Emmanuel Pratt and Stephen Ervin At Harvard Graduate School of Design
Stephen is Assistant Dean for Information Technology, pioneering digital computing in landscape architecture, planning and design.
Sweet Water Meets Laudato Si Draft Writer, Fr. Sean McDonagh and Visits Aquaponics Experiment at Dublin’s Belvedere College
In August, 2016, a Sweet Water Foundation team had the amazing good forture to participate in an eco/art exhibition at the Irish Museum of Modern Art last Februrary. 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).
Seed Milwaukee Map — 2017 Programming and Partners
UW Extension SEED Program Year One Report
Milwaukee Green World Fairs and Bridge Walls In Museums Alive!
Imagine MSOE engineering classes teamed up with MIAD design classes and UWM Urban History, etc. to create a Wall of Bridges, with, say 20 Projects Working Well, displayed via digital portals that share but also create the cells of collaborating distributed networks. Why not? Here is the image that inspired the vision of the Green World Bridge Walls.
Toward A Digitally Enhanced Art and Science Museum Exhibition: Milwaukee’s IBM Smart City and UN Global Compact City Visioning Retrospective
Here is my opening list of Milwaukee green world designers, makers, and growers worthy of inclusion in the Bridge Wall “totems” in Green World Fairs, in our museums eager to partner with green world creation experiments. I am sorry to have omitted some people and projects most appropriately celebrated. Please help me right the wrong with your additions to email@example.com.
Here is a place to share images that inspired the vision of the Green World Bridge Walls.
Here are some of the Milwaukee teams that played a part in winning the UN Global Compact City and the IBM Smart City honor.
Proposed DNA For Backsteeet Harvards New Schools
Loeb Network disrupts HGSD with Backstreet Harvard
Got to have front street schools as well.
Can we democratize Super(New) Schools?
Can we sculpt and perform backstreet Harvard New Schools
Metis Coming Out Of The Closet
Metis, the glory of Greek mythology
Coming Out of the Closet
Squat in a clammy closet,
Humming versus of the Ave Maria,
In tennis shoes and a black robe
Knows I’m doing my duty.
Exultant in an open field,
Sky blue, bursting billowing clouds,
Farther and farther I throw it,
My Mother calls.
“What are you doing outside?
How will you win your prize
Back to the closet,
The escape was not easy.
Forty years later,
But in ineffably resonant worlds
First Big Snow
Merlin’s matrix brick alive and growing.
Professors Donald and Scott, and Fr. Sean McDonagh, are right up there with Grace Lee Boggs, Charlene Spretnak, Mary Jane Jacobs, Steven Ervin, Jeannie Gang, and my favorite ever Mother Son deep theory practice collaboration of Victoria and Emmanuel Pratt. I intend to introduce each of these thought leaders to my “cognitive community” of origin, i.e. Baptized Roman Catholics and Jesuit School alums.
Wisconsin Idea And Health Insurance Premium Reduction
The SEED Initiative has developed 8 community gardens/ outdoor classrooms/ popup agora markets in 8 different neighborhoods mostly considered to be “food deserts” in Milwaukee County. These 8 Seed Gardens are resourced within the 100 year plus famed University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension, birthed in Wisconsin Progressive’s “Wisconsin Idea,” bringing a staff of 35, a yearly budget of $2,500,000, land, building, and equipment resources over $10,000,000 valuation, 535 Milwaukee Waukesha County Master Gardeners providing 32,152 volunteer hours of community education, youth mentoring, and Extension support, 100 acres of rich soil in prime city locations, 1,000 gardeners, and a central, foundational, critical role in Milwaukee’s world renowned urban agriculture movement, emerging as a vital 21st century industry transitioning Milwaukee from an industrial to a leading ecoLogical city.
The SEED Garden Initiative 2016 pilot year merited the status of a MANDI Awards finalist for the Journey House/ SEED Community Garden for the Brewers Foundation Public Space Award.
Seed Garden Express Yourself Equinox Drum Bus Parties & Markets for Sherman Park Transcendance
Sites for growing our souls, the beloved Community, and neighborhood level commerce.
Sites for growing food wise, exercise wise, street, commerce, and garden wise citizens.
Wisconsin Idea In 1911 Milwaukee City Plan
1911 “Milwaukee City Planning” Document
[From a Carriere manuscript]
Googling “1911 Milwaukee Planning Document” will take you to digital link.
Infrastructure not just brick and morter.
There’s a metabolic rift to fix.
Got to heal the people, heal the planet.
Bring urban and rural into natural and cultural balance.
Student intern apprentices flow within Detroit Chicago Milwaukee Wisconsin
Design middle ways and bridges to public private partnerships for people planet and profit
Milwaukee is a city with a hybrid economic history, ie The Progressives The Sewer Socalists And Entrepreneurial Capitalists
The Wisconsin Idea In A City Planning Document
Charles Whitnall’s Vision Embodied In Milwaukee County School of Agriculture and Domestic Economy
It was all a part of Charles Whitnall’s vision for how planning should develop in Milwaukee. His thoughts on this informed the creation of the Milwaukee County School of Agriculture and Domestic Economy, which opened in 1912….
Milwaukee Chicago Detroit Conversations: New Work for STEA+M Homes In Beloved Communities
Yes! embrace, as Boggs solutionaries have advanced…
NEW WORK OPTIMIZING FLOW!
Green dollar capital as necessary and appropriate
The vector sum of these 5 capital I have been thinking of
New work creating Flow!
Outside, increasingly, the job economy.]
Out Forward Our Agenda
STEA+M Homes and Hamlets In Rainbow Commons
To science, technology, engineering, and math add
Course Credit and Doctoral Dissertations Transforming Foreclosed Homes and “Blighted” Nbds Into STEA+M Homes of Beloved Communities
Marry blue collar skill building with art, design, and agriculture projects in our high schools, community colleges, and universities. Course credit for transforming foreclosed homes and empty lots into micro farms, workshops, and homes/gardens as art. 21st Century Milwaukee Chicago as city of homes as STEA+M skill incubators, adding art, agriculture, artisanship, architecture, and alliance building to STEM hands on pedagogy.
ORGANIZING RESISTENCE STRATEGIES
Emmanuel Pratt and I have shared to 10,000 youngs and olds our debt to the Boggs Center, source of our syntax and grammer. We are astonished by how far ahead of history’s curve are our brothers and sisters of Detroit in theory its dialectical and chaordic weaving in with practice.
A series of simple email exchanges that aim to sum up our discoveries and provide a preliminary sense of what is to be tried my vote for next step.
Hoping Emmanuel will share “Designing for People, Planet, and Profit” with us. And Jia Loc Pratt “The New Normal.”
An Appeal To All Baptized Catholics and Friends of Nature To Support The Jesuit Pope
I hope anyone baptized Catholic or friends of baptized Catholics will reache out to their high school classmates and inspire them to discover and harvest the Spirit Force that is embodied in the Pope’s encyclical Laudato Si, which marries ecological with social justice. Here is one of my appeals to my fellow alums.
The fact that we are baptized Catholics with Jesuit educations and on line connectivity makes us a potential resource for many good causes congruent with our foundational values.
Baptized Jesuit Trained Catholics
An ecumenical group of many “persuasions,”
Baptized Jesuit Trained Catholic
There are several million baptized Jesuit trained Catholics in the world…an inspiring, potential spirit force for the greater glory of God, healing the people and the planet, as we become increasingly digitally and actually connected.
A cause I hope a few of the SLUH Class of 63 will consider supporting is to enlist the support of Jesuit trained Americans in D.C. leadership positions, to assist the ecumenical Synodal Process to share the inclusive theology of Pope Francis’ Laudato Si encyclical.
Here is the essence of this vision, shared by Fr. Sean McDonagh:
Entire appeal here:
DeStigmatizing Mental Health Challenges At Year Round Garden Places
With mindful mental health professionals
With artists capable of Rainbow Contemporary Iconic supports(this one good for Catholic EAs of a certain kind)
At SEED Gardens growing Health.
Native Wellness Garden Renaissance Moment
One Of 8 Seed Gardens!
Dennis Lukaszewski and Ryan Schone are unsung heroes of Milwaukee’s renaissance via our inspiring food and beverage industry, organizing Seed Garden access to 1,000 growers in 50 acres of rich county soil.
Images from Native Wellness Garden at 3675 S. 6th St include inspired visitor Anne J Koller, now living in Oakland, and garden workers who worked hours in yesterday’s rain with Ryan and Dennis.
Other SEED Initiative sights include Kohl Farm, 8300 W. County Line Road; Timmerman Seed Garden, 93rd and Appleton; Sherman Park, 4175 W. Burleigh; Moody Park, 2320 W. Burleigh; Clarke Square, 2125 W. Scott St.; Cupertino Park, E. Ontario and S. Shore Dr.(Jason Haas and Marina Dimitrijevic key to these and entire SEED County funded project); and Forest Hill, 2000 E. Forest Hill Ave.).
Seed Gardens have offered free horticulture and nutrition classes, harvest celebrations with music and feasting, and will be adding new feature, God willing, every year.
Dennis and Ryan have been greatly supported in the Seed Garden project by Director Eloisa Gomez. It is my honor and delight to begin sharing this story at the MilwaukeeRenaissance wiki magazine over the years.
Dear Tim and Mikal,
With drum beats as background…Story sharing and growing…
Food garden playgrounds as art
Tim A Food Garden Mon w Ties to Mayor
Mikal An Artist Mon w Ties to Art Community and Ivy Networks
Fermentation Fest Flow—drum bus party expressed(Jahmes)
With Sara Daleiden of GMC Placemaking and Neuwirth Salinas of Wormfarm Institute
Offering each of you a bus ride Oct 9, 8 am to 8 pm, a lunch, a Fermentation Fest Tour, and a $20 stipend to brainstorm marriage of Agriculture and Art, in city country Flow! experiments.
You would be among 8 other story sharers
Are most probably among the
10 Story Circles
Bus, lunch, tour, and $200 bricolage resourced Oct 9, 2016
A Milwaukee Chicago Reedsburg Cirque de Soleil Imaginal
You would be among the original charter story performers
Deserving as much!
Become Empowered To Register Voters In Milwaukee!
It’s easy, and will make a difference, becoming a Special Registration Deputy(SRD) for the presidential election. SRD training by City of Milwaukee Election Commission staff will occur Tuesday, September 13, 2016, 6pm, at our NAACP office! We are in the BMO Bank building, 2745 North MLK Drive. Here’s a note on this from Cleo Pruitt.
Dear Members and Friends,
Our Milwaukee Branch is participating in a National NAACP led civic engagement campaign focused on connecting non registered voters to their fully voting citizen selves. You are needed to help us reach our goal to register up to 1800 new voters by taking part in our GOTV efforts now through an October 19 special registration deadline and later assisting voters to the polls November 8.
Even though your engagement is needed for several important tasks, none proved as vital in ’08 and ‘12 to increasing branch registration outcomes, as having Special Registration Deputies (SRDs) enlist people where they grocery shop, have their hair cut, in their neighborhoods and through the places that they worship.
Fortunately, we are hosting a SRD training conducted by City of Milwaukee Election Commission staff Tuesday, September 13, 2016, 6pm, at our NAACP office! We are in the BMO Bank building, 2745 North MLK Drive, Milwaukee. Join us and become reacquainted with grass roots civic engagement that could help to make a difference in someone’s voting for life! We will serve light refreshments!
Let us know that you are coming! Please reach Cleo Pruitt at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 414.759.8084.
Sharing Fine Meal With Olympian Mensch
Spending an evening with Ryan Schone and Christopher Cox is one of the reasons the spirit of the Forest Gump awakens in me, shifting the place of my thought from my mind to my heart. In the way that I pray, I pray I am blessed with 29 more years as witness to and supporter of their respective hero quests, which make Joseph Campbell and Grace Lee Boggs howl with delight. They may be key reasons for Pope Francis’ visit to the Holy City of the Sweet Water Seas, celebrating the Milwaukee Chicago Nobel Prize for the beloved communities most highly expressing the manifesto of the 21st century, Pope Francis’ Laudato Si.
That is why the actress Alison Sudol, an I.U.C.N. good-will ambassador, opened the plenary by observing that our planet is now “under attack” — by us.
“Our vast oceans, full of mysteries and wonders, are thick with plastic and mercury,” she noted. “Rain forests — abundant sources of oxygen and medicine; land of ancient lore and tradition; home to thousands of species of wildlife, many as yet unknown to us — are being plowed down before we have a chance to properly discover what it is we are losing.
“These are lungs of the earth, the oceans and the forests, and we are destroying them. Deeply, desperately, we are hoping someone will do something before it is too late. That someone we are hoping for is you.”
So do we have a plan? Wilson has one — a big, audacious plan. It’s the title of his latest book, “Half-Earth,” a call to action to commit half of the planet’s surface — land and oceans — to protected zones.
Right now, the I.U.C.N. says, close to 15 percent of the earth’s land and 10 percent of its territorial waters are covered by national parks and protected areas. If we protect half the global surface, Wilson argues, the fraction of species protected will be about 85 percent, which would keep life on earth, including the human species, in a safe zone.
Naïve, you say? Not so. Naïve is thinking we humans will survive without the healthy natural systems that got us here. Naïveté is the new realism — or else we, the human species, will become just another bad biological experiment.
Thomas Friedman, NYT, 9/7/16
As place of the art of life and fun!
Sweet Water Foundation Meets With Pope’s Eco Advisor and Laudato Si Writer, Father Sean McDonagh
Emmanuel Pratt and his South Side Chicago Sweet Water Collective made a deep mark at the Irish Museum of Modern Art Grizedale Arts A Fair Land Exhibition. He also inspired Father Sean McDonagh, who Naomi Klein celebrated as the Irish missionary priest who wrote the basic draft of the Encyclical, “Laudato Si” with a vision of advancing a Black Baptist Eco Catholic 10 year conversation.
“Francis is not the first Pope to express deep environmental concern—John Paul II and Benedict XVI did as well. But those Popes didn’t tend to call the earth our “sister, mother” or assert that chipmunks and trout are our siblings.” Naomi Klein
And text summary…
Sweet Water Foundation at Irish Museum of Modern Art and Grizedale Arts ‘A Fair Land” Exhibition
James Godsil and Emmanuel Pratt with Andrew Douglas of the Urban Farm Project.
Emmanuel Pratt and James Godsil in phone and email conversation with Fr. Sean McDonagh
SWF Director Emmanuel Pratt in phone conversation from Irish Museum of Modern Art with eco theologian Fr. Sean McDonagh, Pope Francis’ environmental advisor and key draft writer of Laudato Si. Planning live meeting at A Fair Land Exhibition this Saturday!
This “Catholic Reporter” interview with Fr McDonagh inspires visions of a catholic “black” baptist conversation about marriage of ecological and social justice.
Kilmainham Gaol,where leaders of Irish Easter Uprising, key to Irish Independence movement, were executed.
Sarah Glennie, direct of the Irish Museum of Modern Art(IMMA), with Emmanuel Pratt, director of the Sweet Water Foundation.
Sweet Water Foundation South Side Chicago team with IMMA and Grizedale Arts artists in pottery workshop: Tamiko Winn, Derek Ware, Micheal Reynolds, Denise Patrick, Niamh Riordan, Francesca Ulivi, Janice Haugh, Emmanuel Pratt, and Adam Sutherland.
Emmanuel Pratt with Tanad Williams.
Global Ignatian Community Laudato Si Conversations 2016
Dear Father McDonagh,
I am as delighted to be writing you as you were after your first hour with Father Thomas Berry! In the way that I pray, I pray for the blessing of your awareness of the work of Great Lakes Heartland “Ignatians” committed to sharing the new theology of Laudato Si. When I read your review in the Catholic Reporter calling for a 3 year ecumenical synodal process “aimed at taking the new teaching, ‘a new spirituality’ that Francis offers in Laudato Si’ and finding ways to put it into practice of the faith”— my heart leapt! Joining in this process would be a most appropriate “Ignatian Response to the Ferguson Tragedy” I and a number of my classmates from St. Louis U. High, class of ‘63 have committed to.
I hope you might be able to join in for a spell with a team of young and old South Side Chicago “apprentice ecopreneurs” who will be participating in an Irish Museum of Modern Art and Grizedale Arts project next week called ‘A Fair Land’ …in essence the plan is to build a model village - starting with a glut garden built on the straw bale system with 300 gourd plants…plan to develop the food processing, industry, economy, education and housing - in roughly that order at this site. Adam Sutherland, Director, Grizedale Arts is our contact person.
I remember the Republicans giving a national platform to Joe the Plumber back in 2008. I hope to provide a platform for white working class men to diminish the appeal of Trump now and forever.
Milwaukee Now Must Share Its Nobel Prize
Milwaukee needs Chicago
As this is written, a world leading
They are designing with Pratt
‘You can’t make this s… up.”
The film of this and other Milwaukee Chicago
This film will, God willing, serve as a proof point
Is a pragmatic utopian one,
Aquaponic’s Vector Sums: Calculating Over The Years
The outputs of Aquaponics Systems(APS) inputs
Fish and plants are NOT at this moment the key output of our proposed Aquaponics Vector Sums(AVS).
Knowledge, skill development, “integral thinking,” social intelligence, emotional intelligence,
And I think we have settled in on the notion of a protracted, multi-generational,
A focus on schools and innovation centers
In hybrid networks of “free professionals.”
I seek 10 fundamental talking points for this thought experiment I am housing at
50th Anniversary of SCLC Chicago Open Housing Marches Coming Up
August 5, 2016, will be the 50th anniversary of the stoning of Dr. Martin Luther King, in Marquette Park, Chicago, about a 20 minute drive from where the Sweet Water Foundation’s regenerative placemaking experiment at the Perry Ave District is taking place. Below is an image of myself directly behind Dr. King at the moment of the assault, there so close as a “field marshall” and temporary bodyguard not long after my 21st birthday. I was also a teacher in a SCLC Freedom School in a storefront on Roosevelt Ave. that summer. http://www.milwaukeerenaissance.com/CulturalProjects/JamesDonnellyGodsilStories
James Godsil As Momentary Body Guard For Dr. King
Here is where picture came from
And here I am 50 years later at the commemoration march. Jesse Jackson is in the background of this picture, to the right of my image. When he asked the people at the assembled gathering who was there in 1966, only about 5 people stood up.
Sweet Water Community Guild Host Mandela Foundation Future African Leaders at 325 E. Euclid Heart Haus And More
Best “Texts” Of Sweet Water Foundation Scaling Up Aquaponics/Urban Ag As Community Development Resource On Chicago’s South Side
Co-Founders Sweet Water Foundation Emmanuel Pratt and James Godsil
Sweet Water Foundation Workshop at Pratt’s and team’s School of the Art Institute show
James Godsil, Jesse Blom, Ben Koller, and Emmanuel Pratt at Sweet Water Foundation Workshop at Pratt’s and team’s School of the Art Institute show, “Outside Design” Aquaponocs Workshop.
Sweet Water Foundation At Heart Haus May Day Celebration: Todd Leach, Emmanuel Pratt, Jesse Blom, and James Godsil
Derek Ware, James Godsil, Amanda Williams, and Emmanuel Pratt at Sweet Water Foundation Hyde Park Art Center.
In honor of my Father, Jeseph, a tool and die maker, and my Mother, Mary, a wife, rooming house keeper, and child care provider. Neither Mary nor Joe went to high school, but both were what I and Gramsci would call “organic intellectuals.” My father often said back in the 1950s what our most enlightened public minded intellectuals and leaders are saying todsay, “We must not assume everyone is meant for white collar professions requiring college degrees. There is great dignity in “manual work” pursued as a sacred craft. That is what the I hope this vision of a “Guild House” advances.
Conversations Of Blacks and Irish, ie Blirish, Baptists and Catholics, For Laudato Si Projects
There is a chance we can team up with Father Sean McDonagh in a 3 year “Laudato synodal process” in Catholic parishes across the world. This note is about Father McDonagh and the process he will be helping advance, followed by an invitation to him and the Columban Missionary order to meet with Emmanuel Pratt and some South Side Chicago teams headed to Dublin, Ireland this August, hopefully to meet with the good Father.
Below are excerpts from an interview with the key drafter of Laudato Si, Fr. Sean McDonagh, a Columban missionary recently awarded the Annual Justice Award of the Partnership for Global Justice.
Catholic Reporter. You were involved in the development of this encyclical. What was that process like? Were you focused on a specific aspect of the text?
Well, I was asked by Cardinal Peter Turkson in November 2013 to write a document for the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, and I wrote it up, like 30,000 words … now eventually, in 2014, that kind of morphed into the beginning of the encyclical itself. So that whole section, basically, on what’s happening in our world, those were issues I developed.
I hope you can read the interview and/or my exerpts and let me know if you are up for advancing vision of partnering across nation’s Ignatian community to support the 3 year synodal process to harvest Laudato Si for the good cause.
Central to that, the Irish priest said, is a three-year synodal process aimed at taking the new teaching, “a new spirituality” that Francis offers in Laudato Si’ and finding ways to put it into practice of the faith.
“It’s new for a lot of us. Most of the people who go to seminaries and into theology didn’t actually deal with any of these issues, so there’s a difficulty,” McDonagh said, pointing in particular to Francis’ quoting of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in his frequent discussion of sins against creation, be it human-caused climate change or the loss of biodiversity due to pollution and deforestation.
®Evolutionary Collaboration Experimental Fields: Cuba Detroit Chicago Milwaukee UN Global Water Centric Network
*Digital and Robotics Technologies
*Beloved Community Through Good Food, Beauty, Integral Urban Homes, and Faith!
*Global Water Centric Network Co-Creations
My distillation of brilliance of conversations about Mother Grace and Mother Nature, with Emmanuel Pratt, Jesse Blom, Ben Koller, and Rick Feldman. With link to Grace Lee’s film on Grace.
May Day Muneer Peace Post Installation ceremony / Heart Haus Two Year Anniversary
Sunday May 1st, 2016 at 1P will mark the Two Year Anniversary of the Heart Haus, our Collaborative Urban Homesteading Project. Over the past 730 days the HH has interacted with thousands of visitors from every part of the City & World, taught hundreds of Students & Teachers and hosted International Guests from multiple countries through our Urban Farm, Makerspace, Aquaponics Living Laboratory & Airbnb “Haustel”.
May 1st is also International Workers Day, a time to remember the lives lost in the Chicago/Bayview worker strikes. To commemorate both of these significant events, a Peace Post was co-created by Elder Artist Muneer Bahauddeen and a diverse set of Milwaukeeans who attended our One Year Anniversary Block Party last summer.
Please feel free to contact me for further details. We are very excited to share this great opportunity with our amazing city. I look forward to seeing you all there.
ACTION ALERT: Fight for Fair Maps
In January, Wisconsin was ordered by federal courts to redraw our unconstitutional election maps by November 2017. Less than two days ago, Wisconsin Attorney General Schimel filed a brief asking the U.S. Supreme Court to stay the lower court’s order until a ruling is made by the Supreme Court.
In the brief, Schimel claims that drawing fair maps for voters in Wisconsin would result in “wasting substantial sovereign resources.” The claim is false and misleading. While the state unnecessarily spent more than $2 million of our tax dollars on high-priced law firms and precision technology to gerrymander Wisconsin’s election maps in 2011, state employees could redraw the lines fairly for a fraction of that cost. And it is Schimel’s own appeal that is costing taxpayers every day. If Attorney General Schimel is concerned about saving taxpayer money, he should be supporting nonpartisan election maps, not fighting to save the gerrymandered maps we now have.
URGENT ALERT: Guns anywhere…with no permit, no training
We must act quickly! State lawmakers may hold a public hearing as early as next Wednesday on the dangerous bill that would allow just about anyone—even those ages 18, 19, and 20—to carry a hidden, loaded gun with:
This “permitless gun carry” would be allowed even in sensitive places like schools, police stations and mental health facilities.
Next week, we’re going to need you to show up at the hearing. (We’ll be sending you the details, as soon as we have them.) But we also need your voice right now!
Tell your representatives that pandering to the corporate gun lobby does not protect public safety. Tell them you expect them to stand with the 91% of Wisconsinites who support the current requirements for training and background checks.
We’ve stopped other gun-lobby-priority bills thanks to the quick actions of determined people like you. Now, we have to step up and do it again.
We’re so close! Push Rezoning County Grounds as Parkland!
If you are NOT a Milwaukee County resident but still come to the County Grounds and/or the Monarch Trail, please let them know this. When people come from out of the community, they also enjoy the beauty of this precious land and might even enjoy a meal or coffee at a local Tosa business. It’s a win-win for nature, tourism income, Monarch migration, etc.
We have a REAL chance at winning this. Even if you cannot attend the meeting, they are tabulating the number of letters, emails and phone calls they are receiving. They MEET THIS THURSDAY!! Please try to make a little time to ensure this land is rezoned to parkland. There is already plenty of development going on.
EMAIL, WRITE, CALL------for the sake of you, me, and the creatures that need this land. It is a unique and precious place. We NEED to protect it!
Ex-Prisoners Organizing (EXPO) panel to discuss closing MSDF at June 8 RID program
Members of EXPO (Ex-prisoners Organizing) will present a free panel discussion sponsored by Rid Racism Milwaukee on Thursday, June 8 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Nonprofit Center of Milwaukee, 2819 W. Highland Boulevard. EXPO is a project of WISDOM, a statewide organization that links faith communities to work for justice. Due to limited space, registration is required and can be processed by clicking here.
The EXPO panelists, who have all been incarcerated at Milwaukee Secure Detention Facility (MSDF) and are now important community leaders, will speak about what MSDF is and why it should be closed. Topics of discussion will include the inhumane conditions in MSDF, racial disparities in incarceration at this facility, and alternatives to incarcerating people at MSDF. EXPO of Wisconsin Assistant State Director Mark Rice will do the introduction for the event. EXPO of Milwaukee Leaders Ventae Parrow, Yolanda Perkins, Alan Schultz, and Shirley Moffett will be on the panel.
The state of Wisconsin built MSDF in 2001 to house people who have allegedly violated rules of probation, parole, or extended supervision. Wisconsin continues to use this facility to unnecessarily incarcerate thousands of people who have not been convicted of crimes in inhumane conditions.
James Wilborn, who was an EXPO leader, died in MSDF in 2015. The extreme heat at this facility was a factor in his death, as was his inability to obtain medications that he needed there. Several other people have died in MSDF because their psychiatric or medical conditions were improperly monitored or left untreated. Problems facing people at this facility include being locked down 21 hours a day, extreme heat, poor ventilation, no in-person visits, no access to sunlight, no outdoor recreation, and other abuses.
EXPO emerged in 2014 when formerly incarcerated people from around Wisconsin began to gather to discuss what it would look like to have our own statewide organization. Previously imprisoned women and men lead EXPO. Our members provide support to each other and organize to transform Wisconsin’s unjust penal system. We receive support from family members of currently and formerly incarcerated people and allies who have not experienced incarceration. EXPO has active chapters in Milwaukee, Madison, Eau Claire, Green Bay, the Fox Cities, and Superior and we are developing chapters in Racine, Kenosha, Beloit, Waukesha County, and Wausau.
Trump to propose big cuts to safety-net in new budget, slashing Medicaid and opening door to other limits
President Trump’s first major budget proposal on Tuesday will include massive cuts to Medicaid and call for changes to anti-poverty programs that would give states new power to limit a range of benefits, people familiar with the planning said, despite growing unease in Congress about cutting the safety net.
For Medicaid, the state-federal program that provides health care to low-income Americans, Trump’s budget plan would follow through on a bill passed by House Republicans to cut more than $800 billion over 10 years. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that this could cut off Medicaid benefits for about 10 million people over the next decade.
The White House also will call for giving states more flexibility to impose work requirements for people in different kinds of anti-poverty programs, people familiar with the budget plan said, potentially leading to a flood of changes in states led by conservative governors. Many anti-poverty programs have elements that are run by both the states and federal government, and a federal order allowing states to stiffen work requirements could have a broad impact in terms of limiting who can access anti-poverty payments — and for how long.
Why should you vote for Attorney Tim Burns? #1: Don’t forget Act 10. #2. Don’t forget who won the presidential 2016 election. #3. Don’t forget WI was turned into a “Right to Work” state by the current governor now running for a third term in 2018.
Background: Tim is an accomplished attorney with Perkins Coie, LLP in Madison. Licensed in Wisconsin, Illinois and Missouri, Tim’s national practice focuses on making insurance companies live up to their obligations to their policyholders. Because his practice is national, Tim was able to choose where to live. Not long after Tim and his wife Pam adopted their three wonderful children from China, they chose Wisconsin as their home.
Growing up in a family of eight, with parents who were too poor to finish high school, Tim’s family relied on the great pillars of our democracy — public roads, public parks, public libraries, and public schools — to propel them forward.
Tim is running because he’s a strong progressive: he believes in democracy. Our country works best when everyone has a voice in governing, not just special interests. Our democracy affirms the dignity and value of each person. The strength of our economy is inextricably tied to the strength of our democracy. When our democracy is strong, our economy is strong. Our courts used to be the great equalizer, they made sure that everybody got a fair shot. Now our courts have become the tools of special interests and their efforts to obtain opportunities for themselves. Those special interests are now getting a free ride, and they are weakening our democracy to make sure their free ride continues. That has to stop. Tim has made a career of standing up against insurance companies for individual consumers, small businesses, and large businesses. He knows how to take on giant corporations and win, because he knows how they work.
Just last month, Justice Gableman and four other conservative justices on the Wisconsin Supreme Court refused a proposal requiring judges to recuse themselves from cases involving their big campaign donors. The Court’s decision violates citizens’ rights to a fair and impartial court. Justice Gableman previously refused to recuse himself from the John Doe investigation case even though it involved the activities of a Koch Brothers group and Wisconsin Manufactures and Commerce, which combined spent over 2.2 million to put him on the court. The current conservative majority of the Wisconsin Supreme Court is part of a conservative legal movement that has declared war on working people and the protections that our democracy previously provided to them. Justice Gableman in particular authored the opinion upholding Act 10 —a law that had several aims, weakening workers’ rights, weakening our democracy, and weakening political opposition to special interests. We can no longer afford to select judges whose judicial philosophies allow our democracy to fail.
5/21 Milwaukee DSA Meeting Reminder
Quick reminder of our next General Meeting this Sunday, 1:30–3:30pm at 1535 W Mitchell St. We will be spending some time planning the Sewer Socialism event on 6/10. If you have ideas on how we should approach the topic, we want to hear them, or if you have some sources you want to share please bring that information. Milwaukee DSA presents: A discussion on Sewer Socialism
We are currently reaching out to speakers, but if we cannot secure one, we will still hold a conversation on the topic and what that means for socialism in Milwaukee today. We will also need help with planning the logistics of the event.
If you’re interested in learning more about socialism in city government before our event, the Zeidler Center for Public Discussion is hosting an event on Milwaukee’s last (TBD) socialist mayor Frank Zeidler on Tuesday 5/23. Local historian John Gurda will be giving a talk on Zeidler’s life and impact on Milwaukee history. You can find more details here.
Prior to our meeting on Sunday, our Healthcare Subcommittee will also be holding a meeting at the General Meeting location starting at 12:30pm to discuss short- and long-term goals and actions for the chapter.
You can find the preliminary agenda for Sunday’s General Meeting here. We’re asking any members interested in presenting new business or announcements at the meeting to please bring a paper copy to help us better maintain a record.
This week the panel digs into the latest scathing audit of WEDC, Governor Walker’s failed jobs agency. The audit finds that WEDC cannot even track the number of jobs it allegedly created, has over $11 million in delinquent loans, and to top it all off spent over $41,000 on chauffeurs. The panel also discussed the new GOP anti-riot bill, the apparent appointment of extreme right-wing Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clark to the Department of Homeland Security, and the shocking bad week for Trump. Finally, the panel discusses the state of the health care debate, including Walker’s waiver which would impose forced drug testing for BadgerCare, and the U.S. Senate health care repeal process where Sen. Ron Johnson has joined the working group.
The show is a movement installation in a gallery setting.
Important Health Events Coming Up
We have a number of important events coming up in Southeastern Wisconsin to protect our health. Today and tomorrow Citizen Action co-op members in Wausau, Eau Claire and Madison are taking actions to confront Walker’s sabotage of BadgerCare, but after that please consider joining us…
Sunday: Meet Sen Johnson in Franklin, Save Our Care!
Senator Johnson is attending an event in Franklin Sunday May 21st. Sen Johnson has recently said he favors allowing states to seek waivers to bring back preexisting condition discrimination by insurance companies. Join us and we’ll share with you ways you can take coordinated action immediately to protect our health and our state! We will rally to oppose how Johnson is not listening to us and how he won’t hold a public town hall!
Then, once you’ve joined us to see Ron Johnson, join us next week for two “Meet & Greets” to meet three new Citizen Action organizers. Including our new “Healthcare for All” co-op organizer Katie Dunn and our new substance use prevention/anti-opioid/health reform organizer Justin Bielinski!
Monday: Meet and Greet New Citizen Action Organizers - Milwaukee
Thursday: Meet and Greet New Citizen Action Organizers - West Allis
Lastly, SAVE THE DATE! Saturday afternoon May 27th, Citizen Action’s Radio-Active campaign will host a joint radio town hall with host Earl Ingram from 1510am radio on the healthcare fight. Join the live radio broadcast of a town hall with speakers like Dr Robert Kraig on what is happening at that moment in healthcare in the country and how we can fight back! Details TBA
5/25 program- American Health Care Act - Opportunity or Debacle
Mental Health Task Force / Make It Work Milwaukee Update
May 25 forum: The American Health Care Act: Opportunity or Debacle?
Reminder - Join us at IndependenceFirst on May 25th from 2 – 4 PM for a briefing on how the American Health Care Act will impact people with disabilities, and how to share your concerns with policymakers. See attached and below for more detail and hope to see you there.
Latest Updates on Medicaid from DC: Next Steps in Your Advocacy
On Tuesday, April 25 The Arc Wisconsin hosted an on-line conversation with The Survival Coalition of Wisconsin Disability Organizations and the Wisconsin Long-Term Care Coalition to update Wisconsin residents on the latest threats to Medicaid. This training featured the latest information direct from The Arc US lobbyists who have been spending time on Capitol Hill.
Congress is considering proposals that are estimated to cut federal Medicaid funding by 25%. Wisconsin currently operates more than 20 Medicaid programs; one in five people use some form of Medicaid which can include Birth to 3 services, Family Care, IRIS, school therapies, Katie Beckett, autism supports, personal care, mental health supports and more…
You can listen to a recording of the training by going to this link.
Democracy Crumbles Before Our Eyes: Vote!
Wed. 5/17/17: Here’s one of Trump’s global partners operating in DC, one of the evil leaders — of China, Russia and maybe all the countries that elect far-right neo-fascists who also push profit ahead of people and safety:
Sun. 5/14/17: Protest and Get Out the Vote more important than ever to stop neo-fascists:
Fri. 5/12/17: Here we go again:
Fri. 5/12/17: Neo-fascism at work in America:
Fri. 5/12/17: The Daily 202: Trump’s warning to Comey deepens doubts about his respect for the rule of law
Public Transit Funding Cuts by the Numbers
VOICES FOR PUBLIC TRANSIT
You only need to know five numbers to understand the severity of President Trump’s proposed cuts to public transportation.
Thank you for keeping up the fight!
Important Changes to the MCTS’ GO Pass Program
Mental Health Task Force/ Make It Work Milwaukee Update
Some major changes are coming to the GO Pass Program. We are sharing this email from Milwaukee County which provides an update on the changes and timeline – please see below for more details and pass on this information to community members who may be impacted, as well as providers.
Note that Passholders who did not receive a letter from MCTS, have questions about their eligibility, or would like to meet with a Milwaukee County benefit specialist to discuss applying for the programs that would make them eligible for a GO pass, can call the Milwaukee County Aging and Disability Resource Centers at 414–289–5800.
Three Legislative Requests
As the state budget process moves forward, leaders of various WISDOM Task Forces and Workgroups are asking everyone to please contact your State Assembly Representative and State Senator. To find out who your legislators are, or to get their contact information, click HERE.
We are asking you to share three simple messages in your own words. If you do not feel comfortable with all three, you can contact them about one or two of the items.
1. The Legislature has rejected Governor Walker’s plan for Transportation, and have said they will make a completely new budget plan. There are many things they are debating. In the midst of all their debates, though, please ask legislators to include more money for PublicTransit, for Specialty Transit for seniors and people with disabilities, and for local roads. They can fund these important priorities by scaling back the huge highway projects that are not necessary.
Spanish Hopeline - Please Share!!
The Milwaukee Latino Health Coalition is excited to announce the Spanish Hopeline- “TEXTO ESPERANZA”. Help spread the word by sharing this flyer with your Spanish speaking clients. Please leave them out in your waiting areas and take with you on home visits.
The Milwaukee Latino Health Coalition is addressing the need for emotional support and suicide prevention with teens and adults through a program that is a SMS text message-based service. The resource is called TEXTO ESPERANZA and it is the Spanish- Emotional Support Text Line for the State of Wisconsin. The HOPELINE is a “text” in for help and hope service. The person in need is answered via any type of device that has internet access, computer, laptop, IPAD or tablet. The person is able to text in their need and receives support, confidentially, all via text mode. The Spanish Hopeline is HIPPA compliant and is a state-wide service. Hours of operation: 2-shifts Monday-Thursday (Noon-4pm and 6pm-10pm).
Bradley Foundation exports Blue Lakes, Red States model to America
We welcome the Center for Media and Democracy’s Deputy Director, Mary Bottari to discuss their extensive investigation into the Bradley Foundation’s “weaponized philanthropy.” New recently released information reveals in tremendous detail how the Bradley Foundation has spent hundreds of millions in tax deductible money to build a huge partisan apparatus across the country molded on what they have already done to Wisconsin. We also review Walker’s insulting exchange with Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson over Walker’s statement that he would consider seeking a waiver to re-legalize preexisting condition discrimination. In the second half of the podcast, we present an in-depth interview with Robert Hickey, co-director of Campaign for America’s Future and one of the top strategists on the left, about the political moment and how to turn the resistance movement into political power.
Mother’s Day March Against AHCA on Saturday May 13th
Come to the Mother’s Day March against Trumpcare!
Saturday, May 13 at noon
TELL CONGRESS — REPLACE THEIR HEALTH CARE PLAN THAT:
For More Information: Call 414 426 - 4473
Highlights from 2016 so far: The Good News and Pivotal Facts
3/24/17: What a day! Physical and mental health care insurance continue because legislators want votes in 2018! If you haven’t yet, add your voice in calls and letters to your legislators:
Thurs. 2/3/17: Advocacy Works:
Mon. 1/30/17: Justice at work:
May 25 Forum: The American Health Care Act Opportunity or Debacle?
Mental Health Task Force / Make It Work Milwaukee Update
Thanks to IndependenceFirst for sharing this invitation to a May 25 forum: The American Health Care Act: Opportunity or Debacle?
Join us at IndependenceFirst on May 25th from 2 – 4 PM for a briefing on how the American Health Care Act will impact people with disabilities, and how to share your concerns with policymakers.
Mental Health Month- Healing Voices Documentary
SAVE the DATE…
MHA, NAMI of Greater Milwaukee and the MATC Multicultural & Men of Color Initiative are hosting a viewing of the documentary ‘HEALING VOICES’ on Thursday May 25th at MATC-Downtown Campus 6pm-8:30pm. A detailed flyer outlining the panel speakers will follow later this week. Please plan to join us for a Goundbreaking Social Action Documentary. For more details, visit: www.healingvoicesmovie.com
14th Annual Walk for Quality Health
NAMI’s monthly educational opportunity for May 2017
Update: Walker reverses course on pre-ex!
Friends, I just wanted to send a quick email from my phone. In case you hadn’t heard yet, Governor Walker is now reversing course from when he said Wisconsin would consider applying for a waiver to allow health insurance companies to discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions! Great news!
I commend everyone who called his office, emailed, signed our petition and those showed up at one of the five rallies we had last week in Eau Claire, Wausau, Appleton, Racine and Milwaukee to protest pre-existing condition discrimination. But here’s the thing, I don’t know about you but I don’t believe him. I and the over a million Wisconsinites with pre-existing conditions will only feel safe when it is written in state law (and protected at the national level) that insurance companies can never discriminate against you because of your health history!
So please, if you haven’t added your name to our petition calling for permanent protections for people pre-existing conditions, please do. We are calling on the State to put in Wisconsin law an outlaw to this discrimination! And if you have already added your name, please consider copying and pasting this link into Facebook or Twitter, etc
You can also click here to share this as a post on Facebook!
Ok, one more thing you can do right now. This is not the only way Gov Walker has threatened to sabotage healthcare. He is right now proposing to sabotage BadgerCare by drug testing recipients, increasing monthly premiums and co-pays for those under the poverty line AND kicking people off after a certain period of time, leaving them with basically NOWHERE to go! If you think this is bad news, you’re not alone. Wisconsin is accepting public comments RIGHT NOW and I think you should tell them how you feel. They are required to address EVERY issue we raise, so submit now!
Thanks for your actions to protect our health!
Additional coverage regarding passage of American Health Care Act
Mental Health Task Force/ Make It Work Milwaukee Update
Here are links to some additional coverage regarding the passage of the American Health Care Act:
Scott Walker would consider seeking waiver to let health insurers raise premiums in Wisconsin
A huge section of the GOP bill undoing Obamacare isn’t actually about Obamacare (re the sweeping “reform” of Medicaid in the bill which has received too little scrutiny)
House Passes Health Care Bill Alarming Disability Advocates
The American Health Care Act: the Obamacare repeal bill the House just passed, explained: How the health care bill could change the health care system.
GOP Health Bill Jeopardizes Out-of-Pocket Caps in Employer Plans: Last-minute amendment would allow states to obtain waivers from certain Affordable Care Act requirements
$8 Billion Comes Nowhere Close to Meeting Republican Commitments to People with Pre-Existing Conditions
Voices for Public Transit Members Rock!
President Trump released his budget preview earlier this spring and the potential impact to public transit was clear and devastating.
The Voices for Public Transit community sprang into action to tell Congress we will not support gutting federal public transportation funding.
American Health Care Act Threatens Access to Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Services
Mental Health Task Force/ Make It Work Milwaukee Update
The Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force has grave concerns about the impact of the American Health Care Act approved today by the US House of Representatives. Children and adults with behavioral health needs rely on Medicaid or private insurance for essential therapies, prescription drugs, home and community based services, inpatient care, and other treatment services, and provisions in the AHCA may put them at risk.
The impact of the $839 billion dollar cut to Medicaid will be especially significant as so many people with mental illness and substance abuse disorders rely on Medicaid for treatment and supportive services. “The cuts to Medicaid are unprecedented and put at risk the 1.2 million Wisconsinites who rely on Medicaid for access to health care, including mental health and substance abuse services, said Mary Neubauer, Co-chair of the Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force.
The AHCA would allow states to roll back protections for people with pre-existing conditions, such as a mental health diagnosis, including making essential benefits optional. “Without the ACA protections, people with a mental illness or substance abuse disorder could be denied coverage, charged unaffordable prices for insurance, and have lifetime limits for insurance coverage, “ said Mental Health Task Force Co-chair, Kelly Davis, PhD. If essential benefits are not required, insurance plans will not be required to cover vital services such as prescription drugs, hospitalization, outpatient services, mental health services, substance abuse disorder treatment, and much more.
Passage of the AHCA without the benefit of analysis from the Congressional Budget Office is fiscally irresponsible. The previous CBO score indicated that an earlier version of the bill would cause 24 million people to lose health care coverage. The health and lives of our community members who rely on these services and may lose access to health care is at great risk.
The Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force asks the US Senate to reject the American Health Care Act, and to work with stakeholders to sustain Medicaid and maintain protections in insurance for those with pre-existing conditions, including coverage for Essential Health Benefits.
Join us May 9th - Mental Health Task Force Meeting Agenda
Please join us for the May meeting of the Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force: Your input and participation are needed and valued.
Our agenda will include the following:
We hope to see you Tuesday!
Days of “Action” on Fair Voter Maps and Ending Partisan Gerrymandering in Wisconsin!
Common Cause in Wisconsin (CC/WI) is joining many other organizations in Wisconsin in urging our members and supporters take action the rest of this week – Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, May 3rd, 4th & 5th to elevate and advance fair voter maps and an end to partisan gerrymandering in Wisconsin. We ask that you do as many of the actions listed below as you can and that you do them either all at once, in one day, or spread your activity out over Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of this week.
The sustained activity by thousands of Wisconsinites is making a big difference.
The visibility of the issue of redistricting reform is as high, or higher, as it has ever been – certainly since the late Summer of 2013 when more than 10 daily newspapers in Wisconsin simultaneously published editorials in support of the “Iowa Model” for Wisconsin as the process to adopt for redrawing state legislative and congressional district lines after every decennial census. Reformers and pro-reform state legislators continue to be united in support of the “Iowa Model” legislation, which this year has bipartisan support as Senate Bill 13 and Assembly Bill 44.
The Wisconsin court case, Whitford v. Gill – now pending before the U.S. Supreme Court – gives new and significant urgency to our efforts to adopt a new system for drawing voter maps, as a federal court panel ruled last November that the 2011 hyper-partisan Republican gerrymander of Wisconsin’s state legislative districts is unconstitutional and new districts must be redrawn before November 1, 2017. This excellent New York Times article of April 21st provides great information and background about what is at stake.
Here is what everyone can do this week to advance fair voting maps and redistricting reform and oppose hyper-partisan gerrymandering of state legislative districts:
Update on the “American Health Care Act” (AHCA) Bill - action requested
Mental Health Task Force/ Make It Work Milwaukee Update
New Developments with “American Health Care Act” – Action Needed
The AHCA would repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act and cut $839 billion from Medicaid.
The AHCA would allow states to roll back protections for people with pre-existing conditions, including making essential benefits optional.
The potential Upton-Long amendment would add $8 billion for high risk pools, but DOES NOT fix the $839 billion in cuts …to Medicaid. The pools themselves will provide little protection for people with pre-existing conditions.
Call THEM today and ask them to vote NO on the American Health Care Act because it will cut over $800 billion from Medicaid services that are essential to people with disabilities and many others, and allow states to eliminate protections for people with preexisting conditions.
BadgerCare Waiver public hearing Monday in Milwaukee - time to speak out
Mental Health Task Force/ Make It Work Milwaukee Update
This is a reminder that the Wisconsin Department of Health Services is holding a public hearing in Milwaukee on Monday, May 1st at 4 PM at Milwaukee Center for Independence – see attached flyer for details. This is an important opportunity to turn out and share your perspective on changes to the BadgerCare waiver that have the potential to affect thousands of low income childless adults who rely on BadgerCare for access to health care. You are encouraged to attend the Monday hearing in Milwaukee and share your perspective. Written comments will be accepted through May 19th and may be sent to the Wisconsin Division of Medicaid Services at Wisconsin1115CLAWaiver@dhs.wisconsin.gov
You can read about the waiver provisions and view the waiver document on the DHS web site at https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/badgercareplus/waivers-cla.htm
DHS is seeking federal approval of waivers (exceptions to federal laws) in order to significantly change BadgerCare for childless adults by:
Note that the proposal includes exemptions for work or work training requirement for the following:
The waiver also includes a provision that the Mental Health Task Force supports that would allow Medicaid to pay for inpatient substance use disorder treatment up to 90 days by waiving the IMD exclusion that currently prohibits funding these services for Medicaid beneficiaries ages 21–64 years old if provided in an Institute for Mental Disease (more than 16 beds).
Advocacy groups that we collaborate with such as the Wisconsin’s Council on Children and Families have analyzed the waiver proposal and are concerned that the waiver provisions would adversely affect thousands of childless adults who have incomes below the poverty level and who rely on BadgerCare for their health care. The Mental Health Task Force shares that concern. We encourage you to look at the waiver document and have shared some links to perspectives that share concerns about the waivers.
Links to analysis and commentary
Alert: House Could Vote on Health Care This Friday
Mental Health Task Force/ Make It Work Milwaukee Update
Efforts are continuing in Washington to repeal the Affordable Care Act and make radical changes to Medicaid, including major cuts in Medicaid funding. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and other sources are reporting that the House may vote on a modified health care bill as early as Friday. The conservative Freedom Caucus has announced their support for the amended bill – see the update below which includes details about the MacArthur amendment which would:
Please read below for additional detail on the proposal and suggestions for taking action now to share your concerns with policy makers.
The State Transportation Budget
Last month over 800 WISDOM members gathered in Madison to advocate for the things we care about, including public transit.
Since then, the Joint Finance Committee has scrapped the Governor’s proposed transportation budget and is starting from scratch to craft a new one.
Your voice is more important now than ever! Our partners in the Coalition for a More Responsible Budget have created a fun, interactive tool inviting you to put together your ideal transportation budget. It then reveals the budget from 2015 so you can compare it to the current budget.
Click here to take this survey and share your vision for our transportation system.
And, if you haven’t already signed the petition calling for a more responsible transportation budget, you can still do so: click here.
Public transportation is crucial to the quality of life for many people with disabilities, senior citizens, people with low incomes, and others. A community that values all its residents must have a robust transit system!
Act Now to Save Medicaid –
forwarded from Survival Coalitions of Wisconsin Disability Groups
Congress plans to revive and vote on a bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act and cut Medicaid by 25% next week. Cuts to Medicaid are cuts to Wisconsin programs like Family Care, IRIS, BadgerCare, Katie Beckett, Birth-to-3, school therapies, ADRCs and many more!
1. Call your Congressional Representative and Ask them to vote NO on proposed cuts to Medicaid in the health care reform bill: (202)225–3121
2. Call your local radio/TV stations and ask to be interviewed about proposed cuts to Medicaid in the health care reform bill proposed by Congress.
3. Post to your Congressional Representative’s social media (Twitter, Facebook) and ask them to vote NO on harmful cuts to Medicaid in the health care reform bill.
Let’s chat/ Share input on BHD budget priorities - May 4th
Mental Health Task Force / Make It Work Milwaukee Update
Register now to participate in this May 4th Community Conversation – an important opportunity to provide input on priorities for the 2018 Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Division budget. It’s vital to have strong participation from peers, advocates, families, providers and others who have insights to share regarding priorities for mental health services and supports. See below for details and to RSVP.
The Milwaukee County Mental Health Board is partnering with the Zeidler Center for Public Discussion to facilitate a guided community conversation to gain additional insight on community priorities for the 2018 budget.
May 4, 2017
BHD staff will give a brief presentation on mental health services; Zeidler Center facilitators will guide participants in listening circles. This small-group format gives participants an opportunity to share personal experiences, ask questions, and provide in-depth community input that will help to shape BHD’s budget.
Ryan: GOP putting ‘finishing touches’ on healthcare bill
Mental Health Task Force/ Make It Work Milwaukee Update
We wanted to share these updates indicating that a bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act and radically change and reduce funding for Medicaid is moving forward and may come for a vote in the House of Representatives as soon as next Wednesday. Now is the time to call your Congressional Representative and ask for a time to meet and share your concerns.
Here is an update from The Hill about the healthcare bill:
Ryan: GOP putting ‘finishing touches’ on healthcare bill
See below for an additional update from VoxCare.
EXPO Is Making a Difference
EXPO and WISDOM leaders were shocked recently to learn that the Wisconsin Department of Corrections (DOC) was using a training presentation that compared people on supervision to animals. Our organizing efforts led the DOC to remove the offensive images from their PowerPoint presentations. Thank you to all of you who contacted your legislators and local DOC officials and posted on social media regarding this matter. Click here to read an article about this.
Invite: Town Hall for Fair Election Maps - May 3rd
Do you trust that your vote counts in Wisconsin? The truth is, it might not.
Wisconsin’s voting maps are so skewed to benefit one political party that a federal court ordered lawmakers to redraw the maps. But instead of complying, certain lawmakers are spending TAXPAYER MONEY—with NO cap on expenditures—to defend the unconstitutional maps.
Now is our chance to demand Fair Election Maps for Wisconsin! Join us…
Town Hall for Fair Election Maps
Here’s a link to the event on the Citizen Action website. Feel free to invite all of your friends!
We need you at the Capitol!
For too long, public safety in Wisconsin has been put at risk by extreme legislators, who refuse to listen to facts, refuse to listen to victims’ families and refuse to listen to the majority of their constituents.
No more. On Monday April 24, the Madison WAVE Action-Team is joining with a coalition of organizations and elected officials at the State Capitol to demand action on gun violence.
But this won’t work without you . We need to have as many WAVE supporters as possible at the Capitol, to create a powerful and visible show of support.
At the press conference, gun violence prevention champions in the legislature will announce a new effort to pass background checks on all gun sales.
You and I know that closing the loopholes in our background check system is one of the most important things we can do prevent gun violence and saves lives. But, year after year, extremist legislators have chosen to side with the NRA over the people of Wisconsin. That needs to stop.
Update on the Kenosha Immigration March
President Trump and Governor Walker (please excuse the typo in the first post) have changed the time of their visit to Snap-On Tools in Kenosha. We will meet at 12:00 Noon on Tuesday for the March.
Tuesday, April 18
As people of faith, our vision is to build community in which everyone is treated equally. We lift up our undocumented neighbors who are struggling to build a better life for themselves and their families, many of whom are escaping unspeakable conditions in their countries of origin. We believe all children, including children of undocumented parents, deserve to feel safe.
CUSH, RIC, MICAH, SOPHIA and other WISDOM chapters continue to advocate for reforms that reflect our values, and treat all immigrants and their families with compassion and respect.
Participants are encouraged to bring patriotic flags, signs that speak to our faith values, and your WISDOM t-shirt if you have one.
For more information, contact Sandy Milligan, 262–564–8223.
For-Profit Drug Tests & Healthcare Coverage Gaps?
Today the Walker Administration released details about how they want spend millions to force adults on BadgerCare to undergo invasive and questionably effective drug testing as well as limit how long they can even be on BadgerCare! Help us submit a public comment in opposition to kicking people off coverage!
Citizen Action was prepared, and we immediately mobilized substance use disorder specialists and Medicaid experts to show that this proposal will cost far too much, be of little help and serve only to demonize the impoverish and medically addicted! We showed how this program was ineffective, and how the goal was actually to force people off of BadgerCare. In Walker’s proposal are actually FOUR new ways for people to be kicked off of BadgerCare, and these people will be in a “coverage gap”, as they’ll also be barred from using Healthcare.gov. All while for-profit drug-testing corporations get more taxpayer dollars funneled their way.
This is a terrible proposal, and it is just one more example of the Conservative efforts to sabotage people’s healthcare because of their failure to repeal the Affordable Care Act and destroy Medicaid as we know it. But there’s something we can do right now: submit a public comment before the May 19th deadline.
The Truth About Time
By Stacy Lee Ollmann
Time is slippery. I spent many years of my life sliding through marriage, parenthood, jobs and responsibilities in the uneasy awareness that I possessed an artist’s eye, an artist’s aptitude, and the skill I need to actually produce art—someday, when I have time. Occasionally I would paint or sculpt and complete enough pieces to show in an art fair or post online and try to validate myself as an artist. Then I would slip through weeks or months without ever clearing off the dining room table and pulling out my paints or my clay. But life’s highway, slippery though it may be, has episodes. Sometimes the brakes lock up, everything spins out of control, and you wind up facing in an entirely different direction.
Make It Personal for Your Legislator
President Trump’s budget preview—aka the “skinny budget”—forecasts deep cuts to federal public
Your member of Congress can stop the devastation—if they know you want them to push back against President Trump’s recommendations.
Legislators are back home for spring recess, and we want to bring our message about the importance of public transportation right to their local offices. Please follow the instructions below to mail or personally deliver a letter and fact sheet (“The Benefits of U.S. Public Transportation”) to each of your members of Congress:
Download the “Protect Public Transportation Funding Toolkit,” which includes a letter and fact sheet.
Locate the closest office of each of your legislators by following this link.
Hand-deliver or Mail the letter and fact sheet to each of your legislators. Physical letters — especially when they’re hand-delivered — stand out for legislators and their staff. Our message will make a stronger impact when you show that you’re dedicated enough to deliver or mail materials right to their offices.
Thank you very much for taking this important action right now. Even though we’re only at the beginning of the newest debate over public transit funding, making our voices heard early in the process can have a dramatic impact.
Voices for Public Transit will be engaged throughout budget negotiations to ensure that Congress doesn’t abandon its commitment to fund public transportation.
April Meeting of the Whole Notice
The Milwaukee Community Justice Council invites you to attend the next Meeting of the Whole on Wednesday, April 26th, 2017, from 9:30am-11:00am at the Clinton Rose Senior Center (located at 3045 N Dr. MLK Dr, Milwaukee, WI 53212). All community members and stakeholders are welcome to attend.
This month’s meeting will feature a presentation by Marquette University Law School Professor, Michael O’Hear. Professor O’Hear will be discussing his recently published book, “Wisconsin Sentencing in the Tough-on-Crime Era,” which examines the rise in Wisconsin’s prison population since the 1970′s.
Please share this announcement with others who may be interested in learning more about the CJC and this topic. Meetings of the Whole are held on a bi-monthly basis. If you are unable to attend this month, please mark your calendar for our upcoming meetings on
June 28th (Topic: Reentry)
August 23rd (TBD)
October 25th (TBD)
Plans to Change and Cut Medicaid continue, constituent voices critical
Congress has not abandoned its bill, the American Health Care Act (AHCA) that would change Medicaid as we know it and repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare). The AHCA would:
Congress continues to negotiate changes to the bill behind the scenes in an effort to pass it this spring; many of the additional changes being discussed would be detrimental to people with disabilities. Changes to the bill reported being considered include:
The bill still includes the large cuts to Medicaid spending, switch to per capita caps/block granting, and other changes to the ACA.
Coasters For A Cause
Help support MICAH and the 53206 youth and young adult program, Leaders Igniting Transformation (LIT), through the Coasters For A Cause event through Six Flags Great America.
May 13 or 14
$33 per person - a portion of tickets sold will be given to MICAH to help aid the grassroots organizing efforts of Leaders Igniting Transformation!
To order tickets go to https://www.sixflags.com/greatamerica
In the top right hand corner in yellow you will see ‘Enter Promo Code’ - click that and enter MICAH to ensure your discount and donation!
Madison Action Day pictures, and more next steps!
It has been a week since Madison Action Day 2017. Click HERE to see some pictures from the day. If you were there, you might see yourself! And, if you weren’t, you can see what you missed.
It was one of the largest and best such events we have ever had. We are still working through the evaluations and the reports from the scores of legislative visits that were made. It is already clear that the day made an impact. While we don’t know the final outcome of any of the issues we presented, we do know that our concerns were heard and, apparently, taken seriously by some. More striking is that participants obviously found great value in interacting with other WISDOM members, and feeling the power of belonging to such a large and diverse network of people of faith and good will.
Since Madison Action Day, more than 20 WISDOM members have offered testimony before the Joint Finance Committee in Platteville and West Allis regarding issues that are addressed in the budget. There are still four more opportunities to make your voice heard by those who are working on the state budget for the next two years. The remaining budget hearings are:
The hearings all start at 10 am. If you want to coordinate with other WISDOM people who might be going to the same hearing, call the WISDOM office at 414–831–2070 and we’ll help you connect.
ACA/Medicaid NOT safe, Call THIS WEEK!
Supporters of Healthcare of All - this is just in but it looks like the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid are NOT safe after all.
We’re hearing today that Trump and the Republicans are closer to an agreement and that Republican leaders are contemplating the vote in the House this week, (likely this THURSDAY!) before the Congressional recess begins next week. That’s a very tight timeline for them and for us. That’s why we need you to call your Member of Congress TODAY!
The negotiations between the GOP and Trump would make changes to the AHCA some of which we learned about in the days leading up to the last near-vote. These changes include:
This is somehow even worse than their last version of Trump/RyanCare, and we urge you to call TODAY and certainly before Thursday
We will do our best to get you more information as it comes up, as always. Click here to get the call number to call your Member of Congress as well as some talking points on what to say. Let us know if you can help call AND if you can get the word out to more people. This lightning fast vote requires lightning fast opposition by concerned citizens! (You’ll also get the chance to learn more after about our budding “Healthcare-for-All” campaign)
Joint Finance Committee Hearing
Wednesday April 5th at State Fair—Exposition Center
We need to show a strong present at the hearing. We ask that you wear your MICAH or WISDOM t-shirts. If you need one we have plenty.
Please contact MICAH’s Executive Director / Lead Organizer Catoya Roberts if you have any questions at Catoya@micahmke.org.
We look forward to seeing you there.
Tuesday, April 4th Vote Tony Evers for DPI Superintendent
Tony Evers’ eight years experience as Superintendent of the Department of Public Instruction demonstrates that he can be counted on to prioritize improving our public schools and working collaboratively with parents and educators to create a successful 21st Century public education system for all Wisconsin kids, not just the well connected.
Tony Evers understands that education is the driving engine of our economy. Education gives kids an opportunity to realize their dreams. He believes every child, not just some in private schools, deserve resources and that Wisconsin should invest in them.
Unfortunately, Tony Evers’ opponent wants to expand unaccountable, private voucher schools. That is why Citizen Action is recommending Tony Evers.
On Tuesday, APRIL 4th Vote Tony Evers for DPI Superintendent
Great Madison Action Day! We’re not done though!!!
800 WISDOM members gathered in Madison on March 30. We were inspired; we learned a lot; we strengthened our diverse community of faithful people seeking justice; we shared our message with our elected officials. From Dr. Alex Gee’s powerful keynote address to Revs. Boyle, Brisco and Mattern’s inspirational send-off, the day was packed with quality workshops, legislative visits, and amazing, powerful testimonies from our leaders.
There will be more to report from Madison Action Day in future communications. But, today we need to focus on some follow-up steps that are coming up very soon!
Balanced Budget resolution threat in WI this week - TAKE ACTION - Our Biggest Budget Threat Yet!
Mental Health Task Force/ Make It Work Milwaukee Update
We are sharing with you the alert below from the Wisconsin Survival Coalition of Disability Organizations. Wisconsin lawmakers have joined a massive effort underway across the country that could devastate federally-funded programs by changing the U.S. Constitution. Resolutions SJR 18 and AJR21, are asking Congress to assemble a convention to consider amendments to the U.S. Constitution related to federal spending.
This has the potential to have a devastating impact on funding for services and programs that are vital to people with disabilities and older adults. Please see below for more information and how to take action.
New materials to defend Medicaid & the Affordable Care Act
NHeLP Paper on Access to Medicaid Services
Studies Counter HHS Head Tom Price’s Claims on Quality of Care
The administration and congressional Republicans are signaling they are still committed to finding ways to repeal the Affordable Care Act and undermine Medicaid.
Medicaid has served as a lifeline for more than 50 years for low-income and vulnerable populations. To counter Republican efforts to dismantle the program, NHeLP is providing valuable resources and information highlighting the effectiveness of Medicaid and its importance to the individuals and families it serves.
In a new paper in our “What Makes Medicaid, Medicaid?” series, Senior Attorneys Abbi Coursolle and Wayne Turner and Senior Policy Analyst, write, “Medicaid is designed to include many protections that ensure beneficiaries get more than a coverage card. Medicaid ensures that beneficiaries have access to a range of services specifically designed for their needs.” Read their paper, “What Makes Medicaid, Medicaid? - Access,” and please share with your networks and via social media.
Jordan Weissmann for Slate reports on a study by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) that contradicts HHS Secretary Tom Price’s oft-repeated claims that the ACA has provided more coverage to people, but is not providing them access to care. According to the study, Weissmann writes that the ACA has “increased both coverage and care, which in a more rational world would force Price to find a new spiel.” See NBER’s study here.
ALERT: Public hearings to be held this month!
Do you have something to say about Governor Walker’s budget? Are you concerned about Medicaid expansion, highway projects in your community, or lead in your water? Now’s your chance to say something! Join me and my colleagues on the Joint Finance committee at one of six public hearings this month.
I’ve spent all week in agency briefings for the Governor’s budget. We’ve talked about lead, our broken transportation funding, the state of our corrections system, and so much more. Now it’s your chance to ask the questions!
If you’re not at the table, chances are you’re on the menu. I urge you to use your voice to stand up and fight back! If you have any other questions, feel free to contact my office at 608–266–5810 by email at email@example.com. As always I am here to serve you, and I look forward to these conversations!
Here to serve,
March for Trump’s Taxes
We deserve to know — what’s hiding in President Trump’s tax returns?
That’s why on April 15th, Tax Day, thousands of Americans will take part in over 100 rallies nationwide to demand that the President come clean with the American people — including one near you. Can you join us? RSVP on Facebook today.
The need for transparency and accountability from our elected officials isn’t a left or right issue — which is why ethics experts and advocates from across the political spectrum have called on President Trump to follow decades of precedent and release his returns.
But he’s still hiding them — insisting time and time again that the American people don’t care what’s in them. This April 15th, we need to show him that this issue won’t go away until we get the answers we deserve.
I hope you’ll join us on April 15th — together, we can make Donald Trump release his tax returns.
2017 Joint Finance Committee Hearing in Milwaukee April 5th
Mental Health Task Force/ Make It Work Milwaukee Update
Next week is an important opportunity to share your priorities for the Wisconsin Biennial Budget with key state legislators. The legislature’s budget committee, the Joint Committee on Finance, will hold a public hearing on the budget in Milwaukee on April 5th at State Fair Park - Exposition Center 8200 West Greenfield Avenue.
We encourage you to testify about priorities in the state budget for children and adults with disabilities. The attached paper from the Survival Coalition of Wisconsin Disability Groups gives a great overview of key issues in the budget that you can use as you develop you testimony. A few things to remember:
Remember to Vote April 4th
Mental Health Task Force/ Make It Work Milwaukee Update
Remember to vote this coming Tuesday, April 4th. The ballot will include one contested statewide race, Superintendent of the Department of Public Instruction. This position plays an important role in setting policy that impacts students with disabilities including mental health needs.
Other local races are on the ballot, including contested races for municipal judge and circuit court judge. See below and attached for additional information.
We must defend our Constitution against an Article V Convention. Please call your state lawmakers today!
An effort by well-funded special interests to throw the constitution into chaos is happening right here in Wisconsin.
Legislators in Madison are considering a measure that could put the entire U.S. Constitution and your rights up for grabs. We must speak out NOW to stop a dangerous call for an Article V constitutional convention.
The people behind this idea want to convene a convention where delegates will have almost unlimited legal authority to rewrite our federal Constitution. It is no surprise that one of the chief supporters of the convention is the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a corporate lobbying group disguised as a tax-exempt charity.
ALEC and its allies claim to be just five states away from reaching their goal of calling a dangerous convention. We can’t let them add Wisconsin to their list. The consequences of a constitutional convention are too dire to leave to chance.
There are no rules or guides in the U.S. Constitution for an Article V convention. This means that our entire constitution – everything from our freedom of speech to the right to vote – could be up for grabs.
If the Wisconsin legislature calls for a convention, ALEC and its allies will be dangerously close to re-writing our Constitution, threatening our constitutional rights and civil liberties.
Legislation Posing a Threat to the U.S. Constitution Gets a Public Hearing in the Capitol Today
Today in the Capitol, there will be a joint State Senate - Assembly Committee Hearing for several misguided resolutions calling for what is called an “Article V Convention of the States” for the stated purpose of adding a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
A convention like this has never been called and assembled before in our nation’s history and it could be a very destructive and dangerous event. A convention of this type could go well beyond a balanced budget measure and go on to alter or eliminate citizen rights currently protected by the Constitution. Voting rights, civil rights, women’s rights. The possibilities are endless.
Wisconsin could become the 29th or 30th out of 34 states needed to call for a convention if these measures clear the Legislature.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel published this excellent editorial Saturday denouncing this dangerous proposal. The Journal Sentinel also published this informative guest editorial written by national Common Cause President, Karen Hobert Flynn.
Common Cause in Wisconsin’s testimony against this proposal is here.
What citizens can and must do: Contact both your State Senator and your State Representative and tell them to oppose the call for a dangerous, Article V Constitutional Convention! If you are not sure who your state legislators are, go here.
Never surrender. Never give in. Forward!
URGENT: Guns anywhere…with no permit, no training
News just broke that state lawmakers have launched an effort to rush through a dangerous new “guns everywhere” bill that would allow just about anyone to carry a gun with:
And, as if that isn’t terrible enough, lawmakers tacked on provisions to weaken rules prohibiting guns in schools, police stations, and mental health facilities.
I’m appalled, and I will fight tirelessly, relentlessly and fiercely to stop this bill for one reason: It puts our children and communities at risk.
This is a shameful display of lawmakers pandering to the corporate gun lobby and abandoning their duty to protect public safety.
That’s disgusting. And we can’t let them get away with it.
We’ve sparked enormous public backlashes that stopped other gun-lobby-priority bills. Now, we have to step up and do it again.
Table of the Saints Annual Open House and Appreciation Lunch for our Partners Donors and Monthly Sustainers
Thursday, April 20, 2017
House Tours at Family House 2917–19 N. Booth Street 9:00 – 10:45 am and 1:15 – 3:00 pm
Lunch and Program at Milwaukee Enterprise Building
Hey, wouldn’t it be cool to have a constitutional convention? Oh, hell no
URGENT ACTION: The Wisconsin Legislature is holding a hearing on March 28th at 10 a.m. for the purpose of calling a Constitutional Convention. Rewriting the U.S. Constitution is a catastrophically bad idea, and we’re only a handful of states away from making it happen. To quote the ACLU: “Once the delegates are in a room, they can rewrite whatever they want—eliminating the First Amendment, banning abortion, outlawing marriage for same-sex couples, restricting voting rights, and more. … Now is NOT the time to take a red pen to the Constitution and strike out the parts we don’t like, or potentially write in restrictions to civil liberties and civil rights.”
Please call your state senator and representative about this ASAP. Find their contact info here (I’ll post Tosa contacts in the comments): http://legis.wisconsin.gov
More on what this could mean: http://www.salon.com/2017/03/12/hey-wouldnt-it-be-cool-to-have-a-constitutional-convention-oh-hell-no/
2018 BHD budget priorities
Mental Health Task Force Update
Last Thursday, the Milwaukee County Mental Health Board held a Public Hearing to invite input on priorities for the 2018 Behavioral Health Division Budget. The Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force shared our priorities for the 2018 budget. Thanks to Susan Sigl for presenting the MHTF testimony and Todd Scharrer who provided informative and enthusiastic testimony in support of Peer Run Respite, as co-chair of the Mental Health Task Force Peer Run Respite Advisory Council.
If you did not have an opportunity to attend the hearing, you can still share your priorities. Click on this link to access the page with the survey to share your priorities for the 2018 BHD budget: http://county.milwaukee.gov/ BehavioralHealthDivi7762/ Mental-Health-Board/2018- Mental-Health-Board-Budget.htm
Don’t miss this opportunity to share your priorities. Be sure to check out the attached Mental Health Task Force testimony to learn about our priorities for the 2018 budget and consider adding your support for these important programs and services, when you complete the survey.
Invitation to Milwaukee African American Parents of a child with special needs
Dear friends and community partners,
Disability Rights Wisconsin is recruiting Milwaukee African-American Parents or Grandparents of a child or teen with special needs for the agency’s new Parent Advisory Group.
Please help us spread the word to Milwaukee parents and share this invitation for our April 1 gathering at COA. Thank you for your help!
Parents – join us for Coffee and Convo Saturday Morning April 1! Enjoy meeting other parents and learning about services that may benefit your family and many others.
DATE: SATURDAY APRIL 1, 2017
URGE YOUR U.S. SENATORS TO OPPOSE THE NOMINATION OF JUDGE NEIL GORSUCH TO THE U.S. SUPREME COURT
Still Time to Register for Madison Action Day, and EXPO Radio
March 30 is coming soon! If you are not already signed up to be one of the 800 WISDOM leaders at the State Capitol next Thursday, now is the time to do it! You can click HERE to register, or you can contact any local WISDOM organization. Or, you can call the WISDOM office at 414–831–2070. Download a flyer HERE.
You can register right up until March 30, but if you are signed up before March 24, we can be certain that there will be a lunch for you, and a seat on the bus from whatever community you are coming from.
Madison Action Day is the one day every two years when people of faith gather from every corner of the state to learn, to be inspired and to act. We will pray together; we will learn about state budget issues that matter; and we will be sure that our elected representatives know clearly WISDOM’s values and priorities are. You don’t want to miss it!
Tonight will be the first installment of EXPO Radio! EXPO (EX-Prisoners Organizing - a growing part of WISDOM). EXPO Radio will be on the air every Wednesday evening from 8:30 to 9:00 pm, starting tonight! The best way to listen is online at riverwestradio.com. This will be a unique program: of, by and for formerly-incarcerated people. Tune us in! And, pass the word to others. If you miss it live, you can come back later to hear it from the archive.
GOP Legislative Leaders Spending Taxpayer Funds for Unconstitutional, Rigged Voter Maps in Secret?
Last month, State Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester), authorized – without public input, or even a vote in the Legislature – the expenditure of hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayer funds to defend the 2011 state legislative district maps drawn in secret. Those maps were struck down by a federal court three-judge panel in November and in January, the same court ordered that the current maps must be redrawn, according to criteria stipulated by the court, before November 1, 2017.
To date, Fitzgerald and Vos have not begun taking action (that the public has been informed about) to comply with that court order. There have been no announcements about when the redrawing of the state legislative district lines will begin, what process will be utilized to do so, when public hearings will be held, and if the public will be “allowed” to play a role in the process.
The GOP leaders have also not revealed how they are spending taxpayer dollars and to whom those funds are being paid, in the defense of the unconstitutional, rigged 2011 voter maps.
Also late last month, Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel formally appealed the November federal court decision to the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS). Schimel, and his cohort of state Justice Department lawyers, are paid with taxpayer dollars – so the lawyers Fitzgerald and Vos have hired amount to a double hit on the wallets of Wisconsin taxpayers to defend unconstitutional, hyper-partisan voter maps.
At the very least they owe us a public accounting of how our money is being spent. But thus far? Nothing. No timetable for redrawing the voter maps and no disclosure of how taxpayer dollars are being (or will be) spent.
In the meantime, citizens have been very active contacting state legislators in support of redistricting reform legislation (Senate Bill 13 / Assembly Bill 44) and in demanding that taxpayer dollars not be utilized to defend the 2011 maps. Further, in just the last several weeks, more than 700 new Wisconsinites have signed our online petition in support of redistricting reform, boosting our total to over 3,400! Our goal is lofty, but doable – 5,000. If you haven’t signed it yet, please do so. If you have, urge others to do so.
Citizens ask us all the time what they can do to advance the adoption of fair voter maps and end partisan gerrymandering in Wisconsin. The answer is that there is plenty that citizens can do. Start with these five things. Then, educate others about the need for redistricting reform and write letters to newspapers like this excellent one from a Wausau resident. Further educate yourself on this issue. Read this excellent, recent op-ed written by CC/WI State Governing Board member Tom Frazier on this issue and consider writing one yourself.
Even if you have contacted your own State Senator and State Representative already, do so again! They need to be reminded. Continually. And if you haven’t contacted Fitzgerald and Vos about scheduling a public hearing for Senate Bill 13 and Assembly Bill 44 (they have the power to order public hearings, or to block one from being scheduled), or to tell them you resent and oppose the use of your tax dollars to defend the unconstitutional, rigged legislative district maps that they hold so dear, contact them now! Here’s how to reach those two:
We must keep the pressure on. And we must – and will – never give up. On Wisconsin!
Mayor’s rally against federal budget cuts - Sunday at Noon
Good afternoon all,
The Mayor is hosting a rally this coming Sunday in opposition of the federal budget cuts. We need as many people there as possible. Please forward to your staff that would be interested in attending. As you know, in the President’s “skinny budget”, he is proposing to eliminate CDBG and HOME funds.
When: Sunday, March 19th
I hope you can make it!
A Message from National Low Income Housing Coalition, on the Budget Request
Mental Health Task Force/ Make It Work Milwaukee Update
The President’s budget request which was released today includes cuts that would impact housing for low income people including people with disabilities.
Dates for Joint Finance Committee Hearings on State Budget and Agency Briefings
Mental Health Task Force/ Make It Work Milwaukee
On Thursday, State Senator Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) and State Representative John Nygren (R-Marinette), the Co-Chairs of the budget-writing Joint Finance Committee, released the timeline for statewide public hearings on the 2017–19 State Budget, as listed below. Note that the Milwaukee hearing is April 5th at State Fair Park.
JFC Hearing Dates
We will share more detail as it becomes available. Usually testimony is limited to three minutes and you must arrive early in the day to register. Stay tuned for more information including tips on testifying and key topics in the budget for the disability community.
The Finance Committee Co-chairs also announced a series of agency briefings involving the 2017–19 State Budget:
Tuesday, March 28th 9:00am
Wednesday, March 29th 9:00am
Thursday, March 30th 9 AM:
The Goyke Report - Listening Session Invite
Friends and Neighbors,
I hope this invite finds you and your family well.
As you know, Governor Walker has introduced his budget to the State Legislature for consideration. The budget bill is in its beginning stages of analysis and debate.
I am writing to invite you to a community listening session on the state budget that I am co-hosting this Monday, March 20th, at the Washington Park Senior Center from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. I highly encourage you to attend to register your thoughts on the budget proposal or voice your opinions on provisions that you may agree or disagree with. This is an opportunity to learn about the state budget and for your voice to be heard! I will be there and hope to see you there as well. I am confident that together we can create a budget that has a positive impact for all Wisconsin citizens.
As always, I welcome any feedback or ideas you may have. Please let me know if I can be of any assistance to you.
Evan Goyke, State Representative: 18th Assembly District
Act Now: House Bill would cut Medicaid and replace the ACA
Mental Health Task Force/ Make It Work Milwaukee Update
The US House of Representatives is expected to vote next week on the American Health Care Act which would replace the Affordable Health Care Act and cut funding for Medicaid. The plan is moving very fast, so it is important to share your perspective NOW with your Congressional Representative and other elected officials now. Here are some resources to help you:
AFS Family Counseling Clinic
Mental Health Task Force Update
Thanks to Kevin O’Brien for sharing this information regarding AFS Family Counseling Clinic.
NAMI Monthly Educational Meeting Update
To the Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force:
Please see attached for information on an upcoming educational presentation on March 27th from 6:30 – 8:00 pm.
2018 Mental Health Board/ BHD budget priorities survey and listening session - share your priorities for the 2018 budget
Mental Health Task Force Update
As shared in previous emails, members of the public are encouraged to attend the March 23 Mental Health Board Meeting which includes a public hearing on priorities for the 2018 Behavioral Health Division Budget. The hearing is on Thursday March 23 at 4:30 pm at Washington Park Senior Center 4420 W Vilet St. Milwaukee, WI 53208. This is an important opportunity to share your priorities for the 2018 budget. Speakers are limited to three minutes.
BHD is also providing an option for members of the public to complete a survey to share their budget priorities. A link to the survey and other information about the budget process and the public hearing is at this link: http://county.milwaukee.gov/BehavioralHealthDivi7762/Mental-Health-Board/2018-Mental-Health-Board-Budget.htm
We encourage to go to the link, and complete the survey and share your priorities.
Mental Health Board Agenda and Meeting Packet - Public Comment on the Budget
Mental Health Task Force Update
Turnout on Thursday March 23rd at 4:30 at Washington Park Senior Center, 4420 W. Vliet St., for the Milwaukee County Mental Health Board meeting, including public comment on priorities for the 2018 Behavioral Health Division Budget.
This is a great opportunity to share your perspective on priorities for the 2018 budget such as community services, peer run respite, crisis services, and more. See the link below to the agenda for more detail about the meeting. Speakers are limited to three minutes.
Click on the link below to view the March 23, 2017, Mental Health Board Agenda and Meeting Packet:
State budget schedule update
Mental Health Task Force/ Make It Work Milwaukee Update
Some updates on the state budget scheduled as reported in the Wispolitics Budget Blog today. Note that there will be a Joint Committee on Finance budget hearing in Milwaukee on April 5th:
JFC eyes April 3 for first public hearing, May 2 to start voting on budget
Joint Finance tentatively plans to kick off its public hearings on the budget April 3 in Platteville with the first executive session possible May 2, according to a tentative overview sent to members and shared with WisPolitics.com.
The offices of Co-chairs Alberta Darling, R-River Hills, and John Nygren, R-Marinette, emphasized the outline is not finalized. The document also stresses the timeline is subject to change.
Still, the overview from Darling’s office has the committee doing four days of agency briefings March 27–30 before the first public hearing in Platteville.
From there, the committee would hit: the Milwaukee area April 5; Marinette April 7; Spooner April 18; Ellsworth April 19; and east-central Wisconsin April 21.
The document suggests State Fair Park and the Italian Community Center as possible sites for the Milwaukee hearing. Meanwhile, possible locations for the April 21 hearing include Waupaca, Ripon and Fond du Lac.
Under the tentative plan, JFC would meet each Tuesday and Thursday starting the first week of May to vote on the budget with sessions continuing “until done.”
Zach Bemis, Nygren’s chief of staff, said the co-chairs were still discussing final details.
“I suspect it will be something very similar to what they laid out with May and June where the action takes place,” Bemis said.
Two years ago, the committee did four public hearings, which kicked off March 18 in Brillion before JFC hit Milwaukee, Rice Lake and Reedsburg. The committee then met for the first time in executive session April 15, but did not wrap up its work until the first week of July as GOP lawmakers were locked in a stalemate with the guv over transportation funding.
March 30 MADISON ACTION DAY
WISDOM’s MADISON ACTION DAY 2017: THURSDAY, MARCH 30
Bethel Lutheran Church, 312 Wisconsin Ave, Madison, WI
$25 includes breakfast, lunch and materials (reduced fee is available for people for whom $25 would be a hardship). Buses leaving from Milwaukee available for extra $10
Ms. Lisa Graves: Ms. Graves is the Executive Director of the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD), and the publisher of PRVwatch.org, ALECexposed.org, SourceWatch.org and other investigative sites. CMD is a national watchdog group, investigating and exposing the undue influence of corporations in public policy, Ms Graves and CMD had a key role in the Netflix Documentary “13th”.
There will be Breakout Groups dealing in-depth with 11 different issues at the WISDOM Madison Action Day on March 30. They are:
Treatment Alternatives and Diversions (TAD) - seeking more resources for alternatives to incarceration.
Support Public Transit at Madison Action Day
Support Public Transit by Signing Our Petition
One of the issues that we will be addressing at Madison Action Day on March 30 is Public Transit.
Creating a transportation system that works for everyone in Wisconsin and uses our tax dollars responsibly starts by getting our spending priorities straight. We have to spend less on costly highway expansion programs and more on urgent needs, like maintaining existing roads and connecting people to jobs and opportunities through more cost-effective public transportation.
Urge Governor Walker and Wisconsin Legislators to cut spending on highway mega-projects and invest instead in local needs - like repairing existing roads and funding public transit that connects workers to jobs and a growing number of seniors and people with disabilities to services and opportunities.
Sign our petition for a more responsible transportation budget: click here. WISDOM leaders will take your name along to Madison Action Day on March 30 to show support for a Responsible Transportation Budget!
Meet The Candidates: Milwaukee Board of School Directors
The theme for WISDOM’s March 30, 2017 Madison Action Day will be “Our State, Our Budget, Our Voice.”
We are very pleased to announce that we will have two keynote speakers this year. They are:
JOIN US for the next steps in the MKE Elevate Process!
Mental Health Task Force/ Make it Work Milwaukee Update
The next meeting in the planning series will take place on Tuesday, March 7. NOTE: The venue has changed! Due to the extraordinary number of Action Team Members, the venue has been moved to the Martin Luther King Jr., Community Center in order to provide a more comfortable space for conversation.
The Kick-Off Meeting had over 100 community members in attendance — all invested in and working to elevate the health and well-being of Milwaukee residents. It was a great success. Kick-Off Meeting materials and Action Team resources are now available online and the meeting evaluation link is still open to provide your feedback.
A Screening of The Movie MILWAUKEE 53206
March 16, 2017, 6pm to 8pm
A YOUTH AND YOUNG ADULT PANEL FEATURING MEMBERS OF LEADERS IGNITING TRANSFORMATION ( LIT) WILL FOLLOW AFTERWARDS ABOUT THEIR EXPERIENCES IN 53206 AND HOPE MOVING FORWARD
FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
SPONSORED BY MIC H, LEADERS IGNITING TRANSFORMATION, INCA R NATION LUTHER N CHURCH, BAYSHORE LUTHERAN CHURCH, ELCA CHURCHWIDE OFFICE, AND STATE REP. DAVID BOWEN
Day of Empathy Comes to Wisconsin
#CUT50, a bipartisan national organization, founded by Van Jones and endorsed by Newt Gingrich and others, has called for Wednesday, March 1, 2017 to be a “Day of Empathy” across the country. #CUT50, which is calling for a 50% reduction in the incarcerated population in the US, is sponsoring events in all 50 state capitols.
WISDOM and EXPO will be joining with Matt Haney, national leader of CUT50 on Wednesday, March 1. Members of EXPO will be sharing their experiences of incarceration and of return from incarceration. Legislators and staff have been invited to share in the 1-hour event.
Wednesday, March 1
EXPO members from around the state will be meeting at 11 am on March 1 to strategize, prepare and connect with #CUT50 organizers. For more information, or to learn about transportation plans from different parts of the state, contact Jerome Dillard at 608–320–0188, or David Liners at 414–736–2099.
Please join us!
A statement from the Community Coalition for Quality Policing on recent events
The alleged discriminatory practices at the Milwaukee Police Department (MPD) brought forth this week by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Wisconsin as well as the very public response by leadership at the Milwaukee Police Department only further underscores the need to immediately begin the process of rebuilding trust between all community stakeholders including the residents of Milwaukee, its police department and the individual police officers.
For this reason, CC4QP will be making two formal requests. The first is for the U.S. Department of Justice to release to the public, a report first shared with the Milwaukee Police Department last year as well as all subsequent revisions of that report detailing their findings after a thorough review of department practices. In addition, CC4QP will be inviting representatives of the police officers’ union as well as police department leadership to begin the process of creating timeline, by which all parties will work together to begin the collaborative process of implementing problem-oriented policing department wide.
As serious crime continues to occur, as police officers upholding their sworn duty to provide equal protection to all continue to put themselves at risk, efforts to rebuild the trust lost between all stakeholders cannot begin soon enough. CC4QP looks forward to working in good faith with the police officers’ union and the Milwaukee Police Department with the ultimate goal of reducing crime, and improving the quality of life for all members of our one community, residents and police officers alike.
ACLU Challenges Milwaukee Police Department’s Unconstitutional Stop-and-Frisk Program Conducted Without Reasonable Suspicion and Based on Racial Profiling
For the Last Eight Years, the Milwaukee Police Department Has Subjected Tens of Thousands of Innocent People to Unconstitutional Stops and Frisks, Disrupting Their Daily Lives Because They Are Black or Latino
MILWAUKEE — The American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Wisconsin, and the law firm of Covington & Burling filed a class-action lawsuit today against the city of Milwaukee over its police department’s vast stop-and-frisk program.
The department targets tens of thousands of people without reasonable suspicion of criminal activity, the legal requirement for a police stop, making the program unconstitutional, the lawsuit says. The department’s repeated violations of Milwaukeeans’ constitutional rights are driven by racial profiling, with preliminary data showing significant disparities between police stop rates for white people and for Black and Latino people.
“For the last decade, the Milwaukee Police Department has pursued an aggressive and unconstitutional policing strategy that treats people of color as suspects for no good reason, stopping innocent men, women, and children as they try to go about their daily lives,” said Jason Williamson, senior staff attorney with the ACLU’s Criminal Law Reform Project. “This approach forces tens of thousands to live under suspicion every time they step outside.”
Spread the Word to Make Public Transit a Priority
VOICES FOR PUBLIC TRANSIT
Spread the word to make certain public transportation remains a key focus of infrastructure legislation. Tell your friends, family members, colleagues, and network to remind legislators now working in Washington that public transportation matters to our communities and drives our nation forward.
It’s easy to let others know about our cause:
We won’t communicate with or send unsolicited emails to your friends until they join Voices for Public Transit themselves.
by Jennifer Vulpas
My picture of The Donald took me time to figure out. Finally I figured that I had to make the painting about orange and yellow. His head is rhomboid shaped and the title was a no-brainer: “SAD” I have my fingers crossed for our planet.
I took my sign to the Woman’s March in Chicago on January 21 and I was happy to march with my three daughters on a spectacular day!
Are you Ready to Vote in Tuesday’s Primary Election?
Polls Open Tomorrow from 7am to 8pm
According to the Wisconsin Elections Commission, in the last 20 years there have been three primary races (in 2001, 2005, and 2009) for State Superintendent of Public Instruction, with the average turnout in those primaries at just 5.9% of the state’s voting-age population.
We NEED to do better than this for Wisconsin’s kids. If you haven’t already cast an early ballot, make a plan now to vote in tomorrow’s primary.
If you already have a Wisconsin driver license or one of the other acceptable forms of ID for voting, then you’re “ID ready.” Just remember to bring it with you when you head to your polling place!
What if you don’t have an acceptable ID for voting?
We Need Your Help! Senate to Vote on Overturning Important Protections for Students with Disabilities
Mental Health Task Force/ Make It Work Milwaukee Update
We are passing on this advocacy opportunity from the Bazelon Center to ask US senators to support critical protections for students with disabilities. See below for details.
Here is contact information for Wisconsin US Senators:
Johnson, Ron - (R - WI)
Baldwin, Tammy - (D - WI)
Tell Rep. Duffy: You owe us an apology
Let’s start with some actual facts:
The real threats we face, day-in and day-out, come from right here at home — the lone gunmen, the angry, armed ex-employee, the estranged husband, the hate-filled white supremacist, and the list goes on. Yet, Wisconsin Congressman Sean Duffy just joined the Trump team in using “alternative facts” to justify dangerous policies rooted in racism and bigotry.
During an interview with CNN, Rep. Duffy dutifully followed the Trump script, suggesting that the seven-country travel ban was necessary to keep Americans safe. And, when the reporter pointed out that white supremacists and homegrown extremists are a threat to our safety, he belligerently challenged her and acted like these type of attacks just don’t happen.
WHAT? We sure remember when — right here in Wisconsin — a violent white supremacist shot and killed six members of a Sikh temple. Doesn’t he?
Rep. Duffy — and the entire Trump team — need to know that ignoring mass shootings and acts of terrorism performed by white supremacists and homegrown extremists will put us in more danger. And we need to send that message right now!
Just last week, the Trump administration said they want to change the U.S. government counter-terrorism program, named “Countering Violent Extremism” to “Countering Radical Islamic Extremism,” which means they will no longer focus on white supremacy and other violent ideologies. That defies common sense, and it ignores the real threats we face all too often.
When it comes to preventing violence and keeping our communities safe, Congressman Duffy must reject dangerous, partisan-driven agendas and, instead, embrace honesty, common sense and real facts. We deserve no less from our elected representatives.
Join Us 2/14 for Mental Health Task Force – and bring donations for Sox Rox!
Please join us for the February meeting of the Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force:
Tuesday, 2/14 from 3 – 5 Pm at IndependenceFirst, 540 S. 1st St.
Our agenda will include the following:
2/27 Listening Session
Donate to Sox Rox at our 2/14 Meeting
Sox Rox collects new socks for men, women, and children who are homeless. Here is the link to the Sox Rox Wish List on Amazon. If you order from this list, the items go directly to Jan Wilberg. Otherwise, bringing socks to the MHTF meeting next week would be wonderful as well.
Thanks for your generosity. With all that is going on in the world, socks don’t seem like a very important thing. But they’re really meaningful to the person who needs some.