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, WisPolitics.com, and the Rotary Club of Milwaukee. Barnes will take questions from a panel of journalists and from the audience at the event, which will include breakfast. Registration deadline was Friday, October 28.

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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Voting is under way!

Let's start with a little inspiration.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Here are the correct ones:

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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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let's win this thing

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

Just Say NO to RoJo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Help! I need someone, or really EVERYONE

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

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

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

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

Additional ways to contribute:

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

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

  • Register voters at MATC. Contact Dave Weingrod.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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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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Don't agonize. Organize.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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It's Election Day!

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