Godsil Reflections On Kenyan Oakland Roboticist Aquapon Farmer Eric Maundu Heart Haus Workshop​

Eric was way over the top brilliant, modest, and authentic. Strikes me that his commitment to the good cause comes from down, down deep, and I have a hard time imagining him not giving it his all for years to come. He has intensely studied the “earth story,” and drew the elegant and complex relationships of geosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, biosphere, and “noosphere” with the energy providing sun all over the walls of the brainstorm and bread room.


Here’s a media report on his “Smart Aquaponics.”

http://www.itclips.net/2012/08/08/hello-garden-making-aquaponics-smart/

Eric has applied his robotics and software background to making gardens smart. His company, Kijani Grows, sells kits, components, installs gardens throughout the Bay Area, and teaches classes on aquaponics. :

“I feel knowledge of electronics and software programming makes me a better farmer than just having a hoe. Gardens that can communicate for themselves using the internet can lead to exchanging of ideas in ways that were not possible before. I can test, for instance, whether the same tomato grows better in Oakland or the Sahara Desert given the same conditions. Then I can share the same information with farmers in Iceland and China.”

___________________________

Aquaponics, for Eric, is a modeling of the earth story. Sensor enhanced aquaponics is a resource to provide support for human stewarding of these small worlds, tools for maintaining the balance of it all.

He moved from the earth and aquaponics modeling into a lucid and intelligible discussion of electronics and digital sensors, mixing white board graphics with sensor displays, then moving to the computer to display the results of his path-breaking labors. He maintained a passionate edge for 6 straight hours!

He has had a hard time making ends meet while deeply involved in his research and development. It all began after his return to Kenya following a 10 year green card journey, where a passion for farming, absent in his childhood as a farmer’s son, was intensely sparked. He hopes to farm in Kenya in time, and help people do sensor enhanced farming everywhere. But he can’t imagine making a living just growing food, agreeing with us, that the growth and distribution of knowledge, tech support, and experiences for schools and “early adopters” will be important source of revenue.

I intuit that you and he are at the beginning of an incredible journey of major importance. To me his work and his character are in perfect pitch complimentary with yours. I would welcome the “communion” and devote my peddling and connecting resources in support. I am also eager to introduce his Great Work to “Aquapons Across the Waters.”

I told him, and I mean it, that he is a man of destiny and it would be my pleasure and honor to support his quest on up through my 100th birthday.

:)

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Sweet Water Foundation Heart Haus Guest Eric Maundu Workshop On Digital Sensors For Aquaponics Systems

On Sunday, March 29 from 1pm-5pm, we will be hosting a gathering at the Heart Haus (325 E Euclid Ave) with a very special guest, Eric Maundu. Eric specializes in low-cost, do-it-yourself water quality sensors for aquaponics systems.

Check out some of his work at his company’s website at http://www.kijanigrows.com/

Eric is visiting from Oakland, California and has offered to run a workshop on DIY digital sensors for water quality in aquaponics, including measurement for parameters such as:

  • Temperature
  • pH
  • Total Dissolved Solids
  • Dissolved oxygen

We would love if you could join us for a comfortable and casual gathering at the Heart Haus to meet Eric and learn about how to capture data from our aquaponics systems.

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Global Fulbright Community To Advance A Sweet Water Integral Urban Home For Each and Every Neighborhood?

Through Life Long Social Learning Networks?

Nice Radio Show On Milwaukee’s Heart Haus Integral Urban Home

http://wuwm.com/post/experiment-sustainable-urban-community-takes-root-bay-view

Chicago “Sun Times” article on Chicago’s Think Do House.

Urban Homes As

  • School
  • Workshop
  • Farm

  • Lab
  • International hostel
  • Playground
  • Sanctuary

We are bringing into fresh being a 21st century homes and cottage industries local local economies in global networks.

For each American neighborhood, let us help manifest a
special house that’s multiform, multivalent, and mutualistic in essence…

That evokes awe and gratitude in Fulbright Scholars and everyday life long learners from across the world.

Fulbright International Scholars collaborate with SWF

Upon meeting in January at the SWF installation at the Chicago City Gallery in the Historic Water Tower, SWF Executive Director Emmanuel Pratt and Sarah Gleisner, Program Officer of the Fulbright Foreign Student Program with the Institute of International Education (IIE), began to explore opportunities for potential collaboration between the Fulbright Foreign Student Program Seminar on Youth Engagement and Empowerment and Sweet Water Foundation for the spring of 2015. Given Fulbright’s mission to increase mutual understanding between people of the United States and other countries and SWF’s mission is to democratize, globalize, and commercialize urban agriculture practices for resilient 21st century communities via hands-on, real-world learning grounded in concepts of community, equity, transformation and resilience, both Sarah and Emmanuel recognized a tremendous opportunity for cross pollination across the programs.

On both Friday March 20th and Saturday March 21st, approximately 80 of the 140 Fulbright scholars joined by Megan Spillman, the IIE Chicago Director participated in site visits to the Perry Ave Community Farm, the Think-Do House, and the CSU Aquaponics Center. On Saturday March 21st, 40 of the Fulbright scholars from 30 different countries worked directly with the SWF team, local residents, and Orrin Williams from the Center for Urban Transformation on the Perry Ave Community Farm helping to prepare for the 2015 harvest season. Contunued at

http://sweetwaterfoundation.com/fulbright-foreign-student-program-collaborates-with-swf/

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Artist talk

“In the emptiness, I find a visionary”

Chicago Sun-Times (IL) - Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Author/Byline: SUE ONTIVEROS

I knew something special had to be going on if my dear friend was calling before 8 on a
Sunday morning to invite me.

Still, that didn’t mean as I was agreeing that I wasn’t also thinking to myself, ‘‘So I am
going to just show up at 57th and Perry without an exact address, only with the
reassurance, ‘you’ll know the house when you see it.’ ’’

But as I drove through well-worn streets where so many homes and businesses are no
more, I could see she was right: there was no doubt which house it was. On the side of
the house is an almost-finished mural of regal-looking African Americans.

The building gives off this aura of “Yeah, I’m in the middle of emptiness; so what?” Once
inside, I realized that if the people who congregate here have their way, that emptiness
won’t be forever. And what you or I might see as emptiness, they see as opportunity
waiting to happen. It’s all in your perspective.

The answer to a host of urban problems — jobs, hunger, education — could very well
be right inside the front door. Literally. The walls are done in blackboard paint so ideas
and possible ways to implement them can fill them. And they do.

Oh, and the living room? It’s “living” alright. Herbs under grow lights sit in what was a
fireplace. An aquaponic system (a setup that basically grows plants and fish using the
same water) stands near a window.

Upstairs, along the stairway, downstairs, in the kitchen — something’s going on. Then
there are the two acres of land being farmed outside. The energy here is incredible.

And at the hub of it all is Emmanuel Pratt , a Chicago State professor and founding
director of the Sweet Water Foundation. You don’t run into true visionaries every day,
but Pratt , he’s the real deal. He looks at all of what’s going on here as a way to put an
end to the blight. But his ideas spring not from tearing down what’s left and embracing
gentrification (which, let’s face it, usually means moving out the poor people). He uses
what’s already here and gets kids, veterans, seniors involved in urban farming, green
initiatives and a lot more, not just at this location, but in other struggling neighborhoods.

One of the ways he’s doing that is by tapping into his incredible network of “doers.” The
day I’m here, so are others from Chicago Ideas Week. But Pratt doesn’t want to just
tout his programs; he gets the people in the room talking to one another about their
involvements, to get connections going. You connect the dots (err, people), and then
you’ve got a solid network going on.

The farming, the aquaponics. They’re not just to feed people well, although that’s a
good part of it. Pratt ’s trying to get kids and others to see the money-making
possibilities in green initiatives, to turn them into “eco-preneurs.” And why not?
Remember, Whole Foods is coming to 63rd and Halsted. Connection made.

Pratt doesn’t have trucks to haul the produce grown here around. Ah, but Washburne,
the culinary school at nearby Kennedy-King College, does. And there are connections
there. Who knows what’s next?

Yes, there’s a lot of work to be done. But Pratt and the Sweet Water Foundation can
see ways to bring people together and get things accomplished. Being able to see
solutions; why, that’s half the battle.

Email: sontiveros@suntimes.com

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How About a Traditional St. Patrick’s Day?

St. Patrick didn’t drink. In fact, one of the things the Celtic chieftains admired in him was that he could get a good night’s sleep without the drink. Other reminders for this time of year: sausage and salted pork are traditional Irish meats; corn beef is American. Cromwell’s armies brought cabbage to Ireland. Sir Walter Raleigh brought potatoes there from South America. The Celts wouldn’t have worn green, either—it’s the color of things that die. Purple was the color preferred by royals.

St. Patrick’s Day in America has morphed, party-animal style, into a day to get drunk or, to insult-the-earth—an excuse to dump green dye in the Chicago River and foam it up. Patrick’s real life and the many good stories about him are what’s worth remembering.

St. Patrick was the first published anti-slave activist in history. At a time when British Christians were stealing Irish from along the east coast of Ireland, Patrick wrote: “…But it is the women kept in slavery who suffer the most—and who keep their spirits up despite the menacing and terrorizing they must endure. The Lord gives grace to his many handmaids.” During his life, Patrick negotiated with the court of Coroticus in England for the release of slaves, and, by the end of his life, the Irish slavery trade came to a halt.

Click here for the full article
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Origami At Timbuktu Rites Of Spring Celebration

Previously known as St. Patrick’s Day All City Celebration, March 17, Club Timbuktu, 7 to 9 p.m.

A terrific origami master has agreed to lead Rites of Spring participants in a paper folding workshop.

Her name is Seon Joo So, and she teaches the Korean version of origami at her Shorewood studio, and at UWM and other venues. She’s just lovely and creates the most intricate, beautiful works of art.

Her website is www.socoolcrafts.com, and her studio is: So Cool Crafts Paper Arts & Crafts Studio
4160 N. Oakland Ave. #14 Shorewood, WI 53211 414–418–8924
www.socoolcrafts.com

Seon Joo will bring supplies for 20 people. If you think we’ll have more participants than that, please let me know

Archive of St. Patrick Brigid Celebrations Since 2006

http://www.milwaukeerenaissance.com/StPatsAtTimbuktu/HomePage

Grandfathers

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Sweet Water Heart Haus Integral Urban Home Experiment

Lake Effect Listing – Friday, March 6, 2015

Friday on Lake Effect:

http://wuwm.com/post/experiment-sustainable-urban-community-takes-root-bay-view

More images on this great story at http://sweetwaterfoundation.com/an-experiment-in-sustainable-urban-community-takes-root-in-bay-view/

What the rising prominence of women means in terms of political, economic and social power – in Wisconsin and around the country. Later, how an old house in Bay View has transformed into an experiment in residential living and working. We’ll talk about Bucks up and down year with our sports contributor. And meet the 1960s pop star-turned award-winning producer, Peter Asher.

Guests:

  • Dorothy Thomas, speaker at LWV of Ozaukee County
  • Heart Haus feature
  • Howie Magner, Milwaukee Magazine
  • Peter Asher, musician​

The Heart Haus is embed in a global social learning and production network, including

http://www.milwaukeerenaissance.com/EarthRenaissance/EmmanuelPratt

http://www.milwaukeerenaissance.com/EarthRenaissance/DavidLi

http://inhabitat.com/interview-eric-mandu-on-turning-aquaponic-gardens-into-an-internet-connected-resource/

http://portfish.org/

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Social Learning and Production Networks For Gardens of Earthly Delights

Dear Adam,

I am wondering if you would be interested in reviewing volunteers from the Sweetwater Universe first galaxies called Sweetwater Organics and Sweet Water Foundation, to see if some appear to be worthy of your having some digital conversations to brainstorm possible collaborations over a 30 year experiment, God willing

Many are people of authenticity, competence, steadfast grit , and Grace.

Let me know and I will ask them for permission to share some of their applications, with you conceived as a “partner” with a social learning and production network of a thousand names.

What say?

Why not?

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Sweet Water Foundation’s Jesse Blom, the School of Freshwater Science, UWM Center for Water Policy & UN Global Compact Cities Program Collaboration

Sweet Water Foundation is happy to announce that its Milwaukee City Director, Jesse Blom, has enrolled in graduate studies at University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee (UWM), while continuing to spearhead SWF’s Milwaukee efforts. Jesse entered the Professional Science Master’s program at the UWM School of Freshwater Sciences in September 2014. The School of Freshwater Sciences has a 50 year history for internationally renowned research of freshwater ecosystems. Jesse’s coursework will focus on freshwater aquaculture, utilizing the school’s state of the art recirculating and flow-through aquaculture labs that are primarily used for studying yellow perch.

He is also working as a Research Assistant for the UWM Center for Water Policy, analyzing the economic and policy implications of water science. This year, Jesse is stewarding the Center for Water Policy’s efforts to mobilize the community around Milwaukee’s status as an Innovating City with the United Nations Global Compact Cities Programme. To this end, Jesse will be convening a cross-sectoral group from Milwaukee that includes representatives from public sector, private sector, and academia to organize activities around how the city can most effectively exchange information with other cities on the topic of water science.

SWF has been directly involved with the UN Global Compact Cities Programme since Milwaukee’s entry into the Programme in 2009, and remains in close contact with the Programme’s staff in Melbourne, Australia. Over the past two years, SWF has hosted two visiting scholars from Australia as a participant in the Global Compact Cities Programme - Julia Laidlaw of RMIT University in Melbourne, and Dr. Nick Rose of the Australia Food Sovereignty Alliance.

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Goddess of Wheat Grass and her beautiful boys! Hero quest stories to follow.

Wheat Grass Goddess enjoying wheat grass waters, elixir of life!

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Advancing Ecopreneur Badges

There are some very resourced people and institutions committed to harnessing the power of the internet for life-long, connected learning and credentialing. Sweet Water’s Jesse Blom and Emmanuel Pratt have been working with the MacArthur and Mozilla Foundations and others around aquaponics training in the AQUAPONS program. This has inspired me to advance a badge project to provide support for entrepreneurial endeavors that also heal the planet, i.e. ecopreneurs! Jared Brill has agreed to test this concept out with me and others.

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Chronicling Connected Learning AQUAPON and Ecopreneur Junior Apprentice Badge Earners Sky Schultz and James Godsil

Here are many images of the development of Jesse Blom’s aquaponics demo at the Heart Haus.

https://plus.google.com/photos/109845088482426938135/albums/6112581128371039777

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Emmanuel Pratt and Teen Creative Agency/Sweet Water Foundation Aquaponics As Art Installation at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

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The Googoal

Sole focus= Healing The Planet

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Clair Sprenger and Sky Schultz at Heart Haus Friday Potluck Brunch

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Walnut Way Founders Cuba Story Beginning Soon

Larry and Sharon Adams said “We’re going to Cuba this year!”

To be continued

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Vamanos A Cuba

Interested?

godsil.james@gmail.com

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Sharing The Sacred Fire of St Patrick’s Brigid’s Timbuktu Celebration

to be continued

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Boomer Younge Connected Learning

To be continued

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The Tomb of the Unknown Poet

by Jeff Poniewaz

Why no Tomb of the Unknown Poet?
Wasn’t he killed as sure as the Unknown
Soldier?

Didn’t he die running wild after
the wildest beauty the same
as Wilfred Owen?

Didn’t he step on the toes of landmine
minds?

Wasn’t he mowed down by machine-guns
of mechanization?

Didn’t he throw himself on the grenade
of scorn lobbed at Poetry?

Drape a green flag of living grass
over his casket.

Blow his taps on panpipes:
phoenix syrinx!

Unknown Poet launched into the Unknown
like a poem in a manila envelope
addressed to Immortality

Care of the worms who edit scrupulously
but send no rejection slips.

May the Father of the Milwaukee Earth Poets be remembered beyond the 7th generation!

The Earth Poets & Musicians in July 2010.
from left: Harvey Taylor, Louisa Loveridge Gallas, Jahmes Tony Finlayson, Suzanne Rosenblatt, Jeff Poniewaz and Holly Haebig.
(photo by Jeffers Larson)

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Milwaukee and Chicago Public School Students To Lead TupperWare Aquaponics Workshops, Summer 2015?

Sky Schultz and James Godsil will be attending an Emmanuel Pratt TupperWare Aquaponics( Pratt Demos) tutorial tomorrow, at the Sweet Water Foundation Perry Avenue Community Farm and Think Do Lab House. We will quite possibly be sharing this technology to some of Jesse Blom’s Milwaukee Public School Aquaponics Teacher Cadre and their students at Heart Haus workshops this Spring, with hopes that, by the Summer of 2015, there will be a Milwaukee public high school student earning some summer money teaching the Pratt Demo system to people at the Heart Haus Aquaponics Lab. Here are some pictures of the Pratt Demo.
Hoping collaboration involving MSOE, MATC, and Shorewood’s New Horizon High School.

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Godsil Koller Wiki Experiment

We are experimenting in the petrie dish of peer to peer, optimally open sourced, laterally scaling, globalizing, social learning and production networks.Koller

We aspire to harvest miracle cascades. Godsil

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Panoramic Of Sweet Water Foundation ASM Roosevelt University Demo.

The preceeding picture is a panoramic taken by asm participant Damian Alvarez of other Aquaponics STEAM participants engaging in conversation about the basics of Aquaponics. Turning the traditional classroom into an elevated living learning coworking dynamic environment!

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Godsil Sen Wiki Experiment

We collect stories that humans and buildings tell us. Sen.

We connect resourced boomers with young genius. Godsil.

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A Milwaukee Farming Jubilee!

Farmers and Friends –

Let’s celebrate Farming as a profession and lifestyle on Wednesday December 17th 5:30 pm at Braise Restaurant! I want to recognize all the hard work that Milwaukee farmers put in this season, and the fact that, as a society, we oftentimes take farmers for granted. Let’s rejoice with tasty food from Braise, cheering holiday spirits, and live jazz from the fantastic Walker’s Point Trio! Bring yourself, your family, a farming friend – there’s no charge! Just don’t forget to wear your best farming attire – and PLEASE invite all Milwaukee area farmers to join!

Cheers!

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Introducing #MacArthurGeniusProspect Emmanuel Pratt To Nation’s Top Geography Professors

I have been blessed with time spent with some of the nation’s leading lights, none whose impact for the good cause will be any greater than Emmanuel Pratt’s, accelerating a South Side Chicago Renaissance.

These include MacArthur Geniuses Will Allen and Joel Rogers, presidential candidate Eugene McCarthy, Pulitzer Prize winner WH Auden, “Servant of God” Dorithy Day, Nobel winner Saul Bellow, Pacem in Terris awadee Saul Bellow, Oscar winner Forest Whitaker, JFK Advjsor Roger Hilsman, and actor activist Danny Glover

I hope the AAG Chicago Conference winds up spending time with Emmanuel and team at the Think-Do Lab House and Perry Avenue Community Farm!

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Bits Atoms Cells

The Sweet Water Foundation’s There Grows the Neighborhood initiative brings resources from a global social learning and production network. These networked “partners” include Boomer Millennial Partnerships experimenting ways of harvesting multiple values from mindful configurations of Bits Atoms Cells.

Integral Urban Homes, Agroecology Work Learn Tours, and Community Farms are three initiatives that will be explored at a Sweet Water/Chicago Museum of Science and Industry Hacking Hunger conference in Spring/Summer 2015 at the Perry Avenue Community Farm and Think Do House.

Since its 2010 incorporation, the Sweet Water Foundation has advanced in collaboration with Earth Renaissance”partners” across the waters, as well as some major institutions we are proud to be working with.

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There Grows The Neighborhood

The Sweet Water Foundation will be updating our social learning and production networks “partners” at this wiki equipped web platform.

My first offering is a Heart Haus brainstorm potluck on Faith Communities
Hacking Hunger through There Grow The
Neighborhood Experiments, with a focus
on boomer milennial local economies
experiments in integral urban homes
and agroecology work learn tours.

What’s yours?

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Introducing Ben Koller’s Heart Haus

The pages of the Milwaukee Renaissance have chronicled the people and the projects advancing some kind of renaissance in the venerable city where the waters gather, our Milwaukee. It is my honor and pleasure to share the story and the visions of a heavy lifter of this renaissance, Ben Koller, who while yet new to his 30s, has built layer upon layer of small accomplishments 20,000 leagues deep.

The Mecca Project

Here are some media links regarding Ben’s work to bless Milwaukee with a proper place for
Robert Indiana’s MECCA Floor.

Milwaukee Journal Front Page (Print & Online):

http://www.jsonline.com/entertainment/arts/ready-to-be-floored-again-colorful-mecca-court-returns-for-one-night-b9980894z1-220602071.html

NY Times Article Front Sports/Business Page (Print & Online):

http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2013/09/28/sports/basketball/Mecca-Court.html?_r=0

ESPN 30 for 30 “The Floor that Made Milwaukee Famous.”:

http://grantland.com/features/30-for-30-shorts-mecca-the-floor-that-made-milwaukee-famous/

Work 2 Do Music Video/PSA:

www.youtube.com/work2domilwaukee

More to come!

Godsil

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Within Our Lifetime Network Twitter Town Hall

Thursday November 20th at 8pm ET

Featuring Rachel Godsil
Co-founder and Director of Research; The Perception Institute
#GotBias? Join an online conversation with national expert on implicit bias Rachel Godsil and the Within Our Lifetime Network.

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Emmanuel Pratt Notions

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Core El Centro Menu For Milwaukee AgroEcology Healthy Living Tours

CORE/El Centro is located in a beautiful, radically green, accessible building. Tour elements could include:

  • tour of rooftop production garden, with honeybees, grey water systems and delicious fruits/vegetables/herbs

  • tour of Wisconsin ‘ s first urban Creamery - delicious cheese curds, goat cheese specialties and more

  • cooking class/lunch. We could discuss specific menu if you’d like to help prepare a meal, otherwise we can recommend local caterers/cafes from the neigborhood.

  • yoga

  • Tai Chi

  • Seated exercise/dance

  • chair massage

  • acupuncture

Depending on what kind of tour/activities you are interested in, we could negotiate a price, but typically we ask $30–50/hr. We have both indoor and outdoor options, but considering a late spring/early summer visit would increase the chances for some delicious products from the roof.

I welcome other thoughts/additions to the tour visit

Stephanie Callaway

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The Story Of a Song Inspired By Grace Lee Boggs’ “The Next American Revolution”

Shared With India and Tibet

quiet rEVOLution – a song by Jess Vega Gonzalez with KT Rusch, inspired by Grace Lee Boggs’ book, The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the Twenty-first Century.

Jessica’s Story of the Song

I came to this book on my first visit to Detroit for the ReImagine Work conference in 2011. It was the first, but not the last time, I would meet Grace. Not that Grace remembers who I am, but that is no matter. Grace Lee Boggs is connected to quite a few friends important to me, and that’s really good enough for me.

The book sat unread for a couple more years on my shelf until winter 2013, when I found myself taking the bus to my problematic jobs and wanting something to read. The ReImagine Work conference had changed the way I understood the jobs system and its uselessness, and I thought it was about time to read the book. Good thinking, finally. And like all good thinking, I figured writing a song would help the message spread.

So the song manifested itself, and I passed the song and the book along to my friend and musician-partner-in-crime KT. She added a second ukulele part and encouraged that we play it out at Universal Love Band shows. So we did – January 2014 was the song’s debut, and we’ve played it around the world since.

Yes, literally around the world. In March, KT and I traveled to India to visit Venerable Kungchok Chopel, an elder Tibetan Buddhist monk and friend of KT’s for many years at Drepung Loseling Monastery in exile in Mudgod, Karnataka, India.

Deep history here. Definitely a place where people are devoted to growing their souls, a seat of the quiet revolution. Drepung Loseling Monestary is dedicated to the study of preservation of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition of wisdom and compassion. A center for the cultivation of both heart and intellect, it provides a sanctuary for the nurturance of inner peace and kindness, community understanding, and global healing. And we found ourselves there, without words, to visit our friend.

Venerable Kungchok is in his late 80’s. He escaped Tibet during the 1959 uprisings. The Chinese army pursued him with dogs and bullets. He suffered four bullet wounds, still clearly visible, through each forearm and each buttock, but managed to survive and cross the Himalayas into Buxa, India. He recovered for five years in a Christian missionary hospital. India donated land in Karnataka state to the budding Tibetan refugee community and Ven. Kungchok was one of the founders of Drepung Monastery in exile. He was the only member of his Gyapa of Tibetan monks to survive. He cooked for everyone for years and was known for his happiness and great food. He was able to re-establish his home chapel, Gyapa Kangsten, at Drepung. He is currently one of the oldest living monks and still teaches. We have heard other lamas call him the Buddha.

This version of quiet rEVOLution was recorded in Ven Kungcok’s room on the first day we reunited with him in March 2014, on the first rain of the season. It was joyous and emotional. We laughed, we cried, we drank butter tea!

If I could speak to the beauty of that moment, I would dare not say a word. But that is the depth of music – it does much more. I hope you will find in it some happiness.

To the quiet revolution. To growing our souls.

The Song Sung!

http://www.driveplayer.com/#fileIds=0BzQgN2ezcWYPZ2tPOHdIdjFzd3FlNnROMmIzYUxCcmlHaGc4&userId=103485499393040319321

The Lyrics

Having a quiet revolution over here

Growing my soul

The have-nots are not trying to get what the have’s have got [x4]

We don’t want your privilege, your suburbs, your schools

Not your whiteness, not your straightness, not your patriarchal rules

Not your chemicals in your vegetables, or even your Whole Foods

We are building, we are building something new.

My bridges are gardens, my streets lined with fruit trees

My food is your prayers, the soft sound of bees

Clean water form great lakes and rivers and streams

Reminded of my Mother in all that I see

CHORUS

Young people and elders come back to the center

Remind us how to play and tell stories together

Forgive me my sins against the ancestors

Commodifying everything, less meaning and surrender

Listen to the womyn, the queers, the dark-skinned ones

Give the gift back its joy, and its freedom to love

I tell the time by the sunshine, the month by the moon

More music, better life. Now, not a moment too soon

CHORUS​

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Pink House Benefit

Lil Rev has had to cancel, yet other special surprise guests are stepping to the fore.
A great time will be had by all!

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Sharing Images Inspired By Grace Lee Boggs

Hoping to draw upon our own work and ask others to provide some images manifesting Grace’s visions and concepts.

Here are some of my favorite from Grace’s and Scott’s “The Next American Revolution”
chapters on “A Paradigm Shift in Our Concept of Education” and “We Are the Leaders We’ve Been Looking For.”

I would very much appreciate learning of some of your favorite Grace vision concepts
and permission to share them at http://www.milwaukeerenaissance.com/GraceLeeBoggs/HomePage

  • We are the leaders we’ve been waiting for

  • Freedom schooling America

  • Grass roots transformative energies

  • Ground up change we can believe in

  • Faith in human possibilities

  • Healing and redeeming from shameful legacies

  • Energies from renewed hope and a commitment to a just cause

  • Steps to a more responsible and self-governing community

  • Project notion of a “more human” human being

  • Replace command and control factory education model

  • Address outrage of prison industrial complex

  • The Young are the creators of knowledge and social change

  • John Dewey’s notion of education through active work in the process

of living, manifesting “the social spirit,” beyond mere cognitive training,
harnessing human impulse to make, active listening, and schools
embed in life

  • Gandhi’s intellectual development through socially useful labor, which

handles all of the little things of village life

  • Gandhi’s insistence of learning through the Heart Hand and Head,

drawing upon the resources of community, nature, and the world

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Earth Dance Farms and An Ignatian Response To The Ferguson Tragedies

For all who are hearing about EarthDance for the first time, we are an organic farm school, operating our programming on Missouri’s oldest organic farm, located in Ferguson, MO.

As you can imagine, the recent notoriety of our home base has come as a shock. Though you may be seeing images Ferguson on the news, trust me, they do not capture the diversity and true character of our town. We invite you to learn more about how EarthDance is working with partners all over St. Louis to develop our farm as an oasis of peace, a thriving ecosystem, a hub for agricultural education, and a space for community celebration. As Program Director at EarthDance, I would love to be in touch with you if have advice to offer us, or would like to collaborate.

If you are local, please join us for a free event coming up Sunday, October 5th, 2–4pm, at the farm.

Rachel Levi
Program Director, EarthDance
www.earthdancefarms.org

office 314.521.1006
cell 773–398–6515
rachel@earthdancefarms.org

Our Mission:
EarthDance sustainably grows food, farmers, and community, one small farm at a time, through hands-on education and delicious experiences.

Become a fan of EarthDance on facebook! http://www.facebook.com/earthdancefarms

See what we’re all about here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0BezN90K3ik

Make a donation here:
http://www.earthdancefarms.org/get-involved/donate/

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Emmanuel Pratt’s Think-Do Aquapaonics Lab Demo for the HIVE

​Chicago Learning Network
​Mozilla Foundation Festival Maker Party competition at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum.

Winner goes to The Maker Party in London!

Here are the contestants:

Names

  • AQUAPONS - A Think-Do Lab Demo by SweetWater Foundation
  • Mini Mass Action Day by Mikva Challenge + Free Spirit Media
  • Vinyl Cutter Extravaganza! by YOUmedia @ CPL
  • Cardboard Moving Challenge by CodeCreate
  • Yesterday I Was, Today I Am: Narrative GIF Workshop by NVAM
  • Get Into Art! by The Art Institute
  • Birds of Hope by Intuit: Center for Outsider Art

​Here’s a note regarding last year’s event.

​This year, Mozilla Festival hosted a Maker Party on Oct. 26 in London, England. The party was modeled as a mini-MozFest, featuring hands-on activities for young creators. Visitors joined makers and educators from across the globe to code LED displays, animate stories, design games, build robots, remix videos and much more. Here are all the stations that were present for the event. They represent many organiztations from NYC, Chicago USA, Toronto CA, Indonesia, San Fransisco USA, India. Many participants produced a “Teaching Kit” via Webmaker Thimble, which share the “how-tos” of each maker station (linked to below). Upon creating a teaching kit participants were awarded this Maker Party Teaching Kit Badge:​

https://juliavallera.makes.org/thimble/mozfest-maker-party-at-a-glance-hacked

to be continued…

Godsil

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Boomer Millennial Old House Transformation Experiment

I call 325 E. Euclid The House With a Thousand Names, inspired by Joseph Campbell’s “Hero With A Thousand Names.” Millennial heavy lifters Ben Koller and Miguel Castro call it the Heart Haus.

At the beginning of summer 2014

Ben Koller’s team transformed the inside floors of what was a homely house

Heart Haus located in a “Euro American” hamlet that is gracefully receiving Ben’s “Northside Friends” in a city needing racial healing

In Boomer Millennial IntegralUrban Home transformations the families of the “partners” chip in. Ben’s Mom Judie and sister Anne helped with the planting and the painting, which includes a white board for the breaking bread/brainstorm room

Olde boomers get new lease on life and make new friends!

Miguel’s “Green Room” sprouts tour

Sweet Water Aquaponics Demo Room

The start of front yard food garden as art aspiration

Backyard micro farm August 4, 2014

Costa Rica Earth U. Prof, Sweet Water Foundation Milwaukee Director, Wisconsin’s top soil producer with Ben & Miguel at brainstorm/bread braking room

Eco Tourism destination, with ex-Milwaukee Bucs Rich Neiman and friend John O’Brien

Anne Koller giving first digital conference presentation

With Ryan Scaife of Project Hope in Tanzania

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From Sweet Water To Earth Nation Eco Tours: Centering In Milwaukee Chicago

I am beginning coordinate Sweet Water/Sweet Soil Eco Tours with a number of Milwaukee Chicago, regional, national, and global trailblazers. Some kind of emerging “Earth Nation!”

Might you share some of your story so I can provide you with the most appropriate menu of tours? I will be developing this service over the seasons and years, with new partners representing different kinds of adaptation genius. You can follow this elevating menu of Earth Nation Eco Tours at

http://www.milwaukeerenaissance.com/EarthRenaissance/HomePage

Earth Nation Eco Tours

They can range from commercial scale aquaponics and composting, to school and family digitally enhanced and connected aquaponics demos, linking up with Shanhai and Mumbai, to Chicago repurposed factories or the 2 acre Perry Avenue Farm of the Sweet Water Foundation, the Victory Garden Concordia Gardens or one of their hundreds of family victory gardens, and many more, in Chicago, Reedsberg’s Worm Farm Institute and Fermentation Fest partners, and on and on and on.

Here’s a bit of my story:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_U0x6xI7wAE

http://hbr.org/product/Milwaukee—B5---James-God/an/313064-PDF-ENG

If the latter document interests you let me know.

Godsil

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Introducing Grass Roots American and Chinese Collaboration To Marry Urban Agriculture With Thinker Makers Agile Manufacturing

Yesterday Shanghai’s David Li introduced me to China’s Eric Pan to accelerate our shared commitment to “ecopreneur” collaborations across the waters, with a start up focus on urban agriculture and agile manufacturing. At the time I was with three of America’s top matchmakers of this union, Emmanuel Pratt, Franklyn Berry, and Jia Li Lok Pratt, who were delighted, as this picture suggests, by the prospect of teaming up with David and Eric. I asked David to send me some digital links to essays that would inform our work and share the good news. Here is the first article he sent, followed by some of my favorite quotes therein.

http://www.hackedmatter.com/news/2014/5/19/state-of-shanzhai

From “Made in China” to “Made With China”

As China’s DIY makers are coming together with manufacturers, they are spurring a shift in industrial production, from “made in China” to “made with China.”

Chinese and American Robin Hoods And Virtual Sherwood Forests

David Li, co-founder of XinCheJian, Shanghai’s first “maker space” (essentially, an open-access workshop), says the Robin Hood spirit is inspiring legitimate and often quite innovative products, as the socially progressive maker movement teams up with hard-nosed manufacturers.

From watches, bags and shoes to touchscreen tablets, fast food and electric cars — you can find thousands of knockoff brands in China. Large, highly coordinated networks of innovative companies take the products and services we love in the U.S., alter them relentlessly and make them … better. Then they speed them to one of the world’s largest consumer markets and sell them at devastatingly low margins.

Core Tenets of Shanzhai Business Model Worthy of American Attention

The problem with U.S. innovation? Our broken business models. American companies were built to be predictable, not adaptable. Trends like mobile, social and the cloud are major disruptive forces and businesses are struggling to keep up. Instead of fearing the Shanzhai, we can look at their 4 core tenets to reorganize the way we do business:

-Build nothing from scratch
-Innovate process at small scales
-Share as much as you can
-Act responsibly in the network

By adopting the philosophy of the Shanzhai “copycat culture,” companies can innovate faster and remain competitive.

But China’s rapid growth in open source hardware and maker communities challenges our assumptions. They show an alternative version of innovation, built on a home-grown version of open source that has developed in China’s small-scale factories over the last 20 years. Makers in China show that this history of open manufacturing will change not only what we understand by making, but also where we locate innovation.

San Francisco Chinese American CEO Highway 1 Accelerator Program

PCH a major manufacture based in Shenzhen has recently launch an accelerator program Highway1 in San Francisco and here is how the CEO’s take on Shanzhai:

WSJ: Why is Shenzhen still attractive for PCH?

Casey: The “shanzhai” culture is really important (Shanzhai literally means “mountain fortress.” Once a term used to suggest something cheap or inferior, shanzhai now suggests to many a certain Chinese cleverness and ingenuity.) It has this disruptive culture of wanting to be different, of wanting to be fast, wanting to show what’s possible.

The Economist Covering This Development

The Economist has also published several articles on how Shanzhai will be relevant to the innovation in China and the potential to change now new hardware are created.

What gives these young Chinese firms a potential edge is their close connections with the so-called shanzhai production networks centred on Shenzhen, China’s high-tech manufacturing hub. The term shanzhai is often used pejoratively to refer to Chinese copycat producers of mobile phones and other electronic devices, based on copied designs and knock-off brand names. But its literal meaning is “mountain village”, and it refers to bandits who opposed corrupt rulers and hid in the countryside—much like Robin Hood in English folklore. David Li, co-founder of XinCheJian, Shanghai’s first “maker space” (essentially, an open-access workshop), says the Robin Hood spirit is inspiring legitimate and often quite innovative products, as the socially progressive maker movement teams up with hard-nosed manufacturers.

Silvia Lindtner of U. of Cal. Irvine Shanghai Partnership

Silvia Lindtner of the University of California, Irvine, and Fudan University in Shanghai, who follows the startup scene in China, is not surprised. The two sides complement each other, she says. The founders of hardware start ups, often steeped in the open-source culture, partner with factories rooted in the Chinese culture of shanzhai, which translates as “mountain stronghold”. It used to mean pirated electronic goods but now stands for open-source manufacturing.

Much more to come!

Godsil

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Highlights from 2015 so far: The Good News and Pivotal Facts

Mon. 3/30/15: Don’t Forget To Vote 4/7/15:

Tues. 3/24/15: Milwaukee panel upholds firing of police officer Manney

Mon. 3/23/15: Growing Violence Prevention:

Thurs. 3/19/15: Advocacy works.

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Milwaukee Board of School Directors Candidate Forum

MICAH Education Task Force Invites you to Milwaukee Board of School Directors Candidate Forum
Tuesday, March 31st, 2015 6:30 – 8:00 pm
St. Matthew CME Church 2944 North 9th Street Milwaukee, WI

All candidates have been invited, whether running opposed or unopposed. We will have a community panel asking questions from each of our sponsoring organizations. We will also take questions from the audience.

Guest Moderator: Mr. Eric Von, Former Talk Show Host, 1290 WMCS-AM Milwaukee

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April 2015 BizTimes Cover Story

Mental Health Task Force Update

We wanted to pass on this story from the BizTimes: “Employers have a stake in the urgent need for mental health care” as well as a link to the April 16th Jewish Family Services Conference on Compassion Fatigue – see the links below.

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Additional listening session opportunity

Hello all,

I have learned about another listening session opportunity that will be held in Wauwatosa tonight:

Representative Rob Hutton (represents South Wauwatosa, 5 wards in Milwaukee and 3 wards in West Allis) is having a listening session in Tosa tonight, Monday, March 30, 2015 from 6pm-7pm at the Tosa Lions Club 7336 St. James Street.

This is in addition to the listening sessions that Rep. Kooyenga, who also represents parts of Wauwatosa, will be holding. It is especially important for Rep. Kooyenga to hear from us since he is a member of the Joint Finance Committee. Rep. Kooyenga is holding 2 listening sessions:

City of Brookfield
Public Library
Monday, March 30th
7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
1900 North Calhoun Road
Brookfield, WI 53005

And

City of Wauwatosa
Public Library
Tuesday, March 31st
7:00 PM – 8:00PM
7635 West North Avenue
Wauwatosa, WI 53213

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“Not Every Problem in the World Has a Military ‘Solution’”

Transcript below; video here: https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/watchinghawks?refcode=032915email&amount=20.16&recurring=48

Last week, Congressman Grayson joined the inaugural installment of “Watching the Hawks,” a new national cable news show. In a far-ranging interview, he discussed what is wrong with Congress, why even many Democrats are afraid to take on the military-industrial complex, whether military spending actually creates jobs, the division of authority between the President and Congress regarding military action, the likelihood of more infrastructure spending, and more. Enjoy:

Tyrell Ventura: “Whether you love him or hate him, the Representative from Florida’s 9th District definitely isn’t afraid to speak his mind. Congressman Grayson, thank you for joining us today, and stepping into the Hawk’s Nest, on our inaugural show. Thank you, sir.”

Rep. Alan Grayson: “You’re welcome. I’m hoping that by the end of the show, you’ll all love me.”

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Organizational Structures and Institutional Racism

By R.L. McNeely, Ph.D., J.D., Attorney and Professor Emeritus: Bader School of Social Welfare University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Just recently, I was struck when watching, pursuant to a friend’s request, a panel discussion focused on the concept of institutional racism. That discussion took place on a college campus in front of a large audience. The discussants were three youngsters who were or had been enrolled as students in that private liberal arts college, or were employed therein. The fourth discussant was a senior social scientist from a research university who had just published an important study on disproportionate treatment by race.

Why was I so struck? I was struck because it was amazing to hear the statements of the three youngsters. None of them were able to articulate a definition of institutional racism and their comments were so murky as to be incomprehensible; at least they were murky about the topic at hand. Their jumbled thoughts revolved around notions of white supremacy, residential segregation, uneven access by the races to public resources, and the residual effects both of slavery and of the Jim Crow era following Reconstruction. But none of the youngsters could connect their thoughts into a coherent definitional or explanatory framework. To make matters worse, their comments consistently revealed an abiding belief that individuals were responsible for the racism meted out by institutions. Indeed, and on the other hand, one of the panelists also seemed fixed on who had been attracted to whom, in their neighborhoods of origin, and on the discriminatory treatment afforded to fat black women.

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MCTS WILL BEGIN HANDING OUT FREE TRANSIT PASSES FOR ELIGIBLE SENIORS OR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES ON MARCH 31ST

MILWAUKEE - The Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) will begin handing out the free transit pass, known as the GO Pass, to eligible riders on March 31st. The pass, which was mandated by the County Board of Supervisors, allows all Milwaukee County residents 65 and older unlimited free rides on MCTS buses. The free pass will also be available for residents with disabilities who meet certain requirements*. Both groups are currently allowed to ride on the bus for half fare.

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House of Representatives Votes to Fix Medicare Payments for Doctors

Today the House passed a bill, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (H.R.2), to repeal the formula for physician payment under Medicare and extend the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for two years. Congress has acted 17 times to temporarily prevent the formula, called the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR), from going into effect. H.R.2 would replace the SGR with alternative, value-driven payment strategies. The bill also permanently funds the Qualified Individual (QI) program that helps low-income Medicare beneficiaries afford Part B premiums.

Medicare Rights supports this bipartisan effort to repeal and replace the SGR. Yet, Medicare Rights and other beneficiary advocates are concerned that the current replacement proposal asks beneficiaries to shoulder too much of the cost of this legislation—$30 billion in higher costs would be shifted to some beneficiaries. Reflecting that concern, Medicare Rights wrote a letter to House Speaker John Boehner and Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, expressing the need for additional improvements for low-income beneficiaries as the Senate takes up the legislation.

Click here to read Medicare Rights’ letter to House leadership on H.R. 2.
Click here to read Medicare Rights’ statement about H.R. 2.
Click here to read the text of the House bill H.R. 2.

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Chicago Can Lead The Way With Chuy

By Robert Miranda: Editor, Wisconsin Spanish Journal
March 20, 2015

Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, candidate for mayor of Chicago for the past year has provided the public positions regarding his policies to positively impact how Chicago can provide an opportunity for individuals to meet as equals without regard for race or class. Clearly, he demonstrates with his words ideas for the most effective way to engage in fair housing, safe and vibrant neighborhoods, market affairs, transportation needs and concerns and long term plans for urban development and employment.

Economic justice, good public schools, urban infrastructure up-grades and making sure that Chicago places its citizens at the center of public policy are the ingredients that ensure stability in Chicago. “Chuy” gets it.

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Tell Congress It’s Time for Long-Term Investment

from Mantill Williams, Voices for Public Transit Community Coordinator

March 26, 2015

Voices for Public Transit is already making a lot of noise as we prepare for Stand Up 4 Transportation Day on April 9.

Even before advocates from around the country gather in Washington to deliver a strong, united, bipartisan message to Congress, we want to make sure Congress hears us loud and clear: America needs comprehensive, long-term federal funding for our nation’s transportation infrastructure.

Send an email to your members of Congress today!

April 9 will be an important day for transportation advocates. We want to give it as much impact as possible by laying the groundwork now. Your email to Congress will help us do just that.

Take just a few minutes today to send your email to Congress. Then stay tuned for more opportunities to Stand Up 4 Transportation in your community.

Thank you for your support!

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3/26 Mental Health Board Finance Committee Meeting and Opportunity for Public Input

Planning is already underway for the 2016 Milwaukee County BHD budget. Because of the establishment of the new Mental Health Board, this process occurs earlier and in a different manner than the overall Milwaukee County budget and the opportunities for public input are much more limited than with the overall county budget. The first opportunity for public input will be this week – 3/26 at the Mental Health Board Finance Committee meeting.,

It’s our understanding that the Mental Health Board will be providing two opportunities for public input on the 2016 Milwaukee County Budget.

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One African American’s Perspective on Football, Fathers, Friends, and the American Dream

By RL McNeely, PhD, JD

Attorney McNeely is professor emeritus of social welfare at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and a practicing attorney. He has published books as well as numerous articles appearing in professional academic journals. He is a Research Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America, he has testified before Congress, and he has served as a consultant for the U.S. Army. His work in the field of domestic violence inspired the NBC documentary, Of Macho and Men. He is listed in Who’s Who in Social Sciences Higher Education, Who’s Who in the Human Services, and Who’s Who in Aging.

Once upon a time, in the days of yore, high school football was a very big thing in Flint, Michigan. Indeed, the Saginaw Valley Conference, within which Flint Northern played, was pronounced by some football commentators, during the years I played (1961 & 1963), as the toughest high school conference in the country. Flint Central, Northern’s arch rival, had, in my senior year, even been proclaimed in some national magazines and other media covering high school football as the best high school football team, ever. The two rivals, each year, ended their respective seasons in a traditional Thanksgiving Day Game, played in Flint’s Atwood Stadium, which often was attended by more than 20,000 animated fans. Games occurring in lackluster seasons would attract fewer fans, but never fewer than 12,000 attendees, per my recollection.

Find Out What McNeely Found in the Coach’s Drawer
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We Like to Name Drop

Yes to Badger Care, No to UW Cuts!
by Kevin Kane, Lead Organizer: Citizen Action of Wisconsin

Tomorrow, we at Citizen Action will be delivering 35,000 plus petitions, including your name, to the final Joint Finance Committee public hearing on the budget in Reedsburg, the last chance for public comment on this backwards state budget, and we want to give your friends and neighbors one last chance to add their name!

SHARE YOUR PETITION: Yes to BadgerCare, No to UW Cuts!

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How to report complaints about NEMT - non-emergency medical transportation for individuals in Medicaid

Mental Health Task Force/ Make It Work Milwaukee Update

We continue to hear concerns from the community about problems with non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) coordinated by MTM, the Medicaid transportation broker. If you or your clients are experiencing concerns with NEMT, it is important that these be reported as complaints – this is key to ensure that DHS has the needed information about provider performance to address concerns. Currently complaints with NEMT are underreported. This is a reminder that it is important to take the time to report these complaints – please see the directions below and spread the word.

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Watch BlackLivesMatterBeloit

Educate Yourself:

Watch #BlackLivesMatterBeloit — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ZjJvikAk28

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Act now to support Go Pass for people with disabilities - County Board to Vote this Thursday - Resolution File No: 15–204

Mental Health Task Force Update

The Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors is meeting this Thursday, March 26th. One of the agenda items is implementation of the new GO Pass (File No. 15–204) which our coalitions supported during the County budget process. The “GO”, or “Growing Opportunities” pass will allow seniors and persons with disabilities to ride the bus for free. Amendments related to the GO Pass will be considered at this Thursday’s County Board meeting.

When this proposal was advanced during the budget under the leadership of Chairwoman Dimitrijevic, it was our understanding that the definition of disability would be an inclusive one and include individuals with mental health and developmental disabilities, as well as physical disabilities. Supervisor Weddle has advanced an amendment (see attached) which would ensure that all people who meet the definition of disabled within the Americans with Disabilities Act would be eligible for the GO pass. The amendment also provided some provisions for people who do not have a government issues photo ID to be able to otherwise document eligibility and obtain a GO pass. As we know from our work on voter ID requirements, many people with disabilities and older adults do not drive and do NOT have other government issued picture ID cards.

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How BadgerCare can save the UW system

By now you’ve likely heard that Walker’s 2015–17 proposed state budget cuts $300 million for the University of Wisconsin (UW) System.
This threatens to undermine Wisconsin’s world class university system, closing off access and further undermining economic opportunity for generations of future students. But our friends at Citizen Action of Wisconsin have a solution to prevent this disaster that is already getting support from key Republicans in the legislature, and are asking for our support to keep the pressure on: Add your name to the petition demanding Wisconsin stop the cuts to UW by accepting federal Medicaid funds for BadgerCare!

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What Has Wisconsin’s Department of Corrections Got to Hide?

by R.L. McNeely, Chair, Felmers O. Chaney Community Advocacy Board (FCAB)

MARCH 23, 2015

Just a few weeks ago, Wisconsin’s Department of Corrections Director of Research and Policy, Mr. Tony Streveler, spoke before an audience of more than one hundred people at a meeting of Milwaukee’s Community Justice Council. All seemed to be going well until one member of the audience pointed out that Mr. Streveler’s statistics failed to present the fact that Wisconsin has been the worst state in the nation for disproportionately incarcerating blacks. That comment unleashed a torrent of questions and comments focusing on the Department’s practices. One audience member spoke to what he said were inhumane practices in placing inmates in solitary confinement. Privately, that audience member said that the solitary confinement practices of Wisconsin’s Department of Corrections (DOC), in fact, violate the threshold set by the United Nations for cruel and unusual punishment. Wouldn’t it be useful to know if this sanction is disproportionately meted out to blacks?

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Report Analyzes Financial Impacts of Mental Health Complex Downsizing

Mental Health Task Force Update

The Public Policy Forum has just released their report analyzing the financial impacts of downsizing the Milwaukee County Mental Health Complex and using the savings to help finance the urgently needed expansion of community based services. See below for links to the report.

Report Analyzes Financial Impacts of Mental Health Complex Downsizing
by The Wheeler Report
Mental Health Complex Downsizing. A report released today by the Milwaukee-based Public Policy Forum finds that Milwaukee. County’s ability to …

Exploring the Financial Impacts of Mental Health Redesign
by Public Policy Forum
Our “Fiscal Analysis of Mental Health Redesign in Milwaukee County” … the anticipated closure of all long-term care beds at the Complex by the end …

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Before you reform evil, you have to see evil.

Rev. Jerry Hancock makes this statement in a ‘For the Record’ TV program that will air on Sunday morning in Madison. It’s posted already, so you can watch it now. He and Talib Akbar, both leaders in WISDOM’s MOSES affiliate, do a great job of educating on the evils of Wisconsin’s prison system, especially the abuse of solitary confinement.

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Open Letter to Starbucks and USA Today

By Race Forward: The Center for Racial Justice Innovation

The conversation on race in our country is changing. Once a subject left to be discussed by civil rights leaders, organizers and a few non-profits, race is now a topic for many. Names like Renisha McBride, Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, and so many more have led to widespread conversations on race. The numerous anniversaries marking milestones of the Civil Rights Movement and, yes, that the President IS Black also factor in to discussions about the role race and racism play in our society.

Yesterday we saw a relatively new entrant into the discussion: Starbucks, in a partnership with USA Today. Starbucks has committed to socially conscious practices in the past including hiring vets, banning open weapons in their stores, and supporting gay marriage. A public dialog on race is new for Starbucks. While we applaud Starbucks for their effort to engage a topic that many seek to avoid, and while their efforts seem well intentioned, we, as a national racial justice organization, with a name similar to the hashtag used in the campaign feel compelled to say: As a nation, we need more.

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Leadership Change At Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Division

I am writing to inform you all that Susan Gadacz has transitioned out of the position of Deputy Community Access to Recover Services at Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Division. I want to thank Susan for her many contributions to the Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Division. Sue provided leadership to important work including co-chairing the Mental Health Redesign Task Force, and the application process for CCS in Milwaukee County, among other actions as we expanded community based services.

I want to assure the Mental Health Board that this important work will continue. The wellbeing and recovery of patients, families, and the community we serve is a priority for BHD leaders and staff. We remain committed to moving forward with ongoing Mental Health Redesign efforts and to enhancing and expanding our community based services. We also remain focused on strengthening our current partnerships and fostering new relationships that will help us reach the goal of creating a robust community based, patient-centered and recovery-oriented system.

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Emergency Fair Play Meeting Saturday

Anyone interested in Fair Play, Forclosure Issue or the new Bucks Arena - please attend

Emergency Fair Play Meeting
Saturday, March 21st 9:30 - 11:30 AM
St Mark’s Episcopal Church 2618 N Hackett Avenue Milwaukee

Park on Street & Enter doors facing Hackett Ave (doors off parking lot will be locked and not available to enter).

Attention ALL Common Grounders. Saturday’s walk in District 3 has been cancelled. Instead we will be having an emergency strategy session on Home\Field Advantage (our combined foreclosure and Fair Play proposal).

There have been some new developments, including the loss of our Home\Field Advantage sponsor. We want to brief everyone and discuss possible changes and opportunities. We need to decide as a group how we want to move forward. We need to be united and prepared to act quickly.

Any Common Ground leader interested in Fair Play, foreclosure, or the arena should come to this meeting.

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Democracy Crumbles Before Our Eyes

Wed. 3/18/15: WI Golden Rule Pretender Gov. @ Work:

Tues. 3/3/15: Back to early 1930s:

Thurs. 2/19/15: Truth Jeopardized:

Wed. 1/7/15: Here’s the tip of what voters have done — most by not voting!

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From Wausau to Madison

Rural and Urban Wisconsinites Together 4 Justice

By Melissa Lewis, Wausau

On Wednesday morning I crammed into a van full of my Wausau neighbors and drove to Madison to participate in the “We Rise” national day of action. It was a beautiful day and an inspiring glimpse at what can happen when we all join forces against corporate power.

In Wisconsin, we have some of the worst of what corporate power has to offer. From massive budget cuts to education, to attacks on workers’ rights and families in need, to a malignant prison system that swallows the lives of young black men at a rate higher than anywhere in America. These injustices are all connected to each other. They are all designed to keep power consolidated in the hands of the wealthiest few.

The central Wisconsin farmer who works day and night shouldn’t be struggling to keep the electricity on— but he is. The Milwaukee mother who works two jobs shouldn’t need food stamps to feed her family— but she does. Though their lives are different, they are both hampered by a structure that isn’t working on their behalf. This is why rural Wisconsin and urban Wisconsin must fight for each other- to be divided is to be defeated.

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Mental Health Task Force/ Make It Work Milwaukee Update – March 20 Hearing on State Budget in Milwaukee

Good morning! This is a reminder that State Legislature’s Joint Committee on Finance will hold a public hearing on the budget in Milwaukee next Friday March 20th from 10 AM – 5 PM at Alverno College, Pittman Theater, 3400 S. 43rd street.

This is an opportunity for community members to attend and be part of the democratic budget process. You may decide to register to speak to the committee and share your priorities on the budget or you may come to show solidarity with others who are speaking. Here are a few tips for the hearings.

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If Mayor Barrett used TIDs Wisely, Poverty Would Fall, Property Tax Relief Would Rise

By Robert Miranda, Editor, Spanish Journal

Chris Johnson, Editor/Publisher, KINGFISHmke.com

Here is a basic breakdown on how much residential property owners could save per year if Mayor Barrett, along with the City of Milwaukee Common Council, would terminate TIDs #49 and #56 instead of shifting these revenue streams to finance the downtown streetcar:

  • Revenues to streetcar from donor TID #49: $ 9.7 million Source: TID #49 2013 Periodic Report
  • Revenues to streetcar from donor TID #56: $19.2 million Source: January 7, 2015 LRB Letter
  • Total revenues from both donor TIDs: $28.9 million

  • Number of households in the city of Milwaukee: 228,000 Source: 2013 US Census Bureau

  • Potential property tax relief: $28.9 million/228,000 = $126 per household

This potential property tax relief has one gargantuan hurdle that makes it difficult to see realization however, and that hurdle is called “political will”.

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Schizophrenics Anonymous Support Group

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Sojourner Family Peace Center

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Update on Mental Health Reform Committee hearing

By Mental Health Task Force

The new Assembly Mental Health Reform Committee met this week, and Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force Co-chair Mary Neubauer was among those invited to speak to the committee. Wisconsin Health News covered the hearing and quoted our great co-chair – way to go Mary! See below:

Committee to address psychiatric shortage; advocates speak on priorities

A Republican legislator is working on a bill that seeks to address the shortage of psychiatrists and other mental health professionals, which he hopes to introduce by late April.

Manitowoc Rep. Paul Tittl, chair of the Assembly Committee on Mental Health Reform, said at a public hearing Tuesday the bill “is not ready for primetime yet,” but could be unveiled by the committee’s April meeting.

“Our work this session is going to be quite intense, and I think we’ll be able to get some good things done for the state,” Tittl said.

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Young Adult Support Group Resource

Good Morning,

A new support group is starting in Milwaukee for young adults 18–24 who have lost someone to suicide. Flyer attached. It is open to the public and offers a free dinner. Please share with clients, students, friends, family or peers who may be interested.

Thanks you!

Rebecca Frank, CAPSW, SAC-IT, Associate Director of Community Services: Bell Therapy
4929 W Fond du Lac Avenue Milwaukee, WI 53216
(414) 871–6122 x11025
rfrank@phoenixcaresystems.com

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Law that Boehner broke by inviting Netanyahu to speak to Congress

Dissenting opinion: Congress regularly visits and negotiates with foreign countries. they just can’t do binding things and that hasn’t been violated.

Original poster: At the very least, what has been violated is the respect and honor of the Presidential Office of the United States of America by both Boehner and Netanyahu.

It is my understanding that the US Attorney General could have sought a Supreme Court injunction against Boehner’s invitation or Netanyahu’s acceptance, but the conservative dominated Court would likely avoid the issue as political. Cowards.

Also, the Republicans in Congress interfered in the nuclear arms negotiation with the Iranian government when they sent that signed letter to the Iranians. http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/03/11/us-iran-nuclear-kerry-letter-idUSKBN0M71T120150311

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Archbishop Timothy Dolan is Right About ISIS

By Robert Miranda Editor, Wisconsin Spanish Journal

March 12, 2015

Former Milwaukee Archbishop Timothy Dolan, now the archbishop of New York, compared Islamic State (ISIS) to the IRA - saying militants terrorizing the Middle East are a distortion of “genuine” Islam, just as the Irish Republican Army was a “perversion” of Catholicism.

In an interview on CNN, Cardinal Timothy Dolan said, “Remember 30, 35, 40 years ago with the IRA in Ireland? The IRA claimed to be Catholic. And they were baptized; they had a Catholic identity. What they were doing was a perversion of everything the church stood for.”

“And to their immense credit, the bishops of Ireland, every time the IRA blew up a car or a house or a barracks to the British Army, the Irish bishops would say they are not Catholic,” continued Dolan.

When ISIS beheaded 21 of Egypt’s Coptic Christians last month, they claimed to be doing God’s work. They quoted religious sounding terminology like “fighting until the war lays down its burdens,” not ceasing until the Promised Messiah returns to “break the cross” and “kill the swine.”

The Koran likens the murder of an innocent life to the murder of humanity.

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This is moving fast. Speak out now:

By Jeri Bonavia, Ex. Dir., WAVE - Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort

Last week, Congress introduced a bipartisan bill to expand background checks — the single-most effective step we can take to reduce gun violence and save lives.

Meanwhile, back here in Wisconsin, our lawmakers did the opposite: They plowed ahead with legislation that — instead of seeking to save lives — would repeal the 48-hour waiting period for handgun purchases in our state.

I’m writing because this irrational bill has a Senate committee hearing tomorrow. And it’s urgent our senators hear from folks in their districts before they make up their minds.

Speak out now: Help flood the Committee with messages urging them to stop this waste of time and get to work fixing our broken background check system.

The Assembly already held its committee hearing on the bill, and things could speed up quickly.

Let’s remind our lawmakers they work for us -- not the gun lobby -- and their first priority should be public safety -- not politics.

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Madison Action Day 2015

People of Faith United for Justice

Is a day-long gathering to learn, discuss, pray and advocate together for social justice issues of importance to all the people of Wisconsin. As a new legislature starts work on the next state budget, our representatives need to hear our values, priorities, and concerns. Together, we can ensure that our commitment to compassion and justice is reflected in that budget.

Racial Equity is an important part to the work that we do.

Each of the issues will break the Structural Racism that exist in our everyday lives.

BLACK LIVES Matter

Issues: 11x 15, Driver’s Cards, Safety Net, Transportation / Conservation, Education

Solidarity at the Capitol
People of Faith United for Justice

Wednesday, April 29, 2015 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Bethel Lutheran Church 312 Wisconsin Avenue Madison, WI

Travel with us! Bus departs St. Frances Capuchin Building (MICAH Office) 1927 N 4th st Milwaukee, WI 53212

Agenda

  • 7:30 am Bus departs St. Frances
  • 8:30 am Registration & Refreshments
  • 9:00 am Plenary & Lobbying Training
  • 10:30 am Issue Breakouts
  • 12:00 pm Lunch
  • 1:15 pm March around the Capitol
  • 2:00 pm Legislative Visits
  • 4:00 pm Action Day Concludes
  • 5:30 pm Bus returns to Milwaukee

Cost: $25 incl. bus transportation & lunch

Register by April 15, 2015

Mail checks made payable to MICAH, to:
1927 N 4th St. Milwaukee, WI. 53212

For more information: office@micahempowers.org 414–264–0805

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Reclaim Our State: Day of Action March 11

Today, Scott Walker will sign “right to work” legislation, making this latest right-wing assault on working people and family-supporting wages the law in Wisconsin.

For years now, Wisconsin has been battered by pro-corporate policies that have benefited only the wealthy few and big business while putting the American dream further out of reach for far too many. But this is not just a Wisconsin problem.

Across the nation, politicians are rigging the system for big corporations and the very wealthy while families are struggling to get by. This has gone on for too long. Families are fed up and taking action on March 11 to reclaim their stake in government.

As Wisconsinites, we have a choice to make. Are we going to fight each other for breadcrumbs? OR ARE WE GOING TO JOIN TOGETHER AND FIGHT BACK?

We say it’s time to fight back.

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Petition to End Unnecessary Police Violence from MoveOn.org

There was little doubt the Department of Justice report on civil rights violations committed by the Ferguson Police Department would be damning. Here’s just some of what it confirmed:

Entire policing strategies were based on generating profit through fines and fees rather than keeping communities safe—and this often meant that people of color were disproportionately stopped, searched, and ticketed without cause. (1)

Residents of Ferguson were sometimes detained, searched, and even placed under arrest without any documentation—meaning oversight of police conduct was nearly impossible. (2)

Police used dogs purely to intimidate people fleeing from police—and the records available to the Department of Justice for review showed that police exclusively deployed dogs against Black residents, including a 14-year-old boy. (3)

The report confirms that the Ferguson Police Department violated the First, Fourth, and 14th Amendments to the United States Constitution. (4)

Will you join our allies at ColorOfChange and call on President Obama to use his executive authority to curb discriminatory and violent policing now?

Sign the petition from our friends at ColorOfChange.

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As Heard on the Helpline: Latest Report from the Medicare Rights Center

The Medicare Rights Center counseled more than 15,000 people who called our national helpline with questions about Medicare. As told through their compelling stories, we compiled a new report on the top Medicare issues heard over the year and policy recommendations intended to address these issues and improve access to affordable health care for the 50+ million people with Medicare.

According to what we hear on our helpline, we know that many of our callers have difficulties understanding their Medicare coverage and navigating denials of coverage; transitioning into Medicare because of insufficient or inaccurate information; and affording needed health care services and medicines.

Do you have your own experiences with Medicare? Visit our website today, and share your story.

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Citizen Action Fights for Families!

Child Health Insurance Program (CHIP)

  • In Wisconsin, CHIP is the federal funding source that pays for BadgerCare for kids beyond Medicaid levels (over the poverty line) and covers over 150,000 Wisconsin children.

  • With CHIP, working parents know that a job loss won’t mean losing their children’s health insurance and a sick kid won’t mean bankruptcy.

  • Congress must keep funding for CHIP so it doesn’t end this year – that way millions of our kids will keep getting the affordable health care they need.

Child nutrition programs

  • Child nutrition programs like school breakfast and lunch and WIC are keeping millions of children fed with nutritious food to grow and learn. These vital services are helping parents meet the basics for their families.

  • Congress must support and improve child nutrition programs like school meals and WIC, so more of our children get the good food they need to grow and learn.

Providing a better future for our children is what America is all about – that means refunding the Child Health Insurance Program and renewing child nutrition programs!

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Dane County NAACP Statement on Police Shooting of Tony Terrell Robinson, Jr.

March 7, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Dane County NAACP Statement on Police Shooting of Tony Terrell Robinson Jr.

Madison, WI-The Dane County NAACP extends our thoughts and prayers to the family of Tony Terrell Robinson, Jr. the 19 year old African American male who lost his life in a police-involved shooting last night.

Each new case of an African American person killed is a grim reminder of the urgent need for reform in the use of force against American citizens. Although excessive use of force disproportionately affects African Americans and people living in poverty, it can affect people everywhere regardless of race, age or gender.

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First Steps in Reforming Wisconsin’s Prisons

NAOMI Leader Ron Alexander has a compelling column in the Wausau Daily Herald, “First Steps in Reforming Wisconsin’s Prisons”.

He notes the success of Marathon County’s OWI Court as well as Eau Claire County’s specialty courts for mental health and for veterans. These are samples of many such alternatives to prison sentences for individuals with treatable conditions that cause criminal behavior. WISDOM has advocated for many of them across the state: we need many more.

Alexander outlines ways the Department of Corrections can responsibly reduce our prison population by 1,500 inmates, thus freeing up $75 million to be used for more treatment alternative and diversion programs.

Read the article. Then tell your state legislators that this should be included in the current deliberations of our state budget!

Join WISDOM in our work for justice across Wisconsin!

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Register Now for Disability Advocacy Day: March 17th in Madison

REMINDER – MARCH 10TH IS THE DEADLINE TO REGISTER FOR DISABILITY ADVOCACY DAY – DON’T MISS OUT!
The budget includes major changes to Family Care, BadgerCare, personal care, SeniorCare, and IRIS is eliminated – come to Madison to learn more and meet with your legislators.

FREE TRANSPORTATION IS AVAILABLE FROM MILWAUKEE!

Disability Advocacy Day connects you with your legislators so you can share your story and tell them what issues are important to you. It is sponsored by the Survival Coalition of Disability Organizations

Who: Anyone interested in advocating for persons with disabilities

Date and Time: Tuesday, March 17, 2015 8:15 a.m. Bus departs from Park & Ride at The Mayfair Collection 3:30 p.m. Bus departs from Madison for trip back to Milwaukee 5:30 p.m. Estimated return to Milwaukee

Pick Up Location: Mayfair Collection Park & Ride 11500 W Burleigh St Wauwatosa, WI 53222

Disability Advocacy Day: Monona Terrace Center 1 John Nolen Dr Madison, WI 53703

RSVP: Bus seating is free but limited. RSVP to Amanda or Megan at Life Navigators at 414–774–6255 to reserve your seat.

If you do not need transportation, you can register online at: http://www.survivalcoalitionwi.org/index.php/events/

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Slamming the doors on democracy

Brothers and Sisters,
Thousands of you rallied today to stand up against attacks on workers, to stand up against attacks on the middle class and to stand up against Right to Work legislation. Despite the bitter cold, we came together to tell our legislators that working people want strong unions and a healthy middle class.

Earlier today, citizens flooded the Capitol to bear witness to the Assembly debate and vote. After just minutes of debate, Speaker Robin Vos ordered the gallery cleared. Clearing the gallery completely shuts the people out of our own democratic process. It is not right. It is not just. It is not a transparent democracy.

Right to Work is wrong for every Wisconsin family, union and non-union – we know that Right to Work will drive down wages, cripple worker rights and slow down the economy.

No matter what happens in the hours ahead in the Capitol building, we will continue to educate and organize in every workplace in every city and every town across our state.

We will not give up, standing together we will ride out this storm, the road has never been easy, our fathers and mothers and grandmothers and grandfathers have fought for all the rights they’ve passed on to us, now is our turn to preserve and protect our heritage. History has called on each and every one of us to defend the middle class and we will move forward, together in unity and togetherness.

In Solidarity,
Phil Neuenfeldt, President
Stephanie Bloomingdale, Secretary-Treasurer

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State Budget Briefing March 10th at IndependenceFirst/ Joint Finance Budget Hearing 3/20 in Milwaukee

Mental Health Task Force/ Make It Work Milwaukee

This is a reminder that you are urged to join us for a briefing on the proposed state budget and the impact on people with disabilities and older adults. The briefing is scheduled for Tuesday March 10th at 3 PM at IndependenceFirst, 540 S. 1st st. The proposed budget eliminates the IRIS self direction program, makes major changes to Family Care including adding medical care, allows the state to contract with multiple private entities to perform the functions of Aging and Disability Resource centers, and makes changes to the BadgerCare benefit for childless adults including limiting eligibility to four years. The attached summary from DRW provides an overview of the impact on people with disabilities.

The briefing will be followed by a short business meeting of the Mental Health Task Force – we hope to see you Tuesday.

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Joint Finance Committee Hearings: Mark your calendar!

The Joint Finance Committee hearings have been announced. They receive testimony towards the pending State Budget. WISDOM always has a strong presence at such events. We’ll be lining up people to make statements as well as people to stand in support.

Please mark your calendar for the hearing near you! Talking points and more detail will follow.

These are the hearing dates and locations of Joint Finance Committee hearings:

  • March 18 at Brillion High School. Brillion is between Lake Michigan and Lake Winnebago in Calumet County
  • March 20 at Alverno College in Milwaukee
  • March 23 at the University of Wisconsin-Barron County. Located in Rice Lake, 60 miles north of Eau Claire
  • March 26 at Reedsburg High School. Reedsburg is just west of Baraboo

The hearings will run from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. but could vary slightly according to each venue’s availability.

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Mark Belling Serves The Interest of Those who Want Us Divided

By Robert Miranda, Editor,Wisconsin Spanish Journal

Milwaukee’s voice of buffoonery in the local ultra-conservative radio, Mark Belling once again managed to say something exceptionally moronic.

At issue is a website post authored by Julia Fello, the WTMJ-TV reporter who became his target because she posted on the station’s web page that the right-to-work “… bill would make Wisconsin the 25th state to ban employees from joining a union or pay union dues.”

The post was wrong. The right-to-work law bars private businesses and unions from reaching labor deals that require workers to pay union fees.

Belling instead of just addressing the issue proceeds to attack Fello by calling her a bimbo and an airhead.

Clearly out of line.

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Presentation to the Special Committee on Redevelopment of Foreclosed and Abandoned Houses

Thursday, March 5th 8:30 AM
Meet in the main lobby at City Hall for briefing
200 E Wells Street, Milwaukee

R.S.V.P. to info@commongroundwi.org or 414–751–0755

Help Common Ground go on record about Nationstar and Wes Edens connection to many foreclosed houses in our City. This Action will show our commitment to Fair Play and will inform our Alderpeople to TAKE ACTION!

The meeting will begin at 9:00AM in 301-B. Please be present for the 8:30 AM briefing in the main lobby.

Looking for 30 Common Ground representatives to attend! Please wear your Common Ground T-shirt if you have one. We will bring extras for purchase ($10) or to borrow for Action.

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Tell advertisers to ditch Bill O’Reilly

Fox News host Bill O’Reilly once told a harrowing story in which he was attacked during the L.A. riots. According to O’Reilly, he and his colleagues were viciously showered with bricks and other hard objects — “concrete was raining down on us” — by an angry, lawless mob of protestors.

It is quite a story. Too bad this story — like so many other tales weaved by O’Reilly over the course of his long, checkered career — is completely fake. [1] It never happened. And it’s just one of many O’Reilly tall tales debunked in recent weeks; tales designed to promote an agenda of hate.

It’s time to pull the plug on O’Reilly. Tell advertisers: if you support hatemongering, we don’t support you.

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Grassroots Wellness Peer Run Respite & Learning Community

OPEN HOUSE FOR EVERYONE!

Come see our new house, learn about our program, meet our team, and celebrate with us!

2727 Blackberry Trail, Menomonie
March 13 | 10:00 am – 6:00 pm

Please join us! This open house is for partners, supporters, neighbors and community members in our region and across Wisconsin! Learn about our program and approach to peer support. Meet our team and get a tour of the house. All are welcome and we hope to see you there!

For more information please call us at 715–619–0588

Grassroots Wellness is a project of Grassroots Empowerment Project
800.770.0588 | www.grassrootspower.org

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Labor Committee Hearing Details

Join us on Monday, March 2, to pack the Assembly Committee on Labor, Room 417 North, as the public hearing on so-called Right to Work legislation begins. We need everyone who supports unions and a strong middle class to register and testify to tell legislators on the Committee how Right to Work legislation will impact your jobsite, your community and your family.

Here are the full details of tomorrow’s hearing:

  • What: Assembly Committee on Labor public hearing on “right to work” legislation
  • Where: Wisconsin State Capitol Building, 417 North (GAR Hall)
  • When: Monday, March 2, 2015 from 10am-8pm
  • Who: Open to the public. All speakers have a 7 minute time limit.

Raise your voice and show your opposition to RTW. Make your voice heard. In the Senate hearing, over 1,751 citizens registered in opposition of RTW and just 25 registered in support.

Let’s keep the momentum and the movement building. Register and testify at the Capitol to oppose RTW, Monday, March 2. Be there to participate in democracy and do all that we can to stop Right to Work.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR, Thursday March 5. The bill will go to a floor vote on Thursday, March, 5. Plan to be at the Capitol for the entire floor debate which may go around the clock.

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Mayor Barrett is Squandering Milwaukee TIDs

By Robert Miranda, Editor, Wisconsin Spanish Journal and Chris Johnson, Editor/Publisher, KINGFISHmke.com

To develop the downtown streetcar, Mayor Barrett, we now know, had to create a tax incremental district (TID) to pay the debt incurred by the streetcar project.

TID #82 (East Michigan) was created to pay the debt of the downtown streetcar. However, realizing that TID #82 did not have a healthy revenue stream that the mayor needed to pay on the debt the streetcar project will create, the mayor looked to existing TIDs #56 (Erie/Jefferson Riverwalk) and #49 (Cathedral Place) as the healthy tax revenue streams his streetcar project needed.

Seeing that these TIDs had healthy revenue streams, the mayor moved to amend these TIDs to become donor TIDs and is now proceeding to shift their revenue streams towards paying into the development of the downtown streetcar instead of paying into the taxing entities including MPS and MATC.

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6 corporations own 90% of the media outlets

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Introducing the Community Consultation Team

Mental Health Task Force Update

The Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Division has launched the Community Consultation Team (CCT). As the CoC moves toward serving individuals with more acute needs, the service may be of great benefit to programs, especially emergency shelters. Please see the attached brochure for more detail.

Barbara Beckert, Milwaukee Office Director: DISABILITY RIGHTS WISCONSIN
6737 W. Washington St., Suite 3230 Milwaukee, WI 53214
414–773–4646 Ext 15 Voice
414–773–4647 Fax
barbara.beckert@drwi.org

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WISCONSIN NAACP OPPOSES SO-CALLED “RIGHT-TO-WORK” LEGISLATION AND SUPPORTS WORKERS’ RIGHTS

Madison, WI—In 1961, the late Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. proclaimed, “…we must guard against being fooled by false slogans such as “right to work.” Its purpose is to destroy Labor Unions and the freedom of collective bargaining, by which Unions have improved wages and working conditions of everyone.”

The NAACP has a long and rich history of working with labor unions to promote fair wages and benefits for all American workers and has passed numerous resolutions and action items in support of the right and freedom to unionize and collectively bargain.

Workers in states with so-called Right-to-Work (RTW) laws have a consistently lower quality of life than in other states - lower wages, higher poverty, less access to health care, poorer education for children according to data from the U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Census Bureau. Why should Wisconsin adopt a losing RTW strategy that lowers the standard of living for workers and their families?

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Walker’s budget includes 34% cut to WPR and WPTV

As a supporter of Wisconsin Public Radio and Wisconsin Public Television we want to give you an update on the developing situation related to Governor Walker’s Biennial Budget Proposal announced this week.

The Governor’s Budget Proposal includes an approximately 34% cut to the state portion of the Educational Communications Board (ECB) who, in partnership with the University of Wisconsin Extension, operate WPR and WPT. The Governor’s proposed cuts are significant and they would force a reduction of service to the people of Wisconsin.

We have an assertive year-round fundraising program, but despite our record of success, the gap that would be created by these unprecedented cuts could not be covered by increased fundraising alone. The WPR and WPT service that you rely on is based on a thoughtful balance of public and private support. This budget proposal upsets that balance and threatens our programs and services.

WPR and WPT belong to you and you can have a voice in what happens to them. If you would like your voice to be heard, contact your elected officials and let them know how important WPR and WPT are to you - find contact information for your legislators here: http://maps.legis.wisconsin.gov/.

Thank you for your support. WPR and WPT are working closely with our partners at the ECB and the University of Wisconsin Extension to monitor the budget as it develops and we’ll keep you informed. If you have questions or concerns, please let us know.

Sincerely,

Mike Crane, Wisconsin Public Radio Director
James Steinbach, Wisconsin Public Television Director

Dean Dietrich, Wisconsin Public Radio Association President
Linda Prehn, Friends of Wisconsin Public Television Board President

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State Budget Briefing March 10th at IndependenceFirst

Please Join Us for a Briefing on the Proposed Wisconsin Biennial Budget for 2015 - 2017
The Impact on People with Disabilities And Older Adults

Tuesday, March 10, 2015 IndependenceFirst, 540 S. 1st St. 3:00 PM
Sponsored by: Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force and Make It Work Milwaukee! Coalition

The budget briefing will be followed by a short business meeting of the Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force – all are welcome to attend

Click here for the agenda and more information
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ADA & Civil Rights Brown Bag Event

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ALERT: The OTHER controversy in the Capitol

by Jeri Bonavia, Executive Dir., WAVE - Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort

Two weeks ago, I wrote about the introduction of a new bill that would repeal the 48-hour “cooling off” waiting period for handgun purchases in Wisconsin.

That’s right — instead of working for Wisconsin families by closing the glaring loopholes riddling our gun laws, our lawmakers are wasting yet more time working for the gun lobby.

Now, the Assembly Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety is plowing ahead with this legislation, and the first hearing is tomorrow. That means they need to hear from us TODAY.

Let’s flood the Committee with messages urging them to stop this pointless gift for the gun lobby and start working to fix the real flaws in our gun laws.

It’s clear they need a refresher on just how broken our gun laws are — and how easily these broken laws allow guns to quickly fall into the hands of criminals and other dangerous people.

Send your message now: Tell Committee Chair Rep. Kleefisch and all the committee members their first priority is protecting our families — not fulfilling the gun lobby’s wish list.

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WISDOM in the News

Rev. Jerry Hancock, president of our MOSES affiliate in Madison, has a very fine opinion piece in the Cap Times. You can emphasize the message by telling Governor Walker that you saw the piece and that you, also, want a response to ideas included in Rev. Hancock’s article.

These ideas would save as much as $210 million in the state budget over the next two years. As Rev. Hancock says, “due diligence demands that these realistic alternatives to the mindless increase in the cost of prisons in Wisconsin be seriously considered by the Legislature during the budget-making process”.

Click here and put your zip code in the top right box to find your state legislative representatives. Tell them the same message. It’s easy. Your message doesn’t have to be long or clever.

Plan to join us in Madison on April 29 to learn more about these proposals, found in our Blueprint to End Mass Incarceration in Wisconsin, and help bring them to reality.

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Phone Bank to Stop Right to Work for Less in Wisconsin

Dear Activist,
Legislators in Wisconsin are planning to push irresponsible “Right to Work” legislation through the State Legislature this week. Our Wisconsin brothers and sisters are asking for our help. Join fellow union members and pro-worker activists at one of phone banks listed below to stand in solidarity with Wisconsin to stop “Right to Work.”

Wisconsin

Milwaukee

Wisconsin AFL-CIO
6333 W. Bluemound Road, Milwaukee, WI
Contact: Emily Kitchin - 414–745–8343 ekitchin@wisaflcio.org
Hours: Feb 24th & 25th 10am- 8pm

Madison

Madison Labor Temple
1602 S. Park Street, Madison, WI
Contact: Greg Neil - 608–556–9521 gneil@wisaflcio.org
Hours: Feb 24th & 25th 10am- 8pm

Illinois

Springfield

Illinois AFL-CIO
534 S. 2nd Street – Third Floor, Springfield IL
Contact: Bill Looby - 217–494–4014 - BillL@ilafl-cio.org
Hours: Feb 24th & 25th - 10 am – 4 pm

Chicago

IUPAT District Council 14
1456 W Adams, Chicago, IL
Contact: Elaine Fleck – 312.222.1000
Hours: Feb 24th & 25th – 10am- 6:30pm

Click here for for more locations and times
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Across the nation, a bad week for streetcars

Cost overruns, low ridership, and a fire – is this where Milwaukee’s headed?

By Bob Donovan - Feb 23rd, 2015 12:52 pm

February 2015 has not exactly been a stellar month for streetcars in the U.S., and I believe what we’re seeing is just the tip of the iceberg and a major source of worry for anyone concerned about the future of commuting in Milwaukee.

In Washington, D.C. – where a new streetcar line is just now undergoing testing and is more than a year behind schedule – a fire broke out on top of one of the streetcars! The fire broke out late this past Saturday, and thank goodness the driver and no one else was injured. It is my understanding that this D.C. line has been unable to pass safety inspections for six months, and now an independent review board is coming into the city to study the failures. Read more here:
http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/housingcomplex/2015/02/22/streetcars-latest-problem-catching-on-fire/

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What in tarnation is Wisconsin thinking?

By Robert Miranda, Editor Wisconsin Spanish Journal

February 24, 2015

Governor Scott “Scooter” Walker is blazing a trail across the nation, parading himself as a potential presidential candidate. But unfortunately for Wisconsin, he’s not looked at by his fellow conservatives as an innovative fresh ideas leader, they see him as a cowardly political not ready for prime time neophyte who managed to marginalize his candidacy with an astounding display of gutlessness never seen in modern political campaigns.

I mean, I kind of got the feeling Walker was in over his head when he visited England and ended up looking like a confused boy Scott when he would not explain his position on EVOLUTION. But since then, Scooter has been taking a shellacking from conservative newspapers all around the country for being a chump.

The conservative media did not jump on Walker that hard when he declined to answer if he believed in evolution. But after standing beside Rudy Giuliani as the former New York mayor said President Barack Obama wasn’t a patriot and did not love America, Scott Walker got all mealy-mouthed and, instead of saying he believed the President loved America, he stood there unwilling to concede that the president of the United States of America in fact loves America.

But that’s not all. Walker raised the stakes and blurted out that he wasn’t so sure whether or not Barack Obama was a Christian because, as Walker puts it, he’s “never asked him” that.

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Mental Health Board Meeting 2/26 - Agenda is now posted

The Milwaukee County Mental Health Board is scheduled to meet this week on Thursday, February 26th at 8 AM at the Mental Health Complex. The agenda was posted today and you may find it on the Mental Health Board web page at: http://county.milwaukee.gov/BehavioralHealthDivi7762/Mental-Health-Board.htm The next Board meeting is April 23rd.

Barbara Beckert, Milwaukee Office Director DISABILITY RIGHTS WISCONSIN
6737 W. Washington St., Suite 3230 Milwaukee, WI 53214
414–773–4646 Ext 15 Voice
414–773–4647 Fax
barbara.beckert@drwi.org

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Rally to Stop Right to Work

By Wisconsin AFL-CIO

BREAKING: There will be a rally to protest the introduction of Right to Work legislation Tuesday, February 24 and Wednesday February 25 at 12:00 p.m. at the state Capitol. We must stand together for our rights as workers and raise our voices in our democracy to stop Right to Work legislation from moving forward in Wisconsin.

WHAT: Rally to Oppose Right to Work
WHEN: 12:00 p.m. Tuesday February 24 and 12:00 p.m. Wednesday February 25
WHERE: State Street Side of the Capitol

The Senate Committee on Labor and Government Reform will be holding a hearing Tuesday, February 24. Please join us at 9:00 a.m. to testify in opposition of Right to Work.

You can also CONTACT your legislators in opposition of Right to Work. The legislative hotline is: 1-800-362-9472

Sign the petition to stop Right to Work in Wisconsin.

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Disability Advocacy Day Transportation is Now Available – Register now to Travel to Madison on March 17th.

We are very excited to announce that transportation is now available for March 17th Disability Advocacy Day! There will be a bus and an accessible van providing free transportation from Milwaukee to the State Capitol!

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Gun extremists pushing guns in schools

by Jeri Bonavia, Ex. Dir., WAVE, Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort

I just got word that gun rights extremists have launched an attack on Wisconsin families, pushing lawmakers to throw open our school grounds to people carrying hidden, loaded guns.

It’s beyond reckless. Wisconsin schools should be a safe haven for our kids, not somewhere they’re exposed to the lethal threat of loaded firearms on a daily basis.

WAVE is mobilizing an immediate counter-campaign — and we urgently need your help to compel our lawmakers to keep our children safe.

Send an urgent message telling your lawmakers to reject any attempt to expose our kids to loaded, hidden guns on school grounds.

Let’s stop this dangerous madness in its tracks.

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Milwaukee’s Future: Not Funding Education One TID at a Time

More on how the downtown streetcar impacts MPS, MATC and the Milwaukee Taxpayer

Recent reports by local media have once again obfuscated how Milwaukee’s proposal to pay for the streetcar will affect the funding of education and delay any potential property tax relief for Milwaukee taxpayers.

Failing to illustrate Tax Incremental Financing districts (TIF) and Tax Incremental Districts (TID), the media continues to confuse taxpayers on how education funding and any possible property tax relief is impacted by the downtown streetcar.

While we agree that payments of debt incurred by the streetcar will be paid primarily from TIF districts, our contention, and we have remained consistent on this when we first brought this matter forward, is that the funds paid out by the TIF will be funds coming from TIDs that have become “donor” TIDs to the downtown streetcar project.

Last week at a last minute, borderline secretive, Joint Review Board (JRB) meeting, made up of the city’s five taxing entities including the City of Milwaukee, Milwaukee County, MPS, MATC and MMSD, the board approved the financing of the downtown streetcar along with amending the TID (#56 - Erie/Jefferson Riverwalk) to further use property tax revenues to pay for the downtown streetcar.

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Seniors and People with Disabilities: Proposed WI Budget Affects You!

February 17, 2015

Concerns about major changes in long term care in state budget, especially the elimination of IRIS, as well as major changes to Family Care, and to the ADRCs? Here is a link to a document from Survival Coalition of Wisconsin Disability Organizations that analyzes these provisions:
http://www.survivalcoalitionwi.org/index.php/2015/updates/survival-coalition-analysis-of-impacts-on-wi-long-term-care-family-careiris-in-proposed-2015-2017-biennial-budget/

Here are links to information about some opportunities to get involved with the budget:

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Wisconsin should stop wasting money on its corrections system

WISDOM’s Op Ed is featured in today’s Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. WISDOM President Sandy Milligan and Vice-president Rev. Willie Brisco remind us that “criminal justice reform is both a fiscal and moral imperative”.

“As drastic cuts are proposed for the University of Wisconsin system, and massive borrowing is proposed to close deficits, the budget proposed by Gov. Scott Walker ignores reforms that could save millions of dollars, even as it enhances public safety and equity.”

You can read the details of our proposed reforms - all of which are achievable in 2015 by our elected leaders - in our 11x15 Blueprint for Ending Mass Incarceration in Wisconsin.

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Fair Play CRITICAL EMERGENCY Meeting Monday, 2/16: Be There

Obama’s Foreclosure Relief Program Was Designed to Help Bankers, Not Homeowners

President Obama came into office promising to be an activistic leader for all U.S. citizens, but he has fallen short of that promise. The administration’s foreclosure relief program, for example, was made to help banks, not homeowners, which is far from trying to help the average citizen.

http://www.nationofchange.org/2015/02/15/obamas-foreclosure-relief-program-designed-help-bankers-not-homeowners/

Fair Play CRITICAL EMERGENCY Meeting Monday, 2/16

6:00pm for new attendees
6:30 - 8:00pm Meeting
Hope at the Well (across from Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church)
2401 N 25th Street, Milwaukee

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Joe Davis Calls for More Transparency on Joint Review Board Meetings

Friday, February 13, 2015

Urban Milwaukee post - Ald. Joe Davis calls for more transparency on Joint Review Board meetings

Alderman Joe Davis - District 2

Below is a Press Release submitted by Alderman Davis on Urban Milwaukee.

This Press Release is here with comment No. 1 by Mary Glass, MPA LLC

February 13, 2015

“Today, I am calling for more open government in Milwaukee. Minimal information was given to the public today regarding when and where a meeting will be held by the Joint Review Board on the Tax Incremental District funding for the downtown streetcar.“

“Extensive publicity should be given for meetings on this important and highly debated issue beyond a simple notice in the Daily Reporter, especially as voters have yet to be heard. To call a meeting with minimal notice is not in keeping with the spirit of open, public meetings.”

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Bad Taste Celebration by Mayor Barrett and Call for Transparency by Alderman Davis

By Mary Glass, Founding CEO/Pres. Milwaukee Public Policy Review

Photo Gallery by Michael Horne - Urban Milwaukee

Do you see CORE CONSTITUENTS?

L-R: Charter officers Wade, Bauman, Barrett (signing), Hamilton, Perez, Murphy, Kovak, Coggs; Milw. County Dimitrijevic,Couture Barrett, Bauman and Donor-for-Hire Cudahy.
Row 2, L-R: city Tabak, Gilbane Grunau, GMC Taylor, Milw Business Journal Ryan and DPW Korban.
Row 3, L-R: DPW Korban and city Casanova, BID 21 Weirick, DCD Marcoux and Alderman Wade - 7th District

The problems with the celebration in this article by Michael Horne, Urban Milwaukee, “Celebration”; include:

  • It identifies 3 misguided African Americans – Spencer Coggs – Treasurer, Alderman Ashanti Hamilton – District 1, and Alderman Willie Wade, District 7 at the signing. To give the impression that these 3 African American men represents the CORE CONSTITUENTS.

  • In the gallery of photos, Wade is called Spencer Coggs. The population of African American is over 40% in Milwaukee. They are not there. They brought the federal transportation funding to Milwaukee.

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Study Exposes Myth of Economic Boon Streetcars Bring to Cities

By Robert Miranda, Editor, Wisconsin Spanish Journal

After the recent Milwaukee Common Council vote to approve the streetcar project, a new study was released by the Metropolitan Council entitled, “Streetcar Policy Development: Case Study Report” in which, among other things, the report gave detailed analysis and sobering findings on the contributions streetcars will have in the future economic development plans of the Twin Cities (Minneapolis & St. Paul) Minnesota.
http://www.metrocouncil.org/METC/files/20/20532879-d6b9-4dc8-9376-ef08d375441b.pdf

The report talks about nine cities with streetcars, but highlights the streetcar system in the City of Portland, Oregon, as the national model many “urban planners, city officials, and local politicians throughout the United States” look to as the system that makes an impact on economic development of that city.

Many of these leaders see streetcar investments as a “strategy and tool to help revitalize communities, to support new development, and to provide more transportation options to serve the mix of residential, commercial, and retail markets,” according to the report.

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Black Lives Matter and Black Votes Count.

By Chris Johnson, Editor, KINGFISHmke.com

A request for a criminal investigation or criminal probe from U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder’s office is needed for Dontre Hamilton just like the criminal probe into the deaths at the Tomah VA Hospital!

Sen. Tammy Baldwin received an overwhelmingly high number of votes from Milwaukee’s Black community, it is about time she starts acting like it. Sen. Baldwin should be asked to request a criminal investigation or probe by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder’s office into the police killing of Dontre Hamilton in Red Arrow Park. If a criminal probe by the U.S. Attorney General’s office is good enough for the Tomah VA patients, it is good enough for Milwaukee’s Black community. Represent all of your constituents Sen. Baldwin.

Send a strong message to Sen. Baldwin and her Milwaukee political supporters that Black Lives Matter and Black Votes Count, and if the Senator continues to ignore the Black community that we are really going to make sure the Black vote counts in her next election.

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The Deadline to #GetCovered

The final Open Enrollment deadline to sign up for 2015 coverage is this Sunday, February 15. Do you, or someone you know, still need to get covered for 2015?

The time is now to take action.

To date, millions of Americans have already signed up for affordable, high quality health coverage through the Marketplace.

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Alderman Jose Perez Sold Out Our Children’s Education for Streetcar

By Robert Miranda Editor, Wisconsin Spanish Journal

February 12, 2015

Alderman Jose Perez, representative of the 12th Aldermanic District, gave his vote to Mayor Tom Barrett so that the mayor can have his streetcar.

What did Perez get in return, who knows, but whatever he got in return could never in our lifetime be as valuable as the quality of education our children deserve.

In voting for the streetcar, Alderman Perez voted to take money away from Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS).

Wait a minute you say. A recent Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (MJS) Politifact article was released and found that that allegation made by mayoral candidate Alderman Joe Davis Sr. was “mostly false.” The conclusion of that article was that no money was being taken from MPS.

So just because MJS said it was “mostly false” the game is over? Wrong!

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The ABC’s of Mayor Barrett’s downtown streetcar

The basic facts that the Mayor and Alderpersons do not want you to know about

By Chris Johnson, Editor, KINGFISHmke.com

A. The downtown streetcar defers money away from education, specifically MPS and MATC.

B. The downtown streetcar will only serve a tiny, elite portion of the Milwaukee-area population.

C. The downtown streetcar does not guarantee significant sustainable jobs.

D. The downtown streetcar is not guaranteed to expand to the north or south side neighborhoods, there is no funding source guaranteeing expansion.

E. The downtown streetcar current and expanded route map does not connect neighborhoods in need of jobs with where the jobs are.

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Criminal Background Checks for All Gun Sales Petition

WAVE - Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort

Every day, 86 people are killed with guns in this country.
Here in Wisconsin, our most vulnerable —our children— are paying the price.
These tragedies won’t stop—unless and until we as a people decide to take action to protect our children and families.

Five things you can do to support gun violence prevention measures:

1. Contact your elected officials
2. Get the latest news — join us on Facebook
3.10 Pro-Gun Myths, Shot Down,” Motherjones.com, 1/31/13
4. Donate and support our organizing efforts
5. Volunteer and find out how to get involved on the ground

Sign WAVE’s petition today:

http://org2.salsalabs.com/o/5610/c/238/p/salsa/web/common/public/signup?signup_page_KEY=7444

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How to Stop Walker’s Devastating Education Budget

By The Democratic Party of Wisconsin

We HAVE to make sure Walker’s budget doesn’t devastate Wisconsin’s education system.

Help us stop this disaster from becoming a reality. Add your name >>

Scott Walker released his budget earlier this week.

Truth is, there are so many things wrong with it, we could write a book. But one of the most outrageous things was his plan for our schools. He wants to cut $660 MILLION dollars from public schools and millions out of the University of Wisconsin’s budget.

His plan would decimate Wisconsin schools — Walker even went so far to call his proposal the “Act 10 for the UW.” We HAVE to fight back. We need 10,000 people to join us and reject Walker’s proposed plan for our state education system.

Can you reject Walker’s budget? Click here to automatically add your name >>>

Walker called his budget “bold” but it’s nothing more than a political move designed to help him win the presidency. We have to fight back and hold him accountable.

But we can’t do that alone. We need your help. Can you click here and add your name?

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Madison’s new gift for the gun lobby

by Jeri Bonavia, Ex. Dir., WAVE, Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort

They’re at it again

State senators just introduced a bill to repeal the 48-hour waiting period for buying a handgun.

Instead of working to fix our broken gun laws and save Wisconsin lives, they’ve apparently decided to waste more time working for the gun lobby.

And, unbelievably, they’re making the case for this meaningless gesture by touting the supposed strength of our criminal background check system! If they really believe that, the first thing they should do is close the glaring loopholes riddling our background check system.

Help mount an immediate public outcry: Tell Madison to stop wasting time while lives are on the line and get to work fixing our broken background check system.

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Stop the Streetcar — Call Milwaukee Alderpersons Today.

by Chris Johnson, Editor, KINGFISHmke.com , Monday February 9, 2015

Mayor Barrett’s downtown streetcar supporters Ald. Coggs, Hamilton, Perez, Stamper and Wade: Wait to vote on Mayor’s downtown streetcar proposal until more is understood about the impact on public education in Milwaukee

Tomorrow, on Tuesday, February 10, the Common Council in the City Hall Chambers will vote on whether or not to move forward with Mayor Tom Barrett’s $124 million, 2.4 mile downtown streetcar proposal.

It has been clearly documented that this streetcar initiative will only benefit a small segment of the Milwaukee citizenry, including and predominately limited to, downtown residents and businesses, eastsiders, and tourists. Even the expansion streetcar route promises are not guaranteed and are not beneficial to the vast population that makes up the City of Milwaukee. The populous north, northwest, west, south and far south sides go virtually ignored in this proposal both in the initial route plan and in the unguaranteed future expansion routes.

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Sorry Mayor, South side Not Drinking Your Kool-Aid

By Robert Miranda

Editor, Wisconsin Spanish Journal

February 4, 2015

There is a lot of discussion going on about Mayor Barrett’s downtown streetcar proposal. In fact, the mayor showed up in Alderman Bob Donovan’s district to peddle his streetcar Kool-Aid Thursday evening.

All over the city there is discussion about who will actually benefit from the streetcar, which neighborhoods are deliberately or in-deliberately being excluded.

However, the most vigorous discussion is centering around how the proposed downtown streetcar will be financed. Of particular concern is whether or not Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) future revenues will be sacrificed to finance the downtown streetcar.

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Black History Month

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Woman Up Weekend

This weekend, WAVE will be joining many other wonderful Milwaukee non-profit organizations and local businesses at the Shepherd Express Woman Up Festival.

The event features over 200 woman-focused exhibitors and venders alongside 12 exciting stage presentations.

With so much going on, don’t forget to stop by the WAVE table and say “hi.”

In Peace,
Kristina Paris

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How Mayor Tom Barrett’s downtown streetcar IS taking money away from MPS

By Chris Johnson, Editor KINGFISHmke.com

FEBRUARY 5, 2015

There has been a lot of discussion in recent days about Mayor Barrett’s downtown streetcar proposal. Discussions about who will actually benefit from this city-wide taxpayer funded project, who is being overlooked and left out from participating in the planning, construction, and use of the streetcar, which neighborhoods are deliberately or indeliberately being excluded from planned extended map routes, in particular on the north and south side.

The most recent and most vigorous discussion has centered around how the proposed downtown streetcar proposal will be financed, in particular whether or not Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) future revenues will be sacrificed to finance the downtown streetcar.

This discussion has resulted in a retraction (see retraction here) from the City of Milwaukee Legislative Research Bureau (LRB) about three memos that the department released in the last month regarding how much of future tax property revenue would be “deferred” or “diverted” from MPS, and other taxing entities, to pay for the streetcar financing. A retraction from the City of Milwaukee research department has never happened before in recent history.

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What Mayor Tom Barrett and Gov. Scott Walker have in common as it pertains to public education

By Chris Johnson, Editor, KINGFISHmke.com, FEBRUARY 3, 2015

A political distraction is making its way into our community. This distraction brings a common theme we’ve heard for the past forty years. Although the faces of those repeating it has changed, the mantra hasn’t. And similar to a cult like chant reverberating in our community, our people once again are being caught up in its hypnotic bliss, leading us into this matrix of oppression we seem to be scared to escape from.

The distraction, or myth, being spread throughout the community regarding the Mayor’s downtown streetcar proposal is that anyone who is in opposition of the proposed streetcar is either working with the Tea Party, state Republican, right wingers or on the Koch Brothers payroll. This myth, like so many similar myths of this nature in the past, is designed to create fear in our community among those who believe there is a problem with the Mayor’s streetcar proposal, but stay silent for fear of being labeled a “collaborator” with Walker and his legion of ultra-conservatives.

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Final weeks to enroll!

MKEN Community Partners,

A quick reminder that:
1. There are less than two weeks left to enroll in 2015 coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace.
2. MANY enrollment events are scheduled in Milwaukee, continuing daily right up to the February 15th deadline.

We want to reach as many consumers as possible and emphasize just how important it is to get covered. We are concerned because many people remain unaware of the deadline and the penalty for being uninsured that some will pay for the first time this tax season.

If consumers wait until after February 15th to file their taxes and only then find out about the penalty, their chance to get 2015 coverage may have passed, which may leave them stuck not only paying the 2014 penalty this year, but also the increased 2015 penalty next year.

Click here for information on enrollment

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MPS on the hook for $40 million to support streetcar project

By Robert Miranda

Editor, Wisconsin Spanish Journal

February 2, 2015

Alderman Jose G. Perez is quietly giving away his vote in support of Mayor Barrett’s streetcar, knowing that the Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) will be on the hook for $40 million dollars, part of the $124 million dollars it will cost the City of Milwaukee to build the streetcar.

When attempts by the Spanish Journal to reach Perez were made last week to inquire about this latest revelation, no return phone calls were made by the Alderman.

At issue is a January 5, 2015 Legislative Reference Bureau (LRB) memo written to Alderman Joe Davis Sr., who is also a candidate for mayor, that breaks down the various taxing entities the city will be siphoning money from to pay for the streetcar.

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UPDATED! Local transit union opposes Mayor Barrett’s streetcar plan… Union president admits plan does not connect people to jobs.

“A groundbreaking new study by the Brookings Institution found that less than half of all jobs in the region are reachable via transit within 90 miles. One-Third of working age residents do not even live near a transit stop. A streetcar is not going to help these people.” Lawrence J. Hanley, International President of Amalgamated Transit Union.

See press release.
Chris, KINGFISHmke.com

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{Veterans} Milwaukee’s Dryhootch and partners announce Expanded Legal Clinic

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Community Justice Council: Who Is In Wisconsin’s Prisons

by Nathan Holton, J.D., MPA

Milwaukee Community Justice Council Director

Earlier today, Tony Streveler, Wisconsin Department of Corrections Director of Research and Policy, presented data on the state prison population. Yearly trends, types of offenses, recidivism rates, demographic data, how Milwaukee County compares to the rest of the state, and other important information were included. This, along with other information on the criminal justice system, is available on the Community Justice Council’s website: http://milwaukee.gov/cjc

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Support HCCW? Group That Got Mark “Bigot” Belling off the Hook

By Robert Miranda, Editor Wisconsin Spanish Journal

January 28, 2015

This past weekend the Highspanic Chamber of Commerce (HCCW) held its 25th Annual Awards Banquet at the Potawatomi Hotel and Casino. The love-us-fest showcased Governor Scott Walker and a host of pompous débutant Highspanic wanna-bees.

The sweet smell of cheap perfume marinated the overflowing audience in an ambiance of pretentious hellos amidst the dull glow of imitation jewelry. But the evening of self-appreciation and fake greetings did not go by without a hitch. Indeed, the night’s event carried on into the following day after Jorge (or is it George) Franco, the President and CEO of HCCW, announced his partnership with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel to create “Visión,” another attempt by the Hispanic group to establish a Latino publication focused on the Highspanic community and Latte Latino owned businesses—not to mention covering the presidential aspirations of Governor Scott Walker.

However, while everyone sat star-struck at the news, Franco’s announcement was not at all received well by Victor Huyke, publisher of the Conquistador, a Latino owned business and member of the HCCW. By the way, in 1999 the HCCW award Huyke HCCW Business of the Year (so much for that honor).

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New Report: Right-to-work is Wrong for Wisconsin

Brothers and Sisters,

New attacks on workers’ rights unveiled this week. Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) and Rep. Dale Kooyenga (R-Brookfield) introduced a proposal to enact right-to-work on a regional basis in the form of “right-to-work zones.” Rep. Rob Hutton (R-Brookfield) circulated a bill to repeal Wisconsin’s Prevailing Wage laws. Both these proposals would impact thousands of working families and continue the decay of Wisconsin values.

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Beyond the Bridge: The Suppression Never Ended

BY JESSE JACKSON January 27, 2015

The stirring film Selma ends with Dr. King leading civil rights marchers across the bridge and to passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. It will help a new generation of Americans appreciate that historic accomplishment.

But what should not be forgotten is that the passage of the Voting Rights Act wasn’t the end of the battle. The effort to suppress the rights of African Americans to vote continued. Southern states and localities invented a range of techniques – from making voting and registration difficult to gerrymandering districts to get the right results. African Americans made progress, but not without a fight.

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Common Ground - we need you this Thursday! URGENT!

Hello Common Ground,

We need you to attend our FAIR PLAY ACTION this Thursday morning at 10:00am sharp! Dress warm and be on time! We need to show our numbers and our commitment as we convey our short but powerful message. This will be a quick, in-your-face Action that we need you to attend. Bring your family and friends!

FAIR PLAY ACTION
Thursday, 1/29 10:00 AM Sharp!
2441 N 44th Street Milwaukee

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Ald. Tony Zielinski shows vision in vote against downtown streetcar

What could north side alderpersons learn from this south side pol?
by KINGFISHmke.com, January 27, 2015

A recent city wide survey conducted by Urban Milwaukee titled, “Streetcar Responses Shows Wide Support”, which surveys whether people are in favor or against the Milwaukee downtown streetcar proposal by aldermanic district. Some of the districts had surveyed as low as 10 people in some districts (#1-Hamilton and #7-Wade), and the highest number of participants in one district was 567 (#3-Kovac).

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3 hours, all 132 legislators, 1 powerful message

by Jeri Bonavia, Executive Director, WAVE - Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort

“If last year’s streak of gun incidents was any indication, the time is now for the Legislature to pursue common-sense solutions to diminish the threat of gun violence. There are sensible alternatives to our current gun laws that can keep firearms out of the hands of criminals while still maintaining the freedom of law-abiding citizens to participate in our rich Wisconsin traditions.”

-State Rep. Mandela Barnes, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
That’s what one of our allies in Madison said in an op-ed that he wrote to coincide with our day of action in Madison.

Click here for the full statement
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MICAH’s Annual Prayer Breakfast and Black History Celebration

Theme: “Living Black History Moment to Moment”

Please join us for our Annual Prayer Breakfest and Black History Celebration on Saturday, February 21, 2015
Providence Baptist Church, 3865 N. 82nd St., Milwaukee, WI 53222

KEYNOTE Speaker: Pastor Walter Lanier

Tickets are $10.00 in advance. Doors open at 7:30 a.m.

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The Fast Track to Hell

Florida Rep. Alan Grayson Explains Why TPP Is Bad for America

“Trade promotion authority” is something that’s about to be proposed again in Congress, and I was on TV recently explaining:

(a) What the heck that is, and
(b) Why it’s really bad.

Listen:

Thom Hartmann: In “Screwed” news, some lawmakers in Washington want to give the Obama Administration so-called “fast-track” trade authority to approve so-called “free-trade” deals, like the Trans-Pacific Partnership or TPP. That’s a terrible decision. A new report from the Public Citizens Global Trade Watch shows just how devastating fast-track trade deals have been for the American people, and the economy. According to the report, thanks to fast-track trade deals, over the past twenty years, trade deficits have ballooned, millions of American jobs have been shipped overseas, wages have stagnated, and inequality has exploded. So, given all of the destruction to our economy and our middle class over the last two decades, how can Washington be considering approving fast-track trade authority and signing on to yet another so-called “free trade” deal? Let’s ask Congressman Alan Grayson, representing Florida’s 9th Congressional District, the Congressman with Guts. Congressman, welcome back!

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Lost opportunity for Black community

By Robert Miranda

Wisconsin Spanish Journal

The article published in Urban Milwaukee entitled, “Streetcar Responses Shows Wide Support,” illustrates clearly the lost opportunity being ignored by Black elected officials to show the power they have as representatives of their community.

The number of responses that black alderpersons received in a survey published in this article about the streetcar, clearly shows that if these black elected officials were truly dedicated to standing against the current conditions of hypersegregation, poverty and incarceration of Black people that exist in Milwaukee, now would be the time to make that statement.

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Fight Big Business Takeover

by Rick Claypool, Public Citizen’s Online Action Team

action@citizen.org

“With each new campaign season, this dark money floods our airwaves with more and more political ads that pull our politics into the gutter,” President Barack Obama said in his state of the union speech.

He’s right: Five years after the U.S. Supreme Court’s appalling Citizens United ruling, political ads chock full of lies and distortions — and paid for by corporate dark money — just helped elect what could be the most Big Business-beholden Congress in history.

And while the Boehner-McConnell Congress is unlikely to pass disclosure legislation, the president can and should take executive action to shine light on corrupting dark money.

Tell President Obama: Use your executive authority to require government contractors to disclose their political spending.

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Streetcar Proponents Point to Koch Boogieman

By Robert Miranda, Editor, Wisconsin Spanish Journal

The supporters of the Milwaukee streetcar are pointing to a recent Bruce Murphy authored article in Urban Milwaukee in which he exposes organizers of the petition drive calling for a referendum on the streetcar being funded by conservative groups outside the city.

Murphy writes that Chris Kliesmet and his Citizens for Responsible Government Network, which is organizing the petition drive, is linked to Republican operative Craig Peterson and David Fladeboe, state director of the Koch brothers-funded Americans for Prosperity.

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Revocations

There is an excellent article in Sunday’s Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (front page) about the issue of Revocations. Here is a link to it:
Jan 18 Milw. Journal Sentinel re. Revocations

​This is a good article to share widely. It is exactly on point with a big emphasis of our 11×15 Campaign. Gina Barton, the author, learned about Hector and Charlotte’s story from our August 20 Action at the Milwaukee Secure Detention Center. They are highlighted in our Blueprint for Ending Mass Incarceration in Wisconsin, which you can find on our website, www.prayforjusticeinwi.org.

Also
MARK YOUR CALENDAR:
Wednesday, April 29, 2015
Plan to participate in our Madison Action Day with People of Faith United for Justice. Two years ago over 1000 of us gathered at the State Capitol. Let’s top it this year! Watch for details. You can sign up with any of our affiliate organizations.

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Veteran Opportunity - Legal Clinic for Veterans And Their Families

Click here for their webpage

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Waving in the first Row (Reflections on the recent Paris Massacre and Zionism)

By Uri Avnery, January 17, 2015

THE THREE Islamic terrorists could have been very proud of themselves, if they had lived to see it.

By committing two attacks (quite ordinary ones by Israeli standards) they spread panic throughout France, brought millions of people onto the streets, gathered more than 40 heads of states in Paris. They changed the landscape of the French capital and other French cities by mobilizing thousands of soldiers and police officers to guard Jewish and other potential targets. For several days they dominated the news throughout the world.

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Mayor Barrett’s streetcar proposal hits education budgets the hardest *UPDATED*

A vote for the streetcar is a vote against education in Milwaukee

In a City of Milwaukee Legislative Reference Bureau (LRB) memorandum dated January 5, 2015, the department listed the financial impact that the two proposed streetcar Tax Incremental Districts (TID) would have on the taxing entities over the life of the proposed TID financing period. Those taxing entities include the City of Milwaukee, Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS), Milwaukee County, Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC), Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) and State Forestry.

An alternative proposal has been put forth: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jrTduy8x138&feature=youtu.be. click through to see it

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Announcement of New BadgerCare Effort - webinar/conference call/video

When: Tuesday, January 20 at 3:00pm
What: webinar/conference call - RSVP for details

Join Citizen Action as we debut a new alternative means of accepting the federal Medicaid funds for BadgerCare that actually has a chance of passing in this Legislative climate. Be the first to hear how a major breakthrough could be on the horizon.

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Human Trafficking Awareness Day 1.29.15

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Community mental health seminars starting the evening of January 20th at Medical College of Wisconsin

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Esperanza Unida

Dear Milwaukee Community:

Many people have asked me in recent days what was my plan to save Esperanza Unida when I first took the position as executive director in 2006. Now that the City of Milwaukee is foreclosing on one of the agency’s buildings, because of property tax delinquency, some of you asked if I had a plan.

Yes, I had a plan. My plan had the support of Aldermen, the mayor of the City of Milwaukee and various CEOs of international businesses like Bucyrus International, and presidents of area community colleges. My plan had the support of Don Sykes of the Workforce Development Investment Board, in addition, over 30 community based organizations who were partnered with MATC. My plan even had the support of the president of the country of Turkey and his Secretary of International Trade. My plan had the support of business CEOs of various countries.

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Depression in America: A Forum With SAMHSA and NBC Washington

Saturday, January 10, 2015 | 12–12:45 p.m. Eastern Time

Depression: what is it, who is affected, and what can we do about it? This Saturday, SAMHSA’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Elinore McCance-Katz, will explore these questions and more during an NBC4 Health and Fitness Expo forum called “Depression in America.”

Join the discussion virtually by watching the live stream and tweeting your questions to @SAMHSAgov using the hashtags #DepressionChat and #NBC4HealthExpo.

We look forward to a great conversation.

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Hilltop closing is Historic Shift

Our coalitions have been supportive of the plans to close the long term care units at the Complex and shift the funding to community based services. This week is a true milestone as the Hilltop facility closes and every resident will have moved to a new home in the community, with services and supports developed to meet their individual needs.

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Special screening of Selma for Faith Communities

Chandra Thomas, whose husband is on the ministerial staff at MICAH member congregation, St. Mark AME Church, is coordinating with the AMC Mayfair Theaters for a multicultural group viewing of the movie Selma with a post-movie discussion.

Sunday afternoon, January 11
2 pm, AMC Mayfair Theaters
Ticket cost: $9.50

If you are interested, please contact Richard Schwalb at richard.schwalb@thomsonreuters.com or 414–406–7296 to reserve a ticket.

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What’s Really Wrong with the GOP

from Rep. Alan Grayson

For a five-month period that ends this week, every single elected Republican in Congress was a white Christian.

Let me repeat that: every elected GOP Member of the House and Senate was a white Christian.

Eric Cantor is Jewish. He left office on August 1 last year. Since then, the entire elected GOP caucus, in both the House and the Senate, has comprised only white Christians.

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Streetcar named boondoggle

Robert Miranda

A diverse coalition of Milwaukee residents, organizations and community groups is banding together to gather signatures in a petition drive to force direct legislation on The Milwaukee Streetcar.

Those who support the Streetcar will scream and yell that the opposition to the Streetcar is an orchestrated campaign organized by right wing Tea Party nut jobs and their supporters, leading a bunch of blind mice.

The reality is that those who are behind the Streetcar project are the same tired ass lame usual suspects who have held power in this city for over forty years, keeping this city as America’s most segregated city and one of America’s most poorest communities for Black people.

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Just in from Tony Muhammad 12/30/14:

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/12/30/1354745/-To-Discipline-and-Punish-Milwaukee-Police-Make-Late-Night-Visit#

Mayor Barrett and Chief Flynn “Gestapo Police Officer” making late night visits targeting protesters at their homes, mainly unsung Milwaukee community advocate Khalil Coleman… “He (Khalil) recounted recent histories of killings in Milwaukee, from Derek Williams to Dontre Hamilton at the hands of police, to Corey Stingley and Darius Simmons at the hands of vigilantes. Consistent to all the tragic tales is the lack of charges against police or vigilantes who killed young black men, as if their lives don’t really matter. Khalil has been active in every one of these cases, and believes that he is now being targeted because of his fight to hold the police accountable. In fact, he is so visible that Police Chief Flynn referred to him, by name, in a press event, calling him an “opportunist and agitator.”

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Highlights from 2014 so far: The Good News and Pivotal Facts

Tues. 12/23/14: Solution to improve public trust with law enforcement unveiled:

Sat., 11/29/14: Face the Racist In You:

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The Rev. Willie E. Brisco: Clearing the Way for Recovery

By Patricia Obletz

“(D)isparity in justice—when blacks kill whites, justice is swift; when white police officers kill blacks, not so much—that is deeply troubling and highly combustible.”
---Eugene Robinson, 11/27/14, Washington Post column, “Dehumanizing Ferguson”

Not just Ferguson. That’s been the way of Golden Rule pretenders since well-equipped white people first discovered Africa. That’s why hearing from a Golden Rule Practitioner who is a volunteer activist for social justice is a gift to our souls. The Reverend Willie E. Brisco learned to deal with life from his first role models, his mother and grandmother. They were Golden Rule Practitioners, people who respect life in every color, never just paying lip service to Christian creed. They guided him with wisdom, humor, encouragement and unconditional love. Brisco continues their practice, the core of his ongoing work for justice.

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A Lesson From The Heartland You Won’t Read About

By Robert Miranda

Ed. Note: In light of the Wisconsin governor’s Koch-induced need to privatize public education tax dollars throughout the state, and Leon Todd’s attempt to stop that tide in Milwaukee back in the early 1990s, we invited Robert Miranda to write about his experiences in working with Todd back then. Think about all the charter/voucher schools currently teaching creationism et al, or taking tax dollars and disappearing. What do you want the next generations to learn?

Choice School/privatization supporters are prepared for what they think will be a banner few years of expansion for their cause. However, pockets of resistance around the state continue to grow as unbiased studies and reports show that privatized-Choice Schools are not producing the kind of results that would warrant expansion.

Milwaukee could have been the strongest center of resistance today against Choice School/privatization had progressive education activist leaders supported grass roots actions in the early 1990s standing against privatization of Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) led by former MPS Superintendent Howard Fuller. http://www.marquette.edu/education/centers_clinics/institute-for-the-transformation-of-learning.shtml

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Petition: Stop RTW in Wisconsin

Brothers and Sisters,
There’s a shady new front group in town, gearing up to attack workers and Wisconsin’s middle class. On December 1, a group with ties to the Koch Brothers launched an organization called “Wisconsin Right to Work” to “aggressively promote” anti-worker policies in the state legislature. On December 2, Rep. Chris Kapenga (R-Delafield) publicly promised to introduce an anti-worker Right to Work bill during the 2015–2016 legislative session. On December 4, Sen. Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) said the Senate would lead on Right to Work and take it up in just a matter of weeks.

Sign the petition today: Click here to stand firm against Right to Work in Wisconsin. This bill is a scheme by out-of-state special interests to lower our wages and hurt our entire middle class.

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Milwaukee County Behavioral Health System Report is online

When the Milwaukee County Mental Health Board was established by the State Legislature with Act 203, one of the requirements was for an operational and programmatic audit of the behavioral health division of Milwaukee County with a report of the findings by December 1, 2014. The report became public today. Here is a link to the report on the DHS web site:

You can read it here: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/mh/index.htm

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Blueprint Recap

Below are links to several articles about our 11×15 Blueprint to End Mass Incarceration In Wisconsin event last week. We started in the Senate Hearing Room of the state capitol. There was standing room only as our leadership outlined the Blueprint for legislators, their staff members and members of the press.

Then we moved over to the United Methodist building where we formed ten new issue workgroups to refine strategy for the various sections of the Blueprint. We finished the day by meeting by affiliate groups to firm up next steps. Contact us if you’d like to get involved in one of the workgroups, wisdomforjustice@gmail.com. They meet by conference call.

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Rally Saturday at Red Arrow park - We Won’t Stop: Rally/March For Justice

Please join The Coalition For Justice, NAACP, Urban League, and MICAH as we come together for a rally and march for justice in conjunction with nationwide efforts to eradicate police brutality and the shooting/killing of Black men and women across this country.

This rally and march will take place Saturday, December 13th at 12pm. We will meet at Red Arrow Park, which has become our ground zero in the wake of the Murder of Dontre Hamilton.

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Congressional moves to reduce racism – Urge your elected officials to join Rep. John Conyers, Jr

There is no denying institutionalized racism – 2014 videos of police killing unarmed black boys and men paint today’s portrait, although only one aspect of this Golden Rule Pretenders’ hate or ignorance. The common sense of Rep. Conyers’s proposals are undeniable. Please urge your Congresswomen and men to join Rep. John Conyers to enact:

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Brochures for South Side Access Clinic and Recovery Center/Peer Run Drop In Center

Thanks to Chyra Trost and La Causa for sharing the attached brochures about the new South Side Access Clinic and the new Recovery Center (Peer Run Drop In Center). Please see the attached brochures for details. Just to clarify recovering the Recovery Center, persons can drop in at any time and if they want to join, there is a simple membership form for identifying information and documentation of their needs.

South Side Access Clinic
Recovery Center

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National Black Solidarity

When Will Enough Be ENOUGH????

National Black Solidarity Sunday: People of Faith Standing Together

Sunday, December 14th 2 P.M. Red Arrow Park 920 North Water Street

Proclaiming #BLACKLIVESMATTER

“We will remember not, words of our enemies but the silence of our friends”
~Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.~

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Mental Health Board Update

The next meeting of the Milwaukee County Mental Health Board is scheduled for December 18th at 8 AM at the Mental Health Complex. The agenda and meeting packet are now available online at:

http://county.milwaukee.gov/BehavioralHealthDivi7762/Mental-Health-Board.htm

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NAACP MILWAUKEE BRANCH STATEMENT REGARDING STATUS OF DONTRE HAMILTON CASE AND RECENT GRAND JURY DECISIONS ELSEWHERE

Obviously and unfortunately, there are many similarities among the matters involving Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO, Eric Garner in New York and the Dontre Hamilton situation here in Milwaukee. Actually, it is even clearer than in the other two cases that the victim (Mr. Hamilton) was not approached by a police officer based on an alleged reasonable suspicion of criminal activity, as there was no suspicion of crime in Mr. Hamilton’s case, and still the interaction led to the same outcome – his death at the hands of a police officer.

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Action Alert: Right to work (for less) is wrong for Wisconsin

Workers’ rights are under attack again, and Wisconsin may be the next state to face a so-called “Right to Work” law if a new conservative group has its way. The new group is led by none other than a former high-level employee of the Koch-funded extreme right-wing Americans for Prosperity. They are joined by at least one Republican lawmaker who announced his plans this week to introduce their legislation.

Sign United Wisconsin’s petition now to let your representatives know that Right to Work for Less is Wrong for Wisconsin.

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11×15 ACTION IN MADISON BLUEPRINT FOR PRISON REFORM IN WISCONSIN

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

  • 7:30am Leave from Parking Lot (pool rides) Milwaukee Enterprise Center, 2821 N. 4th St.

  • 9:30am Gather with statewide 11×15 supporters in Capitol Building, Conference Room 411 South

  • 10:00am Showing of new 11X15 PowerPoint

  • 11:15am Press Conference in Room 411 South

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Next Steps

Update:

11×15 Blueprint to End Mass Incarceration
Wednesday, December 10, 10:00 am
State Capitol, Room 411S

Now that we have brought attention to three of the issues of the 11×15 campaign, we are planning another big event on December 10 in Madison. Mark your calendar and watch for details. The idea of that day will be to release the “11×15 Blueprint for Ending Mass Incarceration in Wisconsin.”

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This moment is a wake-up call.

People are marching in the streets in city after city to send a crucial message — our criminal justice system must be reformed now.

The grand jury’s decision in Ferguson does not negate the fact that Michael Brown’s death is part of an alarming national trend of officers using excessive force against people of color, often during routine encounters. We hear about it almost every day — just four days ago, 12-year-old Tamir Rice was shot twice and killed by police in a playground while holding a toy gun.

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NAACP MILWAUKEE BRANCH STATEMENT REGARDING FERGUSON, MO GRAND JURY DECISION AND OUTSTANDING ISSUES IN DONTRE HAMILTON CASE

There were many questions, and arguably flaws, with the process implemented by the District Attorney that culminated with the grand jury decision in Ferguson. The disappointment of people, not only with result, but with process, is understandable. We saw what happened when that disappointment turned into anger and violence.

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Ferguson: Mistrust in criminal justice system formed by long history of discrimination

Should a state grand jury have indicted Officer Darren Wilson for killing Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, on Aug. 9? What’s publicly known, of course, suggests that there was probable cause to believe that a crime occurred. But we’re in no position to second-guess a group of citizens who have had access to much more information than we have had.

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Georgia Pabst Sloppy Reporting Left Scar on Candidate Laura Manriquez Name

By Robert Miranda

The face-off between Milwaukee County Supervisor Deanna Alexander and Georgia Pabst of the Pulitzer Prize winning for local reporting Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel ignited a couple of weeks ago, when Supervisor Deanna Alexander accused reporter Georgia Pabst of publishing an article with a “misleading title and context”.

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Webinar: Medicare and the Health Insurance Marketplace

Medicare and the Health Insurance Marketplace & Medicare Coverage for Mental Health Services

Tuesday, November 25, 2014 | 3 p.m. Eastern Time

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and SAMHSA invite you to join us for a webinar on Medicare and coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace.

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Milwaukee County Adopts 2015 Budget

Yesterday the Milwaukee County Board adopted the 2015 budget – see below for a summary from the Board of the budget that was adopted. A few notes regarding vetoes:

  • $300,000 was restored for homeless shelters on a unanimous vote.

  • The GO pass amendment was approved.

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Our next big thing

will be the release of our Blueprint for 2015. We will start by a presentation to familiarize ourselves with the Blueprint. The Blueprint will give us all the pieces of the 11×15 Campaign. It will be a comprehensive picture of how Wisconsin’s broken criminal justice system can be fixed.

Wednesday, December 10 10:00 am
Room 411S of the State Capitol Building Madison, WI

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Andy Werlein Advocate of the Year Award

You are cordially invited to the 2014 Andy Werlein Advocate of the Year Award Presentation and Open House December 3, 2014

Mental Health America of Wisconsin will recognize the family of Dontre Hamilton for their mental health advocacy at the 2nd Annual Andy Werlein Advocate of the Year award ceremony

Date/Time: Wednesday, December 3, 2014 - 5:30 p.m.
Location: MHA Office, 600 W. Virginia St., Suite 502, Milwaukee WI located in the Tannery Business Center, Atlas Building)

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Urgent: Contact Your County Supervisor Regarding County Budget Vetoes

This afternoon, the County Executive released his veto message for the 2015 Milwaukee County budget. It is available online at http://county.milwaukee.gov/ImageLibrary/Groups/cntyExecutive/Press_Releases/2013/VetoMessagesFINAL.pdf

The Milwaukee County Board will meet tomorrow, November 19th at 1:30 and to consider the vetoes and attempt to override them. Two amendments that we supported were vetoed and one was partially vetoed. Please call or email your supervisors now and ask them to support the following amendments and override the vetoes.

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Mental Health Board to meet on 11/19 - will include opportunity for Public Comment

The next meeting of the Milwaukee County Mental Health Board is scheduled for Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 10:00am at Milwaukee Public Schools Central Services Administration Building, 5225 W. Vliet St. I have attached the agenda and it also available online at http://county.milwaukee.gov/BehavioralHealthDivi7762/Mental-Health-Board.htm

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Visit our solitary confinement cell replica

The solitary confinement cell that we had built for the WISDOM action on the Capitol steps on October 1st has been installed for viewing this week at Madison Christian Community, 7118 Old Sauk Road, Madison.
The church is open weekdays from 8–4.

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Performance of Pieces on November 23rd

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2015 Milwaukee County Budget Update

We wanted to update you on the 2015 Milwaukee County Budget process. The County Board of Supervisors has approved an amended 2015 budget. This included several amendments on issues that Make It Work Milwaukee supported – please see the attached amendments and be sure to thank your supervisor if they supported these amendments. These include an amendment reducing the $4 per ride paratransit increase for IRIS and Family Care by $.50 (Supervisor Haas was lead), restoring the $300,000 allocation for the homeless shelters (Supervisor Romo West lead) and the Transit Super Amendment which included the Go Pass and expanded routes (Chairwoman Dimitrijevic and Supervisor Bowen leads). We have asked the County Executive to protect (not to veto) these amendments – the Make It Work Milwaukee letter is attached for your reference.

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“Now she’s a real life angel, but it was too soon…”

Little Laylah Petersen was just a five-year-old child, sitting on her grandfather’s lap in their living room, when a bullet pierced through their house and killed her.

I keep returning to her aunt’s cry for justice:

“She was somebody’s granddaughter, she was a niece, she was like an angel and now she’s [a] real life angel, but it was too soon.”

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Bridging Cultures

Cuban filmmaker Gloria Rolando is currently on a US visit, with remaining states to include Wisconsin. She is one of this hemisphere’s leading documentarians of the African diaspora — the community of people of African descent who were forcibly shipped, or migrated, out of Africa to the Americas.

Please join the “Bridging Cultures” conversation with this dynamic filmmaker and others at MATC’s Downtown Campus, Monday, November 17. A flyer and a short bio on Gloria Rolando are attached for your convenience.

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Wisdom, Heart and Theology: “Creative Sexuality: Memoirs of a Catholic Nun”

By Barbaralie Stiefermann, OSF

Excerpt from “Introduction

“I know all who read this book are wondering why a sister, a celibate, would dare write her memoirs in praise of human sexuality when so much of our Jansenistic and Catholic backgrounds have suppressed sexuality for centuries. Throughout Catholic history, the Church’s teaching on sexual morality was summarized in Canon Law: ‘the primary purpose of marriage is the procreation and education of children. The secondary purpose is mutual support and remedy for concupiscence.’

“Thank God for Vatican II, which deliberately rejected this priority of the procreative over the unitive end of marriage. The 1975 Vatican Declaration on sexual ethics went even further by identifying human sexuality in the unmarried as ‘the source of a person’s most fundamental characteristics and as a crucial element leading to personal maturity and integration into society.’ Wholesome human sexuality fosters creative growth toward integration…

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SAVE the DATE: SDC’s Special Event December 6, 2014 (Saturday)*** NAMI’S “PIECES”(adolescent version) play and communuity awareness resource fair

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SUPERVISOR PATRICIA JURSIK CALLS SOUTHRIDGE BUS STOP DEAL A “COMPROMISE”

Says New Bus Stops Will Move People Closer to Mall; Indicates Former Bus Stop at Mall Entrance Stop Was Not Possible

Milwaukee County Supervisor Patricia Jursik said today that a compromise agreement on the location of a new bus stop at Southridge Mall was “the best option that was possible” in resolving the issue.

The Transportation, Public Works and Transit Committee approved the agreement on a 4–3-vote, and the full County Board approved it on a 14–3 vote.

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About 2014 Election

“Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” — Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Perfect Illustration of Majority 2014 Voters:

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11×15 Taskforce Meeting

Meeting will be held
Wednesday November 12th

Project RETURN 2821 N. 4th Street Suite 202, Meeting begins @5pm

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8 White Cops, 46 Bullets, 1 Black Man

8 White Cops, 46 Bullets, 1 Black Homeless Man [Video]

During the video, eight officers approached Hall and demanded that he drop the small knife, but he refused. After a span of about 10 seconds, the officers opened fire on Hall.

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Racism and Its Origins

Excerpt from “Stories From the Front Lines of Integration Toledo, Ohio and Milwaukee, Wisconsin 1965–1979” available @ Amazon.com and www.leemcmurrin.com .

By Lee R. McMurrin, Ph.D.

Abraham Lincoln said many times, in his speeches and debates on slavery, that if slavery is not wrong, nothing in this world is wrong. And I was quoted many times saying that segregation was the worst thing that ever happened to America’s children. Slavery of the “colored people” (the term commonly used in earlier times) in America is the backdrop to segregation in all of its forms. Slavery formed the attitudes upon which segregation was established. Slaveholders viewed the colored people in the same category as animals, which was the way the Supreme Court of the United States viewed them in some of their decisions. Lincoln, in his debates with Steven Douglas, stated that they were human beings and should be granted the rights and privileges that were granted to citizens of the United States in the documents of the founding fathers.

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Special meeting to consider Southridge Proposal: Committee on Transportation, Public Works, and Transit Special Meeting Agenda 11/06/14

The Milwaukee County Board Transportation Committee is holding a special meeting this Thursday at 8:30 AM in room 201B at the Courthouse. The purpose of the meeting is to consider a proposal from Corporation Counsel, requesting authorization to enter into a Bus Service Agreement effective January 1, 2015, for an initial two-year term and for automatically renewing additional two-year terms, regarding transit and shelters at Southridge Shopping Center and to reroute bus routes accordingly. You can click on the link below to view the proposal. You may want to contact supervisors to share your perspective on the proposal.

Transportation, Public Works, and Transit 11/06/14 Agenda

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MHA in Partnership with Penfield Present Free Community Workshops

November 5: Importance of Play for Children
November 19: Managing Your Children’s Challenging Behaviors
December 3: Typical & Atypical Development of Children
December 17: Challenging Behaviors in Children

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Coalition for Justice: gathering today in Red Arrow Park

Mental Health Task Force Update

We are passing on an update from the Coalition for Justice. There will be a gathering today at 6 PM at Red Arrow Park, 1000 N. Water Street to honor the life of Dontre Hamilton and mark the 6th month anniversary of his death - Information is also available on the Coalition for Justice Facebook page.

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