Iron County Progressive

 

Weekly News From Your Wisconsin Democratic Party Chair

 


 

 

 

 

Democracy is under attack—and you are among the front-line fighters defending it.

 

Here in Wisconsin, Republican legislators led by Robin Vos are using taxpayer funds to pour money into a sham “investigation,” overseen by conspiracy theorists, intended to give credence to false beliefs about 2020—and, in turn, to build GOP support for suppressing votes or stealing the election in 2022. It’s just one of four different conspiracy-theory-driven “investigations.”

 

The truth, as has been obvious for months and months, is that Wisconsin’s 2020 election was legitimate, overseen by thousands of local election administrators and volunteers across the state. But that truth is inconvenient for Trump and the Republican operatives dedicated to the Big Lie, so they’re trying to undermine it. 

 

Fortunately, democracy has great allies in Wisconsin.

 

We’ve got a governor who has vowed to veto any bill making it harder for people to vote—and has already made good on that promise, repeatedly. We’ve simply got to re-elect Governor Evers in 2022.

 

We’ve got enough great Democrats in the state legislature to sustain Governor Evers’s vetoes—thanks to the success of the Save The Veto campaign last year, and the work done by dozens of Democratic candidates, win or lose, in 2020. We’ve got to add to their ranks in the 2022 elections, which will be the first conducted under new, likely much fairer maps. 

 

We’ve got a terrific voter protection team at the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. We’ve never operated such a department year-round before, but the threats to democracy make it a necessity. Our team launched in early 2020 in partnership with Stacey Abrams and her great group Fair Fight, and has earned its reputation as a national model. 

 

(By the way—Stacey Abrams will be speaking in Milwaukee next Wednesday as part of her national tour, and we can offer a 50% discount on tickets to WisDems members! See below for more information.) 

 

And most critically, we have you. As Wisconsin Democrats, we’ve known tremendous ups and perilous downs. We’ve had to find the strength to keep fighting when all seemed lost. And we’ve never given up. Your determination to ensure that government of the people, by the people, and for the people never perishes is the fuel for everything our party achieves.

 

Thanks for all you do. Let’s keep fighting. 

 

Ben

 

FIGHT

 

Dr. Biden In Wisconsin To Celebrate Public Education

 

Wednesday, First Lady Dr. Jill Biden visited Milwaukee! During her visit to a local elementary school, Dr. Biden discussed the importance of childrens’ safe return to schools. As a teacher for nearly 30 years, Dr. Biden deeply understands the value of in-person learning and recognizes the work that President Biden, Gov. Evers, and Democrats in Congress have done to keep students and teachers safe as they return to the classroom.

 

During the event, Dr. Biden also discussed how President Biden’s American Rescue Plan continues to deliver for Wisconsin’s parents, children, teachers, and schools, highlighting the third round of payments from President Biden’s expanded Child Tax Credit hitting parents’ bank accounts this week.


You can read about the First Lady’s visit and discussion with Milwaukee parents and teachers here.

 

 

 

Third Payments of President Biden’s Expanded Child Tax Credit

 

This week, parents across the state saw the third round of President Biden’s expanded Child Tax Credits. This middle-class tax cut is helping parents breathe a little bit easier at the end of each month and is further proof that President Biden and Democrats in Congress are delivering for working families. After just one round of the credits, 56% of US families felt reduced financial anxiety and 3.3 million more kids nationwide had enough to eat.

 

This is great news, and it’s just the first step in creating a better future for Wisconsin’s children. It is crucial that the U.S. Senate and Congress pass President Biden’s overwhelmingly popular Build Back Better plan, which would make this expanded credit permanent. To learn more about the importance of making the Child Tax Credit permanent, read Chair Wikler’s opinion piece from last month.

 

Holding #RadicalRebecca Kleefisch Accountable

 

We are holding Scott Walker’s former lieutenant governor Rebecca Kleefisch accountable for her radical agenda as she campaigns for governor. This week, we held a press conference where Wisconsin teachers spoke out against Kleefisch’s record of defunding public education.


While Gov Evers has held up his promise to be the Education Governor, Kleefisch’s proposals would wreck years of work investing in our schools. Watch the full event here.

 

Wisconsinites will only find out the truth about #RadicalRebecca if all of us help spread the word. Find resources explaining why #RadicalRebecca is wrong for Wisconsin in our social media toolkit, found here!

 

 

 

 

 

Celebrating Citizenship Day & Lifting Up Grassroots Leaders: An Interview with Alex Tran

 

In celebration of Constitution and Citizenship Day on September 17, Alex Tran spoke with MJ Wong Engel, AAPI Coalitions Manager, about her experience teaching citizenship classes with Migration Advocacy of Brown County WI, a coalition of concerned citizens working to provide needed advocacy assistance for immigrants and refugees. Alex is a community advocate and leader in Green Bay. She is a board member of the AAPI Caucus and the first woman of color to be elected to the Brown County Board of Supervisors. The interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.

 

 

 

 

MJ: You are an activist who wears a lot of different hats! Can you take a moment to share a little bit about your path as a progressive advocate?

 

AT: I’m a refugee and came here in 1983 with my dad. Growing up I wasn’t really involved politically, [but] I always knew that I loved politics. My high school social studies teacher submitted my name to this program called the National Young Leadership Conference in DC. We got to pretend we were elected officials, and I loved it. I loved the political process.

 

Growing up in Green Bay, everyone around me was conservative. Then I went to Madison and it totally changed my mindset about everything I thought that I knew. I became more progressive and open-minded. That was my transition from conservative to progressive. 

 

I decided to run for office in 2018 because there were some issues in the community that I wanted to address, but I didn’t have the proper connections and didn’t know how to go about it, so I decided to run for office. I know what’s important to me: helping my community and making a difference. 

 

Having been a refugee myself, I understand how difficult the process can be, coming to a foreign country and not knowing the language at all. When we first came, things were a lot more difficult and there weren’t a lot of resources available. We learned the process the hard way and I didn’t want anyone else to go through that either. I want to make it easier for them.

 

I got involved with Migration Advocacy through my friend, H, one of the co-founders of the organization. He said, “You know what it’s like, want to get involved?” A group of us run classes for students twice a week. The majority of our students are from Somalia and many of them are learning the English language for the first time. I had one student who didn’t know how to read or write in her native language, but she was adamant on passing the citizenship test so she learned to read and write English. She wanted to become a part of this community. I wouldn’t be surprised if she ran for office someday. I’m really proud of her!

 

MJ: What drives your passion for the work you do with citizenship classes and advocacy?

 

AT: [The] majority of us are immigrants in this country. We are all trying to make a life for our families. These people came from war zones. I myself was a child of the war. [Refugees in Wisconsin are] making an effort to make a new life for themselves and their children, future generations. 

 

Having been a refugee I know what it’s like to be in a foreign land. It’s a difficult process and I’m here to help make it a lot easier for them in whatever way I can. To see them pass the test and to see how excited they are feels like Christmas, like getting presents. Many of our students  work in the meatpacking factory, doing really hard labor and long hours; yet, they make this effort to become American citizens, which is really admirable to see!

 

I remember the day we became citizens. You feel legitimate in some way. You’re officially an American, your freedom is not to be taken for granted, it’s guaranteed. It makes you want to make sure it stays that way for future generations.

 

Want to get involved? Wisconsin’s Department of Children and Families has a great guide to ways to assist refugees, including a link to a PDF listing DCF’s partner agencies all over the state. A few of them include Lutheran Social Services of WI & Upper WI, Jewish Social Services, International Institute of Wisconsin, and World Relief

 

 

The Rural Power Up Initiative is being developed by the Rural Caucus and supported by WisDems staff. The goal of this initiative is to enhance collaboration between rural communities and strengthen the organizing power of our rural counties ahead of the 2022 election.

Rural Caucus Chair Nate Timm is working to schedule trainings around the state on the three components of the Rural Power Up Strategy: the formation of multi-county collaboratives, the development of values-based messaging, and the solidification of a rural community contact network. These strategies and tactics have been based on the feedback and insight of rural leaders, members of our Rural Advisory Council, and local experts.

 

 

 

 

 

Paid for by the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Ben Wikler, Chair

 

Our mailing address is:

15 N. Pinckney St., Ste 200, Madison, Wisconsin 53703