A child sits with a sign at Milwaukee's climate march 2019.

Political obstruction is climate destruction

BY: - October 27, 2023

In my years as a business owner, nonprofit leader and local elected official in Wisconsin, I’ve been asked to solve a lot of tricky problems by my employees, customers and constituents. I don’t always have the perfect answer, but the one thing I cannot do is stick my head into the sand.  Wisconsin, like every […]

Members of SEIU and Voces de la Frontera arrive at the Capitol Tuesday | Wisconsin Examiner photo

Backlash against voter suppression is changing politics in Wisconsin

BY: - October 25, 2023

On Tuesday, shortly after members of both houses of the Legislature wrapped up a hearing on proposals to enshrine voter ID in the Wisconsin Constitution, along with new rules to ensure that noncitizens cannot cast ballots in local elections, union members clad in purple SEIU T-shirts burst through the doors of the Capitol and marched […]

finger pointing, people arguing

As our politics get worse, it’s time to reevaluate how we talk to each other

BY: - October 20, 2023

Not a moment too soon, the University of Wisconsin-Madison has chosen a paradigm-shifting book on truth, persuasion and social change for its 2023-2024 Go Big Read common reading program.  “How Minds Change: The Surprising Science of Belief, Opinion, and Persuasion” by David McRaney (Penguin Random House 2022) tackles the psychology that drives our bitterly divided, […]

Palestinian citizens inspect their destroyed home

Denouncing ‘barbarians’ perpetuates the slaughter of innocents in Israel and Gaza

BY: - October 17, 2023

Ever since my first of many trips to Israel, in 1976, just three years after the Yom Kippur war, and only nine years after the Six Day War in which Israel gained the territory known as the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, filled with millions of Palestinians, as well as the Golan Heights and […]

a row of three yellow school buses

Voucher lawsuit takes on privatization of Wisconsin schools

BY: - October 16, 2023

A lawsuit filed last week with the Wisconsin Supreme Court challenging the constitutionality of taxpayer-funded private schools does not mince words. Wisconsin’s parental choice programs are “affirmatively designed to undermine Wisconsin’s public education system by robbing it blind, forcing local districts into financial death spirals,” the petition for original action by the Supreme Court states. […]

Student of color raising his hand showing only the hand holding a pencil in a classroom background

Test scores for ‘recovering’ Wisconsin public schools far outpace voucher schools

BY: - October 11, 2023

Listening to a Department of Public Instruction press conference on Wisconsin students’ test scores released this week, it was easy to predict what the smash-the-state proponents of taxpayer financed private schools would have to say. DPI delivered a glass-half-full analysis of the data, which shows Wisconsin public school students with proficiency rates well below 50% […]

Demonstrators and immigrants protesting with We Are Human sign

Confessions of a birthright citizen

BY: - October 10, 2023

I am an invader.  Actually, the son of “invaders.” But with presidential hopefuls Donald Trump, Vivek Ramaswamy and Ron DeSantis having taken aim at the 14th Amendment’s explicit creation of birthright citizenship, it’s clear that “invader” by association is enough to lump me in.  I’m the U.S.-born son of Mexican immigrants. My parents emigrated separately, […]

The author captures threads of a dialect by recording words for “Michipicoten” in an open-air meeting with community elders. John-Paul Chalykoff, CC BY-ND

I’m working to revitalize an Indigenous language and bring it into the future

BY: - October 9, 2023

Language is foundational to Indigenous communities, including my own, and a vital connection to our cultures. It is well documented how residential schools in Canada and boarding schools in the U.S. devastated Indigenous languages and severed cultural connections. While our languages are in decline, efforts to sustain them are ongoing, and I am taking part […]

Man wielding an ax

Chaos, backstabbing and the butt-crack debate: The week in politics

BY: - October 6, 2023

Republican dysfunction reached a new low this week in Washington with the crackup of the GOP caucus and the history-making ouster of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.  To their credit, none of Wisconsin’s Republican members of Congress voted to fire McCarthy — a move led by eight far-right nihilists and merrily joined by every House Democrat. […]

Milwaukee voters go to the polls on Election Day 2022 | Photo by Isiah Holmes

Mandela Barnes: The Freedom to Vote Act safeguards our democracy at a critical moment

BY: - October 4, 2023

Wisconsin has long been a symbol of progress. Our state motto, Forward, commits us to building a better future. When I first ran for office I promised  to fight for every Wisconsinite – no matter their age, zip code, religion, identity, or skin color. I’m proud to be from here; however, as threats to democracy […]

Hawaiian fire damage

Forget about ‘wokeness’: Republicans must wake up to the climate crisis

BY: - October 3, 2023

Lahaina on the Hawaiian island of Maui is not the first U.S. city to be laid waste by wildfires.  It also isn’t the first incident in which scientific consensus points to climate change as a major cause. Yes, typhoon-induced winds contributed, but climate change made the confluence of those events so deadly. And climate change […]

Learning from Bob Menendez and Robin Vos

BY: - September 28, 2023

Say what you will about Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J), the motives for his alleged crimes are crystal clear. It doesn’t take an advanced degree in public policy to understand the “eye-popping photos of gold bars and money-stuffed envelopes”  — as reporter Dana DiFilippo of the New Jersey Monitor put it — which Menendez and his […]