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Deforest Area Progressives meeting notes for February 29, 2016

DeForest Area Progressives

Meeting notes for February 29, 2016

 

Next meeting: Monday, March 7, 2016, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Ginny’s, 3922 Partridge Road, Windsor Hill neighborhood.

 

Present at the February 29th meeting: John Scepanski, Ginny Brokish, Karen Edson, Marcia Riquelme, Frank Dederich, Janet Mills.

 

Announcements:

  • March 7 – visit with JoAnne Kloppenburg, Deerfield, Marshal, Waterloo Dems, 121 S. Monroe St., Waterloo
  • March 9th,2016-Bernstock-Green Bay, 4:00-10:00, Green Bay Distillery, 835 Mike McCarthy Way, Ashwaubenon, WI 54304
  • March 25th, Thursday Night Movie- "Hacking Democracy", Madison Public Library, South Branch (Goodman Library), 2222 S. Park St. Free (information: mutualaidnetwork@gmail.com or 608-438-9536)
  • March 10th, Thursday Night Movie-"Uncounted, the new math of American elections.  All info same as March 25th movie night.
  • April 2nd-8th Annual Grassroots Festival-Saturday-Wisconsin Heights HS, 10173 US Hwy.14, Mazomanie, WI. - Registration 8:00 am. Events 9:00 am.-4:45pm.  (http://www.wisconsingrassroots.net/festival )
  • March 12th,Wisconsin Grassroots Northland Festival, listening session, Saturday, 10:00am.5:00pm. LCO convention Center-Bingo Hall, 5 miles east of Hayward, WI on Hwy B.

 

All Kloppenburg for Justice signs are out, according to Ginny.  Janet said she has not seen many in yards.  Melissa Mulligan has more signs, and Janet will see about getting some more.

 

Ginny said the Blues for Bernie event went well.

 

Marcia led a discussion on W.E.B. Dubois’ The Souls of Black Folk as part of Black History Month.

Karen talked about a five or six week workshop she attended last year on Racial Justice-Wisconsin Tipping Point.  She wanted to try to get more connected as a white person.  There is a one-day, multi-racial workshop on racial justice scheduled as follow-up.

 

Janet said there is a lot to do volunteering for JoAnne Kloppenburg for Justice: data entry, yard signs, thank you notes, phone calls, and more.  Go to kloppenburgforjustice.com and click on volunteer.  We discussed other ways we might aid in the effort to elect Judge Kloppenburg.  Locally, you can call Janet Mills – 846-4472 -- to volunteer to drop lit or make phone calls.  Marcia said she would make calls to recruit volunteers.  Janet will furnish Marcia a call list.

 

The listening session set up by Abby for Senator Scott Fitzgerald is scheduled for April 8, 2016, from noon to 1:00 p.m. at the Town of Bristol Town Hall.  Marcia and Karen are going.  Liz Temple and others have expressed interest.  If you are interested in carpooling to the session, reply here.

 

If anyone is interested in applying to be a Democratic Party of Wisconsin delegate to the national Democratic convention, Karen has information and application forms.

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Deforest Area Progressives meeting notes for February 22, 2016

DeForest Area Progressives

Meeting notes for February 22, 2016

 

Next meeting: Monday, February 29, 2016, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Ginny’s, 3922 Partridge Road, Windsor Hill neighborhood.

 

Present at the February 22nd meeting: John Scepanski, Ginny Brokish, Karen Edson, Marcia Riquelme.  We had a great time viewing the movie, “White Like Me,” and discussing what “white privilege” means in the USA.  We also continued our Black History Month discussion on W.E.B. Dubois.

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DeForest Area Progressives meeting notes for February 15, 2016

DeForest Area Progressives

Meeting notes for February 15, 2016

 

Next meeting: Monday, February 22, 2016, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at MARCIA & KAREN’S HOUSE, 3953 Finch Trail, Windsor Hill neighborhood.  This is another movie night, folks.  This being Black History Month, the movie will be “White Like Me,” about “white privilege” in the USA.  Bring a snack to share, if you feel like it.

 

Note in the box where and what the next meeting is.

Present at the February 15th meeting: John Scepanski, Ginny Brokish, Karen Edson, Abby Lowery.

 

Announcements:

  • Blues for Bernie, Feb. 23rd, Tuesday night at The Brinks Lounge, 6 – 9:00 p.m.
  • You Talk We Listen, Northland Grassroots public listening session, Sat., March 12th, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., LCO Convention Center-Bingo Hall, 5 miles east of Hayward, Wis., on Highway 8
  • Feb. 27th, 6:00 p.m. at the Goodman Center, MAMA fundraiser for the Jackson County progressives fighting the frack sand mining there: games, Raging Grannies
  • April 2nd, Wisconsin Grassroots Network Festival at Wisconsin Heights High School, Highway 14 near Mazomanie, registration 8 – 9:00 a.m., program starts at 9:00, $20 includes lunch, wisconsingrassroots.net/festival for details, speakers and entertainment

 

Karen and JohnSki both wrote letters to the editor for Kloppenburg that were published in the DeForest Times-Tribune.  More letter writing is planned on the topic of how GOP legislators in Wisconsin ignore their constituents’ wishes.

 

Karen provided us an update on her progress developing a Jeopardy-like game for our table at the Wisconsin Grassroots Festival (see above).

 

Ginny got 20 Kloppenburg for Supreme Court Justice lawn signs from Janet and distributed them to people on Janet’s list and others.  Asking $5 per sign donation to offset some of the $100 we contributed from the DAP treasury to pay for the signs initially.

 

The Democratic Party of Dane County is getting a bulk order of Feingold for Senate lawn signs.  Karen will get some for us.

 

We discussed the DAP policy against endorsement of candidates and decided to leave it as it is.

 

We discussed Marcia’s outline of information on W.E.B. Dubois for Black History Month.

 

Abby pestered Senator Scott Fitzgerald enough to get him to schedule an office hour listening session on April 8th from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. at the Town of Bristol Town Hall, County Hwy. N.  As many DAP members as can make it should attend and make progressive ideas and opinions known to “our” senator.  (Ginny, please include this opportunity with announcements on our agendas between now and then.)

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DeForest

DeForest Area Progressives

Meeting notes for February 1, 2016

 

NOTE THAT THE NEXT MEETING – MONDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2016 – WILL BE HELD AT THE DEFOREST LIBRARY, 6:00 TO 8:00 PM IN ONE OF THE MAIN FLOOR MEETING ROOMS. 

 

There were three people in attendance at the February 1, 2016, meeting: Ginny, Karen, and JohnSki.

 

Announcements:

  • Library Lobby Day, February 9th; tell your legislator what your local public library means to you.
  • Blues for Bernie: Tuesday, February 23rd, 6:00 – 9:00 at the Brink Lounge

 

Ginny has eighteen Kloppenburg lawn signs and is notifying the people on Janet’s list.  John sent a check for $100 from the DAP treasury to the Kloppenburg campaign to cover for the signs.  Those receiving signs are asked for $5 to reimburse DAP.  John will call Pete to ask permission to put a 4’x4’ plywood sign in his yard.

 

Karen presented her development so far of the Jeopardy-like game she intends to put on at our table at the Wisconsin Grassroots Network Festival April 2nd.  It is Wisconsin trivia.  Categories across the top of the grid will be Business, Women, Odds & Ends, Politics (no kidding), Military, Geography, Does Not Belong, State Symbols.   As In TV Jeopardy, the questions will get harder the further down the grid you go.  Karen is still working on details.  Way to go, Karen!

 

We discussed changing the DAP policy on not endorsing candidates and decided not to change it; that is, DAP will continue to refrain from endorsing candidates.

 

We had a short but fruitful discussion on topics from Black History Month.  Marcia put together the following outline for further discussions at DAP meetings this month.

 

QUOTE FOR TODAY:

“The cost of liberty is less than the price of repression”.-du Bois

Helping us think about our answer to this question:

Do Black Lives Matter to D.A.P. and our Community?

 

We read and discuss:  Souls of Black Folk

By   W.E.B.du Bois,  author and activist:

 Syllabus for a four week exploration, each week examining one of four turning points in his life, and how they relate to citizens’ experiences today.

 Also based on a spectrum of bibliography and media, with emphasis on his book: The Souls of Black Folk. I will bring in music, maybe a video, audio files and encourage you to do so also!

 Week # 1: Controversies between Du Bois and Booker T.Washington

                  And Marcus Garvey

Week #2:  Du Bois’s 2 Explosive Exits from the NAACP (1934 & 1948)

Week #3:  His quest for foundation $ to launch the ENCYCLOPEDIA OF   THE NEGRO

Week #4:   The hard turn Left during the 1950’s.

A few questions, then add your own:

 Preliminary questions for us all: 

 1.Why is it in our interest to look at the life and writings of this famous African American?

 2.What is happening to African American lives in our nation? Our state, our community?

 3.How do events in our nation, state, community, regarding lives of diverse racial groups affect us as D.A.P. members?

 4.What will we do with the discoveries we make, how to put our learning to use?

( Considering we are just beginning answer this now, and then at completion of the 4 weeks. )

 Please add your questions:

 The Souls of Black FolkBook by W. E. B. Du BoisPreview bookThe Souls of Black Folk is a classic work of American literature by W. E. B. Du Bois. It is a seminal work in the history of sociology, and a cornerstone of African-American literary history. WikipediaOriginally published1903AuthorW. E. B. Du BoisCountryUnited States of AmericaGenresSociology, Fiction

 Ordinary people also have the ability to be extraordinary. Their path may be hard to find and filled with stumbling blocks caused by the Veil, but the triumph of the soul is a cause for joy and for celebration even in the midst of darkness. This book is a literary masterpiece because it articulates the cost of hatred and celebrates the power to resist it. Although it was never out of print since its publication in 1903, it assumed an especially important role in the 1960’s, then became a rallying voice and inspiration for the American civil rights struggle. Du Bois’s life story is the story of a people: It reaches the soul of all its readers while revealing the souls of black folks. Du Bois forges a new autobiographical form in this book, revealing the contours of his life as rooted in black culture. His essay on Booker T. Washington turns his personal struggle with the man and what he stood for into a national political statement about the nature of civil rights. Du Bois calls for an active demand for social justice that will compromise with nothing less than full equality. Similarly, his grief at his baby son’s death becomes a eulogy for all the African American children slaughtered by white people’s hatred.

This technique of telling his life story while he tells the story of a people was used by Du Bois during the rest of his long and productive life. Thus, other Du Bois autobiographies tell of friends, struggles, and humiliations over the next sixty years; they do not reach the heights of this first one. The Souls of Black Folk is unique in its passion and eloquence. His phrases soar with anguish and anger, reflecting his pain and that of others. His language captures the imagination so dramatically that Du Bois’s book reaches out to all people who resist hatred. It offers hope for the triumph of the spirit and the possibility of social justice. Du Bois rose above the Veil.

 Hugs to you all! Marcia

 

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De

DeForest Area Progressives

Meeting notes for February 1, 2016

 

NOTE THAT THE NEXT MEETING – MONDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2016 – WILL BE HELD AT THE DEFOREST LIBRARY, 6:00 TO 8:00 PM IN ONE OF THE MAIN FLOOR MEETING ROOMS. 

 

There were three people in attendance at the February 1, 2016, meeting: Ginny, Karen, and JohnSki.

 

Announcements:

  • Library Lobby Day, February 9th; tell your legislator what your local public library means to you.
  • Blues for Bernie: Tuesday, February 23rd, 6:00 – 9:00 at the Brink Lounge

 

Ginny has eighteen Kloppenburg lawn signs and is notifying the people on Janet’s list.  John sent a check for $100 from the DAP treasury to the Kloppenburg campaign to cover for the signs.  Those receiving signs are asked for $5 to reimburse DAP.  John will call Pete to ask permission to put a 4’x4’ plywood sign in his yard.

 

Karen presented her development so far of the Jeopardy-like game she intends to put on at our table at the Wisconsin Grassroots Network Festival April 2nd.  It is Wisconsin trivia.  Categories across the top of the grid will be Business, Women, Odds & Ends, Politics (no kidding), Military, Geography, Does Not Belong, State Symbols.   As In TV Jeopardy, the questions will get harder the further down the grid you go.  Karen is still working on details.  Way to go, Karen!

 

We discussed changing the DAP policy on not endorsing candidates and decided not to change it; that is, DAP will continue to refrain from endorsing candidates.

 

We had a short but fruitful discussion on topics from Black History Month.  Marcia put together the following outline for further discussions at DAP meetings this month.

 

QUOTE FOR TODAY:

“The cost of liberty is less than the price of repression”.-du Bois

Helping us think about our answer to this question:

Do Black Lives Matter to D.A.P. and our Community?

 

We read and discuss:  Souls of Black Folk

By   W.E.B.du Bois,  author and activist:

 Syllabus for a four week exploration, each week examining one of four turning points in his life, and how they relate to citizens’ experiences today.

 Also based on a spectrum of bibliography and media, with emphasis on his book: The Souls of Black Folk. I will bring in music, maybe a video, audio files and encourage you to do so also!

 Week # 1: Controversies between Du Bois and Booker T.Washington

                  And Marcus Garvey

Week #2:  Du Bois’s 2 Explosive Exits from the NAACP (1934 & 1948)

Week #3:  His quest for foundation $ to launch the ENCYCLOPEDIA OF   THE NEGRO

Week #4:   The hard turn Left during the 1950’s.

A few questions, then add your own:

 Preliminary questions for us all: 

 1.Why is it in our interest to look at the life and writings of this famous African American?

 2.What is happening to African American lives in our nation? Our state, our community?

 3.How do events in our nation, state, community, regarding lives of diverse racial groups affect us as D.A.P. members?

 4.What will we do with the discoveries we make, how to put our learning to use?

( Considering we are just beginning answer this now, and then at completion of the 4 weeks. )

 Please add your questions:

 The Souls of Black FolkBook by W. E. B. Du BoisPreview bookThe Souls of Black Folk is a classic work of American literature by W. E. B. Du Bois. It is a seminal work in the history of sociology, and a cornerstone of African-American literary history. WikipediaOriginally published1903AuthorW. E. B. Du BoisCountryUnited States of AmericaGenresSociology, Fiction

 Ordinary people also have the ability to be extraordinary. Their path may be hard to find and filled with stumbling blocks caused by the Veil, but the triumph of the soul is a cause for joy and for celebration even in the midst of darkness. This book is a literary masterpiece because it articulates the cost of hatred and celebrates the power to resist it. Although it was never out of print since its publication in 1903, it assumed an especially important role in the 1960’s, then became a rallying voice and inspiration for the American civil rights struggle. Du Bois’s life story is the story of a people: It reaches the soul of all its readers while revealing the souls of black folks. Du Bois forges a new autobiographical form in this book, revealing the contours of his life as rooted in black culture. His essay on Booker T. Washington turns his personal struggle with the man and what he stood for into a national political statement about the nature of civil rights. Du Bois calls for an active demand for social justice that will compromise with nothing less than full equality. Similarly, his grief at his baby son’s death becomes a eulogy for all the African American children slaughtered by white people’s hatred.

This technique of telling his life story while he tells the story of a people was used by Du Bois during the rest of his long and productive life. Thus, other Du Bois autobiographies tell of friends, struggles, and humiliations over the next sixty years; they do not reach the heights of this first one. The Souls of Black Folk is unique in its passion and eloquence. His phrases soar with anguish and anger, reflecting his pain and that of others. His language captures the imagination so dramatically that Du Bois’s book reaches out to all people who resist hatred. It offers hope for the triumph of the spirit and the possibility of social justice. Du Bois rose above the Veil.

 Hugs to you all! Marcia

 

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DeForest Area Progressives meeting notes for January 25, 2016

DeForest Area Progressives

Meeting notes for January 25, 2016

 

Next meeting: Monday, February 1, 2016, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Ginny’s, 3922 Partridge Road, Windsor Hill neighborhood.

 

Present at the January 25th meeting: John Scepanski, Ginny Brokish, Karen Edson.

 

Karen said a new movie is available for streaming in February about toxic chemicals.

 

Karen sent out a letter about Rebecca Bradley for Wis. Supreme Court for use by anyone who wants to use it.  Ron Berger of Active McFarland said he wanted to submit it to the Wisconsin State Journal.  (He did and it was published.)  JohnSki said he was drafting a letter to the editor for JoAnne Kloppenburg for Supremes.

 

There is a Saturday event sponsored by MAMA (Madison Action for Mining Alternatives) to support those in Jackson County who are fighting the fracking sand mines.  Karen is sending details.

 

Regarding using the Occucards for a game at our booth at the WGN Festival, Karen suggested a Jeopardy-like alternative to throwing things like darts or dice.  Answer the trivia question right and you win a prize redeemable at the snack bar, DAP to pay for whatever the prizes are.

 

Marcia suggested that we sponsor readings from W.E.B. Dubois’ The Souls of Black Folk for Black History Month (February).  Others liked the idea, too, of doing more readings throughout the year from the Bill of Rights, the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution.

 

We approved fronting the money for JoAnne Kloppenburg for Supreme Court lawn signs.  JohnSki will work with Janet Mills on this.

 

We discussed maybe rethinking our policy prohibiting endorsement of candidates at DAP.  Further discussion will be had on the subject.

 

We are approaching the threshold level on our website, where Nation Builder will start charging us more for more names in the database.  We decided to pare down the number to avoid the new charges.  Karen, John, and Ginny will meet to do so on Feb. 4th at 1:00.

 

We will be setting a regular monthly movie night to meet at Marcia’s.  First one will be the February 22nd DAP meeting.  The movie that night will be the one hour long “White Like Me.”  Karen will add another short to go with it.

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DeForest Area Progressives meeting notes for January 18, 2016

DeForest Area Progressives

Meeting notes for January 18, 2016

 

Next meeting: Monday, January 25, 2016, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Ginny’s, 3922 Partridge Road, Windsor Hill neighborhood.*

 

Present at the January 18th meeting: John Scepanski, Ginny Brokish, Karen Edson, Marcia Riquelme, Carboni

 

Announcement: on Thursday, January 21st, there will be a party at Oladh, 7 W. Main St. in Madison, hosted by United to Amend, with a band and Mike Crute.

 

Karen has a list of movies complete with comments. 

 

Karen has written an op-ed on Rebecca Bradley, candidate for Wis. Supreme Court.  It was hard to keep the letter to the editor to under 200 words, so she had to do a longer piece.  She will send it to various outlets.  Marcia expressed concern about legislators who vote contrary to their constituents’ expressed will.  She is working on ways to express that concern.  The Daily Call is a place to get cartoons. The author has given permission to use the cartoons.

 

Peter is working on letters of thank you to the two judges who appeared at DAP.  Karen will email him. 

 

The consensus at the meeting was to approve a $25 check from the DAP treasury to be sent as a donation toward legal fees being incurred to appeal a decision concerning a rail spur in the Town of Adams in Jackson County.  The rail spur would be used to transport frack sand.  Without the spur, the sands cannot be transported.  This suit is the first of others intended to stop alleged public nuisances, i.e., the sand mines.

 

We discussed the “Occucards” brought up by Karen and the samples she sent for.  We can use them to hand out at events as public education and sort-of protest.  Other uses:

  • Include the information on the cards in letters to the editor
  • Educational outreach literature
  • Permission to reprint the info. on the cards is included on the website where the cards can be purchased: www.occucards.com
  • Handout with button purchases
  • Dart game
  • Trivia game
  •  Latter two at our table at the WGN Festival

Occucards will be on the agenda for further discussion next week.

 

*Tentative draft agenda for January 25th meeting.  Any additions, call Ginny at 239-5327.

AGENDA

ANNOUNCEMENTS

CHANGES TO AGENDA.

 

Movies available at Finch Trail. Call Karen Edson.

OLD BUSINESS

Report on letter writing, Peter, Marcia and Karen

Thank you notes, Peter

Report on what has been done with Occucards and further discussion on uses and games of them. Karen

NEW BUSINESS

ADJOURN

POLITICAL DISCUSSION

 

 

 

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DeForest Area Progressives meeting notes for January 11, 2016

DeForest Area Progressives

Meeting notes for January 11, 2016

 

Next meeting: Monday, January 18, 2016, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Ginny’s, 3922 Partridge Road, Windsor Hill neighborhood. 

 

There were three people at the meeting: Karen Edson, Ginny Brokish, and John Scepanski.  One announcement: January 12th, 12:00-3:00, on the west side or State Street side of the Capitol in Madison, a rally to stop the passing of Bills AB620,SB288 and AB384 , which would open the Native American burial mounds to desecration and destruction. Also it would open the Menominee Indian Reservation to possible underground radioactive waste storage.  DAP members Ginny and John Stanley intend to go.

 

Ginny posted new meeting rules for DAP meetings:

  1. All cell phones off except host phone.  (Exception: JohnSki may leaves his on to respond to Kathryn if she calls for assistance.)
  2. Raise hand to speak.
  3. One person at a time to speak.

 

We also have new rules for inviting speakers to DAP meetings:

  1. If you have a request or idea for a speaker bring it before the group before you ask the person to speak.
  2. We will give opinions and discuss.
  3. A discussion of potential date can be done at the same time.
  4. The organizer of the guest speaker event will be the person initiating the event.
  5. The organizer will take care of any requests from the speaker.

 

Karen provided a write-up on Rebecca Bradley, candidate for Supreme Court justice in Wisconsin.  DAP members are asked to write letters-to-the-editor pointing out to February primary voters that Rebecca Bradley IS NOT Ann Walsh Bradley, that Rebecca Bradley is a Walker appointee and she is a dedicated right wing Republican, whom we do not wish to see continue in her Walker appointment on the Supreme Court.  Contact Karen Edson for a copy of her excellent summary of Bradley’s resume and endorsements.

 

Karen also provided a sheet of newspaper contacts to send letters to the editor to and which she will continue to update.  The GOP website has a list of news media to send letters to.  JohnSki asked why the Dems do not have such a resource on their website.

 

Karen is still working on a list of movies for future DAP reference.  One she especially likes is “White Like Me” about “white privilege.” 

 

We need more information about a vague request from Sheila Danielson for legal funds to pursue a lawsuit in Black River Falls. JohnSki said we should be sure we know what something is about before we commit DAP funds to it.

 

George Ferriter is going to run again against Keith Ripp in the 42nd Assembly District.

 

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DeForest Area Progressives meeting notes for January 4, 2016

DeForest Area Progressives

Meeting notes for January 4, 2016

 

Next meeting: Monday, January 11, 2016, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Ginny’s, 3922 Partridge Road, Windsor Hill neighborhood. 

 

PLEASE NOTE THERE IS A MEETING this coming Monday, January 11th.  At the January 4th meeting, we revisited the idea of going to meeting every other week and abandoned it.  The consensus was to return to meeting every Monday, NOT every other Monday.  One member summed up the consensus like this: “If you go to two meetings a month, it’s too easy to slip into only one meeting a month.”

 

There were six people at the January 4th meeting.  There were no new announcements.

 

We brainstormed some meeting rules.  Ginny took them down and will type them yup for everyone.  We also brainstormed some rules for inviting speakers to our meetings.  Ginny will type them up also and distribute them at the meetings and in these notes later.

 

Who might we like to invite for speakers at future meetings?  Some suggestions: V. of Windsor president, V. of DeForest president, Times-Tribune editor, DASD Superintendent of Schools, State Superintendent of Schools Tony Evers, Dane County Executive Joe Parisi, Token Creek Conservancy, Yahara River group, Scott Witkopf.

 

There are hearings scheduled in the Capitol tomorrow on bills of interest in Room 412E starting at 11:00 in front of the Committee on Insurance, Housing and Trade.  They are SB445, SB479, and SB464SB479 excludes certain counties from zoning authority over towns.  It is aimed primarily for the Enbridge Corporation to bypass Dane County zoning and let the Town of Medina zone for their pipeline, which runs through the Town of Medina.  The other SB’s limit local authority in other ways, as well, in favor of business.  For example, towing companies would no longer have to notify local law enforcement when they tow away a vehicle; only a good faith effort to do so would be required.  Another provision removes a requirement for landlords to provide fire sprinklers in certain buildings.  Karen went into detail on these bills.  Several members said they intend to go to the hearing and presumably will report back next meeting.

 

We spent a lot of time talking about an annual plan for DAP for 2016.  Karen suggested a project collecting food at the polls at elections for the food pantries in the area.  She calls it, “Vote Out Hunger.”  Karen will contact food bank officials.  Ginny suggested we get more active with letters-to-the-editor in both local weekly papers and the State Journal and Capital Times.  A subcommittee was formed to list subject matter ideas and to organize the project: Karen, Marcia, Peter.  We have elections coming up in February, April, August, and November.  One good topic to write letters to the editor about right now is to educate readers that Rebecca Bradley is not ANN WALSH Bradley.  Rebecca is a Scott Walker conservative. Ann Walsh is one of us, more or less.

 

Karen suggested a project pointing out legislators who vote against their constituents’ wishes.  Two examples are Senator Scott Fitzgerald and Assembly Representative John Jagler.  For example, research revealed that their constituents overwhelmingly notified them that the constituents did not like the legislation getting rid of the Government Accountability Board and other legislation regulating campaign finance.  The two legislators voted for those bills anyway (serving their ALEC constituency over the voters who elected them). 

 

Karen will come up with a list of movies for the coming year that we can show among ourselves or use for public education programs.  Bring your own ideas for movies or other media to future meetings. 

 

Peter volunteered to draft a thank you note to the two judges who graced our presence a few weeks ago.

 

Separate note: today I drove up behind two cars in Madison.  Each one had a “Bernie 2016” bumper sticker on them.  Yay, Bernie.

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Deforest Area Progressives meeting notes for December 7, 2015

DeForest Area Progressives

Meeting notes for December 7, 2015

 

Next meeting: Monday, December 21, 2015, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Ginny’s, 3922 Partridge Road, Windsor Hill neighborhood.  Ginny has declared the meeting on Monday, December 21st, A PARTY MEETING!  Bring an hors d'eouvre (sp?) or dessert to share.  We'll have some pop, water, wine, and beer, unless you want to BYOB.  Do you play an instrument?  Bring it.  Do you lead singalongs?  Do it.  (jug band, anyone?)  Are you a storyteller?  Tell it.  Got a favorite party game?  Play it.  Of course, we'll rag on and on about the "regressives" and we'll brag on and on about our favorite candidates and whatever else we talk about.  Bring any friends.  It's going to be fun, fun, fun 'til our daddy takes the T-Bird away.

 

There were TEN PEOPLE at the December 7th meeting.  Great turnout, thank you all for coming.

 

Our two guests for the meeting were Dane County Circuit Judges Rhonda Lanford and Ellen Berz.  Thank you to John Stanley for arranging for them to be here.  Judge Lanford currently presides over Branch 16, civil court.  Judge Berz currently presides over Branch 11, criminal court.  Judges in Dane County rotate from time to time to different courts for different purposes.

 

Judge Berz spoke first.  According to her, Dane County courts have been sending fewer people to prison over the last two years.  “Prison” means either physical confinement or supervision (formerly known as parole).  Actually, more individuals are sent to prison from Dane County by the Department of Corrections as revocations of probation or parole than are sent to prison by Dane County judges.  Most sentences to prison are for violent crimes.  Drug crimes account for about 3-10 percent of sentences to prison.  Drunk driving sentences to prison have increased 200 percent in recent years.  The Wisconsin prison population comes mostly from Milwaukee County.  Dane County sends the least numbers per capita to prison.  The Dane County jail population averages around 800.  Racial disparity is a fact in Dane County.  The questions are why is there racial disparity and what can be done about it?  The reasons have to do with, among other reasons, economic disadvantage, police focus on black neighborhoods, and prior criminal records of black defendants.  Some recommendations for improvement in the Dane County criminal  system come from three studies: alternative sentencing options like community service (although there is a problem with checking up on completion of community service), remodel jails to accommodate the large percentage of inmates who have mental health issues, and the further need for valid statistical studies providing useful data.

 

Judge Lanford talked about upcoming judicial elections.  Judge Faust is retiring.  Waunakee Municipal Judge Hyland is running with no opposition yet.  Everett Mitchell is running unopposed.  The Dane County bench is relatively young with not many years on the bench for many judges.  The race for Wisconsin Supreme Court justice is the best known judicial race.  State Appeals Court Judge JoAnne Kloppenburg and Milwaukee County Circuit Judge M. Joseph Donald both are running for the Wisconsin Supreme Court.  Governor Walker has appointed appeals Judge Rebecca Bradley to hold the position in advance of the election next year, in which she’s already a candidate.  Madison attorney Claude Covelli is also running.

 

A big thank you to judges Lanford and Berz and to John Stanley for inviting them.

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