Show Your Support for Fair, Representative Maps

On Thursday, October 29, you have the opportunity to testify on why you believe in the importance of nonpartisan, fair and representative maps at a public hearing held by the People’s Maps Commission. The hearing will take place virtually from 6 to 8:30 p.m.

The hearing is the second in a series of at least eight meetings, one for each of Wisconsin’s eight congressional districts. The focus of the hearing will be a retrospective of how Wisconsin’s maps were drawn in 2011, featuring Wisconsin’s Fifth Congressional District. Although this hearing will focus on the Fifth Congressional District, all Wisconsin residents are encouraged to watch and participate.

If you are interested in testifying, please register here. The deadline for registering to testify is Tuesday, October 27 at 5 p.m.

If you would like to comment but cannot make the hearing, you can submit a written comment here at any time before the hearing.

* Each speaker will have 3 minutes to speak. Registration is on a first-come, first-serve basis, with priority to residents of Wisconsin’s Fifth Congressional District.

Helpful Resources:

Every 10 years, each state redraws their legislative and congressional districts using data from the decennial census. In addition to the data from the 2020 U.S. Census, the Commission will use information gathered during the public hearing process to prepare new maps. It will then be up to the Legislature to take up and approve the maps created by the Commission.

Selected by a three judge panel, the Commission is a nine-member nonpartisan redistricting commission charged with drawing fair, impartial maps for the state of Wisconsin. More information about the Commission, its members and its activities is available here.

Universal Health Care in the U.S.

By Clete Delvaux, Green Bay

Here are some sobering thoughts gathered from the introduction of T. R. Reid’s 2009 book The Healing of America.

“Government and academic studies report that more than 20,000 die in the prime of life each year from medical problems that could be treated, because they can’t afford to see a doctor…. That doesn’t happen in any other developed country. Hundreds of thousands of Americans go bankrupt every year because of medical bills. That doesn’t happen in any other developed country either.” Now you might say that 2009 was more than ten years ago. Do you think things have changed in 2020? Not on your life!

Another source says that in the United States system of health care, 160 million or roughly half the population receives their medical insurance through their job. The Covid 19 pandemic has resulted in a tidal wave of job layoffs which could mean that up to 43 million workers could lose their health insurance. That won’t happen in any other developed country either, for they all have some form of universal health insurance. Reid in his ensuing chapters looks at the health care systems of these other developed countries. They all differ in what they offer their citizens, but every citizen is guaranteed health care.

Reid continues, “Efforts to change the [U.S. health] system tend to be derailed by arguments about ‘big government’ or ‘free enterprise’ or ‘socialism.’” Another factor I see in the run-up to this year’s presidential election is cost. Even Democrat presidential contender Joe Biden says that we cannot afford a universal health system! How is it that the acclaimed richest country in the world cannot afford to provide universal health care for its citizens when the other developed countries on earth do provide medical care for any one of its citizens who gets sick?

The answer is that the other developed countries have answered a basic moral question: Should they guarantee medical treatment to everyone who needs it? Do their citizens have a right to health care? The U.S. has so far ignored this moral question. It’s time for the U.S. to come down on the side of health care for all its citizens.

Top 10 reasons to fill out an Absentee Ballot request and Vote By Mail

By Dr John Warren

 1. It is SAFER with the pandemic around. 

 2. It is easy to have an absentee ballot mailed to your house. (go to

 3. You do not have to worry about long lines, bad weather and same day voting hassles. (Think April only worse)

 4. It IS safer with the pandemic around.

 5. You and a friend can witness each other’s ballots and send them in prior to the election.

 6. You do not need to wake up early on election day, shave or put makeup on, or find a parking space.

 7. It is safer with COVID-19 around. 

 8. You do not need to worry about rushing after a long day of work to get to polling place on time to vote

 9. You do not need to be worried about being kicked off the registered voter lists.

10. It IS SAFER with the PANDEMIC around!

One doctor’s perspective on COVID-19

By Dr. John Warren, Green Bay

We are all very tired of hearing and worrying about COVID-19 and are ready to have our lives return to normal as soon as possible. Unfortunately, we cannot wish this virus away. No one can predict the future, however physicians and scientists expect this virus to be around until an effective vaccine is developed. It clearly is not a “flu” virus as noted by the already 100,000+ deaths from this virus. 

The death rate is dropping, which is good. Medical doctors are getting better at treating this virus.  The infection rate is variable, obviously helped by the social distancing we all are doing. However, the basic facts persist.  This virus is still active throughout the USA and remains more deadly to older people and those with multiple health issues but may be lethal for anyone, regardless of age and health. 

Choosing lower risk activities when those options are available is the best choice for everyone.  This will be especially important this winter when we all congregate indoors again. No one expects the virus to disappear this winter. Voting absentee (Voting By Mail) is clearly a safer, lower risk, option for everyone.  We are fortunate to have this option in our state.  Please use it. 

Dr. John Warren


Video with information on the Fair Maps Referendum AND a petition to sign!


Ask them to put a referendum on the statewide Fall ballot. Last meeting the supervisors said they haven’t heard from you – let’s change that!

Generation of Opportunity

Generation of Opportunity

Paul Bartlett,  Allouez, WI

My wife and I are in our young 70’s and are fortunate to have been born into the generation of opportunity. With a little ambition, our futures were rosy. College tuition was generally well within reach; housing costs (own or rent) were affordable; unemployment was low; opportunity abounded.

We were not the generation of privilege, but the working class generation of opportunity. We were the children of the greatest generation. My dad and my wife’s dad served in WWII and made our futures possible.

How things have changed. The national economy and stock market have sucked-up all of this president’s attention and carved out my generation as non productive and marginally valuable.

Today, America’s seniors have become the expendable generation. Look no further than America’s senior group housing — a breeding ground for COVID19 — and a killing field. In many hospitals and nursing homes, senior COVID19 patients are separated and isolated, many left alone to die.

How sad. My generation created the opportunity for all that followed. This is a national disgrace. And the buck stops at The White House.

Together We All Rise

Letters to Everyone

Jarrett Brown is a factory worker, activist, and voter. He resides in Green Bay, Wisconsin

Employee Triumphs Over Large Company, Labor Union

In August of 2019, a lady was suspended without cause from a plant in Kansas. Later in the year, while still on suspension, she was fired. The company had absolutely no evidence of any kind that showed that the lady violated any rule, regulation, or law. She was apparently retaliated against because she organized her coworkers in the past to improve working conditions.

The labor union was not taking action on her grievance and didn’t even complete an investigation. The lady didn’t know what to do. She had heard about a guy who writes stuff about workers’ rights online so she started looking for him. It took her a while to find him because she didn’t know his name or anything about him.

The guy was me. After talking to her, I quickly realized what happened to her and I knew that she hadn’t been treated fairly. Over the next few months, I spent 100+ hours teaching her about workers’ rights, the grievance process, the union, the companies, and the government. I also translated documents and helped her compose correspondence with the labor union and company.

She prepared herself and took her case to the National Labor Relations Board. She filed Unfair Labor Practices charges against the company and the labor union.

All of a sudden, the company and the labor union wanted to resolve the situation. She settled her case after the company agreed to backpay her for approximately seven months of lost wages and return her to her position.

Before the lady called me I had never talked to her. I knew nothing about her. I helped her because she was wronged by one of the largest agricultural companies in the world. What happened to her wasn’t right and I wanted to help her win even though we live around 900 miles apart. She deserved justice and she got it because she was brave enough to fight and tough enough to not quit.

The moral of the story is that it is important to stand up for yourself and others. In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, ”Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” #Solidarity

Do the Right Thing

Decarceration Day of of Action Virtual Rally

By Mark Smith, Oconto

Stores out of numerous products. Churches and schools closed. Yet nationwide, there are a million+ people stuck in jails today, many only because they can’t afford bail. Another million+ are in prisons. Add in caged immigrants and asylum seekers. 10 million+ American citizens cycle through revolving-door jails every year, bringing big money to government and business. This is unsustainable, particularly in a world preoccupied by the worst pandemic since 1918.

These caged prisoners cannot self-isolate. Basic hygiene is limited. Proper soap, water, disinfectant, and medical care are often unavailable. Institutional food with inadequate nutrition is daily fare for this captive group with generally poor health. Prisons and jails are notorious for spreading disease due to close proximity and poor conditions.

Wisconsin has some of the highest incarceration rates in the country and just recently, efforts were made to lock up even more people in a 21st century where no one, let alone American citizens, should be in overcrowded cages anywhere. Into this environment comes COVID-19.

It is time for compassionate release of and expedited parole hearings for the elderly, the infirm, and the nonviolent with ridiculously long sentences. Nonviolent individuals not found guilty of anything except being poor should not be jailed, period.

For the few incorrigibly violent, we need ready access to free communication methods, news sources, no-fee financial accounts, profit-free items, and fully-staffed, proper medical care with waived copays. Basically, we need to treat others as we would treat ourselves.

What would Jesus do?

Update from Rep Gruszynski

As I mentioned in my update at the monthly meeting, in the month of February we have voted on nearly 300 bills during only three floor days in the span of just ten days. With all of that work, there are a few big projects that we have been able to get across the finish line in the Assembly with broad, bi-partisan support that will be wins for the 90th Assembly District and will bring major improvements to the environment as well as the economy of Green Bay. There is also one bad PFAs bill that was introduced by Assembly Republicans in the dead of the night that we need the Senate to vote against. If you care about these projects please you’re your state senator. We can’t afford to fall behind on fighting PFAs in Northeast WI.

Senate Bill 295 – Cole piles are an issue that has plagued downtown Green Bay for decades. Moving this bill through the Senate will be good for our environment and our local economy. SB295 would provide Green Bay with a harbor assistance grant of 1.5 million dollars in order to make improvements related to port expansion and relocation of coal piles. This funding would allow Green Bay to repair the aging dock walls, replace a bollard and be the largest port expansion on the Great Lakes in two generations with an estimated 200 million dollars in economic impact. After receiving bi-partisan support in the Assembly, and support from the City of Green Bay, this bill has been in a holding pattern in the Senate for three months.

Senate Bill 721 – Tourism is an economic driver in our community, creating important jobs and bringing in an estimated 5.7 million annual visitors. That has an incredible impact on our community with over a billion dollars of economic impact. This bill would provide the Greater Green Bay Convention and Visitor Bureau with an interest free loan to complete the funding for the construction of a new visitor and education center. With countless stakeholders in this project and much to be gained, this bill has passed the Assembly and it is important that the Senate gets this bill scheduled for a vote so it can be sent to the Governor’s desk.

Senate Bill 559 – Protecting Wisconsin families from the harmful effects of PFAS should be at the top of everyone’s priorities in Wisconsin. Sadly, this bill does nothing but hurt Wisconsin communities where PFAS are an extremely concerning issue. Rather than bringing the preferred CLEAR Act to a vote, or even the compromise bills AB842 and AB843, Assembly Republicans attached a poison pill amendment. With the amendment added this bill will significantly undermine the department of health and add redundancy in the DNR’s process. The CLEAR Act would have provided funding that they need for more testing and staff, and tools for remediation and protecting local communities. We also need to match the aggressive standards for PFAs that have been put forward by other states. We cannot move backwards on this emerging contaminant PFAs and I urge you to call your Senator and tell them to vote NO.

Manitowoc factory CEO: How Trump ‘trade chaos’ kills jobs in Wisconsin manufacturing Sachin Shivaram

Sachin Sevaram

“While a handful of primary metal producers benefited from trade protections, the rest of us further down the supply chain faced higher costs that hurt our competitiveness vs. rivals from countries that have lower metal costs.”

“Recession in the heavy manufacturing sector has dragged Wisconsin’s economic growth to among the slowest in the country.”

For USA TODAY NETWORK-WisconsinPublished 12:43 p.m. CT Jan. 15, 2020The manufacturing sector in the U.S. is in recession. Data released last week by the Institute for Supply Management showed that manufacturing activity has contracted for the fifth consecutive month, marking the worst performance since the depths of the Great Recession 10 years ago.

Here in Wisconsin the manufacturing recession is particularly palpable. Manufacturing accounts for over 15% of employment and nearly 20% of economic output. Employment in the sector has plunged in the past six months as demand for a range of manufactured goods has dried up. Indeed, in our business we laid off more than 10% of our employees late last year because we simply did not have enough orders to keep everyone busy.

Wisconsin manufacturers specialize in heavy equipment. Think tractors, mining equipment, engines — stuff that requires a lot of steel and aluminum. So, it may be especially surprising that Wisconsin manufacturers are not doing well even as President Trump has mounted a two-year campaign to protect the domestic metals and manufacturing industry through a host of trade barriers. The centerpiece of the president’s trade policy was a 25% tariff on imported steel and 10% on imported aluminum.

A groundbreaking paper published by the Federal Reserve last week confirms what many of us in manufacturing quietly suspected: Tariffs have hurt the very companies they were aimed to help. Only one of every six jobs in the metals industry is directly related to the primary production of metal — i.e. the people who melt raw materials and make new steel and aluminum. The other five jobs are related to using that metal to make things.

While a handful of primary metal producers benefited from trade protections, the rest of us further down the supply chain faced higher costs that hurt our competitiveness vs. rivals from countries that have lower metal costs.

But it’s about more than tariffs. It’s about uncertainty. From the vantage point of a small manufacturing business in Wisconsin, our national trade policy looks misguided and unreliable. It does not reflect how businesses actually make decisions. CEOs across America are increasingly worried about recession due to trade issues.

Businesses invest when they can calculate that they will earn a good financial return. A good investment project in our industry is one that returns 20% per year, which means that many good investments take five years or more just to recoup the initial cost. When uncertainty prevails, business investment seizes up.

The decline in business investment is a double whammy for Wisconsin. Like companies across the country, Wisconsin businesses have held back investments, which in turn reduces economic growth and employment. But even more importantly, when businesses invest, they buy precisely the types of capital goods that are our specialty here in Wisconsin: Air compressors, machines, cranes, turbines and the like.

Recession in the heavy manufacturing sector has dragged Wisconsin’s economic growth to among the slowest in the country.

So here we are, in the midst of the worst manufacturing environment of the past decade, not coincidentally following two years of the president trying to help us. Now we are seeing financial markets buoyed by headlines heralding a “Phase 1” trade deal with China, but details on what that means are scant other than that it has “great stuff in it.” The difficult realities of manufacturing in America have not materially changed.

If our aim is to create a better economy for American manufacturing, we must start by recognizing that the past two years of activity on trade policy has not meant progress. And we certainly should not celebrate the cessation of self-inflicted trade chaos as the end we were seeking