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How “Doing Nothing” Works for Politicians PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jeff Smith, State Senator District 31   
Wednesday, 23 September 2020 15:49

scott-fitzgeraldWe see politicians use a “Do Nothing” strategy to avoid responsibility or point fingers, says Sen. Smith in his weekly column.

LWV of Wisconsin Engages in National Voter Registration Day PDF Print E-mail
Written by League of Women Voters Wisconsin   
Tuesday, 22 September 2020 16:35

vote-47-milwaukee-mbMADISON, Wis. – Today, the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin (LWVWI) is joining the country in celebrating National Voter Registration Day in advance of Election Day on November 3, 2020.

“The first step to participating in our democracy is registering to vote, and we want this process to be both exciting and accessible for eligible voters,” said Eileen Newcomer, LWVWI voter education manager. “We are proud to be a part of this celebration of voting and hope to continue this energy through November.”

With a historic presidential election approaching, every eligible Wisconsin voter should be able to exercise their voice at the ballot box, and communities across the country are planning to use National Voter Registration Day to increase voter engagement. Partner organizations will coordinate hundreds of events on and offline nationwide, and leverage #NationalVoterRegistrationDay in all social media platforms to drive attention to voter registration.

The League encourages all voters to ensure they are registered at their current address by checking their registration status at This is especially important for first time voters, voters who have recently moved, voters who have not voted in a while and/or voters who have not voted since their voting rights have been restored after completing a felony sentence.

LWVWI is not letting the pandemic stop us from providing registration assistance this fall. Many Leagues across Wisconsin have socially distant registration drives planned for National Voter Registration Day or are taking part in virtual voter registration events. Find an event near you and learn more about opportunities to join us and volunteer here.

Wisconsin voters can register and vote on Election Day because Wisconsin has Election Day registration; however, the League recommends voters register in advance. Wisconsin residents can register to vote online at, or by mail, until October 14, 2020.

The League invites Wisconsinites to join us in celebrating National Voter Registration Day by checking their registration status, attending a registration event and asking their friends and family if they are registered and ready to vote. We also encourage people to reach out to the League of Women Voters to find out how they can help with voter registration and join the voter service teams in their community.


The League of Women Voters of Wisconsin is a nonpartisan political organization that advocates for informed and active participation in government. There are 20 local Leagues in Wisconsin. More information at

Last Updated on Thursday, 24 September 2020 16:41
Gov. Evers Appoints Jon Richards, Reyna Morales to the Milwaukee County Circuit Court PDF Print E-mail
Written by GOV Press Wisconsin   
Tuesday, 22 September 2020 09:12

justice-statueMADISON — Gov. Tony Evers announced today that he is appointing attorney and former state representative Jon Richards and long-time attorney with the State Public Defender’s Office Reyna Morales to the Milwaukee County Circuit Court. The appointments fill vacancies created by the departures of Judges Jeffrey Conen and David Hansher, respectively.

“It is critical that we have judges who understand the unprecedented challenges facing our state and nation. Both Jon Richards and Reyna Morales have long, distinguished careers addressing systemic problems and fighting for justice,” Gov. Evers said.

reyna-moralesMorales has been an attorney with the State Public Defender’s Office since 1997. She has represented thousands of indigent clients on a variety of matters, including felonies, misdemeanors, termination of parental rights, mental health commitments, guardianships, juvenile cases, and civil cases handled by the Public Defender’s Office. In addition to her commitment to her clients she has spent a significant amount of time mentoring, training, and working within the community in a variety of roles.

“I am profoundly grateful to Gov. Evers for the extraordinary opportunity to serve all the people of Milwaukee County as circuit court judge. I pledge to administer justice with integrity, fairness, and impartiality,” Morales said. 

Morales has served as a board member for the Wisconsin Hispanic Lawyers Association, Felmers O. Chaney Advocacy Board, and Marquette University Law School Alumni Association. She also volunteers her time participating in Law Day activities at local schools and as a judge for mock trials.

“It is fitting that during National Hispanic Heritage month Gov. Evers appointed accomplished public defender Reyna Morales, who will bring experience, fairness, and diversity to the bench,” said Justice Rebecca Frank Dallet.

jon-richardsRichards has practiced civil law for more than 25 years, representing working families, non-profit organizations, and small businesses. He is a partner with Ziino, Germanotta, Knoll & Christensen in Milwaukee. From 1999 to 2014, Richards represented Milwaukee in the Wisconsin State Assembly, including serving on the Joint Committee on Finance and chairing the Assembly Health Committee. He was the lead Assembly author of the statewide smoking ban and worked with the families of victims of gun violence to expand background checks for gun purchases. His work has been recognized by the State Bar of Wisconsin, Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council, Association of State Prosecutors, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Planned Parenthood and Equality Wisconsin.

“Now more than ever, we need to address the racial disparities in our justice system and recognize that there are barriers that stand in the way of justice,” Richards said.  “I am honored to be appointed by Gov. Evers to apply the law both accurately and fairly while ensuring that constitutional rights are protected. I believe everyone who appears in court should be treated with dignity and respect, and I will do so as a judge. We need to make greater use of alternatives to prison, such as drug treatment courts and other diversion courts, and address the root causes of crime and violence. I look forward to bringing to the bench the understanding I have developed through 25 years of private practice, as well my time as a lawmaker, of how economics and power shape the issues and people appearing before the court.”

Richards is highly involved in the community; as a volunteer attorney for tenants through the Eviction Defense Project and for survivors of human trafficking through Lotus Legal Clinic, as the director of the Take Back Meds coalition to prevent drug abuse and the contamination of Lake Michigan, as a “big brother” with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Milwaukee, as a member of the American Constitution Society and through serving on the boards of the Medical Society of Milwaukee County, Woodlands School and the  Brady Street Area Association.

“Jon understands the needs of vulnerable people in Milwaukee County and has been doing important work, both as a lawyer and as a member of the community, to address the challenges so many Milwaukee County residents face,” said Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley. “I am confident that Jon will be a judge who takes his responsibility to the community seriously and who will work effectively with others to create the changes in the justice system that Milwaukee County needs.”

Last Updated on Thursday, 24 September 2020 09:26
Gov. Evers Orders Flags to Half-Staff in Honor of Justice Ginsburg PDF Print E-mail
Written by GOV Press Wisconsin   
Monday, 21 September 2020 09:02

ruth-bader-ginsberg-rbgMADISON — Gov. Tony Evers on Friday ordered the flags of the United States and the state of Wisconsin to be flown at half-staff in honor of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, pursuant to 4 U.S.C. § 7(m). Gov. Evers today formally issued Executive Order #89 requiring flags to be flown at half-staff at all buildings, grounds, and military installations of the state of Wisconsin equipped with such flags until sunset on the date of interment.

tony-evers“Justice Ginsburg was a stalwart public servant who spent her life working to hold our country accountable for our promises of equity, equality, truth, and justice. What a devastating loss,” said Gov. Evers.

Executive Order #89 can be found here.

DWD Secretary Caleb Frostman Resigns Over Unemployment Claims Backlog PDF Print E-mail
Written by GOV Press Wisconsin   
Friday, 18 September 2020 22:44

caleb-frostmanResignation effective immediately, DOC Deputy Secretary Pechacek to lead transition.

LWVWI Publishes Bilingual Voter Guide for General Election PDF Print E-mail
Written by League of Women Voters Wisconsin   
Friday, 18 September 2020 10:40

voting-2020-538VOTE411 is a “one-stop-shop” for nonpartisan election information, allowing voters to have access to unbiased candidate information.

Last Updated on Saturday, 19 September 2020 10:53
Key swing-state election lawsuits could help shape the presidential race PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Hill Press   
Friday, 18 September 2020 09:24

vote-47-mb1In Wisconsin, residents filed a lawsuit against state officials who forced in-person voting in April. The RNC and the Republican Party of Wisconsin back the defendants.

Last Updated on Friday, 18 September 2020 09:52
Macco/Steffen Police Officer Bill Faces Major Hurdles in State Senate PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wisconsin Senate, Jay Wadd   
Friday, 18 September 2020 08:02

gb-policeBill would help Green Bay Police Department hire local DACA resident as a police officer.

Last Updated on Saturday, 19 September 2020 09:24
How Will We Replace Jobs In An Automated Society? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Palzewicz for Wisconsin, Chelsea Cross   
Thursday, 17 September 2020 16:23

manufacturing-plant-closedCollege graduates had a reasonable expectation of employment, but even before the pandemic, that expectation was on the decline, as the economy changed. We need workers who can think and adapt.

Brookfield, WI – Americans value hard work and take pride in a job well done.  As automation and artificial intelligence move ever forward, and as Americans lose their jobs, what jobs will replace them? Democrat Tom Palzewicz knows this will be an issue for Wisconsin's Fifth Congressional District.

"That's the ultimate question," Palzewicz said. "Milwaukee used to be the tool and die making capital of the country.  Now all of those jobs are gone. Allis Chalmers is gone. A.O. Smith is gone, American Motors folded, our Chrysler plants closed.  Jobs in the future might be more about thinking than doing.  After working in risk management for banks, I transitioned to teaching.  Now I teach managers how to manage people."

tom-palzewicz"As globalization expands, there will be a tremendous shift.  It will not be about what I produce, but what I think about and the creation of ideas.  The biggest shift in the future will be in getting value out of doing work. It's almost an existential crisis, on the same level as climate. If we don't handle it correctly we will pay a dear price. If we let capitalism decide this one, we're going to be in huge trouble because the playing field is far too skewed toward capital versus labor."

People need to earn a living wage, where universal basic income comes into play, as jobs diminish.  But there are problems in advancing that idea.

"My conservative friends might be thinking when you're talking about universal, basic income,' If you don't work, you don't eat, and I don't owe you a living.'  That's one of the significant hurdles we're going to have to get over.  But it's happening. We've already begun that process. We're producing more people with college degrees, but that doesn't translate into the workforce's needs.  How do you take what you learned and put it into something that resembles work?"

"A liberal arts education is often overlooked in favor of specialized areas of learning.  However, it develops a well-rounded, thinking individual.  In so many industries there are hiring freezes.  I went into banking and risk management.  My degree was in accounting, but I had to make the adjustment to meet the needs of the industry.  Later on, I created my own business."

In years past, college graduates had a reasonable expectation of employment, but even before the pandemic, that expectation was on the decline, as the economy changed.

"It's not like people will have a job. People will do things in exchange for money and add value where they can, but it might be several things," said Palzewicz. "And it might be dozens of things over somebody's lifetime that they move in and out of and provide value to. But this whole idea of chasing a job that has benefits and a retirement plan is absolutely gone at this point."

Palzewicz wants to level the playing field and bring capital and labor closer together, to share in the American dream.

Last Updated on Saturday, 19 September 2020 08:53
Will Technology Replace People In The Future? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Palzewicz for Wisconsin, Chelsea Cross   
Thursday, 17 September 2020 16:01

manufacturing-jobsMassive change in the nature of work will require many to learn new skills.

Brookfield, WI – We live in an age of technology, with automation and artificial intelligence no longer being things of science fiction, but the reality of today's life.  Robotic surgery has forever changed healthcare, and assembly lines in factories no longer require workers.  The massive change requires us to look at what work will be in the years and decades ahead.  Democrat Tom Palzewicz, running for the Fifth Congressional District seat, believes America needs to plan now for the future and make the necessary adjustments.

Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in the mid-19th Century, America has been transformed from a largely agrarian society into an industrial power and then into a technological leader as the world economy has become global. Where do people fit into the new equation? What will work look like?  Will there be any need for people?  More importantly, for Palzewicz, will the ever-expanding divide between rich and poor and the elimination of the middle class spell the end of the American dream?

tom-palzewicz"We need to start thinking about what work really means, and what's the value that people play in society?" Palzewicz asks. "In America, people have always been our greatest asset, people from all countries and cultures.  We are the great melting pot of the world.  As automation takes more and more jobs away, we need to think about workers and what becomes of them.  As we move forward, we need to look at what work will look like and examine the value of work."

Most people agree that if you do not work, you don't eat. It's a familiar phrase.  If there is no job, or automation replaces a vast majority of the workforce, we lessen the opportunity to earn a living wage considerably.

"I had gone through periods in my life when it was difficult to make ends meet, as have so many others," said Palzewicz. "It was a challenge sometimes to keep a roof over your head or even keep fed. I had periods when health insurance wasn't available to me, and I didn't necessarily have the money to pay out-of-pocket.  I was going to school, and the potential was there, but the reality was I didn't have the employment that would offer me the opportunity to own a home and raise a family.  My wife, Terri, and I had challenges.

"We need to look seriously at universal basic income.  Healthcare, food and shelter are your starting points.  With the advent of automation, jobs will disappear and incomes with that.  We can agree that people need to earn their keep."

Where people will fit into the system is the key question to be answered.

"The question then becomes, as a society, what do we consider to be the value of a person?", Palzewicz asks. "Who gets the benefit of automation and what's going to be the disparity between capital and labor.  That is the ultimate question. At this point, workers will build automation machines that will put them out of work."

Palzewicz sees the need to restructure education and workforce training to meet the new economic challenges ahead.

Last Updated on Saturday, 19 September 2020 13:09
Gov. Evers Seeking Nominations for Virginia Hart Special Recognition Award PDF Print E-mail
Written by GOV Press Wisconsin   
Thursday, 17 September 2020 09:24

virginia-hartAward honors talented women in state government dedicated to serving the people of Wisconsin and who go above and beyond to help others.

MADISON – Gov. Tony Evers announced today he is seeking nominations for the 37th annual Virginia Hart Special Recognition Award recognizing the contribution and achievements of women in Wisconsin state government.

tony-evers“The Virginia Hart Award has always emphasized celebrating women in state government dedicated to serving the people of Wisconsin and who go above and beyond to help others,” said Gov. Evers. “There is no doubt that Ms. Hart’s leadership and tremendous legacy live on through this award.”

Virginia Hart was Wisconsin’s first woman to hold the position of cabinet secretary, serving as Secretary of the Department of Regulation and Licensing, chairperson of the Department of Industry, Labor and Human Relations, and chairperson of the Labor and Industry Review Commission.  Following her retirement, Ms. Hart’s friends and colleagues established a fund in 1983 to annually recognize the contributions of a woman in state government.

The Virginia Hart Award recognizes “unsung heroines” in state service who share the following qualities: esteem from peers; acceptance of responsibility beyond the limits of the nominee’s job description; sustained, extraordinary achievement of assigned tasks; performance recognition from clients; community service; self-improvement; and overcoming handicaps to performance.

Nominations may be made by anyone and are accepted through October 2, 2020. All women employed in state government are eligible. The winner will receive $250 and will be honored via a pre-recorded, virtual award ceremony that will debut online on October 30, 2020. 

The Virginia Hart Award is administered by the Department of Administration (DOA). The nomination form and additional eligibility requirements are available here. Please submit all nominations by October 2, 2020 to: Hart Recognition Committee, Attn: Nicole Guardiola, by email at: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Last Updated on Saturday, 19 September 2020 09:50
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