The Grassroots Gazette fosters community dialogue and participation throughout Southwest Wisconsin.  To subscribe to the email version of the Grassroots Gazette, click here or email grassroots@merr.com

Get engaged
with local groups

Here are the local groups that are thinking globally and acting locally to address environmental issues, public education, affordable health care, elective politics and immigration.
Weds. Oct. 4, 11, 18 and 25, 9:30 a.m. (Dodgeville and Mineral Point).  TAKE ACTION TOGETHER WEEKLY  This is a group that is NOT SILENT.   Every Wednesday morning at 9:30 a.m., either in Dodgeville or Mineral Point, they meet to write postcards and make phone calls – and often to “laugh loudly to fight the despair” which is easy to feel in these troubling times.   They are eager for others to join them.   “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends,” Martin Luther King. Schedule for October:
•    Wed., Oct 4, 9:30 a.m., Gray Dog Deli, 215 High Street, Mineral Point.
•    Wed., Oct. 11, 9:30 a.m., Cook’s Room, 138 N. Iowa St., Dodgeville.
•    Wed., Oct. 18, 9:30 a.m., Café 43 Coffeehouse, 43 High St., Mineral Point.
•    Wed., Oct. 25, 9:30 a.m., Cobblestone Coffee House, 239 N. Iowa, Dodgeville.

For more information, contact Susan Van Sicklen at svans5@icloud.com or Laura Cisler at glcisler@yahoo.com. Enjoy a cup of coffee and lively conversation.  Bring friends.  Pens and postcards will be provided.

Sun., Oct. 15, 4 p.m. (Dodgeville) Lend your support to SENATOR TAMMY BALDWIN at this Dodgeville fund-raising event. Here’s a great opportunity to meet Sen. Baldwin in person and get a behind-the-scenes report about the political chaos in Washington, D.C. and what she is fighting for.   She’ll be on the 2018 ballot.  Your early support is vital.   The Baldwin event will be Sunday, Oct. 15 from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at the home of Susan and Mike Van Sicklen, 3862 Evans Quarry Road, in rural Dodgeville.  Suggested donation:  $50 or more.  To RSVP, contact Emma at emma@tammybaldwin.com or 608-663-6300 or online at www.TammyBaldwin.com/17105Dodgeville

THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY IN GOV. WALKER’S 2107-19 EDUCATION BUDGET   Below is a great summary from Jessie Wieczorek, co-chair of the Action Iowa County’s Education Team.  To get involved locally, contact Jessie at jawieczorek24@gmail.com

  • The Good: An increase of $200 per pupil spending in the first year plus an additional $204 in year two, allowing districts to keep up with inflation but not recover from past cuts.
  • The Bad: The voucher program was expanded in eligibility and funding. (Tax payers are paying the bill.) No more oversight of for-profit colleges.  Also, teacher certification requirements have been loosened.
  • The Ugly: Vetoed was a provision that would have given school districts locked in at low spending limits a boost to reduce the disparity.
  • The Truth: Be wary of the statement that this budget is the highest ever for education. Notice the word "public" is missing. The voucher expansion is expensive and done without any vote by the public. Also, more than $150 million in the education budget is a property tax credit and cannot be used in the classroom.
  • The Future: Considering all the demands on the budget, how will public school funding fare in the years to come?

Sun., Oct. 15, in the afternoon at Shake Rag Alley (Mineral Point) FUNDRAISER FOR ACTION IOWA COUNTY  As a fundraiser for the local action group, Action Iowa County, reproductions of Artist Jennifer Sharp’s memorable series of 12 oil paintings of children will be available for sale at Shake Rag Alley, 18 Shake Rag Drive, Mineral Point, the afternoon of Sun., Oct. 15.   These paintings were created to remind us that the political decisions made today will have a profound effect on the future.  

OUR GRASSROOTS CITIZENS SUSTAIN IOWA COUNTY group works at the local, state and national levels on climate change and environment issues. To get involved, contact Chuck Tennessen at twotens@yousq.net.

Saturday, Oct. 14, 11 a.m. (Mineral Point) – MONTHLY SUSTAIN IOWA COUNTY/CITIZENS’ CLIMATE LOBBY meeting at Gray Dog Deli, 215 High Street in Mineral Point.    This active local group is engaged globally with climate change issues as well as locally to make changes right here at home.  Following the Oct. 14 meeting, they will be heading out for a Fall Road Clean-Up project.   For more info, contact Chuck Tennessen at twotens@yousq.net. 

OUR GRASSROOTS CITIZENS FOR PEACE organizes forums and cultural events to encourage dialogue about critical peace and justice issues.
For more info, contact Bryan Walton at bryanwalton2007@gmail.com

know peace through justice Friday, October 6th, 4:00 - 5:30 p.m. (Dodgeville)  MONTHLY MEETING OF GRASSROOTS CITIZENS FOR PEACE & JUSTICE will be held at the home of Judy James, 3455 Rowe Road, Dodgeville (north, off of Hwy. 23)   Join the Peace Group for a lively discussion on:

  • What should be our emphasis amid all the violence in the world today?
  • Can societal fears be addressed by studying the success of nonviolent campaigns?
  • What about gun violence?
  • What about the bulging military budget?
  • What about the nuclear threat that hangs over us like the Sword of Damocles?
  • How can we be a more visible presence in our area? 

For more info contact Jane H. Kavaloski at jhkavaloski@gmail.com.

OUR GRASSROOTS CITIZENS Immigration team is working to educate and achieve a better understanding of immigration issues in our area. To get involved, contact Shirley Barnes at grassroots@merr.com

Multicultural outreach programBECOME A VOLUNTEER FOR THE MULTI CULTURAL OUTREACH PROGRAM (MCOP)  The MultiCultural Outreach Program needs volunteers to welcome our immigrant neighbors in various ways – from teaching English as a Second Language (free training offered) to supplying much needed transportation for immigrant workers and their families who are not permitted to have drivers licenses.   Here’s how you can help address the immigration issue right here at home – by welcoming those who are hard-working employees on our dairy farms, cheese factories and small businesses.  Contact Nereida Burkard at 608-642-1753 or luzneriesl@gmail.com for more information as to how you can help.

OUR ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE (ESL) PROGRAM CONTINUES TO EXPAND To encourage self-sufficiency and confidence among recent Hispanic immigrants to our area, our English as a Second Language (ESL) volunteer tutoring program has recently expanded into Lafayette and Grant Counties -- building on our existing Iowa County program.. Our trained volunteer tutors work one-on-one or in small groups. The program not only addresses the isolation many of our students feel, it enriches the tutors’ lives through cultural exchanges and friendships. To learn more about becoming a volunteer ESL tutor, please contact:

ACTION IOWA COUNTY:   INTERESTED IN RUNNING FOR LOCAL OFFICE?  People willing to serve our communities on the county board and other local offices are sorely needed!   Email grassroots@merr.com to learn more.

ARE YOU HOOKED ON 5 CALLS YET?  Political news can be disheartening but we have to keep up the pressure in Washington and Madison.  Here’s the easiest way to be effective.   Click on https://5calls.org/ .  Once you’ve added your zip code, you’ll get complete instructions on exactly who to call, the important facts about the most pressing issues for the coming week and what you can do about them.  Give it a try now.  You may not think one call makes a difference – particularly if you only get a voice mail – but hundreds of thousands of calls do – SO BE ONE OF THEM.  Pass this tip on to your friends.
THE NEW GREEN COUNTY INDIVISIBLE GROUP is making plans to co-host a bipartisan Listening Session where all national and state representatives from the area will be invited to share the microphone with their constituents.  The event is scheduled for late August (during a Congressional recess.)   If you are interested in being a part of the planning group, contact Bob Nelson at bobnelson051@gmail.com

OUR GRASSROOTS Health Care Task Force has been working since 2008 to insure everyone receives quality, affordable health care. To get involved, contact Earl Barnes at grassroots@merr.com

ACAThe Message to Sen. Johnson’s office:   The Graham-Cassidy health care bill would be disastrous for the people of Wisconsin.  It would make devastating cuts to Badgercare and cause insurance premiums to rise drastically, especially for those with pre-existing medical conditions.  It cannot even be scored by the CBO in time for the vote.  I urge you not to support this bill.  TO CONTACT SEN. JOHNSON, call 202-224-5323 (Washington D.C.); 414-276-7282 (Milwaukee); 920-230-7250 (Oshkosh) or use the contact form on his website https://www.ronjohnson.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/email-the-senator
Also contact Sen. Baldwin’s office at 608-264-5338 or 202-224-5653 to express your appreciation for her continued opposition to repealing the Affordable Care Act.
For background information about the Graham-Cassidy bill from the Washington Post, click here.

Other Community Events

INTERESTED IN MAKING DODGEVILLE MORE BIKE FRIENDLY?   Dave Oesper says “I think the first step is for those of us who are interested to meet and discuss. I'd be happy to take the lead but would appreciate having others to work with who share a passion for this important health and safety issue. “   Contact Dave at daveoesper@mac.com or 608- 930-2120

Tues., October 17th, 7 p.m. (Dodgeville) IOWA COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETS in regular session at the Health and Human Services Building, 303 W. Chapel Street. When it becomes available, the agenda will be posted at http://www.iowacounty.org/countyboard/committees/countyboard.shtml

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THE GRASSROOTS GAZETTE (produced by the Grassroots Citizens of Wisconsin) is the email communications tool that links emerging political action groups throughout Southwest Wisconsin – including Action Iowa County, SWWAP of Mt. Horeb, River Valley DAWN group, Richland County DAWN group, Green County Indivisible, Sustain Iowa County and Iowa County Citizens for Peace & Justice.  Other groups interested in joining can contact grassroots@merr.com.

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