Dear fellow Wisconsin Democrats,
All eyes are on the Badger State.
Last week, vice chair Felesia Martin and I joined our state’s DNC members—Janet Bewley, Martha Love, Mahlon Mitchell, Khary Penebaker, Jason Rae, and Andrew Werthmann—to travel to the Democratic National Committee meeting in San Francisco.
While there, I spoke to all of the leading presidential candidates and/or their top campaign staff—including Warren, Biden, Sanders, Buttigieg, Harris, and Booker—about our state. I also met with DNC chair Tom Perez and Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Every single one of them recognized our state’s importance in 2020. They want to help. And they’re counting on us.
The running joke, which probably twenty people said to me: “No pressure.”
The truth is, there is pressure, and that’s okay. It’s because what we’re doing is important. Our job is to organize like we’ve never organized before. Our whole team is aligned—on the Democratic Party of Wisconsin staff, in all 72 of our counties, and in every neighborhood across our state. We can’t take anyone for granted, or write anyone off. We’ve got to fight for every vote.
As former Obama communications director Dan Pfeiffer put it to me on Pod Save America this week (see below for a link to the episode!): Wisconsin is the center of the political universe. Whoever wins Wisconsin becomes president. And we know that there’s even more on the line than that—our state Supreme Court, the governor’s veto (threatened by Republican dreams of a supermajority), and, now, the 7th Congressional district. We’ll be fighting on every front.
We’re going to do this, and we’re going to do it together. Forward!
FIGHT on the Issues:
Milwaukee is hurting after yet another act of senseless gun violence has torn the community apart.
Quanita ‘Tay’ Jackson had just organized a youth basketball tournament on Milwaukee’s north side to promote peace in her neighborhood. She was only twenty years old, but Tay had involved herself in a number of local organizations working to improve young people’s lives in Milwaukee. People close to her described her as a fighter.
Just 24 hours later, Tay became a victim of the violence she had been working so hard to eradicate from her community.
Our hearts go out to Tay’s family and friends who are dealing with such a tragic loss. Tay should still be with us, but her memory will undoubtedly live on in the hearts and minds of those who carry her torch forward. We at the Democratic Party of Wisconsin will be right beside them, standing in solidarity.
On an average day, 100 Americans are shot and killed with a gun, and hundreds more are injured. While mass shootings are no doubt horrifying, most gun violence is happening right here in our own communities in everyday settings. It’s why we need commonsense gun safety reform like Gov. Evers has proposed, particularly universal background checks.
No one law will end gun violence. But we have to start somewhere, for the sake of our families, friends, and neighbors like Tay. If you’re interested in supporting Tay’s family in this trying time, they have set up a Go Fund Me page to raise money for Tay’s memorial.
Take the time today to call your legislator and ask that they support Democrats’ bill to extend background checks to all gun purchases in Wisconsin.
Trump’s Economy is Hurting Wisconsin
Wisconsin farmers, workers, businesses and families are all hurting from Trump’s tax scam and reckless trade policies. He’s shelled out over $1 trillion to the ultra-wealthy while working people have seen their jobs outsourced and wages remain stagnant. His trade war with China is decimating Wisconsin industries, pushing our nation closer to the brink of a recession every day.
That’s why Representatives Ron Kind, Gwen Moore and Mark Pocanreleased a joint statement condemning Trump’s gross mismanagement of our economy. Here’s a round-up of all the press coverage we received.
Wisconsinites just aren’t getting ahead in Trump’s economy. It’s why a plurality of voters think the economy is getting worse under his leadership. As we head into 2020, it’s crucial that we continue to show voters that Trump’s failed economic policies caused the pain they’re feeling.
INCLUDE & RESPECT
Women Fighting for Women
The Wisconsin Women’s Network marked the 99th birthday of women’s right to vote in Wisconsin with their annual Equality Day panel on Monday, featuring a group of extraordinary women leaders who are fighting for women’s bodily autonomy and the empowerment of Black women and girls, and fighting against issues like sex trafficking and the shackling of incarcerated women during childbirth.
Their panel coincided with the 99th birthday of women’s right to vote in Wisconsin. We can’t forget that it wasn’t too long ago that women won many of the basic rights they hold today, and we’re still fighting to protect many of those freedoms today.
A special shout-out to the Vice President of the Wisconsin Women’s Network Board, TR Wiliams, who did a terrific job moderating the night’s panel!
MILWAUKEE’S MEXICAN FIESTA
Ben had a great time recruiting volunteers at Mexican Fiesta in Milwaukee on Sunday with DPW Latino Caucus chair Carmen Cabrera, our new South Milwaukee Regional Organizing Director Jackie Smith, Milwaukee County Register of Deeds Issy Ramon, Milwaukee Dems chair Chris Walton, and Ben’s kids Mac and Suzy Lynn!
Did you know the Latino community is the the fastest growing group of voters in Wisconsin? There are 370,000 Latinos in Wisconsin!
EMPOWER the Grassroots
Battle of the North Woods:
Special Election in WI-07
Folks, we’ve got a special election just around the corner.
On Monday, Rep. Sean Duffy announced he would be resigning from his seat effective 9/23. That means Gov. Evers will have to call a special election to fill the seat, and we have yet another opportunity to organize our friends and neighbors in northwestern Wisconsin.
There’s no getting around the fact that this will be a tough race. Republicans gerrymandered the 7th Congressional District to be safely red. But they didn’t count on the grassroots energy growing in the north. People power is on our side, and we’re going to fight for every vote.
We’re going to need to activate our grassroots network to contact every voter we can. While a date for the special election hasn’t been announced yet, we’re not letting that stop us from gearing up for a tough race — on Tuesday we officially hired our new North Central Regional Organizing Director, Austyn Zarda!
Austyn is a Rhinelander native and graduate of UW-Stevens Point with a political science degree. Additionally Austyn was a member of the College Democrats, organizing in 2016 and 2018. Austyn’s turf will include a significant portion of the 7th congressional district. Welcome to the team, Austyn!
Are you planning or considering a run for office? The National Democratic Training Committee and DPW will be hosting a BLUE BENCH TRAINING DAY on September 28th, where we’ll be teaching crucial skills in media, field work, fundraising, and management.
Our Blue Bench Training Day will give you the tools to not only start, but to WIN. If this sounds good to you, click here to RSVP!
If you haven’t already, tune in to Monday’s episode of Pod Save America to hear Chair Wikler talk to Dan Pfeiffer about what we’re doing in Wisconsin to empower our grassroots network ahead of 2020!
On Friday, September 6, Chair Wikler will be attending Rep. Ron Kind’s annual corn roast in La Crosse.
If you’re interested in hearing Chair Wikler and the Republican Party of Wisconsin’s Chair Andrew Hitt talk about the 2020 election, join us at the Madison Club for a Wispolitics Luncheon on September 12 from 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM. You can purchase tickets here.