DeForest Area Progressives meeting notes for September 28, 2015

DeForest Area Progressives (DeForest Area Action Team?)

Meeting notes for September 28, 2015


Next meeting: Monday, October 5, 2015, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Ginny’s, 3922 Partridge Road, Windsor Hill neighborhood. 


REMEMBER, AT THE OCTOBER 5TH MEETING CHIEF BOB HENZE OF THE DEFOREST POLICE DEPARTMENT will join us for a conversation about policing in DeForest, how police relate to youth, national and international issues in policing, drugs in DeForest, crime in DeForest, the Citizens Police Academy, traffic safety and driving under the influence, community policing philosophy and application, the “militarization” of the police in the USA, and anything else the group cares to discuss.  This is an excellent opportunity to meet with a consummate professional in his field and to educate ourselves on some important social topics.  Please try to be there.


There were five people at the September 28th meeting.  Announcements included

  • Blues for Bernie Fundraiser at the Brinks Lounge October 20th
  • Robert Reich speaking at the downtown Madison library October 24th
  • Party to watch the Democratic candidates debate on October 13th at the Rodeside Grill in Windsor; there will be a cake, a trivia contest, and order off the menu for dinner; hosted by Dawn Fish
  • DeForest library used book sale October 15, 16, and 17
  • From Janet: Dane County’s multi-jurisdiction Special Registration Deputy training has been rescheduled to Wednesday, October 14, because the original schedule conflicted with Yom Kippur.  This event will be held in the Oak Hall of Fitchburg City Hall, 5520 Lacy Road.  Registration will take place between 4 and 5 p.m.  The Dane County Clerk’s Office will offer a voter registration training session from 5 to 6:30 p.m.  And participants will be able to receive Special Registration Deputy appointments from many Dane County clerks between 6:30 and 8 p.m.


Do we want to hold an event for JoAnne Kloppenburg for Supreme Court Justice?    Where can we hold it?  It is questionable whether or not the DeForest Library will allow events to promote political candidates in the public room.  When Ginny asked for one of the rooms to hold an event for Organizing Wisconsin [for Bernie Sanders], she was denied permission. is a good website to consult for Governor Walker transgressions.  It is maintained by the Center for Media and Democracy.


JohnSki reported on his, Ginny's, and Dawn F.'s attendance at Progressive Partners' quarterly meeting last Sunday in Mount Horeb, hosted by Southwest Wisconsin Area Progressives (SWWAP – Tim White, emcee).  The affair was held at Mount Horeb’s 100 year old one-room schoolhouse.  Pre-meeting, we joined a sing-along in the front yard on a beautiful day with the Capital Singers and a band with song books full of protest songs and union songs.  Brats were served along with soft drinks and chips.  A rousing time was had by all, and candidate for Wisconsin Supreme Court, JoAnne Kloppenburg, joined in.  Besides the 100 year old schoolhouse, the band leader noted that 2015 is the 100th anniversary of the song “Solidarity Forever” and the 100th anniversary of the execution by firing squad in Utah of union organizer Joe Hill.


JoAnne Kloppenburg spoke at the meeting inside the schoolhouse.  Be sure to visit her website at  February 16,2016, is the primary to vote for JoAnne.  April 5, 2016, is the general election.


About thirty people at the meeting heard reports from seven local progressive groups represented: SWWAP, Oregon Area Progressives, Middleton Action Team, GROW of Waunakee, Stoughton Action Coalition, DeForest Area Progressives, and SPARC of Sun Prairie.


Mike McCabe of Blue Jean Nation spoke.   “The influence of our values on public policy has been in decline,” Mike said.  Blue Jean Nation has joined forces in a coalition with the Wisconsin Grassroots Network and Wisconsin United to Amend (formerly Wisconsin Move to Amend).  The coalition wants to make local grassroots groups more muscular, more successful.  There is going to be a November 7th workshop in Madison and a conference in Oshkosh in February.  We have formed some habits that disempower us.  We must create tools we can use.  Who is on top and who is on bottom in America?  Roger Springman noted that we must formulate “vertical conversations” along the lines of what Mike talks about in his book, not left versus right horizontally along political lines, rather the one percent “royals” at the top versus the rest of the “commoners” in America.  We must learn to appeal more to emotions and use fewer numbers and statistics the way Democrats have gotten used to.


After Mike McCabe, Sondy Pope, state rep for the area, spoke to us and answered questions.  She expected Governor Walker to be even more emboldened by his loss of the presidential nomination and return to Wisconsin.  We are now being led by a “desperate” person, she said.  Among the subjects she expects him and his cohorts such as Senator Fitzgerald and Rep. Vos to pursue are these:

  • Privatize the Wisconsin Retirement Fund
  • Change the Constitution so that the Superintendent of Public Schools is appointed by the governor not elected by the people
  • Bury the move to change the way we redistrict voting
  • Change the Government Accountability Board into a politically appointed body


“There’s nothing to stop them,” she said.


Ron Biendseil spoke about income inequality and wondered if Progressive Partners members wanted to have an event to educate people on it around the appearance of Robert Reich in Madison on October 24th.  Is there interest in a follow-up event?  What concerns, such as the misuse of TID’s in some communities, should be addressed?


This land is your land,

This land is my land

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