State Senator Chris Larson will be on Zoom at our July 21st in-person meeting
Shawano Civic Center
Here is the Zoom link if you can’t make the meeting:
Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson will be stopping by on his 72 county tour across the state July 28th 9:00 a.m.
Angie’s Main Café back room
132 S. Main St. Shawano, WI
Soon to be announced:
Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes will be the seventh candidate to take on Johnson. We will be inviting him to a future event.
MAKE SOME IMPORTANT PHONE CALLS
Contact your representatives and tell them to support these bills to have fair maps and end gerrymandering. The bills define a new procedure for the drawing of nonpartisan legislative and congressional redistricting maps. If we want popular progressive legislation passed by our Legislature, we need to let them know that we want these bills passed:
Senate Bill 389:
Senate District 2: Robert Cowles 608-266-0484
Senate District 12: Mary Felzkowski 608-266-2509
Assembly Bill 395:
Assembly District 6: Gary Tauchen 608-266-3097
Assembly District 36: Jeffrey Mursau 608-266-3780
Assembly District 35: Calvin Callahan 608-266-7694
This is Tauchen’s last term. Tell him he needs to do what is best for our democracy—let the people choose their representatives, not the other way around. Call the Legislative Hotline if you aren’t sure of your representatives (800-362-9472).
JULY LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Sent to the Shawano Leader:
This past year students and their families, schools and educators had to sacrifice so much. The one-time $2.3 billion in federal funding from the American Rescue Plan was meant to help public schools recover. However, the funding was not meant to relieve the state of its responsibility. By law federal funding will NOT be received by any Legislature that fails to increase education funding by at least $387 million over the next two years.
The original Republican supported 2021-2023 budget sent to the governor cut Evers’ budget to $128 million, thus putting the federal aid in jeopardy. The governor, who cares deeply about education, did not want Wisconsin lose the federal funding. Therefore, he used his constitutional authority to revise the budget adding $100 million in recovery funds to invest in Wisconsin’s classrooms.
Districts will now be able to use these funds for non-pandemic-related expenses such as hiring educators and staff, providing additional educational or mental health supports or buying computers.
This is such a breath of fresh air after Wisconsin had been ranked 49th in the nation for per-pupil education investment increases. Over the past decade, Wisconsin’s investment in K-12 per pupil spending had increased a measly 4.3% compared to 18.9% nationwide. The Joint Committee on Finance had a chance to change that in the 2021-23 budget, but it took the governor to prioritize our children and their education.
In the past the State of Wisconsin had one of the best public school systems in the nation. Part of this was due to state funding which provided two-thirds of the cost. For two decades this has not been the case and the local tax payers have had to support their school districts. This made it difficult for many rural school districts to provide a quality education. Thanks to Governor Evers the 2021-23 biennial budget provides roughly $685 million in additional net general and categorical school aids. This funding restores the state’s commitment to providing two-thirds of the cost.
There will be $89 million that the governor put into reimbursement for students with disabilities and $19 million in school mental health programs. These services had been drastically underfunded.
As a retired educator, it is heartening and a relief to see our state putting money back into the education of our children.
Republicans are proposing to extend the current set of gerrymandered election maps. Delays with the census data have made the redistricting timeline tight, and the GOP are using that as an excuse to propose keeping rigged maps in place for another year. This bill is being fast tracked to prevent public input. A public hearing will occur Monday and the committee vote Tuesday. Read the testimony from the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign for more information.
Call your State Legislators and ask them to oppose Senate Bill 385 and Assembly Bill 369.
What to say:
“Hi, my name is [NAME] and I’m a constituent at [ADDRESS].
I’m calling to ask my local legislators to oppose Senate Bill 385 and Assembly Bill 369 which would shift the redistricting timeline. A federal court ruled the current set of election maps an unconstitutional gerrymander. Wisconsinites deserve new, fairer maps before any more elections take place. Thank you.”
When to Call: ASAP
Source: Brown County Democratic Party
UNITED STATES SENATE CANDIDATES
Now there are six candidates vying for the chance to defeat Ron Johnson in the November, 2022 election. In addition to Tom Nelson, Alex Lowry, Sarah Godlewski and Gillian Battino, the following candidates have announced their candidacy.
State Senator Chris Larson wants to unrig the system in addition to stopping the fascism that has been taking over America. He believes in affordable child care, paid family leave and access to healthcare for all. He will Zoom with us at our July 21st meeting. https://voteforlarson.org/
Steve Olikara is the founder and former CEO of the Millennial Action Project which trains young elected officials to build diverse coalitions for real change. He wants to lead with the values of dignity, inclusion and compassion. You can find out more at https://www.stevenolikara.com/.
UNITED STATES SENATE CANDIDATES
So far there are four candidates vying for the chance to defeat Ron Johnson in the November, 2022 election.
Sarah Godlewski will be speaking at our May 19th meeting. She is a small business woman and our State Treasurer. She is running to fix Ron Johnson’s mess and get Washington laser-focused on the kitchen table issues facing Wisconsin families. www.sarahforwisconsin.com.
Tom Nelson has been the Outagamie County Executive since 2011. He previously spent six years in the Wisconsin Assembly. He believes we need real leaders in Washington who will take COVID seriously. www.nelsonforwi.com
Alex Lasry is a businessman and co-owner of the Milwaukee Bucks. He served in the Obama White House. Alex is running to bring a new way of thinking to Washington and deliver real results for Wisconsinites. www.alexlasry.com
Gillian Battino is a radiologist from Wausau. She spent more than 20 years in medicine and public service. She wants to use her empathy to build a brighter future for all of Wisconsin. www.battinoforsenate.us
Right now, the Wisconsin Senate and the Assembly are rushing a raft of anti-voter bills through the Legislature.
Yesterday, the Senate voted to pass three proposals (Senate Bills 207, 210 and 213) that were passed out of committee just the day before.
We need you to contact your legislators – today or by the end of the week! – to voice your strong opposition and protect the freedom to vote.
To contact your legislators, call the toll-free legislative hotline at 1-800-362-9472 during normal business hours. Or send them an email:
E-mail directory for Senators, click here.
E-mail directory for Assembly members, click here.
It is uplifting to have both a governor and now a president who have our best interests in mind.
COVID relief is a prime example of what our Democratic leaders can do to help people. The passage of President Biden’s Build Back Better legislation is such a contrast to the state Republicans who did nothing for 288 days in 2020 to help Wisconsinites. Evers’ 2021-2023 budget has provisions for further relief.
Even though it has been proven the 2020 election results were accurate, the “Big Lie” continues to be a talking point among some Republicans, including our own senator, Ron Johnson. They are using this lie as a reason for passing more voter suppression legislation in states across the country including Wisconsin. We need to continue to be vigilant and let our representatives know that we wanted it easier for citizens to vote, not harder.
The Senate will soon be taking up the For the People Act (H.R 1) which has already been passed by the House of representatives. It would expand voting rights, get money out of politics, and limit partisan gerrymandering. We need to keep the pressure on our state and federal representatives to support these ideas.
The spring primary is an opportunity for you to show your support for public education. A vote for Jill Underly will allow Governor Evers to implement his vision for a return to a strong public education system in Wisconsin. You can request an absentee ballot at www.myvote.wi.gov. Ballots will be sent out by March 16th. Early in-person voting will begin on March 23rd. Exercise your right!
Don’t’ hesitate to contact us with your ideas or concerns.
Jan Koch, Chair (March 2021)
The Spring Primary made one thing clear: there is one true progressive public schools champion in the race for State Superintendent, and that’s Dr. Jill Underly. The Democratic Party of Wisconsin is proud to endorse her campaign to become our next Superintendent at the Department of Public Instruction, a job once held by our own Governor Tony Evers.
Dr. Underly has more than two decades of public education experience, and has served kids pre-kindergarten through college, as a teacher, a principal, a mentor, and a district superintendent.
Sign up to get involved in Jill Underly’s campaign at: https://underlyforwi.com/join-the-team/.
“Please see Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article below about ending mask mandate then please call Rep. (of 6th) Gary Tauchen at 608-266-3097 (Rep. of 36th Jeffrey Mursau 608-266-3780; Rep. of 35th Calvin Callahan 608-266-7694) and Senator (of 2nd) Robert Cowles at 800-334-1465 (Senator of 12th Mary Felzkowski 608-266-2509) to voice your opposition to ending the WI mask mandate (ie you support the mask mandate!!). Masking, physical distancing and avoiding large groups are the public health measures the CDC recommend to stop the spread of coronavirus. Even after both doses of vaccine we will still need to wear masks. Please contact our state representatives to voice your opposition to ending the mask mandate (support continuing the mask mandate) in WI. We need to continue to wear masks to get this pandemic under control.”Check out this article from Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
Shawano County Board’s Executive Committee unanimously approved a resolution asking the Legislature to create a nonpartisan procedure for the drawing of redistricting maps. This would end the gerrymandering we have been living with. Please call your County Board Supervisor and tell them to vote “yes” at the Aug. 26th County Board meeting. If you would like to give your support to our efforts, come to the meeting which begins at 3:00 pm.