56 New Legends
from the Milwaukee Women’s March
People from Puerto Rico are moving here. We are working with the Wisconisn Elections Commission to make sure everyone can vote in February. Puerto Ricans are US citizens.
Make sure you have the right ID for voting (Spanish & English)
Contact us to help with voter assistance
Voter News : All the latest on voter suppression, lawsuits, gerrymandering, hacking elections, US Supreme Court at our page. Click here
Local Issues, Voting, and Democracy
(January 20, 2018 Daily Beast) “. . . the real threat to democracies around the globe is social media’s inexorable and unavoidable destruction of common ground and shared perspective.” Author argues that Silicon Valey is destroying democracy with narrowly targeted content like advertising.
(January 5, 2018 New Republic) Death of presidential fraud commission doesn’t stop anti-democracy voter suppression. More state by state voter suppression laws coming.
(January 4, 2018 WIRED) “Voter ID Laws Really Do Discriminate”, by the numbers. Use math to see how bad the effect of ID policy is.
(December 23, 2017 Digital Journal) More on facebook: Shortly after it started, facebook stopped flagging potential “fake news.”
(December 23, 2017 Lifehacker) facebook has a tool online to find out if you followed or “liked” a Russian post.
(December 22, 2017 Daily Herald Utah) Redistricting for fair representationn of Native Americans is controversial. The redistricting was ordered by a federal judge. Outcome of a discrimination/gerrymandering lawsuit brought by the Navajo Nation.
(November 15, 2017 Washington Post) Consolidation of local media by national corporations makes it harder to find out about local government, local office holders, local elections. What happens to democracy?
(Southern Poverty Leadership Conference) ” Ten Ways to Fight Hate” From the experts with download file of the entire guide. This is practical and builds community.
(November 2, 2017 Cap Times) “Wisconsin Assembly approves bill blocking state health plans from covering abortion” (November 2, 2017 Wisconsin State Journal) It’s one week before the end of the session and the Assembly votes to restrict women’s health care. The Assembly was also urged to ban the use of fetal tissue by the Medical College.
(November 2, 2017 Wisconsin Ag Connection) Milwaukee state Rep. Evan Goyke and Sen. LaTonya Johnson sponsor urban agriculture bill. Initial project planned for 30th Street corridor. Contact your state Rep. & Senator to co-sponsor this legislation.
Got suggestions for issues? Tell us
(November 1, 2017 Shorewood Patch) One Wisconsin Now is suing 3 state legislators for blocking some from twitter account.
(November 1, 2017 Milwakee Journal Sentinel) West Bend State Rep. leaves vacancy. Governor calls special election to fill the seat. Primary December 19. Who do you know in that district?
(October 27, 2017 Manitowoc Herald Times Reporter) Senate bill 281/Assenbly Bill 353 change undermines co-ops. Paving way for private, corporate takeover? Nothing broken. Why the “fix”? Members would lose some control by alllowing 20% of board to be non-members.
(October 27, 2017 Huffpost) Eau Claire City Council bans Council member from breastfeeding during meetings. Wisconsin law protects right to breastfeed in public. Council chambers are paid with tax dollars. Why should any government make parenting harder?
(October 13, 2017 TechWorldNews) New report examines the threat to democracy from social media. Download (pdf)
(October 13, 2017 Vox) Political scientists met at Yale October 6 to discuss the condition of our democracy. Harvard prof: “If current trends continue for another 20 or 30 years, democracy will be toast.”
(October 3, 2017 US News) Can US democracy fail? Handmaid’s Tale is used as an example of what can happen here.
writer and poet
(August 16, 2017 BuzzFeed) This is what people in Senegal, Ivory Coast, South Africa, Kenya and the Central African Republic think of us. Is Charlottesville how “. . . people behave in a modern democracy?” ” . . . it’s like the US’s ray of light has gone out on the global stage.”
Considerations on racism. This is about the work that white people must do. We are not going to expect black people to save us from our own racism. Racism has so permeated our lives that we are not aware of our part in it. Talking about where “identity politics” comes from is a start.
Who Represents You? When are they up for election? Click here
“Elections are not about the political parties or the interest groups or even the candidates. They are about the voters. On election day we are all equal, each citizen with one vote regardless of race, creed, gender or economic status. This is how we the people move our country forward and make it stronger for future generations.” (August 7, 2016 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
~ League of Women Voters, Andrea Kaminski, Executive Director
We can count on the venerable League of Women Voters to fight for our democratic right to vote. For almost 100 years, the League has steadfastly maintained a non-partisan committment to democracy and the democratic process. The League of Women Voters monitors elections and works with election officials to insure the right of each citizen to vote. We can be confident of the integrity of each vote in Wisconsin.
(July 18, 2017 Center for Media and Democracy in Madison) Should the 17th Amendment be repealed? ALEC, Koch Industries and major current federal appointees are meeting in Denver to discuss it. Repeal would revert back to electing US Senators by state governments and not by popular vote. Republicans control 32 of the 50 state governments. Like an electoral college for US Senate.
(July 18, 2017 Common Dreams) New GOP Budget Defunds Federal Election Security Agency This is getting missed by the media. More proof that voter suppression is the goal of the “fraud commission”
First Public Statement Promoting Voter Suppression – 1980
Paul Weyrich co-Founder of ALEC, Heritage Foundation, Moral Majority, and Free Congress Foundation. ALEC writes “model” legislation for voter ID. Wines and dines state legislators. ALEC legislation is introduced and adopted by state governments like Wisconsin’s. Koch money, along with other large corporations, funds ALEC. (American Legislative Exchange Council) the place where legislators and business get together to decide public policy. The elections August and November 2018 are important to fight voter suppression by our current legislators.
Voter Suppression is nothing new: jim crow literacy tests, poll taxes, “grandfathering in”, voter ID, long lines at polls, advance registration, intimidation, purposeful confusion
(June 23, 2017 LifeHacker) How to spot bogus arguments. These are the things every debater knows. Now the rest of us can pick political speeches and ads apart. Logic, reason & facts count.
Test your “fake news” judgement from NPR. Play a game, Factitious, that rates and scores your judgement. This is harder that you think.
This is a short test on faked and not-faked photos. (I got all right but for the wrong reasons! If I didn’t know some are fake I’d believe them all. ~Dorothy)
Build Democracy / Build Community / Vote
” . . identify the issue with which you feel the greatest connection or sense of outrage . . . And then apply yourself — with time and money — to activism within that area with a vengeance.” (Paul Fanlund, CapTimes) Use our guide to action: Defend Democracy: Fight Facism
What is local democracy?
The Guardian newspaper has a roundup of ideas from a variety of observers and experts — non-U.S. We have comparable units of government. The key here is to see how local democracy works in other places.
The Council of Europe
12 priniciples of local good governance
Good governance cannot just “happen”. We pick the people who will make it happen. We vote.
New searchable database of government facts to help understand what government does. For example, what is the “safety net”? One of the goals of the creator is to provide facts to better make decions about government – federal, local and state. (April 17 2017 New York Times, Book Deal)
“Tax burden” is code language. It means that the government is taking money unjustly. Your action: Remind neighbors that we get good value for our tax dollars (see how). USAFacts.org is the tool to find out.
Criminalizing the Vote
Update from the Southern Poverty Law Center with links to excellent sources. Advice on how white America can fight white supremism, recent court decisions on voting, vote suppression and gerrymandering. Unnecessary barriers to voting makes citizens voiceless.
This is how we make democracy. We make democracy work – from our local community outward to the world. Easy, effective, satisfying ways to build and defend democracy day by day. We will keep the fabric of our democratic communities strong.
Set your smart phone now to alert you to the February 20 and April 3 2018 elections.
Wisconsin’s Congressional Representatives & Senators. Photos, contact information and a map of districts. Your federal Reps & Senators View online. (↓download pdf) Phone calls to district offices are good. You get to know staff. Call to object. Call to congratulate and thank. This is democracy working.
Ask your elected representatives for their schedule of town hall meetings. Use this list of questions to ask of your representative. Good questions educate everyone at the meeting. Go for it.
Autocracy, Oligarchy, Fascism, Democracy, Populism — What Are They?
Your quick guide to what these mean. How does democracy compare? Good information to talk about with friends and family. We didn’t need these words last year to describe possible futures for us.
What is “populism”? This word is applied to so many politicasl views and people – does it meananything any more? (Dec 19, 2016 The Economist) a short history of the word and how it is used today.
No Vote = No Democracy
Actions to Defend and Build Democracy
The link goes to the original article. If it blue and underlined – it is clickable.
♦ How to fight back against an autocracy is a set of rules based on experience of a Russian dissident. This is what we do from now on. #1 Believe the autocrat, #2 Do not be misled by small signs of normalcy, #3 Institutions will not save us, #4 Be outraged, #5 Don’t make compromises, #6 Remember the future (New York Review of Books)
♦ How to fight back and stay sane – a set of common sense rules. Fighting for democracy is a whole person experience. 1. Don’t Get Used to the President — Get Away From Him, 2. Focus on One or Two Issues, 3. Make Activism Fun, 4. Take Care of the Basics. Here’s the entire article.
♦ Independent & Progressive radio NEW February 1. WRRD 1510 AM. This station covers the Milwaukee area and west to Madison. Owner Michael Crute: “. . . my mission is to offer Milwaukee and Wisconsin a new voice and change our political dialogue. Our state and our nation need more fact-based political conversations . . .”
♦ Seventeen articles recommended for action (zip file to download) Solid ideas on simple, everyday things that make a big difference when we all work
♦ Eleven articles about why we are at a tipping point for democracy; some historical analysis (zip file to download) including thoughts from Steven Hawking, Trevor Noah and others.
♦ Congressional staffers wrote this “how to” guide for building democracy at the national level. “Indivisible” is an excellent short guide to making and guarding democracy. When the authors talk about local advocacy, they are talking about Supermarket Legends. We’ve been making democracy for years! Here is an expanded version of INDIVISIBLE released on January 5. (26 pages.)
♦ Outrage is a useful motivation to fight for democracy/against fascism. This article instructs: ways to stay sane and outraged. This is a MUST READ for everyone. Very good, very simple, very sane. Scroll down to the video on this page from Samantha Bee’s program.
♦ 20 Points for Defending Democracy from Yale History Professor Timothy Snyders, (New York Review of Books, Dec 1 2016)
♦ How to Save the Planet What we can do in the next four, critical years to keep moving forward, defending the earth by Bill McKibben, Moyers and Company, (Dec. 1, 2016) John Muir, Aldo Leopold, Gaylord Nelson and Increase Lapham — all Wisconsinites part of our state and national legacy.
“How FDR Used Famous Immigrants to Extol America’s Greatness” Before WWII the US sponsored a radio program called “I Am an American” (April 27 2017 Atlas Obscura) Nativism is a recurring problem in the US. It was growing again in the time before WWII. Hear some of the original broadcasts.
What can we do? Look to the slavery abolitionists.
Wisconsin played a pivotal role. Joshua Glover and Sherman Booth are memorialized in Milwaukee for their role in being the final nails in the coffin of slavery in the US. They, and the people who maintained the Wisconsin part of the underground railroad, are an inspiration to us today. Resistance to slavery in Wisconsin points us to what we do now. Resistance to tyrants is part of our democratic fabric of life.
Registering all voters – one mom’s experience
This mother helped her son register to vote. So she wrote an opinion piece for the Washington Post. See her article here. Registering to vote is a rite of passage.
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photos and graphics on this web site:
- Stuart Miles at freedigitalphotos.net
- Lauren Mancke at Minimography.com
- City of Milwaukee Election Commission
- Ever Eden Design
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