DeForest Area Progressives
Meeting notes for February 23, 2015
Next meeting: Monday, March 2, 2015, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Ginny’s, 3922 Partridge Road, Windsor Hills neighborhood.
There were six people at the February 23rd meeting. Before the meeting started, we received handouts and a call to action on current Wisconsin legislative bills AB61 and SB44, the so-called “right to work” bills. Some people facetiously call them “wage theft” bills. The call to action delivered by Marcia included legislators’ phone numbers to call, email addresses to write to, and a gathering point near the Capitol for those who go in person to testify or protest. We also received a list of things considered objectionable in the budget bill currently under consideration.
We received a report on the Tar Sands Summit that took place at the Pyle Center in Madison, put on by the Sierra Club, M.A.M.A., and 350.org. About 150 people attended from all over the midwest. Much of the summit had to do with the oil pipelines that threaten the straits of Mackinac. “Every day, 61-year-old pipelines push nearly 23 million gallons of oil through the heart of the Great Lakes.” “The Kalamazoo disaster was just one of 1,068 Enbridge spills across their entire pipeline system that have dumped more than 7 million gallons of oil into the environment between 1999 and 2013.” Visit www.OilandWaterDontMix.org . Note that one of the Enbridge pipelines bisects Wisconsin and runs through part of Dane County. Part of the program of the summit told how pipeline companies get around the law, such as how they get by without having to file environmental impact statements. There is also the problem of rail car safety – exploding tank cars. A lawyer from the Bad River Tribe told how there is a window of opportunity right now to oppose renewal of rights of way for pipelines through Indian country. The mine in the Penokee Hills was discussed too.
Those who went to the DeForest Library listening session on February 19th reported on questions asked and reactions by Senator Luther Olsen and Reps John Jagler and Keith Ripp. Some DAP members talked to Senator Olsen after the session, and he told them to keep talking to our representatives. Senator Olsen seems persuadable on certain matters. He is notable for his influence on education policy. We should call or write our legislators on specific subjects. A good technique to keep in mind is to stick to one particular subject per contact.
We heard reports on progress toward our April 11th community education event, “What’s In Your Water?” We discussed other water related events.
John Stanley reported on the WGN Festival coming up on March 28th. See www.WisconsinGrassroots.net . DAP is getting a free information table because of all the work being done on the festival by DAP members. Other organizations who want to buy table space can contact John. Mike McCabe and others will be key note speakers. There will be dozens of breakout workshops.
We discussed the CD2 Alliance meeting at the Sun Prairie Library on February 19th. Karen McKim of GROW in Waunakee is working on a progressive values statement or list. She and John Stanley had provided a talking paper with comparisons of what Progressive Partners does in Congressional District 2 and how it contrasts with how a proposed CD2 Alliance will work. PP is only a communications tree with quarterly get-togethers. CD2 Alliance purports to be more than that: what exactly is the subject of these discussions. Old fears and resentments remain about WGN conflicting with or trying to co-opt Progressive Partners. Some organizations in PP are frustrated about what a CD2 Alliance might be or do. Is it duplicative of what PP doles now? The monthly CD2 Alliance phone gatherings continue, and the next one will be Thursday, February 26th. Bob Crego will contact everyone about how to join the phone conversations.