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Fighting Bob Fest Saturday in Milwaukee and La Crosse

As pointed out before, there will be Fighting Bob Fest events in Milwaukee and La Crosse on Saturday.  Uppity Wisconsin, Wis.Community, and perhaps the Citizen Action Western Wisconsin Organizing Co-op will be there, probably all at one table.  Come say hello! Details in the calendar.

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.

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

"Loving Us” Pow Wow Encourages Recovery

Kathleen Vinehout

By

Senator Kathleen Vinehout

“I lost my granddaughter to heroin addiction,” Anita told me. “We’ve lost so many people,” Tena added.

Recently, former Marine Tena Quackenbush and her friends, including Quincy Garvin, Jasime Funmaker, Lori Pettibone, Cindy Ward hosted a gathering to promote and encourage recovery from addiction, especially the scourge of heroin addiction.

Ms. Quackenbush started #StoptheStigma, an organization with a mission to stop the stigma of addiction. She was joined by members of “Natives Against Heroin” in hosting the event.

“Wogixete Wi” was a traditional pow wow. Translated from Ho-Chunk, wogixete wi means “Loving Us.” Reaching out with love to those in recovery and to those still suffering from addiction was the theme of the pow wow.

An Estimated One Billion Dollars Will Be Spent on Foxconn Jobs... for Illinoians

It's very simple math.

Approximately one-third of Foxconn jobs will be filled by people living in Illinois, which means that one-third of the whopping three billion that Wisconsin taxpayers will be spending will be going toward Illinois residents:  One billion.

It also means that every dime Illinois Foxconn workers earn will be spent and taxed in Illinois-- not Wisconsin.

Therefore, if we give Foxconn the benefit of the doubt and assume that all 13,000 jobs will be filled, that's 4,333 jobs for Illinois without spending a dime.

Dana Wachs throws hat into the ring

Dana Wachs has officially announced that he is running for governor. I thought that perhaps Dana was serious about this once he announced that his law firm had merged with another firm, freeing him up to take a leave from his firm. This is now what is happening. Dana would be a great governor, and I find myself in the unaccustomed position of having two people who I count as friends potentially running for governor, and tilting the political center of the state much more seriously toward the left coast.

I am excited to see Dana running, but I find myself a little torn in that I'm not at all sure how I will feel in the primary if both Dana Wachs and Kathleen Vinehout end up running. 

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