Thursday April 9, 2020

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Conservationists Support April 2020 Special Session PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Wisconsin Conservation Voters   
Saturday, 04 April 2020 10:41

flint-water-crisisWill ensure Safe Elections During the COVID-19 Pandemic


Wisconsin Conservation Voters urges you to support an April 2020 Special Session as called for in Executive Order 73.

Every voter in Wisconsin has a right to have their ballots counted, but also to know that in the practice of exercising their constitutional rights, they are not exposing themselves, or anyone else, to a public health threat. Ensuring safe elections during a pandemic would be a challenge enough, but the ongoing and still uncertain guidelines for next Tuesday’s elections have made it nearly impossible for voters to navigate.

An April 2020 Special Session would allow legislators and the Governor to provide clear guidance to voters about how this election will proceed. Any legislation considered should allow voters the opportunity to vote from home by sending an absentee ballot to every registered voter, facilitate drop boxes for voters to safely deposit ballots, and move the date for in-person voting to a time when systems are in place to make sure that all voters can vote safely and local governments can handle the additional workload.

****

Conservation NOW (CNOW) announce the pro-conservation positions on issues before the senate, assembly and/or governor in the week ahead to state legislators. Others wishing to follow activities in the state legislature also receive CNOW, including legislative staff, conservation voters, and media. All of these issues are tracked on the Vote Tracker. Issues in the CNOW may appear in the Conservation Scorecard, to be released in the summer of 2020.

 
Wis Democracy Campaign - Election Alert PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Matt Rothschild, Wisconsin Democracy Campaign   
Saturday, 04 April 2020 10:27

wdc-logoMatt Rothschild of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign provides an update on what to expect in this spring's crazy off and on election.


MADISON - We at the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign feel strongly that the election should be postponed, and we’re outraged that our Speaker Vos and Majority Leader Fitzgerald refused to budge on this. We signed on to an excellent open letter from Wisconsin Voices expressing our outrage, which you can read here:

Statement on April 7 Election: An Urgent Call to Uphold Values of Access, Safety, and Equity

Our staff’s been busy this week tracking the money being thrown around in the important Wisconsin Supreme Court race between Judge Jill Karofksy and Justice Dan Kelly.

Here’s the article we posted on the direct donations to their campaigns:

State Dems Contributed $1.3M to Karofsky’s Campaign

And here’s the article on the spending by the outside groups:

Special Interest Spending Tops $3M in Supreme Court Race

You’ll also find, on your ballot, a binding referendum on whether to amend the Wisconsin Constitution to strengthen victims’ rights. We urge you to vote NO on this one. It collides with our Sixth Amendment rights to face our accuser and to have a fair trial, and it’ll embroil the state in costly litigation. On top of that, it’s been lavishly funded by California billionaire Henry Nicholas. Marsy’s Law in Wisconsin was the third biggest lobbyist in the entire state during the last two sessions. And from January 1 through March 23 of this year, it spent $3,457,000 campaigning for this!

An out-of-state billionaire shouldn’t be able to buy an amendment to the Wisconsin Constitution.

If you live in the following counties, you have an opportunity take a stand against gerrymandering on a non-binding referendum we support.

  • Marquette
  • Milwaukee
  • Monroe
  • Pierce
  • Portage
  • Rock
  • St. Croix
  • Trempealeau
  • Wood

Check out some of the recent Fair Maps WI Coalition outreach on the referendum -- hear the radio ad and download a flyer (dual language):  Vote YES for Fair Maps

And if you’re up north in Oneida and Vilas counties, check your ballot because you might have the anti-gerrymandering referendum as well as non-binding referendum to overturn Citizens United and to declare, finally, that corporations aren’t persons and money isn’t speech. We support that one, too, and we’re grateful to the tremendous activists at Wisconsin United to Amend for all their work on this issue.

matt-rothschild-2018There’s a lot on the ballot. That’s why it’s important to vote. And it’s why it’s so disgraceful that our elected officials haven’t made it possible – and safe – for everyone to vote.

Please be safe.

Best,

Matt Rothschild
Executive Director
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Last Updated on Saturday, 04 April 2020 10:37
 
What COVID-19 has revealed PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Mandela Barnes, Lt. Governor   
Saturday, 04 April 2020 07:54

coronavirus-ventilatorLt. Governor Mandela Barnes shares his thoughts on the pandemic.


MADISON - As we grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic and its implications, I would like to share my thoughts on what this crisis has revealed about our state and nation.

First, this crisis has exposed a glaring inequality that exists in our society. It begs the question: What does it really mean to live in the richest country on earth if we're unable to adequately care for people in need during an emergency?

While wealth continues to concentrate at the very top, working class people are struggling to get by, much less save for an emergency. And until healthcare is a universal right, people will die because of how expensive it can be to live when you're poor and facing a medical crisis.

This is why we must continue the fight for structural change - so that the needs of the many are prioritized above the interests of the few. Let's take this opportunity to reimagine society, our communities, and what quality of life actually means.

President Trump’s absence of leadership and racist rhetoric - referring to COVID-19 as the "Chinese-virus" - has hurt our ability to mitigate COVID-19 and unite as a nation.

The best response to a pandemic is prevention, and our failure to act decisively is the result of failed presidential leadership. President Trump's decision to dismantle a National Security Council directorate at the White House in 2018 charged with preparing for when another pandemic would hit the nation - and his cuts to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) budget has seriously hampered our ability to respond to this pandemic.

We must also reject referring to COVID-19 as the "Chinese-virus." At a time when we should be setting aside differences and coming together, President Trump seeks to divide. Here in Wisconsin, we have already seen the harmful effects of this racist language: Milwaukee’s own Lucky Lui’s chinese restaurant has announced they will be closed indefinitely after workers received xenophobic and verbal attacks from customers. COVID-19 doesn’t discriminate based on race, and neither should we.

Despite everything, Wisconsinites are sacrificing for their fellow neighbor and displaying heartwarming generosity each and every day. Here are just a few examples of ways local businesses are helping out during these difficult times:

  • Central Standard Distillery, based out of Walkers Point in Milwaukee, has pledged to turn their focus to producing free disinfectant and sanitizing products with their supply of distilled alcohol
  • The Machinist Union (IAM) Local 1406, at GE Datex-Ohmeda in Madison, is fighting to produce much needed ventilators
  • Monterey Mills, a Janesville-based textile mill and supplier of fabrics, and Oak Creek-based Eder Flag, have teamed up to take on the demand for respirator masks

Our greatest opportunities exist in our greatest challenges. We are going to come out of this stronger and together.

Thank you for doing everything you can to keep Wisconsin safe and healthy.

-- Mandela

 
“COVID-19 sickens Wisconsin democracy” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Citizen Action of Wisconsin, Matt Brusky   
Friday, 03 April 2020 08:15

covid-2-bgwSTATEWIDE - Remaining safer at home, the panel discuss COVID-19 and Citizen Action’s call for free treatment and other critical health care emergency actions needed to contain the pandemic. We dig into dysfunctional political situation in Wisconsin that is careening into a dangerous and anti-democratic election on April 7th. We urge listeners to get their absentee ballots in immediately and encourage everyone to remind friends, family and social networks to do the same. Finally, we dive into a conversation about healthcare workers being fired for speaking out about lack of proper gear and unsafe conditions.


Listen Now – Episode #436
Download MP3
Press Clips

 
Democratic Radio: Wisconsin Values during COVID-19 PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by GOV Press Wisconsin   
Thursday, 02 April 2020 16:29

covid-19-testMADISON - Gov. Tony Evers Delivers the Weekly Democratic Radio Address on Wisconsin Values during the COVID-19 crisis.

Audio file of radio address.

The The following is Gov. Tony Evers' radio address on Wisconsin Values during the COVID-19 public health emergency. 

tony-evers-talksHi, Wisconsin. Governor Tony Evers here.

As many of you know, on March 24th I issued our "Safer at Home" order.

The bottom line is that COVID-19 has been and continues to be a rapidly evolving situation, and if we’re going to prevent and manage the further spread and ensure that our healthcare workers and systems aren’t overwhelmed, then that means we have to be willing to act to keep people safe.

And that’s always going to be the bottom line for me: keeping people safe.

I recognize that a lot of folks have had questions about the order.

First, you are allowed to go outside, go for a bike ride, or take the dog for a walk, but please remember to stay six feet away from others and stay close to home.

Secondly, you do not need special permission to be out and about. We trust you. Stay home when you can, but if you need to make an essential trip like going to the doctor or buying groceries you are able to do that.

Next, we ask that you limit your interactions to the same people, not different small groups.

Unfortunately, that means no potlucks, no meeting up with friends, no play dates, and no dinner parties.

Finally, some businesses will continue to operate like hospitals, clinics, grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, banks, among many others — so no need to run to the grocery store and hoard food.

At the end of the day, folks, we are all in this together and during the most difficult times, we are called upon to remember our Wisconsin values of kindness, compassion, empathy and respect.

So, to that end, I’m going to continue to ask for your help.

Do your part to help keep our friends, our healthcare workers, and our communities safe.

Stay at home because it is safer at home. Thank you.

Last Updated on Friday, 03 April 2020 16:40
 
Stay Safer at Home PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Jeff Smith, State Senator District 31   
Wednesday, 01 April 2020 09:37

work-from-homeSen. Smith writes about public health measures to slow the spread of COVID-19, including the 'Safer at Home' order, and outlines other steps being taken by Governor Evers to address the short-term and long-term impacts of COVID-19.

Read more...
 
Democracy Campaign: Referendums on April 7 PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Matt Rothschild, Wisconsin Democracy Campaign   
Saturday, 28 March 2020 09:58

univ-student-voteElection still on and many important issues are on the ballot around state.


MADISON - Sorry it’s been a while since I’ve written to you, and I sure hope you’re staying safe during this crazy coronavirus pandemic.

Unfortunately, because of the pandemic, we’ve had to cancel our 25th anniversary celebration planned for April 29.

matt-rothschild-2018I was really looking forward to it, but there’s just no way. Those of you who have registered and provided email addresses would have already been notified. Those registered without emails will be getting a letter from me in the mail soon.

But we haven’t stopped working. Not by a long shot.

Here are a couple of postings we put up on two crucial non-binding referendums that we endorse.

One is on amending the U.S. Constitution to proclaim, once and for all, that corporations aren’t persons and money isn’t speech:

17 Wisconsin Communities to Vote on Overturning Citizens United

The other is on whether we should ban gerrymandering in Wisconsin.

Lots of Referendums to Ban Gerrymandering in Wisconsin

You can checkout resources on the Fair Maps referendum on the recently updated Fair Maps WI Coalition website and listen to our radio ad airing in these areas across the state.

Then there’s a binding referendum, which we oppose, to amend the Wisconsin Constitution ostensibly to strengthen victims’ rights. It goes by the name of “Marsy’s Law,” and it’s fatally flawed, as I wrote here:

Take a stand against fatally flawed Marsy’s Law

And we just posted a story on Menards being accused by the State of Wisconsin and the State of Michigan of price gouging during this coronavirus:

Menards Accused of Price Gouging

John Menard is a huge donor to Republicans in Wisconsin, as the piece notes.

I urge you to vote by absentee ballot on April 7. The state Elections Commission reports that local clerks had issued more than 741,000 absentee ballots as of this morning--a spring election record.

Stay safe!

Best,

Matt Rothschild
Executive Director
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 
“Not Dying 4 Wall Street” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Citizen Action of Wisconsin, Matt Brusky   
Friday, 27 March 2020 11:08

covid-wallstreetSTATEWIDE - We discuss the latest COVID-19 pandemic news, including this week’s Congressional action. Is the $2 Trillion relieve package the biggest corporate giveaway in American history, or vital help for working Americans and small businesses in a time of dire need? We welcome Susannah Dyen from Caring Across Generations to talk about the Texas Lt. Governor’s comments that grandparents would be willing to die to preserve America’s economy. We close by updating the latest on the troubled April 7th spring election,changes to election procedure imposed by a federal judge, and growing opposition to holding this election during a state lockdown, especially without an inclusive and accessible vote-by-mail system.


Listen Now – Episode #535
Download MP3
Press Clips

 
Democratic Radio: 'Safer at Home Order' PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by GOV Press Wisconsin   
Thursday, 26 March 2020 17:27

door-county_bikingMADISON - Gov. Evers Delivers Democratic Weekly Radio Address on Safer at Home Order.

Audio file of radio address.

The following is Gov. Tony Evers' radio address on the Safer at Home Order to address the COVID-19 public health crisis.

tony-evers-winIssuing a Safer at Home order isn’t something I thought we’d have to do, it’s not something I wanted to do, and it’s not something I take lightly.

We’re all in this together and we need to help stop the spread of COVID-19, and flatten the curve to ensure our doctors, nurses, and healthcare workers have the opportunity to do their important work.

You can still go out and take a walk, go for a bike ride, or walk the dogs.

It’s good exercise and its good for everybody’s mental health, but please don’t take any other unnecessary trips and limit your travel to essential needs like going to the doctor, grabbing groceries, or getting medication.

Workers providing essential care or services in our communities will be allowed to continue to travel to and from work.

 
Senator Jeff Smith Says Take COVID-19 Seriously PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Jeff Smith, State Senator District 31   
Wednesday, 25 March 2020 10:39

door-county-peopleSenator writes about ways we can slow the spread of COVID-19 by practicing social distancing, self-isolation and other precautionary measures recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Read more...
 
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