Vote Absentee This Spring Election!

April 1, 2021 @ 5:00 p.m. – Deadline to Request an Absentee Ballot – Regular and Permanent Overseas Voters –  If you are a regular or a Permanent Overseas Voters, your absentee ballot request must be received by your municipal clerk no later than 5:00 p.m. on April 1, 2021.

April 2, 2021 @ 5:00 p.m.– Deadline to Request an Absentee Ballot – Indefinitely Confined – If a voter is indefinitely confined  your absentee ballot request must be received by your municipal clerk no later than 5:00 p.m. on April 2, 2021.

April 2, 2021 @ 5:00 p.m.– Deadline to Request an Absentee Ballot – Military – If a voter is in the military then your absentee ballot request must be received by your municipal clerk no later than 5:00 p.m. on April 2, 2021.

March 23, 2021, possibly through April 4, 2021 – Deadline for In-Person Absentee – Voters can possibly request and vote an absentee ballot in-person in their municipal clerk’s office through April 4, 2021.  Office hours vary by municipality. Some municipal offices may not offer additional in-person absentee hours Please contact your municipal clerk for absentee voting hours. 

The Democratic Party of Wisconsin Endorses Jill Underly for State Superintendent

The Spring Primary made one thing clear: there is one true progressive public schools champion in the race for State Superintendent, and that’s Dr. Jill Underly. The Democratic Party of Wisconsin is proud to endorse her campaign to become our next Superintendent at the Department of Public Instruction, a job once held by our own Governor Tony Evers.

Dr. Underly has more than two decades of public education experience, and has served kids pre-kindergarten through college, as a teacher, a principal, a mentor, and a district superintendent.

Sign up to get involved in Jill Underly’s campaign at: https://underlyforwi.com/join-the-team/.

Benefits to being a member of the Democratic Party of Shawano County;

Staying informed. Be among the first to hear about local, state, and national issues affecting Democrats.
Joining the community  – being a member instantly adds you to a community of like-minded individuals, giving you many opportunities to connect to help improve our lives.
We are stronger together! Getting involved – make a difference in your community through volunteering, organizing, and voicing your opinions. We provide access to training and other avenues to help make your voice be heard.
Turning Wisconsin blue – members care about electing Democrats at all levels, in all corners of the state.  Show your support for Wisconsin’s democratic candidates up and down the ticket.
–Membership in the state party automatically makes you a member of your county party.
Joining a Caucus – caucuses represent the rich diversity of our members. They bring people together around issues that face each of these groups.Becoming a member is so easy!  Go to www.wisdems.org/membership and join today!

VOTING IS IMPORTANT TO MAINTAINING OUR DEMOCRACY

Here is the op-ed that was printed in the Shawano Leader this month:

In a democracy, the people hold the political power.  Every citizen, controls that power through their vote. We can hire the people who we think will be best for maintaining our democracy or we can fire those who don’t have our best interests in mind.

Democracy requires the people to exercise their right to vote.  Throughout our nation’s history, there have been struggles for voter access.  It continues today with the crackdown on voting rights that the Republican-controlled Wisconsin Legislature is expected to pursue.

The struggle for voting rights began when the 15th Amendment was passed in 1869 allowing black men to vote. But when they started to cast ballots and were elected to government positions, the Southerners who wanted to maintain the status quo of white power, set up artificial hurtles like poll taxes, literacy tests, and other measures meant to discourage the Blacks from exercising their voting rights.

Barriers like these prompted activist John Lewis and 600 vote-seeking marchers to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama on March 6, 1965. The violence of that day and other civil rights protests pressured the government to finally pass the Voting Rights Act of 1965.  It outlawed legal voting barriers at the state and local levels, ended Jim Crow laws which intimidated black voters and strengthened the voting rights that Native people had won in every state.

However, that act didn’t stop those who continued to try and keep the power for themselves.  In 2013 they took their grievances to the United States Supreme Court.  In the case known as Shelby County v. Holder the provisions requiring states to get permission before passing new voting laws were dismantled. Since then, self-interested state legislators all over the country had the green light to increase hurdles to voting.

In recent years Republican politicians have tried to retain their power by making it harder for certain populations to vote.  These strategies include reducing the number polling locations in predominately African American or Lantinx neighborhoods and only having polling stations open during business hours, when many people are working and unable to take time off.

In the 2020 election, there were additional obstacles to voting employed.  Voting machines were removed from polling places which caused hours-long lines.  The United States Post Office was crippled to the point that mail delivery was not reliable thus putting mail-in ballots at risk of arriving too late to be counted.

In Wisconsin, some districts have been gerrymandered to the point that Democratic voters have little power. The Republican legislature has initiated voter ID requirements which make it more difficult for the elderly and the poor to vote.

It wasn’t enough that Republicans in the Legislature reduced the opportunity for early voting from three weeks to two weeks, they may further limit early voting. Wisconsin has enjoyed Election Day registration for years but they may try and do away with this also.  Absentee voting was instrumental in making it safe for high voter turnout in the November, 2020 election even in a pandemic.  Now there may be more restrictions placed on the ability of voters to utilize absentee ballots.

An overhaul of our nation’s voting system is necessary to shore up confidence in our democracy.  However, access to the ballot box should be made easier rather than being part of an effort to maintain a partisan advantage by making it harder to vote.

The Democrats have made the need for a fair voting process a top priority with their introduction of the For the People Act in the House of Representatives (H.R.1) and in the Senate (S.1).  The Act is meant to counter voter suppression tactics and to make it easier for eligible voters to cast their ballots.  It would create national automatic voter registration and require paper ballots in all jurisdictions.

The For the People Act has provisions that address redistricting and government ethics.  It would prohibit extreme partisan gerrymandering and take a variety of other steps to make the redistricting process more transparent and accessible, including requiring congressional redistricting to be done by independent commissions.

H.R.1 also involves reform of our campaign finance system. The 2020 election was far and away the most expensive election in American history.  We know from extensive research that the people who fund campaigns wield enormous clout in our political system.  The For the People Act would revitalize the system that has promoted small donor public financing for presidential primaries and extend it to congressional races.

The bill’s critical companion legislation is the John Lewis Voting Rights Act.  It would restore the full sweep of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and undo the damage of the Supreme Court’s Shelby County decision.

It is disappointing that many voters don’t see the need to turn out to vote in local elections.  When there is low voter turnout, important local issues are determined by a limited group of voters, making a single vote even more statistically meaningful.

This apathy can’t continue if we want to maintain a vibrant democracy.  The Citizens of Wisconsin need to rise up and make it clear to our legislators that we want to expand voting opportunities.  Any attempt to restrict election participation of any Wisconsinite should not be tolerated.

Voting is the cornerstone of our democracy. Our democracy gives us this precious right.  Vote as though your life depends on it, because it does.

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Membership Meeting February 17th.

FEBRUARY MEETING
Wednesday, February 17th
7:00 pm

Join on Zoom with this link:
https://zoom.us/j/6228488386

Meeting ID: 622 848 8386
By Phone
Dial  312 626 6799

Speakers will be Lee Snodgrass and Karl Jaeger.  Lee is the  2nd Vice Chair for the Wisconsin Democratic Party and 57th Assembly Representative. She will be giving us updates on what is happening in Madison.  Karl is running for the open 89th Assembly District seat.
Election Day is Tuesday, February 16th
Jill Underly is endorsed by the Wisconsin Education Association Council.  Shelia Briggs is the current Assistant Superintendent of Public Instruction.
Listen to the Candidate Forum for the Court of Appeals 3rd District
between Attorney Rick Cveykus and Judge Gregory Gill, Jr.

February 18th @ 5:00 pm
RSVP at:  www.wisjustice.org/forum2021

U.S. SENATOR BALDWIN INTRODUCES LEGISLATION TO PROTECT WORKERS’ RIGHT TO ORGANIZE AND MAKE OUR ECONOMY WORK FOR EVERYONE

Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act will help build a fairer, more inclusive economy 

Legislation addresses growing income inequality by strengthening federal laws that protect workers’ right to join a union and negotiate for higher wages and better benefits

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin, a member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP), joined Democrats in the Senate and House to introduce the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, comprehensive labor legislation to protect workers’ right to stand together and bargain for fairer wages, better benefits, and safer workplaces.

“In Wisconsin and across the country we have seen powerful, corporate special interests, and the politicians that they fund, attack workers’ rights and undermine our labor laws. The result has been a shrinking middle class, rising income inequality, and more economic insecurity for working families,” said Senator Baldwin. “This legislation takes bold action to respect and reward the hard work of the men and women in labor by protecting and strengthening workers’ rights. The PRO Act takes a stand for workers so they can stand together for fair pay, a safe workplace, quality health care, and the dignity of a secure retirement they worked hard to earn.”

Click Here to read more.

JANUARY OP-ED

The following op-ed appeared in the Shawano Leader on January 22nd.  Here it is if you don’t get the paper.

Polarization Leaves Parties Feeling the Chill

Politics used to be a subject that was avoided when speaking with friends and acquaintances.  Now many of us have taken sides and talk about it freely with those who agree with us.  At the same time, we refuse to listen to those who oppose our views.

There are many reasons for our polarization.  Social media has put us in our own comfortable bubble. Just like advertisers that want our business, the internet tracks our clicks and gives us information that we agree with even though it may be misinformation. 
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EARLY VOTING FOR SPRING PRIMARY

Absentee ballots have already gone out for those who have requested ballots.  If you haven’t received yours, contact your municipal clerk.  In person voting begins on Tuesday, February 2nd.  Contact your clerk for times.
Election Day is Tuesday, February 16th.

Those residing in the Shawano School District are encouraged to vote for fellow Shawano Dem member Robin Raber Bergeron for school board. Go to our website at http://shawano.wiscdems.com and scroll down to see a list of candidates and * by those that are recommended.

CONTACT YOUR LEGISLATORS

Read this from Muffy and Kevin Culhane:

“Please see Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article below about ending mask mandate then please call Rep. (of 6th) Gary Tauchen at 608-266-3097 (Rep. of 36th Jeffrey Mursau 608-266-3780; Rep. of 35th Calvin Callahan 608-266-7694) and Senator (of 2nd) Robert Cowles at 800-334-1465 (Senator of 12th Mary Felzkowski 608-266-2509) to voice your opposition to ending the WI mask mandate (ie you support the mask mandate!!).  Masking, physical distancing and avoiding large groups are the public health measures the CDC recommend to stop the spread of coronavirus.  Even after both doses of vaccine we will still need to wear masks.  Please contact our state representatives to voice your opposition to ending the mask mandate (support continuing the mask mandate) in WI.  We need to continue to wear masks to get this pandemic under control.”Check out this article from Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

https://www.jsonline.com/story/news/politics/2021/01/22/gop-lawmakers-seek-end-mask-mandate-public-health-emergency/6669151002/
 

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Democratic Party of Shawano County Election of Officers Results

Shawano County Democrats held their Election of Officers recently. Newly elected officer results include Patty Luff filling the Second Vice Chair (and membership) position and Carrie Pitt replacing longtime Treasurer Bob Koch. We wish to welcome them as well as wish them well on their new positions.

We would also like to thank Denise Riley and Bob Koch who previously served in those positions. Kudos also goes to Kathy Nodolf who recently stepped down as our Facebook administrator.

Election of Officers Results

Jan Koch, Chair

Dan Weidner, 1st Vice Chair

Patty Luff, 2nd Vice Chair (Membership)

Jan Schreiber, Secretary

Carrie Pitt, Treasurer