Blog

Brown County Democrats to Send Nine Resolutions to the 8th Congressional District Convention

Updated May 2, 2021.

The Administrative Council of the Democratic Party of Brown County sent nine resolutions to the 8th Congressional District Convention on Sunday, May 2nd. The resolutions that passed and advanced in the top ten at the district convention will go on to the State Convention June 4-5, 2021. Sign up to be a delegate to vote on resolutions.

A special thanks to our Policy and Advocacy Committee, which wrote, edited and discussed resolutions throughout February and March. The resolutions will help shape party priorities and the state platform, which all Democratic candidates use to guide their campaigns.

  1. Ranked Choice VotingPassed, did not advance

Whereas a thriving, functional democracy requires fair elections.

Whereas ranked choice voting makes elections less divisive and results in campaigns with higher voter engagement.

Whereas ranked choice voting results in greater diversity of representation, especially for minority and female candidates.

Resolved. DPW supports the implementation of ranked choice voting for all elections in the state of Wisconsin.

  1. Raise the Age Did not pass

Whereas Wisconsin is one of the few states to prosecute children in adult court.

Whereas incarceration can have detrimental effects on the emotional, social and intellectual development of a child.

Whereas scientific research has confirmed that the human brain is not fully developed until an individual reaches their early 20s.

Whereas individuals under age 21 are not allowed to drink alcohol, receive a concealed carry license, or rent a car.

Resolved. DPW supports legislation to raise the age of juvenile court to age 21.

  1. Care Economy Passed, advanced

Whereas everyone should be able to earn a living and care for their loved ones without having to choose between their livelihood, health and safety, and family. 

Whereas families with qualified childcare thrive—allowing more parents to enter the workforce and benefiting children with early education. 

Whereas investments in care work boost the economy, lift families and children out of poverty, and address systemic inequities in the care economy made worse by Covid-19.

Resolved. DPW support investments in the care economy that would make certified, home and community-based caregivers available to every Wisconsin family that requests it.

  1. Indigenous Sovereignty Passed, advanced

Whereas Wisconsin is home to the Ho-Chunk Nation, Menominee Tribe of Wisconsin, Oneida Nation, Forest County Potawatomi, Bad River Band, Lac Courte Oreilles Band, Lac du Flambeau Band, and Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, St. Croix Chippewa, Sokaogon Chippewa (Mole Lake), Stockbridge-Munsee, and Brothertown Nation. 

Whereas treaties between sovereign tribal governments and federal, state, and local governments have historically not been honored, which has disrupted the cultural connection between tribes and their land. 

Resolved. DPW acknowledges and respects tribal sovereignty, and commits to being stewards of Indigenous land and resources.

  1. Safe, Affordable Housing Passed, advanced

Whereas safe, affordable housing is a human right.

Whereas housing instability creates significant obstacles to accessing opportunities such as employment, healthcare, education, and civil rights.

Whereas affordable housing stock shortages have created an inaccessible housing market for many Wisconsinites and unsafe overcrowding during the pandemic.

Whereas eviction law unfairly disadvantages tenants, and an eviction on one’s record hinders the ability to secure future housing.

Resolved. DPW supports legislation and funding to improve housing quality through code enforcement, increase availability of subsidized housing, and improve access to legal representation for tenants.

  1. Family Values Passed, did not advance

Whereas Democratic policies supporting public education, higher minimum wages, child friendly tax policy, and affordable childcare all contribute to supporting the family. 

Whereas a conservative narrative of Democrats being antithetical to family life has largely gone unchallenged.

Resolved. DPW develop messaging and materials for candidates and county parties emphasizing the family supporting nature of Democratic policies.

  1. Data Rights Passed, advanced

Whereas the human right to privacy includes data rights, and the values of American democracy enshrine a life free from surveillance.

Whereas our personal data reflects vital and sensitive information about our lives and its misuse can be discriminatory and potentially life-threatening.

Whereas our data is our private property and should not be bought or sold without our express permission.

Resolved. DPW supports broad protections on personal, biometric, and medical data from unauthorized and unethical government or corporate use.

  1. Northern Wisconsin Development Corporation Did not pass

Whereas. Economic development in more remote parts of Wisconsin is often limited because small communities and counties cannot afford specialist staff or access sufficient funds; and that such communities often feel ignored by the Legislature and Executive of the State.

Whereas. Statewide economic initiatives are often focused on developments in our largest communities.

Resolved. Convention supports the establishment of a Northern Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, with wide powers and resources to sponsor sustainable economic development in communities north of Highway 29 with a population of less than 30000; focusing on value added manufacturing and diversifying the economic base of communities

  1. Medicaid Personal Needs Allowance Passed, advanced

Whereas, the Personal Needs Allowance for Medicaid recipients residing in long-term care facilities is the monthly sum of money they may retain from their personal income;

Whereas, this allowance is all that is available to obtain clothing and shoes, and to cover the cost of telephone, television, internet, a meal out, cards to send family, reading materials, hobbies, etc.; and,

Whereas, the PNA in Wisconsin is among the lowest at $45 with other states allowing up to $200;

Resolved. DPW supports increasing the PNA to a minimum of $100 and implementing annual automatic increases.

Media Release: Brown County Democrats Invite the Community to Drop Off Personal Electronics for Earth Day Ecycle Event

Wednesday, April 21st, 2021
For immediate release

Green Bay, Wis. – The Democratic Party of Brown County announces that it will host an Ecycle Event for Earth Day to collect personal electronics for recycling. Brown County residents are invited to drop off personal electronics 1-4pm daily from April 21st to 24th, 2021 at its Green Bay headquarters at 118 S. Chestnut Street.

“This is a great opportunity for people in the area to clear out their unwanted electronics they have collected over the years while ensuring that this potentially toxic stream of waste is disposed of responsibly,” said Brown County Chair Renee Gasch.

The Democratic Party of Brown County in collaboration with the Department of Natural Resources and Sadoff Iron & Metal is collecting unwanted computer equipment, laptops, monitors, chargers, cell phones, VCRs, CD and DVD players, printers, small appliances, fax machines, stereos, cables and cords during the event. (See a complete list of requested items.) The party also accepts yard signs it distributed for the Spring election to reuse for future campaigns.

“Earth Day is a time to recommit to our value of environmental stewardship,” said Gasch. “The Ecycle Event is part of a sustained effort to reduce our collective environmental impact and live our values.” 

The Democratic Party of Brown County recently switched its Green Bay headquarters to run on renewable energy using Arcadia, a company that allows energy consumers to choose where their energy comes from. Community members are encouraged to do the same using the party’s referral link, which earns the party a credit on its bill. Learn more about the initiative here.

Earth Day is celebrated in memory of Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson, a Democrat, who founded the day in 1970 to bring awareness to environmental conservation. It comes as Democrats in Congress discuss The American Jobs Plan, which would help put people to work on the nation’s clean energy transition, and Governor Evers works to advance his budget priorities, which include historic investments in clean water.

###

Media Contact: Renee Gasch or Terry Lee

Info@BrownCountyDems.com

Phone: (920) 405-0455

Be a Delegate to the Convention

The Democratic Party of Brown County is entitled to send 103 delegates to the Conventions of the 8th Congressional District on May 2nd and the Democratic Party of Wisconsin June 4th-5th.

Applications to be a delegate from Brown County will be considered in the order that they are received subject to membership being current. We encourage you to sign up as soon as possible! You will be advised if your membership needs renewal.

IMPORTANT DEADLINES

8TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT CONVENTION

Sunday, May 2nd 12:30-4:00pm

Convention will be held online.

Business includes:

Election of Officers of the 8th CD Democratic Party: Chair (also serves on State Admin Committee); 1st Vice Chair; 2nd Vice Chair; Secretary; Treasurer; 8th CD District Representative to State Admin Committee.

If you wish to stand for election you must notify the 8th CD Secretary (artimagingllc@gmail.com)  no later than April 22 to be included on the ballot. All those who register to be a delegate will be sent a detailed email about this.

Election of State Platform & Resolutions Committee Members: 1 3- year term Member; 1 1-year term Alternate

Resolutions Debate and Selection of ten resolutions to be submitted to State Convention from those submitted by County Parties.

Registration Fee $25.00 ($10 Students) 

Note the Registration fee for Convention is the major source of income for the 8th CD Party.

April 26th is the Deadline for Brown County to submit Delegate Names for the 8th CD Convention, and the deadline for your membership to be current.

Obviously for reasons of practicality you should submit your name as soon as possible to the County Party if you wish to be a delegate. Use this link

STATE CONVENTION

Friday, June 5th and Saturday, June 6th, 2021.

Convention will be held online. There is no registration fee for the state convention.

1. Promote Party Unity

2. Consideration of the DPW Platform

3. Consideration of 2021 Resolutions

4. Consideration of Constitutional Amendments

5. Election of Democratic Party of Wisconsin Party Officers. This includes the State Party Chair, and Vice Chairs.

MAY 15th 5pm is the Deadline for Brown County to submit the names of Delegates for the State Convention. Obviously for reasons of practicality you should submit your name as soon as possible to the County Party if you wish to be a delegate. Use this link.

MAY 22 5pm is the deadline to pay Membership if you are not current. People registering as a delegate will be advised of their membership status.

Statement: Brown County Democrats Thank Election Heroes for Another Successful Election

Wednesday April 7, 2021
For Immediate Release

Green Bay – Brown County Democrats thank the election workers, candidates, and voters for another successful election in Brown County—the fourth consecutive election held during the unprecedented challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“It takes a village to run an election and ensure that every citizen has the right to vote,” said Renee Gasch, Chair of the Democratic Party of Brown County. “We extend our gratitude to every patriot that made another democratic election in Brown County possible this Spring.”

Dr. Jill Underly, the state superintendent candidate endorsed by Wisconsin Democrats, won Brown County by ten percentage points and clinched victory over Deb Kerr with a 15-point margin statewide. Underly’s decisive victory adds to a winning streak for Wisconsin progressives, who since 2018 have elected a Democratic president, a U.S. senator, a governor, an attorney general, as well as two endorsed Supreme Court judges.

“The Spring election confirms once again that a progressive platform wins in Wisconsin. The only races that Democrats are consistently losing are the ones that were gerrymandered by Republicans,” said Gasch. “Voters deserve fair election maps so great candidates like Karl Jaeger have a fair chance to represent the people of Wisconsin.”

Jaeger, a Marinette County Supervisor who ran as a Democrat in the 89th Assembly Special Election, conceded the race to Republican Elijah Behnke late Tuesday night. The heavily gerrymandered district, which includes Northern Brown County, has never elected a Democrat since election maps were drawn by Republicans in 2011.

The Spring election occurs as state GOP lawmakers have introduced ten voter suppression bills that would make it harder for all Wisconsinites to vote. Nationwide, Republicans have introduced nearly 300 similar bills based on the lie that the 2020 election was stolen.

Meanwhile, House Democrats in Congress have passed the For the People Act, a series of sweeping democracy reforms that would make it easier for all Americans to vote and harder for politicians to gerrymander election maps. The bill heads to the U.S. Senate next.

###

Contact: Renee Gasch, Chair@BrownCountyDems.com, 920-405-0455


COMMUNITY CALL TO ACTION

Tell Congress to pass the For the People Act.

Who to Contact:
U.S. Senator Ron Johnson: (920) 230-7250
U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin: (920) 498-2668


Tell your Wisconsin lawmakers to pass fair election maps.

Who to Contact:
State Senator Eric Wimberger: 608-266-5670
State Senator Robert Cowles: 608-266-0484
State Senator André Jacque: 608-266-3512
State Representative Kristina Shelton: 608-266-0616
State Representative John Macco: 608-266-0485
State Representative David Steffen: 608-266-5840
State Representative Shae Sortwell: 608-266-9870
State Representative Jim Steineke: 608-266-2418
State Representative Joel Kitchens: 608-266-5350

Statement: Brown County Democrats Call on Spring Candidates to Speak Out Against Transphobia

Wednesday, March 31, 2021
For immediate release

Green Bay — On International Trans Day of Visibility, the Democratic Party of Brown County reaffirms the inherent right of people of all genders to live with dignity and be treated with respect. The party calls on candidates in the April 6th Spring Election to show their support for the trans community and speak out against transphobic remarks made by a local conservative radio host about Rachel Maes for Circuit Court Judge, a candidate on the Spring ballot.

“Now is the time for candidates to demonstrate their leadership,” said Renée Gasch, Chair of the Democratic Party of Brown County. “We hope everyone in these nonpartisan races will join with the community in speaking out against bullying, violence, and discrimination against trans residents.”

This week, WTAQ host Joe Giganti of the Regular Joe Show launched a transphobic attack on Maes, a well-respected and highly qualified city attorney running against Judge Kendall Kelley. Maes’ grassroots campaign is the first time voters have had a choice in the race in close to 20 years.

But WTAQ’s Giganti chose not to focus on Maes’ resume or the community support she has garnered. Instead, he disparaged her gender identity. Among the insults, Giganti asked if listeners “really want to put somebody in that chair, and into those robes, that can’t figure out whether they are a male or a female” and then compared someone experiencing gender dysphoria to someone suddenly deciding they are King of England or a tree.

“The Regular Joe Show has a history of stirring up hatred and conspiracies in Brown County,” said Gasch. “The candidates and businesses sponsoring WTAQ should pull their advertising dollars immediately. Our community deserves better.”

Two Spring candidates, Angela Hoisington for De Pere Unified School Board and Rhonda Sitnikau for Green Bay School Board, are among the sponsors for the show. Others include Pella Windows and Doors, U.S. Cellular, and Community First Credit Union.

International Trans Day of Visibility designates March 31st as a day to recognize the contributions of the trans community and raise awareness about discrimination. The day comes as conservative attacks on trans people have escalated in recent weeks. Republicans have backed more bills targeting trans children, including one in Wisconsin that outlaws trans girls from playing on girls’ sports teams.

###

Contact: Renee Gasch, Chair@BrownCountyDems.com, 920-405-0455


COMMUNITY CALL TO ACTION

Post a Message of Support

Today is #TransDayofVisibility, a day to recognize the contributions of the trans community and speak out against discrimination. I’m proud to vote for @Rachel Maes for Circuit Court Judge in the Spring Election. She is a highly qualified and well-respected city attorney running to bring a fresh perspective to the local Circuit Court. When she is elected on April 6th, she will be the first trans judge to serve Brown County. Learn more about her campaign here: https://www.maesforjudge.com.

File a Complaint with WTAQ

Station Manager: jason.hillery@mwcradio.com 

File a Complaint with the FCC

https://consumercomplaints.fcc.gov/hc/en-us

Phone: 1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322); TTY: 1-888-TELL-FCC (1-888-835-5322); ASL: 1-844-432-2275

Mail (please include your name, address, contact information and as much detail about your complaint as possible):
Federal Communications Commission
Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau
Consumer Inquiries and Complaints Division
45 L Street NE
Washington, DC 20554


UPDATE

We all deserve to live in a community where we are treated with dignity—no matter our LGBTQ+ status, the color of our skin, or where our parents were born. We pledge to stand against hate in all its forms.

Thank you to everyone who participated in our community call to action to stand up for the trans community and defend a nonpartisan candidate, Rachel Maes for Circuit Court Judge, against recent hateful attacks by a local conservative radio host. And we thank Rhonda Sitnikau for Green Bay School Board for pulling her ads from the show. Unfortunately Angela Hoisington for De Pere School Board did not respond to our call to action, and Susan Netzel for De Pere recently joined the list of WTAQ sponsors.

It takes all of us to stand up to bullies and demand accountability. Thank you to those that demonstrated their leadership and stood in solidarity with the trans community.

Spring Election Guide

In the Spring election, voters will choose the state superintendent of public instruction, local judges and municipal and school boards. The Democratic Party of Brown County does not make endorsements in nonpartisan races, but here are a few races we are watching.

On the top of their Spring Election ballot, voters will find the statewide race for Superintendent of Public Instruction. The Democratic Party of Wisconsin has endorsed Dr. Jill Underly for State Superintendent over Deb Kerr

At our February Assembly of the Democratic Party of Brown County, Rachel Maes for Brown County Judge spoke about her campaign to provide a fresh perspective to the local circuit court. It’s the first time her opponent Judge Kendall Kelley has had a challenger in close to two decades. The other two circuit court judicial races are uncontested.

For Court of Appeals, Rick Cveykus, who also spoke at our February meeting, is running against conservative Judge Greg Gill, who is funded by far-right national donors.

There is also a Special Election in the 89th Assembly District to fill the seat vacated by John Nygrun a few weeks after being elected. Karl Jaeger is running as the Democrat against Republican Elijah Behnke. We are proud to support Jaeger’s campaign and his vision for clean water, affordable healthcare, and rural broadband!

School Boards

We do not currently endorse in local elections, but we are certainly impressed by so many local candidates stepping up to lead. Here are a few races we are watching.

In the Green Bay School District race, there are four candidates running for two seats: Andrew Becker, Bryan Milz, Nancy Welch, and Rhonda Sitnikau.

In West De Pere, Jamie Kinjerski is running for School Board against Ryan Van Den Heuvel. And in East De Pere, incumbents Jeff Mirkes and Dan Van Straten are being challenged by Angela Hoisington and Chad Jeskewitz for De Pere Unified School District.

In Pulaski, local teacher unions have endorsed Megan Mills-Koehler over Dan Novak as well as Jeromy Delebreau in an unopposed race.

Municipal Boards

On the ballot alongside Karl Jaeger in Northern Brown County is Nick Bonafilia for Suamico Trustee running against Michelle Eckert and Dan Roddan. 

Alder Jonathon Hansen is up for re-election to De Pere City Council against Susan Netzel and John Quigley is running unopposed for Casey Nelson’s former seat. 

In Ledgeview, Sachin Shivaram and Jennifer Nowicki are running for two open seats on the town board against Alan Matzke and Al Cheslock. 

Steve Kabaki is also running unopposed for trustee in Ashwaubenon.

If your local race wasn’t listed, join our BC Dems Facebook group to discuss candidates with members.

The Brown County Democrat – Spring 2021 Edition

The Brown County Democrat is a community newspaper featuring news and commentary from members of the Democratic Party of Brown County.

Debuting in Spring 2021, the paper helps Democrats amplify their voices and their vision for Wisconsin. In its debut issue, members share important analysis of Governor Evers’ budget proposals, issues in the Spring elections, and updates on local board decisions. Read the Spring 2021 digital edition of The Brown County Democrat here.

In tribute to our local community, we’ve named the paper The Brown County Democrat after a newspaper first published in the county a century ago. We are committed to honoring where we have been as we work together to shape where our community is going.

Members will receive a limited-edition, paper copy arriving with their Spring Voter Guide at their homes soon. We have funded a one-time print run to see if members would like to continue receiving the publication by mail or as a digital newspaper. You can chip in here to help fund mailing costs for members that have low access to the Internet.

Plus, we printed a few extra to leave at local businesses around town to help get our Democratic message out to the community. If you’d like to request a copy for your office, email Chair@BrownCountyDems.com.

And if you would like to contribute to the next issue of The Brown County Democrat, email at info@BrownCountyDems.com to pitch your ideas.

Thank you to all the party members who contributed to the Spring 2021 edition of The Brown County Democrat, especially Editor Robbie Phillips!

Statement: Brown County Democrats Stand in Solidarity with Green Bay Voters Targeted by the GOP

Friday, March 12, 2021
For immediate release

Green Bay – The Democratic Party of Brown County Wisconsin reaffirms its commitment to protecting the rights of all people to vote freely, fairly and safely in democratic elections. The party commends the City of Green Bay for leading one of the most well-run, highest turn-out elections in the city’s history despite the incredibly challenging circumstances of the pandemic. The recent right-wing attacks on Green Bay’s election results are based on misinformation and outright lies that are undermining our democracy.

“Democrats want all people to vote no matter the color of their skin, where they live, or if they have a disability,” said Democratic Party of Brown County Chair Renee Gasch. “The City of Green Bay went above and beyond to make sure residents could safely vote during the pandemic. It is truly a shame that the GOP is attacking our community and the hard-working election workers who put their lives on the line so people could participate in our democracy.”

Assembly Republicans on the Campaigns and Elections Committee organized a “hearing” Wednesday into Green Bay’s election results, which committee member Rep. Mark Spreitzer described as a “smear campaign.” The hearing was laced with racist, homophobic, and anti-democratic rhetoric, underscoring concerns that the real reason Green Bay is being targeted is because of its voters of color that frequently vote for Democrats.

“The GOP has a concerning pattern of trying to suppress the votes of communities of color because they know they cannot win their votes legitimately,” said Gasch. “Democrats stand in solidarity with the voters across Wisconsin who are being targeted by misinformation and voter suppression. We are focused on developing the policies that will improve the lives of everyday people––not throwing out their votes.”

Already in 2021, Governor Evers has included a proposal in his budget to fund automatic voter registration in Wisconsin, and House Democrats in Congress have passed the For the People Act, which would dramatically expand access to voting. Meanwhile, a recent bill by Wisconsin Republicans proposes to make it harder for voters who are indefinitely confined for medical reasons to vote absentee. Nationally, Republicans have introduced nearly 300 bills in almost every state to make it harder to vote. 

###

Contact:
Renee Gasch, Chair, (920) 366-3780 chair@browncountydems.com

Terry Lee, Vice Chair, (920) 664-6363 info@browncountydems.com 

Statement: Brown County Democrats Denounce Attacks on Green Bay’s Election by Wisconsin Republicans

Tuesday, March 9, 2021
For immediate release

Green Bay – The Democratic Party of Brown County Wisconsin would like to recognize the City of Green Bay’s election staff for its work administering a fair election and accurate count despite immense challenges in the November election. As a party, we denounce attacks casting doubt on the integrity of Green Bay’s election results. 

“All people deserve the right to vote freely, fairly and safely, and the City of Green Bay delivered on that promise in the fall election,” said Democratic Party of Brown County Chair Renee Gasch. “Republicans need to stop regurgitating dangerous conspiracies about the integrity of our elections and start focusing on governing our state through the pandemic.”

A judge ruled that Green Bay and other Wisconsin cities could use millions in grant money from a non-profit to help administer a safer and secure election in November. The money covered increased pay for election workers in a pandemic including additional PPE and protections, provided funds for five new secure absentee drop boxes around the city and helped promote voting and election information.

Green Bay, led by Mayor Eric Genrich, saw record turnout in the November election including the largest ever vote-by-mail program. Poll observers documented few lines or issues at polling locations, and for the first time ever, the central count in Green Bay was live streamed to the public to guarantee transparency.

The complaints about Green Bay’s election have come primarily from Republican state legislators outside of the city, and not the people of Green Bay. The most recent accusations levied by conservative media and top-ranking Republicans, including State Senate President Roger Roth, have already been dismissed by Wisconsin judges. Meanwhile, the only credible claims of election fraud have been Republicans attempting to manipulate the results in Donald Trump’s favor––including De Pere Alder Kelly Ruh, who is currently part of a Wisconsin Elections Commission investigation.

“While Republicans have been obsessing over conspiracies, Democrats have been working hard on actually improving people’s lives,” said Gasch. “Green Bay Assembly Representative Kristina Shelton has just co-authored an Economic Bill of Rights to ensure that people in our state can live with dignity, and Governor Evers has issued a forward-thinking budget to help people reduce their healthcare costs and bounce back from COVID-19.”

###

Contact:
Renee Gasch, Chair, (920) 366-3780 chair@browncountydems.com
Terry Lee, Vice Chair, (920) 664-6363 info@browncountydems.com 

Run for School Board. Yes, YOU!

Do you want to defend the common good and make sure all children have access to quality education? You need to run for school board! Despite all the attacks, public education is the last great equalizer in this country and being a school board member means you have the ability to protect that. Some people think schools should be run like a business, but children are not products to be mass produced. They are each unique and require quality schools and educators to nurture their talents. We are looking for people that understand the difference. If this is you, reach out today!

Kristin Lytie
Allouez
WEAC Region 3