Sunday, June 19, 2011

Issue #1- June 19, 2011

What This Is…
This is an attempt on my part to simplify my communication with friends and colleagues about the current political issues in Wisconsin and actions that are happening in opposition to the actions of the Republican majority here.  There are lots of things happening in our great state and it is challenging to try and keep up with all the issues and responses.  My goal is to try and provide the same information that I've been sending out in emails, just a little easier to sift through. 

This isn't the ultimate authority in what is happening around WI.  I'm sure that for every event or issue I address there are countless more happening.  It's simply a different way for me to share the information and ideas that I've already been sending out by email.  Hopefully, it will be more accessible and user friendly, but if not…I can always try something else or return to the tried and true email list.

I hope that this site will provide people with some support, information and connections to the wider protest movement.  As we go through our fourth month of responding to the attacks on the working class the pressure and stress takes a toll.  We also lose our connections with fellow educators as we disperse during the summer.  Keeping our spirits up and our energy focused is vital as we draw ever closer to the recall elections.

Information that will appear here at different times:
            News items (that may or may not have been addressed in the mainstream
            Opinions about current events/policies
            Connections to other sites that provide opportunities for action
            Information about local educational issues (Board of Education meetings,
                        and other similar info) and MTI news
            Pictures and other media from events that we are participating in
            Suggestions for actions, feel free to respond to these with improvements
                        and additional suggestions

Once again this isn't supposed to replace these other sources, just provide a unified place for you to get information.  It is also a place where I will share ideas for other action that come from many sources. 

Why We Fight…
While in some ways this is not a necessary issue to address (if you are reading this you already have been involved in the fight against the current majorities agenda), it never hurts to remind ourselves what is going on.  This past week was one for the history books.  The Supreme Court's decision combined with the extraordinarily quick legislative action on the budget leaves all of us reeling.  It is my hope to address different parts of the governor's budget in future postings.  That is something missing from mainstream media.  There hasn't been a lot of detailed explanation of what exactly this budget does.  They've given us more of a general focus on broad numbers and reporting what the legislators and governor want us to hear.  I'll wait to give more information about the details of the budget until I get a chance to read it. 

How We Fight…
The recall elections are just a few weeks away and time is precious as we prepare to try and win control of the Senate.  There are many different ways to be involved…

The most pressing and important volunteer opportunities are in the recall efforts.

The Wisconsin Democratic Party has opportunities for phone banking, data entry, door to door canvassing, etc.  Their website is
The phone banks are set up at the Democratic headquarters at 110 King St, Ste 203

We are Wisconsin is also offering similar opportunities and are at the Labor Temple 1602 S. Park St.  Their website is
Recall volunteers! 608.206.9452, stop by 1602 S Park, Madison
There are other ideas floating around as well.  These are ones that have been brainstormed and don't have specific actions as of today, but with some help could get off the ground.
-Travel to a district where recalls are taking place as a group and support the educators there in a rally.  Take the square to _____! 
-"Adopt" a few people and help them get registered to vote and to get proper documentation based on the new voter id requirements.
-Informational picketing in front of schools.  Keep the message that the fight continues.
-Find local (union friendly) businesses to support in a visible manner. 
In all cases these actions would be more powerful (and fun) if done with a larger group.
Upcoming Issues and Events…
We can't forget that we are also engaged in local actions to support our own working conditions along with the families and students we serve.  Our attention is currently focused on the issues surrounding the upcoming MMSD budget and elementary planning time.  There are two School Board meetings being held this week.  I'm suggesting that MTI members arrive at the Doyle building around 4:30 on Monday to meet and talk (wear your red shirts).  The meeting on Wednesday is closed for part of the time, but the Board will be addressing the issues of releasing documents associated with our protesting in February.  Encourage your fellow educators and supportive families from your school to attend.  The Board will also meet next Monday to address the budget. 
Here are the agendas for this week's meetings:
Notice of Madison Metropolitan School District Meetings
Monday, June 20 5:00 p.m.
Special Board of Education Meeting
1. Public Hearing regarding the Proposed Preliminary 2011-12 Budget
2. Resolution Authorizing the Transfer of Funds, the establishment of an Irrevocable Escrow Account with respect to and the prepayment of Certain Interest of the Taxable General Obligation Refunding Bonds, dated March 25, 2010 and the Defeasance of the Qualified Zone Academy Taxable General Obligation Promissory Notes, dated April 15, 2002 and the Defeasance of the Qualified Zone Academy Taxable General Obligation Promissory Notes, dated December 28, 2004
3. Final Approval of Proposed 2011-12 Preliminary Budget
4. Adjournment
Doyle Administration Bldg.   545 W. Dayton Street  McDaniels Auditorium
Wednesday, June 22 5:00 p.m.
Special Board of Education Meeting in Closed Session
1. Deliberations regarding the sale price of a District-owned property pursuant to Wis. Stat § 19.85(1)(e)
2. Discussion regarding potential lease terms, including fair market value, of potential school property pursuant to Wis. Stat § 19.85(1)(e)
3. Confer with legal counsel for the District who will be rendering oral or written advise concerning the strategy to be adopted by the District with regard to currently pending litigation brought against the District by the Wisconsin State Journal, et al. pursuant to Wis. Stat § 19.85(1)(g)
4. Evaluation of the Superintendent pursuant to Wis. Stat §19.85(1)(c)
Special Board of Education Meeting Continued in Open Session
5. Public Appearances
6. Student Code of Conduct
7. Adjournment

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