A Wisconsin Activist Describes His Life

A Wisconsin Activist Describes His Life

Below is a recent email sent by Chris, a grassroots organizer, teacher, and founder of We Teach, We learn.  He and his wife, Lisa, have been active in what has been  2011 Wisconsin protests in our state.  For many, this involvement has been all encompassing and altering the way people view themselves.  Chris described his life and turned this email into a blog and posted it on his blog site.  It not only summarizes the blow-by-blow battle for WI, but captures the roller coaster of emotions that many Wisconsinites have felt for the last 6 months. 

Here’s his story.



Some of you are, no doubt, growing tired of of these political posts.  I don’t blame you.

By nature, I’m not that into politics. And truth be told, I grow weary of this fight.

But it’s stuff like this that blows my mind and reminds me to keep shouting.  The truth must be known.

Please read this link: GOP redistricting maps make dramatic changes

With recalls pending, GOP releases redistricting plan: A quick vote . . . before recall elections . . . would let Republicans lock down advantages at the ballot box for the next 10 years by drawing maps in their favor.”

Remember: Today, Republicans own Wisconsin.  Please consider though, who owns the Republicans–and what has happened so far:

  1. Refusal to listen to constituents, even after unprecedented public outcry
  2. Votes and discussion behind closed doors (violated open meetings LAW)
  3. Ignored judge’s orders
  4. Made it harder to vote
  5. Run fake candidates, forcing Democratic primaries and increased the cost of the recall elections by over $400,000
  6. Violence in the Supreme Court
  7. Decimated public education (and demoralized educators) while at the same time funding private schools in Milwaukee and cutting taxes.
  8. Rolled back environmental protections.
  9. Rolled back citizens rights by making it harder for people injured by negligent corporations to get justice.
  10. And now, rushed to redraw the district voting lines BEFORE recall elections–which would give them an advantage for at least the next 10 years.

Let’s be clear.  Republicans OWN Wisconsin.  From the Governor, to the Senate, to the Assembly to the Supreme Court.  They can do whatever they want–without discussion, without compromise, without negotiation.  And this is exactly what they are doing.

This blatant power grab is unprecedented and remarkable.  Anywhere.  And at any time in history.

Let this be another powerful reason why this election is like no other. We have to take back the Senate NOW.  If you think this bit of is legislation is suspicious, just consider what will happen if we lose these summer elections.

You think they are done destroying public education, rolling back environmental protections, making it harder to vote, privatizing government institutions (like schools, prisons, the department of commerce, Wiscnet–the NON-PROFIT internet supplier to libraries and schools) grabbing power at every opportunity?  By their own admission, they’re only getting started.

These are the kinds of political games that people are growing so tired of.  They (Walker, Harsdorf and the rest) are getting beat up in the polls.  So what do they do?  Change the rules . . . again.

Seriously, every morning I think–I’m done sending emails, marching in parades, writing letters to the editor, making videos.  I’ve got a garden to weed.  Bills to pay.  Kids to take care of.  The other day, somebody referred to me as a “good activist,” and I thought, what the hell has happened to me?  I’m out.  I’m done.

This is not who I am.

But then, by the end of the day, I undoubtedly hear or read something else that is happening in Madison.  And my blood boils anew.  I am aghast.  I can’t believe my eyes/ears.

I do this because I am deeply concerned about our families, our schools, our communities, our children, our chances.

Please do what you can, everyone, to understand and then shed the light of truth on Wisconsin.  After all, we are all in this together.  Or at least . . . we used to be.




The last 6 months has changed everything for some people.

Gov. Walker, along with Wondra’s Senator, Harsdorf, passed Act 10’s Budget Repair Bill generating a collective uproar.  A new community of “reluctant activists” began to form, becoming different people than they thought they were.  Regular working people, retired people, young people – most of whom were non-political before this, were instantly mobilized.  They were made up of District 10 people from as far north as Siren and Grantsburg as far south as Prescott and River Falls, as far East as Menomonie, and as far west as New Richmond and Hudson…and all the smaller communities in between.  Eau Claire and Chippewa Falls are like adopted D10’ers… volunteering en mass whenever needed. 

This new community greets each other at each event: parades, rallies, speeches, debates, sign making and letter writing parties, canvassing meetings, and Facebook groups.  Governor Walker is an incredible community organizer – on both sides of the aisle.

 But, instead of fighting between each other, we should turn a critical eye on anyone who would tell us that instead of prospering together, we should all suffer together.   We are too creative of a people to believe that. 

Vote Tuesday, August 9.


3 Responsesto “A Wisconsin Activist Describes His Life”

  1. Barb says:

    This so perfectly describes how it has been for so many of us. For me, when February happened, it was like a switch flipped in my brain and I knew I just had to do something. Reluctant activists is right on…yet Chris and his wife and you Heidi and your husband have been inspirational in showing the way forward. Thank you!

  2. Matt says:

    Very well said. Captured the essence of the entire situation as it unfolded. Thank you.

  3. Ann Leque says:


    Thank you! Ann Leque

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