Newsletter for July 2019

JULY 17TH MEETING

Speaking at the next meeting is Muffy Culhane from SAM 25.  She will be discussing their new facility and future fundraising events.  The Shawano Dems are thankful for the efforts of this wonderful organization which helps those who are temporarily homeless. We plan to help however we can.  The meeting will be held on July 17th at the Shawano Civic Center at 7:00 pm.

Continue reading

“Dark Money”

Join us at 6:30 pm on Monday, June 24th at the Civic Center to watch this documentary film (popcorn provided):

DARK MONEY, a political thriller, examines one of the greatest present threats to American democracy: the influence of untraceable corporate money on our elections and elected officials. The film takes viewers to Montana–a front line in the fight to preserve fair elections nationwide–to follow an intrepid local journalist working to expose the real-life impact of the US Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision. Through this gripping story, DARK MONEY uncovers the shocking and vital truth of how American elections are bought and sold.

Come and bring friends:
 

PANCAKES  WITH  PROGRESSIVES

Saturday, June 29th

 9:00 am

Angie’s Main Café

132 S. Main St., Shawano

Suggested donation:  $5

Newsletter for June 2019

AG WITH PIE AND ICE CREAM

Join the Shawano Dems’ for a pie and ice cream social beginning at 6:30 pm at the Sugar Bowl (136 S. Main St.) on June 19th.  For a donation you can choose from several of Denise Riley’s delicious pies.

Shawano County certified organic farmer Rick Adamski will speak about the current status of agriculture at 7:00 pm. He will suggest solutions that can help to improve the status for farmers.  Rick currently represents eastern Wisconsin on the WI Farmers Union Board. The Dems’ meeting will follow. Continue reading

2019 Wisconsin Democrats State Convention

Photos from the 2019 Wisconsin Democrats State Convention held in Milwaukee WI. at the Potawatomi Hotel and Casino on June 1 and 2. (Left to right:  Carrie Pitt, Governor Tony Evers, Jan Koch, Patty Luff, Denise Riley, Dan Weidner and Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barns.)
(Left to right:  Patty Luff, Carrie Pitt, Jan Koch, Chuck Koch, Senator Tammy Baldwin, Dan Weidner and Denise Riley)

Shawano Dems Meeting Wednesday May 15th

Have Tacos With the Shawano Dems
Wed., May 15th
6:00 pm
Shawano Civic Center
$10 meal with drinks and dessert

7:00 Dems’ Meeting
Speakers:  Lee Snodgrass, candidate for the 2nd Vice Chair of the Democratic Party of WI
Jake Fenzl, Regional Organizing Director for NE WI

Below are the op-eds that were printed for April and May.

IT’S MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER TO PROTECT THE EARTH

 “Earth Day.  Let’s never call it a day”

This was the slogan on the 25th anniversary of Earth Day on April 22nd in 1995.  International alliances brought 184 countries around the world to observe Earth Day in 2000. 

Gaylord Nelson was a leading figure in the fight against environmental degradation in the twentieth century.  In Wisconsin he became known at the “Conservation Governor.”  He 1962 he took his fight for conservation to the US Senate.  Through his efforts the first Earth Day was held on April, 22, 1970.  It started out as a teach-in for schools across the country and continues to inspire individuals to do something to preserve our environment ever since.

During the “Environmental Decade” some of the most important environmental protection legislation of our time was passed.  The Clean Water Acts, the National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, The Federal Pesticides Act, The Clean Air Act, the Environmental Education Act, The National Hiking Trails and the National Scenic Trails Acts were all a part of the legislative reforms which were enacted due to Nelson’s initiatives.

Contrast this progressive governor with Wisconsin’s ex-governor who slashed environmental standards during the past 8 years.  Passed was pro-polluter legislation, the weakening of the inspections of Big Ag, the trashing of the DNR staff, and the firing of science experts.

There was no shortage of companies thinking they could make a profit by using Wisconsin’s water and natural resources.  But were the long-term consequences of these efforts worth the short-term economic gains?

Our clean drinking water is the most precious of our natural resources but Wisconsin has developed a drinking water crisis.

High Capacity wells on Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO’s) are pumping vast quantities of water into very small areas.  The almost 300 dairy CAFO’s have put massive amounts of animal waste on the surrounding cropland as fertilizer.  This animal waste is seeping into ground water causing contamination.

Sulfide mining companies, such as the Back Forty Mine on the banks of the Menominee River, can also pollute our water.  The bar was lowered in 2017 when the law was repealed which required companies to prove they would not be harming the environment.

In addition, if the Foxconn deal is not scaled back, the company will be able to pump up to 7 million gallons of water per day, returning only 4 million back to Lake Michigan daily.  There is also the possibility water surrounding the facility could be polluted if harsh chemicals are used in the manufacturing process.

The next time a big company or industry asks Wisconsin to roll back water protections for their profits, we need to ask how this decision might harm our environment. In an effort to protect our most precious resource, Governor Evers has committed to making 2019 the “year of clean drinking water” in Wisconsin.  His budget also includes funding for activities such as staffing and cost-sharing for county land conservation and studying state forestry practices.

We need to make the right choices today. Our children and grandchildren’s health and prosperity depend on it.  We should be making every day “Earth Day”.

GOVERNMENT SHOULD WORK FOR THE PEOPLE

President Abraham Lincoln believed that democracy is a form of government that is “by the people, of the people and for the people.”  In a democracy the government administers programs that are for the public good.

Presently there are ideas being presented by some Democratic presidential candidates and members of Congress which have the interests of the majority of Americans in mind.  These progressive programs have been identified by the term democratic socialism.

Throughout our history there have been presidents who have truly cared for the people.  These progressives strove for an America where people cared about each other, not just themselves, and acted with strength and effectiveness to help each other. 

Each generation has the opportunity to make its mark on advancing the common good.  From 1901-1921 “The Progressive Era” brought about needed reforms.  Three presidents–Roosevelt, William Howard Taft and Woodrow Wilson–had administrations which saw intense social and political change.

In this age when big business seemed all-powerful, the United States appeared to be abandoning its promise of freedom and opportunity for all.  These presidents felt that problems could best be solved by making the government play a stronger role in promoting democracy and solving national problems.

Teddy Roosevelt believed that workers and consumers were not receiving fair and honest treatment.  His program of reform, which became known as the “Square Deal”, focused on regulating big business and protecting the common man.

Corporations were becoming too large for President Taft.  He fought to limit the power of big corporations with “trustbusting” legislation.

President Wilson pushed through other progressive reforms to give a greater voice to the average citizen.  He also thought there was too much corporate influence.  He wanted to reduce the corruption in the federal government.  Among his most notable achievements were laws on banking and tariff reform and the creation of the Federal Trade Commission.

Children in the early 1900’s were put to work.  Under Taft, the Department of Labor established the Children’s Bureau to “investigate and report upon all matters pertaining to the welfare of children.”  Wilson went further to push for a ban on child labor.  In 1916, he signed the Keating-Owen Child Labor Act, which prohibited companies involved in interstate commerce from hiring workers under 14 years of age.

Workers at that time could be required to work long hours.  Companies had resisted unions’ demands to shorten the work-day hours.  Under Taft, the eight-hour day became to rule for government employees.

During the Great Depression of the 1930’s poverty rates among senior citizens exceeded 50 percent Another progressive, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, signed the Social Security Act in 1935.  The Act was an attempt to limit the dangers of old age, poverty, unemployment, and the burdens of widows and fatherless children. 

Workers continue to make contributions to a “trust fund” from their paychecks to pay for their retirement and other benefits they’ll need in the future.  Since the 1930’s provisions of Social Security have changed based on concerns for those with disabilities and changing gender roles.

In 1965 it was virtually impossible for those over 65 years of age to get health insurance coverage. About one-half of America’s seniors did not have hospital insurance.  One in four elderly were estimated to go without medical care due to cost concerns. .Medicare was created under President Lyndon Johnson.  This popular program has helped improve the health and longevity of older Americans ever since.

All these progressive achievements were brought about because of a need for change.  A liberal attitude toward anything means more openness to change.  Government action can bring about equal opportunity and equality for all.  Its obligation is to solve problems that are affecting it citizens.

Problems cannot be solved if we do nothing.  Conservatives have opposed many of the reforms of the past.  Social Security was controversial when originally proposed because it was thought it would reduce the labor force and bordered on socialism.  When Medicare was first introduced it was framed as “socialized medicine”. 

The struggle to maintain Social Security and Medicare for the American people continues.  President Trump’s budget outlines massive cuts. However, these programs are sustainable for at least 20 years if the present level of funding continues.

To the conservative mind, socialism may be thought of as a society in which no one is held accountable, and no one has to work for what they receive.  But these social programs are only sustainable because of free markets and capitalism.  Businesses are owed by the private sector but they are only profitable if there are workers employed to make the products.

Today there continues to be monumental problems that need solutions. As in the early 1900’s we again have the domination of large corporations.  The wage gap has widened and many working individuals are having a hard time making ends meet.  Many are without health insurance.  In addition, our planet is undergoing undesirable changes because of climate change. 

When the government in a democracy steps in to administer programs that improve the life of its citizens, it could be called democratic socialism. Paying workers $15 an hour, Medicare for All and the Green New Deal have all been proposed as solutions to current problems.

Government can be helpful in bringing about change for the common good.  Our democracy must continue to be by the people, of the people and for the people.

Newsletter for May 2019

2020 KICK-OFF WITH TACOS
   The Shawano Dems invite you to join them as they enjoy a taco meal prior to their meeting on May 15th. The event will begin at 6:00 pm at the Shawano Civic Center. 
  The May meeting will be held at 7:00.  Speakers include Lee Snodgrass, candidate for the 2nd vice chair of the Wisconsin Democratic Party and Jake Fenzl, Regional Organizing Director for northeast WI.  Plan to attend this event which will kick-off the 2020 campaign season.  It’s time to reconnect with fellow Democrats.
 
PLAN TO ATTEND THE STATE CONVENTION
  Now that Milwaukee has been slated to host the 2020 National Democratic Convention, the state convention will be even more exciting.  Since Wisconsin will be targeted as a swing state, it will be interesting to see how many of the 21+ candidates will be there seeking votes.
   Milwaukee’s Potawatomie Hotel & Casino will be the site of the convention which will be held on June 1-2.  You can pre-register at https://www.wisdems.org/events/2019-wisdems-state-convention.  You do not need to be a member of the Democratic Party to attend but membership is encouraged. 
 
THIS MONTH’S TOPIC
   Every month the Shawano County Democrats will be zeroing in on certain topics.  Our views are being put forth on two separate media outlets. The Shawano Leader will be printing our op-ed on their editorial page each month.  Also, tune into the WTCH Breakfast Club on the second Thursday of the month from 8:00-9:00 am on 960 AM.
   May’s topic explains the meaning of the term democratic socialism   It is an attempt to thwart the idea that some of the Democratic candidates and some members of Congress are putting forth ideas that smack of socialism or even communism.
   The conservative right likes to compare progressive programs like the $15 minimum wage, Medicare for All and the Green New Deal as government run programs that would make our country socialist. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
   When there are problems with the status quo, the government in a democracy is supposed to initiate programs that help its citizens. Capitalism can still thrive.  Businesses and the government can work together to make the needed changes that benefit citizens.  Many times, liberal ideas are necessary to make necessary reforms.

UPCOMING EVENTS
May 9:  Listen to the Shawano Dems on the WTCH Breakfast Club 8:00-9:00 am at 960 AM and 96.1 FM
.
May 15:  Taco meal at 6:00 pm prior to the Shawano Dems’ meeting at 7:00 at the Civic Center.  Speakers include Lee Snodgrass and Jake Fenzl.
 
June 5:  Executive Committee Meeting 6:00 pm
 
July 25:  Summer picnic
 
Oct. 5:  Fall dinner

Chair’s Comments
   As we get bombarded with politics in the media, we need to take a step back and try to make sense of it all.  What is the truth and what are lies? If you don’t plan to read the whole Mueller report, you can read the summaries that were written by the Mueller team.  As the March 27th letter to Attorney General William Barr from Special Council Robert Mueller indicates, they should be made public..(https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/read-mueller-s-letter-attorney-general-william-barr-n1000601)      You can read the summaries at https://www.cnn.com/2019/04/18/politics/full-mueller-report-pdf/index.html.  For the summary of Volume 1, go to “Pages” and click on Page 12 (which is p. 4-10 of the whole report).  For the summary of Volume 2, go to “Pages” and click on Page 215 (p. 3-8 of the whole report).
   It is bound to be a momentous presidential campaign season.  We need all hands on deck to make sure our country elects a president who will make the presidency truly great again.  You can help out by coming to our events and joining the WI Democratic party.

The Spring Election is Tomorrow, April 2nd

If you haven’t voted already, make sure you make plans to vote. Visit  myvote.wi.gov to find your polling location and see who will be on your ballot. 

THIS ELECTION IS VERY IMPORTANT, DON’T SIT THIS ONE OUT!!

#GOTV
Get Out The Vote, Tuesday, April 2nd 
Polls are open 7AM – 8PMVote for Supreme Court Justice and local nonpartisan officials.

Chief Justice Lisa Neubauer has dedicated her career to making sure families and victims of crime receive justice. Now she’s running for the Wisconsin Supreme Court, where she’ll be a fair, impartial, and truly independent jurist who serves the people not the special interests. 

Jan Koch, Chair – Democratic Party of Shawano County

Early Voting Begins Today

Spring Election

The election is just two weeks away.  Early voting begins on March 18th.  Candidates for local government positions, school board, and judges are on the ballot.  Be sure and vote.

Shawano Dem’s March Meeting

On Wed., March 20th the meeting will be held at the Civic Center at 7:00 pm.  Jolie Lizotte, the organizer for  Northeast Wisconsin Citizen’s Action, will be discussing their efforts to improve Badger Care and bring about fair district boundary maps.

Morgan Norton, Grassroots Coordinator for Neubauer for Justice, will be acquainting voters with Justice Lisa Neubauer, who is running to be the next Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice.  Yard signs for her campaign will be available.

In order to educate voters about Justice Neubauer, there is an effort to knock doors and make phone calls during the next two weekends.  Please respond to this email and say you will help.  Shifts run from noon to 3:00 and 3:00-6:00 pm. Days of Action headquarters will be at the Shawano Civic Center.