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 MyVote.WI.gov 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

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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 MyVote.WI.gov. 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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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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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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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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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.

EVENTS

Tuesday, November 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, November 2

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

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

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

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

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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?

Corredtion:

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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