Driving 325 Dreams
Image By Zephyris at the English language Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6285050

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Seed Garden Express Yourself Equinox Drum Bus Parties & Markets for Sherman Park Transcendance
I would like to imagine your building as an incubator for training Life Coaches and creators of STE+A+M Homes and Gardens.

Sites for growing our souls, the beloved Community, and neighborhood level commerce.

Sites for growing food wise, exercise wise, street, commerce, and garden wise citizens.

Wisconsin Idea And Health Insurance Premium Reduction

The SEED Initiative has developed 8 community gardens/ outdoor classrooms/ popup agora markets in 8 different neighborhoods mostly considered to be “food deserts” in Milwaukee County. These 8 Seed Gardens are resourced within the 100 year plus famed University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension, birthed in Wisconsin Progressive’s “Wisconsin Idea,” bringing a staff of 35, a yearly budget of $2,500,000, land, building, and equipment resources over $10,000,000 valuation, 535 Milwaukee Waukesha County Master Gardeners providing 32,152 volunteer hours of community education, youth mentoring, and Extension support, 100 acres of rich soil in prime city locations, 1,000 gardeners, and a central, foundational, critical role in Milwaukee’s world renowned urban agriculture movement, emerging as a vital 21st century industry transitioning Milwaukee from an industrial to a leading ecoLogical city.

The SEED Garden Initiative 2016 pilot year merited the status of a MANDI Awards finalist for the Journey House/ SEED Community Garden for the Brewers Foundation Public Space Award.

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Wisconsin Idea In 1911 Milwaukee City Plan

1911 “Milwaukee City Planning” Document

  • 10,000 acres food production

  • agriculture school

  • urban homesteading

[From a Carriere manuscript]

Googling “1911 Milwaukee Planning Document” will take you to digital link.

Infrastructure not just brick and morter.

There’s a metabolic rift to fix.

Got to heal the people, heal the planet.

Bring urban and rural into natural and cultural balance.

Student intern apprentices flow within Detroit Chicago Milwaukee Wisconsin

Design middle ways and bridges to public private partnerships for people planet and profit

Milwaukee is a city with a hybrid economic history, ie The Progressives The Sewer Socalists And Entrepreneurial Capitalists

The Wisconsin Idea In A City Planning Document

Charles Whitnall’s Vision Embodied In Milwaukee County School of Agriculture and Domestic Economy

It was all a part of Charles Whitnall’s vision for how planning should develop in Milwaukee. His thoughts on this informed the creation of the Milwaukee County School of Agriculture and Domestic Economy, which opened in 1912….

Milwaukee Chicago Detroit Conversations: New Work for STEA+M Homes In Beloved Communities

Yes! embrace, as Boggs solutionaries have advanced…

  • new work

  • community production

  • grow our souls

  • create caring, beloved, healthy communities as increasingly autonomous zones


Social Capital
Cultural Capital
Natural Capital
Soul or Spiritual Capital

Green dollar capital as necessary and appropriate

The vector sum of these 5 capital I have been thinking of



New work creating Flow!

Outside, increasingly, the job economy.]

Out Forward Our Agenda

STEA+M Homes and Hamlets In Rainbow Commons

To science, technology, engineering, and math add

Alliance Design

Course Credit and Doctoral Dissertations Transforming Foreclosed Homes and “Blighted” Nbds Into STEA+M Homes of Beloved Communities

Marry blue collar skill building with art, design, and agriculture projects in our high schools, community colleges, and universities. Course credit for transforming foreclosed homes and empty lots into micro farms, workshops, and homes/gardens as art. 21st Century Milwaukee Chicago as city of homes as STEA+M skill incubators, adding art, agriculture, artisanship, architecture, and alliance building to STEM hands on pedagogy.


Emmanuel Pratt and I have shared to 10,000 youngs and olds our debt to the Boggs Center, source of our syntax and grammer. We are astonished by how far ahead of history’s curve are our brothers and sisters of Detroit in theory its dialectical and chaordic weaving in with practice.

A series of simple email exchanges that aim to sum up our discoveries and provide a preliminary sense of what is to be tried my vote for next step.

Hoping Emmanuel will share “Designing for People, Planet, and Profit” with us. And Jia Loc Pratt “The New Normal.”

Hallelujah grateful,


An Appeal To All Baptized Catholics and Friends of Nature To Support The Jesuit Pope

I hope anyone baptized Catholic or friends of baptized Catholics will reache out to their high school classmates and inspire them to discover and harvest the Spirit Force that is embodied in the Pope’s encyclical Laudato Si, which marries ecological with social justice. Here is one of my appeals to my fellow alums.

Dear All,

The fact that we are baptized Catholics with Jesuit educations and on line connectivity makes us a potential resource for many good causes congruent with our foundational values.

Baptized Jesuit Trained Catholics

An ecumenical group of many “persuasions,”
but inescapably possessed with a foundational identity, I would say, an indelible mark, as a

Baptized Jesuit Trained Catholic

There are several million baptized Jesuit trained Catholics in the world…an inspiring, potential spirit force for the greater glory of God, healing the people and the planet, as we become increasingly digitally and actually connected.

A cause I hope a few of the SLUH Class of 63 will consider supporting is to enlist the support of Jesuit trained Americans in D.C. leadership positions, to assist the ecumenical Synodal Process to share the inclusive theology of Pope Francis’ Laudato Si encyclical.

Here is the essence of this vision, shared by Fr. Sean McDonagh:


Entire appeal here:



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DeStigmatizing Mental Health Challenges At Year Round Garden Places

With mindful mental health professionals

With artists capable of Rainbow Contemporary Iconic supports(this one good for Catholic EAs of a certain kind)

At SEED Gardens growing Health.


Why not?


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Native Wellness Garden Renaissance Moment

One Of 8 Seed Gardens!

Dennis Lukaszewski, Unsung Hero of Milwaukee Renaissance

Dennis Lukaszewski and Ryan Schone are unsung heroes of Milwaukee’s renaissance via our inspiring food and beverage industry, organizing Seed Garden access to 1,000 growers in 50 acres of rich county soil.

Images from Native Wellness Garden at 3675 S. 6th St include inspired visitor Anne J Koller, now living in Oakland, and garden workers who worked hours in yesterday’s rain with Ryan and Dennis.

Other SEED Initiative sights include Kohl Farm, 8300 W. County Line Road; Timmerman Seed Garden, 93rd and Appleton; Sherman Park, 4175 W. Burleigh; Moody Park, 2320 W. Burleigh; Clarke Square, 2125 W. Scott St.; Cupertino Park, E. Ontario and S. Shore Dr.(Jason Haas and Marina Dimitrijevic key to these and entire SEED County funded project); and Forest Hill, 2000 E. Forest Hill Ave.).

Seed Gardens have offered free horticulture and nutrition classes, harvest celebrations with music and feasting, and will be adding new feature, God willing, every year.

Dennis and Ryan have been greatly supported in the Seed Garden project by Director Eloisa Gomez. It is my honor and delight to begin sharing this story at the MilwaukeeRenaissance wiki magazine over the years.

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Dear Tim and Mikal,

With drum beats as background…Story sharing and growing…

Food garden playgrounds as art

Tim A Food Garden Mon w Ties to Mayor

Mikal An Artist Mon w Ties to Art Community and Ivy Networks

Fermentation Fest Flow—drum bus party expressed(Jahmes)

With Sara Daleiden of GMC Placemaking and Neuwirth Salinas of Wormfarm Institute

Offering each of you a bus ride Oct 9, 8 am to 8 pm, a lunch, a Fermentation Fest Tour, and a $20 stipend to brainstorm marriage of Agriculture and Art, in city country Flow! experiments.

You would be among 8 other story sharers
To be named as they commit.

Muneer Bahauddeen
Adam Carr
Ryan Schone
Francis Graf
Cleo Pruitt
Mark and Linda Keane

Are most probably among the

10 Story Circles
Of the Fermentation Fest DTour Flow!

Bus, lunch, tour, and $200 bricolage resourced Oct 9, 2016

A Milwaukee Chicago Reedsburg Cirque de Soleil Imaginal

You would be among the original charter story performers

Deserving as much!


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Become Empowered To Register Voters In Milwaukee!

It’s easy, and will make a difference, becoming a Special Registration Deputy(SRD) for the presidential election. SRD training by City of Milwaukee Election Commission staff will occur Tuesday, September 13, 2016, 6pm, at our NAACP office! We are in the BMO Bank building, 2745 North MLK Drive. Here’s a note on this from Cleo Pruitt.

Dear Members and Friends,

Our Milwaukee Branch is participating in a National NAACP led civic engagement campaign focused on connecting non registered voters to their fully voting citizen selves. You are needed to help us reach our goal to register up to 1800 new voters by taking part in our GOTV efforts now through an October 19 special registration deadline and later assisting voters to the polls November 8.

Even though your engagement is needed for several important tasks, none proved as vital in ’08 and ‘12 to increasing branch registration outcomes, as having Special Registration Deputies (SRDs) enlist people where they grocery shop, have their hair cut, in their neighborhoods and through the places that they worship.
Yes, we encourage you to devote some of your time to help out. If you want to have a high impact join us for the training that affords an ability to register others on the spot!

Fortunately, we are hosting a SRD training conducted by City of Milwaukee Election Commission staff Tuesday, September 13, 2016, 6pm, at our NAACP office! We are in the BMO Bank building, 2745 North MLK Drive, Milwaukee. Join us and become reacquainted with grass roots civic engagement that could help to make a difference in someone’s voting for life! We will serve light refreshments!

Let us know that you are coming! Please reach Cleo Pruitt at cleopruitt@yahoo.com or at 414.759.8084.

Sharing Fine Meal With Olympian Mensch

Spending an evening with Ryan Schone and Christopher Cox is one of the reasons the spirit of the Forest Gump awakens in me, shifting the place of my thought from my mind to my heart. In the way that I pray, I pray I am blessed with 29 more years as witness to and supporter of their respective hero quests, which make Joseph Campbell and Grace Lee Boggs howl with delight. They may be key reasons for Pope Francis’ visit to the Holy City of the Sweet Water Seas, celebrating the Milwaukee Chicago Nobel Prize for the beloved communities most highly expressing the manifesto of the 21st century, Pope Francis’ Laudato Si.

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Laudato Si Half Earth Sweet Water Fair Land Commons

That is why the actress Alison Sudol, an I.U.C.N. good-will ambassador, opened the plenary by observing that our planet is now “under attack” — by us.

“Our vast oceans, full of mysteries and wonders, are thick with plastic and mercury,” she noted. “Rain forests — abundant sources of oxygen and medicine; land of ancient lore and tradition; home to thousands of species of wildlife, many as yet unknown to us — are being plowed down before we have a chance to properly discover what it is we are losing.

“These are lungs of the earth, the oceans and the forests, and we are destroying them. Deeply, desperately, we are hoping someone will do something before it is too late. That someone we are hoping for is you.”

So do we have a plan? Wilson has one — a big, audacious plan. It’s the title of his latest book, “Half-Earth,” a call to action to commit half of the planet’s surface — land and oceans — to protected zones.

Right now, the I.U.C.N. says, close to 15 percent of the earth’s land and 10 percent of its territorial waters are covered by national parks and protected areas. If we protect half the global surface, Wilson argues, the fraction of species protected will be about 85 percent, which would keep life on earth, including the human species, in a safe zone.

Naïve, you say? Not so. Naïve is thinking we humans will survive without the healthy natural systems that got us here. Naïveté is the new realism — or else we, the human species, will become just another bad biological experiment.

Thomas Friedman, NYT, 9/7/16

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Food Garden Playgrounds

As place of the art of life and fun!

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Sweet Water Foundation Meets With Pope’s Eco Advisor and Laudato Si Writer, Father Sean McDonagh

Emmanuel Pratt and his South Side Chicago Sweet Water Collective made a deep mark at the Irish Museum of Modern Art Grizedale Arts A Fair Land Exhibition. He also inspired Father Sean McDonagh, who Naomi Klein celebrated as the Irish missionary priest who wrote the basic draft of the Encyclical, “Laudato Si” with a vision of advancing a Black Baptist Eco Catholic 10 year conversation.

“Francis is not the first Pope to express deep environmental concern—John Paul II and Benedict XVI did as well. But those Popes didn’t tend to call the earth our “sister, mother” or assert that chipmunks and trout are our siblings.” Naomi Klein

Nice Irish radio show featuring Pratt

And text summary

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Sweet Water Foundation at Irish Museum of Modern Art and Grizedale Arts ‘A Fair Land” Exhibition

James Godsil and Emmanuel Pratt with Andrew Douglas of the Urban Farm Project.

Emmanuel Pratt and James Godsil in phone and email conversation with Fr. Sean McDonagh

SWF Director Emmanuel Pratt in phone conversation from Irish Museum of Modern Art with eco theologian Fr. Sean McDonagh, Pope Francis’ environmental advisor and key draft writer of Laudato Si. Planning live meeting at A Fair Land Exhibition this Saturday!


This “Catholic Reporter” interview with Fr McDonagh inspires visions of a catholic “black” baptist conversation about marriage of ecological and social justice.


Kilmainham Gaol,where leaders of Irish Easter Uprising, key to Irish Independence movement, were executed.

Sarah Glennie, direct of the Irish Museum of Modern Art(IMMA), with Emmanuel Pratt, director of the Sweet Water Foundation.

Sweet Water Foundation South Side Chicago team with IMMA and Grizedale Arts artists in pottery workshop: Tamiko Winn, Derek Ware, Micheal Reynolds, Denise Patrick, Niamh Riordan, Francesca Ulivi, Janice Haugh, Emmanuel Pratt, and Adam Sutherland.

Emmanuel Pratt with Tanad Williams.

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Global Ignatian Community Laudato Si Conversations 2016

Dear Father McDonagh,

I am as delighted to be writing you as you were after your first hour with Father Thomas Berry! In the way that I pray, I pray for the blessing of your awareness of the work of Great Lakes Heartland “Ignatians” committed to sharing the new theology of Laudato Si. When I read your review in the Catholic Reporter calling for a 3 year ecumenical synodal process “aimed at taking the new teaching, ‘a new spirituality’ that Francis offers in Laudato Si’ and finding ways to put it into practice of the faith”— my heart leapt! Joining in this process would be a most appropriate “Ignatian Response to the Ferguson Tragedy” I and a number of my classmates from St. Louis U. High, class of ‘63 have committed to.

I hope you might be able to join in for a spell with a team of young and old South Side Chicago “apprentice ecopreneurs” who will be participating in an Irish Museum of Modern Art and Grizedale Arts project next week called ‘A Fair Land’ …in essence the plan is to build a model village - starting with a glut garden built on the straw bale system with 300 gourd plants…plan to develop the food processing, industry, economy, education and housing - in roughly that order at this site. Adam Sutherland, Director, Grizedale Arts is our contact person.

Click here for the full article
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Roofer Jim On Donald Trump

I remember the Republicans giving a national platform to Joe the Plumber back in 2008. I hope to provide a platform for white working class men to diminish the appeal of Trump now and forever.

Milwaukee Now Must Share Its Nobel Prize

Milwaukee needs Chicago
Its more brawny sister city to the South,
If ever to win its Nobel Prize.

As this is written, a world leading
Deconstructionist is meeting with
A world leading artist florist ecopreneur
Beneath the Learning Tree,
At the Perry Farm.

They are designing with Pratt
A process to deconstruct a storied barn
And reconstruct it at park and farm,
As part of a culinary institite…
Bout 10 minutes from the future site of
The Obama Presidential Library,
Michelle Obama South Side Renaissance Wing.

‘You can’t make this s… up.”

The film of this and other Milwaukee Chicago
Northside Southside renaissance projects,
With Sweet Water’s and Mycelia Network’s
Visionary Go Do Mon, Emmanuel Pratt
Harvesting his Harvard Loeb Fellowship Network…

This film will, God willing, serve as a proof point
That the vision of a Milwaukee Chicago
Nobel winning collaboration experiment…

Is a pragmatic utopian one,
Quite possibly to be eclipsed
By the wonders forthcoming.

Metis G

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3 + 2 = 5 At 325

Aquaponics Mind Jazz

Aquaponic’s Vector Sums: Calculating Over The Years

The outputs of Aquaponics Systems(APS) inputs

Fish and plants are NOT at this moment the key output of our proposed Aquaponics Vector Sums(AVS).

Knowledge, skill development, “integral thinking,” social intelligence, emotional intelligence,
a kind of spiritual and “ecoLogical” refinement and “beloved community building” are the most important “things” that grow here. And don’t forget STEAM aptitudes!

And I think we have settled in on the notion of a protracted, multi-generational,
multi-disciplinary, and multi-national experimental process with many dimensions,
many unknowns, many skills and many technologies to develop and explore, with

A focus on schools and innovation centers

In hybrid networks of “free professionals.”

I seek 10 fundamental talking points for this thought experiment I am housing at
Aquaponics Vector Sums.

50th Anniversary of SCLC Chicago Open Housing Marches Coming Up

August 5, 2016, will be the 50th anniversary of the stoning of Dr. Martin Luther King, in Marquette Park, Chicago, about a 20 minute drive from where the Sweet Water Foundation’s regenerative placemaking experiment at the Perry Ave District is taking place. Below is an image of myself directly behind Dr. King at the moment of the assault, there so close as a “field marshall” and temporary bodyguard not long after my 21st birthday. I was also a teacher in a SCLC Freedom School in a storefront on Roosevelt Ave. that summer. http://www.milwaukeerenaissance.com/CulturalProjects/JamesDonnellyGodsilStories

James Godsil As Momentary Body Guard For Dr. King

Here is where picture came from


And here I am 50 years later at the commemoration march. Jesse Jackson is in the background of this picture, to the right of my image. When he asked the people at the assembled gathering who was there in 1966, only about 5 people stood up.

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Sweet Water Community Guild Host Mandela Foundation Future African Leaders at 325 E. Euclid Heart Haus And More

Best “Texts” Of Sweet Water Foundation Scaling Up Aquaponics/Urban Ag As Community Development Resource On Chicago’s South Side

Co-Founders Sweet Water Foundation Emmanuel Pratt and James Godsil




Nesbitt Note

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Sweet Water Foundation Workshop at Pratt’s and team’s School of the Art Institute show

James Godsil, Jesse Blom, Ben Koller, and Emmanuel Pratt at Sweet Water Foundation Workshop at Pratt’s and team’s School of the Art Institute show, “Outside Design” Aquaponocs Workshop.


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Sweet Water Foundation At Heart Haus May Day Celebration: Todd Leach, Emmanuel Pratt, Jesse Blom, and James Godsil

Derek Ware, James Godsil, Amanda Williams, and Emmanuel Pratt at Sweet Water Foundation Hyde Park Art Center.
Godsil and Pratt co-founded the Sweet Water Foundation, with Josh Fraundorf and Howard Hinterthuer providing foundational support.

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The Joseph and Mary Godsil Guild House

In honor of my Father, Jeseph, a tool and die maker, and my Mother, Mary, a wife, rooming house keeper, and child care provider. Neither Mary nor Joe went to high school, but both were what I and Gramsci would call “organic intellectuals.” My father often said back in the 1950s what our most enlightened public minded intellectuals and leaders are saying todsay, “We must not assume everyone is meant for white collar professions requiring college degrees. There is great dignity in “manual work” pursued as a sacred craft. That is what the I hope this vision of a “Guild House” advances.

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Conversations Of Blacks and Irish, ie Blirish, Baptists and Catholics, For Laudato Si Projects

There is a chance we can team up with Father Sean McDonagh in a 3 year “Laudato synodal process” in Catholic parishes across the world​​. This note is about Father McDonagh and the process he will be helping advance, followed by an invitation to him and the Columban Missionary order to meet with Emmanuel Pratt and some South Side Chicago teams headed to Dublin, Ireland this August, hopefully to meet with the good Father.​

​B​elow are excerpts from an interview with the key drafter of Laudato Si, Fr. Sean McDonagh, a Columban missionary recently awarded the Annual Justice Award of the Partnership for Global Justice.

Catholic Reporter. You were involved in the development of this encyclical. What was that process like? Were you focused on a specific aspect of the text?

Well, I was asked by Cardinal Peter Turkson in November 2013 to write a document for the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, and I wrote it up, like 30,000 words … now eventually, in 2014, that kind of morphed into the beginning of the encyclical itself. So that whole section, basically, on what’s happening in our world, those were issues I developed.


I hope you can read the interview and/or my exerpts and let me know if you are up for advancing vision of partnering across nation’s Ignatian community to support the 3 year synodal process to harvest Laudato Si for the good cause.

Central to that, the Irish priest said, is a three-year synodal process aimed at taking the new teaching, “a new spirituality” that Francis offers in Laudato Si’ and finding ways to put it into practice of the faith.

“It’s new for a lot of us. Most of the people who go to seminaries and into theology didn’t actually deal with any of these issues, so there’s a difficulty,” McDonagh said, pointing in particular to Francis’ quoting of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in his frequent discussion of sins against creation, be it human-caused climate change or the loss of biodiversity due to pollution and deforestation.

Read entire post here.

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®Evolutionary Collaboration Experimental Fields: Cuba Detroit Chicago Milwaukee UN Global Water Centric Network


*Urban Agriculture

*Skilled Trades

*Buddha Mind In The Space of Art

*Digital and Robotics Technologies

*Beloved Community Through Good Food, Beauty, Integral Urban Homes, and Faith!

*Global Water Centric Network Co-Creations

Why not?

My distillation of brilliance of conversations about Mother Grace and Mother Nature, with Emmanuel Pratt, Jesse Blom, Ben Koller, and Rick Feldman. With link to Grace Lee’s film on Grace.


May Day Muneer Peace Post Installation ceremony / Heart Haus Two Year Anniversary

Sunday May 1st, 2016 at 1P will mark the Two Year Anniversary of the Heart Haus, our Collaborative Urban Homesteading Project. Over the past 730 days the HH has interacted with thousands of visitors from every part of the City & World, taught hundreds of Students & Teachers and hosted International Guests from multiple countries through our Urban Farm, Makerspace, Aquaponics Living Laboratory & Airbnb “Haustel”.

May 1st is also International Workers Day, a time to remember the lives lost in the Chicago/Bayview worker strikes. To commemorate both of these significant events, a Peace Post was co-created by Elder Artist Muneer Bahauddeen and a diverse set of Milwaukeeans who attended our One Year Anniversary Block Party last summer.

The Peace Post Installation Ceremony was envisioned by Ben Koller & James Godsil to be not only an opportunity to share a moment of Peace on a day of remembrance, but also to create a connection node between Milwaukee’s Northside 15th District (Ben’s childhood neighborhood and location of Muneer’s studio) and the Southside 14th district of Bayview.

​Our hope is that you all would help us celebrate this important moment by attending our event to commemorate such a simple yet creative way of bring people together for Peace within our City, Communities and Individual Lives.

May 1st will be a day for us all to In-Joy the Peace of the Present, release the growing pains of the past and set intentions for our Future Endeavors. The Haus will be open for tours after the ceremony as we showcase our latest improvements while you enjoy soup cooked over our firepit.

Please feel free to contact me for further details. We are very excited to share this great opportunity with our amazing city. I look forward to seeing you all there.

Much Gratitude!

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Light Your Candles

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Important Medicaid Survey – Please Complete and Share Widely

Good morning, Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force and Make It Work Milwaukee. Disability Rights Wisconsin (DRW) is a member of the Survival Coalition of Wisconsin Disability Organizations. Survival has been working on strategies to educate and inform the disability community about possible radical changes to Medicaid that are under consideration, as well as how to educate policymakers about the impact this will have on Wisconsinites with disabilities, including mental health needs. One key component to this effort is gathering information from Wisconsinites with disabilities, and others, who rely on Medicaid programs.

Survival Coalition has launched an important survey to gather information about Medicaid usage from adults and children with disabilities, older adults, their families, care providers, and low income adults. You can take this survey, share the link, and ask others to take it. Many people are unaware that the health care, supports, services, and programs they are familiar with (Family Care, IRIS, CCS, TCM, CLTS, Katie Beckett) are funded by Medicaid.

Policymakers in Wisconsin and Washington, D.C. are proposing big changes to Medicaid, including Medicaid Block Grants. These changes could happen quickly and could have big impacts on people with disabilities, older adults, and other who rely on Medicaid services and supports. The survey asks about the Medicaid services and supports that you or your loved ones use to help you live your life and stay healthy, and how important these supports are to your life.

We are also eager to gather stories about how Wisconsin’s diverse Medicaid programs benefit adults and children with disabilities and their families. As part of the survey, there is a question asking participants about willingness to share their story. We also appreciate your help in identifying people who are willing to share their story, and will be developing a standalone form to capture those stories.

Thanks for your help with sharing the survey widely!

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Unhinged, Unable to Rein in Temerity

By David P. Cohn, Esq.

Practicing attorney David Cohn was 19 going on 20 in June 1968 when he enlisted. He is a decorated, disabled combat Veteran Sergeant, ¾ Cav 25th Infantry Division, MACV, Military Assistance Command Vietnam. The “Tet Offensive 1968 was my crucible, 4–5 Purple Hearts my Purple badge of courage.”

And what are we to do? 60s generationals, hear this call: time to go back to “our” roots of organizing, moving\massing for civil rights, fixing the torn social fabric and a return to civility while doing the business of the country “of the people, by the people and for the people,” not the elite. And, again: challenging the forces of evil [the Force is strong within “us”], speaking loudly, but with sharp tools and the great weight of the evidence — Move toward change, hoist Trump on his own petard, of what he ran against: corruption, cronyism and self-interest…draining the swamp, replacing it with snakes is not making Amerika great again.

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ACA/Medicaid Webinar for Disability Advocates on Tuesday Jan 17th

Mental Health Task Force/ Make It Work Milwaukee Update

Access to healthcare and long term supports are priorities for our coalitions. Please find information below on a webinar scheduled for next Tuesday, January 17, 2017 from 2:30 PM to 4:00 PM that will discuss how the Affordable Care Act repeal and Medicaid reform will impact people with disabilities. You will also be able to ask questions.

We encourage you to participate and report back on any key information and strategies that may be helpful to the work of our coalitions.

Click here for more information
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January 26, 2017, Mental Health Board REVISED Agenda and Meeting Packet

Mental Health Task Force Update

Thanks to Mike Lappen for sharing with us the revised agenda for the January 26th Mental Health Board meeting at Washington Park Senior Center. The meeting start time has been changed to 2:30 PM to allow time for an additional agenda item: State of Wisconsin Legislative Audit Bureau Report 16–14, Milwaukee County Mental Health Board. The other agenda item continues to be “public comment on behavioral health division topics/services.” We encourage members of the Task Force to attend and to provide public comment. See the attached agenda for additional detail.

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Faith, Love and Restoration

By Table of the Saints Vice President Charles Hampton

Table of the Saints is a local faith-based organization in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Table of the Saints was established in fall of 2009 by three nonviolent ex-offenders as a bible study group. Bible Study is still held every Thursday evening at Rehoboth COGIC on Elder Wallace Way 6 – 8 p.m. Since 2009, the organization filed for their Article of Incorporation and has become a 501© 3 recognized entity in Wisconsin, joining forces with NAACP, WISDOM and other faith-based groups. Table of the Saints is located at 2821 North 4th Street, Suite 202 Milwaukee, WI.

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Waukesha County Section 8 Voucher Waitlist open 1/17–1/19/17

Mental Health Task Force/ Make It Work Milwaukee Update

The Waukesha Housing Authority will open its online wait list for Section 8 Vouchers only from January 17th - 19th. Application will only be accepted online between those dates at http://www.whaonline.com/wha_home.html See below for more information for Waukesha residents about getting on the waitlist. Note that the applications will only be taken online between 9:00 AM and 4:00 PM from Tuesday, 1/17/17 through Thursday, 1/19/17. The DBSs and EBSs at the Waukesha County ADRC will be helping people, who need assistance, apply for the waitlist.

The Waukesha Housing Authority will open its online wait list for Section 8 Vouchers only from January 17th - 19th. Application will only be accepted online between those dates at http://www.whaonline.com/wha_home.html.

You must provide social security numbers and birthdates for everyone listed on the application, income from all sources, banking and investments, energy assistance credit amount, monthly Foodshare benefit, medical expenses and criminal history. Two weeks after completing the application online, you will be able to check your status online to see if you are an active applicant.

There will only be one computer at the WHA office for applying, no applications accepted by phone or mail.

Waukesha Housing Authority, 600 Arcadian Ave, Waukesha #262–542–2262

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Milwaukee County Mental Health Board January 26, 2017, Meeting Agenda

Mental Health Task Force Update

The Milwaukee County Mental Health Board will meet on Thursday January 26th at Washington Park Senior Center at 4:30 PM. The purpose of the meeting is for the Board to hear Public Comment. Speakers are limited to three minutes each. This is a good opportunity to share with the Mental Health Board your suggestions for budget priorities, other ideas for how to improve access or quality, or any other feedback or suggestions you may wish to share. Click on the link below to display the agenda.


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Inaugurating a Term of Solidarity

Plan to join faith leaders from around the country who will spend part of Inauguration Day in Juneau, Wisconsin. As a new Administration starts in Washington DC, a renewed commitment to resist hatred, division and cruel policy choices will be inaugurated on:

Friday, January 20, 2017, 3:00 pm
Dodge County Detention Facility 216 W. Center Street, Juneau, WI

WISDOM, the Wisconsin network of faith communities, will be joined by leaders of the national Gamaliel network for a prayer vigil on Inauguration Day that will demonstrate our commitment to resist words, deeds and policies that would hurt immigrant families. The message of the day will be one of solidarity: all people of good will need to stand side-by-side to reject the politics of division and fear and to support all those who have been targeted.

The November election and the divisive, racist rhetoric that accompanied it, have revealed some deep divisions in our country. Policies have been proposed and discussed that would serve no good purpose but that would seriously hurt children, families and hard-working members of our communities.

The Dodge County Detention Facility was chosen as the site for the gathering because it is used as an immigrant detention center. WISDOM will proclaim that all us of, regardless of race, immigration status, conviction history, disability, sexual orientation or economic class, are part of one human family that must not be divided.

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Highlights from 2016 so far: The Good News and Pivotal Facts

Sun. 1/8/17: Will sick hate trump ‘nice’? https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/jeff-sessions-should-have-been-a-tough-sell-in-the-us-senate-thats-not-likely/2017/01/07/2de7c280-d44f-11e6-9cb0-54ab630851e8_story.html

Fri. 1/6/2017: Who really has the power? https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/josh-rogin/wp/2017/01/06/mattis-clashing-with-trump-transition-team-over-pentagon-staffing

Fri. 1/6/2017: First Lady Michelle Obama key to overcoming hate and fear after 1/20/17: http://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/06/opinion/sunday/michelle-obama-can-now-speak-her-mind-will-she.html

Wed. 12/14/16: What to do until the Messiah Comes: http://www.teenvogue.com/story/donald-trump-is-gaslighting-america

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Health Care Rally in Milwaukee 1/15

Hi Friends-

As you know, Congressional Republicans have made repealing the Affordable Care Act their top legislative priority and are pushing this agenda in the first few weeks of the new Congress, without offering up any alternative.

Senator Baldwin’s campaign is teaming up with Citizen Action of Wisconsin to sponsor a rally in Milwaukee as part of a national day of action to tell Republicans not to take away people’s health care.

The rally will be in Milwaukee on Sunday, January 15th at 11:30 a.m. Location is still being finalized, but it will be close to downtown.

We are looking for your help. We would love to have as many organizations as possible spread the word or sponsor the event to help us build a big crowd to show that Wisconsinites oppose Republican efforts to take away people’s health care. We should have a flyer and landing page created in the next day or so that we will circulate as well.

We especially need your help in identifying speakers for the rally. We need real people who have been helped by the ACA or other national health care programs who are willing to tell their story about how difficult it will be if their health care is taken away. You will find some sample profiles below of the kind of stories we’re looking for.

The point of contact for the rally is Tammy’s Political Director Scott Spector. Gillian Drummond, is coordinating speakers at the event. They are both included below.

Thanks so much for all you do!

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Treatment Never Involves Sex Brochure

DCTS Information Memo 2017–01

The Division of Care and Treatment Services, with assistance from Disability Rights Wisconsin, has created a brochure to educate individuals receiving mental health and substance use treatment about their right to be free from sexual contact by their treatment professional.

View the entire memo.

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NAMI Family-to-family class

NAMI Greater Milwaukee’s upcoming Family to Family class that will be starting Tuesday January 17th from 6:00pm-8:30pm at the NAMI Greater Milwaukee office located at 3200 S 3rd St Milwaukee, WI 53207.

To register, please contact Aaron Arteaga at the NAMI office at 414–344–0447 or aarona@namigrm.org.

Thank you.

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NAMI Monthly Education Series

Please see attached flyers regarding the NAMI 2017 Monthly Education Series for January!

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Post 2016 Election

By David P. Cohn, Esq.

Practicing attorney David Cohn was 19 going on 20 in June 1968 when he enlisted. He is a decorated, disabled combat Veteran Sargent, ¾ Cav 25th Infantry Division, MACV, Military Assistance Command Vietnam. The “Tet Offensive 1968 was my crucible, 4–5 Purple Hearts my Purple badge of courage.”

Love ain’t enough – intellectual activism, certainly the Anti-Christ of the status quo, is part of the answer. Taking notes and names of the devolution of “us” to the “whitelash” and forgetting the role of government to care for the common needs, “promote the general welfare” – and resurrect those well-settled ideas and ideals and bring them forward; show the sharp relief of the failures and jingoism(s) used and promoted to betray the fabric of law, roots and our body politic – and the failure of Hillary – no more finger pointing – she should have buried this xenophobic child twit who literally embodies “twitter” ‘cause his thought process is about 140 characters deep. But she didn’t.

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U.S. Demand for Psych Services Soars Amid Provider Shortage; Stats, Trends & Implications

Today’s new issue of *Modern Healthcare* includes an article: “Demand for mental health services soars amid provider shortage” by Steven Ross Johnson.

Here are some excerpts:

[begin excerpts]

Patients in Chicago who have been identified by their primary care physician as requiring mental health counseling can wait a year or more before they see a specialist, according to Dr. Joanne May, director of Behavioral Health Services at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center.

That’s why the state’s largest healthcare system recently began embedding behavioral health specialists in its primary care practices.

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New study and ways to support justice

As the oldest and largest WISDOM affiliate, I am proud of what MICAH has achieved along with the other affiliates across the state. Recently at a press conference in Milwaukee we introduced the startling findings of the research report Excessive Revocations in Wisconsin: the Health Impacts of Locking People Up without a New Convictions by Human Impact Partners, WISDOM and Ex-Prisoners Organizing.

In 2015, 2954 people in Wisconsin were put in state prison for violating their parole or probation arrangement without committing a crime! This important study with personal stories from those effected and solutions used by other states, gives us an important tool for influencing our legislators and the Department of Corrections to implement more just and cost-effective solutions to reduce our mass incarceration problem in Wisconsin.

MICAH has been addressing criminal justice issues in Milwaukee and the county for over 25 years and now at the state level, because Milwaukee is disproportionately affected by the devastating impact of mass incarceration on our community.

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Update on the Crimeless Revocations Report

WISDOM and EXPO leaders were all over the state last week to release our new Health Impact Report, Excessive Revocations in Wisconsin: the Health Impacts of Locking People Up Without a New Conviction. If you haven’t already read it, the report itself and an executive summary are on a new website, specifically dedicated to the project: http://sentback.org/.

You can view photos of the press conference at which we released the report here, and check out the press we received here.
All of this information and more is also on our new WISDOM website and on the ROCWisconsin website.

Here’s a sample of our press coverage:

WISDOM and EXPO leaders all over the state are prepared to give presentations on Crimeless Revocations to your religious community or civic group. Contact us to get started.

This is one of several issues we will address at our Madison Action Day on Thursday, March 30. Mark your calendar!

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Community Conversation Flyer

Mental Health Task Force Update

This flyer from the Behavioral Health Division is an invitation to upcoming community conversations.

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Update - DHS ForwardHealth Partner Update: 2016 BadgerCare Plus Eligibility Ending for Members Determined Eligible Under Gap Filling Rules

Mental Health Task Force/ Make It Work Milwaukee Update

Please the updates below from DHS and Covering Wisconsin, with a reminder that if you know someone who is on BadgerCare Plus under gap filling eligibility for 2016, their coverage will end on December 31. They need to apply now to determine if they still qualify under Badgercare Plus gap rules for 2017 or should be enrolling in Marketplace coverage for 2017.

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The report is out!

This morning WISDOM and EXPO leaders released the ground-breaking findings of our new report, Excessive Revocations in Wisconsin: The Health Impacts of Locking People Up Without a New Conviction, produced by our friends at the Health Impact Partners. 

The findings are available on a new website dedicated to the report, http://sentback.org.

Here is the schedule for further presentations on the new study:

Tuesday, December 13, tonight!

6:30 pm, at First Congregational UCC, 1609 University Avenue, Madison

Wednesday, December 14

10:00 am, at the Open Door, 319 N.4th Street, Wausau

4:00 pm, at the Unity Christ Church, 1808 Folsum Street, Eau Claire

Thursday, December 15

6:00 pm, at West Side Moravian Church, 1707 Oneida St, Green Bay

We also now have a new WISDOM website, http://wisdomwisconsin.org. The http://www.rocwisconsin.org website continues to focus on our criminal justice campaign: the new website includes our work on Transit, Immigration and Faithful Citizenship.

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Bringing Stories to Life with In Tandem Theatre’s Chris and Jane Flieller

By Patricia Obletz, Editor


For want of a shoe, Milwaukee’s In Tandem Theatre might never have been. But the shoe fit and Milwaukee has been enriched by the brilliant creative passion that inspires Chris and Jane Flieller to create season after season of provoking, enlightening and entertaining comedies, drama, musicals, classics and new works. Back in 1988, Jane needed black shoes to complete her ensemble as a backstage deckhand for a play in which Chris was an actor. Chris offered his extra pair and – they fit! Literally. And then emotionally, spiritually and the rest of love’s expressions, Chris and Jane have walked in each other’s shoes ever since.

In Tandem Theatre was incorporated in 1998 and in 2007, after years of roaming from venue to venue, the company settled into a cozy 99-seat studio theatre located in the lower level of the “big red church” at 10th and Wisconsin in downtown Milwaukee. In Tandem celebrates its 20th anniversary in the 2017–2018 season.

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Tune in to WNOV 860 am at 8 am Tuesday for a Northside Facility discussion

Mental Health Task Force Update

As you are aware, the Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Division is working to engage our community in conversations that will shape the new Northside behavioral health care facility. This community feedback will play a vital role in guiding decisions about everything from programs and services to how the facility should look and feel.

Tuesday morning, I’ll be joined by Mental Health Board Member Pastor Walter Lanier and Director of Health and Human Services Hector Colon as guests on 860 WNOV with Jermaine Reed to talk about our “Community Conversations.” We will also be sharing this news with the local media to encourage public participation in these conversations.

TUNE IN to WNOV 860 am TUESDAY, DECEMBER 13 – 8 a.m.

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BuzzFeed Investigative report: Locked On The Psych Ward

Mental Health Task Force Update

See the link below to a yearlong BuzzFeed News investigation — “based on interviews with 175 current and former Universal Health Services (UHS) staff, including 18 executives who ran UHS hospitals; more than 120 additional interviews with patients, government investigators, and other experts; and a cache of internal documents — raises grave questions about the extent to which those profits were achieved at the expense of patients. Current and former employees from at least 10 UHS hospitals in nine states said they were under pressure to fill beds by almost any method — which sometimes meant exaggerating people’s symptoms or twisting their words to make them seem suicidal — and to hold them until their insurance payments ran out. “ (Adams, 12/7) Note that UHS is one of the national entities under consideration to provide inpatient services in Milwaukee.

BuzzFeed: Locked On The Psych Ward

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Implications of Partial Repeal of the ACA through Reconciliation

Mental Health Task Force/ Make It Work Milwaukee Update

See below for several links with analysis regarding the impact of repeal of the ACA, including the loss of coverage, loss of federal funds, and increase in uncompensated care.

Following up on the message forwarded below– re the new Urban Institute analysis described below

Here’s a link to a one-page fact sheet about the effects in WI, prepared by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities:

Also, WCCF issued a press release today about the report and the WI data. Our release is posted here:

As that release notes, the report estimated that repealing the ACA without a viable replacement plan could increase the # of uninsured in WI by 431,000 in 2019, which would be a 144% increase. For ACA repeal alone, I’d say that’s a worst case estimate of the WI impact, rather than the likely effect. On the other hand, if Congress repeals the ACA and also block-grants Medicaid, then I think it’s quite likely that the increase in the uninsured would be well over 100% after a few years.

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DHS presentation on NEMT

Mental Health Task Force/ Make It Work Milwaukee Update

The attached powerpoint about Wisconsin Medicaid and Badgercare Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) was prepared for the Governor’s Committee for People with Physical Disabilities. Thought it might be of interest to many of you given the number of people who are eligible for NEMT.

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WISDOM Call to Action

Join us in Milwaukee as we present the findings of a ground-breaking Health Impact Assessment (HIA), titled Excessive Revocations in Wisconsin: The Health Impacts of Locking People Up Without a New Conviction.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016, 9:00 am
St. Benedict the Moor Catholic Church
1015 N. 9th St., Milwaukee

After the presentation, we will go to the corner of 10th and State, in front of the Milwaukee Secure Detention Facility (MSDF), where people from Milwaukee County are brought for “Revocation Holds.” There, we will hold a press event, announcing the findings of the HIA and calling on the Department of Corrections and the Governor to take immediate steps.

The new report describes the impact on individuals, families and communities of Wisconsin’s pattern of incarcerating thousands of individuals each year for rule violations related to Extended Supervision, Parole or Probation.

Copies of the report and other materials will be available to bring to your friends, neighbors, co-workers and members of your faith communities.

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BHD Northside Facility Community Conversations

Mental Health Task Force/ Make It Work Milwaukee Update

“The Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Division is beginning a series of Community Conversations about the development of our Northside Facility. In our first series of conversations, we would like to hear from consumers of mental health services and their families. Please share this notice with individuals you serve.” Help spread the word!

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New Survey Shows Dire Impact of Wisconsin’s Direct Care Workforce Crisis.

Mental Health Task Force/ Make It Work Milwaukee Update

Wisconsin is experiencing a crisis level shortage of direct care workers, as reflected in the results of a new direct care consumer survey released yesterday by the Survival Coalition of Wisconsin Disability Groups. These workers, including personal care, home health and therapy aides, make it possible for people with disabilities and older adults to lead safe, healthy and independent lives in the community. See the press release and Survey fact sheet. Documents can also be found on the Survival website: www.survivalcoalitionwi.org

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Make Election Advertising Count for Communities

By Bonnie Berglund Bruch

Election time is over and political candidates have spent millions, if not billions on TV, digital, radio and newspaper ads in Wisconsin during the pre-election season. According to the Journal/Sentinel two weeks ago, Ron Johnson spent $13,500,000 and Russ Feingold spent $10,150,000 on media ads during October 4-November 8, 2016. Imagine what the two candidates spent over the past 1½ years.

Now, add the millions, if not billions, that Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Paul Ryan and all other Wisconsin politicians spent on political ads in Wisconsin during the past 1½ year. A humongous amount of money has been reaped by selling TV, radio, digital media and newspapers ads.

And what are these media doing with their political ad earnings? Do they give any money back into their communities?

I propose that all the media, especially TV and radio, consider donating a certain percentage of money gained from election ads to the cities, counties and/or state where the ads were run. This donation could pay for infrastructure projects that need repairs, i.e., Wisconsin highways, roads, city streets, sewer repairs, lead abatements, park maintenance, or food banks, job training, social service agencies, etc.

It is probably too late for monies collected during this past election, but it could be arranged or legislated for the 2018 election. People who have been bombarded with political ads for the last 1½ years would be very grateful to see the media use their cash bonanza to help our communities.

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Help with Life Skills: The December Issue of GAC Phoenix

Click here to read!

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Giving Thanks

By Tom Gardner

Thank you Mother, for this life.
For the blessings and the sorrows,
And the perpetual wonderment
Of moments, counter-balanced so.

Thank you Mother, for the gifts
You’ve graced me with. For laughter
And for love, and an open heart.
May I only prove worthy of them.

And thank you so for my brothers and sisters.
We are your children.
Help us to awaken, help us to realize
The one simple truth:
That we are here to love
One another, and care for you.

Thank you, Mother,
Your son.

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Henry Maier Summit on Race in Milwaukee

Video of the entire event is now posted on the UWM Urban Studies website and can be viewed here: http://uwm.edu/urban-studies/milwaukee-summit-2016/

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Important Updates!

1) On August 11, WISDOM held an event called “Thirsting for Justice.” More than 200 people learned about the problem of contaminated drinking water in some of Wisconsin’s prisons, especially at Fox Lake and Waupun. As a result of that action, Milwaukee Channel 4 investigated the story. On November 16, they aired the story, which features WISDOM members Carl Fields and Beverly Walker. To watch the story, click here.

2) EXPO and the WISDOM Post-Release Issues Workgroup are holding a major event called Incarcerated Without Conviction. The event will be the release of a new book of first person stories of crimeless revocation, and will feature testimonials by many of those same people.

Tuesday, November 22, 6:30 pm
St. Matthew CME Church, 2944 N. 9th St, Milwaukee

WISDOM is working toward a mid-December release of a major Health Impact Assessment (HIA) related to the issue of crimeless revocations - people who are being sent back to prison for violating a rule of supervision, though they have not committed a new crime. The HIA will look at the cost to individuals, families and communities of needless incarceration, and it will examine potential alternatives. “Incarcerated Without Conviction” is a reminder that mass incarceration is a human problem, and that the people caught up in the system are people with families, hopes, dreams and the ability to make a contribution to the community if they are given the chance.

3) Join WISDOM leaders from around the state to push for more resources for public transit. Arrive Together: Building a 21st Century Trasportation System in Wisconsin. For access to work, food, healthcare and social engagement, transportation is essential. For many around the state, owning or driving a car is not a possibility, whether that is due to income level, disability or lack of driver’s license. In these cases, public transit becomes a necessity. For others, choosing public transit provides an environmentally-friendly and convenient alternative to driving.

Saturday, December 3: 9am - 5pm Stay for part or all of the day.
Milwaukee Area Technical College, 700 W. State Street, Milwaukee, Main Conference Center, Room 605
Register here: Use the promotional code “Transit” for free admission.

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Arrive Together Transit Summit Dec. 3

WISDOM is a proud partnering organization to the statewide transportation summit #ArriveTogether because not everyone can drive a car and we want to make sure everyone can get to jobs, shopping, religious services, and everything that makes for a fully human life! We want to help Wisconsin build a 21st Century Transportation System.

We hope you’ll join us for this vital conversation about our transportation priorities statewide.

Saturday, December 3
Milwaukee Area Technical College, 700 West State Street, Milwaukee
9:00 - 5:00. Come for part or all of the day.

Register here. Use the promotional code “TRANSIT” for free admission.

For further information, contact WISDOM’s Transit Task Force Organizer Dawn Lingo: cushorganizer@gmail.com ~ (262) 705–4678.

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Warmline Announcement

Mental Health Task Force Update

Great news from Milwaukee’s Warmline - beginning December 2, 2016 Warmline will be open 5 evenings a week: Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 6 to 10 pm! See below release for details.

Warmline Expands Hours

Milwaukee, Wisconsin November 27, 2016: Warmline, Inc. the only peer-run service in Milwaukee County, is expanding its hours in December. Beginning December 2, 2016 Warmline will be open 5 evenings a week: Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 6 to 10 pm. This move comes 8 months after Warmline was forced to cut hours to reduce costs. According to Mary Kay Wagner, executive director, “We’ve been able to turn around our difficult financial situation with the hard work of the Warmline staff and Board.”

Warmline, Inc. is a safe, confidential peer to peer non-crisis support line for individuals dealing with mental health or substance abuse challenges. It has been in operation since 2000. Currently, Warmline’s 2 phone lines are staffed by trained peer counselors who have lived experience with mental illness or substance abuse. Warmline is available to anyone living with these issues who needs to talk and wants the support of someone who has “been there.”

For more information about Warmline, contact Mary Kay Wagner, Executive Director at mkewarmline@mail.com or 414–527–5775.

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Creatures of Metaphor

By Thomas Gardner

It was rather inevitable that Bilhenry (Walker) and I would meet; he and his wife had moved to Eau Claire, and he was very interested in a new arts collective I was involved with, the Artisan Forge Studios group, here in town. As it was, we crossed paths at an exhibition opening for a show at a local gallery. And one thing just led to the next. Bilhenry’s responsible for the nascent presence of the Sculpture Park at Artisan Forge Studios, the pieces in which fascinate me as a photographer to no end. As such, Bilhenry and I have developed a sort of serendipitous creative symbiosis, that suggests all manner of possible future collaborations. He and I are both creatures of metaphor.

One afternoon, a couple weeks back, Bilhenry brought in the models for his series “Homeboys Flying & Dying” and “Milwaukee Heist.” He showed the pieces to me, told me the stories behind them, and left them with me, asking if I might photograph them for him. And the next day I did. I couldn’t remember exactly how we’d intended them to be shot, but soon enough that didn’t seem to matter. The figures I shot assumed their own narratives, and I, marinating in the sounds and sights and smells of the story Bilhenry’d told me, simply took them down with my camera.

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HHS and the Department of Justice Issue Title VI Joint Guidance Letter for Child Welfare Systems

Mental Health Task Force / Make It Work Milwaukee Update

Thanks to Dr. Pat McManus for sharing with us the HHS and the Department of Justice Issue Title VI Joint Guidance Letter for Child Welfare Systems. See the letter and link below. The guidance “highlights the clear need for frank and productive discussion about how child welfare laws, policies, practices and implicit bias affect communities of color.”

In addition to the Title VI guidance letter, OCR has also released two factsheets to assist child welfare agencies and the families they serve in their communities:

Factsheet: Your Rights as a Person with a Disability in the Child Welfare System

Factsheet: Protection from Race, Color or National Origin Discrimination in the Child Welfare System

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Thoughts 11/9/16

By Catherine A.M.Z. Csuka

UW-Milwaukee School of Architecture Graduate 2015

I am sorry.
I am sorry that my state of denial has landed us here.

Dear friends and family who were Hillary supporters,

“They just don’t get it”
“They are so stubborn”
“How do they not see their own hypocrisy?”
“They are so mindless I can’t even”
“They deny facts and the reality of our situation”
“They don’t understand that the Democratic Party has left them and they are just being used”

This is what I said behind your back.

I am sorry that I didn’t live up to my own standards and failed to understand your perspective of why you were feeling the way you were.
I am sorry I dismissed your feelings.
I am sorry I contributed to the disconnect that resulted in the death of the left by not being patient with you.

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Weekend Readings: A new president with an extremist legacy

Good morning,
Donald Trump’s narrow defeat of Hillary Clinton stunned Americans and the world.

Latinos, African Americans, Muslims, immigrants, women and others who had felt disparaged or demonized by Trump’s campaign reacted with anxiety and fear. Across the country, in schools and on the streets, reports of hate incidents have already begun to spike.

This week, we’re looking back at Trump’s legacy of hate and extremism. As SPLC President Richard Cohen tells us,

“White supremacists who backed his candidacy are jumping for joy. They think they now have their man in the White House. … We can’t afford to take [their] statements as the ravings of extremists on the fringes of society. They are now at the gates.”

As Trump begins to name his transition team, a pivot from his earlier positions seems unlikely. “In his campaign for the presidency, Trump was frequently lambasted for his associations with extremists,” writes SPLC Senior Fellow Mark Potok. “Now Trump is the president-elect. And things don’t look much different.”

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NOVEMBER 11, 2016

Donald Trump’s victory has been followed by a series of racist attacks and instances of vandalism and racist graffiti.

We need your help to track these incidents. If you know of an incident, please #ReportHate here:

Your involvement will help support our work tracking hate.
If you have been victimized, please first report it to local law enforcement.

In solidarity,
Your friends at the SPLC

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Trump Posts Intent to Replace ACA with Health Savings Accounts, High Risk Pools, State Flexibility

Mental Health Task Force / Make It Work Milwaukee Update

Statement on the future of the ACA posted on the Trump transition web site: https://www.greatagain.gov/policy/healthcare.html


It is clear to any objective observer that the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which has resulted in rapidly rising premiums and deductibles, narrow networks, and health insurance, has not been a success. A Trump Administration will work with Congress to repeal the ACA and replace it with a solution that includes Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), and returns the historic role in regulating health insurance to the States. The Administration’s goal will be to create a patient-centered healthcare system that promotes choice, quality and affordability with health insurance and healthcare, and take any needed action to alleviate the burdens imposed on American families and businesses by the law.

To maximize choice and create a dynamic market for health insurance, the Administration will work with Congress to enable people to purchase insurance across state lines. The Administration also will work with both Congress and the States to re-establish high-risk pools – a proven approach to ensuring access to health insurance coverage for individuals who have significant medical expenses and who have not maintained continuous coverage.

The Administration recognizes that the problems with the U.S. health care system did not begin with – and will not end with the repeal of – the ACA. With the assistance of Congress and working with the States, as appropriate, the Administration will act to:

  • Protect individual conscience in healthcare

  • Protect innocent human life from conception to natural death, including the most defenseless and those Americans with disabilities

  • Advance research and development in healthcare

  • Reform the Food and Drug Administration, to put greater focus on the need of patients for new and innovative medical products

  • Modernize Medicare, so that it will be ready for the challenges with the coming retirement of the Baby Boom generation – and beyond

  • Maximize flexibility for States in administering Medicaid, to enable States to experiment with innovative methods to deliver healthcare to our low-income citizens

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Arrive Together: Building a 21st Century Transportation System for Wisconsin

If you’re asking what you can do to bring more justice, equity and peace to our communities, here is a way for you to make a difference.

WISDOM congregations will gather with members of partner organizations across the state of Wisconsin including Sierra Club, Thousand Friends, Wisconsin Green Muslims, and WISPRG, to host a statewide summit about transportation.

Saturday, December 3, 2016, 9 am - 5 pm
Milwaukee Area Technical College, 700 West State Street, Milwaukee
Come for part or all of the day! Details are here.

Who has access, who doesn’t, why does it matter to all of us and what can we do about it? Come prepared to roll up your sleeves and join others working to make a difference.

Register today. There is a $10 charge but scholarships are available. To access the scholarship, type in the promotional code TRANSIT when you register online.

Our goal is to turn out 400 people. Carpools are being arranged now. Drivers are encouraged to contact your organizer to volunteer. Buses are being arranged from Madison and Waukesha.

For questions, contact Dawn Lingo, cushorganizer@gmail.com.

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Post-Election: ObamaCare Plans, Federal Financial Support, Remain Unchanged for 2017

Click here to view or download this media release

[Milwaukee, Wis.] Tuesday’s election brings new leadership to Washington DC and, with it, many questions about the future of health insurance, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Medicaid.

Consumers should know that all insurance options remain available to them for the coming calendar year 2017. The federal Marketplace (Healthcare.gov, ACA, “ObamaCare”) has the same plans available that had been announced earlier this month, and the premium subsidies will continue to be available for 2017 health insurance policies. Consumers should look for coverage now, during the current open enrollment period, which ends January 31. Those with existing policies should renew their coverage by December 15 in order to have coverage that starts on January 1, 2017.

Much discussion occurred during the campaign by President-Elect Trump and by leaders in Congress to repeal and replace Obamacare. Movement will occur over the coming months and year to find alternatives to the ACA, and some changes may be put into motion. However, current plans for change allow for a two-year transition period, and will not eliminate coverage options or financial assistance for existing coverage in the near term. Covering Wisconsin works to assure that consumers can engage with programs that support health, as they exist today and however those programs will evolve going forward.

While many are concerned by the news that health plan premiums have gone up, about 85% of consumers who purchase plans through the Marketplace qualify for federal financial assistance to purchase their health plans. The Health Insurance Marketplace (healthcare.gov) will continue to provide premium subsidies for the 2017 calendar year, in the form of tax credits, which offset the effect of premium hikes on the consumer.

Marketplace users will benefit by actively renewing their coverage. Even if they plan to keep their current coverage, they may qualify for more financial assistance or can review other plan options. Most counties in Wisconsin have three or more insurance carriers in the Marketplace offering multiple health plans to choose from during the upcoming open enrollment period. Consumers always benefit from shopping around to find the best plan that meets their needs, in terms of price, benefit package, and provider network.

Consumers can get enrollment assistance by going online to CoveringWI.org to locate their closest enrollment site and booking a time to meet with a local enrollment assister. Or, consumers may call 2–1−1, where a representative can make an appointment with an enrollment assister. Consumers may also wish to contact Healthcare.gov directly.

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The Unexpected Dynamic of Urgency

By Bilhenry Walker, Artist and Activist

Upon graduation from Fuller Theological Seminary in 1968, I began working full time as a professional artist in my two-car garage in Altadena, California. During the next four years, I developed and built a series of wall-sculptures which used a light source to explore the effects of light on color and shadow.

I moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 1972 and rented my first studio in Cedarburg, where I worked exclusively as a sculptor for three years. I eventually bought a building in Grover Heights where I continued developing my artistic sensibility through building acrylic sculptures in the 70s, casting monumental poly-ester resin sculptures in the 80s, and fabricating aluminum monumental sculptures to the present. I have only recently begun developing a “Social Justice” aspect to my work, which has brought me back to figural work with socio-political implications.

I created a sculpture gallery in 1980 for Wisconsin sculptors and eventually included sculptors from around the county whom I met in national competitions. In 1995, I brought Bilhenry Gallery on-line and began giving my artists and myself a greater national presence at www.bilhenrygallery.com

I have also curated three shows of monumental sculptures: the first at Cardinal Stritch University, which had the largest grouping of Wisconsin sculptors in the country; the Milwaukee River-Walk, and “Sculpt-Miami,” a show held at Kavachnina Contemporary during the Art Basel 2009 Miami.

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My promise to you

from: Jeri Bonavia <WAVE@waveededfund.org

It isn’t enough to talk of peace. One must believe in it. And it isn’t enough to believe in it. One must work at it. —Eleanor Roosevelt

I promise you: The bright, hopeful, safer future you imagined is still well within reach. Believe in it. And then, work for it.

We each have a role to play. Mine begins with this personal vow to you:

I promise that, with your help, I will continue to work for neighborhoods, streets, homes and schools free from the ravages of gun violence. I will not waver in my determination to fight for the safer future our children and grandchildren deserve.

I know some people are worried about what’s to come, but remember this: We — you and I — have not changed. We are still the same people — people who care deeply, passionately about fairness and trust, about decency and humanity.

We might have to work harder than ever to create the kind of security and peace we want for ourselves and our children. So be it. Then that’s exactly what we’ll do. Shoulder to shoulder.

WAVE is your partner, and, with undiminished respect, love and courage, we’ll fight tirelessly for the kind of future we all imagine.

Today, tomorrow, for as long as it takes.


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Democracy Crumbles Before Our Eyes: Vote!

Wed. 11/9/16:

Tues. 11/8/16: Hate Wins USA Like It Did UK

Mon. 10/31/16: Vote Against Authoritarian Rule November 8:

Mon. 3/7/16: No Time to Play Ostrich as 21st Hate Inflames Voters:

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Important Message From Education Task force!!

Hello MICAH Congregations, Members and Friends

On January 10, 2017, MICAH Education will hold its next Listening Session on Education in Milwaukee.
This Listening Session on Education will focus on the Sherman Park neighborhood area and will take place at New Covenant Baptist Church.
We plan to hold two sets of Listening Circles that day with a dinner between.

The mission of the MICAH Listening Sessions on Education In Milwaukee is to build community voice. We seek to access the voice of those in our community we do not regularly hear from, regarding public education. We invite the voices of families, youth, community members, congregation members, educators and school staff and community leaders. We seek to hold space for safe sharing, as equal partners in educating our children. We hope to create a safe space for standing up and speaking our hearts and minds on public education in Milwaukee. MICAH Education will engage the voices heard to inform future action for educational justice in our city. We continue to see evidence that those making decisions regarding educational policy in Milwaukee are not actively seeking out the voices of parents and the community. We see that decisions are frequently being made without adequate parental or community input. Public testimony often only occurs when an issue reaches the MPS Board of School Directors.

The MICAH Ed Task Force will have its monthly meeting on Tuesday, November 15th at 6 pm at Reformation Lutheran office at 3806 W. Lisbon. A major purpose of this meeting will be to form a working committee to plan the next Listening Session. We invite the wider membership of MICAH join us as we plan for community changing conversations.

Please contact Jane Audette at 414–763–3801 if you have questions.

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Key facts for election day

Mental Health Task Force/ Make It Work Milwaukee Update

Know Your Voter Rights:

1.) An accepted ID is required to vote, don’t forget it! Find out what’s acceptable here: www.bringitwisconsin.com.

2.) You CAN register to vote at your polling site on Election Day.

3.) If you have problems with registration OR with your ID you have the right to ask for and cast a provisional ballot.

4.) WI Disability Vote Coalition is at the ready to assist you with any problems or questions! Call us toll free at 1–844–347–8683.

5.) Like our Facebook page to continue to get our updates! https://www.facebook.com/wisconsindisabilityvote/

Please encourage anyone to report disability-related voting access issues to our DRW’s toll-free hotline during polling hours on election day.

1–844-DIS-VOTE 1–844–347–8683

Here are resources to help you find out who’s providing FREE TRANSPORTATION to the polls:

1.) Mobility Managers: Contact Ashley Nedeau-Owen, 608–930–2191, a.nedeau-owen@swcap.org

If you don’t know how to access these services, the Mobility Manager can help you. Not sure who to contact? Use the interactive map at www.wi-mm.org. Contact the Mobility Manager in your area to get information and find out if these rides are offered in your area.

2.) Common Cause Wisconsin has an extensive listing of organizations and community transit options all over the state who are offering rides to the polls: http://www.commoncausewisconsin.org/p/free-rides-to-polls.html

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November 7 County Budget Update

As shared in a previous update, the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors met this morning to vote on the 2017 Milwaukee County budget. Here are some highlights of items that have been voted on that are relevant to the transportation priorities that we identified in the budget:

Supervisor Sartoti substitute to charge $25 annual GO Pass fee rather than $5 and eliminate $.25 reduced fare fails.

Supervisor Dimitrijevic substitute to eliminate $.25 reduced fare and keep $5 annual fee for GO Pass fails.

Amendment 5 to charge $1 daily GO Pass fare rather than $.25 and keep $5 annual fee passes 15–3. (this amendment was originally proposed by Supervisor Mayo.

Amendment requesting legislature for flexibility to assess Vehicle Registration Fee (VRF) based on value or age of vehicle rather than flat fee passes unanimously.

Amendment calling for $60 VRF advisory referendum to be place on April 2017 general election ballot passes 16–2.

Board adopts amendment to modify expenditures to confirm with a $30 VFR 17–1. Will later consider separate ordinance to establish $30 VRF.

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Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Educational Session: November 15

November 15, 2016, Milwaukee, WI

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Mental Health Task Force November 8 meeting

Please join us for the Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force November meeting: Tuesday, November 8, at 3 – 5 PM at IndependenceFirst, 540 S. 1st street.

The agenda will include the following:

1. Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force Three Year Plan. How are we doing and how can you help us move forward?

2. Proposed North Side Place/ Community Center. Develop feedback from MHTF re the proposed model shared at our October meeting (attached). More information is available in the packet for the October 27th Mental Health Board meeting at http://county.milwaukee.gov/BehavioralHealthDivi7762/Mental-Health-Board/2016-MHB-Meeting-Info—Documents1.htm

3. Coordinated Entry for Homeless Services – Update from Emily Kenney, LCSW Coordinated Entry Program Coordinator IMPACT. Great opportunity for an update on how to access services for homeless community members.

4. 2017 County Budget Update including transportation and GO Pass. The full Board will vote on the budget on November 7th. There is still time to contact your supervisor and ask them to support transit and the GO Pass. Click here for contact information for the County Board: http://county.milwaukee.gov/CountyBoard

5. Mental Health Board Update, including update on Task Forces on Local Public/Private Partnership and National Entity Partnership


6. Possible update on concerns at the jail related to health care/ mental health services

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VPT Votes 2016: It’s more than just a sign

Can you help us raise awareness about public transportation ballot measures and the importance of voting for public transit on November 8?

One of the best ways to show your support to friends, neighbors, co-workers, and your larger community is to make use of Voices for Public Transit’s election window sign.

Window signs aren’t just for windows. In our latest blog post, we offer some creative tips for using our “Vote for Public Transit” window sign to help get the word out before Election Day.

Read More on Our Blog

The election is almost here. Help us keep building momentum to pass local public transportation measures by using our window sign and other elements from our Voices for Public Transit Election Toolkit.

Thank you for your support,

Mantill Williams
Voices for Public Transit Community Coordinator

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Stepping Out of Stigma’s Shadow

By Kelley Hamann, ALMI ACS AIAA and Mental Health Advocate

My familiarity with mental health has been gleaned from the shared experiences of a loved-one’s day-to-day challenges with mental illness, as well as with the associated stigma, which, in my opinion, stems from a lack of public understanding and compassion. As a member of NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness), I work to minimize stigma, bringing awareness to mental health issues through advocacy—by being open, honest and sharing our experiences so that others can begin to understand.

Sharing Our Story

November 2016

A Parent’s 1st Reaction

It was August 15, 2014, yet we can still clearly remember the events leading up to getting the diagnosis, as well as our first reaction upon hearing that our daughter was battling Bipolar, OCD, Generalized Anxiety with Panic, PTSD and SPD. The perfectly natural response (I believe) for my husband and I, was to grieve. Even with the bizarre, out of character behavior the weeks leading up to this day, it was the elements of not knowing much of what to expect for future outcomes that led to the grief for what we imagined would be the profound changes that’d take place (picturing in our minds worst-case scenario), robbing her of lifelong hopes/dreams and for the loss of the parents we thought we’d no longer get to be.

Then, through education and support, we “wised-up” and began re-envisioning the parents we’d need to become to support her.

…seems so silly when I look back on those feelings now; but those feelings were so big and so real—I remember that if I spent too much time thinking about it, it began to feel like I couldn’t breathe.

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Shortage of Medical Staff Plagues Milwaukee Jails

Mental Health Task Force Update

At the October Mental Health Task Force, we had an update on the concerns about access to medical and mental health care at the Milwaukee County Jail, including the deaths that have occurred at the Jail in recent months, Another death occurred last week. In our discussion, We agreed to have a small work group from the Task Force to discuss strategy and how the Task Force can help to advance improvements and elevate the concerns. We will be reporting back to the full Task Force – if you have suggestions for the work group, please forward to me and I will share with the group.

Today’s Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has a front page story on “Shortage of Medical Staff Plagues Milwaukee Jails.”

The story includes a link to the May report from Dr. Ronald Schansky, who monitors overcrowding and medical services at the jail and House of Corrections as part of a 2001 settlement of a class action suit against Milwaukee County. Here is the link so you can review the report: https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/3191198-Ronald-Shansky-Inspection-Report.html Many of the concerns raised relate to inadequate staffing.

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GO Pass Update - public hearing reminder

Mental Health Task Force /Make It Work Milwaukee Update

As shared previously, the Milwaukee County Board Finance Committee met yesterday to consider amendments including several amendments to the GO Pass. We have attached the three amendments that were proposed for the GO Pass for your reference.

As proposed in the budget, GO Pass holders would pay $.25 a ride. However, an amendment from Supervisor Mayo would remove the language about the $.25 a ride – instead GO Pass holders will pay a $1.00 day-pass fare. Although this is a higher cost, it will allow the GO Pass holder to have unlimited bus rides on that day. The Mayo Amendment passed the Finance Committee on a 4–3 vote (see attached for the specifics).

We have been reaching out to some those in the group that has been active on the GO Pass compromise in the budget, including members of the Shelter and Transitional Housing Task Force to ask folks to evaluate the “Mayo Amendment” and weigh in. The consensus that we heard from the shelter, permanent supportive housing and Safe Haven staff is that the $1 per day is the better option for clients. Of course, the $1 fare may be out of reach for some people, but it recognizes that with the original budget language, the round trip fare would be $.50 and may GO Pass holders need to go on the bus multiple times on the same day – so the $1 fare offers more.

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Last edited by an anonymous user of Milwaukee Renaissance.   Page last modified on January 17, 2017

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