Saturday, May 11, 2019

May 2019 Newsletter

Dear Rusk County DEMs,

May Meeting: Thursday, May 16th
Our next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, May 16th, starting at 6:30 p.m. at the courthouse. Alex Pond, the Regional Organizing Director for Northwest and North Central Wisconsin with the Democratic Party will be joining us. We will also try something new at the next meeting – from 6:30 to 7:00 p.m. we will spend time on Party business, primarily on items requiring action. The agendas will include the minutia for those unable to participate. We want our meetings to be dynamic and more than information dumps but rather opportunities for members to share/debate perspectives they have regarding multiple issues facing all of us, some of which might be controversial – but this only goes to show that the DEMs are the “Big Tent” with multiple ideas and perspectives.

From 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. will spend time discussing/debating issues and topics. If you check out the new website (, thanks to Anita Dearhamer and Cindy Pohlman, who have worked with the web page designer of the Barron County DEMs website, you will notice a link to Issues that include: Climate Change, Public Education, Work and Wages; Drug and Opioid Crisis; Redistricting Reforms; and Infrastructure At the April meeting individuals signed up to develop background information about these issues that will be posted eventually on this page.  We will be populating this issue page with data/statistics and background information to showcase multiple perspectives and Democratic positions. Our eventual goal is to host “townhall” meetings around the county to share information about these issues and solicit input from others.

At the first meeting we will be discussing two topics that Joy Baye brought to our attention at the April meeting: 1) the Knights of Columbus, and 2) Abortion Alternatives and a Woman’s Right to Choose. I will bring copies of the articles to the meeting.

State Democratic Convention: June 1st – 2nd
The state Democratic Convention will be held in Milwaukee. Delegates elected at the last meeting include Jim Wheeler, Linda Detra, Chrysa Ostenso, Kerm Morgan, and Nancy Kraft.

Summer Parades and Drum Line
A decision was made at the April meeting to share the responsibility for participation in summer parades in the county which include: June 9th – Sheldon; July 14th – Bruce; July 21st – Mardi Gras; July 27th – Glen Flora; August 4th – Ingram; September 1st – Weyerhaeuser; and September 2nd – Hawkins. Members are being asked to commit to participation in 2 to 3 of the 7 scheduled parades so the Rusk Dems can have a presence. Please let Chrysa ( know in which parade you are interested to participate.

The Drumline, which will be featured in several of the area parades, is becoming a wonderful reality. The next practice session will be Monday evening, May 13th at Chrysa’s (902 Menasha Ave. W) at 6:30. All are welcome and no experience is necessary!

Fair Elections/Redistricting Project
The Fair Elections project is doing a yard sign project around the state this summer to promote fair redistricting to stop map-rigging and gerrymandering that have corrupted our democracy and made it harder for our state government to do the people’s business. Partisanship and corruption are corroding the bonds the people of Wisconsin have traditionally had with each other. With a goal to end partisan gerrymandering we will decide if we want to participate in this project, order and display signs. See: to see which counties have already passed fair maps resolutions and referenda.

News from the DEMs State Office
State budget: With several Republican legislators defecting and considering compromise concerning Medicaid expansion in WI, a sudden and desperate vote was taken last week by the Joint Finance Committee with votes consistent across party lines. According to a WI Public Radio report, 130 provisions from Gov Evers’ budget were deleted including: redistricting reform (even though there was no fiscal effect of this provision) and Medicaid/BadgerCare Expansion. According to Citizen Action of Wisconsin, “Until the governor signs his budget, it’s not final. It’s going to be a long debate and there’s still plenty of time for the public to be heard.” Now is the time to keep up pressure on every legislator who is ignoring the will of the people. Contact Jerry Petrowski (29th Senate) at 608 266-2502 and James Edming (87th Assembly) at 608 266-7506 to let them know you support Medicaid expansion, which the vast majority of Wisconsinites support. To learn how Medicaid expansion would impact Rusk County check out:

May Meeting
I hope to see you at the May 16th meeting, starting at 6:30 p.m.

Nancy Kraft, Rusk Dems Chair
715 452-3515

A copy of this newsletter can be downloaded here: May 2019 Newsletter