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 3739.60pc

Eilene Stevens

Eilene Stevens's activity stream

  • 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!

    Read more

  • 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.

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  • 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.

    Read more

  • 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

  • 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


             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.

  • published only one week to go! in Newsletter 2022-08-03 08:33:19 -0500

    only one week to go!

    As you are probably aware by now, Tom Nelson, Alex Lasry, and Sarah Godlewski all dropped out of the race for the nomination for US Senate last week. All of them have endorsed Mandela Barnes. The Democratic Party of Wisconsin then endorsed Barnes too, in effect clearing the field for him ahead of the August 9 primary. Following suit, Grassroots North Shore has enthusiastically endorsed Mandela. But lest you think this development lets you off the hook, think again. There are a LOT of contested races on your ballot and those races need your considered vote. (See our election information pages to learn about all the candidates in these races.) Even uncontested races — like the one for Governor Evers and the one for Attorney General Josh Kaul — still need your love and attention. That goes double for Barnes where there are still four other candidates who have not dropped out. And indeed all eight names, including the three who have now stepped aside, will appear on your ballot!

    If you have voted already, either by absentee ballot or early in-person, and have cast your ballot for one of the candidates who has now endorsed Barnes, you can rescind your earlier vote and submit a new ballot. Here's the NPR account of how to do it. "To void a ballot, voters need to contact their local clerk, either in person or by sending a message through the mail or email. Once the clerk's office receives the request and locates the returned ballot, their office writes 'spoiled' at the top and makes a small tear in the envelope to ensure the ballot is not counted. After the original ballot is spoiled, the office will issue a new absentee ballot. The deadline for spoiling an absentee ballot by mail is August 4 at 5 p.m. To spoil a ballot in person, the deadline is August 7."

    In a reprise from last week's newsletter, here are some primary election reminders. Tuesday, August 9 is Election Day. But you can vote early all this week in your city/village clerk's office. In the 'burbs and Oz County, early voting runs through Friday, August 5. Our early in-person voting page will provide you with dates/times and contact information for North Shore and Ozaukee County clerks. For the city of Milwaukee, there are four early voting locations. Early voting hours run through Saturday, August 6. So, make a plan. And VOTE.

    Speaking of the upcoming election, Milwaukee still needs election inspectors (aka poll workers). Go to the Election Inspector page of the Milwaukee Election Commission ASAP. And then sign up for the virtual training — the last one before the primary — on Saturday, August 6 at 9:30am. (You'll get the link for the training session after you apply.)

    While you focus on election matters this week and next, take some time for some fun! The Ozaukee County Fair runs from August 3-7. Visit the Oz Dems at the Ozaukee County Fair. Have fun completing the Scavenger Hunt for the fair! Meet local and state politicians and find out more about our local DPOC group. The fair runs from 10am Wednesday, August 3, to 8pm on Sunday, August 7. The Wisconsin State Fair, at the Wisconsin State Fair Park in West Allis, runs from Thursday, August 4, through Sunday, August 14. Its hours of operation are Sunday – Wednesday: 10am – 10pm; Thursday – Saturday: 10am – midnight. Lots of fun, lots of good eats. And don't forget to stop by the Milwaukee County Democrats' booth and pick up some swag.

    Coming attractions: The Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors recently approved two resolutions for advisory referendums to appear on the November 8 ballots in the county. One would advise banning military-style weapons and the other would legalize marijuana for personal use while regulating the sales and also raising some revenue by taxing the sales. I've put the exact language on our website.

    Say NO to RoJo

    COVID-19 is still very much with us. So here's a little trip through Senator Ron Johnson's various FALSE takes on its seriousness and how to treat it.

    December 6, 2021: "On a December 1 episode of the Brian Kilmeade Show on Fox Radio, Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin) suggested that Anthony Fauci, MD had “overhyped” AIDS and was doing something similar with Covid-19. Yes, that AIDS, the infectious disease that has killed an estimated 37.7 million people around the world. And that Covid-19, which has already killed over 785,000 people in the U.S since the beginining of the ongoing pandemic." In mid-2022, the number of people who have officially died from COVID-19 is 1.03 million!

    January 26, 2022: "We’ve heard story after story. All these athletes dropping dead on the field" after taking the vaccine.

    May 5, 2022: "Johnson said the way 'we've handled COVID has been a miserable failure.' Among those he criticized were 'Big Pharma, big media, big tech giants,' and doctors who 'don't want to admit that the vaccine they were pushing on their patients are injuring them, potentially killing them.'"

    Of course, all three claims are utter bunk. Keeping yourself and your loved ones out of a hospital or a morgue is worth two vaccine shots and two booster shots. So if you haven't completed the series by now, get on it.


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  • published breaking summertime news in Newsletter 2022-07-27 10:44:43 -0500

    breaking summertime news

    Over the past week, the news has been breaking at a furious pace, considering that we're in the middle of summer! Locally, we learned yesterday that Tom Nelson, County Executive of Outagamie County, has dropped out of the race for the Democratic Party's nomination for US Senate. His name, of course, remains on the ballot for the August primary. But if you were planning to vote for him, choose one of the other seven candidates!

    The Marquette Law School June poll on races in Wisconsin finds close races in the Senate and Governor primaries and in the November elections. You can also watch a video of Charles Franklin discussing the results. For a different look at the US Senate race in Wisconsin, you can read "Race to the WH."

    Marquette recently produced a poll that tries to measure the impact of the Supreme Court's abortion decision and another measuring approval of the Court. Those last two polls were taken in July using a national sample of voters, not just those in Wisconsin.

    In case you missed the prime time hearing on Thursday, July 21, you can see highlights at the Washington Post. You can see the complete hearing on YouTube. There are a lot of riveting details in the whole thing. The outtakes from speech The Former Guy (TFG) gave on January 7 are clear indications of his mental state. But the most hilarious (or Hawley-rious) bit is watching Senator Hawley run from the "peaceful demonstrators" — Hawleyng ass, if you will.

    Yesterday, Congresswoman Elaine Luria, a member of the January 6 Select Committee, released another video on Twitter showing revisions TFG made to his January 7 speech. The video seems to have been prepared for the July 21 hearing but was simply left out because of time constraints. The clip includes members of his inner circle and his family testifying to TFG's refusal to say that the election was over or that his StormTrumpers should be prosecuted for breaking the law. The clip runs a little more than 3.5 minutes. And it is damning.

    In momentous news, Marc Short, former Vice President Pence's chief of staff, confirmed that he has testified in front of a federal grand jury investigating the January 6 insurrection. His testimony is, of course, shrouded in secrecy so we cannot know what he was asked or what he said. But pundits are speculating that it's a big development not least because it reveals that the Justice Department has moved beyond trying those who invaded the Capitol to investigating those who were members the White House's inner circle. According to the New York Times, Greg Jacob, Pence's top lawyer, was also subpoenaed and testified in the federal criminal inquiry. "The testimony of the two Pence aides marked the first time it has become publicly known that figures with firsthand knowledge of what took place inside the White House in the tumultuous days before the attack have cooperated with federal prosecutors."

    Meanwhile, in Georgia, there was a strange development in the criminal case Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is pursuing. In what may turn out to be a relatively minor digression, the judge overseeing the special grand jury Willis is using ruled that she cannot investigate one of the fake electors because he is the GOP nominee for Lieutenant Governor and she hosted a fundraiser for a Democrat seeking to become the party's nominee for that position in a run-off primary. Apparently, State Senator Burt Jones will have to be investigated by another prosecutor. Here's the New York Times's account. DA Willis will still be able to probe Mr. Jones's role in the scheme to send a phony slate of electors to the Vice President and the National Archives by asking other fake electors and GOP officials about his actions.

    Politico reports that "six weeks into the committee’s public hearing schedule, an emerging consensus is forming in Republican Party circles — including in Trump’s orbit — that a significant portion of the rank-and-file may be tiring of the non-stop series of revelations about Trump." And Jennifer Rubin, a former Republican and a current opinion author at the Washington Post, thinks that "more Republicans are dumping Trump. But the GOP still imperils democracy." She goes on to note that even if prominent Republican rags like the Murdoch-owned NY Post and the Wall Street Journal are dumping Trump, "it’s arguably more important for Republican politicians to be warriors for Christian nationalism and generators of racial grievance than Trump apologists." She concludes: "So while it’s true that some Republicans are moving on from Trump, his two legacies — authoritarianism and ethno-nationalism — still dominate the GOP. The threat to pluralistic democracy remains."

    Finally, some primary election reminders. Tuesday, August 9 is election day. But you can begin voting TODAY in your city/village clerk's office. Early voting runs through Friday, August 5. Our early in-person voting page will provide you with dates/times and contact information for North Shore and Ozaukee County clerks. For the city of Milwaukee, there are four early voting locations and early voting hours on Saturday July 30, Sunday July 31, and Saturday, August 6. So, make a plan. And VOTE.

    And one more thing: the Democratic Party of Milwaukee County is looking for volunteers to staff their booth at the State Fair. The Democratic Party of Ozaukee County is looking for volunteers to staff their booth at the Ozaukee County Fair. Voting is super important, but showing up for party duty (and fun) helps the cause too.

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  • published It's time to VOTE in Newsletter 2022-07-20 17:58:01 -0500

    It's time to VOTE

    It's time to make sure you have a plan to vote in the August 9 primary. It's usually a low-turnout election but with so many important offices on the ballot, we can't afford to sit it out. When more people vote in a primary, the winning candidates represent a broader swathe of the voting public and are therefore likely to have greater appeal to general election voters. So do your part. BE A VOTER!

    Absentee Ballots:

    You cannot use a drop box to return your ballot. Plan to put it in the mail by August 2 or drop it off in your city/village clerk's office. Make sure you and a witness sign the certification envelop and that the witness includes a full address on the envelop. Voters who need help returning a ballot can have a spouse or friend put it in a mailbox. BUT a spouse or friend cannot take the ballot to the city/village clerk for you.

    Early In-Person Voting:

    Be sure you take your photo ID to the clerk's office when you go to vote. Business hours can vary from one city/village to another. You can visit our Elections 2022 page for early in-person voting to find the days, times, and phone number for clerks' offices across the North Shore and the southern half of Ozaukee County. For the city of Milwaukee, check the days, times, and places for early voting on the website for the Milwaukee Election Commission.

    August 9, Election Day:

    Polling places have a habit of moving around! Before you set out to vote, check to make sure you know where your polling place is for the primary at MyVote.WI.gov. You can also see a sample of the ballot for your specific location. Remember that Assembly District lines were redrawn after the 2020 census. That has made a difference for all residents of Shorewood and Glendale and some residents of Brown Deer and Milwaukee.

    Candidate Information:

    Our Elections 2022 pages have you covered. The links from the main page take you to the pages for each race: US Senate; Governor; Lieutenant Governor; Attorney General; Secretary of State; Treasurer; Assembly Districts 10, 23, 24 & 60; and Congressional District 4. (There is no Democrat running for Congressional District 6.) We also have a modest amount of information about candidates running for Milwaukee Count Sheriff.

    Yard Signs

    Would you like a yard sign for Governor Evers? We have some in various locations. To get one, send email to the person listed for your area to arrange a pick-up.

    Also, the Democratic Party of Milwaukee County has yard signs for other Democratic candidates in our area. You can pick them up at the office, 2999 S. Delaware Ave in Milwaukee, during office hours: M - F 10am - 7pm and Saturdays from 9am - 1pm. You might want to call ahead to check on which signs are available: (414) 269-9287.

    Finally, here are two Save the Date announcements for Town Halls from WISN 12 in collaboration with University of Wisconsin-Madison and Nō Studios:

    1. On Monday, August 1, 2022, from 7:00pm - 8:00pm, the Town Hall will include Republican candidates in the primary election for Wisconsin governor. Former Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch, businessman Tim Michels, and Wisconsin State representative Timothy Ramthun (R) Kewaskum are invited to take part in the town hall. Grassroots North Shore supporters might want to tune in to check out the competition!

    2. On Tuesday, August 2, from 6:30pm - 8:00pm, the Town Hall features the Democratic candidates for the state’s U.S. Senate primary election: Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes, Milwaukee Bucks Senior Vice President Alex Lasry, Wisconsin State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski, and Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson.

    If you want, you can submit questions for the candidates.

    And a coda: As you probably already know, the January 6 Select Committee will hold another hearing on Thursday, July 21, beginning at 7pm CDT. Because Chairman Bennie Thompson announced that he has COVID-19, Vice Chair Liz Cheney will helm the meeting. It promises to be a doozy. I'm sure most major news outlets will be airing it live. Tune in.

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  • published one month to primary day in Newsletter 2022-07-12 09:55:42 -0500

    one month to primary day

    So that I can watch Tuesday morning's January 6 Committee hearing at 9am CDT, I am writing this intro to the Events list on Monday afternoon. (You can watch the hearings live at MSNBC, CBS, the New York Times website, the Washington Post website and probably a lot of other channels.) So the news won't be quite so up-to-date. But there have been some important developments since last week's newsletter, not least of which is the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling that voters MAY NOT USE DROP BOXES to return absentee ballots. All absentee ballots can be returned to the village/city clerk's office during business hours OR ballots can be sent by US Mail. Disabled voters can have a spouse or a friend put their absentee ballots in a mailbox for them, but the spouse or friend cannot hand-deliver a disabled voter's ballot to the village/city clerk.

    In essence the 114-page opinion and Justice Hagedorn's concurrent opinion simply stressed that the Wisconsin Elections Commission had exceeded its authority when it approved the use of drop boxes for ballots as one of many measures to deal with the COVID-19 epidemic. If you think this ruling is silly — after all, absolutely no voter fraud occurred with drop boxes in 2020 — you're clearly not a MAGA Republican. According to an article in Talking Points Memo today, Trump And Co. Seize On Wisconsin Ruling As PROOF 2020 Election Was Rigged. TFG was first in line to make the false claim. Read the piece for yourself so I don't have to quote his ridiculous words.

    You can still request an absentee ballot at MyVote.WI.Gov but you need to take care of this matter ASAP. You'll want to put ballots in the mail no later than August 2 to ensure that they arrive before 8pm on Election Day. Early in-person voting takes place on weekdays from July 26 through August 5. Check our webpage for exact dates and times for your municipality.

    In the spirit of the exhortation to organize instead of agonizing, let's all do more than moan! Grassroots North Shore has a number of activities taking place now to get out the vote for the August 9 primary. And a good turnout is tremendously important. The winner of a contested primary should appeal to the broadest group of voters, but only that's really only possible when we see a great turnout, as we did in elections in 2018 and again in 2020. Strong turnout translates to stronger candidates! Here are the actions you should sign up for this summer:

    We have yard signs for Governor Evers we'd like to place in visible and high-traffic areas. If that describes your location, here's how to get one. Send email to the person listed for your area to make arrangements to get a sign.

    And a reminder that our website hosts a lot of candidate information and links so that you can be a well-informed voter in the primary. Many of the nominations are contested. Those for Governor and Attorney General are not. But the US Senate, Lieutenant Governor, State Treasurer, and Secretary of State are. The new Assembly District 10 now includes all of Glendale and Shorewood. So voters there will need to decide which candidate to back for an open seat. And Brown Deer is now (mostly) in Assembly District 23, ably represented by Deb Andraca, who is running unopposed on the Democratic side but who needs your votes now also. Farther north, Bob Patterson is taking on Dan Knodl in the 24th Assembly District and Dan Larsen is bravely taking on Robert Brooks in the 60th Assembly District. If you live in one of these districts, you should visit our page for Assembly races.

    Let's end today's newsletter with a little hopeful sign for us lefties and normal folks: Candidate challenges, primary scars have GOP worried about Senate chances, exclaims the Washington Post. GOP "success in the fight for the evenly divided Senate and in gubernatorial races, where candidate quality and the unique political contours of each state tend to factor into the outcome, are less of a sure thing..." than the weak political environment for Democrats made it seem. So here in Wisconsin, be sure to vote for the strongest candidate we have to beat RoJo in November!

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  • published Anger begets ORGANIZING! in Newsletter 2022-07-06 08:27:40 -0500

    Anger begets ORGANIZING!

    Aside from the continuing coverage of Cassidy Hutchinson's explosive testimony to the January 6 Select Committee  last week (highlights), the news has been a little light ahead of the July 4 holiday. Except of course that Highland Park, Illinois, held a 4th of July parade that was disrupted by a mass shooting, one that has killed at least six people and seriously wounded at least 24. A suspect has been detained but not yet indicted. Three other mass shooting events had already taken place in Illinois since last Friday. There have been several more across the country. We can't say that these latest atrocities stem from the recent US Supreme Court ruling that authorizes virtually anyone to carry a loaded firearm anywhere, but the ruling doesn't help quell such violence either.

    There's plenty to sigh and roll your eyes about in Wisconsin, but the latest ruling from our Wisconsin Supreme Court deserves a special shoutout. The conservatives ruled that Frederick Prehn could remain on the Department of Natural Resources Board even though his term expired more than a year ago. Prehn claimed that he could remain until the Wisconsin Senate confirmed his replacement — which they are refusing to do for an Evers's appointment. The Republicans seem to be following the Mitch McConnell playbook — refusing to seat President Obama's nominee for the Supreme Court but then rushing through The Former Guy's (TFG's). In his Milwaukee Urban editorial on the subject, Matt Rothschild, Executive Director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, explains how the State Supreme Court ruling reinforces gerrymandering.

    And in case you missed it, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel informs us that the Gableman "investigation" has lasted a year, has cost taxpayers $1 million, and has turned up NOTHING. Here's what the July 2, 2022, report offered:

    "[S]ince Vos announced his hire of former Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman to probe the 2020 election completely and Assembly Republicans' intent to pass bills based on Gableman's findings, the review has failed to accomplish those goals.

    Lawmakers did not receive any recommendations from Gableman before wrapping up their work for the year. And the review has turned up little information not previously known, and has not found evidence showing the 2020 election outcome was incorrectly called."

    In a delicious irony, the TFG is going after other grifters, the Washington Post reports. It seems he disapproves of other people using deceptive email and advertising to raise funds using his name and/or image. "While being known for his own false and misleading emails, Trump faces armies of unaffiliated fundraisers who ape his message and sometimes threaten Republicans in Trump’s name," reads the subhead. The article provides juicy examples of his own deceptions. I'm especially fond of this one: "In one small example on Friday, a text message to Trump’s fundraising list began, 'LIVE FROM MAR-A-LAGO! Pres Trump: It’s me, your FAVORITE President.' But Trump is not at Mar-a-Lago, having moved for the summer to his golf club in Bedminster, N.J." There are lots of giggle-filled moments in the piece but one seriously important one: "The problem has become more acute in recent months as small-dollar donations to Republican Party efforts have fallen, a trend strategists blame both on donors having less disposable income because of inflation and on their fatigue with the relentless fundraising appeals." Enjoy.

    Let me end with important ACTION ITEMS.

    On Friday, July 15, we're holding a brief training in how to use an online tool — MiniVAN — to aid in voter contact. You can download the app either from the Apple Store or from Google Play, depending on what kind of tablet or smart phone you have. The training will take place in Cheryl Maranto's back yard. To get the exact address, sign up to attend.

    We need people to make phone calls to follow up on the 3300 postcards we've already sent to strong Democratic women in Ozaukee County. These are easy, friendly calls to make. And if no one answers, we can often leave a voicemail and/or send a text message to a cell phone. These calls aim to encourage people to vote. Please reach deep and sign up!

    Voter protection, as I noted last week, is more important than ever as GOP interference with elections threatens to ramp up. You can help by filling out a general interest form for becoming a poll observer. You should also check out upcoming Voter Protection events. The Voter Protection Team is hosting three events in the next few days:

    For those of you planning to contact voters by phone or in person, it's really worth your while to attend one of the Research Collaborative Briefings online, Wednesdays, 2pm CDT. Sign up to learn about evidence-based messaging!


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  • published Sad. Angry. DETERMINED! in Newsletter 2022-06-29 08:25:36 -0500

    Sad. Angry. DETERMINED!

    Friday's Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v Wade has left many people angry and demoralized. The anger is righteous, but we cannot afford despair. Read Rebecca Traister's article The Necessity of Hope In New York Magazine for inspiration and direction.

    A New England Journal of Medicine editorial is a blockbuster. It ends with this paragraph: “By abolishing longstanding legal protections, the U.S. Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade serves American families poorly, putting their health, safety, finances, and futures at risk. In view of these predictable consequences, the editors of the New England Journal of Medicine strongly condemn the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision.”

    Governor Evers spoke strongly in his response to the immediate resumption of an 1849 law banning abortion in Wisconsin. Here's Channel 3000 in Madison coverage: "Gov. Tony Evers said he will grant clemency to any abortion providers who are convicted under the state’s 1849 abortion ban, during a rally Saturday ahead of the Wisconsin Democratic Party convention in La Crosse."

    And here's a quotation from Governor Evers published in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel online on June 25, 2022: "I don’t think that a law that was written before the Civil War, or before women secured the right to vote, should be used to dictate these intimate decisions on reproductive health."

    In spite of everything, Grassroots North Shore must persevere. And as I remind you frequently, the organization cannot continue to do its work without you. One thing you can do to help: make a donation to support our election work.

    Just a reminder: absentee ballots for the August 9 primary are being sent out already. I received mine on June 25! But it's not too late to request one at MyVote.WI.gov. COVID-19 is not the only or even the chief reason to vote absentee or early in person (see info about early voting). One vital thing you can do voting absentee or early allows you to do: apply to be a poll worker (i.e., an election inspector). In Milwaukee County, residents can find the qualifications and an online application at the Election Commission. In Ozaukee County and elsewhere, check with your municipal clerk. (Find contact information on our website.)

    Just as important: Voter Protection. The Voter Protection Team for the Wisconsin Dems sends out a newsletter listing volunteer opportunities:

    1. answering voter's questions on a hotline (use the "contact the organization" button to send email inquiring about the possibility);
    2. making phone calls to recruit people to help protect voters;
    3. becoming a poll observer (at a polling place on election day).

    Getting out in force to protect voters has never been so important, given what the GOP is doing to undermine elections at local, state, and federal levels. Here's what we know about GOP plans in an article by Heidi Przybyla on June 1, 2022: ‘It’s going to be an army’: Tapes reveal GOP plan to contest elections. "Video recordings of Republican Party operatives meeting with grassroots activists provide an inside look at a multi-pronged strategy to target and potentially overturn votes in Democratic precincts: Install trained recruits as regular poll workers and put them in direct contact with party attorneys." We need to help protect voters and that means stepping up to do our part in these crucial elections.

    Another way to turn out voters is to participate in voter registration at MATC in the fall with the American Federation of Teachers Local 212, representing the faculty of MATC. We need volunteers. We are in need of volunteers to help students register to vote at all four campuses. We will be conducting registration from 11:00-1:00 several days of week from the end of August through election day. Part of the role is to help students understand the importance of voting as well. We are asking volunteers to pick one or maybe two days per week to help. We understand that some weeks you might not be there but it is easier to coordinate if we have you on a specific day. If you are interested or have questions contact Dave Weingrod.

    Say No to RoJo
    My Goodness! Does Senator Ron Johnson prevaricate?

    Here's a brief account of a string of events that began with last Thursday's January 6 hearings: Ron Johnson now says he helped coordinate effort to pass false elector slates to Pence, but his new explanation drew a quick rebuke.

    "After initially claiming to be 'basically unaware' of an effort by his staff to get fake presidential elector documents to Vice President Mike Pence, U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson said Thursday he coordinated with a Wisconsin attorney to pass along such information.... [He] acknowledged he coordinated with Dane County attorney Jim Troupis and his chief of staff by text message that morning to get to Pence a document Troupis described as regarding 'Wisconsin electors'" (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, June 23, 2022).

    A glimmer of welcome news? A Politico article June 26, 2022, is headlined "Trump fatigue sets in: ‘Some donors are getting sick of the sh--show'." "As the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 riots lays out Donald Trump’s obsessive efforts to overturn the 2020 election results, Trump allies have responded with the political equivalent of a collective eye roll." The SCOTUS decisions on gun safety, abortion, and religion in public schools haven't helped either. Here's the Daily Kos roundup of weekend polls on the impact of the Dobbs decision: Abbreviated Pundit Roundup: The fallout continues as the GOP's regressive plan comes into focus.

    Bottom line: We need every Democrat, Independent, and disaffected Republican — all those who support women's rights — to elect Democrats at all levels to mitigate the damage that the GOP plans to do to the social fabric of this country. We're counting on you to help us get all like-minded voters to the polls in August and November. And to support our election work. We're the majority. We need to act like it and win like it!

    Finally, I want to leave you with a view of our political present and future by Ronald Brownstein in The Atlantic, June 24, 2022:

    What’s becoming clearer over time is that the Trump-era GOP is hoping to use its electoral dominance of the red states, the small-state bias in the Electoral College and the Senate, and the GOP-appointed majority on the Supreme Court to impose its economic and social model on the entire nation—with or without majority public support. As measured on fronts including the January 6 insurrection, the procession of Republican 2020 election deniers running for offices that would provide them with control over the 2024 electoral machinery, and the systematic advance of a Republican agenda by the Supreme Court, the underlying political question of the 2020s remains whether majority rule—and democracy as we’ve known it—can survive this offensive.
    The Trump model, in other words, is more the South in 1850 than the South in 1950, more John Calhoun than Richard Russell. (Some red-state Republicans are even distantly echoing Calhoun in promising to nullify—that is, defy—federal laws with which they disagree.) That doesn’t mean that Americans are condemned to fight one another again as they did after the 1850s. But it does mean that the 2020s may bring the greatest threats to the country’s basic stability since those dark and tumultuous years." 

    The whole article is worth a read.

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  • published How we're getting ready in Newsletter 2022-06-22 09:13:04 -0500

    How we're getting ready

    The January 6 Committee hearings continue today at noon CDT, but there are plenty of places to read about the three that have already occurred and to catch a recap of today's action on MSNBC beginning at 7pm CDT. So this week's newsletter is focused on what Grassroots North Shore and other organizations are undertaking ahead of the August 9 primary.

    We've all but completed our candidate information for the upcoming election. In our Elections 2022 section, we provide links to online information for each candidate in each race — including Governor Evers, Attorney General Josh Kaul, candidates for Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Treasurer, and Assembly Districts 10, 23, 24, and 60. Plus, of course, US Senate and the 4th Congressional District. In contested races, we also provide a questionnaire with candidates' responses. In addition, we provide information on early in-person voting and videos of candidate interviews. We hope you will use these materials to become a well-informed voter. And of course that you will vote in the August 9 election.

    In addition to the candidate information we provide in our Elections 2022 section, there's a recording of Kathleen Dunn interviewing the top four candidates for the nomination for US Senate. If you missed it or simply want to review it, you can find it on our YouTube site.

    You can still request an absentee ballot at MyVote.WI.gov for the August and November elections. If you live in Milwaukee County — and you vote absentee by mail or early in person at your municipal clerk's office — you can sign up to be an election inspector in the county. (By the way, we're still waiting for the Wisconsin Supreme Court to rule on the use of drop boxes and whether someone can deliver a ballot to your mailbox or your municipal clerk for you. Stay tuned.) The Milwaukee Election Commission needs 1,500 election inspectors for the fall primary on Tuesday, August 9th, and 2,500 for the General Election on Tuesday, November 8th. New and returning election inspectors must take a training class. They will be paid $30.00 to take the class. Election inspectors will be paid a $220 stipend for working a full shift and $113 for working a half shift on Election Day. It's just one of the ways you can help Wisconsin vote! You can find information about qualifications and apply online.

    We're already sending out 3300 postcards contacting voters in the hard-to-canvass areas of Ozaukee County and will be sending material to people who now find themselves in Assembly District 10 after the redistricting required every ten years. As the August election nears, we will be making phone calls, dropping literature, and knocking on doors. We'd love to have your help. So stay tuned for specific volunteer opportunities with Grassroots North Shore.

    Among our ambitions around the November election, we plan to do what we can to support Ann Roe who is running for Congress in the 1st Congressional District (encompassing much of southeast Wisconsin). The district is winnable: it's one of two truly competitive congressional districts in this election cycle. Those of you who have wanderlust or happen to be in the district at some point ought to consider pitching in. You can find Ann's website here.

    Right now, Supermarket Legends is running voter registration drives at two DMVs: the Chase Street locale and the one on Teutonia. Volunteers have been at the DMVs for many weeks, and no one has reported getting COVID. Volunteers wear masks, so the organization feels this is a COVID-safe activity. They need more volunteers to fill all the shifts daily. Please consider volunteering for a two- or three-hour shift. Supermarket Legends will provide training and you will work with someone. They have a real impact at the DMVs as people registered to vote are more likely to vote, and turnout will be key in the midterms. To volunteer, contact Jim Balk.

    On a bittersweet note, WAVE (Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort) has announced that it's longtime program director Heidi Rose is retiring this week. In her role as program director, Heidi has done so much. Her work has touched (and even saved) countless lives in Wisconsin and beyond. She is truly irreplaceable. Those of you who know her and/or been involved with WAVE may want to honor her. Contact the organization for more information.

    As for the investigation of the long-decided 2020 presidential election in our state, there was an interesting development this month. As WisPolitics reported: Judge fines Gableman, refers him to OLR for ‘unprofessional behavior.’

    A Dane County judge is fining Michael Gableman’s office $2,000 a day — the maximum allowed — for a “pattern of intentional disobedience” in defying to fully comply with an open records request.

    Judge Frank Remington also referred Gableman to the Office of Lawyer Regulation to review what he referred to as the former justice’s “unprofessional behavior.” Among other things, Remington wrote in yesterday’s order Gableman made misogynistic comments about a fellow attorney.

    Finally, let me leave you with Paul Waldman's profound insight into where the Republican Party is right now: "When [Republicans] say they fear for democracy’s survival, what they’re afraid of is the idea that we might continue to have a competitive system, in which elections are contested, sometimes Democrats win, and when they do, they get to implement their policies." We have to defeat the Republican Party at every level of government. I hope we can count on your vote in August. And your volunteer efforts!

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