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Date: 1/20/2021
Subject: January 20, 2021 News Update
From: LWV of La Crosse

January 20, 2021 News Update

Upcoming League Events...
the who, what, where, when, and how to attend LWVLA events 
February Lunch & Learn
Tuesday, February 9
11:30 AM - 1 PM

Women's Health Legislation in Wisconsin
Courtney Hayward, Government Relations Specialist at Planned Parenthood of WI
Courtney will present information about upcoming women's health policy and legislation in Wisconsin. 

Register for our virtual Lunch & Learn through our new calendar system by clicking on the button. You will receive an email confirmation that includes the Zoom link for our meeting.
Recordings of previous League program are available here.
We hope you can join us for the International Women's Day celebration sponsored by the AAUW.

Speaking of Democracy
Join the Conversation
LWVLA Book Club

Monday, January 25
6:30 - 8:00 pm


Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Tell You Everything You Need to Know About Global Politics
by Tim Marshall
"In ten, up-to-date maps of each region, Marshall explains in clear and engaging prose the complex geo-political strategies of these key parts of the globe. What does it mean that Russia must have a navy, but also has frozen ports six months a year? How does this affect Putin’s treatment of Ukraine? How is China’s future constrained by its geography? Why will Europe never be united? Why will America never be invaded? Shining a light on the unavoidable physical realities that shape all of our aspirations and endeavors, Prisoners of Geography is the critical guide to one of the major (and most often overlooked) determining factors in world history."

Book Club is meeting virtually. The link below will take you to our Events calendar. Click on the Book Club entry for registration on the Event page. A Zoom link will be sent to you in your confirmation email.
The next book will be "Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants"  by Robin Wall Kimmerer. The Book Club will meet on Monday, February 22. Background information about this book and links to several online events with Ms. Kimmerer can be found here.

2021 Election News

February 16 Spring Primary
January 27 is the deadline to register online or by mail.
 State and Local Races:
State School Superintendent
City of La Crosse Mayor
Holmen School Board
Town of Campbell Supervisor #3
Town of Holland Board Chairperson
Request Absentee Ballot Here

Get Involved...
opportunities to volunteer or to join one of our teams--
help us defend democracy and empower voters.  
Our Team Needs You:
Can You Help Develop Our Voter Guide?

Need: Volunteers to make phone calls to candidates for local office inviting them to participate in the voter guide and respond to a candidate profile survey that will be emailed to them directly.
Vote411 is another tool in the LWV toolbox to empower voters and defend democracy. The La Crosse League joined the platform for local offices in 2020. Over 2300 voters from La Crosse County and almost 98,000 statewide used the voter information website in 2020. If you have time to make some phone calls, please join our team! We also invite volunteers with an interest in technology to learn about managing the platform used by the LWV US and local leagues across the country.

Take Action...

let your representatives hear from you in support of League priorities.

FairMaps Email Request
Please join the LWVWI this week in an effort
to ask our representatives to support Fair Maps!
We all know lawmakers are less responsive to their constituents when they draw the maps that ensure their own re-election, also known as gerrymandering. Across the state, there is broad support to end gerrymandering: referenda and resolutions show that over 70 percent of Wisconsin voters want a nonpartisan map-drawing process. However, in the last mapping process in 2011, the lawmakers in power ignored public opinion and gerrymandered the maps to stay in power.

By law, maps will be drawn in 2021. Now is the time to make our voices heard and show our support for a nonpartisan mapping process. Every vote must count and legislators should be held accountable.

Beginning today, advocates of nonpartisan redistricting, including members of the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin, the Fair Maps Coalition Grassroots Team, and others, will begin a campaign of email messages to state legislators demanding a nonpartisan, non-gerrymandered mapping process in 2021. Please join us so that legislators hear from their constituents from all over the state!

Contact your legislators today by customizing the email template provided by the LWVWI to express your concerns about the impacts of partisan gerrymandering. Click on the link below for talking points, suggestions, and a template prepared fore mailing to your representatives.
Fair Maps Email Template Here

Please help us to encourage our local candidates
to participate in Vote411.
The Vote411 Voter Guide will be published on January 25, and invitations to participate have been sent to all the candidates in our local races for the Spring Primary on 2/16. If you know any of the candidates running in these races, please encourage them to participate by completing the candidate survey for our local voters guide.
Let them know that over 2000 La Crosse area voters visited Vote411 for the 2020 elections. Their completed candidate surveys will help voters make an informed decision about who will best represent their interests.  
Our La Crosse area has four local races in the February 16 Primary Election. The candidates for those races are:
  • La Crosse Mayor: Katherine Blanchard, Martin Gaul, Zebulon Kemp, Joe Konradt, Vicki Markussen, Jessica Olson, Mitch Reynolds, Greg Soliaris, Sam Schneider, Chris Stolpa
  • Holmen School Board: Jennifer Dieck, Amber Hackman, Chris Lau, Jeffrey Powell, Jennifer C. Westlie
  • Town of Holland Board Chairperson: Ben Fitter, Chad Kosin, Bob Stupi
  • Town of Campbell Supervisor #3: Bruce Becker, Abby P. Siakpere, Ralph Thoren 
Check Us Out...
in each of the next few Updates, we'll focus on explaining or demonstrating some of the features of our new website and the Club Express system. 
Please check our calendar for League events and for nonpartisan community events that reflect the mission and values of the League. Hover on a specific event for more a brief description of the event, or click on it for more specific information.
To see our event calendar in the month view, click on "Calendar" in our menu at the top of the page. Click on events for more details.
For Your Consideration...
local events, virtual events, viewing and reading suggestions that reflect the League's mission and priorities. Please send us your recommendations.
An Evening with Isabel Wilkerson
Date: Jan 25th
Time: 6 PM
Format: Virtual

UW-Madison is hosting An Evening with Isabel Wilkerson. Wilkerson is the author of “Caste” and “The Warmth of Other Suns,” and she is the first African-American woman to win a Pulitzer Prize in journalism.
Join Sam Scinta and Rick Kyte
as they go in search of ideas for restoring American civic virtue.

Find them on Apple Podcasts.

Invitation to Study Ranked Choice Voting
with the LWV of Dane County
The League of Women Voters of Dane County (LWVDC) will also be studying Ranked Choice Voting, one of the proposals for proportional representation that Sara Eskrich will be discussing at our January Lunch & Learn. LWVDC is inviting members of our League to share information and participate in events from their study of this issue. 
You may wish to attend a virtual Q&A sponsored by the LWVDC on Wednesday, January 25, at 5:30 p.m. with Sara and Kendra Hartman, an advisor to Democracy Found, to discuss the concepts introduced in "The Politics Industry" by Katherine Gehl and Michael Porter.  Kendra works for the Institute for Political Innovation, a nonprofit devoted to promoting Final Five Voting nationally. 
The virtual Q&A session is open to anyone, but registration is required.
To prepare for this meeting we suggest reading "The Politics Industry" by Katherine Gehl and Michael Porter.

Alternatively, you may want to watch an interview of the authors if you do not have time to read the book. There's one on C-SPAN from September 5, 2020 located here. 

IM Education Offers Community Civics Classes at Viterbo

In 2021 IM Education, an Onalaska-based nonprofit, in cooperation with Viterbo’s D.B. Reinhart Institute for Ethics and Leadership will be offering a series of community classes.
Sam Scinta, founder and president and also an associate lecturer in political science at UW La Crosse and an adjunct instructor at Viterbo University, said development of the programs has progressed over the past several months, but the current political climate has reinforced the need for such community programming.

Titled Rebuilding American Civics, the sessions will be free and open to the public. Four sessions will be offered in the spring, on February 3, February 17, March 3 and March 17; they will run from 6:30-8 p.m. and will initially be offered online via Zoom (in-person classes will be offered starting in the summer and fall).

Anyone interested will find more information and can sign up on the website of the D.B. Reinhart Institute for Ethics in Leadership.
--from The La Crosse Tribune, 12/16/20

Help us defend democracy and empower voters.

Contact Us:
PO Box 363
La Crosse, WI 54602