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


From The Action Iowa County Health Care group:  
Republicans in the U.S. Senate are trying one last time to repeal the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).  They have only two weeks in which to pass the measure by a simple majority vote.   Called the Graham-Cassidy bill, the legislation is more draconian than any of the previous bills introduced this year.  It would slash funding for subsidies and Medicaid while removing protections for people with pre-existing medical conditions.  There will not even be time for the Congressional Budget Office to score it.  Unless there is public outrage, the chances that Graham-Cassidy will become law are real.  Although Sen. Ron Johnson is a sponsor of the bill, it is urgent that he hear from his constituents.
The 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.

Bill Spevacek GRASSROOTS LOST A LONG-TIME STEERING COMMITTEE MEMBER THIS SUMMER.  Bill Spevacek, an author, poet and retired public relations executive, died in July at the age of 82.   In 1996, he moved to rural Mineral Point with his wife, Pat.   We remember him best for his clear-thinking contributions to the growth of Grassroots and for his wonderful, fiery letters to the editor. Thanks, Bill, for never letting us forget the Grassroots values we stand for.

Wednesday, Sept.6 at 9:30 a.m. (Mineral Pont) JOIN THE WEEKLY POSTCARD WRITING TEAM  Our federal and state lawmakers need to continually hear from all of us.  Join the dedicated group of post card writers who meet weekly at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesdays to do just that.  On Wed., Sept 6 they will be at the Gray Dog Deli, 215 High St., in Mineral Point; on Wed., Sept. 13 at 9:30, they will be at the Cook’s room, 138 N. Iowa Street in Dodgeville; on Wed., Sept. 20 they will gather at Café 43 Coffeehouse,43 High St., Mineral Point; on Wed., Sept. 27, meet them at Cobblestone Coffee House, 239 N. Iowa Street in 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.

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, September 9, 11 a.m. (Dodgeville) – MONTHLY SUSTAIN IOWA COUNTY/CITIZENS’ CLIMATE LOBBY meeting is at Country Kitchen, 1202 North John St.   While everyone is focused on the suffering that Houston area residents are enduring, climate change is an on-going concern for this active local group   Join them to hear what you can do to help build a livable planet.  Contact Chuck Tennessen at twotens@yousq.net. 

solar iowa countyGOOD NEWS FROM THE SOLAR IOWA COUNTY effort.  August 31 was the deadline for homeowners and businesses to contract to install a solar system as part of a cost-saving group buy for Iowa County.  The number of people signing up far exceeded all expectations.   Final figures will come out next week. Learn more at www.solariowacounty.com


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 justiceFriday, September 8, 4 to 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)   This dedicated group will be evaluating this year’s “Lanterns for Peace” event and making plans for fall and winter events. 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 programHELP US CREATE A WELCOMING, INCLUSIVE COMMUNITY IN SW WISCONSIN.   The MultiCultural Outreach Program needs volunteers to help us welcome our immigrant neighbors in various ways – from teaching English as a Second Language (free training offered) in Lafayette, Iowa, Grant and Richland Counties, to supplying much needed transportation for immigrant workers and their families.  Many are not permitted to have drivers’ licenses although they 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.

IF YOU CARE ABOUT PUBLIC EDUCATION, YOU HAVE TIME TO ACT NOW ON THE STALLED WISCONSIN EDUCATION BUDGET.  The Republican-controlled state legislature is wrangling over a critically needed increase to the per-pupil school funding, after years of slashing funds.  Should the increase be $200 or a meager $150?   Howard Marklein and Todd Novak have not made a commitment.    Our Action Iowa County public education team urges you to call Howard Marklein and Todd Novak (or your own state representatives) to let them know you believe a $200 per student increase is the minimum!  Rep.Novak@legis.wisconsin.gov, 608-266-7502 and Sen.Marklein@legis.wisconsin.gov, 608-266-0703.  For further info, contact Jessie Wieczorek at jawieczorek24@gmail.com or Christie Johnston at christie.m.johnston@gmail.com

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

ACALET PAUL RYAN KNOW WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT    Help one of our sister groups --  the Oregon Area Progressives – get the message directly to Paul Ryan in his home district.   The OAP health care community engagement group is purchasing billboards and newspaper ads in the Janesville area – the place Ryan calls home.  The aim is to undermine his support for the ACA among his own constituents.  YOU CAN HELP.  To contribute to the effort go to www.gofundme.com/retireandreplace    The goal is to collect $8,000.   For more info contact Beth Cox at coxlaw2@frontier.com

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., September 19th, 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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