School Board Discusses Tech Plan and Funding Tonight

 On the MMSD Board Operations Work Group agenda for Monday June 8, 2015 (5:00 PM), a proposal (pages 19 & 20 of the “2015-16 Budget Review and Input” here)  to delay $4,115,000 in debt payments till 2026 and 2027, and add $1,428,348 in debt service payments, all in order to “Make it Possible to Support Annual Increases in the Tech Plan thru 2019 without Drawing Away Funds from Other Areas of the Budget” (the latest version of the Tech Plan budget has full implementation in 2022). For many reasons (too many to go into here), this seems like a very bad idea. In general, I think we should begin again and create a Tech Plan that we can afford without these kind of shell games. Continue reading

SLAC Advances Cut JanSport Campaign

Written by Leland Pan For over the past year, students and community members at UW-Madison have been demanding University administration cut the University’s licensing contract with JanSport.  JanSport’s parent company, VF Corporation, produces apparel in Bangladesh, where thousands of workers have died due to unsafe working conditions, including 1129 workers in the Rana Plaza factory collapse in 2013.  Workers in Bangladesh have organized to create an Accord on Building and Fire Safety to ensure legally binding inspections for factories to prevent such disasters.  VF Corporation refuses to sign on. Continue reading

County Board to Consider Enbridge Pipeline (Delayed to 7/16)

By Mary Beth Elliott, PhD, 350 Madison Climate Action Team, Sierra Club On Thursday, June 4, (Editors note:  delayed to July 16th) the Dane County Board will consider an appeal from Alberta, Canada–based pipeline giant Enbridge, Inc., to overrule an April 14 decision by Dane County’s Zoning and Land Regulation Committee requiring Enbridge to obtain special environmental cleanup insurance. Public testimony will be taken at the meeting, at 7:30 p.m. in Room 210 of the City County Building, 210 Martin Luther King, Jr., Blvd. in Madison. Continue reading

Write for the Newsletter or Blog!

Do you like to write or edit?  If so, we need you!  Attend a local government  meeting and write a 2 - 4 paragraph summary.  Have a strong opinion about a topic, tell our members about it.  Have an idea for a new initiative, write about it and see if others want to help make it happen! Continue reading

Recommended City and County Meetings this Week

Find out which meetings Progressive Dane recommends this week at the City and County.  These are meetings our elected officials are working on and need support or issues identified by the party as being of concern. Continue reading

Election Committee Meeting Tonight!

Regular monthly Elections Committee Meeting tonight at 6:00! Continue reading

Coordinating Council Members Needed

Progressive Dane members needed to help make strategic decisions for the party.  We have several openings at the moment and we are looking for some members to join us in leading the party during these exciting times with new alders, county board elections coming up next spring and the many, many issues that we hope to influence on the county board, on the Madison common council, on the Madison School Board and in Fitchburg! Continue reading

Press Release: City Must Act Swiftly to Address Police Killing

CONTACT: Sue Pastor, Policy Co-Chair; (608) 217-7099, 3/17/2015 For Immediate Release: On the day of the first Madison Common Council meeting since the March 6th killing of Tony Terrell Robinson Jr. by a Madison police officer, Progressive Dane extends deep condolences to Tony's family and friends, affirms that "Black Lives Matter", and calls for action on the part of elected officials. We insist upon a public review of the policies, practices, and procedures of the Madison Police Department, especially regarding the continuum of force and "shoot to kill", the protocol for "exigent" circumstances, and the rights of witnesses. Common Council must immediately create a committee to undertake this review, and that committee must include representatives of communities most significantly impacted by racial disparities and over-policing. The committee must also review the charge of the city's Public Safety Review Committee and recommend needed changes. Continue reading

Press Release: Parisi Betrays Dane County Workers

CONTACT: Matt Kozlowski, Co-Chair (715) 571-1577 –   11/21/14  For Immediate Release: Yesterday, November 20, 2014, in a late email to County employees, Dane County Executive Joe Parisi announced that the County will cancel negotiated contracts for 2015 and 2016. This announcement, made after the County budget was adopted earlier this week, is a betrayal of trust for our union employees, and a violation of Dane County’s legacy of standing up for workers’ rights. The email, copied below, cites legal concerns raised by the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling earlier this summer where the Court established the need for a firewall between labor unions and contract negotiations. Continue reading

Press Release: MG&E Should Retract Rate Increases, Misleading Statements

  MG&E Should Retract Rate Increase and Misleading Statements CONTACT: Matt Kozlowski, Co-Chair                   (715) 571-1577 – 10/9/14 For Immediate Release: Today, October 9, 2014, the Public Service Commission will host a public hearing on Madison Gas & Electric’s proposed rate increases. Progressive Dane is calling on MG&E to withdraw its rate increase proposal and to retract the misleading information in its letter to ratepayers last week. “The rate case proposal is an affront to the values of this community, where people invest in conservation and prioritize equity,” said Progressive Dane Co-Chair Matt Kozlowski.  “Rather than working with the community to come up with a rate structure that would encourage clean energy investment and reward conservation practices, MG&E has decided to reward big energy consumers at the expense of those taking responsible steps to reduce their energy impact.”  MG&E’s proposal has been widely criticized by Repower Madison and other community groups for punishing conservation and providing a “volume discount” for larger users, while hurting renters and lower-income residents.  People who consume less energy will be subsidizing the consumption of people who use more. Continue reading