Dear fellow Democrats,
I’m writing from the Democratic National Committee meeting in San Francisco. One thing here is absolutely clear: all eyes are on Wisconsin.
Reporters are stopping our Wisconsin team in the hallway everywhere we go.
Here’s DNC member Khary Penebaker being interviewed:
And here I am with the chairs of the Florida and Nevada state parties—after a briefing in a room full of national journalists who peppered us with questions about the fight in our battleground states:
And leaders from DNC chair Tom Perez to Speaker Nancy Pelosi to our presidential candidates are meeting with us to talk Wisconsin strategy as well.
All of us Wisconsinites have a superpower: we’ll have the ability to stop Trump. And with great power comes great responsibility. It’s exciting to see Wisconsin on the national stage. But it will be even more exciting to come back home to Wisconsin and jump back into the fight—because it’s what happens on the ground at the grassroots level, in our state that will shape the future of not only Wisconsin, but the world.
Proud to be on the team with you,
P.S. — Be sure to tune in to Pod Save America on Monday…
FIGHT on the Issues:
Universal Background Checks NOW
As the national debate on gun safety reform continues to dominate the news cycle, President Trump has proven he’s incapable of publicly sustaining a single stance on universal background checks for more than 24 hours.
In the wake of mass shootings in Dayton and El Paso, Trump seemed to be supportive of implementing “very meaningful background checks.” But in true Trump fashion, once the NRA got in his ear, Trump backed off. Then just days ago, Trump flip-flopped once again, suggesting he might be in favor of stricter background checks, but that it could be a “slippery slope.”
No one knows where Trump’s head will be at by the end of the weekend. But what we do know is that he’s broken his promises to voters more times than we can count. All we can do is continue to put pressure on Trump and Republicans until they do the right thing and bring gun safety legislation before Congress.
And that’s just what we’re doing. On Friday Chair Ben Wikler held a press call with College Dems Chair Kami Yelk and high school student activist Lydia Hester to call out the GOP’s inaction on this matter of life and death.
Our children and young people shouldn’t have to worry about mass shooters when they’re in the classroom—or about gun violence anywhere in their communities. But the GOP refuses to enact simple safety measures that are supported by the overwhelming majority of Americans in both parties, gun-owning and non-gun-owning alike. When will Republicans finally say ‘enough is enough’?
Gov. Evers, Lt. Gov Barnes, AG Kaul, Sen. LaTonya Johnson and Rep. Melissa Sargent introduced legislation last week to extend background checks to all gun sales in Wisconsin.You can take action right now — call your legislator and demand they support Democrats’ commonsense gun safety reform: 1-800-362-947. Republicans will only come to the negotiation table if they feel pressure from their constituents!
Black Women’s Equal Pay Day
This Thursday was Black Women’s Equal Pay Day — the day Black women in Wisconsin will have finally earned as much as their white male counterparts did in the previous year. That’s 233 extra days. And it’s unacceptable.
The racial and gendered disparities in our workforce and economy are stark, and they put women of color at a significant disadvantage when it comes to saving money for retirement. Every single one of us needs to be working to right these wrongs. When we create a more equitable and just society for Black women, everyone in our community benefits.
INCLUDE and RESPECT:
Back to School with College Dems
Chair Wikler had the distinct honor of meeting the executive board of our Wisconsin College Dems last weekend where they shared with Ben their goals and plans for the upcoming year.
We can’t wait to partner with our College Dems team to engage college-aged voters — all too often we either take young people’s vote for granted or don’t work hard enough to give them the resources to vote in the first place. That stops now with the help of our new Youth Organizing Director, Briana! (More about Briana and her role below).
New DNC Rural Outreach Director
One wonderful aspect of the Democratic National Committee its focus on Democratic values of inclusivity. Chair Wikler, Vice Chair Felesia Martin, and our state’s DNC delegation have been meeting with leaders from across the coalition, including the DNC’s new directors of tribal outreach, African-American outreach, youth outreach, rural outreach—among many others. All of them have Wisconsin on their minds! Here’s chair Wikler with Libby Schneider, director of rural outreach, who will be visiting Wisconsin later this month.
EMPOWER the Grassroots:
Meet our new Youth Organizing Director
We’re excited to announce the hire of our new Youth Organizing Director Briana Koerth! Brianna just finished up her senior year at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and most recently served as the Chair of the College Democrats of Wisconsin. Previously, she has interned for Tammy Baldwin for Senate and the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. Welcome to the team, Briana!
Tammy’s Annual BBQ
Over 300 people came to support Tammy Baldwin at her 12th annual BBQ and hear about the shared vision for the future of the party from Chair Wikler, AG Josh Kaul, Treasurer Sarah Godlewski and of course, Sen. Tammy Baldwin. When they asked if the room was ready for the fight to come, the answer was resounding: “yes!”
On Sunday Chair Wikler will be attending Milwaukee’s Mexican Fiesta where he’ll celebrate Milwaukee’s Hispanic and immigrant community.
On Monday he’ll join Outagamie Dems at their annual corn roast! Find more info here.
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.