Here is the report for the May 16 Active McFarland Political Café. We will not meet on May 23 because of Memorial Day weekend, but will resume our café on May 30, as usual at 9:30 am at the McFarland House Café.
Present for the May 16 café: Ron Berger, Jean & Denny Blackmore, Jim Lindemann, Dawn & Art Shegonee, Clair Utter, and McFarland High School students Brandon Delacy and Jessica Naze.
Announcement: Thursday May 21, Active McFarland will host a talk by Mike McCabe, author of Blue Jeans in High Places, in the E.D. Locke Public Library at 7:00 pm.
1) Dawn and Ron reported on the candidate forum sponsored by the Dane County branch of the Wisconsin Democratic Party at the Concourse hotel on May 13. Sheila Plotkin and Patrick Miles attended the forum as well. Five candidates are running for the position of chair of the Wisconsin Democratic Party in an election that will be held at the state convention in Milwaukee on June 6. The grassroots community is somewhat divided between support for Jeff Smith and Martha Laning, with support leaning toward Smith. McFarland High School student Jessica Naze is interested in attending, and she is coordinating logistics with Dawn to make this happen.
2) As usual, the discussion was wide-ranging, but included ironing out the publicity logistics for the May 21 talk by Mike McCabe (with Ron, Jean, Denny, and Jessica volunteering to work on the distribution of flyers), the challenges facing the public school system statewide, local policies affecting the Village of McFarland, the relationship between the Wisconsin grassroots community and the state Democratic Party, and the senatorial candidacy of Russ Feingold,
3) Art initiated a discussion of youth involvement in movements of social change. Others suggested that McFarland High School political science teacher Matt Levin, who has been referring students to Active McFarland as a way to fulfill a class assignment, be contacted about being interviewed in the McFarland Thistle about these issues. Sheila Plotkin will be asked to pursue this idea with Matt.
submitted by Ron Berger