Friday September 18, 2020

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“Building A Better State Legislature” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Citizen Action of Wisconsin, Matt Brusky   
Saturday, 12 September 2020 16:23

bgw-0920STATEWIDE - Our panel discusses this week’s revelation that Trump knew the coronavirus was ‘deadly stuff’ in February and lied about it to the American people. Next we dig into the explosion of positive COVID tests on Wisconsin university campuses. What are the ramifications? Finally, we kick off post Labor Day campaign season with two Citizen Action co-op members who are running for State Assembly in western Wisconsin: Sarah Yacoub (District 30) and Kim Butler (District 28).

Listen Now – Episode #458
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Transition To Civilian Life Often Difficult For Veterans PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Palzewicz for Wisconsin, Chelsea Cross   
Saturday, 12 September 2020 15:30

veterans_army_medic“Veterans don't want a special handout, but a hand up would be incredibly helpful,” says Congressional candidate Palzewicz.


Brookfield, WI – Regardless of where they serve, whether in combat or in peace, the transition back to civilian life can be a difficult and challenging process for military veterans.  Democrat Tom Palzewicz, running for Wisconsin's Fifth Congressional District seat, is  a U.S. Navy veteran and knows full well what veterans experience.

The military has a completely different pace than civilian life. Highly ordered and disciplined, the men and women in uniform adhere to the Uniform Code of Military Justice and they understand the need to maintain discipline in the ranks. The chain of command is essential to that discipline and military efficiency demands that all personnel pull in the same direction at the same time. Lives depend on that.

When a man and woman go from the disciplined life in the military to the “freedom” of civilian life, it is hard for them to make that change.  In the military they may be highly-trained squad leaders, or division officers, all operating in a tightly controlled system.  As a civilian, they are just another person, sometimes even marginalized or overlooked.  The “thank you for your service” is replaced by having to take orders from someone with a fraction of their experience or expertise.

tom-palzewicz“Veterans don't want a special handout, but a hand up would be incredibly helpful,” said Palzewicz, a former Electrician's Mate on a nuclear submarine. “They leave the military world and go back to the civilian world, where things are different. I think that's what is apparent when so many ex-military people go into law enforcement. Your time in service counts towards your pension, so it's a natural move. But, it's a completely different thing to be a police officer than it is to be in the Army, serving in Afghanistan. We want their courage and their professionalism, but we don't give them the necessary help they need in making the transition.

“I would support programs that help out returning veterans with higher education, starting their own businesses, but most of all, have something in place for our men and women to assist them in getting reacquainted with civilian life. I had to go through that. It's tough.”

Palzewicz appreciates and respects the training and professional abilities of military veterans. The skills learned while serving their country can and should be used in serving their communities.

“Leadership skills learned in the military apply to most every situation in the private sector,” said Palzewicz. “Good military leaders are decisive, measured and consistent.  They learn skills you can't learn in a classroom.  General Dwight D. Eisenhower became president because he was first and foremost a great leader.  That is where our veterans shine. America appreciates their service, but more importantly, it needs their leadership.”

Palzewicz and veterans like him, sacrificed for their country.  He believes the country needs to sacrifice for the veterans and provide the support they need when they come home.

 
Democratic Radio: People's Maps Commission Membership and First Public Hearing PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by GOV Press Wisconsin   
Friday, 11 September 2020 15:08

gb-vote1-47MADISON —​ On Thursday, Gov. Tony Evers delivered the Democratic Radio Address on the announcement of the judicial panel's selections to the People's Maps Commission and the Commission's first public hearing on Thurs., Oct. 1, 2020.

Audio file of radio address.

tony-eversHi, folks. Governor Tony Evers here.

I believe, and I know Wisconsinites do too, that the people should get to choose their elected officials, not the other way around.

That’s why earlier this year I announced and established The People’s Maps Commission.

This commission will work over the next several months to listen to voters and experts to draw our next electoral maps for the state of Wisconsin to be considered by the Legislature during the 2021 redistricting process.

This week we announced the members of that commission who were selected by a nonpartisan panel of retired judges.

These folks are doctors, librarians, and teachers, not politicians, lobbyists, or elected officials. They come from each one of Wisconsin’s legislative districts, from Racine to Menomonie, and they represent the best Wisconsin has to offer.

I am looking forward to this diverse, energetic, and talented group leading the way on nonpartisan redistricting in our state.

Folks, this isn’t a Democratic or Republican redistricting commission, and it’s certainly not the Tony Evers redistricting commission. It’s your commission.

You can meet the commission members and learn more about the Commission at their first public hearing on Thursday, October 1st. For more information, please visit: www.wisconsin.gov/peoplesmaps.

Thank you.

 
Union Leaders Blast Trump PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Philip Shulman   
Monday, 07 September 2020 16:22

electrical-workersAdministration is betraying working Wisconsinites say union leaders on Labor Day.


WISCONSIN - On Labor Day, ahead of Mike Pence’s visit to La Crosse, AFT Wisconsin President Kim Kohlhaas, Wisconsin Farmers Union President Darin Von Ruden, and AFSCME Council 32 Representative Valerie Landowski blasted Trump and his administration’s betrayal of working Wisconsinites. Whether it’s teachers, students and their families, farmers, manufacturers, or essential workers, Trump has systematically put these people in harm's way with his chaotic and dangerous policies.

See, in part, what the speakers said below or watch the full event here.

AFT Wisconsin President Kim Kohlhaas: “Donald Trump and Betsy DeVos are trying to pretend that all is right in the world when we see everyday how far we are from gaining any sense of normalcy because Trump failed to contain the virus. It is because of this failure that so many students are either learning virtually or only attending school a few days a week...It didn’t have to be this bad, but Trump and DeVos have forced states to fend for themselves, and now teachers, students and parents are paying the price. Trump had over seven months to get things under control, including getting us a back to school plan, a national testing and tracing program to flatten the curve, but was simply too ineffective to do so. We can’t afford another four years with this failed leadership...Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have a plan to get us back to school safely. They respect the science, they respect students and families, and they respect the values teachers bring to our communities.”

Wisconsin Farmers Union President Darin Von Ruden: “To date we have lost 2255 dairy farms here in the state of Wisconsin. That's in the upper 24% of all dairy farms in states since Trump took office...Trump’s been bragging about how great the USMCA and phase one of the China trade deal has been for agriculture in the U.S., [but] we still have one and a half dairy farms a day in the state of Wisconsin...He calls our war heroes and war veterans losers and suckers. Are the Wisconsin farmers -- the 2255 of us who have gone out of business that he’s called patriots for the last four years -- are we losers and suckers too?...Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are workers. They want to help us get through these tough times. Through their leadership we’re going to be much better off in four years than we are today.”

AFSCME Council 32 Representative Valerie Landowski: "Our members are on the frontlines fighting COVID every single day...Every move the Trump administration has made has been a failure. It’s put working families underwater and it’s risked the lives of hard working Wisconsinites...In Trump’s 2017 tax-scam bill he encouraged companies to outsource jobs, and rewarded executives with even bigger bonuses while our front line workers and companies haven’t gotten wage increases, hazard pay, or the benefits they were promised. We aren’t getting the PPE we need in our facilities, while we’ve seen thousands of layoffs and furloughed employees, which has created an economic downturn that will destroy Wisconsins and the country's economy for years to come. Mike Pence came here to pretend that everything is great...but if you talk to any of our essential frontline employees they’d tell you a very different story; Wisconsinites are suffering greatly under Trump and his administration."

 
Military Veterans Appreciated, Then Forgotten PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Palzewicz for Wisconsin, Chelsea Cross   
Friday, 04 September 2020 12:32

vets-coming-home"We thank them for their service, but we forget them when they need us," says Navy veteran Palzewicz. You can express your appreciation better by ensuring their needs are met, before and after they come home.

Read more...
 
Democratic Radio “Student Debt Final Report” PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by GOV Press Wisconsin   
Friday, 04 September 2020 08:57

uwgb-studentMADISON —​ Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions Secretary Kathy Blumenfeld today delivered the Democratic Radio Address on the Governor's Task Force on Student Debt final report. The report outlines recommendations for how Wisconsin can provide relief, education, and protection to its students debtholders now and in the future. To learn more, read the final report on the task force website.

Audio file of radio address.

Hi, I’m Kathy Blumenfeld and I’m the Secretary for the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions.

This summer I had the honor of chairing the Governor’s Task Force on Student Debt. The task force was created by Governor Tony Evers to address the growing student debt crisis here in our state.

In Wisconsin, we have more than $24 billion in outstanding student loan debt, and making matters worse, 53% of Wisconsinites live paycheck-to-paycheck.

Over the course of our meetings, we heard from experts and stakeholders in the field, as well as from borrowers on the challenges they face when repaying their student loans. We used this input to inform our work and provide the governor with eight recommendations to help our most vulnerable borrowers.

These include, among others, creating a Borrower Bill of Rights, improving financial literacy education, expanding targeted loan forgiveness programs, promoting refinancing opportunities, and creating a student debt relief tax credit.

Overall, our recommendations provide a multi-faceted and multi-generational approach to solving Wisconsin’s student debt problem, helping Wisconsinites before they borrow, while they are enrolled in school, and after they graduate.

Now, we must collectively move forward on the hard work ahead. You can read our final report by visiting: LookForwardWI.gov. Thank you.

 
A Chance for Change PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Palzewicz for Wisconsin, Chelsea Cross   
Thursday, 03 September 2020 09:46

kenosha-protests-aljazeeraAs both Trump and Biden visit Kenosha, we need to put progress over partisanship and find real solutions to bring the community together says 5th Congressional District candidate.

Read more...
 
Repair Trust in Pursuit of Racial Equality PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Jeff Smith, State Senator District 31   
Wednesday, 02 September 2020 08:51

kenosha-jacob-blake-shooting-wsjThe Governor called for a special session of the Legislature to reform police practices and improve police accountability. As state leaders, it’s our job to make Wisconsin more just and equitable for all residents.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 02 September 2020 09:16
Read more...
 
Now is Not the Time for Senate Recess PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Jon Erpenbach. State Senator 27th District   
Tuesday, 01 September 2020 10:28

scott-fitzgeraldRepublicans came to the floor and gaveled in Monday, but delayed action. Legislature should listen and act now, says Sen. Erpenbach.


WEST POINT, WI - The Wisconsin Legislature must rise to meet this moment. In March, Breonna Taylor was killed while officers executed a no-knock warrant on her home. In May, George Floyd was killed after being arrested by the Minneapolis Police. On August 23rd, a Kenosha Police Officer fired seven shots at Jacob Blake’s back; causing him to be paralyzed from the waist down. Reform is necessary.

In June, Governor Evers released a package of bills designed to begin to restore equal justice in Wisconsin. The bills are an attempt to address real issues that we need to take on in order to make real change. Republicans in the Legislature did not act in June. In fact it has been 138 days since they have done anything at all. Nothing to address unemployment, nothing to address the continued demands of a global pandemic, nothing to address racial justice.

jon-erpenbach-radioThe Republican answer to all of our state’s pressing issues has been to create a task force. How can we be expected to take that seriously when just 3 out of the 30 bills introduced by the Speaker’s numerous task forces have resulted in anything at all? Democrats stand ready to meet this moment and bring about the change that has been desperately needed for far too long.

Monday Republicans came to the floor and gaveled in because they had to; because the rules of a special session called by the Governor require them to. It is now up to them how they answer the demands for justice being heard around Wisconsin.

We stand with those calling for change, with those peacefully protesting injustice. We share the anger and frustration of those who want the Legislature to act. We can no longer turn our backs on this moment and wait for it to pass.

 
Another Missed Opportunity for the Legislature to lead PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Assembly Democrats, Ryan Neigbauer   
Tuesday, 01 September 2020 09:49

kenosha-shootingMadison- Rep. Gruszynski (D-Green Bay) released the following statement Monday responding to Assembly Leadership ignoring Governor Evers Call for a Special Session on Police Reform:

staush-gruszynski-official“It comes as no surprise that Assembly Leadership chose to abdicate their responsibilities to lead our state. By gaveling in and recessing today’s special session, GOP leadership has decided not to take up these important pieces of legislation and help lead our state. They should stop playing politics and put us to work so we can debate these common sense solutions for policing reform. These bills have already been put into place by numerous states before us -- this is just another missed opportunity to take action.”

 
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