Author Archives: Karen McKim

Picnic – Just for fun – Sat, July 29, Vilas Park

Saturday, July 29th from 4:00pm-7:00pm….Vilas Park, near the basketball court, off Van Buren St….
A picnic! Featuring food, kids games/activities, whiffle ball, Free Farmer’s Market*, Free Yard Sale*, and information about the co-sponsoring organizations and how to get involved.

Everyone is welcome! Cosponsored by Our Wisconsin Revolution – Dane County Chapter Council Of Communities Team 19 Indivisible Madison South Central Federation of Labor

Is your organization interested in joining in the fun? Contact Cynthia cynthiaburnson@gmail.com

*In the Free Farmer’s Market and Free Yard Sale, attendees can bring their extra garden bounty and unwanted household items to contribute to a communal table, from which everyone is free to take whatever they’d like. No need to contribute in order participate. Extras will be donated.

Our WI Revolution-Dane County Chapter – Thurs. 20th

Frustrated, worried, and angry? Don’t want to just wait for the next Trump disaster? If so, take your energy straight to the action.

On Thursday, July 20th, 6:30PM, at the Madison Public Library, downtown, the  next OWR-Dane Assembly will continue to activate campaigns to:
* Register voters across the state
* Bring the fight for health care to the local level
* Increase funding to low-income schools in Dane County and surrounding areas
* Require disclosure of big donors trying to influence Wisconsin elections
* Help build the organization
If these or similar issues are of interest to you and you want to start working proactively, join the Dane County OWR folks next Thursday!

RSVP Here: https://actionnetwork.org/events/july-monthly-assembly

Healthcare for All Campaign Kickoff – Thurs, June 29

Do you think that healthcare in this country and in Wisconsin is in need of drastic reform? Do you want to get involved and be part of the solution?

Join OWR’s Campaign Kickoff to fight for healthcare for all in Wisconsin and nationwide! Wisconsinites of all political backgrounds can work together to defend Badgercare, Medicaid, and Medicare with the ultimate goal of adopting single-payer health care in Wisconsin and nationally.

The event includes short informational presentations followed by Q & A. Then we get to work signing up for action teams. Speakers include:

  • Professor Tom Oliver, Population Health Sciences, UW-Madison From ACA to AHCA: The Real and Present Danger to Our Health and Health Care System
  • Dr Laurel Mark, Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP) The Time for Medicare for All Is Now
  • Jim Wrich & Rahul Mahajan, Our Wisconsin Revolution OWR and the Fight for Healthcare in Wisconsin

THURSDAY, June 29th, 6:30pm at the Goodman Center, 149 Waubesa Street, Madison.  Free Childcare Provided

OWR Founding Convention in Stevens Point June 23-24

The future of the Wisconsin progressive movement is taking shape! Our Wisconsin Revolution’s founding convention will take place in Stevens Point on June 23-24. Bylaws will be adopted, and board members elected.

Find out more and participate!

OWR writes: “We have a lot of work to do in the next few months to build OWR. Movements come from the ground up, and we need OWR to stand up, together, and get our government working for all of us again. Your participation at every level moves the needle. Join us at the OWR Founding Convention to take your place in the political revolution.”

 

Money out of Politics – Introduction of state referendum – Wed. 11:30, Capitol

Another critical event coming up on Wednesday! Nothing is more fundamental to correcting America’s and Wisconsin’s course than getting the money out of politics. We must get a big crowd to the State Capitol, Assembly Parlor (West Wing, second floor) at 11:30 on Wednesday April 19 to show massive support for this cause.

The event is the introduction of resolutions that would create a statewide Citizens United advisory referendum asking voters if they support allowing corporations to spend unlimited amounts of money on political campaigns.
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Rep. Subeck and Sen. Hansen gathered more than 30 co-sponsors of the bill and will formally introduce the bill Wednesday at 11:30, in the Assembly Parlor.

March for Science – Sat., April 22

Who would ever have thought the day would come when we have to march to remind our fellow citizens and powers-that-be that reason, facts, and actual knowledge are the basis for sound public policy? But that day is here, so march we must!
Check out this event, and join in on Saturday, April 22.
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A new resource for content for your grassroots group’s social media

Here’s an interesting new resource for grassroots groups in Wisconsin, with news and other resources, such as political cartoons, that you can share through your own group’s social media.
The Commoner Call introduces itself: “(This website) will not only be a source for news. It will also be a tool for activism…If you have an event to promote, send us a press release. Got an opinion, send us a letter. Got a complaint, drop us a note. We will post Mondays and Thursdays. If there is a special event or an emergency or critical action that needs to be taken we will publish bulletins, as needed. We will be refining the web site as we go along.

There is no charge, membership or subscription for The Commoner Call. There is no paid advertising. Nobody is getting paid a dime. We will take no money. It is all volunteer. That makes us independent.”

 

All hands on deck to save the Constitution!

The extremely wealthy right has long wanted government to go away–or, in the words of Grover Norquist, to be so small you can drown it in a bathtub. Why do they want this? Because when they have destroyed the ability of the federal government to promote justice and the general welfare, they will be able to use their wealth and power freely in their own self-interest.

Their most recent strategy may be their most effective: A constitutional convention, controlled by Republicans, that will rewrite the Constitution to prevent the federal government to spend no more than it taxes, except for wars.

When the federal government’s role is limited to the military, they will be able to make what’s left of it serve their interests exclusively–buying armaments and conducting wars for oil and other resources they want to take. We will have no functional government left to stand in their way when they turn public education into a private profit industry, spoil any natural resources they want;  operate dangerous work places, sell dangerous toys and drugs,  control what we can and cannot learn about through the Internet, and more. They want to profit from whatever you’re doing, every minute of your day.

Amending the Constitution to enable this has been their dream for a long time. A balanced budget amendment–forcing the federal government to spend no more than it takes in, and maybe a few other changes, like making corporate personhood rights legitimate, would put them over the top. It would effectively destroy our right to self-government, and turn what remains of the federal government into a servant of the interests of corporations and the wealthy.

Yes, that’s what’s at stake in an Article V Constitutional Convention organized and run by Republicans. Common Cause is organizing the fight here in Wisconsin. Contact your state legislators today (both Senate and Assembly), and brace yourself for similar action in the future.

This looks to be a life-or-death fight for democracy. When they re-write our Constitution to serve their own ends, our options won’t be pretty.

Major Democracy/Election Justice Event- Milw., March 18-19

Did you know that counties changed their ward-by-ward reported election results by 17,681 votes in the recount? Yep, they did. In-depth reporting on the results of the recount is only one of the topics at next weekend’s Voting Justice and Democratizing Elections Conference at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Student Union.  Join Jill Stein and national & state democracy activists for a weekend of information and organizing to protect our right to self-government!

Documentary director Jason Grant Smith will be on hand Saturday night to present his award-winning movie, “I Voted?

Plenary sessions will discuss the Recount and what we learned; redistricting; and campaign finance. Activists and experts will lead breakout sessions with topics, including:

  • Voting machine vulnerabilities and safeguards;
  • Verifying election results;
  • Updates on Voter ID action;
  • Racial discrimination in elections;
  • Corporate personhood rights;
  • Ranked Choice Voting;
  • Open Debates and the Influence of the Media; and
  • the Electoral College and the National Popular Vote.

For more information and to register, visit
http://www.jill2016.com/vj_wi

 

 

What do you value? Name it. Say it.

Ask people who vote Republican what values guide their political beliefs, and you will get a quick, clear answer: Small government. Lower taxes. Free markets. Individual liberty.  Strong traditional families. Ask people who vote Democratic the same question, and maybe they’ll mention a specific issue–public schools, money in politics–but you won’t hear any statement of broad, guiding values.

Mike McCabe wrote about this phenomenon in his latest Blue Jean Nation blog post, and I’ve seen it, too. One of my hobbies is studying political conversation–how people talk politics with one another–and I’ve learned that being explicit about our values is a powerful first step to  productive political conversation. So I’ve asked many people: “What values shape your political choices?”

Try it; you’ll hear the same as McCabe and I do. Conservatives fluently put their guiding principles into words; everyone else, not so much. Progressives start listing individual issues.

Talking about values, however, is a surprisingly easy political conversation. Everyone has values; without them, we are inert, we prefer nothing over anything else.  And talk of values rarely deteriorates into a fight, because most people realize that deeply held values are not subject to debate. They are what they are.

But before asking anyone else–in fact right now–put your own values into words. Stop reading this, close your eyes, and decide what you’ll say when someone asks you “What do you value?”

At its formation, the South Central Grassroots Alliance adopted a values statement, which reads, in part:

We value government of, by, and for its human citizens, and we work peacefully and constructively to protect it from those ever-present few who seek to exercise power over us without our consent.  We believe governments should actively serve the purpose for which free men and women created them, which is to promote and protect the opportunities and rights of every living individual to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

McCabe offered his values statements:

  1. Freedom with responsibility. Each individual has a right to be free. But with that right comes an obligation to make sure others are free as well.
  2. Democracy, both political and economic. Both our political system and our economy should be of the people, by the people, and for the people.
  3. Equality. We are all created equal, with inalienable rights. No one starts at third base.
  4. Caretaking. This means looking out for one another, and having each other’s back. It means taking care of the land and water and air.
  5. Service. To community. To country. To each other.

Now you. What do you value?

Put your values into words, and start telling people. The more of us who can do that, the better we’ll be able to start heading in that direction.