New School Amaranth Gathering of Heroes.
Dan Velasquez, art teacher hero renewing the teacher led New School for Student Empowerment, i.e.The New School, will be meeting with artist ecopreneur Muneer Bahauddeen 12;30 today, at David Boucher’s Amaranth Bakery, 34th and Lisbon. Hoping some of my FB friends win New School “Desks” as nanosecond “Partners,” by providing a one hour workshop at the New School during 2018–19 school year, or perhaps a one hour tour of their workplace. The New School to be located at 35th and Lisbon, the NW corner of the Amaranth Village neighborhood. Brian Sales and Dave Laack are hoping to weave Green Veterans Growing Power 2.0 in with this venture, August Marie Ball the Cream City Conservation Corps, Jesse Blom and I the Sweet Water Academy, Francis Graf and Matt Rudman Groundworks, Todd Leech the Riverwest Co-op and Cafe, Alexander Montezon and Nick Montezon trades training, Ryan Schone UW Extension’s Seed Garden, Pat Wilborn Port Fish, Brad Pruitt, film making, for starters. Join the conversation por favor!
Riverwest Coop New School Meeting
Dan Velasquez Anthony Deutsch Todd Leech Brian Sales Dave Laack Matt Rudman Pat Wilborn. “Partners” for The New School. Join us tomorrow 12:30 at The Amaranth w. David Boucher, Muneer Bahauddeen, and other Heroes Saving The New School
From Brian Sales FB Post
MKE Urban Farm School, Trauma Resolution and Small Farmers Co-op Center coming soon to an inner city MKE neighborhood near you! (MUFS, TRC, and SFC) A Green Veterans Group Milwaukee Project & Initiative. ;) #greenvets #urbanfarmers #traumaresolution #IUAN #groundworksMKE #CVI #growingpower2.0
This is amazing news!
MKE Urban Farm School, Trauma Resolution Center and Small Farmers Co-op Center coming soon to an inner city MKE neighborhood near you!
(MUFS, TRC, and SFC)
Green Veterans Growing Power w. MUFS TRC SFC
Viva GVGP MUFS TRC SFC!
Visions of New Schools for Student Empowerment and Amaranth Urban Village, SWF, UWE SEED Gardens, Milwaukee Coops, and more in this
Emerging Milwaukee Grand Alliance for A New Milwaukee
Where the waters gather toward the Sweet Water Seas
In the Great Lakes Heartland of the USA
New schools for new work we really want to do
New school for student empowerment Clan Networks
These are our New School for Student Empowerment Yacht Club Grounds… another bequeathment of the Old Milwaukee Sewer Socialists… Citizen Commons! Would any of our Facebook friends like to bring their Clan into conversations advancing the creation of a new MPS school for student empowerment?
From co-founder Dan Velasquez
We are currently enrolling for 9th and 10th grade and want to promote the school to youth who want to be heard and have a voice in their education, community, and future. I will attach a link to our open house informational night to get a quick glimpse into what our school is about.
PPC Experiment W. “Awakening” of 1.2 Billion Baptized Catholics via Pope Francies & Sean McDonagh Synodal Process for Laudato Si
Finally! I intuit that you all may become as inspired by the possibilities Fr. Sean offers your PPC work as I am by my urban ag partners’ work. I am co-founder and Board president of the Sweet Water Foundation, which is now working with the Obama Foundation team re the Presidential Library’s community engagement aspect. I also aspire to weave our collaboration into a wiki web platform called “Where the Sweet Waters Gather”, i.e. the Objibwe name for Milwaukee, which has been “going global as the city’s name if used as a metaphor.
We must make our inland waters sweet again!
Our ocean waters healing!
Weave Laudato Si Synodal Process Into Collaboration With PPC?
Here is Fr. Sean’s vision.
Here he is with the Sweet Water Team, including our practical, pragmatic, and charismatic co-founder and director, Emmanuel Pratt.
In August, 2016, a Sweet Water Foundation team had the amazing good fortune to participate in an eco/art exhibition at the Irish Museum of Modern Art last February. While there we were were given a tour by the creators of a rooftop garden(including aquaponics) at the Jesuit H.S. Belvedere College; and we also were blessed with Fr. McDonagh’s presence at one of our presentations(with our director Emmanuel Pratt’s arm around him front and center).
In the way that I pray, I pray for mighty collaborations with you and your teams up through my 100th birthday party!
Community Guild Network Building Possibilities
So Josh has given me a 600 square foot space in this 19,000 square foot Community Guild Network building(pending final appraisal)
aside the Milwaukee River at North Ave. and UWM dorms
to experiment with enterprises like yours, for some kind of Milwaukee Renaissance.
Here are some links that suggest some order in the chaos of my life.
Dee Hock’s chaordic organizing is my recipe.
Here’s a Harvard Business Review study of Josh’s and my experiment with hybrid and networked enterprise experiments.
And web page of the Sweetwater Foundation we helped launch, along with future MacArthur genius winner Emmanuel Pratt.
Sunvest Solar and USGBC Green Veterans Growing Power Collaboration?
I have cc’d Brian Soles, who is leading this Green Veterans project, and his partner David Laack.
Let The Old City bloom,
Journal Sentinel photo
Leiser, Laacke,Sales, Allen, & Godsil Discussing Growing Power 2.0 Transition
Parkside School for the Arts, Medical College of Wisconsin, Brookfield School(s), & Sweet Water Foundation Collaboration Experiments
The document to me is a clear exposition of what has already been achieved in one school that can help in the designing and modeling for the next school venture. The Milwaukee Sweet Water Foundation Director, Jesse Blom, now also director of the Johns Hopkins Food System Lab of the Bloomberg School of Public Health. was the designer and consultant to the wonderful aquaponics demo at the school. Jesse is poised to bring his knowledge base and institutional resources to a Brookfield School Experiment that would be supported by the Medical College of Wisconsin, Parkside School for the Arts, the Sweet Water Foundation, and perhaps Johns Hopkins.
Erin, her students, and their families offer tours of their work. I would very much enjoy helping catalyze as much.
There are many senior and MA theses in our work, on up through doctoral dissertation.
We moved the main Sweetwater aquaponic commercial-size experiment to the south side of Chicago at Chicago State University. You might be able to get a tour of that, although it’s best to call before going. The Sweet Water Foundation web page inspires!
Power model these days focuses on networks of aquaponic demos in schools and larger systems as much destinations and training sites as growing places. While growing food in urban places is a vital response to the needs of our time, growing information, STEAM skills, ecological, emotional, and social intelligence, i.e. growing our souls!, is equally important in this multi-dimensional, multi-generational networked experiments.
Commercial Size Destination/Training Lab
Classroom Model Integrating Art, Aquaponics, and Intergenerational Life Long Learning Models
And Erin dentise in her students offer tours at the trailblazing Parkside School for the Arts edible classroom and aquaponics demonstration project
UW Urban Ag Extension Into Soil Based Community Gardening and “Agora”
I have been deeply involved in these matters since 2005, and no one has done any better than the leaders of these three models anywhere in the nation.
Here is a link to a Harvard Business School essay on the work of the Sweet Water Foundation, supported at the outset by the fine teams of Sweet Water Organics.
Edible Classrooms Growing VIRTU
You and yours are cultivating a new generation of high virtu.
“Virtu” chez Erica Benner’s “Be Like The Fox: Machiavelli In His World”
It further includes
Virtu doesn’t need good luck, are even much freedom, to work wonders. On the contrary,
it is most admirable, even most effective,
Nation Building Is A Multigenerational Process With Regressions Along The Way
Momentary Body Guard For Dr. King
This image of Dr. King’s stoning in Marquette Park during SCLC’s Freedom Summer Open Housing Marches finds me directly behind Dr. King and near Andy Young, to my right. The Nazi Party incited a murderous crowd to torch our cars. I lost a 1957 Chevy the engine of which my father had completely overhauled. Were it not for Chicago Irish police walking in great numbers between us and the stone and bottle throwing mob, we would literally have been lynched or beaten. This summer I was on a green line bus with a group of Whitefish Bay students shouting build the wall build the wall Trump Trump trump and then to an immigrant family f*** you go home f*** you go home. In the way that I pray I pray that the level of hatred I witnessed at 21, 50 years ago, is kept at bay by the vast majority of patriotic and compassionate citizens. As much as we we’re disappointed buy mirror Richard Daley, he never did try to incite the European Americans to heightened levels of enmity and possible violence. It’s bizarre to have a president so Brazen in his contempt for the best of Americas heritage.
Community Roofing and Restoration is elevating the status and competency of the artisanal trades.
Community is now the nucleus of an emerging Guild network of restoration artisans.
If you have had work done by Community please go to this link and let us know what you think about our efforts.
FIELDTRIP: Monday’s WI Urban Farming Legislation!
This Monday at 10AM Senator Johnson and Representative Goyke are unveiling proposed legislation titled Wisconsin Urban Farming Futures which holds tremendous potential for bringing a new level of support and credibility to urban and sustainable farming in Milwaukee and across our great State. To support this critical piece of legislation, amplify the media’s attention, and witness a perhaps historic moment, we’d like to gather a band of like-minds to attend the grand unveiling at Kaleidoscope Gardens!
Sandy Syburg has graciously offered the SoilMobile (a bio-diesel bus) to transport our band to the event – offering a pickup stop out west near Oconomowoc (attn. Madison folks) and a second stop in Milwaukee.
Here are the tentative pickup times and locations:
1. Summit Park & Ride (leaving @ 8:50 AM)
2. Walmart on Miller Parkway (leaving @ 9:20 AM)
Please email me directly if you would like to join the group at either location (Ryan.Schone@ces.uwex.edu). Also let me know if you wish to join the caravan by following in your own vehicle.
More details for those who sign-up will be sent Sunday.
City’s 1st Timber-Frame Barn Since Chicago Fire Going Up In Washington Park
WASHINGTON PARK — As buildings are being torn down in Washington Park, a barn is being raised.
The Sweet Water Foundation has erected likely the only barn of its kind in the city on a lot where Moseley Elementary School once stood and that is now a farm. The barn appears to be the first since the Chicago Fire in 1871.
“This is the first timber-frame barn in the city of Chicago since the fire that we know of,” said Emmanuel Pratt, founder of the Sweet Water Foundation, which is running the Perry Avenue Community Farm at 57th Street and Perry Avenue.
Catholics by Culture Discover Catholics For Choice
My daughter Megan Godsil Jeyifo has inspired me to look more closely at the issue of choice and abortion, given her emerging leadership role.
However, as Daniel Maguire, a leading Catholic moral theologian, has noted, there has been a diversity of views on when human life begins and the morality of abortion throughout the history of the church.
As a result, says Maguire: “There is no one Catholic view” on abortion.
In the early centuries of the church, St. Augustine held that early abortion was wrong not because it involved the taking of life, but because it separated procreation from sex, which he believed was the only justification for intercourse—even between married couples.
In the 11th century, St. Thomas Aquinas postulated that there was no life present in an early fetus and that ensoulment occurred only after “quickening” in the fifth or sixth month when the mother first felt signs of fetal life, so early abortion was not murder.
The view that the early fetus was not a person and that a fetus gained human value as a pregnancy progressed was widely held in science and law throughout history. Most opposition to abortion centered on the fact that it was a way for people to cover up illicit sex, not the belief that it was murder.
In the 17th century, believing that early magnifying instruments had detected the human form in fetal tissue, the church moved toward the belief that life begins at conception. It wasn’t until late in the 19th century, however, that the church actually banned abortion and until the 20th century that it became a cornerstone of church teaching based on the belief that life begins at conception.
Not only has church teaching on when human life begins varied, but the bishops have worked very hard to suppress the primacy that Catholic teaching gives the well-formed conscience when it comes to individual decision-making regarding weighty moral issues. From listening to their rhetoric, you would think that all Catholics are obligated to follow the Vatican’s pronouncements in lockstep. But nothing could be further from the truth. Catholic thinkers from St. Paul through St. Thomas Aquinas to the Vatican’s own 1965 Declaration on Religious Freedom have consistently held that Catholics have a duty to follow their conscience and that no one should be forced to act contrary to their conscience.
In his widely respected book Catholicism, theologian Father Richard P. McBrien sums it up: “If…after appropriate study, reflection, and prayer, a person is convinced that his or her conscience is correct, in spite of a conflict with the moral teachings of the church, the person not only may but must follow the dictates of conscience rather than the teachings of the church.”
For the most part, Catholics do follow their consciences when the teachings of the church conflict with the lived reality of their lives and their own senses of wisdom and compassion. As is well known, in the United States, 97 percent of Catholic women over the age of 18 have used a method of contraception banned by the Catholic hierarchy. Use of modern contraceptive methods is high in many predominantly Catholic countries: 67 percent of married women of reproductive age in Spain use modern contraceptive methods, as do 69 percent of married women in France, and 60 percent of married women in Mexico and 70 percent of married women in Brazil. Clearly these women are following their consciences, which tell them that modern birth control methods are moral and contribute to their health and the health of their families.
Similarly, Catholics are more than willing to disagree with church teaching on abortion. Less than one-quarter (22%) of Catholics in the US agree with the bishops’ position that abortion should be illegal (Belden Russonello & Stewart poll, 2004). And 58% of Catholics believe you can be a good Catholic without following the bishops’ teaching on abortion (National Catholic Reporter poll, September 2005). In the US, Catholic women have abortions at the same rate as women in the population as a whole (Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, 2002), so clearly they have decided to follow the dictates of their consciences rather than the pronouncements of the church.
It is also important to note that while the Catholic bishops often try to give the impression that Vatican teachings on abortion are infallible, they are not. It is a popular misconception that whatever the pope says on a serious topic is infallible and must be followed—it is not. Infallible statements are only made in very limited and narrow circumstances. The teaching on abortion has never been proclaimed infallible and no serious theologian claims it is. Even Pope John Paul II, who was renowned for his opposition to abortion, tried to find ways to pronounce his teaching on abortion infallible and was unable to do so.
While Catholics the world over clearly follow their consciences on the matter of abortion, the bishops do have an impact on women’s ability to access abortion and other reproductive health services. Especially in the United States, the Catholic hierarchy works through the political process to try and get their minority views enshrined into law. This is clearly a violation of the consciences of Catholics and non-Catholics alike who hold opposing views and not in keeping with Catholic church tradition or teaching. Catholic tradition demands that Catholics respect the views of other faith groups and that the church accept the principle of church-state separation. According to one pastoral letter, “Catholics should recognize the legitimacy of differing points of view about the organization of worldly affairs and show respect for their fellow citizens.” Vatican II clearly recognized that the political community and the church are independent of each other.
Timber Framed Barn Raising at Sweet Water Chicago
I can remember reading CW Mills’ “Power Elite” in 1966 and feeling utterly powerless to make a difference re the Vietnam War and civil rights. A professor raged at me that we had many resources to push back, especially, for students, the power to demonstrate.
Reading the essay on Brazil’s junk food intrusion can evoke the same feeling of despair in the face of the global junk food juggernaut.
No one said the good food ®Evolution would be easy, nor quick victoried. And those who will be steadfast and mindful, know that our work is not a lifetime’s challenge. It will be a challenge up through the 7th generation and beyond.
Obama and Sweet Water Foundations Help to Connect Teachers, Urban Ag Activist Farmers, and Artisinal Mentors Across National Boundaries
The multidimensional aspect of our struggle methinks could profit from integrating artisinal training and urban ag training, with programs connecting schools with community groups.
This is what Emmanuel Pratt’s Sweet Water Foundation teams have been doing in Chicago, and Jesse Blom’s in Milwaukee. The Obama Foundation has highlighted one inspiring example of this approach with a 60 second video of
And it’s not just us and alliances with Obama Foundation and other progressive, secular institutions. The faith communities of the world have many groups within and between advancing the good fight. Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato Si, has brilliantly married social with ecological justice for the next generation of Catholic educators.
When I began promoting Big Will Allen’s urban ag vision back in 2005, my most progressive friends were extremely unimpressed. Since then, urban ag has mainstreamed and the Mayor of Milwaukee considers his teaming up with our movement one of his most important acts as mayor.
We shall overcome!
Grant Concept For Saint-Gobain & Certainteed Foundations
Goal: Green Workforce Development, Lifelong STEM Learning, Public Health Pilot Experiment: Beginning With Healthy Snacks
Re-imagining green workforce development with an “integral” focus on existing artisinal crews and networks, sparking healthier diets, starting with workplace snacks, and healthier life-styles enhanced with life-long STEM training, starting with off season urban agriculture and aquaponics experimentation.
Roberto Alba Of Superior Roofing Solutions With
Means: Providing building crews with tasty, healthy snacks as alternatives to fast food, Red Bull, and cigarettes throughout the workday, with low keyed conversations and reading materials in support.
Arthur Camberon and Armon Of Juice Kitchen Preparing Snack #3
In the off season, introducing crews to STEM skills development via partnerships with local schools with edible classroom and aquaponics projects underway.
Healthy Snack #1. Apples & Almonds
Proposed Pilot Project Partners: Community Roofing & Restoration, Sweet Water Foundation, University of Wisconsin Urban Agriculture Extension, Parkside School for the Arts, UW-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health, Milwaukee School of Engineers, Green Schools Alliance, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Food Systems Lab, Artist Muneer Bahauddeen
Inseparable Cities by the Love of Comrades
“I will plant companionship thick as trees along all the rivers of America,/and along the shores of the great lakes, and all over the prairies,/I will make inseparable cities with their arms about each other’s necks,/By the love of comrades.”
Let us wrap Milwaukee Chicago Arms
With help from UW Extension, UW Madison Young Doctors TRIUMPH Project, Wisconsin Organic Valley Wormfarm Institute, Purple Cow Sweet Water VGI Heart Haus SEED Garden Agora UEC Community Guild Network and Milwaukee’s Urban Ag Grand Alliance Milwaukee Renaissance from the Sister City Where the Sweet Waters gather.
SWF Perru Ave Commons
Emmanuel and Jia?
Miss Betty’s Boys
Norm and Paulette?
Sweetwater Community Aquaponics Network
Dear Stacy and All,
Stacy… I am so happy that you and yours are interested in an aquaponics encounter!
I have included Aquapons who may have the time and be moved by the spirit to begin a conversation with you, leading up to a tour, and, from my point of view, a loose collaborative knowledge sharing, to bring forth the day when 5% of the schools of the world are graced with aquaponic models and edible classrooms.
Allow me to introduce you to people who are quite literally among the worlds most competent aquaponic experimenters, growing fish, plants, knowledge, and, to me, mysteriously, Polymath Rainbow Greening Souls…And sharing networked conversations, encounters, experiments, and projects, probably forshadowing some kind of Aquaponics Guilds, with a variety of expressions.
One World Aquaponics
Of, by, and for the healing of the people and the planet, with all of God’s children, in Milwaukee, Chicago, Organic Valley Wisconsin, St Louis, and a number of cities in Europe, Central and South America, and Africa.
Every city should grow aquaponics innovation centers and greening hubs in our integral schools!
In the way that I pray, I pray that 5% of the world’s schools will have small to large aquaponic Innovation centers by the year 2040
I hope this conversation will lead to mighty or modest collaborations with you and yours, toward that goal.
Obama Foundation 60 Second Film Features Micheal Reynolds of Sweet Water Foundation
Centers & Hubs for Growing, Making, Fixing, and Sharing at Obama Presidential Library
It’s beginning to look like Emmanuel Pratt and teams are winning a place for the marriage of urban agriculture, restoration artisanship, and the blending of art, architecture, city planning, and science with the community engagement wing of the Obama Presidential Library.
And Milwaukee Region grew 10,000 community garden plots and a Community Greenhouse in every neighborhood!. And young Milwaukee Chicago videographers made a documentary featured in the opening week of the Obama Presidential Library. Our movement has a relationship with the folks designing community engagement of what will be a South Side Chicago wonder. https://twitter.com/Oba…/status/898678019165790208/video/1
Godsil and Fraundorf Community Guild School Experiments
Community Roofing and Restoration is considering the purchase of the Robert Koch “complex” on Fratney and Auer, aspiring to transform the property into a Community Guild School and perhaps Residencies.
Community Roofing’s Guild Network Healthy Food Experiments
The Koch complex would be an ideal innovation center for the Guild’s health food experiments. Here’s a conversation fleshing out this concept.
Godsil. While taking pictures and interviewing members of the Community Network I imagined showing up at the job site with some almonds, peanuts, broccoli and really good dip, and experimenting with different mixes of good and healthy food as an alternative to potato chips candy bars and fast food stuff.
I think this would be appreciated by our Artisans and would make a great story for social media and the history books.
Fraundorf. I think it would be amazing to get them off of the red bull and garbage food. Chicken salads, water, wraps, fruit, vegetables, etc…happy to put $500 a month into a trial base or more if needed.
G: Let’s team up with the UW Extension nutritionist and the MATC Culinary Arts students to make this brilliance
F: I think it’s a brilliant idea for the artisans of Community’s networks.
G: Good Food and Beauty at the community Guild Houses in every community might change the world.
Every city deserves a community Guild House with good food and Beauty to elevate the spirits, nourish and heal the body, and enhances our artisans’ quest for excellence, at the job, with the family, in the community.
G: May I share this thread at the Milwaukee Renaissance and on my Facebook page?
Community Sweet Water Regenerative Placemaking
Since 1975 Community has demonstrated the merit of developing networks of custom artisinal shops for roof system restoration, with some key members of the network happy, even eager, to develop workshops on copper smithing, restoration carpentry and masonry, paining, roofing, plumbing, and more. Self reliance through the trades!
From 2005 on up through today, Community has advanced visions of harvesting the urban agriculture movement of Milwaukee in service to a new “biophilic” and STEAM pedagogy(“A” for art and architecture). If our kids grow it, they’ll eat it! The most important manifestation of this is the Sweet Water Foundation, directed by Emmanuel Pratt, who has been a global trailblazer in the theory and the practice of regenerative placemaking.
And from 1975 to our times, Community has supported neighborhood economic development experiments in Riverwest. Local, shared economics “as if people mattered.”
The Koch Complex would be a perfect place to pull these strands together!
But we are hesitant to enter into this story without an understanding of the challenges of water and soil remediation at this site. We can imagine pulling together a series of engineering, architecture, and landscape design teams to use the Koch Complex transformation into a Community Guild School and Residence as a case study of what “green grand alliances” can accomplish.
We would be working with people in the Community Sweet Water Foundation and Harvard GSD networks if we can enter into a collaboration with state of the art understanding of the challenges of the Koch Complex regarding soil and water “healing.”
I am hoping such a venture might advance the personal and commonwealth work of many good people, as well as the good cause of healing people and planet.
Co-Create Mind Sharing Conversation Circles Among Progressive Catholics by Culture
Like this note to one of my classmates from St. Louis University High(SLUH).
I have enjoyed and been “struck by” the intensity and clarity of your expression regarding the great issues of our time, and the embarrassing debasement of the Office of the Presidency, United States of America of late. I am in friendly competition with Big Apple Jewish intellectuals of the 20th century and West Coast Pragmatic Mystics around “culture.”
I want to help co-create a progressive wing of “Catholics by Culture” in my remaining years, with a focus on Jesuit trained boomers from across the globe. Connecting progressive “Catholics by Culture” is one of my chores, and I hope you might join in! Below are links to the dawn of TomCoffin and [DavidGrant essays “Where The Sweet Waters Waters Meet.,” i.e. Milwaukee’s(metaphorically conceived) Renaissance, followed by a letter by Jesuit schooled polymath elder, Merlin Donald, to an Irish missionary turned Pope Francis’ ecological advisor.
I would be profoundly grateful if you would spend the time and make the effort to craft a Michael Britt Essay, either a response to the ideas of this note, or about whatever issue inspires you to share your thoughts.
Professor Merlin Donale Letter to Father Sean McDonagh re Catholics by Culture
Dear Fr. McDonagh,
I am a big fan of Laudato Si, which I understand you co-authored. Thank you for that enormous contribution to humanity. The text strikes the right balance between scientifically rigorous fact and that special tone, so crucial to Christianity at its best, of altruism and community and selflessness, of giving over to something much bigger than yourself. In an age such as ours, where selfishness has run rampant and greed and narcissism are actively held up as ideals, it is refreshing to read a major world document couched in truly human terms, and not wasted due to Legalese and bureaucratic pomp. Having written a few things myself, I know how tough it is to craft and maintain such a tone.
I am what I prefer to call a “cultural Catholic” — that is, someone who respects and largely adheres to the best ideas the Church can offer, without being able to say I “believe” in such things as papal infallibility. Having studied with the Jesuits for eight years, I find the public stance of Pope Francis both reassuringly tolerant, and familiar — my Jesuit teachers were like that — open-minded, wise, and tolerant.
Here is a question that has bugged me for years: what does the Church not do what the Jews do so well — retain the identity and loyalty of “cultural Catholics,” instead of casting them aside on doctrinal picky points, or insistence on a crushing subservience to symbols of priestly authority? The same might be said on so many issues — and especially, on why are there no women priests, given the crisis in replacing the aging priesthood, etc. The argument from a literal reading of scripture holds no water at all, given the history of how the New Testament was edited and assembled. But the slide of the priesthood, and the stubbornness of the Curia, continues.
The Church has so many who admire it, especially at this moment, with a such a progressive and articulate Pope. But the conservatives and literalists among the Curia are destroying the Western Church, in my view. Especially in the USA and Canada, I am often amazed that our bishops sound more like fundamentalist preachers than like the highly educated Jesuit teachers I was taught by, so many years ago.
I have been working on a theoretical level on the nature of deep cognitive and technological changes the world is experiencing at the moment. i think human nature itself is on the table. The church is exactly the kind of institution the world needs as we become inexorably wired closer and closer together, if only it can put some of those ultra-conservative values behind it and focus on coping with the world as it is now (and as it once did, on an heroic scale, back in Counter- Reformation times). We human beings are in very deep trouble and in need of moral leadership. But it won’t come if the Curia keeps sailing on a course of blatant retrograde self-interest.
Pope Francis obviously understands this, but I understand he is running into some pretty vicious resistance. I sincerely hope he can prevail, and implement reform.
Meanwhile, I am trying to fight the pessimistic mood that currently prevails in the English-speaking world, as we see all our empires fade. Our minds need to be clear, above all, to cope with climate change. Unfortunately, technological change is causing a major shift in the way we think and remember — to the point where I am now convinced there is a fourth “cognitive transition” underway. We will increasingly find ourselves at the mercy of forces we have not managed to control, and this time those forces are acting directly on the mind — that is, on the very heart of human nature.
The problem is, our minds are not clear at the moment, because we are hurtling into a new cognitive ecology without any guidance. Just as we are fighting ecological wars on a physical level, we are confronted with the need to battle a changing cognitive ecology as well. Our history suggests that this is a dangerous situation, and possibly a fatal one.
In any case, I am going on too long, and I know you are a very busy person. But do we all have work to do!
My very best regards, in appreciation for your contribution,
So there you have it!
Mon. 12/11/17: “Department of Corrections that wields incredible powers to detain and oversee the detention process promulgated the rules; not the legislature- an embodiment of the peoples’ will.”
Be on the Ground Floor of a Movement! December 14
Thursday will be an important day as we launch the “End Child Poverty” Campaign across the state of Wisconsin!
Thursday, December 14: 6:30 - 7:30pm
Help us get 10,000 people to sign on to a movement that calls for the state of Wisconsin to adopt a 3-part goal:
WISDOM and our partners from Wisconsin Citizen Action, the Wisconsin Council of Churches, and Kids Forward (formerly the WI Council on Children and Families), will launch the “End Child Poverty” Campaign with events across the state on December 14.
There will be a LOT more information coming your way on Thursday. Join us at Marquette for this exciting moment, as the people of Wisconsin begin to demand that our state put its priorities where they belong!
Call to Action: Mothers in Chains
For many of us in the Christian tradition, we are in the time of Advent - the time of getting ready for the celebration of Jesus’ birth.
This is an appropriate time to ask you to help out in an effort that is being led by the Religious Leaders’ Caucus of MOSES in Madison. They call the campaign, “Mothers in Chains.” It is an attempt to get Wisconsin to join the growing list of states that outlaw the shackling of pregnant women, women giving birth, and women who have recently given birth. This seems like something that a civilized society should have outlawed long ago.
You can see a lot of good information at this page on the MOSES website: http://mosesmadison.org/mothers-in-chains-wisconsins-shame/
As you will see, there is a bill being considered in the State Senate, which has bipartisan support, and which is expected to be voted on in January. Unfortunately, some Senators want to water down the bill so that it only pertains to women who are actually in labor. While that helps with the most extreme abuse, there is still no reason for women late in a pregnancy, to be chained hand and foot to go for a doctor’s appointment, or for women to be chained soon after giving birth.
We can make a difference on this. What better thing to do for Advent than to call your state representative and senator and ask them to pass this bill without watering it down.
Please take a moment to see all the excellent material on the MOSES site, and please pass this request along to others. To find your legislators: http://legis.wisconsin.gov/.
Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force – December 12 meeting
Please join us for the December 12 meeting of the Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force:
Meeting Details: Tuesday December 12, 3 – 5 PM
Our agenda will include the following:
Save the date for our January 9th meeting which will include an update from the Community Justice Council and the McArthur Safety and Justice Challenge
‘’Environmental/Chemical Sensitivities: For the safety and comfort of those with chemical sensitivities, IndependenceFirst
Democracy Crumbles Before Our Eyes: Vote!
Mon. 11/13/17: Still At It:
Wisconsin leaders quietly make it easier to condemn private property for potential pipeline expansion
Fri. 11/10/17: Hate in the White House — October
Table of the Saints Public Discussion
“Don’t Talk at the Dinner Table”
Public Discussion on Mental Health: Panel Discussion and Breakout Panels
Aurora Sinai Medical Center, 915 N. 12th Street, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53233
James Causey, Moderator
Presented By Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and Table of the Saints, Inc.
12:00 –12:30 Snacks
2:45 – 2:55 Break
The idea stems from the Table of the Saints expanding and improving upon our aftercare of the residents of TOTS Family House and those in the community with whom we mentor and participate in rebuilding the moral compass.
While mentoring, coaching and counseling those we serve we’ve found there to be a deficit when they themselves try to articulate their reason for using drugs or straying from recovery and treatment. A major issue has been them having received certificates of completion for AODA programs and a commitment of going to NA or AODA meetings they didn’t fully understand addiction, recovery and mental Health.
December 25, 2017 we will celebrate two years of our Sober Living House that we fondly call “TOTS House”. We celebrate eight years of the bible study group, we recently celebrated five years as a faith based nonprofit organization here in the city of Milwaukee, WI.
“Let’s Talk About It”
2nd Wednesday’s of each month
Table of the Saints, Inc.
Driving while black in Milwaukee has real ticket, arrest consequences
MPD’s strategy for high-crime areas results in more tickets for, arrests of black drivers, study shows
Arrests were made in just 2% of traffic stops of African-American drivers, the same rate as for white and Hispanic drivers, according to the draft report.
Because so many more black drivers were stopped, however, the actual number arrested - 6,247 from 2013 to 2015 - was the highest among the three groups. There were 1,216 Hispanics and 1,920 whites arrested after traffic stops over the same time period. Read more…
Support is Building for Alternatives to Incarceration: Show YOUR support!
Counties around the state are considering resolutions calling for the state to increase Treatment Alternatives and Diversions (TAD) funding by $15 million per year. TAD is a state program that gives grants to counties so they can implement or expand programs for people with addictions and/or mental health issues. The program has been extensively studied, and has shown that every $1 spent on TAD saves taxpayers $2 in incarceration costs. Not only that, people who participate in TAD programs are less likely to commit another crime than people who spend time in jail or prison.
TAD saves money and keeps us safer: seems like a common sense way to invest money!
That is what County Boards around the state are saying. This week, three County Supervisors in Madison who have worked with MOSES (the WISDOM affiliate there) to craft a resolution calling for the state to increase TAD funding by $15 million. At least six other counties are looking to do the same thing.
As our state looks for ways to invest in the well-being of its people, a maximum investment in TAD makes a lot more sense than planning for new prisons. Before committing hundreds of millions for new prisons, our state should first put $15 million more into TAD. It can help Wisconsin stay in step with other states, both “red” and “blue” (like Texas, Michigan and New Jersey) that are closing prisons every year, and are watching their crime rates drop as they do.
To find out if your County Board is helping to promote a TAD increase, or to get involved in the campaign to reduce Wisconsin’s prison population, contact us at email@example.com.
Senate vote on tax bill this week: national day to call Senators Wednesday Nov. 29th
U.S. Senators need to hear directly from constituents about how the proposed tax bills will affect people with disabilities and their families.
The Senate could vote on this bill as early as this Thursday (11/30) or Friday (12/1).
A national call-in day for on the Senate tax cut bill has been organized for people with disabilities, families, and advocates around the country on Wednesday, Nov. 29th. You can RSVP and invite friends using the Facebook event.
National Advocates say the bill will hurt people with disabilities because:
Suggested Action Steps
Highlights from 2017 so far: The Good News and Pivotal Facts
Thurs. 11/23/17: “Imagining being completely safe from physical harm had done what no experiment had done before — it had turned conservatives into liberals.”
Thurs. 11/16/17: “Bad news for Trump: No one is above the law.” US Military and CIA Leaders May Be Investigated for War Crimes
Fri. 8/18/17: “Calling for a congressional hearing on the 13th Amendment’s enslavement clause and its role in producing the world’s largest prison population.”
ALERT: Tax bill talking points and action steps
As families around the country prepare to gather with loved ones for the Thanksgiving holiday, the House passed a tax bill that would threaten the health and economic security of many low-income and middle-class families.
This Thanksgiving, talk turkey about taxes! It’s not too late to protect our health care and our families. Here’s what you can do:
1. Contact your Senators today to tell them not to sacrifice Americans’ healthcare to give tax cuts to the wealthy.
2. Talk to your family and friends about what this tax bill does:
Download the “Talk Turkey About Taxes” flier produced by the Medicare Rights Center and Center for Medicare Advocacy.
Share the flier with family and friends and start a conversation about the tax bill and how we can protect our care and financial well-being.
Three ways Congress’s tax cut bill could impact people with disabilities
Both the U.S. House and Senate are working on bills that would make changes to how much taxes people pay, and would lower the amount of money collected (revenue) from taxpayers.
The Tax legislation would eliminate two existing tax credits important to people with disabilities and their families. Under the bills, the government would collect far less tax money than it needs to maintain the current level of spending on Medicaid and other programs that help people with disabilities.
The House may vote as early as this Thursday (November 16th) on their tax bill, with the Senate to follow in the next couple weeks.
House tax bill eliminates the Medical expense credit
When a person has medical expenses greater than 10% of their adjusted gross income, they can use this tax credit. 9 million households took this deduction, and it can be crucial for families covering expenses not covered by insurance, high out-of-pocket medical costs, or paying for nursing home costs. Older adults with high cost medical needs, people with disabilities and chronic medical conditions, and families with children who have high cost medical needs and disabilities benefit from the credit. (More about this tax credit)
Both tax bills eliminate the Rare disease credit
This credit reimburses drug developers for half of their research costs on treatments meant for rare diseases. Supporters say this credit is one of several incentives that have led to the approval of more than 500 new and much-needed drugs for those rare diseases that each affect fewer than 200,000 people. (More about this tax credit)
Both bill’s large tax cuts threaten Medicaid
Both tax bills increase the federal deficit by $1.5 trillion. This means that the federal government is not collecting enough money to pay for existing programs and services (like Medicaid—which funds Family Care, IRIS, BadgerCare, Children’s Long Term Supports, the ForwardHealth Card and other Wisconsin programs). National advocates are very concerned that tax cuts, which reduce the amount of money the government has to spend, will result in cutting Medicaid and other programs and services that help people with disabilities.
Suggested Action Steps
Shortage of mental health care providers hits crisis point just as more teens seek help
Mental Health Task Force/ Make It Work Milwaukee Update
From today’s Journal Sentinel:
Shortage of mental health care providers hits crisis point just as more teens seek help
quote from article:
It’s almost like they have to get into some sort of trouble before they get into services,” said Rauschenberger, who also serves as interim dean of Alverno College’s JoAnn McGrath School of Nursing. “They end up being incarcerated for really what is a health issue, and it shouldn’t have gotten that far.”
The shortage of mental health professionals is a crisis — particularly for youth, and more particularly for low-income families who use public insurance.
You can support our work with a donation here!
EXPO Statewide Organizer Mark Rice also addresses this “Time To Dismantle Structural Racism.”
Fri. 11/10/17: SPLC on Campus: A guide to bystander intervention
House Tax Plan Would Significantly Impact Older Adults and People with Disabilities
The House Republican tax plan is currently being debated by the Ways and Means Committee, and several of the provisions will have a devastating impact on older adults and people with disabilities. Most notably, the plan does away with the medical expense deduction, which allows people who spend more than 10% of their income on health care expenses to deduct the remainder of their medical expenses from their federally taxed income.
Medicare Rights, along with other organizations, sent a letter to Congress urging them to protect this deduction. The letter highlights how this deduction helps people facing huge medical bills keep a bit more in their pockets – perhaps delaying enrolling in Medicaid, the state and federal program that covers healthcare and long-term care expenses for people with low incomes and limited assets.
Launch of MKE Elevate: Milwaukee’s Community Health Improvement Plan
Welcome to MKE Elevate, an ambitious community-driven plan working to elevate the health and well-being of Milwaukee residents.
Today, we join you, the Milwaukee public health community, in releasing the city’s first community-driven health improvement plan. The MKE Elevate health improvement plan is a five-year agenda that seeks to support safer and healthier neighborhoods by aligning existing work and identifying new strategies around economic security, a fair and inclusive society, and positive mental health.
MKE Elevate was developed through an extensive process to assess the health of residents citywide and hear directly from residents, agencies, and organizations. The City of Milwaukee Health Department (MHD) has been proud to facilitate this development process - but this plan belongs to all of us. It calls for the MHD and you - our partners - to support and expand work in the three priority areas identified by our community as the most pressing issues affecting health outcomes citywide.
To accomplish the work outlined in 24 objectives and 89 strategies, we will need sustained commitment and partnership. Please review the plan, share it widely, and share with us your commitment to aligning work around these efforts.
To share your commitment:
MICAH/Partner Events and Meetings
Know Your Rights Party, Tuesday November 14, 5:30, Welford Sanders Building, 2821 N 4th St.
Students, family, and concerned community members join us to get more information about the alarming racial disparities & understanding legal rights of students facing suspension & expulsion in Milwaukee schools. Sponsored by Legal Action of WI, MICAH and LIT (Leaders Ignighting Transformation). Flyer
Temporary Job Opportunity
We are looking for 6–8 community members who may be interested in doing Community Research. Please find attached the description of the responsibilities of a Community Researcher. Application deadline Nov 15. Download application
Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force – November 14 meeting
Please join us for the November 14 meeting of the Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force:
Our agenda will include the following:
Save the date for our December 12th meeting which will feature a panel on consumer / client rights with panel members from Disability Rights Wisconsin, the State Public Defenders Office, and the Behavioral Health Division Clients Rights Specialist.
‘’Environmental/Chemical Sensitivities: For the safety and comfort of those with chemical sensitivities, IndependenceFirst
Words of WISDOM Newsletter
This is the second edition of Words of WISDOM, an e-newsletter that shares updates from the WISDOM affiliates, as well as contact and website information. Lots going on in all the affiliates, building power as a statewide organization!
Milwaukee County Board Adopts 2018 Budget
Mental Health Task Force / Make It Work Milwaukee Update
Today, the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors adopted the 2018 budget: “– The Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors adopted the 2018 Milwaukee County budget today on a vote of 15–3 after adopting several amendments to County Executive Chris Abele’s Recommended Budget, including an elimination of Abele’s wheel tax increase to $60.”
Chairman Lipscomb’s proposal was approved. The approved budget includes cuts to a number of departments that are funded by tax levy including “reduces expenses of by $614, 315” for the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). We will want to carefully follow the impact of these cuts which look to be significant.
A number of statements have been released from county leaders. Here are some of the key perspectives:
County Board of Supervisors Chairman Theo Lipscomb: http://www.thewheelerreport.com/wheeler_docs/files/1106lipscomb.pdf
County Board Finance Chair Peggy West: http://www.thewheelerreport.com/wheeler_docs/files/1106west.pdf
draft ready, GO Pass, 2018 Milwaukee County Budget, URGENT
Dear friends of the Go Pass and of DHHS services,
Based on the attached document which Chairman Lipscomb had forwarded, the Board is considering three proposals – from the County Executive which relies on increasing the vehicle registration fee to $60; from Chairman Lipscomb, and from Supervisor Alexander. I wanted to be sure you had seen the three proposals under consideration and hope you will consider contacting supervisors again this evening or early tomorrow to share your priorities.
I hope you will consider contacting County supervisors once again to ask them to protect DHHS services as listed above and retain funding for the GO Pass – eliminating that funding is a false economy. I have attached the list of supervisors below.
I am not able to attend tomorrow for the County Board vote on the budget, but I am grateful to those of you will be there. Apologies for any typos – I had a bad fall and I am working with only one eye for now until I am healed!
Thanks for your advocacy.
County supervisor addresses to copy into your email
firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; Jason.email@example.com; Eddie.firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Urgent: Your Constitutional Freedoms Are at Risk.
Call Your State Senator Now.
On Tuesday November 7th, the Wisconsin Senate is scheduled to vote on a resolution calling for a convention to amend the U.S. Constitution, an action that could ultimately threaten our basic freedoms. Your Senator needs to hear from you NOW letting him or her know that you oppose this misguided measure.
The U.S. Constitution has been amended successfully several times using a tried and true method, but now Wisconsin is caught up in a different effort. Rather than having Congress and state legislatures vote to approve a specific amendment, the approach being currently pushed would assemble a Constitutional convention at which delegates may be able to make changes to the Constitution with little in the way of checks and balances. The only other Constitutional convention was in 1787, when delegates made wholesale changes to our nation’s governing document.
Congress must call for a convention to amend the Constitution if 34 states pass resolutions calling for one – and already 27 states have passed resolutions. The Wisconsin Assembly has already passed Assembly Joint Resolution 21, and if the state Senate also passes the resolution next week, then Wisconsin would be the 28th state to call for a convention.
Wisconsin’s resolution calls for the Constitutional convention to propose an amendment requiring a balanced budget at the federal level, but states cannot limit the agenda of a convention. A convention would open up the Constitution to whatever amendments delegates choose to propose. Some believe that a Constitutional convention could even rewrite the process for states to ratify amendments. With virtually no precedent, there’s no way to know for sure.
This approach risks unintentionally unraveling our nation’s fundamental rights and freedoms and could make sweeping changes to the Constitution that has served our country well for over 200 years. We need to let our State Senators know we don’t want to go down this dangerous path. Visit www.constitutionaldefenders.org to learn more and to contact your legislators to tell them that Americans across the political spectrum want to defend the Constitution in its current state.
Time is of the essence. Act now to tell your state legislator that we can’t risk re-writing our nation’s governing document. Or better yet – look up your senator’s phone number and let them hear your voice opposing a Constitutional convention.
Open Enrollment Postcards and Calendar of Event Flyers In Stock!
Mental Health Task Force/ Make It Work Milwaukee
Thanks to Covering Wisconsin for these additional Open Enrollment resources
Open Enrollment postcards
Calendar of Events flyers
Changing the Warrior Culture of the Police
By Patricia Obletz
The Urgent Need 4 Change: 44th President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing: law enforcement culture should embrace a guardian—rather than a warrior—mindset.
The Community Coalition for Quality Policing (CC4QP) was catapulted into being in 2016 by a series of unacceptable events involving the Milwaukee Police Department and the deaths or serious injuries suffered by unarmed blacks and Latinos as a result of altercations with the police. This coalition is a wide-ranging group of advocacy, activists and faith and service organizations united by the need to improve the Milwaukee Police Department’s community relations, reduce crime, and strengthen the lives of community members and police officers.
Sixty years ago, Daniel Bell was killed, despite being unarmed, although a knife had been found in his hand by police. But decades had to pass before a police officer’s conscience gave him the courage to testify to the placement of the knife.
In recent history, Dontré Hamilton was the most prominent unarmed decedent, and Frank Jude was the most prominent beating victim, but there are many other not-so-well-known unarmed victims, such as, but not limited to Samuel Rodriguez, Ernest Lacy, Larry Jenkins, Michael Page, Justin Fields, and sickle-cell anemia sufferer, Derek Williams, who suffocated in the back of a squad car while beseeching the intentionally distracted squad car’s officer for help.
Yet Milwaukee’s larger metropolitan community tends to think that the 2016 disturbance in Sherman Park resulted strictly from the shooting of Sylville Smith. But, in addition to MPD’s trail of dead and wounded unarmed black men, attention must also be paid to the 75 known cavity searches of both men and women, some of which occurred in public, all of which fueled community rage.
Family Friendly Guide to Services for Milwaukee County Special Needs Children and Youth and their Families
DRW is pleased to offer our new Family Friendly Guide to Services for Milwaukee County Special Needs Children and Youth and their Families. This Guide is designed as a resource to increase awareness and access to services for Milwaukee African American children with a disability and their families.
The Guide includes information about how to apply for various community programs for Milwaukee children and youth with a disability or special needs. We hope it will be helpful to families and to service providers, clinicians, educators, and others. It is part of DRW’s Project EASSY, Equal Access for Special Needs Services for Youth.
The Guide is available as a PDF at www.disabilityrightswi.org/archives/8205. DRW is pleased to provide printed copies of the Guide at no charge to families and to community organizations that serve Milwaukee youth and families, schools, clinics, churches, etc. Requests can be entered at drwi.org/familyguide
Tailored for mental health professionals
LIVE IN THE NOW.
This free Whole Health Clinical Group session for mental health providers will focus on understanding trauma and its link to addiction. The presenters will share their personal experience with childhood trauma, healing and recovery. The session will include information about: trauma and addiction, trauma approaches, recovery, spirituality, the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study, and integrating solutions throughout the mental health, addiction and primary care continuum.
PARTICIPANTS CAN EXPECT TO LEARN:
John Chianelli, MS, OTR, CCTP
Daniel Bayless, BA, CCTP
TIME: 9 a.m. to Noon
Register by contacting Annette Caraulia, 414–937–2038.
Seating limited to 40.
Refreshments will be served.
THREE “CONFRONTING MASS INCARCERATION” BOOK EVENTS CONCLUDE WITH PULITZER PRIZE WINNING AUTHOR
“Confronting Mass Incarceration” is the theme behind a series of discussions and presentations by three authors deeply immersed in the politics and morality of America’s penal society. The events, sponsored by Milwaukee Turners, Boswell Books, and other partners, are free and open to the public.
“Wisconsin’s prison population is rising,” said Michael Morgan, who was secretary of the Department of Administration under former Gov. Jim Doyle. “We need to better understand the trend so we can undertake sensible, fiscally responsible reforms to reverse it.” Morgan is part of a coalition of groups and individuals working on the Confronting Mass Incarceration project.
Its goal is a 50% reduction in the state prison population in 10 years.
The three author presentations, as well as the separate earlier panel for each, relating the topic to Wisconsin, are as follows:
MICAH has a new office at the Welford Sanders Enterprise Center, 2821 North 4th St, Suite 213, Milwaukee, WI 53212. Same phone number: (414) 264–0805 and web address: micahmke.org
Join Civic Engagement Canvassing in 53206. More info here
Canvass moved to October 28th 9:30 – 12:00 starting at the MICAH office (see new address at top of announcements). Be part of this statewide effort to expand the base and power of progressive organizations like MICAH.
Come to MICAH’s Annual Public Meeting: Revitalizing MICAH, Our Community and Our City. Flyer to print here
Materials for the Public Meeting Packets: Please have items to the office by Monday October 23rd. Either email it to Catoya@micahmke.org or bring 400 copies to the office
Get the word out about MICAH’s Safe Surrender program!
Criminal Traffic (CT) warrants can be cleared in a safe environment. Call 414–374–8029. Flyer here
County Board Annual Public Hearing 10/30/17 Digest
Mental Health Task Force/ Make It Work Milwaukee Update
The annual Milwaukee County Board Public Hearing on the budget is scheduled for Monday October 30 at 6:30 PM at the Marcus Center at 929 N. Water St. Doors open at 6 PM. Click here for details.
Plan to arrive early and register to speak! This is an important opportunity to share with elected officials your priorities in the county budget for people with disabilities and older adults, including housing, transit and paratransit, disability services, youth services, department on aging, and more. Note that the Behavioral Health Division budget is overseen by the Milwaukee County Mental Health Board.
In addition to the hearing, contact your county supervisor directly to share your priorities. Contact information for supervisors is here: http://county.milwaukee.gov/CountyBoard
ROC Action Opportunities
There are two opportunities in the very near future to let your voice be heard on matters of great concern to the Restore Our Communities (ROC Wisconsin) campaign for criminal justice reform.
1. The Department of Corrections is accepting comments on potential changes to the Administrative Rules that affect “inmate classification, sentence, and release provisions”. We are asking the Department to make two very specific changes: One is to make it a priority for parole-eligible people in prison to be placed in assignments that will help them to complete the requirements for their release. The other is for the DOC to identify and assist people who are eligible for “compassionate release” to get through that process.
To download a sample comment to send
2. There is a bill working its way through the legislature right now that is about building a new prison in Green Bay. Essentially, the bill calls for the state to sell the current prison (and its very valuable land on the Fox River) to the Village of Allouez. If needed, they would rent it back until a new prison is completed. In the meantime, the state would contract with a private firm to build a new prison on some less-valuable farmland. When it is done, the state would lease the prison from the builder.
We are not opposed to closing the Green Bay prison. We need to be clear, however, that we do not need to build a new prison.
Through common sense reforms (e.g. ending Crimeless Revocations, fixing the Parole system, increasing TAD funding), we can reduce the prison population enough so we will have no need for a replacement prison.
Right now, the bill is before the Senate Committee on Government Operations, Technology and Consumer Protection. You can send comments to the Chair and the other Senators on the Committee:
2) Congratulations to WISDOM’s Transit Task Force. Our organizing efforts led to modest wins in the state transportation budget. More importantly, our outreach to legislators, photo petitions, and public hearings were all instrumental in canceling the progress on the unnecessary I-94 expansion in Milwaukee. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation requested the US DOT cancel the project, and last Thursday, the USDOT formally rescinded the approval of the project. Wisconsin transportation dollars can now be used for public transit and local road projects. Details are here and here.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to join these and other efforts towards greater justice in Wisconsin!
6th Senate District Listening Session - October 25th, 6:00–8:00 pm @ St. Joseph Hospital
Milwaukee County 2018 Budget Update
Milwaukee County is facing some difficult choices with the 2018 budget, and there is the possibility of significant cuts to services. This is an important time to share your priorities with your county supervisor and to attend the October 30th Public hearing. Most County Supervisors have a newsletter and hold their own meetings to hear from constituents about budget priorities. Check out your supervisors’ web site and ask if they are hosting a budget listening session.
Urgent: Hearing on Anti-Immigrant Bill Thursday at Capitol in Madison!
The Wisconsin Senate Committee on Labor and Regulatory Reform has just announced that they will be holding a public hearing on the anti-immigrant bill AB190/SB275 this Thursday October 12th, 2017 at 9:30am in Room 412 East at the Capitol in Madison.
This bill would allow any public employee, including police and sheriffs, to inquire about someone’s immigration status and collaborate with immigration agents to have them deported. If passed into law, this bill would increase racial profiling, the separation of families, and undermine public safety and our state’s economy.
This is the first step in advancing this legislation and it is crucial that we are present to demand this hateful bill not become law. Last year we defeated this bill by mobilizing the statewide Day Without Latinxs & Immigrants general strike. The anti-immigrant legislators are moving fast, so we must respond quickly and with strength.
Join us on Thursday at the Capitol to put a stop to this racist, anti-immigrant bill.
Buses will leave from Voces’ Milwaukee office at 7am Thursday and stop at the Casa de Restauración church in New Berlin. Follow our Facebook and check www.vdlf.org for information about transportation from other cities.
For more information, call us at 414–643–1620. #NoHateInOurState #NoAB190