The Workers' Rights Center held a picket at La Baguette on the westside of Madison on Tuesday, June 3. Two weeks ago, a former cook from the French bakery on the far west side, came to the WRC because his employer said he would not give him his last check because he didn't give two weeks' notice when he quit. When the WRC staff person called the business, the owner acknowledged that they were not paying the worker his last two weeks' pay because he did not give them enough notice.
Between February and May WNPJ did trainings with multiple youth organizations in Madison and Milwaukee where they got a chance to create their own federal discretionary budget and discuss the priorities of their communities. This was part of a broader effort to encourage youth to make a video about what they would do with $1 Trillion if the could spend it on their communities.
(Photo: East Madison Community Center)
Photo: Defenders of the Harvest and Education Learning Project protest against mining at an Iron County Board meeting in 2013
Resolutions calling on the state to repeal the 2013 iron mining law, refuse any mining permits to Gogebic Taconite on state constitutional grounds, and undertake greater monitoring and oversight of air emissions at frac sand mines were each introduced by citizens at the Conservation Congress Spring Hearings in more than a third of Wisconsin's 72 counties, and passed by at least a 2:1 margin statewide! This huge success was due to the efforts of dozens of people around the state--many of whom had never been to a Conservation Congress hearing before this year--coordinated by WNPJ and the Sierra Club.
Members of the Wisconsin Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars and Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice organized a statewide lobby week against drone warfare during which time visits or calls were made to all eight Congressional offices around the state between January 15-21 as we commemorated the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., prophet for peace and nonviolence.
Two scary bills fail to reach votes in the state Senate and Assembly. Click on the titles to read the whole stories.
Mining bill headed back to drawing board. Sen. Tom Tiffany is taking Senate Bill 349 back to the drawing board after a ten hours of testimony from environmentalists and local governments. The bill would have severely limited the control that local governments could exert over frac sand and other non-mettalic mining operations in their jurisdictions. Tiffany plans to revamp the legislation and reintroduce it, though probably not for another year. Kim Lamoreaux, Baraboo News Republic, 10/30/13.
Bill allowing concealed weapons in schools won't get vote. The state Assembly will not be voting on a bill allowing concealed carry in schools. The bill in question would have applied only to off-duty, retired and out-of-state police officers. Joel Kleefisch, the bill's sponsor, planned to go ahead with a vote in the Assembly Criminal Justice Committee to expand the proposal to allow anyone with a concealed carry permit to carry guns in schools but concede that even in this Republican-controlled committee there were not enough votes to pass. Appleton Post-Crescent, 10/30/13.
Many thanks to all who joined us in La Crosse on Saturday for WNPJ's member assembly and 13th annual awards reception, with special thanks to our host Tracy Littlejohn and the Hmong Cultural and Community Center!
Our awardees included (from left to right in the picture) Peacemaker of the Year - Adult Babette Grunow, Lifetime Achievement Award winner Al Gedicks, Peacemaker of the Year - Senior Pat Popple, and Peacemaker of the Year - Youth Key Jackson. (Not pictured is our Dennis Bergren LGBTQ Advocacy Award winner Sharon Whitney, who was unable to attend.)
To see more pictures from the day, click here.
Last week, the Lower Wisconsin State Riverway Board voted 6 to 2 against a frac sand mine proposed next to the Wisconsin River, near the Iowa border.
Those who spoke at the Board's meeting were overwhelmingly opposed to the mine, as were the Board members themselves.
"The members felt that visual intrusions from potential dust and lighting would cause the activity to become visible from the river," explained the Board's director.
In other good environmental news, Entergy announced it would close its Vermont Yankee nuclear reactor at the end of 2014. The nuclear company said the reactor was "no longer financially viable."
Wisconsin's Kewaunee nuclear reactor was shut down in May, also due to economic factors.