I swear to the Lord, I still can’t see, why Democracy means everybody but me.” Langston Hughes
Feb 18: Networked News, Racial Divides: A Conversation with Sue Robinson.
From 9:50-11:30 at 2120 Fordem Ave. Sue Robison, UW professor and CSS member, talks about her new book, Networked News, Racial Divides: How Power & Privilege Shape Public Discourse in Progressive Communities. “Against conventional wisdom, pervasive black-white disparities pair with vitriolic public conversation in politically progressive communities throughout America, Networked News, Racial Divides examines obstacles to public dialogues about racial inequality and opportunities for better discourse in mid-sized, liberal cities -- especially in Madison, WI -- the major focus of the work. Media expert Sue Robinson will read excerpts from this book and explore how privilege shapes discourse and how identity politics can interfere with deliberation. Key to this talk will be a discussion with participants about ways in which we can move forward in building trust in our diverse communities.” More details here.
March 4: CSS Social Action Committee update
From 9:50-11:30 at 2120 Fordem Ave. Come join us for this update on the social action projects CSS is engaged in and our plans to continue our commitment to Voces de la Frontera.
**Looking for someone to coordinate the State Street meal that CSS does every other month. Laura and Aaron are moving this summer and they need to pass the baton to someone else to head this up. Let me know if you are interested in learning more about it.
EVENTS AROUND TOWN:
Well it is no secret that this world, our country, Wisconsin and sometimes Madison can be a depressing place to live and be part of. So, in addition to organizing events and action oriented events happening in Madison I will try to be a bit more intentional about mentioning events that I think are part of actively making Madison a better, more inclusive and equitable community.
Jan 24: The Racial Justice Films Series
Hosted by Community Shares of Wisconsin and the Madison Public Library. At 201 W. Mifflin street from 6pm – 8pm. Details here.
Jan. 27: Our New Year’s Revolution: WI Leaders Share Strategies, Plans and Hope for 2018!
At James Reeb Unitarian Universalist Congregation (2146 E. Johnson St.) at 6:00 pm. Join for a free community potluck meal, followed by a 7:00 pm panel discussion. There will also be tabling space for organizations to share literature. For more details click here.
Jan 31: Seminar Series: "Elevating the Early Years in Dane County" Early Childhood Panel focused on the Prenatal to Five Initiative and early childhood centers' local efforts to "elevate the early years through access and equity" in Dane County. For more details see here.
Feb 1: Infamous Mothers and Black History
From 7-8 at Mystery to Me, 1863 Monroe St. “Black History is often about celebrating the ‘respectable. Men and women who have done extraordinary things in acceptable ways. It's about acknowledging ‘good’ people who broke bad laws. And while these stories are important and necessary, what about African-Americans with ‘less than respectable’ lives who contributed to the changing of our society? In particular, what about the ones one many would consider infamous? Where do they fit into discussions about black history? Join for a discussion that connects past and present-day Infamous Mothers with social change, and learn why this matters.” See here for more information
Feb 25: Afternoon of conversation with immigrant and Dreamer neighbors
“As an Immigrant-Welcoming congregation Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ is appalled at the crude racism recently directed at immigrants and DREAMERs. In response, on Sunday, February 25, Plymouth Church located at 2401 Atwood Avenue is hosting an afternoon of conversation with these immigrant and DREAMER neighbors. You are cordially invited. The event begins with a free light luncheon at noon and is to wrap up no later than 3:00 p.m. The hope is that by listening to our neighbors and hearing their stories first steps will be taken toward welcoming and affirming their presence among us. Please RSVP to Jon Schultz at either (608)-556-5796 or email@example.com.”
Tenant Protections: Like every major city in the U.S., Madison has its problems with tenant evictions. The Wisconsin legislature has done its part to wipe out tenant protections. Chris Taylor has this to say about a concrete action we can take to try to push back further erosion of rights: “Please call, email or write the Apartment Association of South Central Wisconsin, located right here in Madison, and tell them shame on them for pushing another horrible bill, AB 771 that is on the Assembly floor tomorrow. This bill further erodes tenant protections, local control and the ability of cities to inspect properties. Our community should rise up against this horrible lobbying force that is making it so much harder for low-income individuals and families to get safe, affordable housing right here in Dane County!! Number is (608) 826-6226, address is 2909 Landmark Pl Suite 202, Madison, WI 53713, email is: firstname.lastname@example.org. THANK YOU!!”
State Ethics and Elections Officials
Another stop backward. The Senate voted to force out state ethics and elections officials, which might lead to a legal fight. State Senate Republicans, proving that in today’s politics democracy is a partisan issue, voted on party lines to reject confirmation of the state’s top ethics and election officials. This defies the bipartisan commission that hired Ethics Commission Administrator Brian Bell and Elections Commission Administrator Mike Hass. WI ACLU is considering a court battle. If you want to connect with this effort, contact the ACLU. If you are frustrated by this partisan process and alarmed about what this means for elections as we head into an important election year, consider writing a letter to the editor, contacting Scott Fitzgerald to let him know what you think about this, contact the Elections Commission to do the same and asking people in your networks to also do this.
--It is as depressing as it seems out there in terms of what our government is funding and what it is not. The good news is that Congress finally funded the Children’ Health Insurance Program. But it has not yet authorized funding to our community health center’s – which serves millions of low income people. This seems something worth contacting your legislator about.
--This is a great art image of the women’s march last weekend. Click here to view it and purchase a print if interested.
--Of note. Montana became the first state to pass its own net neutrality laws in the wake of the FCC's decision to deregulate the communications industry. Montana Gov. Steve Bullock (D) signed an executive order on Monday that requires all internet service providers with state contracts to adhere to net neutrality standards.
--Inching toward democracy. More than 6 million American citizens are unable to vote because of a past criminal conviction. Which is absurd in a democracy. The Brennon Center does great work on restoring voting rights. Floridians will decide in November to amend the state constitution and restore voting rights to felons once they complete their sentences. The move that could expand voting rights to more than 1.5 million people. From Florida’s lips to Wisconsin’s ears.
--Shutdown. To get a more satisfying government shut down politics, I need to turn to fictional tv. Meeting where the shut down is decided on the West Wing. And a follow-up to the shut down. Ted Cruz, the driving force over the 2013 shut down over Obamacare, now says he opposed shut downs. It would be satisfying to see someone replace him as a Senator.