June 29, 2012
“Building a powerful pro-gressivemovementthat can chal-lenge theright is aboutcoming to-gether andstaying to-gether.”
Citizen Action of Wisconsin
© 2011Middle Wisconsin
What a roller coaster ride the people of Wisconsin have been on for the past sixteen months
ever sinceScott Walker decided to “drop the bomb.” (To this day that phrase makes me shudder.) Needless tosay, for many of us, the historic roller coaster ride ended with the most bruising/spiraling crash leavingmany of us to ponder:
“What has happened to our once progressive state and the values so many of us hold dear?”
“Will our state be forever changed?”
“Where do go we from here for those of us who continue to hold true to progressive values?”
“How do common ordinary citizens fight for control of our state when the insidious influences andmoney from outside Wisconsin are infiltrating every aspect of our state?”
“How do common ordinary citizens fight for control of our legislature that is being taken over byALEC and other outside forces?”
“How do progressives find a voice in the media when it is clear that more of the message is beingcontrolled by non
“How does a state get beyond the ‘divide and conquer’ strategy that served this governor and GOPlegislators so well?” This “divide and conquer” strategy cuts the heart out of my state and me personally.
“How do we educate the students of this state with a system that is also being ‘divided’ into private and public entities?” Each one is being pitted against each other by this ‘divide and conquer’ strategy.“How do people find and keep jobs that pay a living wage when the public sector and the private sector are also ‘divided’?
“How do we function as a society when the backs of all of us on the bottom rungs of the ladder continue to be broken by the people on the top rung who want ever more. As one of the Koch brothers stated
this is paraphrased because I don’t have the direct quote: I want my share and that’s all of it.“How do we heal?”
“How do we move ‘Forward’ as our state motto instructs us to do?”
The list of questions could fill volumes; and unfortunately, the questions are often met with silence.Where do we start?
Here are some small steps I will personally take as I journey through this dark time for my state.
1. I will continue to meet with the people in my small grassroots groups:
A. To draw energy, support, and inspiration from a diverse group of people.
B. To come up with a strategy to move forward.
C. To be educated and informed and to educate and inform.
2. I will continue to ground myself in my faith which I have to admit is often shaky.
3. I will continue to support and promote progressive values: fairness, respect, and community as statedin the objectives of Middle Wisconsin.4. I will continue to support progressive candidates in state and federal elections who “promote just andtransparent government, healthy communities, social responsibility, thriving local economies, environmental stewardship and quality education” as the mission statement of Middle Wisconsin states.
5. I will renew my commitment to defend public education and educators in every way possible.
6. I will remain an activist with my eyes wide open as to the uphill climb we are now facing as progressives, not only in Wisconsin but in our nation.
By Joyce Leudke