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Mole's Progressive Democrat

The Progressive Democrat Newsletter grew out of the frustration of the 2004 election. Originally intended for New York City progressives, its readership is now national. For anyone who wants to be alerted by email whenever this newsletter is updated (usually weekly), please send your email address and let me know what state you live in (so I can keep track of my readership).

Location: Brooklyn, New York, United States

I am a research biologist in NYC. Married with two kids living in Brooklyn.

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  • Wednesday, March 16, 2011

    Milwaukee, WI Focus


    There are TWO critical races coming up April 5th in low turnout, low profile elections that progressives can win IF they get out the vote. This is our FIRST chance to show Walker we mean business.

    Chris Abele for Milwaukee County Executive

    Milwaukee County Executive is what gave the now infamous Scott Walker his start. Winning this is a clear message that Wisconsin rejects Walker's extremism. This race pits progressive Chris Abele against right wing extremist Walker clone Jeff Stone.

    About Chris Abele:

    Chris Abele’s story is one of service, hard work and giving back. These values have been the cornerstone of his adult life, and they drive his candidacy for Milwaukee County Executive.

    And Chris learned these values early on from the examples set by his family.

    His granddad was a World War II submarine commander who was posthumously awarded for valor when he gave his life in the Pacific Theater to save others.

    His dad grew up in a blue-collar neighborhood, started a business that enjoyed success, and taught his children the importance of hard work and giving back.

    These are the values Chris brought with him when he came to Milwaukee nearly 20 years ago. And during his time in Milwaukee County, Chris has put those values into action by dedicating his life to making our community stronger as a civic advocate and as a community leader.

    As the founder and CEO of the Argosy Foundation, an international nonprofit based right here in Milwaukee, Chris has worked to build partnerships and improve communities by building and strengthening programs in the arts, environment, education and health and human services.

    Chris partnered with local officials and fellow community leaders to strengthen important Milwaukee County institutions. From working with business, community and elected officials to reinvigorate the Mitchell Park Domes into a popular, revenue-generating destination; to revitalizing Bradford Beach; to leading the lighting transformation of the Marcus Center into a cutting-edge, energy-efficient system that saves money and makes Milwaukee County a more vibrant and exciting place to visit, Chris has worked tirelessly to improve the quality of life across Milwaukee County.

    Chris Abele, Candidate for Milwaukee County Executive, with Boys and Girls Club MembersChris is a passionate advocate for strengthening communities and providing hope to young people. As an active leader of the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Milwaukee, he has helped the organization touch lives. He earned the organization’s Most Valuable Person for his efforts to develop a comprehensive 10-year plan to help address the problems facing Milwaukee’s youth.

    As a business owner and civic leader, Chris has focused on creating value for communities. In Milwaukee and in communities across the United States, his commercial development firm brings new jobs to communities by putting old buildings back into productive use, and employing sustainable designs.

    And on top of all of this, Chris has worked hard with civic leaders, the business community, elected officials, academics and researchers, and Republicans and Democrats to study the very real problems facing Milwaukee County and develop new and bold ideas — free from politics — to solve them.

    His work with both the Public Policy Forum and the Greater Milwaukee Committee Task Force on Milwaukee County’s fiscal crisis identified ways to save County taxpayers millions by issuing pension obligation bonds at a reduced interest rate. Getting the legislation passed to allow Milwaukee County to issue these bonds took a broad collation of support from community leaders and elected officials across the political spectrum. It was hard work, but it was the fiscally responsible thing to do.

    Chris Abele, Candidate for Milwaukee County Executive with SeniorsChris is not a career politician, and he’s not part of the system that clearly isn’t working.

    Chris has started a business and created jobs. He’s managed operations and budgets, and been accountable for results. Chris has worked with and led dozens of organizations and efforts to strengthen our community.

    And Chris has never forgotten the values instilled in him by his family at a young age. Service. Hard work. Giving back. These are the values he still carries with him today as he seeks to bring new leadership and real reform to the serious problems facing our community. And these are the values Chris will bring everyday to the job as your Milwaukee County Executive.

    Click here for more info or to volunteer or donate. Please help us win this critical race.

    JoAnn Kloppenberg for Wisconsin Supreme Court

    With the Wisconsin Republicans taking away the rights of working class Americans to please their billionaire buddies, there is going to be one hell of a fight in the Wisconsin Supreme Court. From FireDogLake:

    If you’ve been following along in my last post, you know the news: the Wisconsin State Senate rushed through and passed a bill that strips collective bargaining rights from most public employees. The vote in the State Senate, entirely composed of Republicans, was 18-1; only moderate Dale Schultz voted no. The budget repair bill was split at the last minute, cleaving the “non-fiscal” anti-union piece from the fiscal components of the bill. The non-fiscal piece did not require a quorum, so the Senate was able to pass it....

    • Legal challenges. There are going to be a number of legal challenges to this bill. It will not be implemented right away. There’s the near-term challenge of how the bill got passed tonight. It was done in a way that may have violated open meetings laws, by not allowing 24 hours notice for a public meeting of the conference committee. There are other statutes about collective bargaining that may be brought up in court and fought. And there’s the issue of the bill having a fiscal impact. Scott Walker spent three weeks claiming that collective bargaining was a fiscal issue, and then the legislature just passed the bill as “non-fiscal.” Courts will have to wade through a lot of this, and it’s sure to go up to the state Supreme Court. Which brings us to…

    • Supreme Court fight. The matchup between David Prosser (R) and JoAnn Kloppenberg (D) for the state Supreme Court on April 5 just got very interesting. It’s a statewide vote, and the balance of power on the state Supreme Court is at stake. Right now there are 4 Republicans and 3 Democrats on the court, but one of those Republicans is Prosser. Expect lots of organizing and millions of dollars poured into this election, which is much like a political election, with debates and everything. If Democrats win, the legality of what took place tonight may be put in greater question

    That's right. An election that very few people were paying attention to has now become MASSIVELY important.

    Recall efforts are underway targeting the Wisconsin Republican State Senators who are minions of the Billionaire Koch Brothers.

    Efforts are underway to raise money to retake the Wisconsin State Assembly and Senate.

    But before these, we need to win on April 5th.

    JoAnn Kloppenberg is not accepting contributions. She is running on public financing only. What she needs is PEOPLE. People to knock on doors, pass out flyers...and of course people to VOTE on April 5th.

    Here is some background on JoAnne:

    Assistant Attorney General Kloppenburg has been a litigator and prosecutor at the Wisconsin Department of Justice since 1989, serving under Attorneys General from both parties: Don Hanaway, Jim Doyle, Peg Lautenschlager and JB Van Hollen.

    Her legal experience is broad and deep and includes constitutional law, appellate law, civil litigation, environmental prosecution and administrative law. She has argued numerous cases before the Wisconsin Supreme Court and in the Wisconsin Court of Appeals and she has tried cases in circuit courts around the state.

    Assistant Attorney General Kloppenburg graduated with honors from the University of Wisconsin Law School (1988). She has an undergraduate degree from Yale (1974), also with honors, and a Masters in Public Affairs from Princeton University (1976). During Law School, she was an intern for Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson and later was a law clerk for Chief Judge Barbara Crabb of the United States District Court.

    A teacher at the UW Law School since 1990, she was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Botswana (1976-1979) and remains active in professional, civic and community life. She is a member of the Legal Association for Women (LAW), a mentor with the Dane County Bar Association, an English as a Second Language (ESL) tutor, and a member of her neighborhood association board, and has volunteered with various nonprofit groups.


    It is CRUCIAL that we win this election. It is our first chance to challenge the pro-Billionaire, anti-working class Republicans since they first started to try and take away workers' rights. Your vote and your time are vital to winning.

    From the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers:

    Focus On Jobs - Not Attacking Unions!
    Newly-elected Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has launched a full-scale attack on unions that will, ultimately, only harm the jobless. Backed by wealthy corporate sponsors, other newly-elected Republican Governors are following suit. Meanwhile, GOP leaders across the country are cutting and eliminating services and programs put in place to help the unemployed.

    Rather than creating jobs, GOP state leaders are killing jobs. And they’re using valuable time and tax-payer money to do it.

    Tell your state leaders that partisan paybacks, attacking unions and cutting much-needed services does not get people back to work. Tell them to focus on creating the jobs their state and citizens so desperately need!

    Go here to send Scott Walker and the entire Wisconsin State Government your opinion on unions.

    If you want to help support the Wisconsin Unions, here is the contact info you need:

    Greater Milwaukee
    Organizer: Jenissee Volpintesta
    E-mail: jvolpintesta@wisaflcio.org
    Cell: (262) 364-6751 Office: (414) 771-7070, ext. 18
    Address: C/O Milwaukee Area Labor Council, 633 S. Hawley Rd., Milwaukee, WI 53214
    Counties: Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Washington

    THIS, in a nutshell, shows what is wrong with Scott Walker and the Teabagger Republican plan to destroy our public employees: What if there IS a strike?

    Sounds like there are at least SOME politicians in Milwaukee who see the flaws in Walker's plans.

    It is time to face facts about Wisconsin's Teabagger (remember, THEY picked that name) Governor...he has been lying and quite possibly breaking the law for no reason other than to please his Billionaire Masters, the Koch Brothers of NYC. Here are the facts and the fallout from his putting the rich in NYC over Wisconsin's firefighters, police, nurses and teachers:

    Exposing Teabagger Republican Walker's Anti-Union Lies: Wisconsin State Employees Already Contribute 100% of Their Pensions...this follows on Walker's earlier lies about the Wisconsin budget: Wisconsin In January Reported A Year-End $121 Million Surplus...more: Manufactured Crisis

    Teabagger (remember...THEY came up with that term, so don't whine to me about it) Walker Manages To Unite Law Enforcement And Protesters At Wisconsin Capitol...more: WI Police Refuse to Kick Out Protesters, Join Them Instead!

    Teabagger Walker and His Billionaire Masters the Koch Brothers Booed by Working Class Americans...more: Gov. Walker asked to leave restaurant due to booing

    Teabagger Extremist Walker Likely to Brought-Up on Similar Charges as Corrupt Texas Republican Tom Delay

    The Way Forward in Wisconsin?

    Current TV, founded by Al Gore, includes some of the best journalism in America today. In particular their Vanguard series is amazing and should not be missed by ANYONE who wants to know in depth coverage of some of the major stories in the world.

    In Milwaukee Current TV is available on:
    DIRECTV Channel 358
    DISH Network Channel 196
    Comcast Digital: Channel 107
    AT&T U-Verse: Channel 189

    Check out their program schedule here.

    Milwaukee’s Community Station
    1290 WMCS
    African-American owned and targeted community radio

    Check out their program schedule here.

    Check out their community calendar here.


    Milwaukee Public Radio
    WUWM 89.7FM

    WUWM began broadcasting public service programming in 1964 on 89.7 FM. Since that time it has become Southeastern Wisconsin’s premiere source for news, information and entertainment programming

    Check out their program schedule here.

    Check out their community calendar here.

    Blogging Milwaukee:

    Urban Milwaukee: seeks to provide a informative and open dialogue on the issues, events, and people affecting Milwaukee’s most urban neighborhoods, and to promote urbanism within the city of Milwaukee.

    Milwaukee Rising covers local issues in Milwaukee

    Milwaukee Community Journal: Wisconsin's Largest African-American Newspaper...check out their calendar of local events here.

    Watchdog Milwaukee is another local Milwaukee blog of note

    LOCAL EVENTS: Find a list of local Milwaukee events from Urban Milwaukee by clicking here.

    Here an upcoming events of note:

    12th Annual MANDIs
    March 30, 2011 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm
    The Milwaukee Awards for Neighborhood Development Innovation (MANDIs) pay tribute to the people and organizations working tirelessly to make Milwaukee a great place to live, learn, work and grow. 5pm Awards Presentation 6:30-8pm Dinner and Celebration Pfister Hotel, Milwaukee

    The mission of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate racial hatred and racial discrimination.

    NAACP in Milwaukee:
    (414) 562-1000
    2745 N Dr Martin Luther King Dr Ste 202
    Milwaukee, WI 53212

    Democracy for America-Greater Milwaukee
    The Milwaukee affiliate of Howard Dean's Democracy for America. The Progressive Grassroots at its best.

    Sign up here for information on this group.

    And for those who like to combine social events with politics, there is Drinking Liberally Milwaukee:
    o When? Third Wednesday of each month, 7:00 pm
    o Where? Sugar Maple, 441 E Lincoln Avenue
    o Hosted by Jason Haas
    o Subscribe to the Milwaukee mailing list

    Milwaukee Latino Health Coalition

    The Milwaukee Latino Health Coalition is a group of people who are passionate about Latino health. We are health care professionals, social service professionals, community advocates, health promoters, community members and much more. Our Action Teams are working hard to address issues that affect the health of Latinos! By coming together, we can create the change that we want to see in our communities. It is our intention that this website be an interactive tool to begin this process.

    Check out their calendar of local events here.

    Click below to read more about our Action Teams:
    Immigration Action Team
    Mental Health Action Team
    Supporting the Health Promoters Action Team

    Milwaukee County Democratic Club:
    We meet on the fourth Monday of most months, 7 PM in the Hall of Fame Room of the Pettit National Ice Center at Wisconsin State Fair Park. We look forward to seeing you there!

    Petitt National Ice Center
    500 S. 84th St
    Milwaukee, WI, 53214

    Click here to stay informed.

    Click here to find how you can get involved.


    Renewable Energy Milwaukee: A renewable energy blog for greater Milwaukee, moderated by RENEW Wisconsin

    Alternative energy and YOUR energy bill: YOU can be part of the solution for America by signing up to purchase your energy through a Green Power Provider. My wife and I have been doing this in NYC for years. All our energy usage is provided through wind energy generation on American farms. So we use clean energy AND help American farmers. It costs us three cents per kilowatt-hour more per month, but we feel great about it. Although our actual energy may come from anywhere, we are paying to purchase wind energy for the energy grid. Each state has different programs available, usually through yuor existing energy provider right on your existing energy bill. To find such options in Wisconsin, go here and pick your energy provider from the list. If you need help, you can email me and tell me who you get your bill from (don't give me any other info!) and I can tell you who to contact to go green through that energy provider. Or you can do the same thing using Renewable Energy Certificates through an organization that works with utility companies, though in this case it is a separate bill. One off the cheapest (.4-1 cent per kilowatt-hour), but still e-Green certified, ways to do this is through Good Energy. Or, for about half a cent per kilowatt-hour you can purchase renewable energy certificates through Carbonfund.org. ANY of these ways you do it, you are helping the environment, helping America, and helping cut carbon emissions.

    GREEN BUSINESSES IN THE MILWAUKEE AREA: These are some of the best local businesses around. Taken from the Green America Green Pages

    Winslow Green Growth Fund
    Winslow is a Pioneer in the field of Green Investing®. The Winslow Green Mutual Funds seek to invest in environmentally sustainable companies, with an emphasis on companies whose products or services offer direct solutions to environmental problems. Portfolio companies generally focus on environmentally-oriented investment themes such as clean energy, water solutions, resource efficiency, green building, or green transportation. Winslow Management Company has been practicing green investing since 1983.
    Phone: (888)314-9049
    P.O. Box 701
    Milwaukee, WI 53212

    Future Green
    Carries a fine assortment of organic clothing, beds, sheets, towels, baby products, bodycare, recycled, hemp, nontoxic building, and Fair Trade products. "Your one-stop sustainable shop!"
    Phone: (414)294-4300
    2352 E. Kinnickinnic Ave.
    Milwaukee, WI 53207

    Rishi Tea
    Organic and Fair Trade Certified™ loose leaf tea and teaware, direct from origin. "Winner of 11 first place awards at the 2009 World Tea Championship."
    Phone: (414)747-4001
    Fax: (414)727-4008
    427 E. Stewart St.
    Milwaukee, WI 53207

    The authoritative source for practical ideas and quality products for environmentally friendly living. Come see how you can live a healthy, fulfilling, and sustainable life!
    Phone: (888)451-6752
    Fax: (888)451-6752
    6555 West Mill Rd.
    Milwaukee, WI 53218

    Four Corners of the World
    Working for peace by achieving justice through retailing fairly traded jewelry, textiles, housewares, clothing, carvings, basketry, music, cds, cookbooks, greeting cards, coffee, tea, olive oil, and chocolate.
    Phone: (414)443-9606
    5401 W. Vliet St.
    Milwaukee, WI 53208



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