DeForest Area Progressives
Meeting notes for March 16, 2015
Next meeting: Monday, March 23, 2015, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Ginny’s, 3922 Partridge Road, Windsor Hills neighborhood. Draft agenda to follow.
There were seven people at the March 16th meeting.
Karen is going to the Tar Sands Educational Event March 19th in Lake Mills, if anyone would like to carpool.
Ginny said that mineral extraction is on the agenda for the next Windsor Town Board meeting.
There is a fundraiser at 5:30 p.m. on March 26th for Justice Bradley’s campaign. Save the date, more information to follow. Who is available for phone banking and doing doors for the campaign? Contact Janet (846-4472) if you can. We discussed and made some arrangements to get lawn signs for Bradley and distribute them. Roger Springman is “wildcatting” - doing a separate order - again. Janet is getting 12 signs and already has places for them. Ginny will put in an order with Roger.
Incidental to the rush of activity at this meeting for the Bradley campaign was a short discussion on how disorganized we are for elections. We need to do better. We need a DAP/EAT – Election Action Team – to get us going three months before elections, instead of three weeks (all due respect to Janet and Marcia for their efforts to get us going before now).
Ron Wolfe from Waunakee GROW would like to come to talk to us sometime about transportation issues.
John St. and Karen reported on Wisconsin Grassroots Network things:
- Go to the Rodeside at 4:00 p.m. on March 25th to help put together folders for the WGN Festival coming up soon on March 28th.
- The next 2nd CD Alliance phone meeting will take place on March 26th beginning at 7:00 p.m.
- Help is needed March 27th to set up for the Festival at Wisconsin Heights High School. Karen will find out the time.
- WGN is looking at changing its meeting day of the week and is thinking about Mondays, if DAP can change its already-Monday meeting day. Everyone needs to think about it and we will bring it up again next meeting.
- Karen passed out flyers and a tentative schedule for the Festival.
- Leonardo will again be taking photos to display on the website, YouTube, and elsewhere. DAP will purchase digital camera cards for Leonardo to use here and at other DAP functions and get those pictures on the websites.
- DAP will again sell buttons at our informational table. Thanks, Karen, for designing and making the buttons.
- Karen has paper tickets, if you don’t want to buy your tickets on line.
- Bill and Karen are presenting at the Festival on the subject, “Will You Have Water to Drink?/Pipeline 61 and other threats.” Karen will include in her presentation community rights as a tactic.*
- Marcia is presenting on “The Power of Grassroots Organizing.”
- Interested parties should go to the WGN website – WisconsinGrassroots.net – for information and to register for the Festival.
This Thursday there is a very important meeting of the 2nd CD Alliance organizing confab. Much activity has taken place with draft values statements, proposed bylaws, discussions and Q&A. DAP is proud to note that we are the only formal member so far with our resolution to that effect passed several meetings ago.
Doug Cunningham, John Stanley, and another person are working on connecting the little liberal communications outlets around Wisconsin. Some are little newspapers, newsletters, and low watt radio stations and local TV.
We will meet at the Windsor DMB Neighborhood Center at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, April 11th to set up for the afternoon’s “What’s in Your Water?” Ginny will get the key. Ginny will also be responsible for the snacks and may call on others to help. Karen is making water drop shaped sugar cookies. Bill will emcee the afternoon. Who is going to staff the sign-up table and make sure everyone signs the sheet when they come in, get their materials folders, and name tags? JohnSki has purchased ads in the DeForest Times-Tribune and Hometown Shopper. The ads will be 12 column inches and will run in both papers on both March 26th and April 2nd. The grant from the village of DeForest is paying for the ads. John has also distributed email invitations to numerous DeForest area institutions, organizations, and individuals. Let’s hope they all go to our website to RSVP. Have YOU done so yet?
We discussed the Trans-Pacific Partnership, currently being put together, and what it means to American workers and other subjects of interest to us and other progressives around the country and the world. Many protections like dolphins-in-tuna, whales, and anti-cigarette advertising will be removed if TPP passes and goes into effect. Interestingly, OFA (Organizing for America, formerly Obama for America) is in favor of TPP, because the president is.
*Incidentally, there is a workshop coming up on the subject of community rights in Sauk County. We will be notified when a time and place are known.
DeForest Area Progressives
Meeting notes for Monday, March 9, 2015
Next meeting: Monday, March 16, 2015, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Ginny’s, 3922 Partridge Road, Windsor Hills neighborhood. Draft agenda to follow.
Be sure to visit our website and sign up for “What’s in YOUR Water?” April 11th. Only three people have signed up so far! deforestareaprogressives.nationbuilder.com
Come on! Click on Home and then click on the What’s in YOUR Water? page. Scroll down and RSVP. Do it now.
There were seven people at the March 9, 2015, meeting. Ginny announced that Shawn Haney, Vienna town clerk, will be at our March 23rd meeting to talk about the manure digester and water protection. Those of you who haven’t been to a meeting in awhile, please come so that we make a good impression on Shawn.
Beth Trotter stopped by before the meeting got started on her way to the school board meeting, where she said they were going to talk more about the new “badge” system of career development for teachers. Beth thanked Marcia and John for testifying at a recent school board meeting on behalf of the teachers. The teachers really appreciated the boost from an outside source. We discussed the school issues some more before the regular meeting got started. Most of the DAP members present said they were going to vote against the referendum April 7th for various reasons. One member said he was going to vote for the referendum.
There are other items of interest on the April 7th ballot, too: three school board members, Jason Hanson for municipal judge (DeForest and Windsor share a joint municipal court). The town of Windsor has three unchallenged town board members on the ballot and one sewerage district representative. Most progressives endorse Justice Ann Walsh Bradley for re-election to the Wisconsin Supreme Court. There is also a referendum on changing the Wisconsin Constitution to elect the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. The Chief is now chosen by seniority time on the court. The change is widely seen as a ploy by conservatives and Republicans to remove Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson. DAP recommends a no vote on that referendum.
Bill passed out a draft of an evaluation form for the “What’s in YOUR Water?” event April 11th. He asked for feedback and to discuss it more next meeting. JohnSki reported on publicity emails he had written to most of the churches in the DeForest Times-Tribune church directory and the list received from Corie Hoffman at the village office of organizations in the DeForest area. Ginny is going to post some posters. There will be two ads placed in the DeForest Times-Tribune and the Hometown Shopper. JohnSki will make sure all the Progressive Partners organizations and all of the DAP members on the email list get a notice and a promotion to sign up on the website and come to the event April 11th. Bill will promote it on his canvassing trips too.
Karen showed us about a dozen maps she has gleaned from here and there of industrial pollution in Dane County: pipelines, railroads, CAFOs (big industrial farm operations), etc. About 1500 cities draw water from Lake Michigan. There is talk of a pipeline from the Great Lakes to Arizona. We discussed these topics extensively.
The Wisconsin Grassroots Network seventh annual festival is scheduled for March 28, 2015, again at Wisconsin Heights High School near Mazomanie. Go to WisconsinGrassroots.net for details. Several DAP members are working on the festival again, as in past years, on sign-up, staffing tables, giving and facilitating presentations. We will have an information table in the hallway. John Stanley is organizing the info. table project for WGN.
Bill said that many organizations such as Trout Unlimited, Clean Wisconsin, the Sierra Club, and many others are upset about the proposed state budget now under consideration by the Wisconsin legislature. They are all petitioning and keeping as vocal as possible on the issues. They emphasize over and over again how valuable it is to call, email, and write legislators.
Come to the next meeting on March 16th and get involved.
Under the leadership of Superintendent Susan Borden, her staff, and our well engaged school board, we can look forward to a vigorous future in the DeForest Area School District (DASD): new and rejuvenated facilities, twenty-first century curriculum, professionally career oriented teachers. Of the first two I am enthusiastic. I am hopeful of the third. Personally, I have never voted against a school bond referendum in my thirty-six year residency in DeForest. I will vote for the referendum on April 7th.
The case has been made convincingly for the referendum. The needs were well thought out over many months with many cooks stirring the stew. We need not review them further here. A sound public school system is the best investment a progressive community can make.
The facilities will augment the curriculum enhancement in science, technology, engineering, and math -- the famous STEM subjects we’ve been hearing so much about. The new facilities will help to ground those emphases in the curriculum. The new emphases bode well for solid economic development both individually as careers and jobs and collectively as business and industrial growth. We can assume, as well, a corresponding development in the arts, citizenship, athletics and physical education – all hallmarks of a progressive public education system. You can tell a lot about a community by its public schools.
The only reservation I have is the future professional career quality of our teachers. There is serious unease among a significant number of teachers in the DASD. Some career teachers have already left for more lucrative careers in other professions. Others are contemplating such a move.
What good are professional quality facilities without an equally professional quality teaching staff? It remains to be seen if the new micro-credential or “badge” system of teacher career development can match the old step-and-lane system. Key to the success or failure of the micro-credential system will be pay scales that reward teachers enough to keep them on the job longer than five or ten years. Will we continue to build a set of seasoned, dedicated, career-oriented teachers, or will we turn over our student body to a new set of less experienced teachers every year or so? The new “badge” system is a gamble. Without commensurate salary progression, career development is an exercise in futility in a community oriented, public school system.
My own daughter thrived in the DASD system. I attribute that success to the professional, career teachers and related staff in the DASD, teachers sustained under the old, tried and true career development system. You who have been here awhile can call those teachers by name. Will new teachers stay and make a career of it? Will new teachers develop the same under the new micro-credential “badge” system? Will they be paid what they deserve as they earn their badges? Will they be paid enough to keep them here for the long haul, gaining experience and applying it in our DeForest schools? Or, will they leave for other careers and better paying jobs someplace else?
We must pay teachers well, in order to keep them here, so that our students benefit from the experience their teachers gain only from years on the job. Even if we need another referendum to approve exceeding the state caps on teachers’ salaries; even if we approve, say, another two or three million dollars on top of the forty-one million dollars for facilities; it will be worth it. For what good are the buildings if we don’t staff them with in-it-for-the-long-term professional, career teachers?
DeForest Area Progressives
Meeting notes for March 2, 2015
Next meeting: Monday, March 9, 2015, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Ginny’s, 3922 Partridge Road, Windsor Hills neighborhood. Draft agenda to follow.
We had six people at the March 2nd meeting. Pre-meeting discussion dwelt much on the school referendum on the April 7th ballot and the teachers’ situation and John and Marcia’s testimony on behalf of the teachers at the DeForest Area School Board meeting.
Karen has set up the DAP web page reference to the April llth event, “What’s in YOUR Water?” People can pre-register there by “RSVP-ing” at the bottom of the page. JohnSki is going to put two ads in the DeForest Times-Tribune (pending funding from the village grant). Using the flyer produced by Karen, JohnSki will also inform the churches and the organizations on the list provided by the village such as service organizations. Ginny will place flyers in the library, stores, etc. Janet volunteered to help Ginny. Bill has been talking up the event with other organizations. It might be a good idea for someone to contact the news media in Sun Prairie and Waunakee.
Marcia talked about Plant Dane!, a rain garden plant cost-share program offered by the Madison Area Municipal Storm Water Partnership. You can order inexpensive plants (only $1.80 per plant) at myfairlakes.com. Marcia explained that these are plants that attract pollinators, feed birds, and do other things beneficial for the environment. Marcia is going to the Windsor Garden Club meeting Wednesday to get acquainted and find out what they are all about. She will report back.
General discussion about the “right to work” law being passed now and the demonstrations and testimony on it: other terms for “right to work” are “wage theft” and “right to mooch.” Right wingers sometimes call it “worker freedom” and “workplace freedom of conscience.”
Ginny has asked Shawn Haney, Vienna town clerk, to come and talk to us sometime about the manure digester in the Town of Vienna.
Marcia discussed the bird city project for the Town of Windsor. I should be a whole community project, involving a lot of organizations such as garden clubs, FFA, DAP, the waterway and lakes associations, etc. The town needs to meet at least seven out of 21 criteria and must add one new criterion each year. Bird city can be seen as a habitat project related to climate change.
Karen reported that Gogebic is packing up and leaving northern Wisconsin. It is abandoning its Penokee Hills mining project. Karen’s cousin in Ashland says that people are celebrating all over town. This is a victory for protest! However, Enbridge still has its pipeline – Enbridge Pipeline 5 – running under the Bad River Reservation. It must renegotiate its right of way with the Bad River Band. See FriendsofPenokeeHills.org .
Janet reported on the Ann Walsh Bradley campaign to re-elect Bradely to the Supreme Court. The campaign organization has their headquarters in the Gateway Mall at the Capitol Square end of Williamson Street. There are many volunteer opportunities available right now until the election on April 7th. (John sent out a call-for-volunteers announcement to the DAP email list with details.) The campaign is targeting left wing voters right now who do not usually turn out to vote in off year elections. Should we – DAP -- put on something for the Bradley campaign at the DeForest area library? Should we do something with GROW or SPARC? Signs? Phone bank?
There was discussion of formalizing our DAP election efforts in some sort of an election action team (DAP-EAT J ) that can mobilize months before each election for canvassing, placing signs, phone calling, lit drops, etc., much as Janet and Marcia do now and have done in the past for OFA.
CALL FOR VOLUNTEERS!
To DeForest/Vienna/Windsor Area Progressives:
The Ann Walsh Bradley campaign for the Wisconsin Supreme Court is asking for office volunteers in these final weeks before the election. Volunteers are needed for
- Data entry
- Phone calling
- Letter and memo writing
Campaign headquarters are at Gateway Mall, 600 Williamson Street in Madison. Shift times for volunteers to work are
- 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Monday through Friday
- 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Saturdays
- 12:00 t0 6:00 p.m. on Sundays.
“We are always looking for phone bank locations and phone bankers as well.”
They will have literature available in a week or two for door-to-door canvassing.
Contact is Chris Chapek, 402-720-3576, [email protected] .
As most of you know, our local DeForest/Windsor area organizer is Janet Mills. Janet says to contact her at 608-846-4472 or [email protected] . Janet is always building her list of volunteers to call upon when elections come up. Contact her if you want to be part of her ongoing progressives election volunteer group.
DeForest Area Progressives
Meeting notes for February 23, 2015
Next meeting: Monday, March 2, 2015, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Ginny’s, 3922 Partridge Road, Windsor Hills neighborhood.
There were six people at the February 23rd meeting. Before the meeting started, we received handouts and a call to action on current Wisconsin legislative bills AB61 and SB44, the so-called “right to work” bills. Some people facetiously call them “wage theft” bills. The call to action delivered by Marcia included legislators’ phone numbers to call, email addresses to write to, and a gathering point near the Capitol for those who go in person to testify or protest. We also received a list of things considered objectionable in the budget bill currently under consideration.
We received a report on the Tar Sands Summit that took place at the Pyle Center in Madison, put on by the Sierra Club, M.A.M.A., and 350.org. About 150 people attended from all over the midwest. Much of the summit had to do with the oil pipelines that threaten the straits of Mackinac. “Every day, 61-year-old pipelines push nearly 23 million gallons of oil through the heart of the Great Lakes.” “The Kalamazoo disaster was just one of 1,068 Enbridge spills across their entire pipeline system that have dumped more than 7 million gallons of oil into the environment between 1999 and 2013.” Visit www.OilandWaterDontMix.org . Note that one of the Enbridge pipelines bisects Wisconsin and runs through part of Dane County. Part of the program of the summit told how pipeline companies get around the law, such as how they get by without having to file environmental impact statements. There is also the problem of rail car safety – exploding tank cars. A lawyer from the Bad River Tribe told how there is a window of opportunity right now to oppose renewal of rights of way for pipelines through Indian country. The mine in the Penokee Hills was discussed too.
Those who went to the DeForest Library listening session on February 19th reported on questions asked and reactions by Senator Luther Olsen and Reps John Jagler and Keith Ripp. Some DAP members talked to Senator Olsen after the session, and he told them to keep talking to our representatives. Senator Olsen seems persuadable on certain matters. He is notable for his influence on education policy. We should call or write our legislators on specific subjects. A good technique to keep in mind is to stick to one particular subject per contact.
We heard reports on progress toward our April 11th community education event, “What’s In Your Water?” We discussed other water related events.
John Stanley reported on the WGN Festival coming up on March 28th. See www.WisconsinGrassroots.net . DAP is getting a free information table because of all the work being done on the festival by DAP members. Other organizations who want to buy table space can contact John. Mike McCabe and others will be key note speakers. There will be dozens of breakout workshops.
We discussed the CD2 Alliance meeting at the Sun Prairie Library on February 19th. Karen McKim of GROW in Waunakee is working on a progressive values statement or list. She and John Stanley had provided a talking paper with comparisons of what Progressive Partners does in Congressional District 2 and how it contrasts with how a proposed CD2 Alliance will work. PP is only a communications tree with quarterly get-togethers. CD2 Alliance purports to be more than that: what exactly is the subject of these discussions. Old fears and resentments remain about WGN conflicting with or trying to co-opt Progressive Partners. Some organizations in PP are frustrated about what a CD2 Alliance might be or do. Is it duplicative of what PP doles now? The monthly CD2 Alliance phone gatherings continue, and the next one will be Thursday, February 26th. Bob Crego will contact everyone about how to join the phone conversations.
DeForest Area Progressives
Meeting notes for February 16, 2015
Next meeting: Monday, February 23, 2015, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Ginny’s, 3922 Partridge Road, Windsor Hills neighborhood. Agenda to follow will include reports on activities and planning for future activities.
There were seven people at the February 16th meeting. We began during pre-meeting time with some discussion on genetically modified foods (GMO’s), antibiotics, viruses and immunizations, etc.
We received a handout from our counterpart progressive organization in Sun Prairie, SPARC. It encouraged everyone to express our opinions about the pending state biennial budget. The handout contained a list of objectionable items in the proposed budget as they relate to education issues, such as “It removes the cap on the unaccountable voucher program, allowing for unlimited enrollments statewide” and “It cuts almost $90 million in funding for students with special needs.” There were ten items in all with other commentary. (As an aside, several DAP members, including Liz, Karen, and Marcia, attended the listening session at the DeForest Library on the evening of Feb. 19th. About fifty people were in attendance to give their opinions to Representatives Ripp, Jagler, and Olson. Reports are that most commentary was progressive in nature and the reps got an earful.)
Discussion was had on further planning for our April 11th event, “What’s in YOUR Water?” at the Windsor Neighborhood Center. Bill handed out a tentative schedule. He has been talking to other groups such as the Scouts and Rotary. The current pre-registration on our web page is difficult and needs some refinement/simplification. Karen will look into it. JohnSki has submitted the grant application to the village of DeForest.
John St. reported on the Wisconsin Grassroots Network Festival scheduled for March 28th. You can buy tickets and sign up on the WGN website, WisconsinGrassroots.net.
We discussed other meeting places for regular DAP Monday evening meetings. Marcia and Karen met with the management at Macchiato’s, where there might be a possibility of future meetings.
The rest of the evening was devoted to a slide presentation by Franco Milani, board member of the Friends of the Yahara River Headwaters (FoYRH). The Friends are co-sponsoring and participating in “What’s in YOUR Water?” Franco himself has an extensive background as a chemist employed in and interested in climate related subject matter. Thank you, Franco, for a most interesting presentation. Yes, Virginia, climate change is real and is happening right now. Expect many more extreme weather events in the near future. Franco also elaborated on water quality and capacity in Wisconsin. You can learn much more by attending “What’s in YOUR Water?” on April 11th.
DeForest Area Progressives
Meeting notes from February 9, 2015
Next meeting: Monday, February 16, 2015, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Ginny’s, 3922 Partridge Road, Windsor Hills neighborhood. Be sure to come to hear Franco Milani of the Friends of the Yahara River Headwaters speak to us on the quality of DeForest area water. Among other things of interest at this meeting, we will continue planning for our April 11th event, “What’s in YOUR Water?” as well as our participation in the Wisconsin Grassroots Network’s upcoming festival.
On February 9th, in lieu of the regular DAP meeting, three of us went to the DeForest Area School District (DASD) School Board meeting to testify in favor of professional career teacher recognition. We heard a report from the Teacher Compensation Committee, including a Power Point presentation on Compensation and Benefits, Teacher Compensation Career Ladder, Teacher Compensation Model, and General Information on Badges (the new system of teacher pay progression that replaces the union contracts eliminated by Act 10). The reader is referred to the DASD website for detailed information on these and many other matters of interest on this topic. There were around twenty teachers present, and many of them thanked us for our interest in backing their quest for dignity and respect to be reflected in their pay grades.
DeForest Area Progressives
Meeting notes for Monday, February 2, 2015
Next meeting - PLEASE NOTE – we will meet AT 5:00 P.M., rather than our usual 6:00 p.m., at the DeForest Library to brief each other on our attendance at and testimony before the DeForest Area School Board on the subject of operating expenditures not keeping par with capital expenditures in the April 7th referendum. See notes below.
Eight people attended the February 2nd meeting, including two guests.
We heard a presentation from a DeForest teacher, whom I will not name here due to the sensitive nature of her presentation. Here is a summary of the gist of the presentation:
- The $41 M. referendum on the April 7th ballot contains all capital costs and nothing for operating costs (i.e., teachers’ salaries).
- Act 10 limited the ability of school districts to increase operating costs. Districts may exceed the state cap on operating costs (including teachers’ compensation) only if it is approved by referendum. Capital costs are not limited by Act 10. Districts may borrow whatever they want to build buildings and buy equipment but must stay under the state imposed caps for operating costs, unless the voters of the district approve by referendum exceeding the cap.
- The building referendum up for vote on April 7th is “lipstick on a pig,” because it does not contain necessary increases in teaching and other staff commensurate with the expanded buildings and expected increases in student population.
- The estimated increase in operating costs is $2 M. in addition to the $41 M. of the capital referendum.
- The DeForest Area School District (DASD) is losing experienced teachers, because they do not have an adequate career path. New teachers are paid very well, but the progressions necessary to keep experienced teachers are not there.
- If the governor’s and legislature’s expected proposals go through to allow uncertified teachers, fewer teachers will stay in teaching as a career and the quality of the teaching staff will deteriorate. Expect constant teacher turnover. Quality teaching depends on professional, career teachers, compensated accordingly.
- There is still a teachers’ union in DASD, but it has no power, due to Act 10 provisions.
- Teachers’ rules and regulations and other matters are now covered in a DASD handbook, rather than by a union contract.
- The April 7th referendum should be tied to staffing, as well as building new buildings. The new buildings should be staffed to meet expanded enrollment requirements.
- Detailed information on the referendum and related matters can be found on the DASD website.
Bill is working with Emily Jones of Clean Wisconsin and Shahla Werner of the Sierra Club to be the two main presenters at our April 11th event, “What’s in YOUR Water?” Trout Unlimited might “table” at the event, as may other organizations. We will ask that attendees register on our website. It was felt that we have enough of us to set up, take down, and clean up at the Windsor Neighborhood Center on April 11th. JohnSki got a list of area organizations from Corie Hoffman at the DeForest village office and will email that list to all other DAP members. JohnSki also has a list of area churches to whom to send publicity. Marcia will put a notice in the school publication. Ginny will put up some posters around Madison and the area and put an ad in The Daily Cardinal. John Stanley will put a notice in Isthmus. JohnSki will make sure all DAP members get the notice, as well as Progressive Partners. Karen continues to refine the flyer. Are there any other publicity ideas? JohnSki and Marcia will attend the February 3rd meeting of the Friends of the Yahara River Headwaters (FoYRH), which is serving as the 501c3 fiscal agent for a grant application to the village of DeForest.
John Stanley is promoting a meeting he is involved in on February 19th from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Sun Prairie Library, discussing the 2nd CD (congressional district) Alliance of the Wisconsin Grassroots Network (WGN), of which the DAP is a member.
John St. also mentioned a meeting he will be attending at UW-Platteville on February 26th with the universities students version of alliance of WGN.
Don’t forget the special meeting time – 5:00 p.m. – and place – DeForest Library – for next Monday’s meeting.
DeForest Area Progressives
Meeting notes for January 26, 2015
Next meeting Monday, February 2, 2015, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., location to be determined, maybe Macchiato’s again? Location will be sent to you via this email.
Seven people met on January 26th. JohnSki noted that January is the anniversary of the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy of Queen Liliuokalani by U.S. naval forces and commercial interests in 1893. Go to www.hawaiianperspectives.org for further information and the native Hawaiian viewpoint.
Announcements included events coming up tomorrow, January 27th:
- Wisconsin Senate hearing on its version of the education bill, 9:00 a.m., Room 411S, State Capitol. Marcia and Mary Arnold are going. Senator Luther Olson chairs the committee. Although he is a Republican, Sen. Olson is a longtime friend of public education and has toned down the Senate bill from the Assembly version to make it less destructive.
- Also on January 27th at 7:00 p.m. in the City-County Bldg. is the last hearing of the Dane County zoning board on the Enbridge pipeline going through part of NE Dane County. Every other affected Wisconsin county has approved it.
John Stanley reported that in the 3rd Wisconsin Congressional District progressive organizations are organizing to join the Wisconsin Grassroots Network. The WGN continues to organize and is also conferring with Mike McCabe, former executive director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign and author of Blue Jeans in High Places.
On February 16th, Franco Milani of the Friends of the Upper Yahara River Headwaters (FUYRH) will meet with us to discuss the effects of climate change on water quality. Franco used to work at the University of Wisconsin on the topic.
We had much discussion on our upcoming April 11th event, “What’s in YOUR Water?” Ginny reserved the facilities at the Windsor Community Center, 4438 Windsor Road, Windsor, Wisconsin. You can do an internet search to find directions. The times are 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. For more information, check the DAP website at http://deforestareaprogressives.nationbuilder.com/do_you_know_what_s_in_your_water . Karen has posted lots of goodies on our website and updates it regularly. She also passed out copies of a flyer she has designed for the April 11th event. Good going, Karen! “What’s in YOUR Water?” will be a regular agenda item at all DAP Monday meetings from now until then, so come if you want to volunteer to help.
Bill Hayes reported on his talks with our presenters for April 11th. Bill has had a lot of discussion with Shahla Werner, Director of the John Muir chapter of the Sierra Club, who will be our main presenter along with Emily Jones from Clean Wisconsin. Their emphasis will be on water runoff and what it does to water supplies. They will also touch of the subject of high capacity wells.
Our two objectives for “What’s in YOUR Water?” are
1) Identify the threat, and
2) What can we do about it?
Bill handed out some very interesting information to get us acquainted with what we want to accomplish in this event: “WHAT’S IN YOUR WATER – What threatens your water – Clean, Safe and Plentiful Water is not a left-right, conservative vs liberal issue, it is a basic essential for organic life to simply exist.” (3 pages of facts)
Other topics of discussion regarding the topic of water:
- The City of Waukesha is seeking permission to pump water from Lake Michigan. There are more and more demands on Lake Michigan water from more and more places. Reference was made to the pact created around 1989 between the states bordering the Great Lakes and Canada regarding Great Lakes water ownership and responsibility.
- Elizabeth Ward of the Sierra Club would like to do a follow-up on the Enbridge oil pipeline running through Wisconsin.
- FUYRH will participate on April 11th. Barry Eichinger has agreed to deliver a 15 or 20 minute introduction to FUYRH (who they are, what they do) between 1:00 and 1:30 to kick off the afternoon.
- Ideas for follow-up are 1) hold a water rally on the Capitol lawn with WGN involvement and whatever progressive groups in the 2nd CD Alliance and Progressive Partners want to participate, 2) enjoin the ideas of community bill of rights with the ideas of “What’s in YOUR Water?”
- Contact Dean Baker, V. of DeForest public works director, and explain to him that we do not intend to criticize water quality in DeForest and Windsor per se.
- Pursue a grant with the Village of DeForest, asking the FUYRH to sponsor such a grant application as they are a 501c3 organization, which is a requirement to be a grant applicant for a water grant with the village. Such a grant might ask for funds for publicity, A-V equipment rental, mileage, stipends for Sierra and Clean Wisconsin, printing, what else?
- Maybe FUYRH would like to put up an informational table on April 11th.
- All DAP members should be thinking of how to publicize “What’s in YOUR Water?” What organizations should we contact? Where can we put up flyers and posters? Whom can we call? Ginny wants to put up flyers on State Street in Madison! It worked when she did it for the fracking program we did.
Also at this meeting, we went over what DAP members are doing in the Wisconsin Grassroots Network Festival on March 28. See www.wisconsingrassroots.net for further information on this year’s festival. John St. said there is more help needed that Friday night to set up tables and such. Also, bakers are needed to make pies and cakes to sell at the DAP table. Contact John if you can spare some time that Friday and Saturday to do “gofer” work and table sit.