Annual Meeting on April 28th

The Honorable Judge Mel Mogen will speak at the League of Women Voters Upper St. Croix Valley's Annual Meeting on April 28th. She won the Burnett County Circuit Judge seat last year and will talk about women in politics. This free event is open to the public.

12:30 pm: Social
 1:00 pm:  Lunch
 1:30 pm:  Speaker
 2:15 pm:  General Meeting and Elections

Vote for Vice Chair, Treasurer, and Member at Large.


The Big Share

News from the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin
View this email in your browser
Empower More Voters with Your Support of The Big Share
"LWVWI has our back. They stand strong for us, standing up to lawmakers in Madison, fighting for voters in the courts, and supporting local leagues throughout Wisconsin. Thank you for all you do to protect the rights of Wisconsin voters!” - 2017 Big Share Donor
We were blown away by the love our supporters showed the League during The Big Share last year. That love comes from a passion for the League’s mission to empower voters and defend democracy. With The Big Share only one week away, we know we can count on you to make even more of an impact this year.  
We’ve set a lofty goal to raise $15,000 during our Big Share campaign. And thanks to a generous matching grant from the Brookby Foundation, we’re on our way to meet our goal, but we need you on our team to get the rest of the way there! Please be our champion, and make sure we reach our goal.
During the Big Share, your donation will be matched dollar for dollar up to $7,825. For every $1 you give, the League will receive $2. This is a great opportunity to make your dollars stretch even further for a cause you believe in.
Show your love of the League with a donation of $25, $50, $100, or whatever amount you’d like. Every little bit counts for the big day! We can’t wait to celebrate the difference your generosity will make on March 6th!

If you’re like us and can’t wait to share your love for the League, you can make your contribution today! All money raised between now and the end of the day on March 6th will count towards the League’s Big Share total.
Support LWV-W


From the League of Women Voters Wisconsin:
The State Assembly will vote this Thursday in Special Session on ten proposals from Gov. Walker to change Wisconsin’s systems designed to assist people in poverty. The Senate is expected to take them up as early as Tuesday, Feb. 20.

TAKE ACTION:  Contact your State Senator and Assembly Representative soon and urge them to reject the Special Session bills on welfare reform.
Background.  While some of the bills propose changes that may help a small percentage of low-income individuals, the proposals in general would not result in meaningful change. Unfortunately, they are mostly about increasing the barriers faced by struggling families which is neither a humane nor efficient way to help people train and successfully compete for a good job. Further, this misguided effort will cost Wisconsin taxpayers $90 million. Imagine how that money could be used to benefit Wisconsin workers!
The majority of people in our state who receive FoodShare and other government benefits already face substantial barriers to improved employment: many have disabilities that limit their options; they may be single mothers with children and inadequate access to good child care; many have chronic or acute health concerns that require frequent—perhaps daily—treatment regimens; they may lack access to good transportation to work, daycare or medical appointments; they may lack modern skills to meet employers’ technical requirements; they may live in constant fear of domestic violence and sabotage to their employment prospects.  
Instead of increasing barriers to accessing assistance, lawmakers should develop proposals that will: help families with their transportation problems; provide good, neighborhood child care that is available at all times, which is needed by shift workers; ensure that people are receiving needed medical care; expand training opportunities for the modern job market; and provide that available jobs pay a family-sustaining wage.
Unemployment in Wisconsin is approaching historically low levels. Employers and the government need to work together to expand the labor force to meet the increasing demand for skilled employees. This cannot be done by making it harder for low-wage workers to access supplements to their low wages. It can only be done by expanding the opportunities for families to participate in the modern labor market. 
As they stand, the Special Session proposals will not help the state move forward, and lawmakers should reject them.
To find your own legislators, click here and enter your address above Find Your Legislators, near the little map of Wisconsin.


Letter from the Chair

Friends and Fellow Leaguers,

It is a new year - our league has had a busy year!! Our most recent endeavor was a very successful Candidate Forum!! Thanks to all of you. But as things flow from Washington and from Madison, it becomes clearer and clearer that the right to vote, the ease to vote is under siege. Voter suppression is at an all time high. And it isn't over!!! But there are lawsuits against the onslaught - against attempts to restrict voter participation - against the gerrymandering in many states around the country.

Last month there was an article in one of the newspaper's I get about the Sherpas in the Himalayas and I quote:

"The treacherous trail that connects the remote Sherpa village of Tempathang , in the Himalayas, to the rest of the world was unusually crowded over the last weekend of November as scores of voters walked for hours across narrow mountain ridges to vote in Nepal's first parliamentary elections since 2006"

Mothers carried babies in slings and baskets, many people camped the night before the day to vote, people had walked many many miles  --- TO VOTE!!!!  

We did something similar in this country once upon a time. People - women in particular, went to jail to get the chance to vote. People marched - people sat in ---- And we are doing this again!! Many new organizations have been formed specifically to focus on voting and non-violent protests of the incredibly inane, inaccurate and illegal actions coming out of the current administration. But with a National 46% voter turnout - I worry!! What can we do to change this??? It reinforces the League's continued focus on Voter Rights--Voter Registration--Voter Education. As we move forward this year - an election year - let's focus on this issue - let's get many more registered to vote in Polk and Burnett Counties - let's reach out to other's to encourage them to vote - to offer transportation, to help register to vote, to counter the discouraging opinion that our vote doesn't count - BECAUSE WE KNOW IT DOES COUNT!!!  Every vote counts and we can do this!!!!  -- WE CAN DO BETTER than 46%!!!

AND LET'S CONTINUE BUILDING OUR LEAGUE!!! Let's continue moving forward in this New Year.

I wish everyone a wonderful year!!!



Meet and Greet a Success

Last Wednesday evening, the Upper St. Croix Valley League of Women Voters hosted a "Meet & Greet" for primary candidates running for the Wisconsin Senate District 10 seat. Four of the six primary candidates invited mingled with more than 50 voters at the Milltown Community Center. Then they presented information about themselves and a few of their primary concerns to the audience. This event was important because the election process is swift for the seat vacated by Sheila Harsdorf this past fall.

Remember to vote in the primary this coming Tuesday (December 19th).

The Upper St. Croix Valley League will present a forum with the final special election candidates on January 4th at the Unity High School Performing Arts Center. Look for more details here.

From the Wisconsin State League of Women Voters, December 12, 2017:
Two fast-tracked bills were introduced Friday and had a hearing in a state Senate committee yesterday. They reduce protections for renters and water quality, and both bills preempt the ability of local governments to address these problems in their communities:

SB 639 preempts local control of many issues related to the maintenance of a safe housing stock, and it reduces the protections that tenants have under current law. It would make it easier for a landlord to evict a tenant and harder for the tenant to get a hearing in small claims court. In addition, it would keep dismissed eviction claims cases on record for 10 years, making it harder for the tenant to find housing in the future.

SB 640 limits local control of stormwater runoff to a level no more stringent than statewide standards. Many cities, villages and towns have adopted ordinances to deal with recurring flooding of streets, existing buildings or abutting agricultural or park lands. These ordinances require new construction to retain more than 90% of the volume of precipitation on-site through use of rain gardens, wet detention ponds or infiltration basins. SB 640 prohibits local governments from taking the initiative to require these additional stormwater management practices that protect public health and safety.

This article in The Capital Times explains these bills in greater detail.  

Contact your State Senator today and urge her/him to oppose SB 639 and SB 640. In addition, call members of the Senate Committee on Insurance, Housing and Trade, and urge them to reject this bill so it doesn’t even make it to the Senate floor.   
To find your own Senator, click here and enter your address above "Find Your Legislators" near the little map of Wisconsin. To reach members of the Committee on Insurance, Housing and Trade, click here.


Meet the Primary Candidates for State Senate District 10 Seat

The League of Women Voters Upper St. Croix Valley is providing an opportunity for the public to meet the primary candidates for State Senate District 10 at an event on Wednesday, December 13th, at the Milltown Community Center. The event begins at 6:30 pm with an hour-long informal "meet & greet" with refreshments. At 7:30 pm, the candidates will have 10 minutes each to give personal introductions and make political position statements.

Five candidates are running in the primary: Republicans Shannon Zimmerman and Adam Jarchow; and Democrats Reuben Herfindahl, John Calabrese, and Patty Schachtner. Libertarian Brian Corriea is also invited to attend this event and will be on the ballot for the January special election.

State Senate District 10 includes most of Burnett, Polk, Saint Croix, and Pierce counties, and part of Dunn County. The senate seat became vacant when Senator Sheila Harsdorf was appointed as the Wisconsin State Agriculture Secretary this fall.

The primary election will be held on Tuesday, December 19th. The short timeline makes this event particularly important for residents of the northern counties. The primary election determines the final slate of candidates that will run in the special election scheduled for Tuesday, January 16th. The League of Women Voters Upper St. Croix Valley will hold a Candidate Forum on January 4th at the Unity High School Performing Arts Center. Save the date!

The Milltown Community Center is located at 301 2nd Avenue SW in Milltown.