Some become more conservative as they age. I did not.

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 4079.20pc

Eilene Stevens

Eilene Stevens's activity stream

  • published alarms are ringing in Newsletter 2023-01-24 14:00:02 -0600

    alarms are ringing

    The elections this year — both the primary and the general — are matters of some urgency. In fact, we should be hearing alarm bells! Two really vital matters will be on the primary ballot: a slate of four candidates for Supreme Court justice and, for those living in Wisconsin Senate District 8, a special election to fill the vacancy created when Alberta Darling retired from her seat. And assuming at least one of the Supreme Court candidates who share our views wins enough votes to appear on the April 4 ballot, we need to pull out all the stops to get that person elected. If we manage to elect Jodi Habush Sinykin to the state Senate, we will prevent the GOP from having a supermajority with the ability to impeach and convict any state officer they choose. And if we can elect a progressive to the Wisconsin Supreme Court, we can change the direction of the state!

    As I mentioned in last week's newsletter, Grassroots North Shore is presenting A Supreme Opportunity, an online program featuring renowned election law expert Nicholas Stephanopoulos — you can read about his work here — and the two progressive candidates on the primary ballot for the Wisconsin Supreme Court nomination. This is your opportunity to hear from these great candidates — Judge Everett Mitchell and Judge Janet Protasiewicz (pronounced “pro-tuh-SAY-witz”). Both graduated from highly reputable law schools (unlike their MAGA opponents) and both have considerable judicial experience. Judge Protasiewicz received her law degree from Marquette University and presides over a branch of the Milwaukee County Circuit Court. Judge Mitchell presides over the Juvenile Division in Branch Four in Dane County. He received his law degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School. He has also earned a degree form the Princeton Theological Seminary.

    Please sign up to attend this webinar and to donate online or by check (Grassroots North Shore, PO Box 170684, Milwaukee, WI 53217-8056 — Please write "fundraiser" on the memo line). We're suggesting donations of $25, $50, $100, $250, $500, and $1000 but a donation of any amount will be gratefully received. The funds we raise will allow us to continue or work through the 2024 elections (all FOUR of them). As you know Grassroots North Shore is an all-volunteer organization. But even though we don't pay any staff, we do have expenses: for our website, for our communications, and especially for our work on elections (postcards and postage, phone lists, flyers, and posters all cost money to print). [Please note that contributions to Grassroots North Shore are not tax deductible for federal income tax purposes.]

    The Supreme Court seat primary will be on the ballot everywhere in the state. It is, as Politico deemed it, "The most important election nobody's ever heard of." As the Politico article points out, "Voters must first navigate an unusual primary before choosing the new justice. There are four judges running for the position, which is technically nonpartisan, with two on either side of the ideological divide." In other words four candidates are running in the February 21 primary for the two available slots on the April 4 ballot. The first and second place finishers in the primary will go on to the April 4 election. So it is certainly possible that we could face — not a choice between a judge who shares our values and a judge who does not — but a "choice" between two judges who definitely do not share our values. An article in the Isthmus explains how this horrendous outcome could happen.

    As the Politico article points out, "Control of the Wisconsin state Supreme Court is on the ballot this spring, and the contest could decide the fate of abortion rights, redistricting and more in the critical swing state." A loss would cement conservative control, and the fate of our freedoms and futures, for many years to come. Alarm bells are truly ringing. So we must do our darndest to get people to vote in both elections for this seat this year.

    Republicans are hoping to stimulate greater turnout than these off-year, nonpartisan elections usually generate. In addition to the dark money pouring in, the egregiously gerrymandered legislature plans to put four referendums to amend the state constitution on the April ballot. These measures have already been passed by two different sessions of the legislature. So the referendums on the April 4 ballot will determine whether the constitution will be amended. The League of Women Voters of Dane County held a terrific forum on these proposed amendments and has also posted a great resource explaining what each proposed amendment would actually do. You can read the Resource Guide here. Let's make sure that the Republican attempt to juice its base turnout for the April election backfires and revs up turnout on our side instead!

    I'll cover the specifics of these issues in a future newsletter. But right now, the important thing is making a plan to vote, both in the February 21 primary (so that we don't end up with a choice between two unacceptable judges for our Supreme Court) and in the April 4 election. There are three ways to vote in Wisconsin elections: with an absentee ballot, during early in-person absentee voting, and on election day.

    1. Request absentee ballots online at
      • An absentee ballot will be mailed to the address you specify during the request process about 21 days ahead of the election. So if you are going somewhere warm and sunny for the February primary and/or the April general election, be sure you request that your ballot be sent to where you're going to be.
      • Be sure to leave plenty of time for the US Postal Service to get your completed ballot back to your municipal clerk before 8pm on election day! (You cannot use a drop box to return a ballot in these elections!) We recommend mailing it back to your municipality by February 14 if possible.
      • Also be sure you have an eligible Wisconsin elector witness your ballot envelope. He or she or they do not have to be registered to vote but does have to be eligible to vote in Wisconsin. Also, the witness does have to fill out a complete address (no abbreviations): street number, unit number (if applicable), municipality, state and zip code.
    2. Vote early in-person at your municipal clerk's office on weekdays from February 7 to February 17 for the primary and March 21 to March 31 for the general election.
      • Our website has early voting details for almost every municipality in the North Shore suburbs of Milwaukee and in Ozaukee County. The information includes a phone number for the clerk's office. You should plan to check the policies around in-person early voting with that office before you go.
      • You can register to vote online or by mail until February 1. After that you can register when you vote early in-person or at the polls on election day.
    3. Vote on election day: February 21 for the primary and April 4 for the general election. Check your polling place and review a sample ballot for your area at


    In addition to making your own plan to vote, you can help register voters with Supermarket Legends at two DMV locations. You will be working in a warm inside office environs at the N. Teutonia Avenue or 74th and Mill Road DMV locations. Sign up for a 2 hour shift whenever you are free and any time six days a week. All training and materials are provided. Contact James Balk.

    And now for some news. In case you missed it, last Sunday was the annual Women's March. Although there were marches in dozens of cities, this year the main event for the National Women's March took place in Madison to focus national attention on the upcoming Supreme Court race here. More than 1000 people marched to the state capitol and into the rotunda. See the coverage in the New York Times and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Cheryl Maranto, co-chair of Grassroots North Shore, organized a delegation of our supporters and produced signs for them to carry during the program. We're proud to have been represented at the event and to show our support for women's rights.

    In insurrection news, "Bigo" Barnett was convicted on all eight counts, four felonies and four misdemeanors in all. He's the guy made famous in a photo of him with his feet on a desk in then Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office. The jury took only two hours to reach these verdicts, so open-and-shut was the case against him. His lawyer wants to appeal on the grounds that the jury members weren't really his peers — apparently because they didn't come from Arkansas. He will be sentenced in May. You can read more details in a post on Daily Kos.

    In even more important insurrection news, four more Oath Keepers were convicted of seditious conspiracy, among other charges, bringing the total to six convicted on this most serious charge. A number of Proud Boys are currently on trial for seditious conspiracy also. But so far at least, none of the Very Important People who instigated and financed the insurrection have been held accountable or even indicted.

    Finally, in the Dominion defamation suit against Fox News, NPR reports that "Fox News' defense in defamation suit invokes debunked election-fraud claims." The defense of Fox News seems to depend on something the lawyers call "'omitted context' for the seemingly incendiary remarks by such hosts as Sean Hannity, Jeanine Pirro, Lou Dobbs and Maria Bartiromo, as well as their featured guests, including Trump and his former campaign attorneys Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell." The context is relevant because, they argue, the debunked statements were newsworthy and therefore "an appropriate journalistic response to stark claims about the functioning of American democracy." In short, the argument goes, the organization can repeat and amplify any ridiculous, and dangerous, nonsense it likes as long as it's also being spouted by so-called Respectable and Important People who the organization can contend are newsworthy. Let's hope this kind of argument does not hold up in court.

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  • published It's an emergency! in Newsletter 2023-01-18 09:58:24 -0600

    It's an emergency!

    The spring elections — a primary on February 21 and a general election on April 4 — will be upon us before you know it. And despite the fact that nonpartisan elections are little noticed with low, low turnout, this year's so-called nonpartisan contests will define the state of democracy in Wisconsin for the foreseeable future. I kid you not!

    First and foremost, there is an election for a seat on the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Two progressive candidates will be on the primary ballot — Judge Janet Protasiewic and Judge Everett Mitchell — along with two "conservative" (by which we mean MAGA) candidates. The two candidates who receive the most votes in the primary will advance to the April 4 election. And that means if we fail to turn out, we could find ourselves with no progressive candidate to vote for. Both Judge Mitchell and Judge Protasiewic support voting rights, fair election maps, and a woman's right to make decisions about her own body. Neither of the "conservative candidates" do. Please read the candidates' responses to our Grassroots North Shore questionnaire, visit the links to the candidates' online information, and plan to attend our Supreme Opportunity Annual Fundraiser on February 5 from 7:00 — 8:30 (on Zoom). Judge Mitchell and Judge Protasiewic will introduce themselves to you at that event. (More about the program anon.)

    Just as important is the special election in state Senate District 8. Until the day Alberta Darling resigned her state Senate seat, the Republicans held a supermajority in that body. And that meant they could impeach and remove any state officer they pleased without a single vote from any Democrat. It works like this: a majority vote in the Assembly impeaches a civil officer of the state. The Senate then holds a trial. If 2/3 of the senators present vote to convict, the impeached officer is removed from office. Fortunately the legislature was not in session in November and December, 2022. And because they are currently down a seat, they won't be able to act on such grave matters as impeachments until a new State Senator is seated after the special election. If Senate District 8 is once again represented by a Republican, Robin Vos has already declared their intentions. And that's just part of the reason this special election is so, well, special.

    Jodi Habush Sinykin, a Wisconsin native and environmental lawyer, is running for the 8th WI Senate District, which includes Bayside, part of Brown Deer, Fox Point, River Hills, Whitefish Bay, Thiensville, Mequon, Cedarburg, Grafton, then westward to Germantown, Richfield, some of Menomonee Falls and Sussex. You can and should read about her life and passions on her website and keep up with her activities on her Facebook page and Twitter account. Endorsed by the UAW and by Daily Kos, among many other organizations, she will be a tremendous asset to her constituents and to the future of our state. If you live in Senate District 8, you MUST vote for her in the special election primary on February 21 AND IN THE GENERAL ELECTION ON APRIL 4.

    If you don't live in SD8, you can still volunteer with the campaign and you can donate funds through her Act Blue page. Bonnie and Leon Joseph will be hosting a fundraiser for Habush Sinykin on Sunday, January 22, from 2:00 — 4:00pm, at their home (see the address on the donation page). Or you can go and donate any amount at the door. No doubt there will be oodles of dark money sloshing around this campaign — which is why every dollar you can give can help elect her. The recent special election of a Democrat for a Virginia state Senate seat in a Republican-leaning district should give us hope. But remember: hope is not a plan. It will take real work to get this job done. And that means YOU.

    On that note, let me pitch making phone calls to strong Democratic women ahead of the primary and the general election. We were very successful with our phone campaign for the 2022 elections, reaching over 6200 women. The results — a BIG shift from Republican to Democratic votes in Ozaukee County — speak volumes about what grassroots activities can help produce. Governor Evers even WON Port Washington and Thiensville! I'm organizing the phone effort now and would really appreciate hearing from you at [email protected]. We will begin calling and leaving voicemail messages around January 30. Once you contact me to let me know that you will volunteer, I will send you a list of people and phone numbers to call, some brief instructions, a script you can use, and another, shorter, script you may be able to use to send text messages or leave short voicemails.


    Sunday, January 22

    National Women's March in Madison, 11:30am – 1:30pm
    Wisconsin State Capitol

    The National Women’s March has chosen Madison as its primary site in order to highlight the critical role that the Wisconsin Supreme Court (SCOWI) race (primary Feb. 21, election April 4) will play in advancing reproductive health care after SCOTUS overturned Roe. Gov. Evers’ challenge to the oppressive and misogynistic 1849 abortion ban is currently in the courts and will inevitably end up before SCOWI. Flipping this seat will flip the balance of the Court from conservative to progressive, enabling both fair relitigation of our outrageously partisan gerrymandered voting maps and striking down the abortion ban under our state constitution.

    We will have leaflets available for distribution to attendees. Cheryl Maranto – 414 429-1583, [email protected] – will coordinate leaflet distribution and act as a clearing house for carpooling. Since the March is THIS SUNDAY, please contact her ASAP if you plan to attend.

    Sunday, February 5

    A Supreme Opportunity, 7:00 – 8:30pm

    The annual GRNS fundraiser will showcase the two Wisconsin Supreme Court candidates we support in the February 21st primary, and will feature Professor Nick Stephanopoulos, the Kirkland & Ellis Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and frequently contributes to Election Law Blog, as our primary speaker. Please join us online to hear from Professor Stephanopoulos and from our two great WI Supreme Court candidates, Judge Everett Mitchell and Judge Janet Protasiewicz. RSVP here. Even if you can't attend, consider donating to support the work we do.

    If you need yet another reason to get engaged in the spring elections, you should know that voter suppression is alive and working in Wisconsin. Don't just take my word for it. An Urban Milwaukee exposé documented that Bob Spindell, the chair of the 4th Congressional District Republican Party and a fraudulent elector from 2020, emailed his supporters bragging that “we can be especially proud of the City of Milwaukee (80.2% Dem Vote) casting 37,000 less votes than cast in the 2018 election with the major reduction happening in the overwhelming Black and Hispanic areas.” The Spindell email goes on to gloat that “…this great and important decrease in Democrat votes in the City” was due to a “well thought out multi-faceted plan.”

    Finally, the League of Women Voters Wisconsin is holding voter registration drives at the DMV on Mill Road (7301 W. Mill Rd., Milwaukee). They're looking for volunteers for Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from January 11-February 1 and February 22-March 15, 11:00am-1:30pm. Sign up to help fight voter suppression by making sure all eligible voters are registered!

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  • published As we start the new year ... in Newsletter 2023-01-06 15:14:37 -0600

    As we start the new year ...

    year of our political dreams!

    Let's begin with a little look ahead. We will have two regular elections, for nonpartisan offices including an extremely important seat on the Wisconsin Supreme Court, on February 21 (a primary) and April 4 (general). Grassroots North Shore will soon put up the names of progressive candidates together with links to their online information. Our Elections page currently displays which offices are going to be on ballots in our area. Check it out.

    You can find out more about the two progressive candidates — Everett Mitchell and Janet Protasiewicz plus three "conservatives" — at a forum sponsored by Citizen Action on Wednesday, January 11, at 7:00pm in a Zoom webinar. Sign up here.

    We also have two special elections to fill vacant seats. One is in Mequon on Tuesday, January 10, to fill a seat for Alderman District 8. Nancy Urbani is a candidate. The second special election will fill the vacant Wisconsin State Senate District 8, formerly filled by Alberta Darling. Jodi Habush Sinykin is the only progressive in the race. You can visit her Twitter account and donate to her effort. If you live in Assembly Districts 22, 23, or 24, she will be on you ballot, both on February 21 and April 4. Even if you're not, she needs your help, and she needs your financial support.

    We highly recommend that you sign up for absentee ballots for all elections in 2023. The weather is unpredictable in February and even in April. Some of you have plans to abscond to a sunny spot for the winter. And some may have shorter vacations planned that include one or the other election days. But voting in these 2023 elections is critical if we hope to have a Wisconsin Supreme Court that can review the radically gerrymandered voting maps and can rule on whether the 1849 law banning abortion is still legal. Voting absentee is absolutely secure. You can track when your ballot has been sent to you and when it is received at the clerk's office with (To return your absentee ballot, you can either drop it in the mail or take it to your municipal clerk's office. Drop boxes are not available for voting!)

    Grassroots North Shore will hold our annual fundraiser on Sunday, February 5, 7:00 — 8:30pm with Nicholas Stephanopoulos, professor of law at Harvard University whose research and numerous public appearances focus on election and constitutional law, and with presentations by Wisconsin Supreme Court candidates Janet Protasiewicz and Everett Mitchell. Our Fundraiser is the kick-off of our Spring days of action. We will be doing our best to elect a new WI Supreme Court Justice AND a Democrat for the State Senate in District 8 (and thwart the GOP supermajority). Sign up here.

    I apologize for the early and short newsletter this week. I've been traveling to visit family and friends in Baltimore and Ocean City, Maryland. But I'll be back at my desk by mid-week and beginning to recruit volunteers for the various tasks we'll be undertaking for the February primary. Meanwhile, I've been enjoying the crazy clown show going on this week in the US House of Representatives. Perhaps you have been too. The serious crazy, though, comes next. Hang on.

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  • published Heading toward justice in Newsletter 2022-12-21 12:29:09 -0600

    Heading toward justice

    Yesterday was historic as the House Select Committee wound down its work and issued four criminal referrals recommending that the Department of Justice charge the ex-president for inciting an insurrection, obstructing an official proceeding, conspiring to make false statements (this is about the fake electors scheme), and conspiring to defraud the United States. All the national news outlets, of course, covered the story but many — like the New York Times and the Washington Post — are behind paywalls. So here are a few free discussions of the executive summary (which you can download here): Daily Kos, Axios, CNN, and MSNBC.

    Stories about the January 6 Select Committee have, however, been eclipsed already by a flood of news coming out of Congress and the White House. If you only read the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, however, you'll be pretty much in the dark. I can find no account of the Select Committee's meeting yesterday. There is, however, a startling and welcome article about how voting patterns in the suburbs have shifted a lot over the last four election cycles. As a subhead in the piece by Daniel Bice shows, "There have been huge voting shifts away from Republican Party in the Milwaukee suburbs." Apparently that shift is apparent in the suburbs around Madison too. In the Ozaukee city of Mequon, for example, this last election saw a "22-point swing (from plus 22.3 Republican to plus 0.8 Republican)." It may still be red-ish, but just barely. Even places like Elm Grove, while still in the GOP win column, are shifting significantly: "a 21-point swing (from plus 25.9 Republican to plus 4.8 Republican)."

    The shifts Bice notes are encouraging but we cannot afford to overlook supposedly nonpartisan issues. For example, I could not find much coverage of two Wisconsin constitutional amendments that may be passed in time to be placed on the ballot for the April 4 election. Both have to do with elections and both were passed once (first consideration) in the 2021 legislative session. They need to be passed again (second consideration), in the 2023 legislative session after which they are to be ratified by the registered voters in the state.

    The first one prohibits "the use of a donation or grant of private resources for purposes of election administration." It is aimed squarely at the so-called "Zuck bucks" that provided funds to some election administrations throughout the state and the nation in 2020. Get an explanation of Mark Zuckerburg's grants to election administration here. You can read the full text of the proposed amendment here.

    The second proposed amendment is more concerning because it seeks to further tighten the restrictions on who can vote in the state. Here's the Legislative Reference Bureau's analysis of what it would do:

    Currently, the constitution provides that every United States citizen age 18 or older who is a resident of an election district in Wisconsin is a qualified elector of that district. A qualified elector is an individual who is eligible to vote in Wisconsin, subject to requirements established by law, such as voter registration.

    This constitutional amendment, proposed to the 2021 legislature on first consideration, provides that only a person who is a qualified elector may vote in an election for national, state, or local office or at a statewide or local referendum.

    The actual language of the amendment, available here, changes the wording to read "only a United States citizen age 18 or older" and strikes the language "every United States citizen age 18 or older." The revision may seem trivial to non-grammarians but its intent is to be more restrictive and perhaps to pave the way to require proof of US citizenship in order to register to vote. Or to prevent any Wisconsin municipality from allowing non-citizens to vote in, say, school board elections, as some areas around the country have recently done.

    Both amendments have to pass the new legislature (called second consideration) and then be ratified by the people. The actual language that will be on the ballot will be "simplified" and probably written so as to obfuscate the actual meaning of the amendments. We'll discuss this issue in greater detail if it appears that these amendments will be on our ballots on April 4.

    A basic elections page is now available at Grassroots North Shore so you can see what offices will be on the ballot in various municipalities. Some information is still missing, though. In Milwaukee County, there will be an election for Appeals Court District 1. Sara Geenen is running against incumbent William Brash. If you live in the county, you can sign her nomination papers. We won't be able to fill in candidate names and online resources until we know who has qualified for the ballot in each race, probably not until the end of the first week in January 2023.

    There appear to be no events listed for the next week or so on the Milwaukee County Democratic website. The organization is discarding its current web presence and moving to a new one on a new platform. I will link to it when it is ready. Stand for Peace, however will be operating as usual on Saturday, December 24, from noon to 1:00pm, at Silver Spring and Port Washington and on Saturday, December 31, from noon to 1:00pm, at King and North Streets. Visit the upcoming calendar for future locations. And the Democratic Party of Ozaukee County is holding its monthly meeting on Wednesday, December 21, at 7:00pm, both online and in person. The calendar on their website directs interested parties to their Facebook page for information. The office is located at 1930 Wisconsin Ave , Grafton, 53024.

    other important links

    Become a Member of Grassroots North Shore

    Milwaukee County Democratic Party

    Support Grassroots North Shore


    Ozaukee County Democratic Party

    Visit Grassroots North Shore on Facebook and Like Us!

    like Grassroots North Shore


  • published elections in our future, again! in Newsletter 2022-12-15 08:14:14 -0600

    elections in our future, again!

    Well that hybernation stuff didn't last long! The race for the Wisconsin Supreme Court is heating up fast. Two "conservatives" — Dan Kelly (who was appointed to the Court by Scott Walker and then defeated in a 2020 election by Justice Jill Karofsky) and Jennifer Dorow (who was the presiding judge in the trial of Darrell Brooks, the man who killed six people at the Waukesha Christmas parade a year ago). And there are two progressives running: Everett Mitchel (who presides over the Juvenile Division in Branch 4 of the Dane County Circuit Court) and Janet Protasiewicz (who has been on the Milwaukee County Circuit Court bench for 25 years).

    Just in case you're wondering why electing a progressive Supreme Court Justice is so important, let me point you to a report the non-profit law firm Law Forward published recently. Called Undermining Democracy, it looks at three trends in the Wisconsin Supreme Court decisions in its 2021 term: direct attacks on democracy, consolidating power at the legislature, and results-oriented judging. The report exemplifies each theme with specific cases and shows how these cases interact with each other to undermine democracy in our state. It's not light or quick reading, but it is well worth your time. And it lays out quite clearly the imperative to vote in the primary on February 21 and the general election on April 4.

    The first order of business is to make sure candidates acquire enough signatures to get on the ballot for the February 21 primary. Download the nomination papers for Everett Mitchell OR for Janet Protasiewicz, BUT NOT BOTH. Each comes with a set of instructions: follow them carefully! (You might also consider making a donation through their websites, linked above: remember that "early money is like yeast.")

    In preparation for endorsing one candidate, Citizen Action is holding a forum for Janet Prostasiewicz and Everett Mitchell on Wednesday, January 11, at 7pm on Zoom. You can sign up now and a link will be sent to you ahead of the event.

    There will also be a special election — on Tuesday, April 4 — for a new Wisconsin Senator in Senate District 8. Alberta Darling, who has represented SD8 since 1992, resigned right after Thanksgiving, providing only a week of notice. Jodi Habush Sinykin, a lawyer living in Whitefish Bay, announced her candidacy a few days ago. If you live in Whitefish Bay, Brown Deer, River Hills, Bayside, parts of Ozaukee County, Washington County, or a sliver of Waukesha County, she will be on your ballot on April 4. (Something like FIVE Republicans have announced a run for this office, so there will be a Republican primary on February 21. But unless another Democrat announces, there will not be a Democratic primary for this office.)

    You should download and circulate her nomination papers (if you live in the district). To check which Senate District last year's redistricting placed you in, you can go to or to the lookup page for the Wisconsin legislature. However, anyone and everyone can donate to the campaign! Here's the ActBlue page.

    Nomination papers both for the Wisconsin Supreme Court and for Senate District 8 are due in Madison on January 3, but need to be signed and returned to the candidate much sooner than that. In fact, ASAP. So please don't procrastinate!

    Support our Election Activities


    We try not to ask for money frequently, but with these critical elections just around the corner, we need to get going. We will be sending out postcards, following up with phoning, printing and distributing flyers, and canvassing for the spring elections. Some people contribute by volunteering to write postcards, make phone calls, and/or canvass. If you're not someone who can volunteer directly, please consider a donation.

    Right now, postcard stamps cost $.44 but the price will go up in January! To make our dollars go farther, we need to purchase stamps and postcards now.

    Please help by underwriting our election activities: reaching voters and motivating them to turn out!

    It's a bit too early right now, but plan ahead to get absentee ballots when the request becomes available after New Year's Day at You never know what the weather is going to be like in February, or in April, for that matter. And if you're planning a trip this winter, you'll need to vote by mail from wherever you are. Be sure to figure out where the ballot should be sent — to your permanent home in Wisconsin or to the warm and sunny place you plan to be! And give yourself plenty of time to return your ballots by mail.

    In a repeat from last week's newsletter, you still have opportunities to get trained to assist the UWM's Mapping Racism and Resistance Project to identify and document discriminatory covenants — once-legal clauses embedded in property deeds that barred people who were not white from buying or occupying land — in various communities. The project seeks to answer key questions: "How common were these restrictions? What areas of our community were reserved for white people only? How much land was restricted in this way? When were they put into place? What did they say? What are the legacies of these practices today?" Volunteer training will take place on the following Wednesdays:

    • December 14, 12 - 1pm
    • December 21, 7 - 8pm
    • January 4, 7 - 8pm
    • January 18, 7 - 8pm

    As will undoubtedly be the case until the new year, the Events list is pretty small. But here's an opportunity to support Governor Evers's inauguration. There will be a Kids Gala on December 31, from 10am - 12pm, and Evers's staff is looking for 10-15 volunteers to take a variety of roles. If you're interested and want more details (including where the event will be held!), email Chastity Duffey.


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  • published Catching up during the lull in Newsletter 2022-12-06 14:11:28 -0600

    Catching up during the lull

    We're in the hybernation phase of the year, I'm afraid. You'll see that there's almost nothing on the events list. And the next elections won't happen until February 21 (for the primary) and April 4. But there are a host of issues that have kind of languished while we've been working so hard for the fall 2022 elections. So while we await the results of the Senate run-off in Georgia today, I thought I'd look at some of what the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) is working on.

    On Monday, SCOTUS heard oral arguments in a religious bigotry case masquerading as a free speech issue. Joan McCarter at Daily Kos has a good summary of the arguments in "Supreme Court hears another pro-bigotry, anti-LGBTQ case and again proves its illegitimacy." The case is a bit weird because the plaintiff is a business that does not yet exist. The issue is whether the web designer would be required to build a wedding website for a gay couple, since she believes same-sex marriage contradicts Scripture. "Justice Sonia Sotomayor went to the crux of the threat this case poses: 'What if a wedding website maker doesn’t believe in interracial marriage or letting disabled people get married?'" Could the designer refuse disabled people? When the lawyer for the non-existant business agreed that the designer could, Justice Sotomayor concluded, "So there is no line on race, there is no line on disability, ethnicity, none of the protected categories." The New York Times covered the arguments here and the Washington Post here. Both conclude SCOTUS seems likely to back the bigot.

    In an important elections case, Moore v. Harper, SCOTUS will hear oral arguments on Wednesday, December 7. This case asserts the independence of state legislatures in determining all kinds of election laws. At issue is whether governors and state courts have ANY role to play in setting the rules for elections. At the heart of the case is what's known as the "independent state legislature" theory (ISLT). A key issue is the role of courts in countermanding partisan gerrymandering, the sort of election map design that keeps one party in power in perpetuity. Professor of election law at the UCLA Law School, Richard Hasen has a really clear explanation of the case's basics on the SCOTUSblog podcast. (It runs for just ove 23 minutes.)

    This case, Ian MacDougall in ProPublica writes, "has major implications for ... gerrymandering." In fact it arose from a redistricting dispute in North Carolina on the grounds that the US Constitution stipulates that the "Times, Places and Manner" of congressional elections "shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof." MacDougall sums up the crux: "North Carolina Republicans want the Supreme Court to bar state courts from interfering with state legislatures when it comes to congressional elections."

    Richard Pildes, Sudler Family Professor of Constitutional Law, NYU School of Law, has two detailed posts about the independent state legislature theory delving into some of the key arguments, from the most conservative, to the least conservative. The first explores THE ISLT: How State Statutes and State Constitutions Differ and then applies that discussion to how the independent state legislature theory might play out at SCOTUS. The second piece, The ISLT: The Remedial Version, discusses a limited way the state legislatures could be independent of judicial review.

    Speaking of Supreme Courts, Justice Patience Roggensack's retirement from the Wisconsin Supreme Court means that we have an opportunity to elect a new justice who will make common cause with the more progressive justices: Jill Karofsky, Rebecca Dallet, and Ann Walsh Bradley. Right now it looks like there will be a primary for this office since four people have indicated that they plan to run. Citizen Action of Wisconsin will be hosting a State Supreme Court forum on January 11th, 2023, at 7pm (via Zoom) for all Democratic and progressive State Supreme Court candidates. Citizen Action plans to endorse a candidate to make the court "a liberal, pro-voting rights, anti-gerrymandering majority!" You can RSVP now and a link will be sent to you.

    On the racial justice beat, there are several initiatives in our North Shore communities to address equitable housing issues. The latest Bay Bridge newsletter includes information about training sessions for those who want to contribute to UWM's Mapping Racism and Resistance Project. The sessions will train you to assist the project team in identifying and documenting discriminatory covenants in various communities. These covenants were legal clauses embedded in property deeds that barred people who were not white from buying or occupying land. The goal of the mapping project is to answer key questions: "How common were these restrictions? What areas of our community were reserved for white people only? How much land was restricted in this way? When were they put into place? What did they say? What are the legacies of these practices today?" Volunteer training will take place on the following Wednesdays:

    • December 7, 7 - 8pm
    • December 14, 12 - 1pm
    • December 21, 7 - 8pm
    • January 4, 7 - 8pm
    • January 18, 7 - 8pm

    In addition, the North Shore Equitable Housing Coalition, with groups in Glendale and Fox Point/Bayside, is organizing to strategize approaches to village boards to repudiate racially restrictive covenants, a first step toward building awareness of intentional segregation in the North Shore. The Coalition will be meeting via Zoom on Thursday, January 12, at 7pm. I don't have a link for this meeting yet, but if you may be interested in this work, send an email to Nancy Kaplan and I'll make sure you get the link.

    An opportunity to support Governor Evers's inauguration has just arrived in my email. There will be a Kids Gala on December 31, from 10am - 12pm, and Evers's staff is looking for 10-15 volunteers to take a variety of roles. If you're interested and want more details (including where the event will be held!), email Chastity Duffey.

    Also, there will be a candlelight vigil for victims of gun violence on Saturday, December 10, from 10:30am - 1pm at the Brown Deer Event Center (8653 W. Brown Deer Rd, Milwaukee, WI 53224). The Donovan Hines Foundation of Exuberance dedicates this event to honoring and remembering all victims of violence in Milwaukee. Speakers will include Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson and Ashanti Hamilton, Director of the Office of Violence Prevention, among others. RSVP is encouraged, though not required.

    And finally, an opportunity to acquire some furniture from our Brown Deer office — FREE! We are temporarily closing the office, which we have not used since March 2020, while we figure out what our needs will be going forward. We're putting some equipment in storage but the rest of the chairs, desks and tables must go. If you are interested in any of these things, you can visit the office (5600 W Brown Deer Rd, Suite 116) on Wednesday, December 8, from noon - 2pm and from 4 - 6pm. Ginny Goode ([email protected], 414-460-5686) will make arrangements with you to pick up your selections. We ask that you arrange to move what you want out of the office by Wednesday, December 14.


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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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!

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  • 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.


    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,, 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

    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 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?


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

    Here are the correct ones:

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  • 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.


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  • 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.

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  • 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 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 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.

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  • 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 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