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Sweet Water World of Wood At 3 Major Chicago Museums, Winter 2019

Sweet Water World of Wood

We can connect our visions of building and design experiments with young and old mentors/learners at a workshop in Chicago, Milwaukee, Mukwonago, and Reedsburg sometime before 2022, with our apprentices showing their work at the Calatrava…why not?
We have a grant from the Community Guild to pay for transportation to Chicago. Workshop costs to be bartered.

U of Chicago Smart Museum Chicago

Chicago Museum of Modern Art

Hyde Park Art Center

A Timber Framed Barn For Milwaukee?

Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival @ The Commons!

Sweet Water Foundation is excited to host the Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival’s Neighborhood Tour on Friday, January 18 at 1:30 pm.

Join us to watch international puppeteers, Poncili Creación and Gaspare Nasuto, bring stories to life in the Thought Barn.

Tickets are FREE, but registration is requested. Space is limited.

Click Here To Register

Intersectional Identity Construction


My granddaughters have shared important insights regarding our identity construction at the intersection of class, race, gender, neighborhood, family, and other aspects of our complex selves. I think this law professor may be a major originator of this useful concept. I hope my children and friends someday meet her if she visits Milwaukee Chicago Sweet Water Academy conference on Intersectionality over the next few years.

Kimberlé Williams Krenshaw

Construction, Design,and Growing Workshops at Norris Academy

Hopes that city, rural, and periurban citizen learners, young and old, will harvest the Norris Academy Castle’s space and turn it into a collaboration place.

Dave Mangin’s Paean To Wisconsin

Wisconsin is one of the richest locations in the world.

We are about halfway between the Equator and the North Pole, so we enjoy a bountiful growing season and a period of dormancy that allows a bank account of organics to accumulate in our soils.

We are located at the northern limits of the southern hardwood forests, the southern border of the northern conifers, the western edge of the eastern forests, and the eastern frontier of the Central Plains. As a result, we enjoy diverse fauna that accompany these ecotypes.

The glaciers that last receded about 13000 years ago left us with abundant topsoil and prime agricultural land.

Our forest resources maintain output and were expansive enough to build the city of Chicago twice, before and again after the great fire.

Our 15000 lakes serve as sources of food, water, sport, habitat, and livelihood.

Our rivers provide lush riparian corridors and connect us with trade routes to to both the East and Gulf Coasts.

Our mineral resources have been traded by Native Americans as far as Mexico, and continue to be sources of industry and controversy.

We sit on the shores of 1/5 of the world’s freshwater, held within the Great Lakes.

No resources are out of reach. Diverse ecotypes and landscapes are all within reach via bicycle.
We are centrally located in the lower 48, so we make a good location for distribution hubs.

For the human enterprises:

Our plains, hills, barrens, river valleys, lakes, and shorelines make for diverse landscapes, each with its own charm, and for a diversified economy with foundations in tourism, logging, agriculture, mining, fisheries, art, and trade.

Our long winters require stores of food, fuel, sturdy, well designed structures, and hearty souls. We have in our genes strong senses of independence, creativity, hard work, and hard play.

We have so far been buffered by some of the most severe effects of global warming. Our coastlines won’t flood. Warmer temps will not destroy us. More severe weather events can be buffered by water storage and planned resiliency.

We are buffered from economic peaks and valleys of the nation as a whole. We are no silicone valley, but our ingenuity, work ethic, and talent will always be in demand.

We tend to be politically centrist which makes us crucial in the political landscape. As we prove ourselves with Earth saving strategies and resilient communities and our grass roots movements demand integrity and genuine leadership from those in office, the rest of the nation will take notice.

Jesse Blom Provides Essays Re Aquaponics for STEM Education

“Implementation of Aquaponics in Education: An Assessment of Challenges, Solutions and Success”

“Managing Expectations for Aquaponics in the Classroom: Enhancing Academic Learning and Teaching an Appreciation for Aquatic Resources”

“Fish in the Classroom: A Survey of the Use of Aquaponics in Education”

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The World of Wood: The Sweet Water Way

Table of Contents

l. Visions

Our Daughters Working In The SWF World of Wood

2. Theories

3. Experiments

4. Feedback Loops

5. Partnerships

Conveyor of Food for We People

Intersectional Self Reliance Skills Development

Container for Building Materials

For Soups of Goodness

Chairs & Decks for South Side’s Backstreet Harvard

Tables, Chairs and Shelving for Thought Barns

For First Suppers

Bringing Comfort To Elder Talk and Youth Noosphere Exploration

For Use, Exhibitions, and Performances Beyond Perry: U of Chicago’s Smart Museum

Teachers Are Students, Students Are Teachers at The Thought Barn

21st Century Sweet Water Community Wood Apprentices Follow Safety Rules!

Multi Using My Bench of 1,000 Names

The World of Wood is part of a series Emmanuel Pratt inspired called

Wood Water Woke

To be continued

Indispensable prop and tool for your various performance arts and enterprise experiments

Making them and using them is good for your mental and physical health

Teaches Us How To Drill and Fasten

Fits In A Car

Strong and Comfortable

Workbench and play bench

Infinite do-it-yourself refinements

You can teach your friends to make them

Might even make and sell them to your family and friends for some pocket money or more

We’ll help

Somos una universidad, granja, taller, ágora … y un Tulpa de la Madre Tierra.

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Seeding An Old City Rainbow Restoration Guild in Lexington, Chicago, and Milwaukee

Dear Professor,

I hope you will join in a conversation advancing collaboration experiments with engaged professors, urban agrarians, restoration artisans, and artists, connecting the South Side of Chicago, North Sides of Milwaukee and Lexington.

Diverse Restoration “Guild” of Roofers, Carpenters, and Urban Farmers

“Wastes to resources” is the motto of the Sweet Water Foundation I, Josh Fraundorf, and Emmanuel Pratt co-founded in 2010.

Our old city housing stock, empty lots, and young and old lifetime learners are resources we hope to harvest with you and yours.

The Greenhouse Is A Carpentry Workshop

This 2 minute film which features our “partner” Danny Glover provides evidence of the possibilities of our hoped for collaboration with you and yours.

Executive Director Emmanuel Pratt Is A Harvard GSD Leob Fellow

Board President James Godsil Is a Fulbright Scholar & Restoration Roofer

Godsil Was a Nanosecond Body Guard for MLK Chicago 1966

Josh Fraundorf’s Restoration Firm Envisions
Adding African American Artisans to German
And Hispanic Custom Shops

Why not?

We are not afraid.
We shall overcome.

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Toward An Olde City Restoration Guild

South Side Chicago/North Side Milwaukee Initial Focus


Milwaukee Chicago Mondregon As One

Restoration Transformation
Radical [Re]Construction


Dissertations Alive

New Schooling America

Why Not?

Possible Successors To Dr. Subra Mukherjee of Kolkata, West Bengal

Yash Kumbhat’s Stopwatch Group First Candidates.

Honoring Those Who Gave The Last Full Measure of Devotion by Building Bridges In Our Divided Cities


Asset Based “Chaordic” Development Sequencing, Social Learning Networks for Science, Technology, Engneering, Art, Agriculture, Agriculture, and Math, For the greater glory of God.

Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam(AMDG)

Jesuit Mantra

At the 200th anniversary celebration of St. Louis University High, my storied secondary school, Father Arturo Sosa, Superior General of the Jesuits, directly addressed, on a massive screen, the hundreds of people assembled. His basic message called upon us to build bridges in our divided cities.

Anyone interested in responding to this in a new way, please read this interview about the Sweet Water Foundation with Director Emmanuel Pratt, featured in the ​ARPA Journal* and consider joining in…not by offering money but by offering some time and outreach in whatever city you reside in. There are all kinds of young people across the nation(and even world) doing things like Sweet Water who could use some mentoring from young elders with high spirits.

Sweet Water Director Emmanuel Pratt re Building Bridges In Our Divided Cities

Emmanuel Pratt and Sweet Water team with eco priest Sean McDonnagh, key draft writer of Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si, at Dublin’s Irish Museum of Modern Art Sweet Water workshop.

Columbia University Journal of Applied Research Practices in Architecture interview with Emmanuel Pratt, with whom I co-founded the Sweet Water Foundation, harvesting the composted forms of value the transcended Sweet Water Organics.

​​ARPA Journal - Applied Research Practices in Architecture Journal is a public forum for debate based at the Columbia University Graduate School of … ​

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Dr. Gay Reinartz’ Boy Friday and Pope Francis’ Favorite Ask of Georgetown U. China Scholars

Dear Judith and James,

Wow! You two are on the spot. I hope you don’t judge me importunate for barging into your mind with tales of how important Dr. Gay’s work is and how and why I judge myself, with you and yours, equipped with resources to make a bit of history pulling together intellectuals and activists across the world to

Save the Bonobos!

“Madame Gay” is methinks a painfully shy Jean d’Arc of the species we now call Bonobo. During my Luke Skywalker and Obi Wan periods, my life was a series, often interrelated, of common good obsessions. The bonobos’ survival for the common good!

In my apprentice Yoda phase, my job is simply to connect complimentary young(anyone under 50) Olympian menschen with peers and worthy elders. “The organizational form of the 21st century is the network!” And cultural evolution involves “distributed cognitive networks” or “mind sharing” for common causes.

So…I am here in hopes of inspiring a tiny fraction of “woke ecopreneurs” from the Chinese/Vatican/Belgian/Japanese
communities to give some attention to the survival of the bonobos, building upon Gay’s work since 1993 in the Congo Solanga Forest, where she has been researching the bonobos’ presence, while also groping along in efforts to develop a coherent “park guard” force.


Gay and her team will be working with AWF to survey a corridor of this landscape for bonobo presence and distribution. The process will involve training local Congolese in bio-monitoring and data collection – this training will also serve as a capacity building tool so that the local Congolese can continue this work after the ZSM has finished in this area.

Here’s one of Gay’s reports from Spring 2008 that inspires and informs, as do four others from the same period which still greatly inform.

Why Should We Care About Saving The Species Called Bonobo?

Bonobos are the real deal. They share more than 98% of our DNA. They are so much like us that some of us actually cry when we meet them for the first time. I think it’s a powerful primal response to their “like us-ness,” or a tangible reminder that “we are not alone.”

Bonobos look like chimps but they stand-up straighter. Whereas chimps are mesomorphic like a football running back, for example, bonobos are ectomorphic like a long-distance runner or wide receiver. In the wild they spend a great deal of time hanging out in the jungle canopy, eighty-feet above the ground/swamp/most of us.

The nature of bonobo society speaks directly to the question of “why should I care (about bonobos).” They have a complex society that is maternal centric. The alpha female is the dominant personality in the family/clan. She gets to be the alpha female based upon her skill at and propensity to groom others. Imagine a society in which leadership is bestowed as a result of one’s record of service to others.

Another part of it is they resolve disputes by using affection and sex. Admittedly this is a very simplistic explanation of a social order replete with complexity and nuance, but it is at the heart of why we need to save the bonobos from extinction. Loss of the bonobos in the wild would be tragic in that they represent a portal into understanding ourselves.

Bonobos are endangered in the wild primarily because of habitat loss and poaching, victims of ignorance and third world poverty. If we lose the world’s wild poplulations, we will no longer be able to study them in their natural environment. They are only found in the Democratic Republic of Congo in Central Africa, in one relatively small location in a very troubled part of the world.

Godsil’s Ask

So I am hoping you might introduce the concept of a Chinese/Vatican/Belgian/Japanese/American collaboration experiment over the next 10 years to support Gay’s work, even if the results are only a documentary shared by tiny fractions in each country(and the Vatican’s network).

I am so astonished at how often I have wound up on the stage of history because of simple notes like this..
I have deep ties with the Jesuits across the world and can’t help but imagine a Laudato Si Celebration in Vatican Square with one giant screen sharing the story of, and our story with, the glorious bonobos!

Godsil As A Jesuit Trained Forest Gump

I am the circles image at Marquette Park, Chicago Open Housing Marches, in which I was a nanosecond bodyguard for Dr. King and teacher in a Freedom School.

My entrance on the stage of history has inspired me to imagine myself not justg as an Apprentice Yoda, but also as a Jesuit Trained Forest Gump. The Jesuits, for example, gave me $8,000 in 1966 for the St. Louis U. Great Issues Series, which had a huge impact on bringing the talented 10% of the Catholics of St. Louis into the modern age.

I introduced the South Side Chicago Sweet Water Foundation team to whom Naomi Klein identified as a key draft writer and Pope Francis’ ecological advisor.

Sweet Water Team At Irish Museum of Modern Art w. Fr. Sean McDonagh

The State Department sent me to India to share the Growing Power and Sweet Water Urban Ag and Aquaponics stories.

With Jimmy Carter during Habitat building project…

I could go on and on with the miracles of my life related to notes like this.

I hope this is the first of many with you and yours to

Save the Bonobos!

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SLUH Alum Response to Fr. Arturo Sosa’s Call to “Build Bridges Across A Divided City”

Dear _______;

I am from the class of 1963 and was profoundly moved by Fr. Sosa’s address to our 200th birthday party.

I had the high honor and deep pleasure of being among the alumni who shared our life stories with about 90 students regarding our quest for the common good. I was invited because of my work in civil rights, old city renaissance, urban agriculture, and the diffusion of Laudato Si.

It is my aspiration to help spark conversations that build bridges not only within a divided city like St. Louis, but also between” divided cities” like St. Louis, Chicago, and Milwaukee, for the same cause of social and ecological justice expressed in Pope Francis’ Laudato Si. I raised a family of 4 children in Milwaukee, and am Board President of Chicago’s Sweet Water Foundation, blessed with collaborations with Loyola of Chicago and Marquette of Milwaukee.

St. Augustin Church on North St. Louis, Scene of My First Holy Communion 1951

The class of 1963 has an email list of about 125 alums who have been in conversation responding to an “Ignatian Response to the Ferguson Tragedy.” I would like to include you and yours, perhaps even some of your students and their family members, in a 10 year conversation about building bridges in divided cities with the help of guidance offered by Laudato Si.

Please let me know if you would rather NOT receive these notes. And know that if you do, you will be participating in an experiment that only a world blessed with

the vision of Pope Francis and Fr. Sosa

connected by the internet

and paving the way for some kind of Ignatian Renaissance

leading up to the 500th anniversary of the Jesuits, 2040, only 22 years away!


James J. Godsil, SLUH 1963

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Head of the world’s Jesuits, Fr. Arturo Sosa, Message To St. Louis U. Night’s 200th Birthday Celebration

“Build bridges across a divided city.”

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SWF Note To Professor Michael Hamm, Keynote Speaker and Laudato Si Promoter at the 200th Anniversary of St. Louis U. HIgh

Dear Michael,

I very much enjoyed your keynote at the 200th and hope you and some of your students and colleagues might judge favorably an effort to weave the Jesuit trained communities of the USA into the urban ag and Laudato Si movements.

We have ongoing relations with Fr. Sean McDonagh, who Naomi Klein identified as key to Laudato Si.

Fr. Sean With Sweet Water Team at Irish Museum of Modern Art Exhibition

Our Urban Farm and emerging “agora” 10 minutes from Obama Presidential Center(OPC) has become an eco tourist destination.

We have turned a greenhouse into a woodworking shop, some of which products have become part of the OPC artifacts.

We’ve been working with Detroit activists of the Boggs Center since 2008.

We have energized the good cause with arresting art displays.

The State Department arranged for our introducing urban ag to India.

At U. of Calcutta, In Mumbai

We have woven building and fixing workshops into our micro farm.

Scaling up aquaponics by scaling it out into the classrooms of USA for starters (about 20 installations, teacher training, administrative guidelines, etc.).

Please let me know if you have some time, say an hour per year, to look in on our work. Or, if you have some MA or PhD students who might harvest our experience for academy credentials.

AMDG Laudato Si!


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Que El-Amin YouTubes explain Young Enterprise Society (Yes!) and Lots More

Que is critical to the Milwaukee Chicago collaboration experiments for neighborhood development.

Our Issues Milwaukee - March 25, 2017

Time Management Workshop - Young Enterprising Society at Bay View High School

3rd Annual Use Your Words Back 2 School Field Day

And perhaps Baltimore with John Hopkins’ & SWF’s Jesse Blom

STEAM Workshop - Young Enterprising Society - Washington High School

Movement Peddler
I’m a reporter.
On the ground.
In the trenches.

A movement peddler,
An impresario.

A child of the
Great Lakes culture.

An awakening one.

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Apprentice Olde Yoda’s Beneath Learning Trees With Olympian Mensch Younges

Perry Ave Commons is a pathway to some kind of heaven in this earthly realm.

Growing energy waves igniting visions of

  • Olde School Backstreet Harvards

  • New School Sweet Water Academies

Harvard Walden Apprentice Yodas and Young Hero Questors

Must have, for Urban Villages and Pratt’s Regenerative Neighborhood Development

Apprentice Yoda’s and Heroes of One Thousandfaced Younges

The Spirit Energy of this

Communion of Young and Old,

Finding some kind of God through Nature

Or at least experiencing an astonishing Mysteria

Zen Christo Genesis Spirit Capital…

Mysteria, Imminent and Transcendent Aspects of the Cosmic WTF!

Amaranth & MECCA Park Village Ventures

The Amaranth and MECCA Park on Milwaukee’s near North near West side neighborhoods are poised for a project that would unite Sweet Water’s Chicago and Milwaukee ventures with the experiments each of you have been orchestrating over the years. I can imagine guests from Chicago’s Sweet Water teams and partners at this integral urban airbnb home experiment within a few years. And guests from the Milwaukee movements spending time at the Perry Commons airbnb integral home experiments.

Orrin Williams’Vision

regarding the Chicago side of things, which has played a part in the Milwaukee side of things, shared from the Sweet Water Foundation’s newsletter.

If you had unlimited resources, what project would you dedicate yourself to on the Perry Ave Commons?

One of the things me and Emmanuel connected on was a book call the Integral Urban House. It’s a book I read years ago. I always wondered why housing wasn’t that way. Why isn’t it normal to generate your own energy? Why isn’t it normal to be careful about how you use water? Why isn’t it normal to create at least some of your own food? I always thought, how can we expand these concepts so that it’s an integral urban community? With housing, commercial buildings, empty spaces, generating energy, producing food, having water wells…all those things. I think a lot of the work going on at the Perry Ave Commons now is related to that vision and a lot of the discussions I’ve had with Emmanuel over the years. How do we make urban space more productive and more efficient, particularly in terms of feeding people and generating energy?

If I had the resources, I would also develop the State Street corridor, not only in terms of commercial and live-work spaces for artists, but also the commercial vision would include a lot of the arts and cultural programming. One thing I would be interested in doing in those spaces and in the community would be to engage art and art practice in a way that brought back and maintained certain traditions. For example, I’d love to bring quilters from Mississippi and Alabama to do quilting classes, and to have spaces to present their work. I would love to bring in weavers from different traditions and teach people that may not know about those traditions. I’d love to bring in a series of potters and folks dealing with ceramics to do their work, whether it’s someone from Japan or Minnesota or Africa. And of course, food-related businesses, like small groceries. A variety of restaurants, whether they are vegan or not vegan, whatever the case they may be. How would you integrate that with the farming that occurs here? What opportunity does that present for the expansion of agriculture in the community? And, how to make it commercially viable and available to people who have businesses and households?

What say?

Why not?


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Growing Convergence, inspired by

George Washington Carver, Frederick Douglas, Abraham Lincoln,Fr. Teilhard de Chardin,
Dr. Martin Luther King and Grace Lee Boggs, Schumach & Alexander..we could name 100s!

Whitman and W.E.B. Du Bois…

Let’s converge our networks.

Why not grow Networked Satyagraha Systems?

With our flesh, blood, and tears,

Our growing Faith.

Converging rainbow green

Radical reConstruction Networks

Growing New Worlds

Mycelia like…

Stewarding the Earth

Grounding visions

Economics As If People Mattered

Pratt of SWF Keynote Speaker at Harvard et al 6th Annual Massachusetts Urban Farming Conference

Mar 16 6th Annual Massachusetts Urban Farming Conference Presented by Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation and merck family fund

Lunchtime Keynote: Emmanuel Pratt, Sweet Water Foundation, Chicago Il.

Radical [Re]Constructions: Revaluing Food, Farming, Family and Future

The talk will unpack the creative practices of the Sweet Water Foundation, highlighting how locally deployed creative interventions that blend education, art, architecture, citizen science, and community-scale production are cultivating innovative models for community-conscious neighborhood development in the Southside of Chicago and beyond.

At Irish Museum of Modern Art With Pope’s Ecological Advisor Fr. Sean McDonagh

Awakening Obama Foundation Network To On the Ground South Side Renaissance

Conference Closing Panel: The State of Urban Farming : Where Are We and What’s Next?

Facilitated by Greg Watson, Director For Policy and Systems Design, Schumacher Center for a New Economics and Panelists:

Track 1: Youth and Urban Farming (youth only)

Opening Session: “Paving Your Own Pathways”

A.M.Keynote: “An Agroecological Paradigm”

Presenter: Isis Salcines, Havana, Cuba, Outreach Director, Organopónico Vivero Alamar.The Organoponico Vivero Alamar is one of Havana, Cuba’s largest and oldest urban farms. Isis Salcines will share their experiences implementing agroecology, addressing food security, and discuss the social, economic and environmental impacts of the farm

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Visiting the President of Ireland


Myself and the 10 contributors to the book Laudato Si’ An Irish Response were invited to visit the President of Ireland, Michael C. Higgins at Aras An Uachtarain, today, January 18th 2018.

For one hour we discussed many of theme on justice, ecology and spirituality which feature some prominently in the papal document Laudato Si’. The President was thoroughly familiar with the encyclical and highlighted the place it should have in challenging the economic, social and ecological policies which are doing such damage both to planet earth and human well-being.

He felt that every teacher in Ireland should be given a copy of the book Laudato Si’ An Irish Response.

Kind regards,
Sean McDonagh, SSC,
St. Columban’s, Dalgan Park, Navan, Co. Meath.
tel 00353872367612
visit my blog at

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Community Guild Network Building Possibilities

So Josh has given me a 600 square foot space in this 19,000 square foot Community Guild Network building(pending final appraisal)

aside the Milwaukee River at North Ave. and UWM dorms

to experiment with enterprises like yours, for some kind of Milwaukee Renaissance.

Here are some links that suggest some order in the chaos of my life.

Dee Hock’s chaordic organizing is my recipe.

Here’s a Harvard Business Review study of Josh’s and my experiment with hybrid and networked enterprise experiments.

And web page of the Sweetwater Foundation we helped launch, along with future MacArthur genius winner Emmanuel Pratt.

Sunvest Solar and USGBC Green Veterans Growing Power Collaboration?

I have cc’d Brian Soles, who is leading this Green Veterans project, and his partner David Laack.

Let The Old City bloom,


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Journal Sentinel photo

Leiser, Laacke,Sales, Allen, & Godsil Discussing Growing Power 2.0 Transition

Parkside School for the Arts, Medical College of Wisconsin, Brookfield School(s), & Sweet Water Foundation Collaboration Experiments

Dear All,

Here is Parkside School for the Art’s Erin Dentice’s Power Point on their path finding experiment blending art with edible playground/aquaponics science/ecology projects.

The document ​​to me is a clear exposition of what has already been achieved in one school that can help in the designing and modeling for the next school venture. The Milwaukee Sweet Water Foundation Director, Jesse Blom, now also director of the Johns Hopkins Food System Lab of the Bloomberg School of Public Health.​​ was the designer and consultant to the wonderful aquaponics demo at the school. Jesse is poised to bring his knowledge base and institutional resources to a Brookfield School Experiment that would be supported by the Medical College of Wisconsin, Parkside School for the Arts, the Sweet Water Foundation, and perhaps Johns Hopkins.

Erin, her students, and their families offer tours of their work. I would very much enjoy helping catalyze as much.

There are many senior and MA theses in our work, on up through doctoral dissertation.

We moved the main Sweetwater aquaponic commercial-size experiment to the south side of Chicago at Chicago State University. You might be able to get a tour of that, although it’s best to call before going. The Sweet Water Foundation web page inspires!

Power model these days focuses on networks of aquaponic demos in schools and larger systems as much destinations and training sites as growing places. While growing food in urban places is a vital response to the needs of our time, growing information, STEAM skills, ecological, emotional, and social intelligence, i.e. growing our souls!, is equally important in this multi-dimensional, multi-generational networked experiments.

Commercial Size Destination/Training Lab

Pat Wilborn

Classroom Model Integrating Art, Aquaponics, and Intergenerational Life Long Learning Models

And Erin dentise in her students offer tours at the trailblazing Parkside School for the Arts edible classroom and aquaponics demonstration project

UW Urban Ag Extension Into Soil Based Community Gardening and “Agora”

I have been deeply involved in these matters since 2005, and no one has done any better than the leaders of these three models anywhere in the nation.

Clear sailing,


Here is a link to a Harvard Business School essay on the work of the Sweet Water Foundation, supported at the outset by the fine teams of Sweet Water Organics.
There are many garden growers and engineers in Brookfield poised to advance the vision of a replication of the Parkside/Medical College edible classroom project with new waves of partnering co-creators.

Why not?


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Edible Classrooms Growing VIRTU

You and yours are cultivating a new generation of high virtu.


“Virtu” chez Erica Benner’s “Be Like The Fox: Machiavelli In His World”


  • Can mean-spiritedness, especially in battle. But the highest quality virtu includes

  • an aptitude for organization,

  • industry,

  • and far-sighted prudence.

It further includes

  • an unclouded knowledge of one’s own limits,

  • the wisdom and self-discipline not to over reach them,

  • and the Ingenuity to use whatever opportunities and resources one has, however scarce they might be.

Virtu doesn’t need good luck, are even much freedom, to work wonders. On the contrary,

it is most admirable, even most effective,

  • where there are obstacles to overcome.

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Nation Building Is A Multigenerational Process With Regressions Along The Way

Momentary Body Guard For Dr. King

This image of Dr. King’s stoning in Marquette Park during SCLC’s Freedom Summer Open Housing Marches finds me directly behind Dr. King and near Andy Young, to my right. The Nazi Party incited a murderous crowd to torch our cars. I lost a 1957 Chevy the engine of which my father had completely overhauled. Were it not for Chicago Irish police walking in great numbers between us and the stone and bottle throwing mob, we would literally have been lynched or beaten. This summer I was on a green line bus with a group of Whitefish Bay students shouting build the wall build the wall Trump Trump trump and then to an immigrant family f*** you go home f*** you go home. In the way that I pray I pray that the level of hatred I witnessed at 21, 50 years ago, is kept at bay by the vast majority of patriotic and compassionate citizens. As much as we we’re disappointed buy mirror Richard Daley, he never did try to incite the European Americans to heightened levels of enmity and possible violence. It’s bizarre to have a president so Brazen in his contempt for the best of Americas heritage.

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Community Roofing and Restoration is elevating the status and competency of the artisanal trades.

Community is now the nucleus of an emerging Guild network of restoration artisans.

If you have had work done by Community please go to this link and let us know what you think about our efforts.

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FIELDTRIP: Monday’s WI Urban Farming Legislation!

This Monday at 10AM Senator Johnson and Representative Goyke are unveiling proposed legislation titled Wisconsin Urban Farming Futures which holds tremendous potential for bringing a new level of support and credibility to urban and sustainable farming in Milwaukee and across our great State. To support this critical piece of legislation, amplify the media’s attention, and witness a perhaps historic moment, we’d like to gather a band of like-minds to attend the grand unveiling at Kaleidoscope Gardens!

Sandy Syburg has graciously offered the SoilMobile (a bio-diesel bus) to transport our band to the event – offering a pickup stop out west near Oconomowoc (attn. Madison folks) and a second stop in Milwaukee.

Here are the tentative pickup times and locations:

1. Summit Park & Ride (leaving @ 8:50 AM)

36337 Delafield Rd, Summit, WI

2. Walmart on Miller Parkway (leaving @ 9:20 AM)

4140 W Greenfield Ave, West Milwaukee, WI

Please email me directly if you would like to join the group at either location ( Also let me know if you wish to join the caravan by following in your own vehicle.

More details for those who sign-up will be sent Sunday.

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City’s 1st Timber-Frame Barn Since Chicago Fire Going Up In Washington Park

WASHINGTON PARK — As buildings are being torn down in Washington Park, a barn is being raised.

The Sweet Water Foundation has erected likely the only barn of its kind in the city on a lot where Moseley Elementary School once stood and that is now a farm. The barn appears to be the first since the Chicago Fire in 1871.

“This is the first timber-frame barn in the city of Chicago since the fire that we know of,” said Emmanuel Pratt, founder of the Sweet Water Foundation, which is running the Perry Avenue Community Farm at 57th Street and Perry Avenue.

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Timber Framed Barn Raising at Sweet Water Chicago

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Dear All,

I can remember reading CW Mills’ “Power Elite” in 1966 and feeling utterly powerless to make a difference re the Vietnam War and civil rights. A professor raged at me that we had many resources to push back, especially, for students, the power to demonstrate.

Reading the essay on Brazil’s junk food intrusion can evoke the same feeling of despair in the face of the global junk food juggernaut.


No one said the good food ®Evolution would be easy, nor quick victoried. And those who will be steadfast and mindful, know that our work is not a lifetime’s challenge. It will be a challenge up through the 7th generation and beyond.

Obama and Sweet Water Foundations Help to Connect Teachers, Urban Ag Activist Farmers, and Artisinal Mentors Across National Boundaries

The multidimensional aspect of our struggle methinks could profit from integrating artisinal training and urban ag training, with programs connecting schools with community groups.

This is what Emmanuel Pratt’s Sweet Water Foundation teams have been doing in Chicago, and Jesse Blom’s in Milwaukee. The Obama Foundation has highlighted one inspiring example of this approach with a 60 second video of
Big Mike Reynolds, a retired union/master carpenter who has been providing artisinal training at the Sweet Water Foundation Urban Farm and Perry Ave Commons, on the South Side of Chicago.

And it’s not just us and alliances with Obama Foundation and other progressive, secular institutions. The faith communities of the world have many groups within and between advancing the good fight. Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato Si, has brilliantly married social with ecological justice for the next generation of Catholic educators.

When I began promoting Big Will Allen’s urban ag vision back in 2005, my most progressive friends were extremely unimpressed. Since then, urban ag has mainstreamed and the Mayor of Milwaukee considers his teaming up with our movement one of his most important acts as mayor.

We shall overcome!

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Grant Concept For Saint-Gobain & Certainteed Foundations

Goal: Green Workforce Development, Lifelong STEM Learning, Public Health Pilot Experiment: Beginning With Healthy Snacks

Re-imagining green workforce development with an “integral” focus on existing artisinal crews and networks, sparking healthier diets, starting with workplace snacks, and healthier life-styles enhanced with life-long STEM training, starting with off season urban agriculture and aquaponics experimentation.

Roberto Alba Of Superior Roofing Solutions With Community Guild Network Healthy Snack #2

Roberto Alba Of Superior Roofing Solutions With
Community Guild Network Healthy Snack #2

Means: Providing building crews with tasty, healthy snacks as alternatives to fast food, Red Bull, and cigarettes throughout the workday, with low keyed conversations and reading materials in support.

Arthur Camberon and Armon Of Juice Kitchen Preparing Snack #3

Arthur Camberon and Armon Of Juice Kitchen Preparing Snack #3

In the off season, introducing crews to STEM skills development via partnerships with local schools with edible classroom and aquaponics projects underway.

Healthy Snack #1.  Apples & Almonds

Healthy Snack #1. Apples & Almonds

Proposed Pilot Project Partners: Community Roofing & Restoration, Sweet Water Foundation, University of Wisconsin Urban Agriculture Extension, Parkside School for the Arts, UW-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health, Milwaukee School of Engineers, Green Schools Alliance, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Food Systems Lab, Artist Muneer Bahauddeen

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Inseparable Cities by the Love of Comrades

“I will plant companionship thick as trees along all the rivers of America,/and along the shores of the great lakes, and all over the prairies,/I will make inseparable cities with their arms about each other’s necks,/By the love of comrades.”

Whitman text

Let us wrap Milwaukee Chicago Arms
Around each other’s necks…

From Milwaukee

With help from UW Extension, UW Madison Young Doctors TRIUMPH Project, Wisconsin Organic Valley Wormfarm Institute, Purple Cow Sweet Water VGI Heart Haus SEED Garden Agora UEC Community Guild Network and Milwaukee’s Urban Ag Grand Alliance Milwaukee Renaissance from the Sister City Where the Sweet Waters gather.


SWF Perru Ave Commons

Emmanuel and Jia?

St. Louis

Miss Betty’s Boys

Norm and Paulette?

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Sweetwater Community Aquaponics Network

Dear Stacy and All,

Stacy… I am so happy that you and yours are interested in an aquaponics encounter!

I have included Aquapons who may have the time and be moved by the spirit to begin a conversation with you, leading up to a tour, and, from my point of view, a loose collaborative knowledge sharing, to bring forth the day when 5% of the schools of the world are graced with aquaponic models and edible classrooms.

Allow me to introduce you to people who are quite literally among the worlds most competent aquaponic experimenters, growing fish, plants, knowledge, and, to me, mysteriously, Polymath Rainbow Greening Souls…And sharing networked conversations, encounters, experiments, and projects, probably forshadowing some kind of Aquaponics Guilds, with a variety of expressions.

One World Aquaponics

Of, by, and for the healing of the people and the planet, with all of God’s children, in Milwaukee, Chicago, Organic Valley Wisconsin, St Louis, and a number of cities in Europe, Central and South America, and Africa.

Every city should grow aquaponics innovation centers and greening hubs in our integral schools!

In the way that I pray, I pray that 5% of the world’s schools will have small to large aquaponic Innovation centers by the year 2040

I hope this conversation will lead to mighty or modest collaborations with you and yours, toward that goal.


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Obama Foundation 60 Second Film Features Micheal Reynolds of Sweet Water Foundation

Centers & Hubs for Growing, Making, Fixing, and Sharing at Obama Presidential Library

It’s beginning to look like Emmanuel Pratt and teams are winning a place for the marriage of urban agriculture, restoration artisanship, and the blending of art, architecture, city planning, and science with the community engagement wing of the Obama Presidential Library.

And Milwaukee Region grew 10,000 community garden plots and a Community Greenhouse in every neighborhood!. And young Milwaukee Chicago videographers made a documentary featured in the opening week of the Obama Presidential Library. Our movement has a relationship with the folks designing community engagement of what will be a South Side Chicago wonder.…/status/898678019165790208/video/1

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Godsil and Fraundorf Community Guild School Experiments

Community Roofing and Restoration is considering the purchase of the Robert Koch “complex” on Fratney and Auer, aspiring to transform the property into a Community Guild School and perhaps Residencies.

Community Roofing’s Guild Network Healthy Food Experiments

The Koch complex would be an ideal innovation center for the Guild’s health food experiments. Here’s a conversation fleshing out this concept.

Godsil. While taking pictures and interviewing members of the Community Network I imagined showing up at the job site with some almonds, peanuts, broccoli and really good dip, and experimenting with different mixes of good and healthy food as an alternative to potato chips candy bars and fast food stuff.

I think this would be appreciated by our Artisans and would make a great story for social media and the history books.

What say?

Fraundorf. I think it would be amazing to get them off of the red bull and garbage food. Chicken salads, water, wraps, fruit, vegetables, etc…happy to put $500 a month into a trial base or more if needed.

G: Let’s team up with the UW Extension nutritionist and the MATC Culinary Arts students to make this brilliance

F: I think it’s a brilliant idea for the artisans of Community’s networks.

G: Good Food and Beauty at the community Guild Houses in every community might change the world.

Every city deserves a community Guild House with good food and Beauty to elevate the spirits, nourish and heal the body, and enhances our artisans’ quest for excellence, at the job, with the family, in the community.

G: May I share this thread at the Milwaukee Renaissance and on my Facebook page?

F: Sure

Community Sweet Water Regenerative Placemaking

Since 1975 Community has demonstrated the merit of developing networks of custom artisinal shops for roof system restoration, with some key members of the network happy, even eager, to develop workshops on copper smithing, restoration carpentry and masonry, paining, roofing, plumbing, and more. Self reliance through the trades!

From 2005 on up through today, Community has advanced visions of harvesting the urban agriculture movement of Milwaukee in service to a new “biophilic” and STEAM pedagogy(“A” for art and architecture). If our kids grow it, they’ll eat it! The most important manifestation of this is the Sweet Water Foundation, directed by Emmanuel Pratt, who has been a global trailblazer in the theory and the practice of regenerative placemaking.

And from 1975 to our times, Community has supported neighborhood economic development experiments in Riverwest. Local, shared economics “as if people mattered.”

The Koch Complex would be a perfect place to pull these strands together!

But we are hesitant to enter into this story without an understanding of the challenges of water and soil remediation at this site. We can imagine pulling together a series of engineering, architecture, and landscape design teams to use the Koch Complex transformation into a Community Guild School and Residence as a case study of what “green grand alliances” can accomplish.

We would be working with people in the Community Sweet Water Foundation and Harvard GSD networks if we can enter into a collaboration with state of the art understanding of the challenges of the Koch Complex regarding soil and water “healing.”

I am hoping such a venture might advance the personal and commonwealth work of many good people, as well as the good cause of healing people and planet.

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Co-Create Mind Sharing Conversation Circles Among Progressive Catholics by Culture

Like this note to one of my classmates from St. Louis University High(SLUH).

Dear Michael,

I have enjoyed and been “struck by” the intensity and clarity of your expression regarding the great issues of our time, and the embarrassing debasement of the Office of the Presidency, United States of America of late. I am in friendly competition with Big Apple Jewish intellectuals of the 20th century and West Coast Pragmatic Mystics around “culture.”

I want to help co-create a progressive wing of “Catholics by Culture” in my remaining years, with a focus on Jesuit trained boomers from across the globe.​ Connecting progressive “Catholics by Culture” is one of my chores, and I hope you might join in! Below are links to the dawn of TomCoffin and [DavidGrant essays “Where The Sweet Waters Waters Meet.,” i.e. Milwaukee’s(metaphorically conceived) Renaissance, followed by a letter by Jesuit schooled polymath elder, Merlin Donald, to an Irish missionary turned Pope Francis’ ecological advisor.

I would be profoundly grateful if you would spend the time and make the effort to craft a Michael Britt Essay, either a response to the ideas of this note, or about whatever issue inspires you to share your thoughts.

​​Professor Merlin Donale Letter to Father Sean McDonagh re Catholics by Culture

Dear Fr. McDonagh,

I am a big fan of Laudato Si, which I understand you co-authored. Thank you for that enormous contribution to humanity. The text strikes the right balance between scientifically rigorous fact and that special tone, so crucial to Christianity at its best, of altruism and community and selflessness, of giving over to something much bigger than yourself. In an age such as ours, where selfishness has run rampant and greed and narcissism are actively held up as ideals, it is refreshing to read a major world document couched in truly human terms, and not wasted due to Legalese and bureaucratic pomp. Having written a few things myself, I know how tough it is to craft and maintain such a tone.

I am what I prefer to call a “cultural Catholic” — that is, someone who respects and largely adheres to the best ideas the Church can offer, without being able to say I “believe” in such things as papal infallibility. Having studied with the Jesuits for eight years, I find the public stance of Pope Francis both reassuringly tolerant, and familiar — my Jesuit teachers were like that — open-minded, wise, and tolerant.

Here is a question that has bugged me for years: what does the Church not do what the Jews do so well — retain the identity and loyalty of “cultural Catholics,” instead of casting them aside on doctrinal picky points, or insistence on a crushing subservience to symbols of priestly authority? The same might be said on so many issues — and especially, on why are there no women priests, given the crisis in replacing the aging priesthood, etc. The argument from a literal reading of scripture holds no water at all, given the history of how the New Testament was edited and assembled. But the slide of the priesthood, and the stubbornness of the Curia, continues.

The Church has so many who admire it, especially at this moment, with a such a progressive and articulate Pope. But the conservatives and literalists among the Curia are destroying the Western Church, in my view. Especially in the USA and Canada, I am often amazed that our bishops sound more like fundamentalist preachers than like the highly educated Jesuit teachers I was taught by, so many years ago.

I have been working on a theoretical level on the nature of deep cognitive and technological changes the world is experiencing at the moment. i think human nature itself is on the table. The church is exactly the kind of institution the world needs as we become inexorably wired closer and closer together, if only it can put some of those ultra-conservative values behind it and focus on coping with the world as it is now (and as it once did, on an heroic scale, back in Counter- Reformation times). We human beings are in very deep trouble and in need of moral leadership. But it won’t come if the Curia keeps sailing on a course of blatant retrograde self-interest.

Pope Francis obviously understands this, but I understand he is running into some pretty vicious resistance. I sincerely hope he can prevail, and implement reform.

Meanwhile, I am trying to fight the pessimistic mood that currently prevails in the English-speaking world, as we see all our empires fade. Our minds need to be clear, above all, to cope with climate change. Unfortunately, technological change is causing a major shift in the way we think and remember — to the point where I am now convinced there is a fourth “cognitive transition” underway. We will increasingly find ourselves at the mercy of forces we have not managed to control, and this time those forces are acting directly on the mind — that is, on the very heart of human nature.

The problem is, our minds are not clear at the moment, because we are hurtling into a new cognitive ecology without any guidance. Just as we are fighting ecological wars on a physical level, we are confronted with the need to battle a changing cognitive ecology as well. Our history suggests that this is a dangerous situation, and possibly a fatal one.

In any case, I am going on too long, and I know you are a very busy person. But do we all have work to do!

My very best regards, in appreciation for your contribution,

Professor Emeritus,
Department of Psychology,
Queen’s University,
Kingston, Ontario,
Canada K7L 3N6​

​So there you have it!

What say?

Why not?


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Peace of Mind

Mass Supervision Study Released

By WISDOM January 22, 2019

A new report released today by the Justice Lab has found that Wisconsin has unusually high rates of community corrections supervision and reincarceration, adding considerably to the state’s prison populations and costing Wisconsin taxpayers millions annually.

Download the Full Report here, the Executive Summary here, and the Press Release here.

WISDOM and EXPO will present these findings, offer personal testimonies from those who experience these abuses, and strategize for change at events on Wednesday in Madison, Milwaukee and Eau Claire.

The Madison presentation of the report will be live-streamed by WisconsinEye:

Wednesday, January 23
10:00 am

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Reminder - A Crisis in Care: A Community Conversation on January 23, 2019

By Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force January 22, 2019

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Milwaukee Pedestrian Plan Open House

By Milwaukee Pedestrian Plan January 19, 2019

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Mass Supervision Events

By WISDOM January 19, 2018

On Wednesday, January 23, Columbia University Justice Labs will release a very important report, called “Mass Supervision in Wisconsin.” WISDOM will hold three events on that day. At each event, the report will be presented, impacted individuals will speak about their lived experience of the system, and there will be an advocacy training, to begin to prepare ourselves to speak about this and other issues at budget hearings, and at our March 26 Madison Action Day.

The three January 23 events, to which all are invited for free, will be:

* 10:00 am, in Room 411 South of the State Capitol in Madison (this might also be covered by Wisconsin Eye)
* 5:00 pm, at the Wisconsin African-American Women’s Center, 3020 W. Vliet St., Milwaukee
* 5:00 pm, at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 421 S. Farwell, Eau Claire

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The Last Hurrah? That’s up to WI GOP Legislators: An Interview with MPS Teachers and Administrators

By Patricia Obletz, Editor January 13, 2019

Parents, teachers and students, as well as the future lose when children are unable to learn survival skills, such as creative thinking, the history of human beings, and life proficiencies, like preserving the environment, rather than polluting it. That’s why two Milwaukee Public School (MPS) teachers and two special needs supervisors talked to PeaceOfMind about their experiences at work since 2011, when Wisconsin turned red and began shortchanging public education while slashing corporate taxes in earnest since Act 10. And, as they point out, some of the systemic ills within MPS happened long before the current governor. *

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Advocacy at Work


Time Is Running Out For Federally Funded Mental-Health Clinics

By Ilana Marcus January 4, 2019

An experimental mental-health and addiction treatment program that has shown early success in combating the opioid crisis is at risk of losing its federal funding.

An estimated 9,000 patients could lose access to medication-assisted treatment, and 3,000 clinic jobs could be lost if the funding is not renewed, according to the National Council for Behavioral Health. Some states may feel the impact as early as January, because clinics must give staff 60 to 90 days’ termination notice.

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Children’s Long-Term Support (CLTS) Community and Provider Forums – Please Share

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services is scheduling forums across the state to provide updates on the Children’s Long-Term Support Medicaid Waiver program – see below for details. The Children’s Long Term Support Waiver (CLTS) is a Medicaid program that provides supports to children with intellectual, developmental, physical or emotional disabilities. The program is designed to provide services and supports at home and in the community to children with disabilities or special needs. It is administered by counties.

  • The forums are being held because the Wisconsin DHS / CLTS Waiver is going to set statewide provider rates for most CLTS services. Right now each county waiver agency decides how much their local providers are paid. The federal government is requiring Wisconsin do this. The statewide rates are scheduled to start on January 1, 2019. The forums will also provide information about the Children’s Wait List initiative.

  • Registration is requested – see the notice below from DHS for more information and a link to register. We encourage you to register and attend so that DHS know that there is strong interest from the disability community. Here is a link to the schedule of the forums.

  • The Milwaukee session will be held August 9th from 10 AM – 12:30 PM at the Best Western Plus Milwaukee Airport Hotel 5105 S. Howell Ave. Please help spread the word to Milwaukee area providers, advocates, and families who may want to attend.

  • Note that the forums are being held in 8 locations around the state, including in Pewaukee on August 14 – there are two forums in southeastern Wisconsin.

Additional Background Regarding CLTS Forums
The forums are being held because the CLTS Waiver is going to set statewide provider rates for most CLTS services. These rates will have a big impact on whether a child has access to a service. In some cases the rates may increase access because the new rates are higher than what counties are paying. In other cases the rates may be lower than what a county is paying, which then may make it harder to hire or retain workers. DHS will distribute a list of the proposed rates at the forums. If you go, you should try to find out what the rates are for the services your child is receiving now. That way you can tell DHS if you think the new rates will help or hurt your child.

Two issues have not yet been addressed by the information DHS has provided. First, there are several rates for two services, supportive home care and respite. The rate is higher if the child has greater care needs. DHS has not explained exactly how it will decide which rate a child can use. You should ask DHS about that issue at the forum. Second, there needs to be a process that families can use to get a higher rate if the proposed rate isn’t high enough to secure qualified providers. You should ask DHS what that process will look like and how people will be able to use it.

If you can’t attend any of the forums, but still want to submit written comments you can do that by email at the following email address:

Questions People Can Ask at Community Forums on Rate-Setting for the CLTS Waiver

Here is a list of questions that you might consider asking if you go to one of the forums.

Questions related to the “tiers” for Supportive Home Care and Respite

What information from the long-term care functional screen will be used to decide which “tier” a child may be placed in?

What kind of needs would a child have if be placed in the middle tier? In the highest tier?

Will a family be able to appeal if they do not agree with the tier the child has been placed in?

Will DHS provide more information on how the tiers are determined before it starts using this new rate structure?

When will more information be available?

Questions related to an “Exceptions” process

Will DHS introduce an “exceptions” process by which providers or parents can ask for a rate that is higher than the rate generally available for a particular service?

When will we get more information about that process?

How will people or providers know about that system?

If a request for a higher rate is denied, will the parents or provider be able to appeal?

What types of situations does DHS think will be likely to be covered by this “exceptions” process?

Provider shortage is a real problem throughout the state. Low wages are a big reason for that. Will the inability to find a provider be a reason to exceed the normal rate for a service?

What will families have to show in order to qualify for an exception based on inability to find a provider?

Will DHS provide more information on the exceptions process before it starts using this new rate structure?

When will more information be available?

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The Phoenix in the Prison

By Beth Eisendrath

How do you see yourselves as you live your lives? If your life was a movie, what kind of movie would it be, and what kind of role would you play in the movie?

I see myself as Sam Spade, with a trenchcoat on, walking the streets, solving mysteries as steam rises up out of the sewers.

I was in the art field for 20 years before I went to law school. Now, I’m a solo practitioner with several specialties: basic estate planning, guardianships, and criminal defense. My clients are all different from one another. I thought my criminal defense clients would have horns and tails at first, but they are just people like everybody else - - just more scared and with less on the ball.

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Viewing of Documentary “Chasing the Dragon: The Life of an Opiate Addict”

On Saturday, August 11th 2 - 4 pm Table of the Saints, Inc. as part of our “Don’t Talk at the Dinner Table Series” will host the viewing of a documentary “Chasing the Dragon: The Life of an Opiate Addict” It’s a documentary aimed at educating students, young adults, parents and the community as a whole about the dangers of addiction. We will have discussion and Q&A. on the harsh reality of substance abuse.Thank you to Wisconsin Voices for Recovery being willing to be a part of the planning and presentation.

Doors open at 1:30
Snacks will be available

The event is free ------ please rsvp Sharon 414–374–8029

Welford Sanders Enterprise Building
2821 N. 4th Street, 1st Floor Conference Room
Milwaukee, WI. 53212

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By Patricia Obletz, Editor

Why does the USA spend more on killing than healing? By any measure of The Golden Rule, which most religions claim to follow, violence and death more than the lives of the majority of people on this ravaged planet, whatever their beliefs, origins, color, values, balance and practices is the “The Devil’s” work: The Golden Rule Pretenders. You can’t miss them. They’ve been dominating USA screens since 2016, this monopoly on resources currently in power and working with America’s “sworn enemy,” but not this White House this summer of 2018. Putin’s tongue is halfway down his chest in anticipation of amassing the American might. White supremacists and Putin the most supreme aim to use people until illness or accident catches them early in life because of lethal working conditions unregulated since Putin and his merry plutocrats ensured the 2016 election of the President of the United States.

The mid-term election November 6, 2018, looms like a crystal ball, ready to determine if Democracy yet again defeats Plutocracy.

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Voting dates, nurturing diversity facilitator training and more

VOTE in the upcoming Fall Primary Tuesday, August 14th, 7am-8pm

Monday July 30-Saturday August 11 — Early Voting and Registration. 10am-6 pm, Monday through Friday. 10am through 2 pm, Saturdays (8/4 and 8/11—no registration on 8/11) for City of Milwaukee residents, early voting at Zeidler Building, enter on corner of Broadway and Kilbourn Ave.

August 9th - Last day to request absentee ballots by mail.

August 10th - Last day to register to vote at City Hall. 5:00pm deadlilne.

To find out your polling or early voting location outside of Milwaukee, to order absentee ballots, update your address, and to see what is on your ballot go to us/.

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The Peer Association July 31st Milwaukee Listening and Feedback Session

The Peer Association is hosting a listening session in Milwaukee on July 31st. They are hosting this event in hopes to receive feedback from Milwaukee communities in regards to their newest project, “Apprentice to Entrepreneur - Breaking glass ceilings”

Who should attend?

All and any directly impacted stakeholders, community members, organizations and policymakers vested in improving Wisconsin’s approaches to address the needs and enhance current efforts to break down marginalization, disenfranchisement, including racial and gender inequalities in our current Workforce and Economic Development projects, specifically for those directly impacted by the Criminal Justice System.

We simply cannot continue to jail mental illness and substance use disorders as the solution.


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Listening Sessions re Milwaukee County Aging and Disability Services Resource Centers, IRIS, and Family Care: Your Voice Is Needed

The Milwaukee County Aging and Disability Services Resource Centers Governing Board would like to hear from you! Three listening sessions are scheduled for September – see below for details, and please spread the word!

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Who Invests in Killing Transit Projects?

By Mantill Williams: Voices for Public Transit Community Coordinator

Unfortunately, not every local transit initiative wins at the ballot box. But, according to the New York Times, the Koch Brothers are tipping the scales by pouring dollars into communities to defeat public transit.

This isn’t right—and it’s a disservice to our nation. For more on what we’re fighting, read our latest blog, “Oil Billionaires Fund Campaigns to Kill Public Transit Projects.”

Read Our Blog About the Kochs’ Attack on Transit

The good news is that we can fight back. That’s why we built the Voices for Public Transit community. Please read our blog and get fired up to keep fighting.

Thank you.

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Transportation your #1 priority? Make sure Survival Coalition knows it.

Accessible, affordable transportation is essential to the independence of people with disabilities and holder adults. We need your input!

Have you taken Survival Coalition’s transportation survey yet? We need to hear from additional people with disabilities and older adults! Have you asked your friends, family, and professionals who work with people with disabilities and older adults to take the survey? If not, please click on the link to take the survey and/or ask others to do so.

Results will be shared with policy makers as we work towards improving transportation options for people with disabilities and older adults.

The July 31st deadline is approaching, and we are getting closer to our goal to have 500 people with disabilities, older adults, and their families from across the state respond to our transportation survey.

Make sure your voice is included! Deadline to complete the survey is July 31st!

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Wed. 7/25/18: “[B]oth political parties have drifted toward greater subordination to their interests — the Republicans to such an extreme that by now they barely can be considered a political party. Anyone who finds this surprising must be uninformed about American society and how it functions.”

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Highlights from 2017 so far: The Good News and Pivotal Facts

Tues. 7/24/18:

Thurs. 7/12/18: The cavalry is coming!

Sun. 7/1/18: Mexico voters push back against far right populist wing — Come on, USA, follow suit in November:

Fri. 6/1/18: Wisconsin ends solitary confinement for kids

Tues. 5/29/18: ABC Silenced Hate within Hours of Roseanne Barr’s Despicable Tweet by Canceling Her Hit TV Show:

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Time to denounce the NRA, Gov. Walker!

Did you see Jeri’s email last week about the arrest of the Russian spy who infiltrated the NRA and met with Gov. Walker? Tell Gov. Walker you expect him to denounce the NRA, cut all ties, and refuse to accept any more monetary support. Our democracy is too important for us to be silent. >>Click here<< to send Gov. Walker your message.

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Mental Health and Criminal Justice: Malign Neglect

By Patricia Obletz, Editor l Adam Trammell lost his life in 2017 in West Milwaukee, Wisconsin, due to police officer ignorance about mentally ill people in crisis. Trammell had appeared naked in the common room of a mental health residence. Someone called 911 instead of a [ | Crisis Assessment Response Team (CART),]] along with the Fire Department paramedics. Trammel was showering in his own bathroom, unable to hear the police, who then weaponized their tazers and shocked Trammell over and over again, felling his oversized body. He was dead not long after he collapsed.

Adam Trammell might be alive today had the team that knew how to work with people in a mental crisis been called. In Wisconsin, people who have a mental illness and/or substance use disorder are morally and criminally mistreated. This is especially true for black and brown people. Specifically, the men and women driven into poverty by racism, accident and/or illness who are denied rehabilitation services in order to support the Prison Industrial Complex.

“People with untreated mental illness are 16 times more likely to be killed” during a police encounter than people without a mental illness. About one in four fatal law enforcement encounters involves an individual with serious mental illness.”

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Rev. Jesse Jackson and other prominent civil rights national and local leaders will join The National Commission for Voter Justice (NCVJ) for the Wisconsin Regional Hearing, which will be held online and in-person, on Saturday, July 21th from 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM CDT. The National Commission for Voter Justice, launched in January 2018, is devoted to researching and documenting voter challenges and opportunities in the United States while promoting robust electoral reform and civic engagement.  To date the NCVJ has held 6 major field hearings, 4 covering the states of Michigan, Georgia, South Carolina, Florida and Southern California and one focused on the Youth Vote.  As Wisconsin represents one of the nation’s most high profiled battleground states, the National Commission for Voter Justice has prioritized hearing from election officials, voting rights organizations and voters about special issues confronting voters, resources and needed reforms.  A robust Planning Committee of prominent local Wisconsin leaders and organizations has assisted in the planning of this event. Testimony will be presented by witnesses covering issues of voting barriers for returning citizens/formerly incarcerated, voting access for language minorities, homeless, people with disabilities, and much more.  In addition, there will be public testimony sessions during the Hearing where voters can tell their personal stories and experiences in exercising the franchise in Wisconsin.  

What: National Commission for Voter Justice Wisconsin, Milwaukee Hearing.  

When: Saturday, July 21, 2018, 1:00–4:00 PM

Best time for photos is at beginning of hearing and throughout the hearing. 

Where: This event will be held at the Milwaukee Bar Association, 424 E Wells St, Milwaukee, WI.

Who: Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr., President, Rainbow PUSH Coalition (pending); Barbara R. Arnwine, President, Transformative Justice Coalition, Co-Chair NCVJ; Fred Kessler – Former Judge & Representative, Ashanti Hamilton – Alderman Council President District One, Fred Royal – Local NAACP President, John Nichols – Renowned Author “The Nation” and more.

Why: Nationwide, electoral problems, practices, obstacles and voter suppression have barred and discouraged millions of African American, Latino, Asian, Native American, women, student, low-income and people with disabilities voters from effectively participating in the US political process.  This issue is of particular concern as the 2018 Mid-Term Elections and change at the Supreme Court is pending.  Wisconsin voters are critical to the goal of a robust Democracy.  

Other Information: There is NO CHARGE TO ATTEND the event! This event will be livestreamed online via the National Commission for Voter Justice’s Facebook page at

The NCVJ is calling all students, senior citizens, community organizations, churches, & others to participate if you or others you know had problems voting last election. We want to hear from you! Have you or anyone you know experienced voter suppression, voter intimidation, or voter disenfranchisement in any form? Add your voice to this historic event for panels covering issues such as: returning citizen population voting barriers; disability access; state and county elections administration; environmental justice; homeless peoples’ barriers to voting; language access; voting barriers for the LGBTQIA community; special voting barriers faced by women, Asian-American people, and African immigrants; youth/pre-registration; Automated Voter Registration (AVR); and, more! The hearing will focus on Wisconsin’s specific issues concerning voting.  Anyone who wants to testify can testify. The NCVJ invites anyone from Wisconsin to come and share your experiences about voting in Wisconsin, and hear from students, community organizations, and on-the-ground organizers.

Overview of Listening Session
11:00 set up
12:15 Commissioners and Witnesses Gather in “Green Room”
12:30 public began gathering in Session hall
12:45–1:20 Welcome, Overview + Commissioners Opening Statements
1:20–2:20 Panel One
2:20–2:25 Break
2:25–3:30 Witness Panel Two
3:30– 4:00 Testimony from Community
4:00 p.m. Wrap Up by Commission

For more information visit our website:

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Wisconsin BPDD Newsletter - July 2018

Mental Health Task Force/ Make It Work Milwaukee Update

Good morning everyone. I wanted to share with you the Wisconsin Board for Developmental Disabilities (BPDD) July newsletter which is full of good information.

We appreciate your help in spreading the word about some of the opportunities highlighted here, including recruitment for Partners in Policymaking, and a call for applications for SPARKS grants. It would be great to get applications from folks in the Milwaukee area. Please help us get the word out.

The purpose of SPARKS Grants is to organize local grassroots groups to make changes in their communities that result in a positive impact on the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), including individuals with diverse identities and/or individuals that are under-served.

Priority activities for 2018–19 SPARKS Grants are:

  1. Increasing transportation options for people with I/DD
  2. Increasing the number of people with I/DD voting

To download an application follow the link below:
SPARKS Grant Application

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Thurs. 7/19/18: WI Attorney General, Wake UP!

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Gov. Walker, the NRA, and the Russian spy

By Jeri Bonavia, Executive Director, WAVE (WI Anti-Violence Effort)

This week, Maria Butina, a Russian gun rights activist with close ties to NRA leaders, was arrested, indicted, and jailed by the federal government on charges of attempting to influence U.S. policy on behalf of the Russian Federation without registering as a Russian agent—spying, in other words.

If her name sounds familiar, that’s because WAVE has been monitoring her relationship with the NRA for years. Last January, we passed along photos of Maria posed with her Russian government handler and suspected money-launderer, Alexander Torshin, as well as our own Governor, Scott Walker, taken at the 2015 NRA convention. Incredulously, despite these photos and the facts presented in the FBI’s court filings, Gov. Walker is denying that he met with Butina and Torshin.

Is Gov. Walker too beholden to the NRA to admit the truth to Wisconsin voters? Ask him.

Thanks to the NRA, a Russian spy and her criminally-connected boss were introduced to Wisconsin’s Governor. And yet, so far, Gov. Walker has remained loyal to the NRA and is asking us all to disbelieve our own eyes. Is the $3.5 million the NRA has spent to benefit Gov. Walker’s campaigns over the past 25 years clouding his judgment?

Tell Gov. Walker the time has come for him to denounce the NRA.

We know the FBI is investigating whether Russians illegally gave big money to the NRA to be funneled into the 2016 elections. And we know the NRA went out of its way to ensure Russians Butina and Torshin were connected with friendly politicians. What we don’t know is whether these politicians promised anything to Russia in return.

Let Gov. Walker know you won’t be satisfied with deflections. He must unequivocally denounce the NRA and pledge to refuse any future NRA support.

The NRA’s patriotism and willingness to abide by the rule of law has been called into question. It’s time for those loyal to American democracy to speak out and cut ties with the gun lobby. Whose side will Gov. Walker be on?

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Lanterns for Peace 2018

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MICAH and Democracy in Action!!

Next week, MICAH will be engaged in two very important actions as part of our “Integrated Voter Engagement” (IVE) efforts:

MONDAY, JULY 23, 5:00 pm
Canaan Baptist Church 2964 N.11th St.
After a brief orientation and a little food, we will go out in pairs to knock on some doors in the surrounding neighborhood. We’ll be doing a few things:

  • Asking people to sign the petition supporting closing the Milwaukee Secure Detention facility (MSDF);
  • Asking people to sign the petition to save the Job Lines, the bus routes that take people from the north side to jobs in Waukesha County;
  • Reminding people to register to vote. Canaan will be open for that on Tuesday and Wednesday;
  • Inviting people to the Candidate Forum (see below).

If you have done door-to-door canvassing before, you know that it is fun and interesting. If you never have, this is a good chance to give it a try.

THURSDAY, JULY 26, 6:00 to 8:00 pm
Friendship Baptist Church 905 W. North Avenue
The candidates for Sheriff have all been invited, as have the candidates for the 16th State Assembly District. This is our chance to get the candidates to respond to the issues MICAH cares about, like jobs, transit, criminal justice, and more.

We have all seen what happens when we don’t all participate in our democracy and our elections. We need to get out to EVERYONE, to remind them why our votes matter, and to be sure everyone votes.

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Join us to celebrate National Disability Voter Registration Week and Turn Out the Disability Vote!

Where: IndependenceFirst – 540 S 1st St Milwaukee, WI
When: Tuesday, July 17th, 8:30 AM
Who: Members of the public are encouraged to attend and learn more about accessible voting.

What: The City of Milwaukee Election Commission, the Wisconsin Disability Vote Coalition and the League of Women Voters of Milwaukee County will have a press conference to promote registration of voters with disabilities and voting events being organized. At the press event, different avenues for voters of all abilities to cast their ballot will be highlighted.

For more information on the Wisconsin’s activities during National Disability Voter Registration Week, visit
To register online to vote in Wisconsin, go to

Reasonable Accommodations: IndependenceFirst is committed to providing the highest degree of accessibility when offering agency-sponsored events. Please notify Elise Cassidente at 414–773–4646 or with your disability-related accommodation requests by July 13th. We will do our best to honor accommodation requests made after this date.

Environmental Chemical Sensitivities: For the safety and comfort of those with chemical and environmental sensitivities, IndependenceFirst requests that when attending agency-sponsored events, please refrain from using any perfumed products such as scented soaps, deodorants, perfumes, colognes and heavily scented fabric softeners. To maintain a smoke-free environment, please also refrain from smoking in paths of travel and doorways.

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Democracy Crumbles Before Our Eyes: Vote!

Mon. 7/16/18: DON’T Vote GOP November 6:

Wed. 7/11/18: May we wake up 7/17/18 and not learn that Putin, Trump and Xi turn on NATO:

Fri. 6/29/18:Over 600 Women Face Arrest for Protesting US Immigration Policy

Thurs. 6/28/19: “Trumpocracy represents a new level of neoliberal cruelty.”

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Children’s Long-Term Support (CLTS) Community and Provider Forums

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services is scheduling forum across the state to provide update on the Children’s Long-Term Support Waiver program – see below for details. The Milwaukee session will be held August 9th from 10 AM – 12:30 PM at the Best Western Plus Milwaukee Airport Hotel 5105 S. Howell Ave. Registration is requested – see the notice below from DHS which include a link to location and registration information.

Please help spread the word to Milwaukee area providers, advocates, and families who may want to attend. Note that the forum is being held in 8 locations around the state, including in Pewaukee on August 14th – those are the two forums in southeastern Wisconsin.

By way of background, the Children’s Long Term Support Waiver (CLTS) is a Medicaid program that provides supports to children with intellectual, developmental, physical or emotional disabilities. The program is designed to provide services and supports at home and in the community to children with disabilities or special needs. It is administered by counties.

Examples of Services: Respite Care, In-home therapy, home modifications.

  • Eligibility: Children/ youth with special needs who have a significant physical disability, developmental disability, or emotional disability. Eligibility is determined through a state required functional screen. Children also must be eligible for Medicaid (Title 19/Card Services).
  • Referral process for Milwaukee County: Referrals can be made from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM, Monday through Friday. Call Milwaukee County Disability Services at 414–289–6799 (English & Spanish)

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SATURDAY: Free training for activists in Milwaukee

This is an amazing opportunity—I hope you can join me! Generation Progress and One Wisconsin Now are hosting a free 1-day training in Milwaukee THIS SATURDAY, July 14th.

WAVE and other policy experts will provide the tools and resources community activists need to become advocates on the issues most important to the progressive movement.

There is no cost to attend this training! Breakfast and lunch will be served.

To secure your spot, please RSVP here.

What: We Are Progress training summit
When: Saturday, July 14, 10 am - 4 pm
Where: MATC Milwaukee Downtown Campus, Main Building, 6th Floor

Put on your WAVE t-shirt and join me to learn more about being an effective advocate for change.

See you there,

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Milwaukee County Birth to Three Program Listening Sessions

You are invited to a listening session with Mary Jo Meyers, Director of Health and Human Services

Milwaukee County Birth to Three Program:
How do these services help your child?
How do these services help you?
What else do you need to help your child?

We hope you can come to one of these sessions:

July 17, 5–6:30 pm
July 18, 5–6:30 pm
Kosciuszko Community Center Washington Park Senior Center 2201 S. 7th Street 4420 W. Vliet Street

Refreshments will be served. Children are welcome.
Spanish translation will be available.

To RSVP or for language or ADA accommodations, contact Nancy Surdyk at 414–289–5983, V/Relay 711 or by July 13th.

We look forward to talking with you

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Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force – July 10th meeting

Please join us for the Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force July meeting, Tuesday, July 10, from 3 – 5:00 PM at IndependenceFirst, 540 S. 1st St.

We have a great agenda you won’t want to miss:

1. Help us give a warm welcome to recently confirmed Milwaukee County Dept. of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Director Mary Jo Meyers. Mary Jo will share her vision and perspective for DHHS, including how the Mental Health Task Force can be a resource.

2. Sixteenth Community Health Center is doing important work on Health Equity. Dr. Maria Perez will share next steps from their recent Health Equity Summit, as well as touch on behavioral health services. She is a Licensed Psychologist and Vice President of Behavioral Health 16th Street Community Health Center

3. Emily Kenney of Impact will share the work of the new Wisconsin Housing First Coalition. The Mental Health Task Force is a member – this will be a chance to learn how we can get involved.

4. Nora Hitchcock, of Our Space will provide an update on plans for the very first Peer Run Respite in Milwaukee County, a top priority for the Mental Health Task Force. We are excited to see Peer Run Respite move forward – come hear more!

5. Update on plans for our 2018 Karen Avery Forum, Our Future Starts Now: Healing, Hope and Resilience scheduled for September 11, and nominations for the Karen Avery Award.

We Need You! The annual Mental Health Task Force Membership Drive is underway! Thanks to those who have responded and a reminder to others to please help support the educational work of the Task Force.


  • August 14th Mental Health Task Force meeting – “Briefing on Proposed 2019 Milwaukee County Department Budget requests as Submitted to the County Executive”

  • September 11 Mental Health Task Force meeting – 5th Annual Karen Avery Award and Forum - Our Future Starts Now: Healing, Hope and Resilience

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The Institutional Culture of MPD Must Be Changed

By RL McNeely, JD, PhD

Nearly two years ago an editorial appeared in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel warning that, without certain changes, the Milwaukee Police Department (MPD) was bound to repeat the mistakes of the past. Now, having failed to heed that message, Milwaukee finds itself having achieved “poster-boy” status of what is wrong with big-city (and other city) policing. Consequently, the city is being perceived, nation-wide, either as an undesirable or less desirable location for mobile young professionals, as an undesirable location to raise young families, as a less desirable location for new businesses, and as a less desirable location for many conventions.

What’s more is that MPD has created this image of our City, not just with the mistreatment of Sterling Brown, but on many occasions, commencing as far back as my recollection allows to the 1950s, with the killing of Daniel Bell. More recently, we have had Dontré Hamilton, Sylville Smith and sickle-cell anemia sufferer, Eric Williams, all of whom died.

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Transportation Survey - for People with Disabilities and their Families

Mental Health Task Force/ Make It Work Milwaukee Update

As summer vacation season heats up, don’t forget to take our short survey on transportation!
Access to affordable, accessible transportation is vital to the independence of Wisconsinites with disabilities. We need people with disabilities and their families to take this short survey on transportation, from Survival Coalition of Wisconsin Disability Organizations.

Your responses will help us inform policy makers and work on ways to improve transportation for people with disabilities, older adults, and their families. The deadline to complete the survey is July 30th.

Please take the survey and share with others:

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Join the Conversation about MSDF at the HBI Summer Film Series

#CLOSEmsdf Leaders will be participating in a panel discussion after a screening of Milwaukee 53206 at the UW-Milwaukee Helen Bader Institute for Nonprofit Management’s Summer Film Series. The event will be on Monday, July 2nd from 7 pm to 9 pm at the UWM Student Union Fireside Lounge (2200 E. Kenwood Blvd., Milwaukee, WI 53211).

Join us for this important community conversation! Click here to RSVP.

About MIlwaukee 53206

MILWAUKEE 53206 chronicles the lives of those living in the ZIP code that incarcerates the highest percentage of black men in America, up to 62%. Through the intimate stories of three 53206 residents, we witness the high toll that excessive jail sentencing takes on individuals and families that make up the community.

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Join Voces across Wisconsin this weekend to say Families Belong Together!

This weekend, thousands of people will take bold action to demand an end to the Trump Administration’s policy of imprisoning families in border internment camps and separating families throughout the country.
Join our local chapters at these powerful Families Belong Together events throughout Wisconsin! Click the links for more information.

Saturday, June 30th:
Waukesha, 3pm, County Courthouse, 515 W Moreland
Milwaukee, 1pm, Federal Building, 517 E Wisconsin Ave
Shorewood, 8:30am, Village Hall, 3930 N Murray Ave
Madison, 3pm, State Capitol, State St. entrance
Green Bay, 10am, CityDeck, 401 N Washington St
Kenosha, 2pm, Navy Memorial Park, 5220 6th Ave
Racine, 1pm, Paul Ryan’s office, 216 6th St

Sunday, July 1st:
Sheboygan, Sunday, July 1, 4pm, Fountain Park, 922 N 8th St

We will not stand by while Trump builds family internment camps and separates Wisconsin families!

See you this weekend,
Christine Neumann-Ortiz
Executive Director: Voces de la Frontera

Ps. Have your signed and shared our petition to demand Scott Walker reverse his decision to send Wisconsin National Guard troops to facilitate Trump’s terror at the border?

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Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force Comments on 2019 Behavioral Health Division Budget Narrative to Milwaukee County Mental Health Board Finance Committee – June 28, 2018

By Jeanne Lowry, MMHTF Co-chair

On behalf of the Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force (MMHTF), thank you for this opportunity to comment on the 2019 Behavioral Health Division Budget Narrative. The MMHTF includes over 40 community organizations and comprises service providers, individuals who live with a mental illness or substance use disorder, advocates, family members, and other stakeholders who work collaboratively to support improvements in mental health services and advance recovery.

We understand that this is a difficult budget and that as policymakers you are facing difficult choices. We are deeply concerned that revenues are decreasing, which will put at risk the capacity to maintain the commitment to expand community based services and supports to better meet the significant needs in our community for mental health services, and treatment for substance use disorders. In addition, we are concerned that the cost for inpatient services continues to increase, while capacity to provide inpatient services has diminished. We ask for your leadership in finding new options to increase revenue and to support the goal we all share - to support recovery, including access to quality treatment and a range of supports for Milwaukee County children, youth, and adults who live with a mental illness or substance use disorder.

The MMHTF commends the following investments which we identified as priorities for the 2019 budget:

  • Increasing enrollment in CCS for children and adults
  • Support for community placements for individuals with complex needs, some of whom have lingered on inpatient units due to the lack of needed community supports.
  • Funding to support the Milwaukee County Housing Department initiative to end chronic homelessness, as well as funding to expand and enhance Bridge Housing. Without stable housing, recovery is not possible.
  • Funding to increase access to AODA Recovery Support Coordination, and the out patient plus program,
  • Continued funding of Crisis and Assessment Response Teams (CART) and to support the new Peer Run Respite, which has the potential to help support recovery, avert crises, and avoid hospitalizations
  • Transportation funding, to ensure access to mental health services and supports, and the continuum of activities needed to meet basic needs, support independence and community integration.
  • Mental health and crisis service expansion on the North side.

We support the Focus on Quality, and urge that this include a commitment to elevate the voices of those who receive services, including an increased focus on measurable outcomes that are client centered and strength based, and a high level of provider accountability, including high quality, timeliness, and responsiveness to client needs, as well as ensuring provider rates needed to support quality and provider retention.

We urge you to prioritize diversion of people with mental illness from the criminal justice system, and to ensure that the budget provides the needed funding to support diversion, including post booking stabilization.

Thank you for your consideration of these recommendations for the 2019 BHD budget, and for your service on the Mental Health Board. Please feel free to contact us for additional information.
6737 W. Washington Street, #3230 Milwaukee, WI 53214 Voice & TTY 414/773–4646 FAX 414/773–4647

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Together we will resist Trump in Milwaukee on Thursday morning

On Thursday morning, as Trump and Scott Walker raise money from millionaires in Milwaukee, we will mobilize to resist their white nationalist agenda.

We will rally Thursday at 8:15am at Zeidler Union Square Park, at the corner of Michigan Ave and 4th St downtown.

Last week, Trump said that he intends to imprison whole immigrant families together in border communities. His administration still has not reunited the thousands of families separated by his cruel policies and he has no plans to do so. This is unacceptable.
Click here to stand with us on Thursday morning.

Those who need transportation can take buses leaving from Voces’ office (1027 S 5th St) leaving at 8am. Please arrive at Voces at 7:30am to board the bus.

Click here to join us Thursday!

Together, we will resist Trump and stand against the criminalization of immigrant community members from the border to Wisconsin.
Will you take 1 minute to contribute $15, $25, or $50 to help us pay for the buses Thursday? Click here to donate.

Once again, here is the info for Thursday:
Thursday, June 28th
Resist Trump’s Visit to Milwaukee
Families Belong in Communities Not Cages
Rally in Zeidler Union Square (Michigan Ave and 4th St) at 8:15am
Buses leave Voces (1027 S 5th St) at 8am
Please arrive at Voces at 7:30am to take the buses!
Info: 414–643–1620

See you tomorrow,
Christine Neumann-Ortiz
Executive Director, Voces de la Frontera

Ps. Have your signed and shared our petition to demand Scott Walker reverse his decision to send Wisconsin National Guard troops to facilitate Trump’s terror at the border?

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Alert to a human crisis in U.S.

Crisis at the Border

Separation of Asylum Seekers and Their Children
Following are links to articles, videos and other media that help to explain the current crisis at the Mexican - US border, placing it in the larger and growing crisis of racism and fascism.


  • This video captures history of how the United States has a long history in legislation about illegal immigration that shows racism-based policies. Slightly more than three minutes in length, it is narrated by Splinter News producer Isabelle Niu. View Video.

  • Another news video from HBO’s Vice News describes the immigrant issues at the border in the wake of President Trump’s order that families would not be separated. View Video.


  • There are an estimated 100 shelters in 17 states and the Department of Health and Human Services has not indicated to which of these shelters the recently separated children were sent, but state and local officials have confirmed that some were sent as far as New York, Oregon, California and Florida. Read more.

  • Last week we were confronted with one of the saddest examples of this immoral and profoundly wrong policy in action: a five-month-old baby who was taken from his mother, and is held in immigration detention with three of his siblings. Their mother, escaping serious threats of violence, is held in a detention center several states away. Read more

  • “It’s very hard for most Americans to put themselves in the shoes of someone who’s coming across a river escaping violence in their own country.” Television News Photographer John Moore tells the story of a two-year-old Honduran girl separated from her mother at the U.S. border. View video.

  • Immigrant children locked up at a Virginia center say they were beaten, left naked in cells and strapped to chairs by guards. Around 30 unaccompanied minors are being held at the Shenandoah Valley Juvenile Center and have suffered from an abusive atmosphere, according to a federal court case filed on behalf of an unidentified undocumented 17-year-old boy from Mexico. Read more.

  • Very few civilians have been inside the shelters where some 2,000 immigrant children are being held. Dr. Colleen Kraft , current president of The American Academy of Pediatrics, visited a Texas facility for children aged 12 and under after her colleagues told her she needed to see what was happening. She describes her experience to Gayle King. View video.

  • Pictures are worth 10,000 words, people say. To view more heart-rendering photos like the one above, go to this photo gallery from the Guardian.

  • Trump did not direct Attorney General Jeff Sessions to halt his “zero tolerance” policy, which requires the prosecution and imprisonment of immigrant parents and created the crisis in the first place. Instead, he issued an executive order that would allow the indefinite detention of immigrant families together. Read more.

  • In a controversial case that involved the rights of illegal immigrants and their young children, a Guatemalan mother lost her effort today to get back the five-year old son who was taken away from her after her arrest on immigration charges and put up for adoption in Missouri despite her objections. View video.

ICE and Deportation of Undocumented in US

On Thursday, June 28, Donald Trump is coming to Southeast Wisconsin for the Foxconn groundbreaking. Join members of Rid Racism Milwaukee who participating in the Racine County effort, ‘Families Belong in Communities Not Cages,’ sponsored by Voces de la Frontera. Buses will leave from Voces offices at 1027 S. 5th St. at 8 a.m. More information and details.

On Thursday, June 21st, hundreds of immigrant community members and supporters rallied outside the Milwaukee office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to protest President Trump’s Executive Order from Wednesday ordering the indefinite imprisonment of families in internment camps and to call for the abolition of ICE. Read more.

These stories are not just happening somewhere else they are happening to local residents. Listen to Waukesha resident Alysha Ferreyra whose husband Franco was taken by ICE after going to normal check-in visit on June 11th. Click here to sign the petition to free Franco. View news video.

“I just started panicking, I didn’t know what to do, I was shaking. And then I just heard, “Police, open up, we have a warrant for an arrest” for my dad.” This is what it’s like to see your parent taken by ICE. View video.

A visitor from France says she was jogging along the beach south of White Rock, B.C., when she crossed the U.S. border without realizing it. So began a two-week nightmare that landed her in a prison jumpsuit. Cedella Roman, 19 (right), didn’t know it at the time, but as she ran southeast along the beach on the evening of May 21, she crossed a municipal boundary — and, shortly after, an international border. Read more.

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June 28, 2018, Mental Health Board Finance Committee Agenda and Meeting Packet

Mental Health Task Force Update

June 28, 2018, Mental Health Board Finance Committee – Budget Approval Meeting
1:30 P.M.
Milwaukee County Mental Health Complex, 9455 Watertown Plank Road Conference Room 1045


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Mon. 6/25/18: SCOTUS makes white supremacy Constitutional. As conservative columnist George Will wrote in WAPO yesterday, DON’T VOTE GOP THIS NOVEMBER!

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How are the Children?

“How are the children?” is the traditional greeting among the Masai people of Africa.
If we asked ourselves that question as the people of Wisconsin right now, we would get a disturbing answer.

About two weeks ago, there was a startling new report about poverty in Wisconsin. In 2016, while we heard glowing reports of “record low unemployment” and “the best economy in decades,” the rate of children living in poverty in Wisconsin INCREASED by 20%. (See article from

That’s right. It is not just that poor families are not sharing in prosperity. Things have actually gotten worse for the poorest people among us. And, the fastest growing group of new poor people were children.

Perhaps the most disturbing part of this story is that it didn’t even make the headlines. Other than a couple of very brief newspaper articles, it seems not to have been much noticed. There were no editorials. There were no protests. Most of us didn’t even hear about it.

This should be big news, and we should be alarmed. The End Child Poverty Campaign is all about Wisconsin claiming the well-being of all our children as a top priority. No one should be able to claim that our state is headed in the right direction at the same time that more and more of our kids are left behind.

If you have not already done so, please go to and add your name to the people who have endorsed the goal of reducing child poverty in our state. If you have signed already, please take a minute to invite a few friends and neighbors to do the same. Ask people at your place of worship next weekend to sign on.

Our political leaders, of all parties, need to see that the well-being of all our children is a top priority for Wisconsinites, Imagine a day when every election, every session of the legislature, every community meeting and every worship service began by asking, “How are the children?”

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Essay on The Nation’s Descent into the Bottomless Abyss of Trumpism

By Tom Coffin

We are now at a place where the President of this Nation literally hugs the flag of the United States while gleefully extolling the idea of snatching infants, toddlers, and thousands of vulnerable children from their undocumented immigrant parents and placing them in cages at secretive concentration camps in undisclosed locations. The ICE and other agencies implementing this cruelty have kept little or no records of which children are the sons and daughters of which parents as they are separated, increasing the risk that they may never be reunited. The Attorney General of the United States, the head of something called the Department of Justice (whatever that means anymore) quotes the Bible in a hollow attempt to invoke God’s blessing on malevolence that parallels the practice of separating the families of slaves in the pre=Civil War era. Propagandists follow up on the blasphemous distortion of Scripture by comparing the separation policy to summer camp for kids and telling us it doesn’t matter anyway because, hey, they’re not Americans.

The cruelty and inhumanity of this policy is overwhelming. No one could conceive of such depravity who has a moral compass, an ounce of compassion, or a soul that harbors any empathy whatsoever within itself.

This evil can only be described as sociopathic. It is monstrous in its contravention of the most basic moral principles and fundamental values of our country.

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The tour stops in Madison, Milwaukee, AND Janesville!

Due to an overwhelming response, the Road to Change bus tour with teens from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida has added stops in Milwaukee and Madison!

In addition, a change has been made to the Janesville event, which will now be focused on youth.

Janesville event—now for youth only
What: Youth Organizers Meet Up Session about activism, state gun laws, and how students can collaborate to make change
When: Friday, June 22, 2:00 - 3:30 pm
Where: Regal Room, Pontiac Convention Center, 2809 N. Pontiac Dr., Janesville

Madison event—open to the public
What: Town Hall and Voter Registration Party
When: Friday, June 22, 5:00 - 6:30 pm town hall, 6:30 pm - 8 pm, voter registration party with local organizations
Where: Alliant Energy Center, 1919 Alliant Energy Center Way, Madison

Milwaukee event—open to the public
What: Town Hall
When: Saturday, June 23, 5:00 - 6:30 pm
Where: Room 202, Wisconsin Center, 400 W. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee

Please join us to meet the students leading the youth movement, show your support, and demonstrate that Wisconsin voters will be voting to protect kids, not guns this year.

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Wed. 6/20: Trump Signs Order To End Family Separations

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The Crisis at the Border


National borders have been created by human beings. Men, women, children and the bond between parent and child were created by God. As people of faith, we believe that no earthly authority has the right to destroy what God has ordained.

When this world was created by God, there were no lines drawn on it. There were no national borders. Those have been established by human beings.

There is a role for earthly authority. Governments need to maintain order, to ensure that the weak are not victimized by the unscrupulous, to ensure fairness and that all people do their share for the common good.

Governments do not have the authority to take children from their parents in a cynical attempt to gain leverage for some other agenda. Governments do not have the moral authority to deny parents the right to flee violence and oppression so that their children can live. Governments do not have the right to hold frightened children in cages just so they can “send a message.”

As people of faith, we believe that every human being is a beloved Child of God, made in God’s image and likeness.
We are deeply troubled that our government has stepped beyond the bounds of decency and humanity, needlessly traumatizing children and parents. We denounce any policy that piles even more suffering on some of the most vulnerable people in our hemisphere.

The WISDOM network calls on President Trump to immediately end his “zero tolerance” policy at the border. We call on Congress and the Administration to enact immigration laws and policies that value families and children, and that are based on compassion and care for every Child of God, no matter where they were born.

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Wed. 6/20/18: VOTE THEM OUT! Wisconsin Still Leading War Against Affordable Health Care

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What’s Federal Funding Got to Do with It?

By Mantill Williams

Voices for Public Transit Community Coordinator

There isn’t any substitute for federal funding when it comes to public transportation.
Congress renewed its commitment to public transit funding in the 2018 budget, but now we’re facing appropriations and the question of whether that funding will continue. When you’re talking about infrastructure projects that take years, or even decades to complete, that kind of uncertainty can lead to public transit improvements getting delayed or put on hold indefinitely.

Learn more by reading our latest blog, “Why Fund Public Transit with Federal Dollars?”

Learn Why Public Transit Is Public

States, municipalities, and the private sector have roles to play in public transit funding and even now make up the lion’s share of the cost of local projects—but this doesn’t mean Congress can abandon public transportation without serious ramifications.

Read and share this important blog!

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Accessible Voting Webinar – Register Now!

Wednesday, June 20, 2018, 10:00am - 11:00 am

Register now for this free webinar to learn more about voting options available to make voting accessible to individuals with disabilities.
Join Sara Linski, WisVote Elections Specialist, and Jennifer Haar, City of Madison Clerk’s Office, to learn about the voting options available to individuals with disabilities who want to vote, whether it is voting prior to Election Day or voting on Election Day at the polls.

Hear about the voting experiences of Randy and Virginia Black. Find out what you can do to have an effective voting experience, and how we are trying to make it more positive.

Register for the webinar at under the Events tab. Important: The Deadline for registration is Monday, June 18th.

This 1 hour webinar is free. Registration is required to receive access to the live webinar on June 20th or the link to the archived version that will be available after June 27th.

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Candidate Forum Draws a Huge Crowd

Nearly 700 people participated in the WISDOM Gubernatorial Candidate Forum on June 11. They witnessed stirring testimonials and presentations from more than a dozen WISDOM leaders, who made the case for WISDOM’s issues, including: Health Care, Crimeless Revocations, Immigrant Drivers’ Licenses, Closing the Milwaukee Secure Detention Facility (MSDF), Regional Transportation Authorities and Transit Funding, Parole and Compassionate Release, Education Funding, Solitary Confinement, the End Child Poverty Campaign, Increased TAD Funding, Restoring the Prove It First Mining Moratorium, and Dignity for Incarcerated Women.

The presenters for WISDOM were remarkable in their clarity, passion, authenticity and brevity! You don’t have to take our word for it. To see the entire Forum for yourself, click here. You can download the program booklet with a description of the issues and a list of our co-sponsors here.

Seven candidates for Governor listened attentively to our issues. They gave very positive responses to our questions, and each spoke for 5 minutes after all the questions had been asked. Those in attendance were: Kelda Roys, Mike McCabe, Mahlon Mitchell, Kathleen Vinehout, Andy Gronik, Dana Wachs, and Matt Flynn. Tony Evers could not attend, but did send written responses to the questions. Of all the invited candidates, only Paul Soglin and Scott Walker did not respond.

At the Forum, WISDOM also announced the formation of a separate organization, the WISDOM Action Network. The WISDOM Action Network is a 501©4 organization, meaning that, unlike WISDOM, donations to it are not tax deductible. It can, however, comment on candidates and their positions prior to an election. The mission of the WISDOM Action Network is to inform its members and the public of the positions and actions taken by candidates for public office that pertain to the issues WISDOM and its affiliates address.

To learn more about candidate responses from Monday evening, and to be kept up-to-date on candidate responses to WISDOM issues, you can e-mail, and ask to put included on the list.

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Let’s Talk About IT: The Women of Block 12

Presented by Table of the Saints, Inc.

Please join author Linda Pinschke “The Women of Block 12: Voices from a jail ministry and two successful women survivors sharing their journeys at our monthly discussion and facilitated breakout circles

Wednesday, June 13, 2018, 6:00 – 8:00 pm.
Welford Sanders Enterprise Center, 2821 N. 4th Street, 1st Floor Conference Room

Light Snacks Available
The Women of Block 12: Voices from a Jail Ministry is a journey of growth and discovery. Linda began her ministry believing that she would be the teacher and the women her students. She discovered God had another plan. As the prisoners revealed their deepest personal experiences, the author realized she had much to learn about faith, courage and what it means to be a friend.

The Book is dedicated to:

The Women of Block 12 and all women who are confined in prisons of concrete and steel, prisons of addiction, or prisons of shame and regret.

This idea of providing a safe place for persons to come learn, share and discuss those topics we dare not bring up at the dinner table stems from the Table of the Saints expanding and improving upon our aftercare for the residents of TOTS Family House and those in the community with whom we mentor and participate in rebuilding the moral compass.

Bring along a friend

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BREAKING: Voting rights loss at SCOTUS

The Supreme Court just rubber-stamped Ohio’s voter suppression tactics in Husted v. A. Philip Randolph Institute. The decision gives Ohio the power to target voters who miss just one election cycle for removal from the rolls. This is despite the National Voter Registration Act’s express prohibition on purging voters just because they don’t vote. I’m furious, but I’m more driven than ever to defend our most fundamental right.

This decision is a gutting reminder that the Trump administration is determined to turn back the clock on our voting rights. For decades, the Justice Department maintained this type of voter purge was illegal, but under the Trump administration and Attorney General Sessions, the department switched sides and supported Ohio’s unnecessary restrictions on the right to vote.

In the face of roadblocks to the polls, we must exercise our right to vote now more than ever. We must vote for leaders who will make voting easier – not harder. We must vote like our rights depend on it. Pledge now to be an ACLU Voter this election cycle.

Under Ohio’s “Supplemental Process,” if you miss just one election cycle, you risk losing your voter registration. The state wrongly assumes that voters who don’t cast a ballot in two years have changed addresses, invalidating their current registrations. As a result, hundreds of thousands of Ohioans have been stripped of their right to vote, and many only find out when they arrive at the voting booth. And like every barrier to voting, people of color and those with low incomes are disenfranchised the most.

Let’s be clear: Our right to vote isn’t ‘use it or lose it’ – and this decision doesn’t give states a green light to kick eligible voters off the roll without notice.

We must do everything we can to defend our most fundamental right – by showing up to vote this fall. Our democracy is strongest when every voice can be heard, when every eligible citizen can cast a ballot and have it counted. Pledge to be an ACLU Voter so that we can continue to exercise this fundamental right and make voting accessible for all.

Thanks for defending our democracy

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Remove MKE Police Force Power Abusers

By Kay Koneazny

Kay Koneazny is a retired nurse, a community advocate, and a 45-year resident of Sherman Park.

I left the last Fire and Police Commission meeting on June 7, 2018, with a heavy heart. During the Public Comment segment, I am used to hearing speakers demand, even threaten. Last Thursday night felt different. While demands for police transparency and accountability were made, there also were individual poignant, painful stories of felt victimization, of police abuse of power, of serious loss of trust. A social worker admitted that, before calling the police to help a mentally ill man she observed, she asked herself, “If I call, will I be contributing to his death?”

A woman told of her uncle being shot 15–17 times while on his front porch where he had come out with a hand gun, firing shots in the air to stop a fight in front of his house. He was blind and in poor health. There were several other family members in the house behind him.

A man told of being shot twice in the back by officers, who then allegedly lied on their report of the incident.

A woman, who said she raised her daughters to be an asset to the community, had no words to explain to them the trauma they experienced when pulled over for a mechanical issue on their car.

The 2017 Police Use of Force report indicated that only 22 percent of officers were involved in a use of force incident. The FPC was asked to get power abusers off of the force and to find a method to ensure that officers are mentally fit to do their admittedly very stressful work.

A number of speakers recalled better days when they were kids and looked forward to engaging with officers for the baseball cards. To reestablish trust is a process requiring good will and eventual vulnerability on all sides. I hope that Chief Morales will continue to hold community trust as a primary goal of his tenure. I hope, too, that the FPC will do all in its power to assist him and his officers in this endeavor. The future quality of our neighborhoods depends on it.

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Sun. 6/10/2018: Vote in November! Blind loyalty to GOP has come to this:

“[T]he mobilizing ideas, policies, passions and ruthless social practices of fascism are at the center of power in the Trump administration.” Henry A. Giroux: The Nightmare of Neoliberal Fascism


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Help us spread the word about what to do in a crisis.

In a mental health crisis, call 414–257–7222.

Getting individuals in crisis connected to the care they need quickly is paramount. A fast connection to specially trained staff who can help to de-escalate, provide over-the phone assessment, assist law enforcement and other agencies and connect callers with community resources or referrals can mean the difference between life and death. That’s why the Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Division has a 24/7 crisis line available for individuals to call during such a situation.

We’re asking all of our providers like you to help us remind individuals in your network to direct all individuals facing a mental health crisis to call the BHD Crisis Line at 414–257–7222.

We encourage you to share the Crisis Services brochure with individuals in your network and remind them to direct anyone who is facing a crisis to call the BHD Crisis line at 414–257–7222.

Click here to download the Crisis Services brochure

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Join Us! Financial Empowerment for People with Disabilities

Join us for the second session of our 2018 EMERGING TOPICS SERIES!

Wednesday, June 27 | 10:30am to 2:00pm
Sojourner Family Peace Center (MAP)

In collaboration with the National Disability Institute and the Milwaukee Alliance for Economic Inclusion, we are excited to invite you to the second session in our 2018 Emerging Topic Series.

This session will serve as a follow-up to our 2017 Community Development Summit that focused on financial and social inclusion for people with disabilities, this time focusing on strategies that strengthen the networks of those serving people with disabilities.

A panel of local, statewide and national agencies will discuss how practitioners can ensure that people with disabilities have access to mainstream financial services by highlighting existing loan and support service programs. Following, Erin Waddell of the Louisville Office of Financial Empowerment will share first-hand insights on how to build greater resilience and self-sufficiency for individuals with disabilities and their families. The day will end with an interactive discussion focused on the needs and opportunities to increase the financial empowerment and resilience of people with disabilities.

Register Here

This event is sponsored by the Milwaukee Alliance for Economic Inclusion.
There is no cost to attend and lunch will be provided.

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Celebrate ABHM Future Home on June 18th and 19th

Opening Celebration of The Griot Apartment Building & Fall 2018 Opening of ABHM
401 W. North Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53212

To celebrate Dr. James Cameron’s legacy and the re-opening of the museum this fall, The Griot development team and the Dr. James Cameron Legacy Foundation (operators of ABHM) invite you to a very special public two-day celebration featuring actor and advocate Danny Glover and renowned poets, writers, activists Aja Monet and Sonja Sanchez, and musician Elijah Blake.

Monday, June 18th: 11 am- 1 pm.
Featured Speaker: Danny Glover.
Meet DJLCF board members, sign-up for museum membership, register to be notified of upcoming museum-related events and tours. This is a free event.

Tuesday, June 19th: 6 pm - 9 pm.
Featured Speakers: Aja Monet and Sonja Sanchez
Tickets: $25 (includes food, drink, and music by local legend The Eddie Butts Band).

For more information, click here.

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Disability Rights Wisconsin’s Victim Advocacy Program

Individuals with a disability who have been a victim of a crime can get free help and support.

Disability Rights Wisconsin’s Victim Advocacy Program provides direct service to individuals with disabilities who have experienced crime, regardless if it has been reported. We work to ensure that each eligible person receives the advocacy, services, and support necessary to move forward, find justice, and ensure safety and stability in whatever form the victim/survivor needs.

As a person who has been supportive of Disability Rights Wisconsin in the past, we’d very much appreciate your help in getting word out about this important program.

There are two big ways you can help create awareness for the Victim Advocacy Program:

  1. Visit us on Facebook and share our posts about the program, or;
  2. Visit our website to access informational pieces for downloading and printing.

These include:

If you’d like any of these items in larger quantities, please contact us and we’ll coordinate printing and delivery to you.

Thank you so much for being advocates and friends of Disability Rights Wisconsin. We appreciate your support!

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Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force – June 12th meeting

Please join us for the Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force June meeting, Tuesday, June 12, from 3 – 5:00 PM at IndependenceFirst, 540 S. 1st St. All are welcome to attend and share their perspective.

Our agenda will include:

  1. Guest Speaker Pardeep Kaleka will join us to discuss “Connectedness: Becoming Culturally Agile” as part of our “Something to Thank About” series
  2. Medical and Mental Health Care at the Milwaukee County Jail – current status and looking forward. Update from Pete Koneazny, Legal Aid Society Litigation Director
  3. Featured Resource: Mental Health America of Wisconsin Wellness Clinic, Martina Gollin-Graves, MHA President/ CEO
  4. Mental Health Board update including contracting for inpatient care and priorities for 2019 budget. Will include an advocacy activity
  5. Elections 2018 – planning for National Disability Voter Registration Week, July 16–20
  6. Task Force business:
    • Steering Committee recommendation to appoint Tim McGuire, Whole Health Clinical Group, to the open Provider position
    • 2018 – 2019 MHTF membership drive
    • August 14th Mental Health Task Force meeting – “Briefing on Proposed 2019 Milwaukee County Department Budget requests as Submitted to the County Executive”
    • September 11 Mental Health Task Force meeting – 5th Annual Karen Avery Award and Forum.

Environmental/Chemical Sensitivities: For the safety and comfort of those with chemical sensitivities, IndependenceFirst requests that people visiting our agency, refrain from using any perfumed products and not smoke near the building.

Note: Please arrive early to allow time for parking so we can start on time.

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Support Group for the Survivors of Opioid Overdose

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Public Comment Session - 2019 Budget for Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Division: Share with your network

Mental Health Task Force Update

June 7th Milwaukee County Mental Health Board Finance Committee Budget Hearing
–Public Comments Welcome-

Your voice is needed. Please attend Thursday’s Public Hearing and share your priorities for the 2019 Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Division Budget. This is an important opportunity to share your ideas with policy makers.

  • See below for details about the hearing, scheduled for Thursday June 7th at 4:30 Pm at Washington Park Senior Center, 4420 W. Vliet
  • Comments are limited to three minutes.
  • If you are not able to attend the hearing, use the “Submit Feedback” button below to share your ideas.

Click here for more information
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BREAKING: SCOTUS Masterpiece decision - what to do now

Today was the big day for Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado. The Supreme Court reversed the Colorado decision based on concerns specific to this case, but importantly, the Court recognized that the Constitution doesn’t give businesses open to the public the right to discriminate.

People are already saying today’s decision means that businesses can turn away LGBT people. It doesn’t. And our laws should make crystal clear that no business has the right to discriminate against customers based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

That’s why we need to support the historic Equality Act in Congress. If passed, the bill would protect LGBT people – as well as people of all races, genders, and creeds – from discrimination in key areas of life.

Sign this petition demanding that members of Congress support the Equality Act.

Most people know that discrimination against LGBT people is wrong. And yet we know all too well that it still happens today. It’s time to update our federal laws to ensure comprehensive protection for LGBT people from discrimination in employment, housing, education, and access to public spaces. The Equality Act would ensure all people have the rights they deserve – for the first time ever.

The Trump administration is fighting tooth and nail against us at every turn. But we can’t let this political climate discourage and distract us from this serious issue. There’s just too much at stake for so many LGBT people – and transgender people in particular. Trans people have been battling just to exist in public spaces like restrooms and locker rooms.

Tell Congress right now: Pass the Equality Act and make sure that nobody is subjected to the discrimination and pain that Charlie and Dave felt when they were turned away at Masterpiece Cakeshop.

Equality will never be real if we must fear being discriminated against because of who we are. It’s time to take a giant step forward to provide additional protections to millions of people who face discrimination every day. Add your name and demand Congress pass the Equality Act now.

Thanks for fighting back,
James Esseks
Director of the ACLU LGBT and HIV Project

P.S. Can you do more today? We’re rallying across the country to show support for LGBT rights and freedoms. Join us by finding an event at

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Youth Justice Milwaukee Statement on Lincoln Hills Settlement

For immediate release:
Friday, June 1, 2018
Contact: Morgan Williams Grogan, 202–835–9890

Youth Justice Milwaukee co-founders Sharlen Moore and Jeffery Roman released the following statement after a settlement was reached to overhaul Wisconsin’s treatment of young people in the juvenile justice system:

“Today’s settlement only begins to acknowledge the years of abuse, trauma, and neglect that Wisconsin’s children suffered at Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake. The fact that it was ever considered acceptable to lock children up alone for weeks in tiny cells, restrain them or use chemical agents shows how outdated and abusive youth prisons are.”

“This settlement was long overdue – but there’s still a lot of work to do to replace outdated institutions with more effective alternatives. We’re eager to work together with the independent monitor, state officials, and community members to make that a reality.”


Youth Justice Milwaukee is a broad-based campaign advocating for community-based, family-centered, restorative programs as an alternative to locking up children in Wisconsin’s youth prisons. Youth Justice Milwaukee represents a coalition of persons who were incarcerated as youth, families of youth who are or were incarcerated, service providers, and local and national youth justice advocates.

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Take it to the Streets!

Join MICAH as we Take it to the Streets on Monday, June 4

MICAH members will be stepping out on Monday, June 4. Our goal is to meet some of our neighbors, to listen to them, and to let them know about MICAH and the issues we care about.

We will gather at 5:00 pm in the first floor conference room at MICAH’s office building — 2821 N. 4th St. There will be a brief training. Then, we will go out in two groups:

–One group will speak with people about the Job Lines (the endangered bus routes that take people to suburban jobs from the north side).

–The other group will talk about the need to close the Milwaukee Secure Detention Facility (MSDF)

Both groups will have petitions for people to sign, and some information inviting people to be involved with MICAH.

This is a great chance to take MICAH to the broader community. Join us. There is no experience necessary, and we will not leave you alone!

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WISDOM Gubernatorial Candidate Forum

Join us:
Monday, June 11, 6:00 to 8:00 pm
Country Springs Hotel and Convention Center
2810 Golf Road, Pewaukee

WISDOM leaders from around the state will be asking the candidates very specific questions about their intentions in the areas of:

  • Criminal Justice reform (including Parole, Crimeless Revocations, Treatment Alternatives to Incarceration, MSDF, Solitary Confinement),
  • Public Transportation
  • Childhood Poverty
  • Health Care
  • Immigration
  • Education
  • Mining

Candidates who have confirmed their participation: Matt Flynn, Andy Gronik, Mike McCabe, Mahlon Mitchell, Kelda Roys, Kathleen Vinehout, Dana Wachs

Candidates Unable to Attend, Expressing Regrets: Tony Evers, Paul Soglin

Also invited, awaiting response: Scott Walker

Transportation will be available from many parts of the state. To sign up for the event, and to learn about transportation options, contact any local WISDOM organization or EXPO chapter, or WISDOM at 414–831–2070, or

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Tues. 5/29/18: Advocacy Works! A ‘Quiet Revolution’ Comes to Ireland

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Thurs. 5/24/18: Fight Gun Violence June 2, 2018! National Gun Violence Awareness Day | WAVE2018

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Support Housing Vouchers

Attention: Chairman Theodore Lipscomb, Sr.

As the City of Milwaukee commemorates the fiftieth anniversary of the fair housing marches, the County of Milwaukee has an opportunity to greatly impact the true meaning of this legislation by supporting and passing the amendment to Chapter 107 proposed by Supervisor Dimitrijevic. This amendment would include residents who receive rental or housing assistance.

Milwaukee County’s Fair Housing Ordinance, Section 107.02 (9) currently protects individuals from discrimination on several bases (race, color, sex, sexual orientation, creed, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, lawful source of income, disability, family status, status as a victim of domestic abuse, sexual abuse, stalking, gender identity and gender expression, or status in a domestic partnership). Presently landlords can and do refuse to rent to qualified tenants because they have Housing Choice Vouchers.

Studies have shown that landlords often refuse to rent to voucher holders as a pretext for other types of illegal discrimination such as race, family status, and disability. Vouchers should theoretically allow families to access safer, lower poverty neighborhoods with high achieving schools. But in practice, the voucher falls short of this potential for families living in low-poverty neighborhoods.

Vouchers, when protected, can be a very effective mechanism to help dismantle the entrenched segregation in Milwaukee County and assist families to truly expand their housing choices and provide access to real opportunities for improving the lives of Milwaukee County residents.


Fred Royal, Jr., President
NAACP Milwaukee Branch

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BHD Press for Providers - Issue 1, 2018

Dear Friends,

It has been a busy start to the year for the Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Division - and for many of you who are partnering with us on this progress.

As I shared in February, the Mental Health Board accepted the Joint Task Force’s recommendation to negotiate exclusively with Universal Health Services (UHS). This means that UHS will build a new acute psychiatric hospital in Milwaukee County. We look forward to finalizing a contract early this summer and will share more with you at that time.

As BHD transitions into a new hospital, psychiatric crisis and emergency services will also evolve. To address this, BHD and the Milwaukee Health Care Partnership have engaged The Human Services Research Institute (HSRI), in collaboration with the Technical Assistance Collaborative (TAC) and the Wisconsin Public Forum (WPF) to create a plan to guide the re-design of these services for Milwaukee County. We expect to also receive this plan in summer will share more with you then.

With this transition to a new hospital, BHD will also move its resources out of the mental health complex and into the community. We anticipate this transition will be completed in 2021 at the earliest. However, we have already started expanding resources, service offerings and access out in the community. Most recently, we added a fifth CART team to respond to crisis calls in partnership with police departments - we are seeing tremendous results - 90% of these interactions result in a connection to voluntary care versus jail or hospitalization.

To continue to provide person-centered and integrated care offerings to our community, we are also continuing conversations with our federally qualified health centers on both Milwaukee’s north and south sides. By providing access to both medical and behavioral health care, we can ensure that the whole person is cared for - mind and body. In fact, the brain-body connection is the highlight of our Mental Health Month campaign this May (see more below).

We are certainly proud of the work being done at BHD and by our providers and partners. It truly takes this collaborative approach to care for our community members in need and together, we are ensuring they receive the highest quality care.

Thank you for your commitment to our community.

Learn more: Behavioral Health Division to begin negotiations with Universal Health Services for psychiatric hospital

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Not too late to come, come early!

Dear Friends
We are very excited about our MICAH 30th Anniversary Celebration this Thursday night and so should you! We’ve got great food available for you to purchase and bring into the the parish hall which include Asian, Jamaican, Mexican, BBQ and good old American brats and burgers. Several different vegetarian and gluten-free options will be available, too. Come around 5 if you are able so those needing to arrive later can be served quickly!

We have a previously unannounced group who will play us out with soul! Don’t miss our impressive performers here to help us celebrate.

It’s not too late to come! Tickets will be available at the door. We would like to know you are coming if you are able to give us advance notice to hold you tickets and you can pay at the door. Just email us at

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Mon. 5/21/18: Help Get Out the Vote: “To abandon facts is to abandon freedom. If nothing is true, then no one can criticize power because there is no basis upon which to do so. If nothing is true, then all is spectacle.”

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Two Years of Milwaukee County Pot Arrests Show Racial Bias

Some 86% of the folks busted for felony second offense marijuana possession in Milwaukee County were African-American, records show.

Just 9 percent were white and 4 percent were Hispanic or Latino.

The county’s population is about 66 percent white, 25 percent black, and 9 percent Latino or Hispanic.

WJI was able to identify a total of 95 arrests countywide during 2015 and 2016 that resulted in the single charge of felony second offense marijuana possession. Incurring a second charge of possession of marijuana, no matter how small the amount, is a felony in Wisconsin.

Seventy-six of the county’s 2015 and 2016 arrests occurred in the City of Milwaukee north of I-94, seven occurred in the city south of I-94, and one occurred on I-94.

Eleven total arrests occurred in the suburbs of Cudahy (2), Glendale (3), Greendale (1), Oak Creek (1), South Milwaukee (1), and Wauwatosa (3). The remaining suburbs had no arrests resulting in felony second offense possession charges.

County Supervisor John Weishan is seeking a November advisory referendum on marijuana legalization. The arrest numbers may well be argument in favor - get rid of marijuana prohibitions, and get rid of some elements of biased law enforcement.

Click here for more information including maps, and to leave comments

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Fri. 5/18/18: Democracy at stake: Public Transit:

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March On Milwaukee 50th Finale

Saturday, May 19th: 9:30am-3pm
North Division High School (plus bus tour through Milwaukee)
The whole day is free of cost

9:30am-10:00am: Registration
10:00am-11:30am: Youth/Elder Activism Session (facilitated intergenerational conversation)
11:30am-1:00pm: “Thank You” Bus Tour (includes free boxed lunch)
1:00pm-3:00pm: Marching On: 50 Years In The Making (a community celebration)

RSVP for morning session and bus tour: https://www.eventbrite. com/e/marching-on-youthelder- activism-session-tickets- 45785422431
RSVP for community celebration: https://www. 50-years-in-the-making- tickets-45694617832

Youth/Elder Activism Session:
Commandos and NAACP Youth Council members meet youth activists and concerned young people. During the session, they will get to know each other, and begin sharing about experience in activism. This will be an opportunity for elders to impart wisdom to young people and hear from young people about what’s distinctive about this moment.

“Thank You” Bus Tour:
After the morning session, youth and elders will get on two buses together. The tour will start outside North Division — the former location of St. Boniface — and weave through the route of the Open Housing Marches. We will stop at specific historic points to remember and reminisce upon the Open Housing Marches.

Marching On: 50 years later:
This will be a community celebration where the community can express their appreciation to the Youth Council, Commandos, Vel Phillips, Father Groppi and all who marched 50 years ago. The program will feature speakers and performances that connect with the major themes of March On Milwaukee 50th — Recognition and Re-ignition.

Congresswoman Gwen Moore will deliver the keynote address, sharing personal memories of the Open Housing Marches and reflections on her mentor, Vel Phillips, while at their shared alma mater, North Division High School.

Confirmed speakers and presenters include members of the NAACP Youth Council and Commandos, Mayor Tom Barrett, Common Council President Ashanti Hamilton, Wisconsin Black Historical Society’s Clayborn Benson, America’s Black Holocaust Museum’s Reggie Jackson, Urban Underground’s Sharlen Moore and more. Hip hop artist Klassik and poet/activist Ajamou Butler of Heal the Hood will also be giving tribute performances. Additionally, contributing writers to the poetry anthology chapbook Where I Want to Live will be reading poems about the city in which they wish to live.

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The Faces of Mental Health: Youth Behavioral Health & Wellness Summit - May 19th

Please join us this Saturday afternoon May 19th for the Youth Behavioral Health & Wellness Summit at the Italian Community Center. The program will include wellness activities, resource tables, the voices of youth, as well as a panel of professionals. The Summit is free and open to all. We hope to see you there!

May 19th, 2018: 12 - 4pm
Registration is at 11:30am

The Youth Behavioral Health & Wellness Summit was featured on the Morning Blend – check it out at

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Celebration, Actions and Forum, oh my!

See details below or go to to see all event and meeting listings

TICKETS AVAILABLE NOW! Thursday May 24 5:00 pm MICAH’s 30th Anniversary Celebration!
Saturday May 19, 11 am-2 pm. The Jobs are on the Line Community Rally, Wisconsin Black Historical Society
Thursday, May 31, 6:30–8:30 pm Bystander Intervention Training Milwaukee Friends Meeting
SAVE THE DATE! Monday June 11, 6–8 pm. WISDOMGubernatorial Candidate Forum. Country Springs Hotel and Convention Center, Pewaukee. Transportation available

The Jobs are on the Line Community Rally

Three years ago, the Milwaukee County Transit System JobLines, routes 6 and 61, were created to connect residents in neighborhoods in Milwaukee to a multitude of job opportunities in Waukesha County. This year, the funding for these lines ends, threatening the transportation for the more than 1,000 daily riders. Losing the job lines would be a loss for everyone. Join the rally, organized by MICAH, to show your support for protecting these necessary bus lines.

Bystander Intervention Training Thursday, May 31, 6:30–8:30 PM at Milwaukee Meeting, 3224 N Gordon Place Co-sponsored by Milwaukee Friends Meeting and Plymouth UCC Church

Have you ever wondered what to do when you see a police car pulling over a black man while driving? Or someone laughing and trying to pull off a woman’s hijab? Or hear someone making racist comments in a grocery store? The list of oppressive harassments goes on and on. How can you intervene in ways that will interrupt the harassment and prevent violence? The Milwaukee chapter of SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice) has been working to support Black Lives Matter by finding ways for white people to use their privilege to be effective allies. Learning how to intervene when witnessing harassment and potential violence is necessary and empowering! So join us at the meetinghouse on May 31.

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Mon. 5/14/18: It’s Time for Moral Confrontation: New Poor People’s Campaign Stages Nationwide Civil Disobedience

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BOALTC Adds Ombudsman for IRIS Participants 60 and over

As approved in the state of Wisconsin biennial budget, the State of Wisconsin Board on Aging and Long-Term Care (BOALTC) Long Term Care Ombudsman program has been expanded to provide advocacy for individuals 60 and over enrolled in IRIS (Include, Respect, I Self-Direct).

  • The IRIS Ombudsman for participants age 60 and above, the State of Wisconsin Board on Aging and Long-Term Care (BOALTC), is officially in place and able to take calls.

  • The phone number for the age 60 and above Ombudsman is 1–800–815–0015.

As a reminder, Disability Rights Wisconsin (DRW) serves as the ombudsman for participants age 18–59 for IRIS, as well as Family Care and Family Care Partnership.

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The MHA-WI Wellness Clinic is now open and accepting new clients.

Who We See

  • We provide counseling and support services for adults, adolescents and children.

Our Treatment Approach

  • Strengths-based
  • Client-centered
  • Trauma-informed

Areas of Focus

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Relationship issues
  • Trauma
  • Parenting
  • Grief
  • Stress
  • Mood Disorders
  • Codependency
  • Veterans issues
  • Personality Disorders
  • Domestic violence
  • Child loss
  • General mental health concerns

Types of Payment Accepted

  • Medicaid/T-19
  • Most Medicaid HMOs (call for a complete list)
  • Sliding fee scale
  • Cash/Credit card

The MHA-WI Wellness Clinic is an approved ancillary provider for the Comprehensive Community Services (CCS) network. To learn more about our CCS approved services, contact or 414–336–7975.

The MHA-WI Wellness Clinic is certified by the State of Wisconsin.


The Tannery Business Center - Atlas Building
600 W. Virginia St., Suite 502, Milwaukee, WI 53204


Monday – Friday 9am - 5pm
Evening hours by appointment


Phone: (414) 276–3122 or (414) 336–7975

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Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force – May 8 meeting

A reminder to please join us for the Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force May meeting, Tuesday, May 8, from 3 – 5:30 PM at IndependenceFirst, 540 S. 1st St.

Featured Topic - Focus on Housing:

Affordable accessible housing is essential for advancing recovery and independence for individuals who live with a mental illness.

  • Jim Mathy, Housing Administrator for the Milwaukee County Housing Division will brief us on the Housing Division’s services and supports. He will also address some of the challenges and opportunities to sustain services moving forward.

  • Wendy Weckler, Executive Director of Hope House of Milwaukee will share the work of the Shelter and Transitional Housing Task Force to help us explore additional collaboration.

  • A peer specialist who works in the housing field will inform us about their important work.

Don’t miss this opportunity to learn about these important resources for you and for individuals served by your agency,

Other agenda items will include:

  • Recognition of Mental Health Task Force Co-chair Kelly Davis. After 10 plus years of making a positive difference in Milwaukee, Kelly and her family are moving back “home” to Idaho. Please join us to thank Kelly for her tremendous leadership and advocacy. The meeting will be extended until 5:30, to allow us to end the day with refreshments and social time in honor of Kelly.

  • Something to Think About: Terri Ellzey, Chair, Diversity Committee

  • Updates on Milwaukee County BHD Budget process and Redesign of Psychiatric Crisis Services - Update on our recommendations for Crisis Services and for the 2019 BHD Budget, and tips on opportunities to share your priorities.

  • Opening on the MHTF Steering Committee and how to apply.

Environmental/Chemical Sensitivities: For the safety and comfort of those with chemical sensitivities, IndependenceFirst requests that people visiting our agency, refrain from using any perfumed products and not smoke near the building.

Note: Please arrive early to allow time for parking so we can start on time.

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Fri. 5/4/18: Confront the racist in you, in us all: The Legacy of Lynching, on Death Row

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The NRA convenes this weekend… and so do we

from Jeri Bonavia, Exec. Dir., WAVE, WI Anti-Violence Effort

This weekend in Dallas, the NRA will host its annual meeting. But this year when the gun industry gathers to celebrate itself, they will be met by scores of protestors ready to stand up for our right to live peacefully and safely. A new campaign called #NoRA will be there to remind convention attendees just what is at stake, by reading and tweeting the names of all children under age 18 who have been killed by guns this year. It will take 10 hours to complete.

Here in Milwaukee, we will be joining the family of Dontre Hamilton, who was shot and killed by a Milwaukee police officer in 2014, for Dontre Day at Red Arrow Park downtown.

The convergence of these two events highlights what we have long known: the NRA’s dangerous “guns everywhere” agenda puts us all at risk and disproportionately burdens children and people of color.

What: Dontre Day
When: Saturday, May 5, noon - 5 pm
Where: Red Arrow Park, 920 N. Water St., Milwaukee

Please join us at this family-friendly event designed to strengthen the community by coming together in dance, music, poetry, love, and respect. Help the Hamilton family in their quest to “turn this day of extreme grief to a day of social relief and advancement of all people within the City of Milwaukee.”

And while we’re at it, we’ll send a message to the NRA that we reject their extremist and dangerous agenda—we stand in support of all victims of gun violence.

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Finally a Link Between Cannabis and Education

By Eilene Stevens, GRNS Chair

Yesterday the MJS headline was, “Gov. Scott Walker says he would campaign with Donald Trump if he comes to Wisconsin” A video accompanied the story where Walker said, “The left is angry and their rhetoric and their language is filled with hatred and they are motivated. They are more motivated than any time I have seen in the last 25 years.”

He is always wrong — in so many ways. He got part of it right, however. We are, indeed, motivated. A good sign of that motivation is in this week’s calendar. During the next two weeks, the myriad of Gubernatorial candidates will be together twice trying to engage voters. On Saturday, May 5 they will be sharing their views on cannabis. On the following Saturday, they will be speaking about Education. It is our job to learn about the candidates.

As the summer heats up, so will the campaigns. Between now and the August 14th Primary Election, get to one of these events. On June 26th Grassroots North Shore will be having its own Gubernatorial Forum. With this many candidates, we voters have the responsibility to learn what differentiates them. In the meantime, find whoever is running from your district and get to know the candidate. I live in the 23rd Assembly District so I will be attending Andy Lamb’s event on the 10th.

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tues. 5/1/18: Make this work: Tommy Thompson: Help solve Wisconsin’s coming labor shortage by rehabilitating prisoners

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May 2nd - Here I Am: An evening of youth storytelling on mental health

Mental Health Task Force/ Make It Work Milwaukee Update

Please join us, today, Wednesday, May 2nd for a wonderful event featuring our Milwaukee youth sharing their stories of recovery.

Disability Rights Wisconsin and other community agencies will be there at 6:30 to share our resources, so plan to arrive by 6:30 to check out the Resource Fair! Hope to see you May 2nd at 6:30 - Loos Room at Centennial Hall, 733 N. Eighth St., Milwaukee. For details, see below or check out Facebook at

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and National Alliance on Mental Illness present an evening of storytelling by Milwaukee-area youth.

Students and young adults will share short stories about their personal experiences with mental health challenges. They’ve lost loved ones to suicide, fought lawmakers for more resources in their schools and started their own initiatives to support their fellow students. They’re sharing their stories to break stigma around mental illness and push for better support.

Also at the event, you’ll hear from local experts on mental health and you’ll have the opportunity to pick up resources from community organizations. Check out the resource fair before the event (same location) from 6:30 to 7.

This event builds on reporting by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin on youth mental health. Find the series at

***This event is free, accessible and open to the public. Arrive early to make sure you get a seat.

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Welcome to Medicare Event- May 14

This is a friendly reminder that a Welcome to Medicare presentation is coming up in 2 weeks on May 14 from 1:30–3:30pm at Washington Park Senior Center. This is a joint presentation between MCDA, Disability Rights WI and the Disability Resource Center of Milwaukee County and will offer unbiased information about the Medicare benefit. Please share this with anyone who may be new to Medicare or who may want a refresher.

Monday, May 14, 1:30–3:30pm
Washington Park Senior Center 4420 W. Vliet St.

Join us for an objective overview of the options and benefits offered through Medicare.
- No Sales
- No Insurance
- Understand the A,B,C, and D of Medicare

RSVP by May 7 to (414) 289–6546 or

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Sun. 4/29/18: Wisconsin Teens, Wake UP: These teens saw how poor mental health hurt their peers. So they got a law passed.

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National Organization Hosts Groundbreaking Leadership Training for Formerly Incarcerated Milwaukeeans While Prison Closure Campaign Continues to Gain Momentum in Milwaukee

By Mark Rice, Milwaukee Campaign Coordinator, JustLeadershipUSA

JustLeadershipUSA is a national, criminal justice reform, nonprofit organization that aims to cut the United States correctional population in half by 2030 by empowering those most impacted by mass incarceration to drive policy reform. JustLeadershipUSA held its groundbreaking Emerging Leaders training at Milwaukee Area Technical College in April 2018. This is the twelfth Emerging Leaders training that JustLeadershipUSA (JLUSA) has held across the country, and 150 men and women have graduated from the training. The training itself is an abridged version of JLUSA’s Leading with Conviction program, which is an intensive, year-long program, currently in its fourth year, that trains formerly incarcerated men and women to amplify their leadership in criminal justice reform.

Additionally, JustLeadershipUSA (JLUSA) has partnered with or helped build advocacy campaigns across the country, including their local effort: the #CLOSEmsdf campaign led by Community Coordinator Mark Rice. Rice is a graduate of the 2017 Leading with Conviction cohort and has led the #CLOSEmsdf campaign since its launch last June. Demanding the immediate closure of the Milwaukee Secure Detention Facility, the campaign has garnered significant support, most recently evidenced by the resolution from Milwaukee County Supervisor Peggy West demanding an end to policies that have created or fueled mass incarceration.

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Crisis: Mental Health Services for the Deaf/Hard of Hearing/Deaf Blind

By Eva Dicker Eiseman

Eva Dicker Eiseman has been working on committees trying to improve services for people who cannot hear or cannot see, or both, for more than 25 years, “But we have not made much progress in that time,” she said. Obviously, she is far from giving up this pursuit of justice. She is a member of the Legislative Committee of the Wisconsin Association Of The Deaf, which is working on several pieces of legislation, including providing adequate mental health services for this underserved population. Email your questions to her at

People who are deaf/hard of hearing and deaf blind are an underserved cultural and linguistic population within the nation’s mental health system. It is not unusual for a person within these categories to be misdiagnosed. Communication issues, as well as cultural and language issues, are often mistaken for a mental illness or mental retardation.

The National Association of the Deaf has issued a position paper stating that these individuals should be able to access mental health services that are culturally and linguistically equal in quality and effectiveness as those services provided to those individuals who are able to hear.

Unfortunately, this has not been the case. Services continue to be inadequate for the deaf, hard of hearing and deaf blind people, depriving them of so many of services that are linguistically and culturally suitable for them. And yet, they also pay taxes. They should have the same accessibility that individuals who hear receive.

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BHD Mental Health Month Resources

Mental Health Task Force Update

May is Mental Health Month. Thanks to Nzinga Khalid and BHD for sharing some great resources - see attached and below for details.

BHD Mental Health Month Resources
Greetings Everyone,

Please share in your networks. The official flyers are attached for the Fitness #4Mind4Body Event, the Book Drive, and the BHD Mental Health Month Tool Kit. We have embraced many elements in the MHA tool kit which can be downloaded from the Mental Health America website.

Please click link to register to attend or to be a resource vendor. Your support is appreciated!

If you have any questions, please, don’t hesitate to ask.

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They still fund guns

A month ago, Senator Elizabeth Warren launched – a project to urge some of the country’s largest shareholders in gun companies to push them for responsible behavior. The Senator’s 4/20/18 email states:

Good news: You Fund is starting to get attention – and results.

BlackRock – the world’s largest shadow bank – announced a few weeks ago that it will offer new investment fund and pension plan products that exclude companies that manufacture or sell guns.

Don’t get me wrong – this is only one small step. BlackRock and the other investment firms can (and should) do a lot more to pressure gun manufacturers and retailers.

But think about it this way: If investors in your hometown and all over the country opt-out of funding not only gun companies, but also gun retailers like Walmart – and if they feel the financial impact of people demanding gun reform – we have a fighting chance to influence real change.

The Parkland student leaders are also jumping into this fight. Earlier this week, David Hogg tweeted:

David Hogg on Twitter: .@blackrock and @Vanguard_Group are two of the biggest investors in gun manufacturers; if you use them, feel free to let them know. Thanks

This team is making a real difference by speaking out and making your voices heard. But BlackRock is only one firm, and the others are laying low, maybe hoping all this attention will blow over. But we’re not going away. On this National Walkout Day, will you call or tweet to the country’s biggest investment firms and urge them to show some political courage to stand up to the gun industry?

A few weeks ago, I stopped by an amazing #TownHallforOurLives organized by local students and Stop Handgun Violence volunteers in Natick, Massachusetts.

These smart, passionate young people made it very clear: they’re not going to stop fighting until we get the change we need to keep kids safe in their classrooms and on our streets. They aren’t giving up – and neither can we.

I’m going to keep fighting my heart out in Washington until we pass common-sense gun reform. But every change is important – and urging shareholders to use their financial muscle so that gun manufacturers and retailers they fund will regulate their own weapons is another tool in our toolbox.

This team has already helped get results with BlackRock – now let’s keep them coming. Go to to call or tweet at the investment firms that make money off of gun sales.

Thanks for being a part of this. Your hard work is powerfully important.


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Theory on Consciousness

By Claire Heile

Claire Heile is an artist, musician and research microbiologist with a focus on the bioremediation of pollutants.

The concept of existence and reality can be exposed as a hologram created from the combined conscious energy exerted by both animate and inanimate entities. This energy constructs a cyclical latticework on which all perceivable dimensions are assembled. By breaching the confines of reality, the notion of space and time can be transformed.

The sense of a “self” is shed down to a pit of a “being.” The sense of a “reality” is deconstructed into a tangible mindscape that is both instantaneous and infinite. The sense of a “presence” is clinging to the confines of consciousness. Streams of consciousness flow through this mindscape like an ethereal soup. Slip into its currents and let it carry you downstream through a fractal of tributaries, cascading, ebbing and flowing. Explore the cities of consciousness built within the vastness of eternity; hold onto the energy of others and surf the tides in unison.

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Suicide The Ripple Effect Film Screenings in May

Mental Health Task Force/ Make It Work Milwaukee Update

Please join WISE, PSGM, MHA WI, and NAMI-Waukesha for one of three May screenings of Kevin Hines’ powerful new film Suicide The Ripple Effect. Kevin tells his story of living with a mental health diagnosis, his suicide attempt, and his journey to recovery and world-wide advocacy for suicide prevention and emotional wellness.
Suicide: The Ripple Effect - Official Trailer- Sneak Peek - YouTube

This film has a limited theater presence-tickets must be purchased ahead of time through the Gathr websites noted for each screening.

A brief “talk back” will follow each of the screenings, and resource materials will be available.
For the May 1st Oriental Theater screening, there are about 60 free parking spots available in the Prospect Medical Commons parking garage, 2311 N. Prospect Ave., just across North Ave. from the Oriental.

Please let me know if you have any questions regarding the screenings.


Barbara Moser, MD
Chair, Prevent Suicide Greater Milwaukee Coalition

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Policy Changes to IDAP - Interim Disability Assistance Program

Mental Health Task Force / Make It Work Milwaukee Update

We are writing to pass on information about some changes to the Milwaukee County Interim Disability Assistance Program (IDAP) Program. As a result of budget cuts in the 2018 Milwaukee County budget, there are some policy changes to IDAP, effective April 1 – please see the memo from Geri Lyday below with details. Note that the IDAP program is administered by Milwaukee County and operated by Community Advocates.

By way of background, IDAP is a County-funded temporary loan program that provides a small monthly payment to financially needy County residents 18 and older who are unable to work due to a disability, and who have a high probability of receiving federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI). The payment is issued until SSI eligibility is approved or denied, after which IDAP eligibility ends.

IDAP is not an entitlement benefit, but an interest-free loan and IDAP recipients must sign a contract to repay. If SSI is approved, repayment is deducted from the initial SSI lump sum payment. If SSI is denied, eligibility ends and the individual is expected to reimburse the County from any future income or non-exempt assets, or from their estate upon death. Since the wait for federal disability benefits which can extend to many months, IDAP provides a modest but crucial safety net for some of our neediest community members, who rely on the small monthly payment to help cover rent, transportation, and other basic needs.

Click for full size

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April 16th: A Call to Action

The Department of Corrections (DOC) is proposing to change its internal rule, DOC Rule 302, that governs classification and movement of people in prisons. By law, they had to take public comment on the rule, and many WISDOM people offered written and verbal comments, calling for some common sense changes that would help parole-eligible people and people eligible for “compassionate release.”

The DOC ignored the comments and basically made their new rules harder for those people.

When the Administration tries to change rules, they are overseen by the Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules. It is the only body the DOC is accountable to, other than the Governor. But, if the Co-Chairs, one from the Assembly, and one from the Senate, decline to look at the rule or to hold hearings, the new rules automatically become official policy: they are, essentially, the law.

The Co-Chairs of the Committee have chosen so far to ignore DOC Rule 302, and if they do nothing, it will become law on April 28.

We need to ask Assembly Representative Joan Ballweg and Senator Stephen Nass to hold a Committee hearing on DOC Rule 302.

All you need to do is to contact their office by e-mail or, better, by phone, to ask them to hold a hearing on Chapter 302 of the Administrative Code before April 28.

You can reach them at:

Thank you!

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