When Up is Down

Kathleen Vinehout

September 13, 2017

Trying to understand last minute deals taking away local powers

By Senator Kathleen Vinehout

A last-minute budget amendment has folks in Western Wisconsin very worried.

Locals have spent seven years negotiating with large sand mines to reach agreements that

allow neighbors and mines to co-exist. In some cases, locals decided certain sensitive and

tourist areas needed protection from mines.

All the careful negotiations appear poised to go out the window in a strangely evolving

Wisconsin’s Long Journey toward a Living Wage

Kathleen Vinehout

“For an adult with a family who has to pay for food, clothing, and a place to live, and be able to pay for a car, the minimum wage is clearly not high enough,” wrote Bethany of Eleva-Strum High School.

Wisconsin was one of the first states to enact a Living Wage. The law gave authority for determining a living wage to an Industrial Commission made up of a balance of employers, employees and the public. The year was 1913.

Two years earlier, people attending a national conference of the National Consumers’ League in Milwaukee called for a minimum wage. Advocates made a minimum wage the top issue.

Fighting Bob Fest Hits the Road

Bobfest

There was some consternation in progressive circles this year since it appeared that there would only be a kickoff event for Fighting Bob Fest, but no actual fest. 

However, the folks at Our Wisconsin Revolution have teamed up with The Progressive to take Fighting Bob Fest on the road. There will be fests in Milwaukee and in La Crosse this year. Furious planning is still underway, but the events are soon, on Sept. 16 in both cities. 

Where are the People?

Kathleen Vinehout

Ideological groups push de-licensing plan

By

Senator Kathleen Vinehout

“This bill does not allow for public debate...is the public even aware? You’re not allowing the public to have adequate input into this issue,” testified Stephanie Bloomingdale.

Ms. Bloomingdale is the Secretary-Treasurer of the Wisconsin State AFL-CIO. She represented many workers who, along with the rest of us, just found out about bills that set up a process to get rid of occupational licensing.

In Wisconsin, many professions are licensed, such as plumbers, electricians, doctors, lawyers, architects, and teachers. Those folks affected by the bill had little time to become aware of efforts to change their professional credentials. The rest of us, who may hire plumbers or use deaf interpreters, had little way of knowing what was happening.

Tony Evers Kicks Off Campaign For Governor

Tony Evers Kicks Off Campaign For Governor Promising To Invest In Middle Class And Unite Wisconsin

Fitchburg, WI – State Superintendent Tony Evers officially announced his candidacy for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination today at the McKee Farms Kids Crossing Dream Park in Fitchburg, Wisconsin.

The Evers campaign also released a short video highlighting Tony’s background and vision for the state. It is available at www.tonyevers.com.

Thank you Wisconsin for the beautiful gift

Kathleen Vinehout

“Friends in the Wisconsin Legislature, we beg you: Sign that bad deal with Foxconn,” recently wrote the Chicago Sun Times editorial board. “It’s the neighborly thing to do.”

The Wisconsin Assembly obliged the Chicago newspaper and recently voted 50-39 to approve the Governor’s deal with the Taiwanese company, Foxconn.

But lawmakers were not voting on the deal itself. Contract negotiations are presumably underway. Legislators who voted on the deal did not see the contract, they do not know the details under negotiation, nor will they approve the final negotiated contract.

Citizen Action Foxconn rally and press conference Eau Claire

foxconn rally

Citizen Action Organizing Co-op of Western Wisconsin recently held a rally and press conference on Foxconn in Eau Claire. This was just before the Assembly voted the Foxconn bill through.  

I apologize for the low sound volume and noise - it was hard to do good sound capture in front of the Chippewa Valley Tech building right next to Clairemont Avenue. 

Foxconn continues to be a bad deal for citizens of Wisconsin, and I would encourage you to contact your state Senator to express your opinion on the bill. 

Robert Kraig, Jeff Smith at Foxconn rally and press conference Eau Claire

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