Dr. Gay Reinartz’ Boy Friday and Pope Francis’ Favorite Ask of Georgetown U. China Scholars

Dear Judith and James,

Wow! You two are on the spot. I hope you don’t judge me importunate for barging into your mind with tales of how important Dr. Gay’s work is and how and why I judge myself, with you and yours, equipped with resources to make a bit of history pulling together intellectuals and activists across the world to

Save the Bonobos!

“Madame Gay” is methinks a painfully shy Jean d’Arc of the species we now call Bonobo. During my Luke Skywalker and Obi Wan periods, my life was a series, often interrelated, of common good obsessions. The bonobos’ survival for the common good!

In my apprentice Yoda phase, my job is simply to connect complimentary young(anyone under 50) Olympian menschen with peers and worthy elders. “The organizational form of the 21st century is the network!” And cultural evolution involves “distributed cognitive networks” or “mind sharing” for common causes.

So…I am here in hopes of inspiring a tiny fraction of “woke ecopreneurs” from the Chinese/Vatican/Belgian/Japanese
communities to give some attention to the survival of the bonobos, building upon Gay’s work since 1993 in the Congo Solanga Forest, where she has been researching the bonobos’ presence, while also groping along in efforts to develop a coherent “park guard” force.


Gay and her team will be working with AWF to survey a corridor of this landscape for bonobo presence and distribution. The process will involve training local Congolese in bio-monitoring and data collection – this training will also serve as a capacity building tool so that the local Congolese can continue this work after the ZSM has finished in this area.

Here’s one of Gay’s reports from Spring 2008 that inspires and informs, as do four others from the same period which still greatly inform.


Why Should We Care About Saving The Species Called Bonobo?

Bonobos are the real deal. They share more than 98% of our DNA. They are so much like us that some of us actually cry when we meet them for the first time. I think it’s a powerful primal response to their “like us-ness,” or a tangible reminder that “we are not alone.”

Bonobos look like chimps but they stand-up straighter. Whereas chimps are mesomorphic like a football running back, for example, bonobos are ectomorphic like a long-distance runner or wide receiver. In the wild they spend a great deal of time hanging out in the jungle canopy, eighty-feet above the ground/swamp/most of us.

The nature of bonobo society speaks directly to the question of “why should I care (about bonobos).” They have a complex society that is maternal centric. The alpha female is the dominant personality in the family/clan. She gets to be the alpha female based upon her skill at and propensity to groom others. Imagine a society in which leadership is bestowed as a result of one’s record of service to others.

Another part of it is they resolve disputes by using affection and sex. Admittedly this is a very simplistic explanation of a social order replete with complexity and nuance, but it is at the heart of why we need to save the bonobos from extinction. Loss of the bonobos in the wild would be tragic in that they represent a portal into understanding ourselves.

Bonobos are endangered in the wild primarily because of habitat loss and poaching, victims of ignorance and third world poverty. If we lose the world’s wild poplulations, we will no longer be able to study them in their natural environment. They are only found in the Democratic Republic of Congo in Central Africa, in one relatively small location in a very troubled part of the world.

Godsil’s Ask

So I am hoping you might introduce the concept of a Chinese/Vatican/Belgian/Japanese/American collaboration experiment over the next 10 years to support Gay’s work, even if the results are only a documentary shared by tiny fractions in each country(and the Vatican’s network).

I am so astonished at how often I have wound up on the stage of history because of simple notes like this..
I have deep ties with the Jesuits across the world and can’t help but imagine a Laudato Si Celebration in Vatican Square with one giant screen sharing the story of, and our story with, the glorious bonobos!

Godsil As A Jesuit Trained Forest Gump

I am the circles image at Marquette Park, Chicago Open Housing Marches, in which I was a nanosecond bodyguard for Dr. King and teacher in a Freedom School.

My entrance on the stage of history has inspired me to imagine myself not justg as an Apprentice Yoda, but also as a Jesuit Trained Forest Gump. The Jesuits, for example, gave me $8,000 in 1966 for the St. Louis U. Great Issues Series, which had a huge impact on bringing the talented 10% of the Catholics of St. Louis into the modern age.

I introduced the South Side Chicago Sweet Water Foundation team to whom Naomi Klein identified as a key draft writer and Pope Francis’ ecological advisor.

Sweet Water Team At Irish Museum of Modern Art w. Fr. Sean McDonagh

The State Department sent me to India to share the Growing Power and Sweet Water Urban Ag and Aquaponics stories.

With Jimmy Carter during Habitat building project…

I could go on and on with the miracles of my life related to notes like this.

I hope this is the first of many with you and yours to

Save the Bonobos!

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SLUH Alum Response to Fr. Arturo Sosa’s Call to “Build Bridges Across A Divided City”

Dear _______;

I am from the class of 1963 and was profoundly moved by Fr. Sosa’s address to our 200th birthday party.

I had the high honor and deep pleasure of being among the alumni who shared our life stories with about 90 students regarding our quest for the common good. I was invited because of my work in civil rights, old city renaissance, urban agriculture, and the diffusion of Laudato Si.


It is my aspiration to help spark conversations that build bridges not only within a divided city like St. Louis, but also between” divided cities” like St. Louis, Chicago, and Milwaukee, for the same cause of social and ecological justice expressed in Pope Francis’ Laudato Si. I raised a family of 4 children in Milwaukee, and am Board President of Chicago’s Sweet Water Foundation, blessed with collaborations with Loyola of Chicago and Marquette of Milwaukee.

St. Augustin Church on North St. Louis, Scene of My First Holy Communion 1951

The class of 1963 has an email list of about 125 alums who have been in conversation responding to an “Ignatian Response to the Ferguson Tragedy.” I would like to include you and yours, perhaps even some of your students and their family members, in a 10 year conversation about building bridges in divided cities with the help of guidance offered by Laudato Si.

Please let me know if you would rather NOT receive these notes. And know that if you do, you will be participating in an experiment that only a world blessed with

the vision of Pope Francis and Fr. Sosa

connected by the internet

and paving the way for some kind of Ignatian Renaissance

leading up to the 500th anniversary of the Jesuits, 2040, only 22 years away!


James J. Godsil, SLUH 1963

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Head of the world’s Jesuits, Fr. Arturo Sosa, Message To St. Louis U. Night’s 200th Birthday Celebration

“Build bridges across a divided city.”

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SWF Note To Professor Michael Hamm, Keynote Speaker and Laudato Si Promoter at the 200th Anniversary of St. Louis U. HIgh

Dear Michael,

I very much enjoyed your keynote at the 200th and hope you and some of your students and colleagues might judge favorably an effort to weave the Jesuit trained communities of the USA into the urban ag and Laudato Si movements.

We have ongoing relations with Fr. Sean McDonagh, who Naomi Klein identified as key to Laudato Si.

Fr. Sean With Sweet Water Team at Irish Museum of Modern Art Exhibition

Our Urban Farm and emerging “agora” 10 minutes from Obama Presidential Center(OPC) has become an eco tourist destination.

We have turned a greenhouse into a woodworking shop, some of which products have become part of the OPC artifacts.

We’ve been working with Detroit activists of the Boggs Center since 2008.

We have energized the good cause with arresting art displays.

The State Department arranged for our introducing urban ag to India.

At U. of Calcutta, In Mumbai

We have woven building and fixing workshops into our micro farm.

Scaling up aquaponics by scaling it out into the classrooms of USA for starters (about 20 installations, teacher training, administrative guidelines, etc.).

Please let me know if you have some time, say an hour per year, to look in on our work. Or, if you have some MA or PhD students who might harvest our experience for academy credentials.

AMDG Laudato Si!


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Que El-Amin YouTubes explain Young Enterprise Society (Yes!) and Lots More

Que is critical to the Milwaukee Chicago collaboration experiments for neighborhood development.

Our Issues Milwaukee - March 25, 2017

Time Management Workshop - Young Enterprising Society at Bay View High School

3rd Annual Use Your Words Back 2 School Field Day

And perhaps Baltimore with John Hopkins’ & SWF’s Jesse Blom

STEAM Workshop - Young Enterprising Society - Washington High School

Movement Peddler
I’m a reporter.
On the ground.
In the trenches.

A movement peddler,
An impresario.

A child of the
Great Lakes culture.

An awakening one.

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Apprentice Olde Yoda’s Beneath Learning Trees With Olympian Mensch Younges

Perry Ave Commons is a pathway to some kind of heaven in this earthly realm.

Growing energy waves igniting visions of

  • Olde School Backstreet Harvards

  • New School Sweet Water Academies

Harvard Walden Apprentice Yodas and Young Hero Questors

Must have, for Urban Villages and Pratt’s Regenerative Neighborhood Development

Apprentice Yoda’s and Heroes of One Thousandfaced Younges

The Spirit Energy of this

Communion of Young and Old,

Finding some kind of God through Nature

Or at least experiencing an astonishing Mysteria

Zen Christo Genesis Spirit Capital…

Mysteria, Imminent and Transcendent Aspects of the Cosmic WTF!

Godsil Family Trust, Sweet Water ReciproCITY Heart Haus Integral Homes & Urban Rural Rainbow Flow

Over the next year, two, or three I hope to have about $10,000 from my share of the sale of 325 Euclid House to my son Joe and his wife Aileen .I would like to use this as seed green dollars to add to the social, cultural, natural, and spiritual capital my family and our partner networks have, to build upon the work of all of you, with my template coming from the SWF’s supporting and harvesting of 325, Perry Ave Commons, and The Wormfarm Institute’s Urban Rural Flow projects.

Amaranth & MECCA Park Village Ventures

The Amaranth and MECCA Park on Milwaukee’s near North near West side neighborhoods are poised for a project that would unite Sweet Water’s Chicago and Milwaukee ventures with the experiments each of you have been orchestrating over the years. I can imagine guests from Chicago’s Sweet Water teams and partners at this integral urban airbnb home experiment within a few years. And guests from the Milwaukee movements spending time at the Perry Commons airbnb integral home experiments.

Orrin Williams’Vision

regarding the Chicago side of things, which has played a part in the Milwaukee side of things, shared from the Sweet Water Foundation’s newsletter.


If you had unlimited resources, what project would you dedicate yourself to on the Perry Ave Commons?

One of the things me and Emmanuel connected on was a book call the Integral Urban House. It’s a book I read years ago. I always wondered why housing wasn’t that way. Why isn’t it normal to generate your own energy? Why isn’t it normal to be careful about how you use water? Why isn’t it normal to create at least some of your own food? I always thought, how can we expand these concepts so that it’s an integral urban community? With housing, commercial buildings, empty spaces, generating energy, producing food, having water wells…all those things. I think a lot of the work going on at the Perry Ave Commons now is related to that vision and a lot of the discussions I’ve had with Emmanuel over the years. How do we make urban space more productive and more efficient, particularly in terms of feeding people and generating energy?

If I had the resources, I would also develop the State Street corridor, not only in terms of commercial and live-work spaces for artists, but also the commercial vision would include a lot of the arts and cultural programming. One thing I would be interested in doing in those spaces and in the community would be to engage art and art practice in a way that brought back and maintained certain traditions. For example, I’d love to bring quilters from Mississippi and Alabama to do quilting classes, and to have spaces to present their work. I would love to bring in weavers from different traditions and teach people that may not know about those traditions. I’d love to bring in a series of potters and folks dealing with ceramics to do their work, whether it’s someone from Japan or Minnesota or Africa. And of course, food-related businesses, like small groceries. A variety of restaurants, whether they are vegan or not vegan, whatever the case they may be. How would you integrate that with the farming that occurs here? What opportunity does that present for the expansion of agriculture in the community? And, how to make it commercially viable and available to people who have businesses and households?

What say?

Why not?


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Growing Convergence, inspired by

George Washington Carver, Frederick Douglas, Abraham Lincoln,Fr. Teilhard de Chardin,
Dr. Martin Luther King and Grace Lee Boggs, Schumach & Alexander..we could name 100s!

Whitman and W.E.B. Du Bois…

Let’s converge our networks.

Why not grow Networked Satyagraha Systems?

With our flesh, blood, and tears,

Our growing Faith.

Converging rainbow green

Radical reConstruction Networks

Growing New Worlds

Mycelia like…

Stewarding the Earth

Grounding visions

Economics As If People Mattered

Pratt of SWF Keynote Speaker at Harvard et al 6th Annual Massachusetts Urban Farming Conference

Mar 16 6th Annual Massachusetts Urban Farming Conference Presented by Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation and merck family fund

Lunchtime Keynote: Emmanuel Pratt, Sweet Water Foundation, Chicago Il.

Radical [Re]Constructions: Revaluing Food, Farming, Family and Future

The talk will unpack the creative practices of the Sweet Water Foundation, highlighting how locally deployed creative interventions that blend education, art, architecture, citizen science, and community-scale production are cultivating innovative models for community-conscious neighborhood development in the Southside of Chicago and beyond.

At Irish Museum of Modern Art With Pope’s Ecological Advisor Fr. Sean McDonagh

Awakening Obama Foundation Network To On the Ground South Side Renaissance

Conference Closing Panel: The State of Urban Farming : Where Are We and What’s Next?

Facilitated by Greg Watson, Director For Policy and Systems Design, Schumacher Center for a New Economics and Panelists:

Track 1: Youth and Urban Farming (youth only)

Opening Session: “Paving Your Own Pathways”

A.M.Keynote: “An Agroecological Paradigm”

Presenter: Isis Salcines, Havana, Cuba, Outreach Director, Organopónico Vivero Alamar.The Organoponico Vivero Alamar is one of Havana, Cuba’s largest and oldest urban farms. Isis Salcines will share their experiences implementing agroecology, addressing food security, and discuss the social, economic and environmental impacts of the farm

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How to Save Our Children from the Gun Industry and the NRA

By Tom Coffin

In a previous article, I described how, beginning in the 1980s, the arms industry and the NRA initiated a propaganda machine to recast the Second Amendment into some sort of deranged mandate to arm private citizens with military weaponry so that they could wage war and commit Treason against their own government (The Distortion of the Second Amendment). Their propaganda is nonsense. While the Supreme Court has recognized that the Second Amendment confers a limited right for a private citizen to possess a handgun for self-defense purposes in his or her home, it expressly declined to extend the contours of that right to military weapons (M-16 rifles and the like), and constrained its holding to the “sorts of lawful weapons that [citizens] possessed at home” at the time of the enactment of the Amendment. District of Columbia v. Heller, opinion of the Court, p. 55. As recently held by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, “weapons that are most useful in military service—M16 rifles and the like—may be banned” without infringement upon the Second Amendment right. Kolbe v. Hogan, 849 F.3d 114 (4th Cir. 2017).

But the Courts are not Legislatures. While they can limit the NRA/arms industry’s expansive and self-serving interpretation of the Second Amendment, they cannot enact the laws necessary to ban or curtail the commercial sale of military weaponry to the general public. Only Congress and State Legislatures have that authority and this is where the distortions of the Second Amendment and related misinformation tactics have been most effective. How often do we hear NRA spokespersons say they are only supporting the “constitutional rights” of gun owners by opposing virtually any and all efforts to control and regulate commercial gun sales? How often do we hear complicit and obeisant lawmakers explain that they cannot vote for sensible gun control legislation “because of the Second Amendment?” It is all a lie. The Constitution nowhere requires the arming of citizens with military weaponry. It is simply a convenient excuse for legislators to kowtow to arms industry demands by pretending their hands are tied by the Constitution. They are not. They can act if they have the courage to do so, i.e., to stand up to the pressure and financial clout of the NRA and arms industry. When politicians tell you they would charge into a school under siege by an AR-15 armed shooter to save the children, ask them why they are not courageous enough to protect the children by promoting legislation that would disarm the shooter in the first place.

Click here for the full essay and more!
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The Distortion of the Second Amendment

By Tom Coffin

We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness—That to secure these Rights, Governments are institutions among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed…

Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776.

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

Second Amendment, Constitution of the United States.

For approximately 200 years the universal, if not unanimous, interpretation of the Second Amendment was that it granted a collective right enjoyed by the states, not individuals, and thus that the Constitution provided no right for an individual to possess a firearm. As a result, the authority of state and federal governments to regulate and control gun ownership by the private sector was virtually unchallenged, certain segments of society (such as felons and the mentally ill) were precluded from owning firearms, military grade weapons such as fully automatic and semi-automatic firearms, silencers, and explosive devise were heavily regulated and/or banned, and background checks for gun purchasers were standard.

Beginning the 1980s, the NRA has sponsored legal seminars, funded legal research and promoted articles that advocated an individual, private right to possess firearms as the basis of the Second Amendment.1

Click here for the full essay and more!
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Ignatian Conversations For A More Conscious Catholic Culture

Here is Tom Coffin, from my high school class of 1963 at the Jesuit Highschool of St. Louis Missouri called St. Louis U. High, responding to a NYT essay in support of the edge of history work regarding LGBT issues, of Father James Martin, S.J.. Here’s the essay:

Here’s Tom’s response to my sharing the essay with about 130 alumni from our class of 1963.


Bible Not A Scientific Treatise, Faith Not Served By Ignorance

The Church developed its views on sexuality long before biology developed to the point of shedding light on the subject. We now know that orientation is formed in the womb and is not a conscious choice by the person. Yet I am aware of no theological commissions that have been tasked with re-examining the biblical underpinnings casting same-sex relations as immoral in the light of today’s scientific revelations. As Galileo aptly demonstrated (at great personal cost) the Bible is not a scientific treatise and Faith is not served by Ignorance. Tom

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Visiting the President of Ireland


Myself and the 10 contributors to the book Laudato Si’ An Irish Response were invited to visit the President of Ireland, Michael C. Higgins at Aras An Uachtarain, today, January 18th 2018.

For one hour we discussed many of theme on justice, ecology and spirituality which feature some prominently in the papal document Laudato Si’. The President was thoroughly familiar with the encyclical and highlighted the place it should have in challenging the economic, social and ecological policies which are doing such damage both to planet earth and human well-being.

He felt that every teacher in Ireland should be given a copy of the book Laudato Si’ An Irish Response.

Kind regards,
Sean McDonagh, SSC,
St. Columban’s, Dalgan Park, Navan, Co. Meath.
tel 00353872367612
visit my blog at http://earthcaremission.wordpress.com

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An American Tragedy To Resist

From Brother Tom Coffin, to spark an Ignatian conversation.

The Enemy Within

Tom— I wrote this essay for the sake of my children and grandchildren, because I want them to remember that there are those of us who did not remain silent while the principles that made this country what it is were under attack. Tom

Godsil—And I am sharing this statement to continue a conversation worthy of conceiving as An Ignatian Response to The Ferguson Tragedy.

Tom is concerned that Trump is heading up a path to An American Tragedy. So am I.

Our nation was founded on principles that our Founders determined to be sacrosanct and immutable:

“We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men
are created equal, that they are endowed by their
Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among
these are Life,Liberty,and the pursuit of Happiness—
that to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted
among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent
of the Governed…” The Declaration of Independence July 4, 1776

We must never forget that the Founders of this nation were intimately familiar with a monarchical, or autocratic, form of government and the resulting tyranny that accompanies such a model of government—e.g., imprisonment without jury trial, punishment for “seditious” speech, judges who lacked independence and who served only at the pleasure of the king, denial of a representative voice in government, and other violations of basic human rights.

After overthrowing the yoke of a foreign king, they drafted a Constitution that was designed to ensure a representative form of government with formidable obstacles to the reincarnation of a tyrannical autocracy. Hence the checks and balances of co-equal branches of government, each with the ability to counter excessive exercises of power by the other branches.

The Constitution, with the first 10 Amendments (the Bill of Rights) was ratified in 1789. The Bill of Rights, authored by James Madison with input from Thomas Jefferson,expressly incorporated fundamental individual liberties, rights, and values deemed to be cornerstones of our framework of government.

That government—our government—has endured as a beacon of democracy for the world for over 228 years. Now, however, it is being assailed by the greatest enemy it has ever encountered. This is not an enemy from outside our borders, an invading army or axis of foreign powers. It is an enemy from within, an enemy that strikes at the heart of our nation by questioning and repudiating our foundational principles that gave birth to our very existence and have been our sustaining life breath to this very day.

I speak of an administration that has described the Constitution as an archaic document and an obstacle to effective government, encouraged law enforcement officials to use excessive force in arresting suspects, heaped praise on Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte for his utilization of vigilante death squads to murder suspected lawbreakers and drug users, and applauded and pardoned a renegade sheriff in Arizona for contemptuously and systematically violating a federal court order by continuing to illegally profile and detain Hispanics on the discriminatory basis of their race.

The president’s distaste for the Constitution extends to the 1st Amendment, particularly the part that states “Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press…” As Madison emphasized at the time of its passage…”we cannot be subject to rules and laws that prohibit us from speaking our minds. Our press can print and circulate the news without fear of reprisal, even if that news is less than favorable regarding our country or government.”

The president’s hostility to the freedoms of speech and the press is well documented. His former Chief of Staff confirmed in an interview that the White House has considered amending or even abolishing the 1st Amendment because of critical press coverage of the president. Most recently, he has demanded that the publisher of a book which is critical of his administration cease and desist from distributing the book into the public domain. Yet such freedom to publish it is the very essence of the 1st Amendment. Moreover, the president has repeatedly maligned peaceful political protests, such as kneeling during the anthem, as a form of disrespect for the flag that should be punished by fines or other economic sanctions.

This latter issue begs the question—what, exactly, does the flag represent if not the Constitution of the United States, which is the soul of this nation? I suspect that this president equates the flag with—well—himself. Nothing could be further from reality. The flag stands for the country, whose existence is defined by the Constitution, defended by the the sacrifices and blood of the people for over two centuries. Without the Constitution, the nation is a lifeless corpse and it has no president. It is such an irony to witness the president exhorting law enforcement officers to violate the Constitution, railing against rights and liberties enshrined in the Bill of Rights, condoning and even pardoning violations of the freedoms and rights cherished by our Founders, all the while sporting a flag lapel pin as he flouts and rejects what the flag truly represents.

In this hypocrisy, he mirrors the mythical Humpty Dumpty, who famously said:

“When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean, nothing more nor less.”

No, Mr. President, the Constitution does not mean just what you choose it to mean, nothing more nor less. Its meaning has been clear for over two centuries. It means what the Founders articulated, and what the Congress, Courts, and former Presidents who have served this nation have always understood and accepted it to mean. You took an oath to uphold and protect this Constitution. You have no right, no power, no authority whatsoever to discard it or define it by your whim and caprice.

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New School Amaranth Gathering of Heroes.

Dan Velasquez, art teacher hero renewing the teacher led New School for Student Empowerment, i.e.The New School, will be meeting with artist ecopreneur Muneer Bahauddeen 12;30 today, at David Boucher’s Amaranth Bakery, 34th and Lisbon. Hoping some of my FB friends win New School “Desks” as nanosecond “Partners,” by providing a one hour workshop at the New School during 2018–19 school year, or perhaps a one hour tour of their workplace. The New School to be located at 35th and Lisbon, the NW corner of the Amaranth Village neighborhood. Brian Sales and Dave Laack are hoping to weave Green Veterans Growing Power 2.0 in with this venture, August Marie Ball the Cream City Conservation Corps, Jesse Blom and I the Sweet Water Academy, Francis Graf and Matt Rudman Groundworks, Todd Leech the Riverwest Co-op and Cafe, Alexander Montezon and Nick Montezon trades training, Ryan Schone UW Extension’s Seed Garden, Pat Wilborn Port Fish, Brad Pruitt, film making, for starters. Join the conversation por favor!

Riverwest Coop New School Meeting

Dan Velasquez Anthony Deutsch Todd Leech Brian Sales Dave Laack Matt Rudman Pat Wilborn. “Partners” for The New School. Join us tomorrow 12:30 at The Amaranth w. David Boucher, Muneer Bahauddeen, and other Heroes Saving The New School

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From Brian Sales FB Post

MKE Urban Farm School, Trauma Resolution and Small Farmers Co-op Center coming soon to an inner city MKE neighborhood near you! (MUFS, TRC, and SFC) A Green Veterans Group Milwaukee Project & Initiative. ;) #greenvets #urbanfarmers #traumaresolution #IUAN #groundworksMKE #CVI #growingpower2.0

This is amazing news!

MKE Urban Farm School, Trauma Resolution Center and Small Farmers Co-op Center coming soon to an inner city MKE neighborhood near you!

(MUFS, TRC, and SFC)

Green Veterans Growing Power w. MUFS TRC SFC


Visions of New Schools for Student Empowerment and Amaranth Urban Village, SWF, UWE SEED Gardens, Milwaukee Coops, and more in this

Emerging Milwaukee Grand Alliance for A New Milwaukee

Where the waters gather toward the Sweet Water Seas

In the Great Lakes Heartland of the USA

New schools for new work we really want to do

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New school for student empowerment Clan Networks

These are our New School for Student Empowerment Yacht Club Grounds… another bequeathment of the Old Milwaukee Sewer Socialists… Citizen Commons! Would any of our Facebook friends like to bring their Clan into conversations advancing the creation of a new MPS school for student empowerment?

From co-founder Dan Velasquez

We are currently enrolling for 9th and 10th grade and want to promote the school to youth who want to be heard and have a voice in their education, community, and future. I will attach a link to our open house informational night to get a quick glimpse into what our school is about.

Link: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/e/2PACX-1vTYX1XhYSV7Mm-9u15K2SVM37COkrJrriz9Gi4bB3nB5QwdtR4KbCG-nMetJ50tuidJuKMF1EZv-SoN/pub?start=true&loop=true&delayms=30000

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PPC Experiment W. “Awakening” of 1.2 Billion Baptized Catholics via Pope Francies & Sean McDonagh Synodal Process for Laudato Si

Finally! I intuit that you all may become​ as inspired by the possibilities Fr. Sean offers your PPC​ work as I am by my urban ag partners’ work. I am co-founder and Board president of the Sweet Water Foundation, which is now working with the Obama Foundation team re the Presidential Library’s community engagement aspect. I also aspire to weave our collaboration into a wiki web platform called “Where the Sweet Waters Gather”, i.e. the Objibwe name for Milwaukee, which has been “going global as the city’s name if used as a metaphor.

We must make our inland waters sweet again!

Our ocean waters healing!

Weave Laudato Si Synodal Process Into Collaboration With PPC?

Here is Fr. Sean’s vision.


​Here he is with the Sweet Water Team, including our practical, pragmatic, and charismatic co-founder and director, Emmanuel Pratt.

In August, 2016, a Sweet Water Foundation team had the amazing good fortune to participate in an eco/art exhibition at the Irish Museum of Modern Art last February. While there we were were given a tour by the creators of a rooftop garden(including aquaponics) at the Jesuit H.S. Belvedere College; and we also were blessed with Fr. McDonagh’s presence at one of our presentations(with our director Emmanuel Pratt’s arm around him front and center).

​In the way that I pray, I pray for mighty collaborations with you and your teams up through my 100th birthday party!

Clean sailing,


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Community Guild Network Building Possibilities

So Josh has given me a 600 square foot space in this 19,000 square foot Community Guild Network building(pending final appraisal)

aside the Milwaukee River at North Ave. and UWM dorms

to experiment with enterprises like yours, for some kind of Milwaukee Renaissance.


Here are some links that suggest some order in the chaos of my life.



Dee Hock’s chaordic organizing is my recipe.


Here’s a Harvard Business Review study of Josh’s and my experiment with hybrid and networked enterprise experiments.


And web page of the Sweetwater Foundation we helped launch, along with future MacArthur genius winner Emmanuel Pratt.


Sunvest Solar and USGBC Green Veterans Growing Power Collaboration?

I have cc’d Brian Soles, who is leading this Green Veterans project, and his partner David Laack.


Let The Old City bloom,


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Journal Sentinel photo

Leiser, Laacke,Sales, Allen, & Godsil Discussing Growing Power 2.0 Transition

Parkside School for the Arts, Medical College of Wisconsin, Brookfield School(s), & Sweet Water Foundation Collaboration Experiments

Dear All,

Here is Parkside School for the Art’s Erin Dentice’s Power Point on their path finding experiment blending art with edible playground/aquaponics science/ecology projects.

The document ​​to me is a clear exposition of what has already been achieved in one school that can help in the designing and modeling for the next school venture. The Milwaukee Sweet Water Foundation Director, Jesse Blom, now also director of the Johns Hopkins Food System Lab of the Bloomberg School of Public Health.​​ was the designer and consultant to the wonderful aquaponics demo at the school. Jesse is poised to bring his knowledge base and institutional resources to a Brookfield School Experiment that would be supported by the Medical College of Wisconsin, Parkside School for the Arts, the Sweet Water Foundation, and perhaps Johns Hopkins.

Erin, her students, and their families offer tours of their work. I would very much enjoy helping catalyze as much.

There are many senior and MA theses in our work, on up through doctoral dissertation.

We moved the main Sweetwater aquaponic commercial-size experiment to the south side of Chicago at Chicago State University. You might be able to get a tour of that, although it’s best to call before going. The Sweet Water Foundation web page inspires!


Power model these days focuses on networks of aquaponic demos in schools and larger systems as much destinations and training sites as growing places. While growing food in urban places is a vital response to the needs of our time, growing information, STEAM skills, ecological, emotional, and social intelligence, i.e. growing our souls!, is equally important in this multi-dimensional, multi-generational networked experiments.

Commercial Size Destination/Training Lab


Pat Wilborn

Classroom Model Integrating Art, Aquaponics, and Intergenerational Life Long Learning Models

And Erin dentise in her students offer tours at the trailblazing Parkside School for the Arts edible classroom and aquaponics demonstration project


UW Urban Ag Extension Into Soil Based Community Gardening and “Agora”


I have been deeply involved in these matters since 2005, and no one has done any better than the leaders of these three models anywhere in the nation.

Clear sailing,


Here is a link to a Harvard Business School essay on the work of the Sweet Water Foundation, supported at the outset by the fine teams of Sweet Water Organics.

There are many garden growers and engineers in Brookfield poised to advance the vision of a replication of the Parkside/Medical College edible classroom project with new waves of partnering co-creators.

Why not?


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Edible Classrooms Growing VIRTU

You and yours are cultivating a new generation of high virtu.


“Virtu” chez Erica Benner’s “Be Like The Fox: Machiavelli In His World”


  • Can mean-spiritedness, especially in battle. But the highest quality virtu includes

  • an aptitude for organization,

  • industry,

  • and far-sighted prudence.

It further includes

  • an unclouded knowledge of one’s own limits,

  • the wisdom and self-discipline not to over reach them,

  • and the Ingenuity to use whatever opportunities and resources one has, however scarce they might be.

Virtu doesn’t need good luck, are even much freedom, to work wonders. On the contrary,

it is most admirable, even most effective,

  • where there are obstacles to overcome.

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Nation Building Is A Multigenerational Process With Regressions Along The Way

Momentary Body Guard For Dr. King

This image of Dr. King’s stoning in Marquette Park during SCLC’s Freedom Summer Open Housing Marches finds me directly behind Dr. King and near Andy Young, to my right. The Nazi Party incited a murderous crowd to torch our cars. I lost a 1957 Chevy the engine of which my father had completely overhauled. Were it not for Chicago Irish police walking in great numbers between us and the stone and bottle throwing mob, we would literally have been lynched or beaten. This summer I was on a green line bus with a group of Whitefish Bay students shouting build the wall build the wall Trump Trump trump and then to an immigrant family f*** you go home f*** you go home. In the way that I pray I pray that the level of hatred I witnessed at 21, 50 years ago, is kept at bay by the vast majority of patriotic and compassionate citizens. As much as we we’re disappointed buy mirror Richard Daley, he never did try to incite the European Americans to heightened levels of enmity and possible violence. It’s bizarre to have a president so Brazen in his contempt for the best of Americas heritage.

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Community Roofing and Restoration is elevating the status and competency of the artisanal trades.

Community is now the nucleus of an emerging Guild network of restoration artisans.

If you have had work done by Community please go to this link and let us know what you think about our efforts.


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FIELDTRIP: Monday’s WI Urban Farming Legislation!

This Monday at 10AM Senator Johnson and Representative Goyke are unveiling proposed legislation titled Wisconsin Urban Farming Futures which holds tremendous potential for bringing a new level of support and credibility to urban and sustainable farming in Milwaukee and across our great State. To support this critical piece of legislation, amplify the media’s attention, and witness a perhaps historic moment, we’d like to gather a band of like-minds to attend the grand unveiling at Kaleidoscope Gardens!

Sandy Syburg has graciously offered the SoilMobile (a bio-diesel bus) to transport our band to the event – offering a pickup stop out west near Oconomowoc (attn. Madison folks) and a second stop in Milwaukee.

Here are the tentative pickup times and locations:

1. Summit Park & Ride (leaving @ 8:50 AM)

36337 Delafield Rd, Summit, WI

2. Walmart on Miller Parkway (leaving @ 9:20 AM)

4140 W Greenfield Ave, West Milwaukee, WI

Please email me directly if you would like to join the group at either location (Ryan.Schone@ces.uwex.edu). Also let me know if you wish to join the caravan by following in your own vehicle.

More details for those who sign-up will be sent Sunday.

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City’s 1st Timber-Frame Barn Since Chicago Fire Going Up In Washington Park

WASHINGTON PARK — As buildings are being torn down in Washington Park, a barn is being raised.

The Sweet Water Foundation has erected likely the only barn of its kind in the city on a lot where Moseley Elementary School once stood and that is now a farm. The barn appears to be the first since the Chicago Fire in 1871.

“This is the first timber-frame barn in the city of Chicago since the fire that we know of,” said Emmanuel Pratt, founder of the Sweet Water Foundation, which is running the Perry Avenue Community Farm at 57th Street and Perry Avenue.



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Catholics by Culture Discover Catholics For Choice


My daughter Megan Godsil Jeyifo has inspired me to look more closely at the issue of choice and abortion, given her emerging leadership role.

However, as Daniel Maguire, a leading Catholic moral theologian, has noted, there has been a diversity of views on when human life begins and the morality of abortion throughout the history of the church.

As a result, says Maguire: “There is no one Catholic view” on abortion.

In the early centuries of the church, St. Augustine held that early abortion was wrong not because it involved the taking of life, but because it separated procreation from sex, which he believed was the only justification for intercourse—even between married couples.

In the 11th century, St. Thomas Aquinas postulated that there was no life present in an early fetus and that ensoulment occurred only after “quickening” in the fifth or sixth month when the mother first felt signs of fetal life, so early abortion was not murder.

The view that the early fetus was not a person and that a fetus gained human value as a pregnancy progressed was widely held in science and law throughout history. Most opposition to abortion centered on the fact that it was a way for people to cover up illicit sex, not the belief that it was murder.

In the 17th century, believing that early magnifying instruments had detected the human form in fetal tissue, the church moved toward the belief that life begins at conception. It wasn’t until late in the 19th century, however, that the church actually banned abortion and until the 20th century that it became a cornerstone of church teaching based on the belief that life begins at conception.

Not only has church teaching on when human life begins varied, but the bishops have worked very hard to suppress the primacy that Catholic teaching gives the well-formed conscience when it comes to individual decision-making regarding weighty moral issues. From listening to their rhetoric, you would think that all Catholics are obligated to follow the Vatican’s pronouncements in lockstep. But nothing could be further from the truth. Catholic thinkers from St. Paul through St. Thomas Aquinas to the Vatican’s own 1965 Declaration on Religious Freedom have consistently held that Catholics have a duty to follow their conscience and that no one should be forced to act contrary to their conscience.

In his widely respected book Catholicism, theologian Father Richard P. McBrien sums it up: “If…after appropriate study, reflection, and prayer, a person is convinced that his or her conscience is correct, in spite of a conflict with the moral teachings of the church, the person not only may but must follow the dictates of conscience rather than the teachings of the church.”

For the most part, Catholics do follow their consciences when the teachings of the church conflict with the lived reality of their lives and their own senses of wisdom and compassion. As is well known, in the United States, 97 percent of Catholic women over the age of 18 have used a method of contraception banned by the Catholic hierarchy. Use of modern contraceptive methods is high in many predominantly Catholic countries: 67 percent of married women of reproductive age in Spain use modern contraceptive methods, as do 69 percent of married women in France, and 60 percent of married women in Mexico and 70 percent of married women in Brazil. Clearly these women are following their consciences, which tell them that modern birth control methods are moral and contribute to their health and the health of their families.

Similarly, Catholics are more than willing to disagree with church teaching on abortion. Less than one-quarter (22%) of Catholics in the US agree with the bishops’ position that abortion should be illegal (Belden Russonello & Stewart poll, 2004). And 58% of Catholics believe you can be a good Catholic without following the bishops’ teaching on abortion (National Catholic Reporter poll, September 2005). In the US, Catholic women have abortions at the same rate as women in the population as a whole (Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, 2002), so clearly they have decided to follow the dictates of their consciences rather than the pronouncements of the church.

It is also important to note that while the Catholic bishops often try to give the impression that Vatican teachings on abortion are infallible, they are not. It is a popular misconception that whatever the pope says on a serious topic is infallible and must be followed—it is not. Infallible statements are only made in very limited and narrow circumstances. The teaching on abortion has never been proclaimed infallible and no serious theologian claims it is. Even Pope John Paul II, who was renowned for his opposition to abortion, tried to find ways to pronounce his teaching on abortion infallible and was unable to do so.

While Catholics the world over clearly follow their consciences on the matter of abortion, the bishops do have an impact on women’s ability to access abortion and other reproductive health services. Especially in the United States, the Catholic hierarchy works through the political process to try and get their minority views enshrined into law. This is clearly a violation of the consciences of Catholics and non-Catholics alike who hold opposing views and not in keeping with Catholic church tradition or teaching. Catholic tradition demands that Catholics respect the views of other faith groups and that the church accept the principle of church-state separation. According to one pastoral letter, “Catholics should recognize the legitimacy of differing points of view about the organization of worldly affairs and show respect for their fellow citizens.” Vatican II clearly recognized that the political community and the church are independent of each other.

Timber Framed Barn Raising at Sweet Water Chicago

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Dear All,

I can remember reading CW Mills’ “Power Elite” in 1966 and feeling utterly powerless to make a difference re the Vietnam War and civil rights. A professor raged at me that we had many resources to push back, especially, for students, the power to demonstrate.

Reading the essay on Brazil’s junk food intrusion can evoke the same feeling of despair in the face of the global junk food juggernaut.


No one said the good food ®Evolution would be easy, nor quick victoried. And those who will be steadfast and mindful, know that our work is not a lifetime’s challenge. It will be a challenge up through the 7th generation and beyond.

Obama and Sweet Water Foundations Help to Connect Teachers, Urban Ag Activist Farmers, and Artisinal Mentors Across National Boundaries

The multidimensional aspect of our struggle methinks could profit from integrating artisinal training and urban ag training, with programs connecting schools with community groups.

This is what Emmanuel Pratt’s Sweet Water Foundation teams have been doing in Chicago, and Jesse Blom’s in Milwaukee. The Obama Foundation has highlighted one inspiring example of this approach with a 60 second video of
Big Mike Reynolds, a retired union/master carpenter who has been providing artisinal training at the Sweet Water Foundation Urban Farm and Perry Ave Commons, on the South Side of Chicago.


And it’s not just us and alliances with Obama Foundation and other progressive, secular institutions. The faith communities of the world have many groups within and between advancing the good fight. Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato Si, has brilliantly married social with ecological justice for the next generation of Catholic educators.

When I began promoting Big Will Allen’s urban ag vision back in 2005, my most progressive friends were extremely unimpressed. Since then, urban ag has mainstreamed and the Mayor of Milwaukee considers his teaming up with our movement one of his most important acts as mayor.

We shall overcome!

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Grant Concept For Saint-Gobain & Certainteed Foundations

Goal: Green Workforce Development, Lifelong STEM Learning, Public Health Pilot Experiment: Beginning With Healthy Snacks

Re-imagining green workforce development with an “integral” focus on existing artisinal crews and networks, sparking healthier diets, starting with workplace snacks, and healthier life-styles enhanced with life-long STEM training, starting with off season urban agriculture and aquaponics experimentation.

Roberto Alba Of Superior Roofing Solutions With Community Guild Network Healthy Snack #2

Roberto Alba Of Superior Roofing Solutions With
Community Guild Network Healthy Snack #2

Means: Providing building crews with tasty, healthy snacks as alternatives to fast food, Red Bull, and cigarettes throughout the workday, with low keyed conversations and reading materials in support.

Arthur Camberon and Armon Of Juice Kitchen Preparing Snack #3

Arthur Camberon and Armon Of Juice Kitchen Preparing Snack #3

In the off season, introducing crews to STEM skills development via partnerships with local schools with edible classroom and aquaponics projects underway.

Healthy Snack #1.  Apples & Almonds

Healthy Snack #1. Apples & Almonds

Proposed Pilot Project Partners: Community Roofing & Restoration, Sweet Water Foundation, University of Wisconsin Urban Agriculture Extension, Parkside School for the Arts, UW-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health, Milwaukee School of Engineers, Green Schools Alliance, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Food Systems Lab, Artist Muneer Bahauddeen

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Inseparable Cities by the Love of Comrades

“I will plant companionship thick as trees along all the rivers of America,/and along the shores of the great lakes, and all over the prairies,/I will make inseparable cities with their arms about each other’s necks,/By the love of comrades.”

Whitman text

Let us wrap Milwaukee Chicago Arms
Around each other’s necks…

From Milwaukee

With help from UW Extension, UW Madison Young Doctors TRIUMPH Project, Wisconsin Organic Valley Wormfarm Institute, Purple Cow Sweet Water VGI Heart Haus SEED Garden Agora UEC Community Guild Network and Milwaukee’s Urban Ag Grand Alliance Milwaukee Renaissance from the Sister City Where the Sweet Waters gather.


SWF Perru Ave Commons

Emmanuel and Jia?

St. Louis

Miss Betty’s Boys

Norm and Paulette?

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Sweetwater Community Aquaponics Network

Dear Stacy and All,

Stacy… I am so happy that you and yours are interested in an aquaponics encounter!

I have included Aquapons who may have the time and be moved by the spirit to begin a conversation with you, leading up to a tour, and, from my point of view, a loose collaborative knowledge sharing, to bring forth the day when 5% of the schools of the world are graced with aquaponic models and edible classrooms.

Allow me to introduce you to people who are quite literally among the worlds most competent aquaponic experimenters, growing fish, plants, knowledge, and, to me, mysteriously, Polymath Rainbow Greening Souls…And sharing networked conversations, encounters, experiments, and projects, probably forshadowing some kind of Aquaponics Guilds, with a variety of expressions.

One World Aquaponics

Of, by, and for the healing of the people and the planet, with all of God’s children, in Milwaukee, Chicago, Organic Valley Wisconsin, St Louis, and a number of cities in Europe, Central and South America, and Africa.

Every city should grow aquaponics innovation centers and greening hubs in our integral schools!

In the way that I pray, I pray that 5% of the world’s schools will have small to large aquaponic Innovation centers by the year 2040

I hope this conversation will lead to mighty or modest collaborations with you and yours, toward that goal.


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Obama Foundation 60 Second Film Features Micheal Reynolds of Sweet Water Foundation

Centers & Hubs for Growing, Making, Fixing, and Sharing at Obama Presidential Library

It’s beginning to look like Emmanuel Pratt and teams are winning a place for the marriage of urban agriculture, restoration artisanship, and the blending of art, architecture, city planning, and science with the community engagement wing of the Obama Presidential Library.

And Milwaukee Region grew 10,000 community garden plots and a Community Greenhouse in every neighborhood!. And young Milwaukee Chicago videographers made a documentary featured in the opening week of the Obama Presidential Library. Our movement has a relationship with the folks designing community engagement of what will be a South Side Chicago wonder. https://twitter.com/Oba…/status/898678019165790208/video/1

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Godsil and Fraundorf Community Guild School Experiments

Community Roofing and Restoration is considering the purchase of the Robert Koch “complex” on Fratney and Auer, aspiring to transform the property into a Community Guild School and perhaps Residencies.

Community Roofing’s Guild Network Healthy Food Experiments

The Koch complex would be an ideal innovation center for the Guild’s health food experiments. Here’s a conversation fleshing out this concept.

Godsil. While taking pictures and interviewing members of the Community Network I imagined showing up at the job site with some almonds, peanuts, broccoli and really good dip, and experimenting with different mixes of good and healthy food as an alternative to potato chips candy bars and fast food stuff.

I think this would be appreciated by our Artisans and would make a great story for social media and the history books.

What say?

Fraundorf. I think it would be amazing to get them off of the red bull and garbage food. Chicken salads, water, wraps, fruit, vegetables, etc…happy to put $500 a month into a trial base or more if needed.

G: Let’s team up with the UW Extension nutritionist and the MATC Culinary Arts students to make this brilliance

F: I think it’s a brilliant idea for the artisans of Community’s networks.

G: Good Food and Beauty at the community Guild Houses in every community might change the world.

Every city deserves a community Guild House with good food and Beauty to elevate the spirits, nourish and heal the body, and enhances our artisans’ quest for excellence, at the job, with the family, in the community.

G: May I share this thread at the Milwaukee Renaissance and on my Facebook page?


F: Sure

Community Sweet Water Regenerative Placemaking

Since 1975 Community has demonstrated the merit of developing networks of custom artisinal shops for roof system restoration, with some key members of the network happy, even eager, to develop workshops on copper smithing, restoration carpentry and masonry, paining, roofing, plumbing, and more. Self reliance through the trades!

From 2005 on up through today, Community has advanced visions of harvesting the urban agriculture movement of Milwaukee in service to a new “biophilic” and STEAM pedagogy(“A” for art and architecture). If our kids grow it, they’ll eat it! The most important manifestation of this is the Sweet Water Foundation, directed by Emmanuel Pratt, who has been a global trailblazer in the theory and the practice of regenerative placemaking.

And from 1975 to our times, Community has supported neighborhood economic development experiments in Riverwest. Local, shared economics “as if people mattered.”

The Koch Complex would be a perfect place to pull these strands together!

But we are hesitant to enter into this story without an understanding of the challenges of water and soil remediation at this site. We can imagine pulling together a series of engineering, architecture, and landscape design teams to use the Koch Complex transformation into a Community Guild School and Residence as a case study of what “green grand alliances” can accomplish.

We would be working with people in the Community Sweet Water Foundation and Harvard GSD networks if we can enter into a collaboration with state of the art understanding of the challenges of the Koch Complex regarding soil and water “healing.”

I am hoping such a venture might advance the personal and commonwealth work of many good people, as well as the good cause of healing people and planet.

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Co-Create Mind Sharing Conversation Circles Among Progressive Catholics by Culture

Like this note to one of my classmates from St. Louis University High(SLUH).

Dear Michael,

I have enjoyed and been “struck by” the intensity and clarity of your expression regarding the great issues of our time, and the embarrassing debasement of the Office of the Presidency, United States of America of late. I am in friendly competition with Big Apple Jewish intellectuals of the 20th century and West Coast Pragmatic Mystics around “culture.”

I want to help co-create a progressive wing of “Catholics by Culture” in my remaining years, with a focus on Jesuit trained boomers from across the globe.​ Connecting progressive “Catholics by Culture” is one of my chores, and I hope you might join in! Below are links to the dawn of TomCoffin and [DavidGrant essays “Where The Sweet Waters Waters Meet.,” i.e. Milwaukee’s(metaphorically conceived) Renaissance, followed by a letter by Jesuit schooled polymath elder, Merlin Donald, to an Irish missionary turned Pope Francis’ ecological advisor.

I would be profoundly grateful if you would spend the time and make the effort to craft a Michael Britt Essay, either a response to the ideas of this note, or about whatever issue inspires you to share your thoughts.

​​Professor Merlin Donale Letter to Father Sean McDonagh re Catholics by Culture

Dear Fr. McDonagh,

I am a big fan of Laudato Si, which I understand you co-authored. Thank you for that enormous contribution to humanity. The text strikes the right balance between scientifically rigorous fact and that special tone, so crucial to Christianity at its best, of altruism and community and selflessness, of giving over to something much bigger than yourself. In an age such as ours, where selfishness has run rampant and greed and narcissism are actively held up as ideals, it is refreshing to read a major world document couched in truly human terms, and not wasted due to Legalese and bureaucratic pomp. Having written a few things myself, I know how tough it is to craft and maintain such a tone.

I am what I prefer to call a “cultural Catholic” — that is, someone who respects and largely adheres to the best ideas the Church can offer, without being able to say I “believe” in such things as papal infallibility. Having studied with the Jesuits for eight years, I find the public stance of Pope Francis both reassuringly tolerant, and familiar — my Jesuit teachers were like that — open-minded, wise, and tolerant.

Here is a question that has bugged me for years: what does the Church not do what the Jews do so well — retain the identity and loyalty of “cultural Catholics,” instead of casting them aside on doctrinal picky points, or insistence on a crushing subservience to symbols of priestly authority? The same might be said on so many issues — and especially, on why are there no women priests, given the crisis in replacing the aging priesthood, etc. The argument from a literal reading of scripture holds no water at all, given the history of how the New Testament was edited and assembled. But the slide of the priesthood, and the stubbornness of the Curia, continues.

The Church has so many who admire it, especially at this moment, with a such a progressive and articulate Pope. But the conservatives and literalists among the Curia are destroying the Western Church, in my view. Especially in the USA and Canada, I am often amazed that our bishops sound more like fundamentalist preachers than like the highly educated Jesuit teachers I was taught by, so many years ago.

I have been working on a theoretical level on the nature of deep cognitive and technological changes the world is experiencing at the moment. i think human nature itself is on the table. The church is exactly the kind of institution the world needs as we become inexorably wired closer and closer together, if only it can put some of those ultra-conservative values behind it and focus on coping with the world as it is now (and as it once did, on an heroic scale, back in Counter- Reformation times). We human beings are in very deep trouble and in need of moral leadership. But it won’t come if the Curia keeps sailing on a course of blatant retrograde self-interest.

Pope Francis obviously understands this, but I understand he is running into some pretty vicious resistance. I sincerely hope he can prevail, and implement reform.

Meanwhile, I am trying to fight the pessimistic mood that currently prevails in the English-speaking world, as we see all our empires fade. Our minds need to be clear, above all, to cope with climate change. Unfortunately, technological change is causing a major shift in the way we think and remember — to the point where I am now convinced there is a fourth “cognitive transition” underway. We will increasingly find ourselves at the mercy of forces we have not managed to control, and this time those forces are acting directly on the mind — that is, on the very heart of human nature.

The problem is, our minds are not clear at the moment, because we are hurtling into a new cognitive ecology without any guidance. Just as we are fighting ecological wars on a physical level, we are confronted with the need to battle a changing cognitive ecology as well. Our history suggests that this is a dangerous situation, and possibly a fatal one.

In any case, I am going on too long, and I know you are a very busy person. But do we all have work to do!

My very best regards, in appreciation for your contribution,

Professor Emeritus,
Department of Psychology,
Queen’s University,
Kingston, Ontario,
Canada K7L 3N6​

​So there you have it!

What say?

Why not?


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Mon. 5/21/18: Help Get Out the Vote: “To abandon facts is to abandon freedom. If nothing is true, then no one can criticize power because there is no basis upon which to do so. If nothing is true, then all is spectacle.”

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Democracy Crumbles Before Our Eyes: Vote!

Mon. 5/21/18: Supreme Court Decision Delivers Blow To Workers’ Rights

Thurs. 5/3/18: Behind the Complex and Secretive Koch Conspiracy Against Democracy

Thurs. 4/19/18: Opinion | Trump’s assault on the rule of law is working

Mon. 4/16/18: VOTE NOV. 6: The Corporate Plan to Groom U.S. Kids for Servitude by Wiping Out Public Schools

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Two Years of Milwaukee County Pot Arrests Show Racial Bias

Some 86% of the folks busted for felony second offense marijuana possession in Milwaukee County were African-American, records show.

Just 9 percent were white and 4 percent were Hispanic or Latino.

The county’s population is about 66 percent white, 25 percent black, and 9 percent Latino or Hispanic.

WJI was able to identify a total of 95 arrests countywide during 2015 and 2016 that resulted in the single charge of felony second offense marijuana possession. Incurring a second charge of possession of marijuana, no matter how small the amount, is a felony in Wisconsin.

Seventy-six of the county’s 2015 and 2016 arrests occurred in the City of Milwaukee north of I-94, seven occurred in the city south of I-94, and one occurred on I-94.

Eleven total arrests occurred in the suburbs of Cudahy (2), Glendale (3), Greendale (1), Oak Creek (1), South Milwaukee (1), and Wauwatosa (3). The remaining suburbs had no arrests resulting in felony second offense possession charges.

County Supervisor John Weishan is seeking a November advisory referendum on marijuana legalization. The arrest numbers may well be argument in favor - get rid of marijuana prohibitions, and get rid of some elements of biased law enforcement.

Click here for more information including maps, and to leave comments

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Fri. 5/18/18: Democracy at stake: Public Transit: http://voicesforpublictransit.org/joinus/?format=2&recruitment=2018NationalInfrastructureWeek

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March On Milwaukee 50th Finale

Saturday, May 19th: 9:30am-3pm
North Division High School (plus bus tour through Milwaukee)
The whole day is free of cost

9:30am-10:00am: Registration
10:00am-11:30am: Youth/Elder Activism Session (facilitated intergenerational conversation)
11:30am-1:00pm: “Thank You” Bus Tour (includes free boxed lunch)
1:00pm-3:00pm: Marching On: 50 Years In The Making (a community celebration)

RSVP for morning session and bus tour: https://www.eventbrite. com/e/marching-on-youthelder- activism-session-tickets- 45785422431
RSVP for community celebration: https://www. eventbrite.com/e/marching-on- 50-years-in-the-making- tickets-45694617832

Youth/Elder Activism Session:
Commandos and NAACP Youth Council members meet youth activists and concerned young people. During the session, they will get to know each other, and begin sharing about experience in activism. This will be an opportunity for elders to impart wisdom to young people and hear from young people about what’s distinctive about this moment.

“Thank You” Bus Tour:
After the morning session, youth and elders will get on two buses together. The tour will start outside North Division — the former location of St. Boniface — and weave through the route of the Open Housing Marches. We will stop at specific historic points to remember and reminisce upon the Open Housing Marches.

Marching On: 50 years later:
This will be a community celebration where the community can express their appreciation to the Youth Council, Commandos, Vel Phillips, Father Groppi and all who marched 50 years ago. The program will feature speakers and performances that connect with the major themes of March On Milwaukee 50th — Recognition and Re-ignition.

Congresswoman Gwen Moore will deliver the keynote address, sharing personal memories of the Open Housing Marches and reflections on her mentor, Vel Phillips, while at their shared alma mater, North Division High School.

Confirmed speakers and presenters include members of the NAACP Youth Council and Commandos, Mayor Tom Barrett, Common Council President Ashanti Hamilton, Wisconsin Black Historical Society’s Clayborn Benson, America’s Black Holocaust Museum’s Reggie Jackson, Urban Underground’s Sharlen Moore and more. Hip hop artist Klassik and poet/activist Ajamou Butler of Heal the Hood will also be giving tribute performances. Additionally, contributing writers to the poetry anthology chapbook Where I Want to Live will be reading poems about the city in which they wish to live.

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The Faces of Mental Health: Youth Behavioral Health & Wellness Summit - May 19th

Please join us this Saturday afternoon May 19th for the Youth Behavioral Health & Wellness Summit at the Italian Community Center. The program will include wellness activities, resource tables, the voices of youth, as well as a panel of professionals. The Summit is free and open to all. We hope to see you there!

May 19th, 2018: 12 - 4pm
Registration is at 11:30am

The Youth Behavioral Health & Wellness Summit was featured on the Morning Blend – check it out at https://www.tmj4.com/shows/the-morning-blend/the-faces-of-mental-health

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Celebration, Actions and Forum, oh my!

See details below or go to micahmke.org to see all event and meeting listings

TICKETS AVAILABLE NOW! Thursday May 24 5:00 pm MICAH’s 30th Anniversary Celebration!
Saturday May 19, 11 am-2 pm. The Jobs are on the Line Community Rally, Wisconsin Black Historical Society
Thursday, May 31, 6:30–8:30 pm Bystander Intervention Training Milwaukee Friends Meeting
SAVE THE DATE! Monday June 11, 6–8 pm. WISDOMGubernatorial Candidate Forum. Country Springs Hotel and Convention Center, Pewaukee. Transportation available

The Jobs are on the Line Community Rally

Three years ago, the Milwaukee County Transit System JobLines, routes 6 and 61, were created to connect residents in neighborhoods in Milwaukee to a multitude of job opportunities in Waukesha County. This year, the funding for these lines ends, threatening the transportation for the more than 1,000 daily riders. Losing the job lines would be a loss for everyone. Join the rally, organized by MICAH, to show your support for protecting these necessary bus lines.

Bystander Intervention Training Thursday, May 31, 6:30–8:30 PM at Milwaukee Meeting, 3224 N Gordon Place Co-sponsored by Milwaukee Friends Meeting and Plymouth UCC Church

Have you ever wondered what to do when you see a police car pulling over a black man while driving? Or someone laughing and trying to pull off a woman’s hijab? Or hear someone making racist comments in a grocery store? The list of oppressive harassments goes on and on. How can you intervene in ways that will interrupt the harassment and prevent violence? The Milwaukee chapter of SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice) has been working to support Black Lives Matter by finding ways for white people to use their privilege to be effective allies. Learning how to intervene when witnessing harassment and potential violence is necessary and empowering! So join us at the meetinghouse on May 31.

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Mon. 5/14/18: It’s Time for Moral Confrontation: New Poor People’s Campaign Stages Nationwide Civil Disobedience

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BOALTC Adds Ombudsman for IRIS Participants 60 and over

As approved in the state of Wisconsin biennial budget, the State of Wisconsin Board on Aging and Long-Term Care (BOALTC) Long Term Care Ombudsman program has been expanded to provide advocacy for individuals 60 and over enrolled in IRIS (Include, Respect, I Self-Direct).

  • The IRIS Ombudsman for participants age 60 and above, the State of Wisconsin Board on Aging and Long-Term Care (BOALTC), is officially in place and able to take calls.

  • The phone number for the age 60 and above Ombudsman is 1–800–815–0015.

As a reminder, Disability Rights Wisconsin (DRW) serves as the ombudsman for participants age 18–59 for IRIS, as well as Family Care and Family Care Partnership.

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The MHA-WI Wellness Clinic is now open and accepting new clients.

Who We See

  • We provide counseling and support services for adults, adolescents and children.

Our Treatment Approach

  • Strengths-based
  • Client-centered
  • Trauma-informed

Areas of Focus

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Relationship issues
  • Trauma
  • Parenting
  • Grief
  • Stress
  • Mood Disorders
  • Codependency
  • Veterans issues
  • Personality Disorders
  • Domestic violence
  • Child loss
  • General mental health concerns

Types of Payment Accepted

  • Medicaid/T-19
  • Most Medicaid HMOs (call for a complete list)
  • Sliding fee scale
  • Cash/Credit card

The MHA-WI Wellness Clinic is an approved ancillary provider for the Comprehensive Community Services (CCS) network. To learn more about our CCS approved services, contact wellnessclinic@mhawisconsin.org or 414–336–7975.

The MHA-WI Wellness Clinic is certified by the State of Wisconsin.


The Tannery Business Center - Atlas Building
600 W. Virginia St., Suite 502, Milwaukee, WI 53204


Monday – Friday 9am - 5pm
Evening hours by appointment


Phone: (414) 276–3122 or (414) 336–7975
Email: wellnessclinic@mhawisconsin.org

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Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force – May 8 meeting

A reminder to please join us for the Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force May meeting, Tuesday, May 8, from 3 – 5:30 PM at IndependenceFirst, 540 S. 1st St.

Featured Topic - Focus on Housing:

Affordable accessible housing is essential for advancing recovery and independence for individuals who live with a mental illness.

  • Jim Mathy, Housing Administrator for the Milwaukee County Housing Division will brief us on the Housing Division’s services and supports. He will also address some of the challenges and opportunities to sustain services moving forward.

  • Wendy Weckler, Executive Director of Hope House of Milwaukee will share the work of the Shelter and Transitional Housing Task Force to help us explore additional collaboration.

  • A peer specialist who works in the housing field will inform us about their important work.

Don’t miss this opportunity to learn about these important resources for you and for individuals served by your agency,

Other agenda items will include:

  • Recognition of Mental Health Task Force Co-chair Kelly Davis. After 10 plus years of making a positive difference in Milwaukee, Kelly and her family are moving back “home” to Idaho. Please join us to thank Kelly for her tremendous leadership and advocacy. The meeting will be extended until 5:30, to allow us to end the day with refreshments and social time in honor of Kelly.

  • Something to Think About: Terri Ellzey, Chair, Diversity Committee

  • Updates on Milwaukee County BHD Budget process and Redesign of Psychiatric Crisis Services - Update on our recommendations for Crisis Services and for the 2019 BHD Budget, and tips on opportunities to share your priorities.

  • Opening on the MHTF Steering Committee and how to apply.

Environmental/Chemical Sensitivities: For the safety and comfort of those with chemical sensitivities, IndependenceFirst requests that people visiting our agency, refrain from using any perfumed products and not smoke near the building.

Note: Please arrive early to allow time for parking so we can start on time.

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Fri. 5/4/18: Confront the racist in you, in us all: The Legacy of Lynching, on Death Row

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The NRA convenes this weekend… and so do we

from Jeri Bonavia, Exec. Dir., WAVE, WI Anti-Violence Effort

This weekend in Dallas, the NRA will host its annual meeting. But this year when the gun industry gathers to celebrate itself, they will be met by scores of protestors ready to stand up for our right to live peacefully and safely. A new campaign called #NoRA will be there to remind convention attendees just what is at stake, by reading and tweeting the names of all children under age 18 who have been killed by guns this year. It will take 10 hours to complete.

Here in Milwaukee, we will be joining the family of Dontre Hamilton, who was shot and killed by a Milwaukee police officer in 2014, for Dontre Day at Red Arrow Park downtown.

The convergence of these two events highlights what we have long known: the NRA’s dangerous “guns everywhere” agenda puts us all at risk and disproportionately burdens children and people of color.

What: Dontre Day
When: Saturday, May 5, noon - 5 pm
Where: Red Arrow Park, 920 N. Water St., Milwaukee

Please join us at this family-friendly event designed to strengthen the community by coming together in dance, music, poetry, love, and respect. Help the Hamilton family in their quest to “turn this day of extreme grief to a day of social relief and advancement of all people within the City of Milwaukee.”

And while we’re at it, we’ll send a message to the NRA that we reject their extremist and dangerous agenda—we stand in support of all victims of gun violence.

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Finally a Link Between Cannabis and Education

By Eilene Stevens, GRNS Chair


Yesterday the MJS headline was, “Gov. Scott Walker says he would campaign with Donald Trump if he comes to Wisconsin” A video accompanied the story where Walker said, “The left is angry and their rhetoric and their language is filled with hatred and they are motivated. They are more motivated than any time I have seen in the last 25 years.”

He is always wrong — in so many ways. He got part of it right, however. We are, indeed, motivated. A good sign of that motivation is in this week’s calendar. During the next two weeks, the myriad of Gubernatorial candidates will be together twice trying to engage voters. On Saturday, May 5 they will be sharing their views on cannabis. On the following Saturday, they will be speaking about Education. It is our job to learn about the candidates.

As the summer heats up, so will the campaigns. Between now and the August 14th Primary Election, get to one of these events. On June 26th Grassroots North Shore will be having its own Gubernatorial Forum. With this many candidates, we voters have the responsibility to learn what differentiates them. In the meantime, find whoever is running from your district and get to know the candidate. I live in the 23rd Assembly District so I will be attending Andy Lamb’s event on the 10th.

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tues. 5/1/18: Make this work: Tommy Thompson: Help solve Wisconsin’s coming labor shortage by rehabilitating prisoners

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May 2nd - Here I Am: An evening of youth storytelling on mental health

Mental Health Task Force/ Make It Work Milwaukee Update

Please join us, today, Wednesday, May 2nd for a wonderful event featuring our Milwaukee youth sharing their stories of recovery.

Disability Rights Wisconsin and other community agencies will be there at 6:30 to share our resources, so plan to arrive by 6:30 to check out the Resource Fair! Hope to see you May 2nd at 6:30 - Loos Room at Centennial Hall, 733 N. Eighth St., Milwaukee. For details, see below or check out Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/events/1990577907623031/

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and National Alliance on Mental Illness present an evening of storytelling by Milwaukee-area youth.

Students and young adults will share short stories about their personal experiences with mental health challenges. They’ve lost loved ones to suicide, fought lawmakers for more resources in their schools and started their own initiatives to support their fellow students. They’re sharing their stories to break stigma around mental illness and push for better support.

Also at the event, you’ll hear from local experts on mental health and you’ll have the opportunity to pick up resources from community organizations. Check out the resource fair before the event (same location) from 6:30 to 7.

This event builds on reporting by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin on youth mental health. Find the series at jsonline.com/kidsincrisis.

***This event is free, accessible and open to the public. Arrive early to make sure you get a seat.

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Welcome to Medicare Event- May 14

This is a friendly reminder that a Welcome to Medicare presentation is coming up in 2 weeks on May 14 from 1:30–3:30pm at Washington Park Senior Center. This is a joint presentation between MCDA, Disability Rights WI and the Disability Resource Center of Milwaukee County and will offer unbiased information about the Medicare benefit. Please share this with anyone who may be new to Medicare or who may want a refresher.

Monday, May 14, 1:30–3:30pm
Washington Park Senior Center 4420 W. Vliet St.

Join us for an objective overview of the options and benefits offered through Medicare.
- No Sales
- No Insurance
- Understand the A,B,C, and D of Medicare

RSVP by May 7 to (414) 289–6546 or carmen.pangilinan@milwaukeecountywi.gov

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Sun. 4/29/18: Wisconsin Teens, Wake UP: These teens saw how poor mental health hurt their peers. So they got a law passed.

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National Organization Hosts Groundbreaking Leadership Training for Formerly Incarcerated Milwaukeeans While Prison Closure Campaign Continues to Gain Momentum in Milwaukee

By Mark Rice, Milwaukee Campaign Coordinator, JustLeadershipUSA

JustLeadershipUSA is a national, criminal justice reform, nonprofit organization that aims to cut the United States correctional population in half by 2030 by empowering those most impacted by mass incarceration to drive policy reform. JustLeadershipUSA held its groundbreaking Emerging Leaders training at Milwaukee Area Technical College in April 2018. This is the twelfth Emerging Leaders training that JustLeadershipUSA (JLUSA) has held across the country, and 150 men and women have graduated from the training. The training itself is an abridged version of JLUSA’s Leading with Conviction program, which is an intensive, year-long program, currently in its fourth year, that trains formerly incarcerated men and women to amplify their leadership in criminal justice reform.

Additionally, JustLeadershipUSA (JLUSA) has partnered with or helped build advocacy campaigns across the country, including their local effort: the #CLOSEmsdf campaign led by Community Coordinator Mark Rice. Rice is a graduate of the 2017 Leading with Conviction cohort and has led the #CLOSEmsdf campaign since its launch last June. Demanding the immediate closure of the Milwaukee Secure Detention Facility, the campaign has garnered significant support, most recently evidenced by the resolution from Milwaukee County Supervisor Peggy West demanding an end to policies that have created or fueled mass incarceration.

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Crisis: Mental Health Services for the Deaf/Hard of Hearing/Deaf Blind

By Eva Dicker Eiseman

Eva Dicker Eiseman has been working on committees trying to improve services for people who cannot hear or cannot see, or both, for more than 25 years, “But we have not made much progress in that time,” she said. Obviously, she is far from giving up this pursuit of justice. She is a member of the Legislative Committee of the Wisconsin Association Of The Deaf, which is working on several pieces of legislation, including providing adequate mental health services for this underserved population. Email your questions to her at saftaeve@gmail.com

People who are deaf/hard of hearing and deaf blind are an underserved cultural and linguistic population within the nation’s mental health system. It is not unusual for a person within these categories to be misdiagnosed. Communication issues, as well as cultural and language issues, are often mistaken for a mental illness or mental retardation.

The National Association of the Deaf has issued a position paper stating that these individuals should be able to access mental health services that are culturally and linguistically equal in quality and effectiveness as those services provided to those individuals who are able to hear.

Unfortunately, this has not been the case. Services continue to be inadequate for the deaf, hard of hearing and deaf blind people, depriving them of so many of services that are linguistically and culturally suitable for them. And yet, they also pay taxes. They should have the same accessibility that individuals who hear receive.

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BHD Mental Health Month Resources

Mental Health Task Force Update

May is Mental Health Month. Thanks to Nzinga Khalid and BHD for sharing some great resources - see attached and below for details.

BHD Mental Health Month Resources
Greetings Everyone,

Please share in your networks. The official flyers are attached for the Fitness #4Mind4Body Event, the Book Drive, and the BHD Mental Health Month Tool Kit. We have embraced many elements in the MHA tool kit which can be downloaded from the Mental Health America website.

Please click link to register to attend or to be a resource vendor. Your support is appreciated!

If you have any questions, please, don’t hesitate to ask.

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They still fund guns

A month ago, Senator Elizabeth Warren launched YouFundGuns.com – a project to urge some of the country’s largest shareholders in gun companies to push them for responsible behavior. The Senator’s 4/20/18 email states:

Good news: You Fund Guns.com is starting to get attention – and results.

BlackRock – the world’s largest shadow bank – announced a few weeks ago that it will offer new investment fund and pension plan products that exclude companies that manufacture or sell guns.

Don’t get me wrong – this is only one small step. BlackRock and the other investment firms can (and should) do a lot more to pressure gun manufacturers and retailers.

But think about it this way: If investors in your hometown and all over the country opt-out of funding not only gun companies, but also gun retailers like Walmart – and if they feel the financial impact of people demanding gun reform – we have a fighting chance to influence real change.

The Parkland student leaders are also jumping into this fight. Earlier this week, David Hogg tweeted:

David Hogg on Twitter: .@blackrock and @Vanguard_Group are two of the biggest investors in gun manufacturers; if you use them, feel free to let them know. Thanks

This team is making a real difference by speaking out and making your voices heard. But BlackRock is only one firm, and the others are laying low, maybe hoping all this attention will blow over. But we’re not going away. On this National Walkout Day, will you call or tweet to the country’s biggest investment firms and urge them to show some political courage to stand up to the gun industry?

A few weeks ago, I stopped by an amazing #TownHallforOurLives organized by local students and Stop Handgun Violence volunteers in Natick, Massachusetts.

These smart, passionate young people made it very clear: they’re not going to stop fighting until we get the change we need to keep kids safe in their classrooms and on our streets. They aren’t giving up – and neither can we.

I’m going to keep fighting my heart out in Washington until we pass common-sense gun reform. But every change is important – and urging shareholders to use their financial muscle so that gun manufacturers and retailers they fund will regulate their own weapons is another tool in our toolbox.

This team has already helped get results with BlackRock – now let’s keep them coming. Go to YouFundGuns.com to call or tweet at the investment firms that make money off of gun sales.

Thanks for being a part of this. Your hard work is powerfully important.


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Theory on Consciousness

By Claire Heile

Claire Heile is an artist, musician and research microbiologist with a focus on the bioremediation of pollutants.

The concept of existence and reality can be exposed as a hologram created from the combined conscious energy exerted by both animate and inanimate entities. This energy constructs a cyclical latticework on which all perceivable dimensions are assembled. By breaching the confines of reality, the notion of space and time can be transformed.

The sense of a “self” is shed down to a pit of a “being.” The sense of a “reality” is deconstructed into a tangible mindscape that is both instantaneous and infinite. The sense of a “presence” is clinging to the confines of consciousness. Streams of consciousness flow through this mindscape like an ethereal soup. Slip into its currents and let it carry you downstream through a fractal of tributaries, cascading, ebbing and flowing. Explore the cities of consciousness built within the vastness of eternity; hold onto the energy of others and surf the tides in unison.

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Suicide The Ripple Effect Film Screenings in May

Mental Health Task Force/ Make It Work Milwaukee Update

Please join WISE, PSGM, MHA WI, and NAMI-Waukesha for one of three May screenings of Kevin Hines’ powerful new film Suicide The Ripple Effect. Kevin tells his story of living with a mental health diagnosis, his suicide attempt, and his journey to recovery and world-wide advocacy for suicide prevention and emotional wellness.
Suicide: The Ripple Effect - Official Trailer- Sneak Peek - YouTube

This film has a limited theater presence-tickets must be purchased ahead of time through the Gathr websites noted for each screening.

A brief “talk back” will follow each of the screenings, and resource materials will be available.
For the May 1st Oriental Theater screening, there are about 60 free parking spots available in the Prospect Medical Commons parking garage, 2311 N. Prospect Ave., just across North Ave. from the Oriental.

Please let me know if you have any questions regarding the screenings.


Barbara Moser, MD
Chair, Prevent Suicide Greater Milwaukee Coalition

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Highlights from 2017 so far: The Good News and Pivotal Facts

Tues. 4/17/18: Opinion | The Trump administration loses an immigration case — with Gorsuch as the deciding vote

Sat. 4/7/18 : “The only thing that will really seal the death certificate of the ‘alt-right’ is an ever-growing presence of antifascism in all areas of social life, a movement whose vibrancy is overwhelming and has the ability to be intergenerational.”

Tues. 3/27/18: Putin Finally Went Too Far

Mon. 3/26/18: Great News! Remington, the oldest U.S. gunmaker, files for bankruptcy amid declining sales

Thurs. 3/22/18: Judge orders Gov. Scott Walker to hold special elections for open legislative seats in Eric Holder suit

Click here for more good news
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Policy Changes to IDAP - Interim Disability Assistance Program

Mental Health Task Force / Make It Work Milwaukee Update

We are writing to pass on information about some changes to the Milwaukee County Interim Disability Assistance Program (IDAP) Program. As a result of budget cuts in the 2018 Milwaukee County budget, there are some policy changes to IDAP, effective April 1 – please see the memo from Geri Lyday below with details. Note that the IDAP program is administered by Milwaukee County and operated by Community Advocates.

By way of background, IDAP is a County-funded temporary loan program that provides a small monthly payment to financially needy County residents 18 and older who are unable to work due to a disability, and who have a high probability of receiving federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI). The payment is issued until SSI eligibility is approved or denied, after which IDAP eligibility ends.

IDAP is not an entitlement benefit, but an interest-free loan and IDAP recipients must sign a contract to repay. If SSI is approved, repayment is deducted from the initial SSI lump sum payment. If SSI is denied, eligibility ends and the individual is expected to reimburse the County from any future income or non-exempt assets, or from their estate upon death. Since the wait for federal disability benefits which can extend to many months, IDAP provides a modest but crucial safety net for some of our neediest community members, who rely on the small monthly payment to help cover rent, transportation, and other basic needs.

Click for full size

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April 16th: A Call to Action

The Department of Corrections (DOC) is proposing to change its internal rule, DOC Rule 302, that governs classification and movement of people in prisons. By law, they had to take public comment on the rule, and many WISDOM people offered written and verbal comments, calling for some common sense changes that would help parole-eligible people and people eligible for “compassionate release.”

The DOC ignored the comments and basically made their new rules harder for those people.

When the Administration tries to change rules, they are overseen by the Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules. It is the only body the DOC is accountable to, other than the Governor. But, if the Co-Chairs, one from the Assembly, and one from the Senate, decline to look at the rule or to hold hearings, the new rules automatically become official policy: they are, essentially, the law.

The Co-Chairs of the Committee have chosen so far to ignore DOC Rule 302, and if they do nothing, it will become law on April 28.

We need to ask Assembly Representative Joan Ballweg and Senator Stephen Nass to hold a Committee hearing on DOC Rule 302.

All you need to do is to contact their office by e-mail or, better, by phone, to ask them to hold a hearing on Chapter 302 of the Administrative Code before April 28.

You can reach them at:

Thank you!

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Sun. 4/15/18: “(A)fter 13 years of study (the conclusion is) that all humans share the same genes.” We Cannot Discuss Race and IQ Without Discussing the Social Construction of Race

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Transportation Alert: “Job Lines” Buses Under Threat

Mental Health Task Force/ Make It Work Milwaukee Update

Funding for the bus system and other transportation has been a priority for our coalitions, as so many people with mental illness and other disabilities rely on the bus system to maintain their independence and ability to live in the community, and it is key to maintaining employment. Transit is also essential for many direct care providers to get to work.

We wanted to share this Update regarding a threat to funding for Milwaukee buses and a call to action:


Funding for buses that transport 28,000 workers to suburban jobs will soon be lost.

Milwaukee residents living in zip codes 53205, 53206, 53208, 53209, 53210, 53212, 53216, 53218, 53233 are in danger of losing an important lifeline. The Milwaukee County Transit System’s (MCTS) bus routes 6 and 61 – also known as the JobLines – will disappear from these nine urban zip codes at the end of 2018, unless new funding sources are found.

The JobLines routes were established in 2014 as a settlement with the Wisconsin and U.S. Departments of Transportation, the Black Health Coalition of Wisconsin (BHCW) and Milwaukee Inner-City Congregations Allied for Hope (MICAH) to aid in transporting individuals living in urban neighborhoods to employment opportunities in Waukesha and Washington Counties.

Route 6 runs west along Capitol Drive to Moorland Rd. and south through several New Berlin industrial parks. Route 61 runs northwest along W. Appleton Avenue into a busy business district in Menomonee Falls.

If you are unsure about the impact of losing these two bus lines, consider this:

  • The JobLines routes provide reliable transportation to 28,000 residents in these zip codes where nearly 20 percent do not have access to a car for work.

  • Ridership on the JobLines is healthy and is growing. Currently, about 1,000 daily riders depend on the JobLines to connect them with good-paying jobs at over 150 employers in New Berlin, Brookfield and Menomonee Falls.

  • Residents also rely on the routes to get them to shopping, doctor appointments, workforce training centers, church, job interviews, child care, school, and more.

  • Businesses in the New Berlin industrial parks, which already need workers for current jobs, expect to expand and hire more workers as they begin filling orders for Foxconn.

  • The JobLines routes would be excellent feeder lines for the proposed Milwaukee-to-Foxconn commuter bus route.

In short, transportation has a ripple effect on the economic health of the entire area it serves. Imagine the crippling effect on your daily routine if you did not have access to a car. It’s something most of us take for granted.

So, what do we tell the inner-city residents at the end of 2018 when their transportation lifeline is cut off? What do we tell businesses that suffer due to losing access to employees and customers? What do we tell taxpayers who become disenchanted with the area’s growing blight?

What we can tell people and business owners is to speak up NOW:

1. Sign the online petition to keep the JobLines routes alive: http://bit.ly/SaveOurJobLines

2. Attend “THE JOBS ARE ON THE LINE” Community Rally on May 19, 2018 at The Wisconsin Black Historical Society from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Encourage others to attend to build community support for the JobLines.

3. Spread the word about the importance of JobLines to our communities. Talk often with elected officials, faith leaders, activists and local community organizations. The Black Health Coalition of Wisconsin and Milwaukee Inner-City Congregations Allied for Hope meet regularly with MCTS to discuss the JobLines bus routes and other transportation issues. We invite area businesses and community leaders to invest in and commit to JobLines as well.

The Rev. Marilyn Miller is the Pastor of Reformation Lutheran Church and President of the Milwaukee Inner-City Congregations Allied for Hope, and Jim Addison is the President & CEO of the Black Health Coalition of Wisconsin.

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May 1st will be a Day without Latinxs & Immigrants to Stop 287g in Waukesha

My name is José Flores, and I am the President of Voces de la Frontera. I am a husband and father of four, and a proud immigrant worker from Waukesha.

Tuesday, May 1st, is a national day of action for immigrant and worker rights. In Wisconsin, we will rise up to demand that Waukesha County Sheriff Eric Severson reject the 287g program, which would turn his deputies into ICE agents.

We will march at 10am from Cutler Park in Waukesha.
Can we count on you to join us? Click here to RSVP!

If 287g takes effect in Waukesha, families like mine would be at risk of being stopped for something minor like driving without a license, and torn apart forever.

May 1st will be a Day without Latinxs and Immigrants. This means no work, no school, and no buying from large corporations.

In 2017, we defeated Sheriff Clarke and his 287g application in Milwaukee by organizing two different Days without Latinxs and Immigrants. Together, we can do this in Waukesha too.

Click here to find employer letters, student permission slips, flyers, and all the tools you need to help organize for May Day.
Click here to find information about transportation from across the state or to reserve a seat on the bus.

Can you donate $20 to help pay for the cost of the buses? Click here to make a tax-deductible donation.

On May Day, todxs somos Waukesha. We are all Waukesha.

José Flores, President
Voces de la Frontera

Click here for Spanish
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Here I Am: An evening of youth storytelling on mental health

Mental Health Task Force / Make It Work Milwaukee Update

Each event will feature young people sharing stories about their own experiences with mental health challenges, as well as community resource tables.

April 20 in Waukesha: https://www.facebook.com/events/1385008698265221/
Richard T. Anderson Education Center at Waukesha County Technical College, 800 W. Main St. Pewaukee, WI 53072
Resource Fair is 6:30 – 7 PM. Event is 7 – 8:30 PM

May 2 in Milwaukee: https://www.facebook.com/events/1990577907623031/
Loos Room at Centennial Hall, 733 N. Eighth St., Milwaukee
Resource Fair is 6:30 – 7 PM. Event is 7 – 8:30 PM

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and National Alliance on Mental Illness present an evening of storytelling by youth from southeastern Wisconsin (April 20) and Mary 2nd (Milwaukee).

Students and young adults will share short stories about their personal experiences with mental health challenges. They’ve lost loved ones to suicide, fought lawmakers for more resources in their schools and started their own initiatives to support their fellow students. They’re sharing their stories to break stigma around mental illness and push for better support.

Also at the event, you’ll hear from local experts on mental health and you’ll have the opportunity to pick up resources from community organizations. Check out the resource fair before the event (same location) from 6:30 to 7.

This event builds on reporting by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin on youth mental health. Find the series at jsonline.com/kidsincrisis.

***Free, accessible and open to the public. Arrive early to make sure you get a seat.

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The Second Amendment is Not a Death Sentence For Our Children

In 1981 I was serving as a federal prosecutor in Eugene, Oregon when a shipment of Ruger Mini-14 semi-automatic assault rifles arrived at the County Sheriff’s office. However, the Sheriff had not ordered the weapons—they had been purchased by several prosecutors and investigators within the District Attorney’s office. The Sheriff complained to ATF, the federal agency which enforces federal gun laws, and I coordinated the investigation on behalf of the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

No prosecution ever resulted from the investigation as it was determined that no federal laws were violated in the transaction. But the recent spate of mass shootings perpetrated by domestic terrorists using semi-automatic military weapons reminded me of that 1981 event.

To explain, there was no federal or state legislation banning the sale of semi-automatic assault rifles back then because the arms industry was simply not marketing these weapons to the general public. Sturm-Ruger, the manufacturer of the Mini-14, limited its sales of such weapons to bonafide law enforcement officers (the reason the Sheriff complained to ATF in the first instance was that he disputed whether District Attorney personnel qualified as law enforcement).

In the course of the investigation I was told by ATF agents that Ruger had a policy of limiting its sales of Mini-14s to the military and police because these were anti-personnel weapons unsuitable for legitimate sport or hunting by the public.

But the decade of the 1980s saw a sea change in the attitude and marketing tactics of the arms industry and its close ally, the NRA.

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A Very Good Weekend for WISDOM

1) Thanks to many, many phone calls and expressions of concern, the “Understanding the Threat” group cancelled the workshop it planned for April 9. Not only that, after being exposed in Green Bay and Pewaukee, they shot down their entire planned Midwest tour. This is a group the Southern Poverty Law Center categorizes as an “Anti-Muslim Hate Group.” Make no mistake: they cancelled their recruiting events because so many of you called the venues to let them know what kind of group was attempting to use their facilities. Congratulations!

2) On Saturday, the “Race to Justice” spring training event in Milwaukee exceeded expectations. More than 50 leaders from Milwaukee, Racine, Kenosha and Waukesha came to build relationships and to learn more about Wisconsin’s criminal justice system and how it can be fixed. Most importantly, everyone made plans and commitments to reach out to educate the broader community through presentations and door-to-door canvassing, as well as to hold forums where we can challenge candidates for office to declare their intentions around fixing the criminal justice system.

3) The next Race to Justice training will be this coming Saturday, April 14, in Madison. There is still space available. If you want to attend, contact MOSES organizer Frank Davis at 32davisfrank@gmail.com or at (608–509–7433). Race to Justice trainings will also be happening in Green Bay on April 28, Superior on May 4 and Eau Claire on May 5.

4) And, mark your calendars for Monday, June 11. On that evening, WISDOM will sponsor a candidate forum for the leading candidates for Governor of Wisconsin. They have all received invitations. The event will be held in Pewaukee, near the I-94 expressway, but we hope to have WISDOM members from across the state.

5) Click HERE to see WISDOM leaders featured in a new Gamaliel video.

6) To support WISDOM’s ongoing work, or to help pay for buses for people coming to the June 11 forum, click HERE.

Thank you.

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Stop an Anti-Muslim Event on Monday

UPDATE: Hours After WISDOM Sent the Message Below, the Country Springs Hotel Canceled Racist Event:

We have learned that the Country Springs Hotel in Pewaukee is hosting an anti-immigrant event on Monday: http://www.worldviewweekend.com/events/free/free-milwaukee-wisconsin-understanding-threat-islam-America.

John Guandolo and Chris Gaubatz are going around to spread anti-Muslim propaganda. They were scheduled in Green Bay but our JOSHUA members stepped up, made a lot of phone calls, and the event in Green Bay was cancelled.

The Country Springs Hotel hosts a lot of civic events and markets itself as family-friendly with their big water park.

Put your family-friendly and faith values to work: call the Country Springs Hotel and tell them how disappointed you are that they would host such an event.

Call Country Springs Hotel now: (262) 547–0201.

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Moving Recovery into Practice: An eLearning Series for peer specialists serving people with mental health conditions experiencing homelessness

Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force invites you to a Free Training

SAMHSA’s Recovery to Practice (RTP) initiative is offering an onsite, face-to-face introduction to this eLearning series created for peer specialists serving people with mental health conditions experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness. Space is Limited - Register Online Now:

Monday May 7, 4 – 8 PM or Tuesday May 8, 9 AM – 1 PM

Hosted by Whole Health Clinical Group at 932 S. 60th St., West Allis

Register online at: http://www.milwaukeemhtf.org/2015/04/05/moving-recovery-into-practice/
More information and training resources can be accessed from: https://www.samhsa.gov/recovery-to-practice

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Thurs. 4/5/18: “(Capital strike,) an effort to limit the ability of labor to exert the same kind of control over politics and discourse as capital itself does”:

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Meeting for Region 6 Medicaid SSI HMO Enrollment Changes

In regards to the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) managed care expansion, the Department of Health Services (DHS) will host two meetings for members of Region 6 (Milwaukee) about the HMO enrollment changes for Medicaid SSI members. The meetings are an opportunity for members to learn more about the change and meet with area SSI HMO representatives to help members make an informed HMO choice. Details for the meeting for this region can be found in the HMO enrollment changes flyer.

Public meetings are scheduled for April 11th and 12th

DHS will announce the meeting in several of the local newspapers and geographically targeted Facebook ads. If you or your organization works directly with Medicaid SSI adult members, please help distribute the flyer in areas such as a lobby or waiting room where Medicaid members for Region 6 may see it. Region 6 includes members who live in Milwaukee County.

For more information about the Medicaid SSI HMO enrollment changes, visit https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/medicaid/hmo-2018chng.htm. To report issues related to the SSI managed care expansion email dhsssimanagedcareexpansion@dhs.wisconsin.gov.

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Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force – April 10 meeting

Please join us for the Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force April meeting, Tuesday, April 10, from 3 – 5 PM at IndependenceFirst, 540 S. 1st St.

  • Featured Program: Milwaukee County Disability Benefit Specialist Program. Disability benefit specialists (DBS) help answer questions and solve problems related to Social Security, Medicare, health insurance, and other public and private benefits for people with disabilities. They provide assistance with application and appeal procedures, and serve people ages 18–59 who have a disability. Services are free and confidential. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn about an important service for Milwaukee residents who live with a mental illness or other disability, and for individuals served by your agency.

Our April 10th agenda will include the following:

  • Something to Think About: Bridging the Language Divide, Terri Ellzey Diversity Committee

  • Milwaukee County Disability Benefit Specialist Program, Shakita LaGrant, Milwaukee County Disability Resource Center, Program Coordinator-Enrollment & Eligibility

  • Recommendations for MHTF to consider endorsing regarding improving outcomes for individuals with mental health needs who are involved with the criminal justice system, presented by members of the Felmers O. Chaney Advocacy Board (FCAB) Mental Health Committee, Patricia Obletz, Martina Gollin-Graves, Kay Koneazny, and Sara Morgan

  • Milwaukee County Redesign of Psychiatric Crisis Services - What Is Needed? Small group discussion of recommendations for Crisis Services and for the 2019 BHD Budget

  • SSI Medicaid Managed Care expands to 8,000 Milwaukee residents who have a disability determination. Town Halls are scheduled for April 11 and 12 (see attached) – plan to attend and help us spread the word.

Environmental/Chemical Sensitivities: For the safety and comfort of those with chemical sensitivities, IndependenceFirst requests that people visiting our agency, refrain from using any perfumed products and not smoke near the building.

Note: Please arrive early to allow time for parking so we can start on time.

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RACE TO JUSTICE TRAINING: Saturday, April 7, 9:00 to 1:00, MICAH, 2821 N. 4th St. 1st Fl

This is a reminder to all MICAH ROC Task Force members and to everyone who wants to do something about mass incarceration, that the “Race to Justice” training for Southeast Wisconsin is set for this Saturday, April 7, 9:00 to 1:00, in MICAH’s large meeting room on the first floor of the Welford Sanders Enterprise Building, 2821 N. 4th St.

The training will lift up the many aspects of the Wisconsin Correctional system that are stoking Wisconsin prisons and laying unnecessary burdens on inmates and inmates’ families, such as crimeless revocations, abusive use of restricted housing (solitary confinement), refusal to expand Treatment Alternatives & Diversionary (TAD) programming, scarcity of reentry resources, very limited use of compassionate release, and reluctance to release old law prisoners who are eligible for release.

The purpose of the training is to equip people to talk to candidates for political office, to family members and friends about the need for reform in the Wisconsin correctional system and to motivate people to be engaged in the candidate forums leading up to the primaries and elections scheduled for this fall.

The April 7 training is sponsored by MICAH, RIC (Racine), CUSH (Kenosha), and SOPHIA (WAUKESHA), and will draw participants from all of southeast Wisconsin.

For more information contact Sharyl in the MICAH office, 414–264–0805, or Joseph Ellwanger, 795–2343.

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Important Updates Monday, April 2

1. The next Race to Justice Spring Training is SATURDAY in Milwaukee.

  • to learn more about Wisconsin’s Criminal Justice system, and how we can safely reduce the prison population by thousands of people, and restore hope, fairness and sanity to the system
  • to meet with other people who share your passion and concern. Share your story, and hear the stories of others
  • to strategize to be sure these issues are heard by all who are running for state offices and make criminal justice reform a top priority in the 2018 election campaigns. Make sure we get out the vote this fall.

WHO: People who have been involved in the struggle for justice for years, people who are brand new and want to get involved, and everyone in-between.

HOW DO I SIGN UP? Contact any local WISDOM or EXO group, or send your name and preferred date to wisdomforjustice@gmail.com. There is no cost for the training.


  • April 7, WISDOM/EXPO/MICAH office, 2821 N. 4th St, Milwaukee (9 am to 1pm)
  • April 14, Damascus Road Church, 1702 S. Park St., Madison (9 am to 1 pm)
  • April 28, W. Side Moravian Church, 1707 S. Oneida St., Green Bay (11 am to 3 pm)
  • May 4, Peter Rich Community Center, 1201 N. 8th St., Superior, WI,
  • May 5, Immanuel Lutheran Church, 501 Grover Road, Eau Claire

2. The video of last week’s excellent production, “Like an Animal in a Cage”, on the horrors of solitary confinement in Wisconsin, is now available. Click HERE. Our thanks and appreciation to the cast and crew and Tim Coursen, the filmmaker.

3. Registration deadline is April 6 for the Just Leadership USA Emerging Leaders Training for formerly incarcerated people and those who care about them. For application and details: www.bit.ly/el2018wi.
Saturday, April 21, 2018: 8am - 4pm
Milwaukee Area Technical College, 700 W. State Street, Milwaukee

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Election Day Resources from DRW and the Disability Vote Coalition

Good morning. This is a reminder that April 3rd is Election Day and Disability Rights Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Disability Vote Coalition are resources to support the voting rights of Wisconsinites with disabilities.

On Election Day, April 3rd, the Disability Vote Coalition Hotline (1–844-DIS-VOTE/ 1–844–347–8683) will be staffed by Attorney Shunette Hunter in the Madison Disability Rights Wisconsin office. Please feel free to refer callers to the Hotline.

You may also receive election related calls. Although you should feel free to refer callers to the Disability Vote Coalition Hotline, you may be able to help the caller. We have developed an FAQ, Frequently Asked Questions on Election Day to help you – see below for a link.

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Growing Up Black and Quiet in Milwaukee

Rights and wrongs

By Sharon F. Skinner, PhD

March 2018

I walked to school every morning and home every afternoon. I went to a private school, St. Boniface grade school. My memories of St. Boniface are filled with contradictions. It was ground zero for the Civil Rights Movement here in Milwaukee. Our teachers were mostly nuns, and it was clear many of them had never been around little black kids before. Now that I look at some of the things going on with black children in grade school today, I get it now, to some degree, why those little children are being thrown into detention, or even having the police called on them. Even though these are little grade school kids, they apparently are just smaller versions of the law-breaking adults they will be. My depiction here of the nuns may come across as very acidic. I really think they could have opened their eyes and been better towards us as kids. But, what I experienced and suffered tells me that our nuns were human beings. And they certainly came with a host of fallacies.

As I’ve mentioned, I am an introvert. Going to school was stressful for me. All the way back to kindergarten, and from then on. I recall my father arguing with one of the nuns in administration at St. Boniface over my start grade. Apparently I did kindergarten at the public schools, but now I was going to go to this private school, along with my older sister. I can hear my father saying, “but she’s smart”, and the nun trying to lower his voice and tell him about some “study” that said they found that children coming from the public schools into the private schools did not perform as well, and needed to re-do a grade or two. What turned out was that there were quite a few “older” students in our grade. As I look back, I can recall some were up to three years older than we were. It’s interesting when you have children in your grade that much older than you. For instance, as you are getting all excited about Christmas, you find out the hard way that there is no Santa Claus, or no St. Nick. You also learn there is no Tooth Fairy. This was very disheartening when you’re a kid and your heart believes in these things.

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Fr John Dear, Leadership Training for Community Transformation

Go to www.micahmke.org to see all event and meeting listings

Tuesday April 3 at 7pm, author, activist and Nobel peace prize nominee Father John Dear connects the way of active nonviolence with solidarity with Creation, and shows how our global epidemic of violence and war could only lead to catastrophic climate change. He cites the third Beatitude as the basis for his meditation: “Blessed are the meek, they will inherit the earth.” At First Unitarian Society of Milwaukee in the sanctuary.

Saturday April 7 at 9 am Race to Justice to learn facts and strategies to cut the WI prison population in half so YOU can hold candidates and leaders accountable. At Welford Sanders Enterprise Center

Tuesdays, April 17, 24, May 1, 8 and 15, 6:30–8:30 pm Leadership Training for Community Transformation. An interactive, community-building leadership development series: the basic concepts, attitudes and disciplines needed to build strong, effective organizations capable of making real change.At Progressive Baptist Church

Sunday April 29 at 4–6 pm Freedom Seder for members of the African American and Jewish Communities. At All Saints Catholic Church

Thursday May 24 5:30 pm SAVE THE DATE for MICAH’s 30th Anniversary Celebration! Buy an ad for MICAH’s 2018-2019 Yearbook.

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MPD DOJ report feedback, Issues Night

Thurs Feb 22 5:30–8:00 pm MICAH Issues Night Mt Zion Baptist, 2207 N 2nd St, Potluck 5:30 Meeting 6:00. Find out about MICAH Issue groups! Break out into issue groups and return to report: Criminal Justice Reform, Jobs and Economic Development, Education and Multicultural and Immigration

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Milwaukee seeks dismissal of stop-and-frisk suit

The City of Milwaukee wants a federal court to dismiss a class action lawsuit over allegedly unconstitutional stop-and-frisk practices by the Milwaukee Police Department because former Police Chief Edward Flynn retired and because the city has promised to change its stop-and-frisk practices.

“Flynn no longer exercises supervisory authority over MPD officer and MPD operations,” the city said in a court filing. Flynn also does not have the power to continue to have police officers “conduct a high volume of traffic and pedestrian stops,” the city argued. … ACLU of Wisconsin, which brought the suit on behalf of stop-and-frisk targets, argued against the city’s request. Read more…

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Race to Justice 2018 begins with a WIN!

Senate Bill 54 is dead!

Many WISDOM leaders helped to lead the opposition to SB54, the bill that would have irresponsibly spent $350 million to build a new prison in Wisconsin. After so many visits and phone calls, the State Senate decided not to even vote on it: they completely dropped it from their agenda yesterday.

This is huge victory, and it sets the stage for serious conversations about how our state must responsibly reduce the prison population. WISDOM members really answered the call last week. Hundreds of you contacted Senators’ offices. About 100 of you went to the Capitol on short notice: besides more than 50 MOSES members, there were people from MICAH, RIC, CUSH, ESTHER, JOSHUA, NAOMI and JOB. We made a difference!

The Race to Justice Campaign now builds on that momentum. The first Race to Justice training will be this Saturday in Wausau. Besides learning a lot about needed reforms, we will be building our statewide strategy to ensure that real change in the Criminal Justice system is a top theme of the fall elections.

The Race to Justice training will also be held in Milwaukee, Madison, Green Bay, Superior, and Eau Claire. Visit http://www.rocwisconsin.org for details.

2018 is the best opportunity we have had in many years to get some real change in Wisconsin’s penal system. But, that will only happen if we demand it.

Be part of the solution:

  • Come to a Race to Justice training
  • Get involved with your local ROC Wisconsin group
  • Make a DONATION.

Thank you.

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Tues. 3/20/18: from The Atlantic April 2018 --- “If my black son has to learn that society will hate him, then let him hear about it from someone who unconditionally loves him.” The Heavy Burden of Teaching My Son About American Racism

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Mon. 3/19/18: If You Want To Live In A Democratic Society, Tune In: Sen. Sanders, Sen. Warren and Michael Moore Invite Entire Nation to a Live Town Hall Meeting on Wealth and Income Inequality

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Share your Priorities for the 2019 Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Division Budget

A reminder about Thursday’s Mental Health Board meeting which provides an important opportunity for public comment on 2019 Behavioral Health Division budget. Plan to attend and share your priorities. Click here for the hearing schedule

Share your Priorities for Mental Health – Complete Our Survey

The Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force would like to hear from you about your priorities for the 2019 budget for the Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Division. Budget planning is already underway, and we would like to support the process with input from the mental health community.

Please go to this link to complete the survey about 2019 budget priorities: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/JHYLSNR

  • If possible, enter your response by Tuesday evening, March 20, to help inform our budget testimony.
  • You do not need to answer all questions in the survey.
  • Please share the survey with others. If you are on Facebook, you can share the survey from our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/milwaukeemhtf

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Sun. 3/18/18: As MKE Justice Leaders have been saying not that long after CDBG’s first year: http://milwaukeenns.org/2018/03/13/city-shorts-black-led-organizations-on-federal-cdgb-grants-report-finds

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Voices from Solitary Confinement

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SSI Medicaid Managed Care Expansion - Milwaukee Information Meeting Schedule

The state of Wisconsin is currently expanding enrollment in HMOs for adult Medicaid members who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI). In the past, SSI members could choose to opt out from an SSI HMO after an initial 60-day trial period. Moving forward, many SSI participants will be required to enroll in an HMO.

Milwaukee Information Meetings
Letters are going out beginning this week to individuals in Milwaukee County residents who will be required to enroll in an SSI HMO. This is a major change and will impact approximately 12,000 Milwaukee County adults who have a disability. We encourage you to stay informed and help to support individuals who are impacted by this change.

Information meetings are being scheduled for April 11th and 12th at two Milwaukee locations.

  • You may want to discuss it with individuals you know and whom your agency serves who may be impacted, and encourage them to watch for the mailings and attend the information meetings.
  • There will also be some remote locations via livestream on April 12th. There is a strong interest in having agencies who are have specific linguistic and cultural proficiency. If you would like to find out about serving as a remote location, contact Craig Steele, DHS Project Manager at Phone: (608)266–7024, craig.steele@wisconsin.gov

How to get additional information:

  • Attend an Information Meeting in Milwaukee on April 11th or April 12th. SSI members, providers, case managers, advocates and others are encouraged to attend and learn about this major change.
  • The Information Meetings will include speakers from the Department of Health Services; from the Enrollment Services Center; and from Disability Rights Wisconsin, the External Advocates for SSI Medicaid Managed Care. The SSI HMOs will have information tables and be available to answer questions.
  • Check out the DHS website for more information: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/medicaid/hmo-2018chng.htm. It includes specifics on who is and is not required to enroll in an HMO. For example, individuals enrolled in Family Care, Partnership or IRIS cannot enroll in an SSI HMO.
  • To receive email updates about the expansion, go to the DHS web page for “HMO Enrollment Changes for Medicaid Supplemental Security Income Members” and join the email list: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/medicaid/hmo-2018chng.htm

Advocacy Assistance

  • Individuals who would like to receive advocacy assistance with SSI Medicaid Managed Care may contact Disability Rights Wisconsin at 800–708–3034 or 414–773–4646. This could include questions related to continuity of care, lack of notice, or other concerns.

Special Concerns:

  • Individuals who have a Social Security representative payee may not receive the notice and enrollment packet, as these materials seem to be sent to the representative payee and not the beneficiary.
  • Members have approximately six weeks to select an HMO. If they do not make a selection they will be assigned an HMO. They then will have 90 days to make a change and to request continuity of care if their providers are not in network.

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New Video on End Child Poverty Campaign

Check out our new End Child Poverty Video!
Then, please take a minute to share it with your friends, family, members of your faith community, your social media accounts, and anyone else you think might have a concern for the hundreds of thousands of children living in poverty in our state.
And, make sure you and your contacts have signed on to endorse the Campaign. You can do so here.

Part of our WISDOM Prophetic Declaration reads: “We believe in shared abundance and stand against the dominant culture of reckless consumption and consumerism for some and deprivation for others.”

Poverty is not just an economics problem or a public policy problem. Poverty is a spiritual and moral issue. We live in a state and country with more than enough to go around. We just need to make a decision that we will all work to make elimination of poverty and racial disparities a top priority. Ensuring the well-being of the most vulnerable among us needs to be the measure of the success of any society that truly believes in the infinite, God-given worth of every human being.

Since WISDOM and our partners at the Wisconsin Council of Churches, the Wisconsin Citizen Action Education Fund and KidsForward began this campaign, more than 1,500 people have added their names to be counted as believers in these goals.
Our goal is to gather 10,000 signers. Before we approach the politicians and decision-makers, we want to be able to show them that this is truly the will of the people of Wisconsin.

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Over the past several years our current state administration has quietly been stripping away the duties of the State Treasurer. Now, following a familiar playbook, they are saying that the position of Treasurer no longer has enough official duties to warrant its existence, and, therefore, should be eliminated. The end result would be to further concentrate power and give top members of the Walker administration even more control. To that end, they have put a Referendum Question on the April 3rd ballot.

The League of Women Voters provides the following information regarding that referendum.

Wisconsin Constitutional Amendment - Elimination of state treasurer

What it will say on the ballot
At the April 3 Spring Election, all Wisconsin voters will be asked to vote on the question:

Elimination of state treasurer. Shall sections 1 and 3 of article VI and sections 7 and 8 of article X of the constitution be amended, and section 17 of article XIV of the constitution be created, to eliminate the office of state treasurer from the constitution and to replace the state treasurer with lieutenant governor as a member of the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands?

What the state treasurer does
The state treasurer is a partisan office. The current duties prescribed by WI law include signing certain checks and financial instruments and helping publicize the state’s unclaimed property program (the program is managed and advertised by the Department of Revenue). Per the constitution, the treasurer serves along with the attorney general and secretary of state on the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands.

The Board manages the state’s remaining trust lands (more than 77,000 acres of forest), manages trust funds (more than $1 billion) primarily for the benefit of public education, and maintains the state’s archive of 19th-century land survey and land sales records.

What this referendum vote would do
This amendment would complete the transfer of financial duties from an independent elected official to agencies under the control of the governor. Supporters of the amendment contend that there are no remaining responsibilities that justify a separate office. Opponents are concerned about the consolidation of power in the executive branch.

Two successive legislatures voted to put this question to voters (as required by the Wisconsin Constitution). The decision made by voters on April 3rd is binding.

What a Yes or No vote means
A “Yes” vote means the voter agrees that the constitutional position of state treasurer should be abolished.
A “No” vote means the voter wants to retain the constitutional position of state treasurer.

Show the administration we know what they are up to: vote NO.

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Changing the Warrior Culture of the Police

By Patricia Obletz

The Urgent Need 4 Change: 44th President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing: law enforcement culture should embrace a guardian— rather than a warrior— mindset.

March 9, 2018 update This is what the last police chief wouldn’t do, despite the need to do so as outlined below by CC4QP two years ago: https://www.jsonline.com/story/news/crime/2018/03/09/how-milwaukees-new-police-chief-morales-changing-department/410021002/

The Community Coalition for Quality Policing (http://www.cc4qp.org/) was catapulted into being in 2016 by a series of unacceptable events involving the Milwaukee Police Department and the deaths or serious injuries suffered by unarmed blacks and Latinos as a result of altercations with the police. This coalition is a wide-ranging group of advocacy, activists and faith and service organizations united by the need to improve the Milwaukee Police Department’s community relations, reduce crime, and strengthen the lives of community members and police officers.

Sixty years ago, Daniel Bell was killed, despite being unarmed, although a knife had been found in his hand by police. But decades had to pass before a police officer’s conscience gave him the courage to testify to the placement of the knife.

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Fri. 3/9/18: “In the land of human opportunity”: How It Feels to Be a Problem

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Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force – March 13th meeting

Please join us for the March meeting of the Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force, Tuesday, March 13, from 3 – 5 PM at IndependenceFirst, 540 S. 1st St.

The agenda will include the following:

  • The Milwaukee Crisis Resource Centers are celebrating their 10th year of service. Dan Baker, Director of Crisis Services for Whole Health Clinical Group will provide an update. A great opportunity to learn about the work of the CRCs!

  • Something to Think About: Mass Murder’s effects on community and the role of mental health practitioners, Pardeep Kaleka

  • Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Division and WRAP will provide an update on substance abuse treatment services

  • Milwaukee County BHD budget – plan to attend the March 22nd Mental Health Board meet to share your budget priorities: 4:30 PM at Washington Park, 4420 W. Vliet.

  • April 3rd Spring election

  • SSI Medicaid Managed Care expands to 12,000 people in Milwaukee.

  • Arrive early to allow time for parking,

Also on March 13th:

Join us for Voting Resources and Registration!
Tuesday March 13th: IndependenceFirst, 540 S. 1st Street 2 – 3 PM – stop by anytime during this hour
Help with voter registration, and answers to your voting question – be prepared for the April 3rd election!

Environmental/Chemical Sensitivities: For the safety and comfort of those with chemical sensitivities, IndependenceFirst requests that people visiting our agency, refrain from using any perfumed products and not smoke near the building.

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Two weeks ago, the Wisconsin State Assembly recklessly approved a massive new expenditure of tax dollars to build a prison we don’t need. They amended Senate Bill 54 (SB54) so that it includes authorization to borrow $350 million to build a new prison, as well as another $50 million per year in additional spending.

The State Senate can stop this irresponsible plan when they meet later this month.

Next Tuesday we need as many people as possible to come to the Capitol to let Senators know that SB54 is a terrible idea. They need to stop it, and focus on policies that will actually make us safer.

Join us in Madison: Tuesday, March 13: 10:00am at the State Capital Building

For those coming from the Milwaukee/Racine/Waukesha area, there will be a bus, which has been chartered by our friends at the ACLU:
8:20 am Bus leaves Milwaukee from St. Francis Church, 1927 N. 4 th Street
8:40 am Bus stops at Goerke’s Corner Park & Ride
12:30 pm Bus leaves Madison to return to Milwaukee

If you want a seat on the bus, you need to register yourself HERE. The bus ride is free, but you need to be signed up, and you need to be there on time!
In Madison, we will visit the offices of all of our State Senators.

Whether or not you will be with us in Madison, we are also asking that you call your State Senator today. If you don’t know the number to call, you can find it HERE. You only need to contact your Senator’s office, not your Assembly Rep. It’s fine to talk with staff members.

Some things you can say to them include:

  • $350 million is a huge amount of money that the Assembly added at the last minute. That is reckless. Before spending our money on a new prison, the state needs to look at the ways it can safely reduce the prison population: by expanding Treatment Alternatives and Diversions (TAD); by ending Crimeless Revocations; by re-starting the Parole process. We could cut down the prison population by thousands by just doing those things.

  • Other states, both Democrat and Republican-led, are reducing their prison populations. Texas and Michigan are 2 examples of states that are closing prisons. And, the states that are reducing their prison populations are the ones seeing the greatest DECREASE IN CRIME.

As citizens, we want our leaders to take a careful look at how we can have less people in prison, rather than make a rash decision to borrow $350 million for our children and grandchildren to pay back.

Join us in Madison!
Call your State Senator!

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Mental Health Action Team invites you to join us
Thursday March 15, 8:00–9:30 a.m.
Tannery Building 700 W. Virginia St- Lower Level

Leah Rolando, MSW Suicide Prevention Specialist with Mental Health America of WI

Leah will present on risk factors and warning signs for suicide. She will discuss mental health and suicide trends and statistics in the Latino community and what we can do to foster a sense of hope and purpose for those in crisis. You will learn how to intervene in a moment of crisis and about local, national, and accessible online resources to refer when someone is in a suicidal crisis.

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April 3rd is the Spring election – are you prepared?

Join us for Voting Resources and Registration!

Tuesday March 13th
IndependenceFirst, 540 S. 1st Street
2 – 3 PM – stop by anytime during this hour

  • Check out resources about voting, learn about photo ID, and get registered to vote!

  • The League of Women Voters will be there to assist you with registering to vote. Bring your Proof of Residence(POR). This can be a State ID or a WI Driver’s License, but other forms are also acceptable.

  • Wisconsin Disability Vote Coalition will share resources and answer voting questions.

  • Learn about opportunities to support peers and clients on voting registration. We can train you on how to register voters!

  • The Mental Health Task Force meets at 3 PM at IndependenceFirst. Come early for voter registration and resources, and stay for the Mental Health Task Force!

Environmental/Chemical Sensitivities: For the safety and comfort of those with chemical sensitivities, IndependenceFirst requests that people visiting our agency, refrain from using any perfumed products and not smoke near the building.

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A Relationship Skill Building Workshop or (R.S.B)

By New Mt. Olive P.P.C and Our 53206 (R.E.A.C.H) Initiative

New Mt. Olive R.E.A.C.H Initiative is partnering with (S.T.C) Skilled Trades Collaborative, Union Local 113, Laborers, Bricklayers & Craftworkers and other trades industries such as Iron workers, plumbers, etc. in this outreach trade’s effort to connect with more African Americans and other underrepresented families from our communities. This (R.S.B.) workshop will focus on providing the introductory skills / tools it takes to become skill building tradesmen / women. Interested individuals will have the opportunity to meet and greet trades persons, explore different building trades, and receive the necessary information en-route to how one can achieve a successful promising skilled trade career. Also, there will be free light refreshments and even a Lego station for the tiny future builders (our children) to create and explore the world of construction! So, bring the family; come on out to receive and be blessed!

When is this happening?
Saturday March 10, 2018 @ LaFollette Public School located @ 3239 N. 9th Street, Milwaukee WI 53206
Between: 8:AM – 12: Noon
Contact: Tyrone Aikens: tyroneaikens@gmail.com or 414.303.8956

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Wednesday, March 7, 2018 11:45am to 12:45pm
Mitchell Street SSA Branch Office
(1710 S 7th St, Milwaukee, WI 53204)

The Social Security Administration is scheduled to close the Mitchell Street SSA Branch Office on March 22nd. There have been no public meetings or outreach conducted to allow members of the community to weigh in on how this would impact them. SSA is making a unilateral decision that will have grave impacts on one of Milwaukee’s largest Hispanic communities, forcing them to go to offices that are difficult or impossible for them to get to. Field Offices are already facing issues of overcrowding and closing a critical office on Milwaukee’s south side will exacerbate the problem.

We must make SSA listen to the community. Please attend this rally to keep our SSA office open!

To RSVP, please contact Jessica LaPointe at jmakes@yahoo.com or 608–239–3281

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Join us Tuesday for a rally and press conference to #Close MSDF!

  • Tuesday, March 6, 12:00 noon
  • Milwaukee Secure Detention Facility
  • 1015 N 10th St. Milwaukee (Outside)

The rally will lift up the two national organizations that have joined 35 local groups in the #CloseMSDF coalition. The rally is part of a national “Day of Empathy,” sponsored by the bi-partisan CUT50 organization.

CUT50 was founded by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and CNN commentator Van Jones to promote reduction of the prison population by 50%. At the rally, we will be joined by Ronald Simpson-Bey, staff member for JustLeadership USA, which is the other national partner for #CloseMSDF.

The rally will build empathy for all Wisconsinites who are behind bars.

Speakers will focus especially on the unjust incarceration of Ventae Parrow. Mr. Parrow, an active leader in EXPO, WISDOM, and #CloseMSDF has recently been “revoked” back to prison for more than two years, despite the fact that he has not committed or been charged with a crime since the 1990’s. This “crimeless revocation” makes Ventae one of more than 3,000 people who are inhumanely sent to prison for “technical violations” each year.

MSDF, one of the most inhumane penal facilities in the country, is filled with Wisconsinites imprisoned for allegedly violating rules of community supervision, not for committing a crime. People imprisoned in MSDF never see outside (there are no windows), and never get outdoors. The facility has no air conditioning and allows for no in-person visits by family members. 17 people have died while detained in MSDF.

Please join us. The event will go on, rain or shine (or sleet or snow). 1,200 people trapped in MSDF would be very happy to be able to stand with us in the snow and cold for 30 minutes. A small sacrifice seems to be in order for the Day of Empathy.

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Republicans AND Democrats are gutting the rules on Wall Street

By Senator Elizabeth Warren

In 2008, Wall Street’s reckless greed crashed our economy.

While millions of hard-working people lost their jobs, their homes, and their life savings, the big banks got a $700 billion no-strings-attached bailout from the American taxpayers. A bailout and nobody went to jail for causing the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

After the crash, Congress passed legislation called Dodd-Frank, which put new rules in place for the biggest financial institutions to stop another crisis and taxpayer bailout.

But now, less than a decade later, Senate Republicans – and some Senate Democrats – are getting ready to gut a lot of those rules for some of the country’s biggest banks. The bank lobbyists have been hitting Capitol Hill hard, and they have a Dodd-Frank rollback bill lined up with the support of every Republican and twelve Democrats.

We need to make some noise about this big wet kiss to the big banks by reminding Senators as loudly as possible: they work for the American people, not for big bank lobbyists. Sign our urgent petition right now to tell the Senate not to weaken the rules on big banks.

Dodd-Frank said that every bank with more than $50 billion in assets – that’s roughly the 40 biggest banks, or the top 0.5% of all banks by size – would have tougher rules than smaller banks. That means mandatory stress tests to analyze how they would react to another financial crisis and plans for how they would break apart, sell off assets, and liquidate in bankruptcy if they started to fail.

There’s a reason for this common-sense oversight of big banks: They are so big that they could potentially bring down the whole economy again if they failed and taxpayers didn’t bail them out again.

The bill that could be up in the Senate in the next few weeks would let almost 30 of the 40 biggest banks in the country could go back to looser rules like the ones that let them run wild before the 2008 crisis.

What could possibly go wrong?!?

The big bank lobbyists want you to believe that this bill is protecting poor little mom and pop banks from getting buried under red tape. But this bill is aimed at helping the big guys. These 30 banks got nearly $50 billion in taxpayer bailouts during the 2008 crisis.

And remember Countrywide? It was at the heart of the financial crisis. At its peak, Countrywide was financing one out of every five mortgages in the country. It was a major player in blowing up the economy. You know how big Countrywide was when it was leading the toxic mortgages that blew up our economy? About $200 billion – smaller than some of the banks that would be turned loose by this bill.

Let’s be clear: Banks of all sizes are making record profits right now. And if that wasn’t enough, the Republican tax bill just gave away billions to the big banks. They are swimming in money. There is no reason at all to roll back the rules on these big banks so they can pad their pockets even more – and cut them loose to take on wild risks again.

The American people – Democrats, Republicans, and Independents – want tougher rules on big banks, not weaker ones. It’s time to hold Republican AND Democratic Senators who support this bill accountable for siding with their big bank donors instead of working families.

I get it: Wall Street has money and power. But there are a lot more of us than there are of them. The only way to slow down this Bank Lobbyist Act is if we speak out and fight back. Sign our petition to protect Dodd-Frank and make your voice heard – and ask your friends to sign as well.

The big banks will do anything they can to pass this dangerous bill into law. We need you out there giving everything you’ve got.

Thanks for being a part of this,


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Stop the Senate!

Last week, with almost no warning, the State Assembly voted to have Wisconsin borrow $350 million to build a new prison. They also tossed in an additional $50 million per year in additional prison operating costs.
They did this by adding a last-minute amendment to a Senate bill that was already objectionable, a bill that would force the Department of Corrections to “revoke” even more people back to prison. We already re-imprison 3,000 people per year who have not been convicted of a new crime: they want to add more.

The Assembly took the bad bill and made it worse, much worse.
While other states, both states led by Republicans and states led by Democrats, are reducing their prison populations and closing prisons, our Assembly voted to go exactly the opposite direction.

The Assembly has gone home for the year. So, the decision rests with the State Senate. They can approve SB54, with the additional $350 million, or not. The Senate meets one more time this year - on March 20.

A group of WISDOM leaders met with leaders of other interested groups. We decided that on MARCH 13, we will bring as many people as possible to Madison to visit Senators.

The tentative plan is to meet in a large meeting room in the Capitol at 10 am, then go to visit the offices of every state Senator. We need other people, especially people who are represented by Republican State Senators, to help us to contact Senators on that day, and before.

Soon, we will have some fact sheets for you to use. Most of you don’t need too many talking points. We need to increase Treatment Alternatives; we need to stop re-incarcerating people on Crimeless Revocations; we need to re-start the Parole process for parole-eligible people; we need to move more quickly to release people who are eligible for Compassionate Release. If we did those things, we could reduce the prison population by at least 8,000 people.

We should be arguing about which facilities to close, not about building another one!

This reckless decision to spend $350 of our children’s money has to be opposed. If they build more prison space, there will be no incentive to do all the things we know can be done to safely reduce the prison population. If they build it, they will fill it.

Please try to be ready to help with this! We need to rally around this for the next few weeks and get it stopped. Then, we need to really engage in the “Race to Justice” and ensure that people who want to be in the next legislature - and Governor’s office - know better.

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Family Listening Session on Autism

Our partners at the WI Care Integration Initiative (WiCII) at the Waisman center are hosting listening sessions beginning March 10th on how we can improve our systems of care for children diagnosed with Autism:

YOUR VOICE MATTERS: We need your input to help families with concerns about autism!

Do you care for a child identified with autism? The Wisconsin Care Integration Initiative is helping Milwaukee families navigate what to do next. We want to talk to parents or caregivers of children identified with autism. The listening session will take 90 minutes. We want to know what needs to change for all children to access the help they need as early as possible. We will ask questions like - How did your concerns arise? What happened next? Did you get the help you needed?

Participants receive $20 & food will be provided!

Listening Session Dates:
Saturday, March 10, 12:00pm - 1:30pm
Saturday March 10, 2:30p - 4:00pm
Saturday, March 31, 2:30pm - 4:00pm

Location: Central Library
814 W Wisconsin Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53233

To Register: Please fill out this quick survey to determine if you are eligible and someone will follow-up to confirm and schedule your participation.
(Survey link: https://uwmadison.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_eDS8z4lXP9UU3rL)

Questions? Contact Kari Mueller at kari.mueller@wisc.edu or 608–262–5022.
We’ll use what we learn immediately to help families in Milwaukee!

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Former Legislator Dennis Conta

Why Charter Schools? An Interview with Former Legislator Dennis Conta

By Patricia Obletz, Editor


“I wasn’t drawn to charter schools as much as I was drawn to the opportunity to equip students for a productive future,” Dennis Conta told me mid-January 2018. This former Wisconsin State Representative established Conta & Associates, Inc. in 1979 to provide management and consulting services for the Development of Public Charter Schools, Governmental Relations, and Public Policy Studies. Although he retired in 2014, he continues to pursue a more relevant and effective education for children living in poverty.

Education for children in poverty riveted Conta’s attention when he wrote a paper while earning a degree in public administration at the Harvard Kennedy School, 1967–68. He followed that accomplishment by winning a seat in the Wisconsin Legislature intending, among other policy initiatives, to help children get an education that prepares them for the future.

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Wed. 2/28/18: Wisconsin Gubernatorial Candidate Mike McCabe joins EXPO Radio on Wednesday, February 28 at 8:30 pm.

Listen live or anytime at www.riverwestradio.com. Listen to past episodes of EXPO Radio at https://www.riverwestradio.com/show/expo-ex-prisoners-organizing/

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ONE MONTH UNTIL SWAN Day MKE 2018: “Women & Nature: Nourishing Our Roots” !!!😁

Jamie Ann at Redline Milwaukee invites you to the
Opening Reception Saturday, March 24th, 11am-3pm at the Urban Ecology Center - Menomonee Valley

Over one-hundred artworks from women-identified artists of all ages from Milwaukee will be on display!

📣Featuring remarks & performances by Venice Williams of Alice’s Garden, L.U.N.A & Heard Space Presents: Unpacking The Name, Linetta Davis, Mount Mary University Student Art Therapy Association, Monica Thomas of Ex Fabula, classical Indian dance by Cyenthia Vijayakumar Mahesh & blessings with Alexandra Jenkins of LimitlessExpansion.

🌈Mini Market with goods for sale by Artery Ink CanelitaBrown Alice’s Garden, Caroline’s Raw Creations & Ceci Tejeda

✍️Activities: Coloring Table with Shami Lock, Face Painting by Evolutionz Face & Body Art, portrait caricatures by Rozalia Hernandez-Singh & root-chakra mediation with Alexandra Jenkins.

Please help us spread the word!! FREE & Open to all ages!
Exhibit runs through May 31st, 2018 Follow on Instagram @swandaymke

SWAN Day MKE 2018: “Women & Nature” Opening Reception
March 24 at 11 AM
Urban Ecology Center - Menomonee Valley in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Linda Corbin-Pardee
Jenny Plevin
Kavon Cortez-Jones
Jessica Zalewski
Vicki Samolyk
Jordan Acker Anderson Mke
Grace Matson

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Disability Advocacy Day is March 20th – Register Now!

A reminder to register for Wisconsin’s Disability Advocacy Day which is Tuesday, March 20, 2018 in Madison. Make sure your voice is heard! Disability Advocacy Day is designed to connect you with your legislators to share how legislative policies and programs affect you.

  • Join the disability community from across the state for a great day of advocacy!

  • Attend a morning briefing at Monona Terrace on advocacy priorities for the disability community, including transportation, Medicaid, mental health, education, Family Care and IRIS, employment, and more.

  • Rally at the Capitol, followed by meetings with your State Assembly Representative and Senator or their legislative aides.

  • Registration is required – the deadline is March 9th. You may register with the attached form, or online at http://www.survivalcoalitionwi.org/
    • You can register for a free bus from Milwaukee but it is filling up quickly!
    To reserve a spot on the bus, RSVP to Megan at Life Navigators by March 2 at 414–774–6255.
    Megan can also assist you with registration for Disability Advocacy. Thanks to Life Navigators for their great partnership – see attached for details.

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Reggie Jackson

Historian Reggie Jackson Addresses Redlining at Recent Jewish Museum Event

Annotated speech by leading civil rights activist Ruth Zubrensky

Reggie Jackson, Head Griot of America’s Black Holocaust Museum, said that redlining, racial restrictive covenants and real estate practices, ensured segregation, not self-segregation.

In 1968, a National Fair Housing law was passed, but it was only as good as its enforcement.

If people don’t get to know other people because they don’t occupy the same space, then they listen to stereotypes.

Park and Burgess wrote a book in 1926 [University of Chicago sociologists] describing the deteriorating areas of Chicago.

A Home Owners Loan Corp., composed of industry leaders, supported capitalism, fought communism, favored amortized mortgages.

1939–40 saw the drawing of maps, the “grading” of areas that led to redlining.

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Sign Up to Receive Email Notices for the SSI Medicaid Managed Care Expansion

Mental Health Task Force/ Make It Work Milwaukee Update

Sign Up to Receive Email Notices for the SSI Managed Care Expansion

Thanks to Nick Di Meo, Southeast Wisconsin Medicaid Policy Advisor, for the information on how you can sign up to receive email notices related to the SSI Medicaid managed care expansion, including updates to the webpage such as the town hall schedule. Scroll down for information about the DHS website and how to sign up for email notices.

Background on SSI Managed Care Expansion
At the November meeting of the Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force, we had an update on some Medicaid changes that are occurring in 2018. Medicaid Managed Care (HMOs) will be expanding in Wisconsin to include those receiving Medicaid SSI or SSI related Medicaid because of a disability. This will include 28,000 people statewide including 12,000 Milwaukee adults with disabilities, including mental illness, who are currently in fee for service Medicaid and will be transitioning to an HMO in 2018. Note: this change does not include individuals enrolled in long term care (Family Care, IRIS, Partnership).

This change will be occurring in Milwaukee within the first half of 2018. Milwaukee town halls are currently being scheduled – we will share town hall information as it becomes available.

  • The DHS Powerpoint and Forward Health memo are posted on the Mental Health Task Force web site at: http://www.milwaukeemhtf.org/2017/11/15/ssi-managed-care-expansion-overview.html

  • Members enrolled in county provided mental health programs including Community Support Program (CSP), Comprehensive Community Services (CCS), or Community Recovery Services (CRS) will not change. These benefits will remain a Fee for Service (FFS) carve out. Members will be enrolled in managed care for the rest of their health care and behavioral health services.

Who is Eligible for SSI Managed Care? To be eligible for SSI Managed Care, the person must:
  • Be age 19 or older.
  • Be receiving Medicaid SSI or SSI-related Medicaid because of a disability.
  • Not be living in an institution or a nursing home.
  • Not be participating in a home and community-based waivers program (Community Integration Program, Community Options Program, IRIS, brain injury).
  • Not be enrolled in a long-term care program (Family Care, PACE, or Partnership).
  • Enroll voluntarily due to the following circumstances:
    Only one SSI HMO serves the county the person lives in.
    The person is dual eligible (that is, Medicaid and Medicare).
    The person is enrolled in a Medicaid Purchase Plan (MAPP).

Website by clicking HERE.
Email notice sign up by clicking HERE.

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Fri. 2//23/18: As CC4QP 2016 Vision Statement Recommends: Interim Police Chief Morales moving more cops into the districts, focusing on police-community relations

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MPD DOJ report feedback, Issues Night

Thurs Feb 22 5:30–8:00 pm MICAH Issues Night Mt Zion Baptist, 2207 N 2nd St, Potluck 5:30 Meeting 6:00. Find out about MICAH Issue groups! Break out into issue groups and return to report: Criminal Justice Reform, Jobs and Economic Development, Education and Multicultural and Immigration

Ongoing Meetings

Board of Directors Meeting, Second Monday each month. 5:30 Socializing (bring food to share), 6:00 Meeting. Location varies. Contact MICAH Office, 414–264–0805.
Next Board Meeting March 12, conference room, 1st floor of Welford Sanders Enterprise Center, 2821 N 4th St, Milwaukee (For Introductions, share a Women’s History Fact/Piece of Information)

Immigration Task Force Meeting, Third Tuesday of each month. 10:30 am, Cross Lutheran Church, 1821 N 16th, Milwaukee. Contact Bill Townsend, 414–861–2523.
Next Meeting March 20

MICAH’s ROC WI (criminal justice reform) Task Force Meeting, Second Wednesday of each month, Project Return conference room, 2821 N 4th St, Suite 223.
Next Meeting March 8

Education Task Force Meeting, Third Thursday of each month, 6:30 pm, Location varies. Contact Jane Audette, yaner@aol.com, 608–469–4407.
Next meeting March 15 at Reformation Lutheran Church, 3806 W. Lisbon.

Jobs and Economic Justice, Next Meeting, Issues Night, February 27. see announcement above.

Religious Leader’s Caucus,New dates: Fourth Wednesday of each month, noon-1:30, Location varies, contact Rev Walter Lanier, wjlanier@gmail.com
Next Meeting February 28 Milwaukee Friends Meeting, 3224 N Gordon Place, Milwaukee, Site Questions, 414–748–8549 Host: Eleanor Harris

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Outrageous! GOP votes NO on background checks.

By Jeri Bonavia <WAVE@waveedfund.org>

Can you believe what happened in our state capitol last night? A commonsense proposal requiring background checks on all gun sales was voted down along party lines. That’s right — just a few days after 17 people were killed in Douglas High School, the Republicans in the Wisconsin State Assembly voted NO on background checks on all gun sales.

Democrats brought the background check proposal to the floor in response to an outcry from the public for legislators to take action. Despite many hours of passionate debate on the Assembly floor, despite the presentation of research on the benefits of background checks, and despite local high school students begging them to prevent future school shootings, the Republicans voted NO.

Click here to send a message to the Assembly. We must thank and support the legislators who fought for our kids’ safety, and we must express our outrage to those who pretend there is nothing more they can do.

Background checks work. That’s why the latest national polling from Quinnipiac University, released Tuesday, shows 97% of Americans are in favor of laws requiring background checks on every gun sale.

Tell our legislators you are part of the 97%. Tell them you are committed to preventing gun violence and you expect the same from them. Thank those who have listened to our voices and remind the others that they represent the people, not the gun lobby.

There is no excuse for further inaction.

Stand strong.

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Rep. Moore Sounds Alarm on Mitchell Street SSA Branch Closure

Milwaukee, WI – On Wednesday, February 21, Congresswoman Gwen Moore (WI-04) will host a press conference with Mayor Tom Barrett to denounce the planned closure of the only Social Security Administration (SSA) office on Milwaukee’s South Side and request the SSA work with the City of Milwaukee to identify an alternative South Side location immediately.

For more information about this event, please call the Milwaukee district office at (414) 297–1140.

WHAT: Press Conference Censuring Mitchell Street SSA Branch Closure
WHO: U.S. Congresswoman Gwen Moore, Mayor Tom Barrett
WHEN: Wednesday, February 21, 2018 at 2:30 CT
WHERE: Forest Home Library, 1432 W. Forest Home Ave. Milwaukee, WI 53204

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This Thursday, stand with Voces families to stop the anti-immigrant state bill AB190!

Family Lobby Day: No to the Hate Bill AB190/SB275, Yes to Driver Licenses!

Thursday, February 22nd, 10am
Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison

On Thursday, February 22nd, we will return to the Capitol in Madison to urge Governor Walker and Wisconsin’s Republican leaders Robin Vos and Scott Fitzgerald to stop the anti-sanctuary hate bill AB190/SB275, and to instead return driver’s licenses to Wisconsin immigrants. We’ll gather in the Capitol rotunda at 10am.

Click here to RSVP!

AB190/SB275 is a hate bill that would allow local employees to investigate immigration status and mandate authorities turn immigrants over to ICE. The bill aims to turn local law enforcement into an arm of Trump’s campaign of terror against immigrant community members. AB190/SB275 would separate Wisconsin families, increase discrimination and racial profiling, harm our economy, and make everyone less safe.

In contrast, returning driver licenses to Wisconsin immigrants would ensure that all Wisconsinites have the right to do things like drive to work, pick up kids, and move safely without fear. Licenses would make our roads safer, improve our economy, and stop immigrant families from being targeted by deportation agents because of a lack of a driver license.

No to the hate bill AB190/SB275! Yes to driver licenses! Click here to see the Facebook event for the day.

Call 414–643–1620 for more information.

Click here to make a tax-deductible donation to our fight to stop AB190/SB275 and keep families together!

Click here for the announcement in spanish
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Don’t forget to vote Tuesday, February 20, 2018!

Tomorrow (Tuesday, February 20th) is your chance to vote in critical primary elections right here in Wisconsin.

Click here for all of the information you will need to vote tomorrow-→ https://myvote.wi.gov

Every election is important, but the votes we cast this year — following the horrific shooting in Parkland, FL — are especially vital.

Tomorrow is our first chance to put real votes behind our demands for action.

So don’t wait. Make a plan right now for how and when you’ll go to your polling place. And together, let’s vote for a future free of gun violence.

See you at the polls!

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letter from Ald. Hamilton to Mayor Barrett responding to Barret letter to Common Council about McManus appointment (Barrett letter attached)

February 16, 2018

Dear Mayor Barrett,
No member of this Common Council and no resident of this City is pleased by the scandal that has poured out of the Milwaukee Health Department for the better part of a month. No one who cares for this City would want an agency to be as inert and incapable as the health department apparently was on an issue as important as blood lead levels in children. And no one aware of the fiscal challenges confronting this community would be any less than horrified by the prospect of precious grant funds being taken away because of mismanagement.

This, however, is the crisis to which we have all been brought. As elected officials, we all have a take in seeing this problem resolved to the mutual benefit of all our residents. As this is true, both the content and tone of your February 15, 2018, letter to the Common Council are in no way constructive and border on inappropriate.

Click here for the full statement
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Sat. 2/17/18: Kept Out: Banks Across U.S. Caught Systematically Rejecting People of Color for Home Loans

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WI Department of Health Services Informational meeting regarding a new veteran peer run respite in Milwaukee

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) is working on a new program to support veterans and former service members living with mental health and substance use challenges. Known as peer-run respite, this service offers a 24-hour supportive, home-like environment during times of increased stress or symptoms. Overnight stays are short-term, typically no longer than one week. Guests self-refer or choose this service freely. They are empowered to identify the supports they need and develop solutions to help them live their best life. All services are provided at no cost by people trained to listen and provide support who lived through similar life challenges.

The 2017–2019 biennial budget authorizes DHS to offer a grant to one organization to operate a peer-run respite in the Milwaukee area for veterans and former service members, regardless of discharge status.

DHS is hosting a meeting in Milwaukee to provide more information about this service and to learn more about specific needs of veterans and former service members as they might relate to a peer-run respite program in southeastern Wisconsin. We invite you or a representative from your organization to attend.

Informational Meeting: Peer-Run Respite for Veterans
Thursday, March 1, 2018, 10 a.m.−12 p.m.
Room 40, Milwaukee State Office Building
819 North 6th Street, Milwaukee, WI 53203

RSVP to Stacy Ewert at stacy.ewert@dhs.wisconsin.gov or 608–266–0040 by February 26, 2018.

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February 20th is the Spring Primary Election

Mental Health Task Force/ Make It Work Milwaukee Update

February 20th is the Spring Primary Election - don’t forget to vote! Voter participation among people with disabilities has declined over the past two presidential elections – let’s get out the word in the disability community and have a strong turnout.

  • A Spring Election Fact Sheet is posted on the MHTF website and Facebook – you can access it at this link: →http://www.milwaukeemhtf.org/2018/02/15/february-20th-spring-primary-election/ Check it out and please share on social media with others in the mental health/ disability community.

  • What’s on the Ballot?
    • Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice
    • Court of Appeals Judge Districts I and IV, and
    • Circuit Court Judge.
    • Constitutional Amendment to Eliminate Office of State Treasurer
    • Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors
    • Other local races such as, school board, etc.

  • Wanted - Outreach Opportunities: DRW is interested in hearing from you about opportunities where we can provide people with disabilities with voter education, a resource table, or voter registration. Please email me if you have a suggestion.

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Disability Rights Wisconsin (DRW) Informational Session and DRW Board Listening Session Milwaukee

Disability Rights Wisconsin (DRW) is Wisconsin’s protection and advocacy agency for people with developmental, physical, or sensory disabilities and people with mental illness. The DRW Board is holding a listening session in Milwaukee on Friday March 2nd, 2018 at 4:30 PM at the Wisconsin African American Women’s Center, and would like to hear from you.

Come and share your ideas for the future of disability advocacy and the issues that need to be addressed in the areas of mental health, developmental disability, special education, physical disability services, and disability rights. See below and attached for additional information and please spread the word! Everyone is also invited to attend a 4:00 PM informational session about Disability Rights Wisconsin, prior to the listening session.

Accommodations: Sign Language Interpreters will be present. If you need an accommodation or other language interpretation contact Mary Sykes by February 19: mary.sykes@drwi.org or 608–267–0214
Much Appreciation to the Wisconsin African American Women’s Center and Parent University for hosting us and to Delores Sallis—Founder, Parent University—for making this possible.

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Have A Heart for DREAMERS Rally

Valentine’s Day

In front of Paul Ryan’s Office
Wednesday, Feb. 14, 10:00 a.m.

212–6th Street, Racine, WI 53403

Help us deliver Valentines made at the RIC’s Love & Justice Breakfast.


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State Assembly Voting on Welfare Reform Bills February 15th

Mental Health Task Force/ Make It Work Milwaukee Update

As we shared with you previously, Governor Walker called a Special Session on Welfare Reform Legislation. The Governor and members of the Wisconsin legislature have introduced ten bills that will change requirements for people using FoodShare, public housing, Medicaid, and other benefits.

These bills are quickly advancing through the Legislature. The State Assembly plans to vote on the 10-bill package on February 15. See a description of the bills below.

Action Needed
Call your State Legislators to share how people with disabilities and their families will be affected by these bills.

Things to talk about:

  • These bills are moving fast. We should slow down the process to include input from people with disabilities.

  • The bills use different language and definitions to exempt some people with disabilities but not others. People with disabilities may use several different programs and having different definitions will be confusing for people with disabilities and people who work in these programs.

  • These bills also should not apply to people who are caregivers for people with disabilities.

  • These bills will cost millions to administer. This money could be used for other programs to help people get to work.

Here is a link to all of the bills.
You can find your State legislators here.

The 10-bill package includes:

Click here for more information
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Upcoming MICAH and Partner Events

All are welcome
Mon Feb 12 5:30 Socializing 6:00–7:30 MICAH Board Meeting. Reformation Lutheran 3806 W Lisbon
Wed Feb 14 5:00–6:30 pm MICAH ROC WI (criminal justice) Task Force Meeting. Project RETURN 2821 N. 4th St. Suite 223
Thurs Feb 15 6:30–8:00 pm MICAH Education Task Force. Reformation Lutheran 3806 W Lisbon
Sat Feb 17 8:30–10:30 am MICAH Black History Month Prayer Breakfast (click here for flyer)
Sat Feb 17 6:00 pm 13th: From Slave to Criminal with On Amendment
Sun Feb 18 10:30 am or Tues Feb 21 6:00 pm Building Resiliance for Racial Justice
Tues Feb 20 Spring Primary Election VOTE!
Tues Feb 20 10:30 am Immigration Task Force, Conference Room at Cross Lutheran Church
Thurs Feb 22 5:30–8:00 pm MICAH Issues Night Mt Zion Baptist, 2207 N 2nd St, Potluck 5:30 Meeting 6:00. Find out about MICAH Issue groups! Break out into issue groups and return to report: Criminal Justice Reform, Jobs and Economic Development, Education and Multicultural and Immigration
Wed Feb 28 noon-1:30 Religious Leaders Caucus, location to be announced, NOTE: RLC will begin meeting on the 4th Wed instead of the 1st Wed each month

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Meet the MPD Acting/ Interim Chief Candidates Forum

Mental Health Task Force/ Make It Work Milwaukee Update

Meet and ask questions of the final MPD Acting/Interim Chief Candidates at today’s forum, 5 – 7:30 PM at Mexican Fiesta/Flores Hall 2997 S. 20th. See below for details. Note Assistant Chief Harpole has withdrawn.

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The Bad ADA Bill H.R. 620 - WI Call to Action

Mental Health Task Force/ Make It Work Milwaukee Update

Congress is currently considering a bill, H.R. 620, that would weaken the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a critical source of rights for people with disabilities to architectural access in public accommodations—that is, businesses such as stores, restaurants, hotels, etc. See below for more information and Wisconsin call to action from the Survival Coalition of Disability Organizations. This bill is moving quickly – action is needed now:

More information on HR 620 is available at this link: https://dredf.org/hr620/

H.R. 620:

  • Removes any incentive for voluntary compliance.

  • Rewards non-compliance by allowing businesses generous additional timelines, even though the ADA’s very reasonable requirements are already over 25 years old! The ADA is already carefully crafted to take the needs of business into account.

  • Pretends that money damages requested from businesses are part of the ADA. Actually, this part of the ADA doesn’t even allow money damages, so changing the federal ADA will not affect any state law money damage provisions;

  • Ignores the extensive, free educational resources already available today to any business on how to comply with the ADA.

  • Ignores the effective & extensive methods already available to courts and state bar associations to deal with a very few frivolous lawsuits or unscrupulous attorneys. We should use those existing legal mechanisms when needed, rather than deny the civil rights established by the ADA that aid people with disabilities every day.

  • Look behind the media myths: The vast majority of ADA attorneys and plaintiffs are seeking solutions to fix real denials of access. But the business community has pushed the media to portray “a few bad apples” as a landslide.

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Parent University Resource Fair February 10th - spread the word!

Mental Health Task Force/ Make It Work Milwaukee

February 10th Resource Fair for Milwaukee Families Who Have a Child or Family Member with a Disability

Parent University is hosting a Resource Fair on Saturday, February 10th from 10 – 5 PM for parents of children and youth with disabilities. In addition to resource tables, the event includes some great speakers, a soul food buffet luncheon, and will also honor Black History Month.

The resource Fair Location is 3020 W. Vliet St, Wisconsin African American Women’s Center
Call or Text 414–208–9410 . parentuniversity41@gmail.com

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Free Upcoming Advocacy Training in Pewaukee

NAMI Smarts for Advocacy

Never thought of yourself as an advocate?
Want to make a positive change in mental health services?
Want to learn how to best communicate concerning mental health issues to local, state and national politicians and leaders who determine legislation and financial decisions?

Grassroots advocacy is simple; you don’t have to know about policies or politics. It’s about using your voice to influence policy makers and make a difference. Turn your passion and your lived experience into a positive voice for mental health with the NAMI Smarts for Advocacy grassroots advocacy training.

Make a difference. Advocate. Make your voice heard. NAMI Smarts for Advocacy
will enhance your advocacy skills and help you shape a powerful and personal story that will move policymakers.

The NAMI Smarts Difference
NAMI Smarts for Advocacy engages you in hands-on learning to build and strengthen skills.
Whether you are new to advocacy or have years of experience you will leave the training with messages, step-by-step tools and the practice you need to feel informed, confident and ready to make a difference. NAMI Smarts for Advocacy is taught in a day-long training. NAMI WI will be hosting a training March 3 from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm in Pewaukee, WI at the Country Springs Hotel. This is a free training (lunch included) and we encourage you to send NAMI members and those who you believe would be interested in learning how to advocate for Mental Health.

Please sign up and lets be SMART about making a difference. All NAMI Wisconsin members are encouraged to apply. If you’re not already a NAMI member, no worries. We’d be happy to connect you with your local affiliate and though it’s not required we will have membership forms available at the training if you choose to join.

Registration link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/N9HTQPT
Deadline for signing up is Feb 21st.

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Response to Welfare Reform Bills

Mental Health Task Force / Make It Work Milwaukee Update

Yesterday, the Wisconsin Legislature held a special session to pass Wisconsin Works for Everyone welfare reform legislation authored by Speaker Robin Vos (R – Rochester) and Senator Chris Kapenga (R – Delafield). The Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force worked in coalition with over 60 Wisconsin organizations to review the proposals and identify concerns regarding the impact of some of these proposals on low income people, including people with mental illness and other disabilities and their families.

Because of these concerns, the MHTF Steering Committee agreed to sign on the Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force to a joint letter to Governor Walker and legislators sharing our concerns and our interest in working with legislators to craft alternative proposals that will truly address barriers to work and lead to stable employment and paths out of poverty. See below for a link to the statement and it is also attached. Several disability organizations, including DRW, testified at the hearing. It is our understanding that the bill authors indicated they are looking to clear up the disability exemption language in the bills. The bills use different terms - some use able-bodied with definitions and some without definitions (like the public housing bill), others use “elderly, blind, or disabled.” The bills may be headed to executive session as soon as today.,

Link to Joint Statement on Special Session Bills: http://www.milwaukeemhtf.org/2018/01/31/joint-statement-special-session-bills/

Here is a link to the Governor’s posting regarding these proposals: https://walker.wi.gov/press-releases/wisconsin-works-everyone-governor-walker-calls-special-session-welfare-reform

Several organizations issues Action Alerts regarding these bills. Some links are provided below:

If you want to contact your legislators regarding these proposals, here’s how to find their contact information – go to this link and enter your address in the right hand corner: https://maps.legis.wisconsin.gov/

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Wed. 1/31/18: US Rule of Law Threatened: FBI Warns Of ‘Grave Concerns’ About ‘Accuracy’ Of GOP Snooping Memo

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Survival Coalition Special Education Quality Survey

Mental Health Task Force/ Make It Work Milwaukee Update

Special Education Quality Survey – please share with families

The Survival Coalition of Wisconsin Disability Organizations is conducting a survey about delivery of special education services across Wisconsin. Parents of children with disabilities have important information to share about the quality of their child’s education and preparation for college/career. Wisconsin public schools have not seen an increase in special education funding in more than a decade, yet costs to educate students continue to rise. Disability advocates are working on policy strategies that can better equip public schools to prepare children with disabilities for adult life. The Survival Coalition will be using this information to educate policy makers about the needs of children with disabilities in our public schools.

If you have one or more children with disabilities attending public school in Wisconsin, please participate in this short survey and share widely with other families and organizations. Please complete this survey by March 1, 2018.

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Tues. 1/30/18: Vote Against Tyranny: https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/wp/2018/01/30/i-dont-know-what-the-hell-happened-michael-steele-on-the-gop-under-trump/?utm_term=.6516294030c9&wpisrc=nl_popns&wpmm=1

Raise your voice against tyranny: http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/43379-trump-officials-are-exploring-mass-arrests-of-us-mayors


Vote Against Tyranny: https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/wp/2018/01/30/trump-is-tearing-down-the-fbi-and-the-justice-department-wont-the-gop-stop-him/?utm_term=.caf1bea72904&wpisrc=nl_popns&wpmm=1

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Come to MICAH Prayer Breakfast Feb 17

Saturday Februray 17 ♦ 8:30–10:30 am (Doors open 8)
St Martin de Porres, 128 W Burleigh (rear entrance)
Wheelchair accessible/Off street parking lot available

Speaker: Reggie Jackson
Head Griot, America’s Black Holocaust Museum

Welcoming to MICAH Unitarian Church West Adults $15, Children $10 (ages 5–10 yrs)
Tickets available through congregational reps or MICAH office, 414–264–0805
Download Flyer

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Join the Race to Justice!!!

The Leadership of the Restore Our Communities (ROC Wisconsin) Campaign feels that 2018 is the year when we will make some significant progress in the effort to reform Wisconsin’s Criminal Justice system! We know that work for racial and economic justice is a marathon, but inside that big race the ROC Wisconsin team believes it is time for a sprint! And so we announce the Race to Justice Campaign to raise many voices calling for serious reform and demanding that our broken “corrections” system be addressed by all who want our votes in November.

The first step in the Race to Justice is a series of local training and organizing gatherings. For four hours on a Saturday, we will bring together current ROC leaders, allies, friends and people who want to get involved. We will get clear about some of the many issues; we’ll practice telling our stories and hearing the stories of the people who have been most impacted; we’ll get ourselves organized; and we’ll make plans for the next six months.

After the trainings, we will be doing outreach, and we will have candidate forums for people running for Governor and for the state legislature. We will make presentations and we’ll go door-to door. And, we will join efforts to get everyone in Wisconsin to vote this fall.

The conversation about needed reforms to the justice system is starting to happen on every level. We need to be sure our officials and those who want to represent us understand that significant change is urgently needed regarding Crimeless Revocations, the Parole system, Solitary Confinement, Treatment Alternatives and Diversions, MSDF, and more.

Please plan to attend the Race to Justice training in your area. More details will follow.

Race to Justice Training Events:
The events will be held from 9 am to 1 pm. In some places, there will be an afternoon public event.

  • Wausau area - March 24
  • Southeast Wisconsin - April 7
  • Madison area - April 14
  • Green Bay and the Fox Cities - April 28
  • Eau Claire area - May 5
  • Superior - May 4 (a briefer, evening event)

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National call-in and social media days for community living (fund Money Follows the Person)

The Money Follows the Person (MFP) program is a Medicaid program that has helped more than 75 thousand people with disabilities and seniors move from nursing homes and other institutions to the community. The MFP program has expired, and we need your advocacy to get Congress to pass the EMPOWER Care Act to continue it. Join in our national call-in day (Thursday Feb. 1) and social media day (Friday Feb. 2) to #FundMFP. Everyone deserves the opportunity to live in the community!

Background materials on MFP, the EMPOWER Care Act, and our call-in day are all available at the links above (and from https://medicaid.publicrep.org/feature/money-follows-the-person/). Please spread the word widely to your grassroots and join in our #FundMFP advocacy next week.

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Thurs. 1/25/18: Is this you? Neoliberalism Is Taking a Steep Toll on an Entire Generation’s Mental Health: Study

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Mental Health In the News

Mental Health Task Force / Make It Work Milwaukee Update

We are passing on links to several recent items in the news that relate to concerns for the Mental Health Task Force and many of you may want to communicate to policy makers regarding these concerns.

Aurora Sinai suspends employees after homeless patient is left on sidewalk in Milwaukee

How should Milwaukee provide care when mental illness becomes an emergency?

Family of man who died at the Milwaukee County Mental Health Complex will receive $1.4 million

10 apply to become acting chief of the Milwaukee Police Department

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Another Body Blow to Democracy and Transparency in Wisconsin in the State Senate Today

Today, for the first time in state history (according to the Senate Chief Clerk), appointments subject to confirmation for positions in state government, were rejected without a public hearing. Behind closed and locked doors, talking only among themselves, Wisconsin State Senate Republicans, led by Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau), voted to reject the appointments of Michael Haas as the Wisconsin Elections Commission Administrator and Brian Bell as the Wisconsin Ethics Commission Administrator.

Their “sin” was that they were employees of the now-dissolved and destroyed, non-partisan Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, which Fitzgerald and Republicans dissolved beginning two years ago because the GAB authorized the completely legal and justified investigation of Governor Scott Walker and others for illegal campaign coordination during the 2011–2012 recall elections. But while they were employees of the GAB, Haas and Bell were not, in any way, involved in the investigation, which was undertaken by five county district attorneys, not by the GAB.

Haas and Bell and the public have not been told why they are being rejected by Fitzgerald and his GOP colleagues other than Fitzgerald said that he and the Republicans are “uncomfortable” with keeping Haas and Bell in their jobs. They have “based” many of their secret reasons for removing Haas and Bell on a wildly inaccurate, hyper-partisan, discredited report released late last year by Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel, the most partisan state attorney general in memory.

No evidence, no charges, no specific examples of misconduct, nothing. Just secret agreement among the members of the majority party in the State Senate to get rid of them both, right before important elections, and replace them, presumably, with sycophants and pawns that the Republicans will dictate what they decide and what the result of their work on elections and ethics will be.

Today’s action is a deliberate attempt to keep Wisconsinites in the dark about what this is really all about.

This is one of the most grotesque abuses of power that has occurred in Wisconsin in its history.

Today will long be remembered as one of the darkest days the Wisconsin Legislature has ever experienced in every sense of that word, dark.

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WISDOM is making a difference!

1) WISDOM held a very successful Forum on Revocations in Madison on January 17. More than 150 WISDOM members over-filled the hall at Grace Episcopal Church, along with eight candidates for Governor and one candidate for Lieutenant Governor.

About 3,000 people are sent to prison each year for Crimeless Revocations, not because they have been convicted of a new crime, but for failure to comply with a rule of supervision. At the Forum, we heard from faith leaders. We heard from experts in public health and sociology. And we heard from the people who have been the victims of the senseless and outdated practice of Crimeless Revocation.

Then, we heard from those who wish to be Governor of Wisconsin. All of them agreed with WISDOM’s position that Wisconsin’s policy and promised serious changes to the system if elected. To read more about the event, click HERE.

2) I also want to remind you to be certain you have added your name to the End Child Poverty Campaign. Already, more than 1,000 Wisconsinites have signed the three-part goal, calling on our state to:

  • Reduce Child Poverty in Wisconsin by half in the next 10 years;
  • Reduce racial disparities in Child Poverty by half in 10 years;
  • Establish a mechanism to do an annual assessment of our progress in reducing Child Poverty.

The End Child Poverty Campaign is something we are doing together with our friends from the Wisconsin Council of Churches, Kids First, and Citizen Action of Wisconsin. It is our belief that before decision-makers will get really serious about poverty, we need as a state to at least agree that it is a priority. Before we start to challenge those in charge, we want to be able to show that there are 10,000 Wisconsinites who want this done.

It is very easy to add your name: just click HERE. And, please ask your friends to do the same.

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Reverend Willie E. Brisco on Navigating Chaos: An Interview

Fall/Winter 2017–18
By Patricia Obletz, Editor

Reverend Willie E. Brisco and I met in 2007. He was the Deputy Superintendent of the Milwaukee County House of Correction and president of the MATC Vocational Scholarship committee I joined. When we reconnected unexpectedly in 2010, Brisco had retired from the county’s prison system, and had become a minister and also president-elect of MICAH, Milwaukee Inner-city Congregations Allied for Hope. This social justice faith-based organization is a satellite of WISDOM, which is the Wisconsin affiliate of Gamaliel, which taught community organizing to Barack Obama. Brisco was elected president of WISDOM after serving two terms at MICAH. He also is President of the African American Leadership Council.

The state of America and, in particular, Wisconsin, dominated the conversation with Reverend Willie E. Brisco, who spoke on the record for Peace Of Mind late fall 2017, commenting on events since in mid-January ‘18.

Without hesitation, Brisco said, “We are in a time of chaos and fighting an undeclared civil war. We are still choosing up sides (and) the issues we’re going to stand behind, and both sides are getting more divided as we go through this negotiation.”

Hate, Capitalism and a King as President

Brisco said that the 45th US president has “unleashed the underbelly of this country” into the public, defying deniability of the fact that this country always has been racially divided, both socially and economically. He said that the president “speaks the language of hate. We are seeing the extremists coming out in all of these mass shootings and killings.”

When asked if hate were a mental illness, Brisco said that “hate is formed in the mind; it has to be cultured and cultivated. Every day you have to wake up and find a reason to oppose somebody and keep that level of anger up there till you really don’t even understand where that hate comes from.”

Asked if hate came from a need to feel superior to someone else to feel ok about one’s life, Brisco said that was a difficult question. “We live in a capitalistic society that’s supposed to be free and democratic. Capitalism maintains America’s power, which breeds ‘we are number one’ thinking. We teach children that in sports, from age one up, you have to be number one. Look at how many billions of taxpayer dollars go to sports facilities — Everyone wants to be number one.

“This thinking goes back to Biblical times when the people worshipped the king and God told them they were going in the wrong direction. The (king) will use you and he will use your products; he will take from your sons and daughters and not give back to them, and you will keep feeding this person forever. We’ve got that now: a king as president.”

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2018 MICAH Visioning Retreat

WHEN: Saturday, January 27, 12:00 to 5:00 PM, starting with lunch

WHERE: Progressive Baptist Church, 84th & Keefe Ave., Rev. Walter Lanier, Pastor

AGENDA: Brief look back over past 30 years of MICAH. Current status, structure, finances, leadership roles. Vision & Goals for the year of 2018. Relationship Building

WHO SHOULD ATTEND: Clergy, Core Team Leaders, Task Force Leaders, MICAH Activists, Representatives of Congregations interested in joining MICAH, People interested in individual membership in MICAH, Two or three representatives from each member congregation.

RSVP: Progressive Baptist Church, 414–462–9050

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Rev. Marilyn Miller, President, 414–617–4907

Rev. Walter Lanier, Religious Leaders Caucus Chair, 414–690–2520
Lee Henderson Tatum, Vice President, 414–873–8704

“These four girls call all of us—black and white alike—to substitute courage for caution in our ongoing struggle for justice,” From Martin Luther King’s sermon at the funeral of three of the four girls killed in the bombing of the 16th St. Baptist Church, Birmingham, Alabama, September 15, 1963

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National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week

Red is the national color for substance abuse awareness - and in the coming week, you’ll be seeing more of it all around Milwaukee County.

The Light & Unite Red Committee, a community-wide prevention committee led by the Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Division (BHD), will present National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week (NDAFW) January 22–28 - with community-wide events coordinated throughout the County. This national health observance week aims to increase awareness about substance use among teens by using facts to shatter the myths about drugs and alcohol that teens learn from the internet, social media, TV, movies, music or from friends.

During NDAFW, schools and youth organizations will encourage their students to wear red, host related activities including haiku and trivia contests, quizzes, bingo games, and encourage use of new SnapChat filters and hashtags for teens to share facts with friends. Locally, the Light & Unite Red Committee will host several free community events.

Here are some ways you can get involved in next week’s events:

  • Tune in live to TMJ4, January 23 from 4–7 p.m. for our phone bank, where we’ll be answering anonymous callers’ questions about substance abuse. Encourage friends, family and colleagues who might have questions to call in!

  • Get your tickets and encourage others to attend the film screening of “Written Off at the Oriental Theater, Thursday, January. 25 at 7 p.m. This award-winning feature film illustrates a Wisconsin man’s struggles with opioid use, cataloged through pages in his journal. A talk-back discussion with behavioral health experts will follow the screening. Secure your FREE tickets at writtenoffmke.eventbrite.com - and encourage your networks to do the same!

  • Participate in Light & Unite Red Day on Friday, January 26. Join us raising awareness about the dangers of substance abuse by encouraging your staff to wear red or light your building red - the national color for substance abuse awareness. You’ll join the Milwaukee Bucks McKinley Health Center, General Mitchell Airport, Schlitz Park, US Bank and others in doing so. Request a red light bulb by emailing nzinga.khalid@milwaukeecountywi.gov.

  • Spread the word about our Parent & Teen Resource Fair, at Southridge Mall on Saturday, January 27, 10 a.m.−3 p.m. Download and print our flyer here or share our Facebook Event link with your networks.

  • Follow and use our hashtag #LightUniteRed all week on social media as you engage in the week’s activities and post pictures at events that you attend.

Together, we can connect more teens and their parents to vital resources related to substance use prevention, treatment and recovery. Thank you for your continued partnership and commitment to our community. I hope to see you at a number of next week’s events. For additional information on National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week and for a full list of events and partners, visit lightunitered.org.

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Women’s March Milwaukee

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Upcoming MICAH Events

MICAH FORWARD! Saturday January 27, Noon – 5:00 p.m. Includes lunch, Progressive Baptist Church, 8324 W Keefe Ave. Join this opportunity to revision and reshape our organization and work as we transition into new leadership. We will share our history, review our structures and responsibilities, and begin planning and strategizing for the future. We need as many as possible to be there. Contact Rev. Lanier at wjlanier@gmail.com by Thursday Jan. 25. with the food count for yourself/others from your congregation, synagogue, or mosque. If you have special dietary needs, please feel free to bring your own lunch as we cannot provide specialized lunches.

MICAH’s Black History Month Breakfast, Saturday February 17, 8:30 – 10:30 a.m. (Doors open 8:00), St. Martin de Porres Catholic Church, 3114 N. 2nd St. Speaker: Mr. Reggie Jackson of America’s Black Holocaust Museum, Head Griot, Full Breakfast, Speaker, Award, Welcoming New MICAH Congregation, Tickets $10 for children 12 and under, $15 for 13 and up.

MICAH Issues Night Thursday February 22, 5:30 – 8:00 p.m. Mt. Zion Baptist Church, 2207 N. 2nd St.Potluck at 5:30 p.m. Bring something to share, Meeting Begins at 6:00 Joint Prayer, Introductions, Purpose, Break out into Issue Groups, Return to Report Next Steps and Actions, Topics/Groups: Criminal Justice Reform, Jobs and Economic Development, Education, Multicultural and Immigration.

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#CLOSEmsdf Campaign Coalition Update

Several members of the #CLOSEmsdf Coalition including Reggie Jackson and Jaime Alvarado of Rid Racism Milwaukee, Rev. Suzelle Lynch of Black Lives Matter to WI Unitarian Universalists, Lisa Jones of UBLAC, and Marilyn Washington have recently joined EXPO Radio. Visit http://www.riverwestradio.com/show/expo-ex-prisoners-organizing/ to listen to these shows.

Here is the link to the Facebook page for the meeting. Please share it widely.

WISDOM EXPO FORUM ON REVOCATIONS: Visit https://www.facebook.com/events/412707219145592/ for information.

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WPA Presents- Eating Disorders Presentation at Mount Mary University 2/28/18

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A statement from the Community Coalition for Quality Policing on Chief Edward Flynn’s Retirement

Milwaukee, WI: Per today’s announcement of Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn, the Community Coalition for Quality Policing (CC4QP) provides the following statement:

“The coalition members of the Community Coalition for Quality Policing (CC4QP) thank Chief Edward Flynn for his ten years of service to Milwaukee and looks forward to working with the Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission in the evaluation and selection of our city’s next Chief of Police. CC4QP is committed to working with all stakeholders to improve public safety in Milwaukee and to ensuring mutual respect between members of law enforcement and those in the community they serve.”

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On Lincoln Hills

Last week Governor Walker announced a plan for future reforms in our adult and juvenile corrections systems. Essentially, it would be to close down the troubled Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake juvenile facilities, and to convert them into an adult facility that would specialize in AODA treatment. This would help alleviate the backlog of people awaiting AODA treatment in the system, many of whom would become eligible for early release if they get it. It would also relieve some overcrowding in the prisons, meaning we could stop talking abut building a new prison and maybe start talking about closing one. The Governor’s plan also calls for building smaller facilities for youth in several places in the state; a plan about which we have some questions.

The Governor’s plan for converting Lincoln Hills into a treatment center is a good one, and one that is urgently needed. Unfortunately, he doesn’t intend to do it until after the 2019 budget process! Why should the state wait two more years to do something we can and should do now?

The good news is that we don’t have to wait. The plan the Governor announced has already been proposed and is written into legislation that is pending in the State Assembly.

On November 29th, 2017 Rep. Evan Goyke conducted a legislative policy briefing on the Wisconsin prison system at the State Capitol. In that briefing, he proposed the very thing that Governor Walker spoke in favor of last week.

You can find Rep. Goyke’s analysis and plan, called Inmate 501, here. A video of the presentation may be found here.

We should not wait to close Lincoln Hills and convert it into a treatment center. There is bipartisan agreement that it needs to be done, and there is a plan already in place. Instead of waiting two years, we need to call on Representatives Schraa and Hutton, and the Assembly Corrections Committee, to hold hearings on Assembly Bill 791, see it [[hhttp://org2.salsalabs.com/dia/track.jsp?v=2&c=Uas7LzVYCC0Yqo7%2BOJVYUrNycLsE0Nk%2F | here, and move the process forward quickly.

There will be more on this in the future. In the meantime, please don’t forget EXPO/WISDOM’s Hearing on Revocations:

Wednesday, January 17

12:00 - 2:00
Grace Episcopal Church, 112 W. Washington St., Madison.

Seven candidates for Governor and one candidate for Lieutenant Governor have committed to attending and learning about the problem of Crimeless Revocations in Wisconsin, and stating how they would handle it.
Click here to find WISDOM’s extensive report on Crimeless Revocations.
Click here to download the Executive Summary.
Click here to download personal stories by victims of Wisconsin’s unjust revocations policy.

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Converging Crises in Wisconsin Adult and Juvenile Prisons

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Governor Walker Announces Plan to Provide a Long-Term Solution for Wisconsin’s Juvenile Corrections and Treatment Systems

Mental Health Task Force/ Make It Work Milwaukee Update

Earlier today Governor Walker released the statement below regarding plans to close the Lincoln Hills and Copper Lakes juvenile facilities and shift to a model of smaller regional facilities. The Mental Health Task Force has been deeply concerned about these troubled facilities which serve so many youth with mental health needs, including many Milwaukee area youth. We will continue to share more details as they become available.

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January 9th meeting to feature Chief Judge Maxine White

Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force – January 9th meeting Announcement

Please join us for the January 9th meeting of the Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force, Tuesday, January 9th, from 3 – 5 PM at IndependenceFirst, 540 S. 1st St. The meeting will include a special update from Chief Judge Maxine White on the work the Community Justice Council is leading to divert people with mental illness from the criminal justice system.

Note: Please arrive early to allow time for parking so we can start on time. You may need to park on the street.

Our agenda will include the following:

1. A key Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force priority is supporting policies to divert people with mental illness from the criminal justice system, and connect them with services and supports to advance recovery. Our January meeting will feature an update on these efforts from leadership of the Milwaukee Community Justice Council including the MacArthur Foundation Safety and Justice Challenge.

Special guest speakers include Milwaukee Community Justice Council Chair Chief Judge Maxine White and Chief Deputy District Attorney for Milwaukee County Kent Lovern. Other members of the CJC leadership team will also be in attendance and available to answer questions. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear from community leaders. The meeting will include time for a few questions – we will collect these on index cards to maximize the time for addressing questions.

Link to the CJC website: http://milwaukee.gov/cjc

2. Our Diversity Committee “Something to Think About” initiative will feature small group discussion of key questions including the impact racism has on mental health and on access to services, cultural barriers to providing or receiving services, and more – see attached survey and questions for more detail. If you did not complete the survey yet, we would value your input. Use the Survey monkey link or complete the paper copy and submit at the January meeting.

3. Policy updates on county, state and federal issues.

Reminder: There are several openings on the Mental Health Task Force Steering committee. Service on the Steering Committee is a leadership role and requires previous participation in the Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force. The Steering Committee plays a leadership role in helping to support the work of the Task Force including helping to guide and implement advocacy and programmatic priorities. If you are passionate about advancing the quality of mental health and substance use disorder services in our community, please consider applying to participate in this important work. The application form is attached.

Environmental/Chemical Sensitivities: For the safety and comfort of those with chemical sensitivities, IndependenceFirst requests that people visiting our agency, refrain from using any perfumed products and not smoke near the building.

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Sun. 12/31/17: DOJ Confirms Disparity Traffic Stops by MKE police: https://www.wjiinc.org/blog/doj-report-confirms-racial-disparity-in-traffic-stops

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Mon. 12/18/17: Resist: https://www.alternet.org/right-wing/heres-how-trump-pitting-local-police-against-fbi

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ForwardHealth — MA reimbursement rates for outpatient substance use disorder and mental health services

Mental Health Task Force/ Make It Work Milwaukee Update

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services has issued a Forward Health update, regarding the Increased Reimbursement and Changes to Claims Submission Requirements for Outpatient Behavioral Health Services. The Mental Health Task Force has advocated for increased rates for outpatient services so it is encouraging to see this move forward – see the link below for details.


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Expert Tells the Truth About Google

Jeff Chester, a foremost, longtime expert on consumer protection and digital privacy as Director of the Center for Digital Democracy, makes crystal clear the impact that Google is having on AlterNet and progressive media:

“AlterNet is on the frontlines battling new forms of online censorship promoted by Google. To please its most powerful global advertisers, Google has changed its business practices in order to ‘sanitize’ content—creating what it calls a ‘brand-safe’ environment. As a result, independent, diverse and controversial expression is being punished—exiled into a digital twilight world designed not to provoke Google’s key advertisers. Instead of supporting access to more information and alternative views, Google is further aligning itself with deep-pocketed corporations who don’t support robust journalism—let alone political dissent.

Please help AlterNet fight this new digital ‘blacklist’ that further undermines the democratic potential of the internet. We can’t let Google determine—merely to bolster its bottom line—our ability to access the content we need to keep the powerful global elite accountable.”

Ed. Note: Given the loss of net neutrality, Google, Att et al now have a license to bury the truth.

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Let’s Build a Movement to End Child Poverty in Wisconsin!

Today, WISDOM and its partners are calling on people across Wisconsin to sign on to a new Campaign to end child poverty in Wisconsin.

Over 200,000 kids in Wisconsin live in poverty:

  • African American kids are almost 5x more likely to be poor;
  • Latino kids are 3x more likely to be poor;
  • Native American kids are 4x more likely 
to be poor;
  • The poverty rate for our African American kids is 8% above the national average for black child poverty. 

To learn more about this Campaign, and to sign your name as part of the movement to end child poverty in Wisconsin, go to http://www.endchildpovertywi.org/.

You can help us create moral outrage about the disgrace of child poverty in Wisconsin:

  • View a compelling PowerPoint presentation and share it with your friends: http://www.endchildpovertywi.org/our_presentation;

  • Arrange to have a presentation given at your house of worship or to your community group. Contact us: wisdomforjustice@gmail.com.

WISDOM President Rev. Willie Brisco has said, “Childhood should be a time of wonder and possibility. Children raised in poverty are less likely to see the world as an great adventure, and more likely to see it as a grim struggle for survival. As people of faith, we believe every child should have the chance to grow into the great person God created her to be.”

This effort is a joint project of WISDOM, the Wisconsin Council of Churches, Kids Forward (formerly, the Wisconsin Council on Children and Families), and the Citizen Action of Wisconsin Education Fund.

Please go to the website, add your name, and encourage your friends to do the same. Our first goal is to bring a list of 10,000 signers when we approach our elected leaders to demand that ending child poverty be a goal for Wisconsin.

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We’re breaking the internet

We need your help to break the internet.

In just two days, the FCC will vote to repeal Net Neutrality and destroy the fundamental protection of the free and open internet.

The only thing that can stop them is an overwhelming public outcry. So today, we are joining a massive effort alongside major websites like Etsy and Pinterest, to break the internet with a massive show of support for Net Neutrality.

All day today, we’ll be making noise about Net Neutrality on social media and asking you to contact your members of Congress—take action instantly by clicking here.

This is our last chance to show our elected officials that we are against FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s plan to give corporations massive power over how and what we access online.

Losing Net Neutrality will hurt every single one of us — except the rich corporations like Comcast and Verizon that will make billions.

They want to control which websites we visit, limit access speeds, and charge extra fees for using websites like Facebook or Netflix.

This move will stifle historically marginalized communities and new grassroots movements empowered through online organizing. And everyone will lose out on a vital component of our 21st century democracy — the free and open internet.

With your help, we won’t let it happen. Take action and help show your support for Net Neutrality right now.

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Mon. 12/11/17: “Department of Corrections that wields incredible powers to detain and oversee the detention process promulgated the rules; not the legislature- an embodiment of the peoples’ will.”

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Be on the Ground Floor of a Movement! December 14

Thursday will be an important day as we launch the “End Child Poverty” Campaign across the state of Wisconsin!

Thursday, December 14: 6:30 - 7:30pm
Marquette University Alumni Memorial Union Ballroom, 1442 W Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee

Help us get 10,000 people to sign on to a movement that calls for the state of Wisconsin to adopt a 3-part goal:

  • To reduce child poverty in Wisconsin by half in the next 10 years;
  • To reduce racial disparities in child poverty in that same time;
  • To adopt evidence-based means of measuring our progress, complete with an annual report.

WISDOM and our partners from Wisconsin Citizen Action, the Wisconsin Council of Churches, and Kids Forward (formerly the WI Council on Children and Families), will launch the “End Child Poverty” Campaign with events across the state on December 14.

There will be a LOT more information coming your way on Thursday. Join us at Marquette for this exciting moment, as the people of Wisconsin begin to demand that our state put its priorities where they belong!

Download a flier here to share with your contacts.
View the event here on Facebook.

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Call to Action: Mothers in Chains

For many of us in the Christian tradition, we are in the time of Advent - the time of getting ready for the celebration of Jesus’ birth.

This is an appropriate time to ask you to help out in an effort that is being led by the Religious Leaders’ Caucus of MOSES in Madison. They call the campaign, “Mothers in Chains.” It is an attempt to get Wisconsin to join the growing list of states that outlaw the shackling of pregnant women, women giving birth, and women who have recently given birth. This seems like something that a civilized society should have outlawed long ago.

You can see a lot of good information at this page on the MOSES website: http://mosesmadison.org/mothers-in-chains-wisconsins-shame/

As you will see, there is a bill being considered in the State Senate, which has bipartisan support, and which is expected to be voted on in January. Unfortunately, some Senators want to water down the bill so that it only pertains to women who are actually in labor. While that helps with the most extreme abuse, there is still no reason for women late in a pregnancy, to be chained hand and foot to go for a doctor’s appointment, or for women to be chained soon after giving birth.

We can make a difference on this. What better thing to do for Advent than to call your state representative and senator and ask them to pass this bill without watering it down.

Please take a moment to see all the excellent material on the MOSES site, and please pass this request along to others. To find your legislators: http://legis.wisconsin.gov/.

Thank you.

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Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force – December 12 meeting

Please join us for the December 12 meeting of the Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force:

Meeting Details: Tuesday December 12, 3 – 5 PM
IndependenceFirst, 540 S. 1st st.

Our agenda will include the following:

  • Panel on Mental Health Consumer/Client Rights. Panel members include Sherrie Bailey-Holland, Milwaukee County BHD Client Rights Specialist; Attorney Shirin Cabraal, Disability Rights Wisconsin; and Attorney Milton Childs, State Public Defenders Office. Bring your questions and please share this information with peers – all are welcome to attend.

  • MHTF Diversity Committee update and survey, Terri Ellzey, Chair

  • Learn about Warmline, Inc., a non-crisis, support line for people dealing with mental health or substance abuse challenges

  • Policy updates including the Milwaukee County Mental Health Board and the process for reviewing proposals to contract for inpatient care. A reminder that The Mental Health Board Joint Task Forces on Local Public/Private Partnership and National Entity Partnership is meeting this Thursday, December 7th at 11:30 AM at the Mental Health Complex – see yesterday’s email for details. The agenda and meeting packet can be viewed at at http://county.milwaukee.gov/BehavioralHealthDivi7762/Mental-Health-Board/2017-MHB-Meeting-Info—Documents.htm

  • Steering Committee Openings. We will be circulating an application for open positions for At Large members to serve on the Mental Health Task Force Steering committee.

  • Update from the Mental Health Task Force Advocacy Work Group on next steps with expanding advocacy capacity. All are welcome to attend our meeting this Friday at 2 PM at DRW!

  • Announcements

Save the date for our January 9th meeting which will include an update from the Community Justice Council and the McArthur Safety and Justice Challenge

‘’Environmental/Chemical Sensitivities: For the safety and comfort of those with chemical sensitivities, IndependenceFirst
requests that people visiting our agency, refrain from using any perfumed products and not smoke near the building.’‘

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Table of the Saints Public Discussion

“Don’t Talk at the Dinner Table”

Public Discussion on Mental Health: Panel Discussion and Breakout Panels

Aurora Sinai Medical Center, 915 N. 12th Street, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53233
Saturday, December 9, 2017 12:00 noon – 4:00 pm.

James Causey, Moderator
Panelist Include:
Kenneth Ginlack MSW
Clem Richardson, MS
Alfonzo Watkins, MS
Dr. Patricia McManus
Mr. John Schmid, Journal Sentinel Reporter

Presented By Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and Table of the Saints, Inc.
Sponsors: Aurora Sinai Medical Center and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

12:00 –12:30 Snacks
12:30 – 1:20 Introduction of panelist by James Causey/ Panel Discussion begins
1:30 – 1:45 Participants will take ACE study
1:45 – 1:55 ACE Mr. John Schmid, Reporter
2:00 – 2:45 ACE discussion w McManus and Richardson

Childhood Trauma w Watkins and Ginlac

2:45 – 2:55 Break
2:55 – 3:45 Session 2 What is Good Mental Health? Watkins and Ginlac
3:45 – Aurora spokesman/Journal Sentinel Editor George Stanley speaks on 50 year Ache project

The idea stems from the Table of the Saints expanding and improving upon our aftercare of the residents of TOTS Family House and those in the community with whom we mentor and participate in rebuilding the moral compass.

While mentoring, coaching and counseling those we serve we’ve found there to be a deficit when they themselves try to articulate their reason for using drugs or straying from recovery and treatment. A major issue has been them having received certificates of completion for AODA programs and a commitment of going to NA or AODA meetings they didn’t fully understand addiction, recovery and mental Health.

December 25, 2017 we will celebrate two years of our Sober Living House that we fondly call “TOTS House”. We celebrate eight years of the bible study group, we recently celebrated five years as a faith based nonprofit organization here in the city of Milwaukee, WI.

“Let’s Talk About It”
Continuing the conversation on the myths surrounding addition, recovery and mental health.

2nd Wednesday’s of each month
Welford Sanders Enterprise Center, 2821 n. 4th Street, 1st Floor Conference Room Milwaukee, WI. 53212
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Light Snacks and Beverage

Table of the Saints, Inc.
2821 N. 4th Street, suite 236 Milwaukee, WI. 53212
Tableofthesaints2009@gmail.com 414–374–8029 Ext. 307

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Driving while black in Milwaukee has real ticket, arrest consequences

MPD’s strategy for high-crime areas results in more tickets for, arrests of black drivers, study shows
Despite bearing the bulk of the burden of traffic stops by police targeting high-crime areas, African-American drivers in Milwaukee were no more likely to be ticketed or arrested than their white counterparts, according to a Department of Justice draft report.

Arrests were made in just 2% of traffic stops of African-American drivers, the same rate as for white and Hispanic drivers, according to the draft report.

Because so many more black drivers were stopped, however, the actual number arrested - 6,247 from 2013 to 2015 - was the highest among the three groups. There were 1,216 Hispanics and 1,920 whites arrested after traffic stops over the same time period. Read more…

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Support is Building for Alternatives to Incarceration: Show YOUR support!

Counties around the state are considering resolutions calling for the state to increase Treatment Alternatives and Diversions (TAD) funding by $15 million per year. TAD is a state program that gives grants to counties so they can implement or expand programs for people with addictions and/or mental health issues. The program has been extensively studied, and has shown that every $1 spent on TAD saves taxpayers $2 in incarceration costs. Not only that, people who participate in TAD programs are less likely to commit another crime than people who spend time in jail or prison.

TAD saves money and keeps us safer: seems like a common sense way to invest money!

That is what County Boards around the state are saying. This week, three County Supervisors in Madison who have worked with MOSES (the WISDOM affiliate there) to craft a resolution calling for the state to increase TAD funding by $15 million. At least six other counties are looking to do the same thing.

As our state looks for ways to invest in the well-being of its people, a maximum investment in TAD makes a lot more sense than planning for new prisons. Before committing hundreds of millions for new prisons, our state should first put $15 million more into TAD. It can help Wisconsin stay in step with other states, both “red” and “blue” (like Texas, Michigan and New Jersey) that are closing prisons every year, and are watching their crime rates drop as they do.

To find out if your County Board is helping to promote a TAD increase, or to get involved in the campaign to reduce Wisconsin’s prison population, contact us at wisdomforjustice@gmail.com.

Thank you.

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Senate vote on tax bill this week: national day to call Senators Wednesday Nov. 29th

U.S. Senators need to hear directly from constituents about how the proposed tax bills will affect people with disabilities and their families.

The Senate could vote on this bill as early as this Thursday (11/30) or Friday (12/1).

A national call-in day for on the Senate tax cut bill has been organized for people with disabilities, families, and advocates around the country on Wednesday, Nov. 29th. You can RSVP and invite friends using the Facebook event.

National Advocates say the bill will hurt people with disabilities because:

  • The bill increases the federal deficit by $1.5 trillion. This means that the federal government is not collecting enough money to pay for existing programs and services (like Medicaid—which funds Family Care, IRIS, BadgerCare, Children’s Long Term Supports, the ForwardHealth Card and other Wisconsin programs).

  • National advocates are very concerned that tax cuts, which reduce the amount of money the government has to spend, will result in cutting Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security and other programs and services that help people with disabilities.

  • It eliminates tax deductions and credits—including the Rare Disease Tax Credit—that help people with disabilities work, access housing, and get medication.

  • It gets rid of Affordable Care Act’s requirement that everyone have health insurance. This will cause premiums for people with disabilities and pre-existing conditions to increase, leaving health insurance unaffordable for millions.

Suggested Action Steps
Call Senators Johnson (202) 224–5323 and Baldwin (202) 224–5653 and:

  • Share your concerns about how the current tax proposals could cut Medicaid and other programs you care about and use.

  • Share your concerns about how repealing the requirement for all people to purchase health insurance may cause premiums to rise, more people to become uninsured, and result in fewer choices of insurers in some areas.

  • If you or your family member has a rare disease, tell your Senators and Representative how this credit has or could impact quality of life for people with rare diseases.

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ALERT: Tax bill talking points and action steps

As families around the country prepare to gather with loved ones for the Thanksgiving holiday, the House passed a tax bill that would threaten the health and economic security of many low-income and middle-class families.

This Thanksgiving, talk turkey about taxes! It’s not too late to protect our health care and our families. Here’s what you can do:

1. Contact your Senators today to tell them not to sacrifice Americans’ healthcare to give tax cuts to the wealthy.

  • Reach any Senator through the Senate switchboard at (202) 224–3121, or
  • Use this toll-free number set up by Service Employees International Union (SEIU): 866–426–2631

2. Talk to your family and friends about what this tax bill does:

  • Increases the deficit by almost $2 TRILLION
  • Immediately cuts Medicare by $25 billion
  • Sets up future trillion dollar cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security to pay for the tax cuts and fix the deficit
  • Ends the medical expense deduction – hurting at least 4.5 million people with incomes less than $75,000
  • Increases taxes for 47% of families with children

Download the “Talk Turkey About Taxes” flier produced by the Medicare Rights Center and Center for Medicare Advocacy.

Share the flier with family and friends and start a conversation about the tax bill and how we can protect our care and financial well-being.

Download flier.

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Three ways Congress’s tax cut bill could impact people with disabilities

Both the U.S. House and Senate are working on bills that would make changes to how much taxes people pay, and would lower the amount of money collected (revenue) from taxpayers.

The Tax legislation would eliminate two existing tax credits important to people with disabilities and their families. Under the bills, the government would collect far less tax money than it needs to maintain the current level of spending on Medicaid and other programs that help people with disabilities.

The House may vote as early as this Thursday (November 16th) on their tax bill, with the Senate to follow in the next couple weeks.

House tax bill eliminates the Medical expense credit

When a person has medical expenses greater than 10% of their adjusted gross income, they can use this tax credit. 9 million households took this deduction, and it can be crucial for families covering expenses not covered by insurance, high out-of-pocket medical costs, or paying for nursing home costs. Older adults with high cost medical needs, people with disabilities and chronic medical conditions, and families with children who have high cost medical needs and disabilities benefit from the credit. (More about this tax credit)

Both tax bills eliminate the Rare disease credit

This credit reimburses drug developers for half of their research costs on treatments meant for rare diseases. Supporters say this credit is one of several incentives that have led to the approval of more than 500 new and much-needed drugs for those rare diseases that each affect fewer than 200,000 people. (More about this tax credit)

Both bill’s large tax cuts threaten Medicaid

Both tax bills increase the federal deficit by $1.5 trillion. This means that the federal government is not collecting enough money to pay for existing programs and services (like Medicaid—which funds Family Care, IRIS, BadgerCare, Children’s Long Term Supports, the ForwardHealth Card and other Wisconsin programs). National advocates are very concerned that tax cuts, which reduce the amount of money the government has to spend, will result in cutting Medicaid and other programs and services that help people with disabilities.
National advocates point to both the President’s and House budget, which include more than $1 Trillion dollars from Medicaid specifically. The tax bill would add another $1.5 trillion gap in funding, and analysts identify Medicaid spending as one of the likely targets for additional cuts.

Suggested Action Steps
Call Senators Johnson (202) 224–5323 and Baldwin (202) 224–5653 and your Congressional Representative. Milwaukee area representatives are: Congresswoman Gwen Moore at 202–225–4572, Congressman Paul Ryan at (202) 225–3031, or Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner at (202) 225–5101

  • Share your concerns about how the current tax proposals could cut Medicaid and other programs you care about and use.

  • If you or your family member has a rare disease, tell your Senator and Representative how this credit has or could result in a better quality of life for people with rare diseases.

  • If you or your family uses the Medical Expense Credit, tell your Representative how this credit benefits you and what it would mean to you if it was no longer an option.

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Last edited by an anonymous user of Milwaukee Renaissance.   Page last modified on May 21, 2018

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