Sunday, March 4, 2012

10 Reasons to Be in Madison WI on March 10

Tens of thousands of people will gather in Madison on Saturday, March 10 to mark the one-year anniversary of Gov. Walker’s signing of Act 10 that ended collective bargaining rights from over 100,000 public sector workers in Wisconsin.

Busloads of people from across the state will converge on Madison for a 2 PM rally. (To reserve your seat on a free bus from Milwaukee go to or call 414-259-1990.)

Here are 10 reasons why you should come to Madison on March 10:

1) Collective bargaining is a basic civil and human right guaranteed by the United Nation’s Declaration of Human Rights. Wisconsin was the first state to guarantee it for public workers in 1959. That right should be restored.

2) Walker enacted the largest cuts to education in the history of the state – nearly $1 billion  – harming hundreds of thousands of children and students. He did this while writing a blank check for the expansion of the private school voucher program. 

3) Walker cut over $500 million from the BadgerCare program endangering health care insurance coverage for tens of thousands of people.

4) Walker’s policies lost Wisconsin more private sector jobs than any other state in the nation in the last six months. While Walker blamed the high jobless rate on a lack of trained workers, he severely cut funds to state technical colleges (30% cut in general aid) and to the University of Wisconsin.

5) Walker refused $810 million in federal aid for high-speed rail, setting back mass transportation for decades and sacrificing thousands of potential jobs.

6) Despite claims of budget shortfalls, Walker and the Republican-controlled legislature passed tax breaks for corporations and the rich that come to $2.3 billion in the next ten years. 

7) Walkers supported an anti-environmental mining bill and expressed his willingness to sell off Wisconsin wetlands.

8) Walker decided to divert $25.6 millions of federal funds for people in need of home mortgage relief into the general state budget. 

9) Walker replaced state civil service jobs with patronage appointments. Given that four of Walker’s staff and appointees while he was Milwaukee County Executive have been charged with felonies and misdemeanors, this should give one pause.

10) Walker signed an unnecessary and burdensome voter photo-ID bill that might disenfranchise tens of thousands of people. Most of those disenfranchised — the poor, the elderly, people of color — tend to vote Democratic.

Wait! There are more than 10 reasons to be in Madison on March 10 – here are some sent to me by my colleagues
  • For my daughter and for all my neighbors’ daughters and sons.
  • To be a voice for equality.
  •   Because my 8th grade students asked me to be there.
  • To be a voice for the most vulnerable...and/or those who do not have a voice- Kids and people with special needs who need health care!
  • To stand up for myself; all that I have dedicated myself to, sacrificed for, and contracted for. Supporting a morally- conscious society.
  • To stand up for my profession, colleagues, school, and community.
  •  Solidarity.
  • To be with friends and like-minded people.
  • For future generations.
  •  To feel that collective energy and power. To see and hear we ARE still being supported.
  •   Because with all my heart I believe in public education.
  • Because I love the beauty of Wisconsin. I love its glaciated and un-glaciated lands, its big cities, its towns and its rural areas, its rivers and lakes, its ice and snow, and its hot, humid summers. I will be in Madison because I love Wisconsin's children and Scott Walker will NOT take away their right to experience the Wisconsin I love!
  • A school that isn't good enough for MY child is not good enough for ANY child and we need to make every school better than good enough for EVERY child.
  • It’s fun!
— — —
In case you missed it— two articles of note:
First, my opinion piece in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Crossroads on Sunday challening the latest pro-voucher report.

Second, a great article: ‘A Smart ALEC threatens public education.” Published in the March Phi Delta Kappan, the article is by Julie Underwood, dean of the School of Education at UW Madison, and Julie Mean, chair of the Department of Education Leadership and Policy Analysis at UW-Madison.

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