJO

             Microchips are incorporated in nearly every good and service these days, as well as the processes by which they are made.  A short list includes major appliances;  heating and air conditioning systems;  electric, internal combustion, and hybrid vehicles; waste disposal; and of course cell phones and computers.  A shortage of chips during the pandemic led to a shortage of all of those products, as well as slowing the effort to renovate the electricity grid, an essential step in addressing climate change.   The shortages also led to higher prices for those products and processes, contributing to the supply-side part of the inflation now disrupting the United States.

             With bipartisan support, the "Chips and Science" bill is working its way to President Biden's desk after the Senate passed the bill on July 27 by a margin of 64 to 33.  Officially known as Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors or CHIPS, this bill will allocate $52 billion to chip manufacturing within the United States, and $200 billion to research in the ongoing improvement of chips plus education and training programs to increase the number of chip-manufacturing employees.

             The CHIPS bill is designed to foster discoveries made in the USA that contribute to the ongoing improvement in speed, accuracy, durability, and capacity of chips.   To stay on the "cutting edge," microchip manufacturing requires ongoing research by firms in the private sector, by university technicians and professors as well as scientists at national and private labs.   The aim is to assure that conceptual breakthroughs and their applications take place in the United States, including in the advanced manufacturing sector of the State of Wisconsin with its 187,000 employees.   

             Wisconsin Senator Johnson voted against CHIPS. He labeled CHIPS "corporate welfare," and "socialism."  He also declared that the bill would be "inflationary."  These charges reveal economic misunderstanding that is harmful to the nation and to Wisconsin.     

             The core concept behind CHIPS is that these improvements in the US semiconductor industry are a public responsibility.  The alternative is unregulated market activity, or "free markets." As previous essays in this Econ4Voters series have argued, that free-market default is superior only when the pre-conditions for market efficiency, including competition, are present; microchips are a textbook example of the opposite.   In the worldwide market, the manufacturing of chips gravitated toward countries like China, where their highly precise labor input can be hired for very low wages. This natural result of market activity left the US vulnerable to cut-offs, whether due to the pandemic or to military threats.

             Similarly, the notion that the CHIPS bill would be inflationary has it backwards. An increased supply of microchips reduces the cost of producing the modern goods and services that require microchips and the production processes that supply them. Both economic principles and empirical evidence show that productivity and cost are inversely related; increasing the supply and quality of microchips will fight inflation, not cause it.  Moreover, making the US economy more competitive globally will strengthen the dollar as an international currency which in turn would also fight inflation by making foreign goods cheaper.

             Johnson’s "socialism" charge reveals a particularly worrisome misunderstanding of economics. A capitalist system requires an efficient public sector to support the market system,  providing those things that the market system needs but will not produce for itself. Market activity requires streets, roads, sewer, water services, the legal system, police and fire protection, national defense, and a host of other public services. It is also a public responsibility to support specialized research that produces very uncertain investor return, as in the case of advanced semiconductors.  To conflate capitalism's public sector with socialism is a demonstration of incapacity to evaluate public policy.   It is not conservatism. It is confusion.

    William L. Holahan is Emeritus Professor and former Chair of Economics at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.