13 results for author: Jennifer J. Dolan


RURAL POVERTY

 I write this article with one question in mind: can speaking the truth on issues of poverty and racial division make any difference? I write this in hopes of sparking a conversation, and in hopes of ending the bloodshed. I believe that it is time that we take a look at the issue of rural poverty and at how it fits into the broader narrative on the politics of racial division. Most poor people avoid the topic of their own poverty because they believe doing so admits failure. To be one of the noble poor in this nation is to be silent. As someone who is white, rural, and eking out an existence on an income that is below the federal ...

WHAT IS A LIVING WAGE

 What constitutes a living wage? The answer to that question will vary based on numerous factors including geographic region, number of dependents, and other circumstances. Will setting the federal minimum wage at $15 per hour ensure that every full-time worker has enough income to make ends meet? The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) states that a $15 minimum wage would lift some families out of poverty while leaving some individuals without jobs. The $15 hourly wage represents a current median income level for many regions across the nation, which is why it is the hourly rate being proposed. The last time there was an increase in ...

NO COUNTRY FOR LEARNED HELPLESSNESS

 Take a moment and think about your favorite school teacher. Most of us had at least one great teacher. That person is likely to have embodied a superhero quality at a time in our lives when we were extremely vulnerable. Many of us decided to go into teaching because that favorite teacher was someone we wanted to emulate. Wouldn’t that teacher deserve safe working conditions? Don’t you? For too long, workers in various fields have been asked to accept risks of bodily harm as part of the job. This seemed reasonable for roofers and firefighters, but there was a time when schools were considered safe spaces.&n...

YOUR RIGHT TO FREE SPEECH

 Your right to free speech ends six feet from where my nose begins. “Everyone should just wear a damn mask.” –Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) There is overwhelming evidence that wearing masks mitigates the spread of COVID-19. That is why Governor Evers issued the mask mandate. As cases continue to rise across the state, the decision to pass a mandate is reasonable. But some people refuse to be reasonable, such as State Senator Patrick Testin. Testin has called the mask mandate a “heavy-handed approach” and said that it should be up to individuals to decide whether or not to wear a mask. That would be ...

SOMETHING STINKS AND IT’S NOT THE MILL

 This has been a devastating week for the Wisconsin Rapids area as Verso announced the closure of the paper mill. This mill produces clay-coated paper used for advertising. My father is among the roughly 800 workers in this area who will be losing their jobs. This is an appropriate time to express anger, sorrow, frustration, and empathy. It is an appropriate time to try to find solutions. But it is not the time for partisan scapegoating from an elected official. Yet that was how Representative Scott Krug chose to express himself. The coded language he used when assessing the cause of the mill closing, citing “for...

JUNETEENTH IS THE REAL INDEPENDENCE DAY

 (Artwork is by Jennifer Dolan) I see Juneteenth as the real Independence Day, but the promise of freedom from when emancipation was declared has not been kept. We need to do something to honor that promise. This is an opportunity to do that. I went on a cross country train trip in 2015. My significant other and I had breakfast with two fascinating older men; one black, one white, and both very progressive. The black gentleman talked about how his daughter was organizing the first Juneteenth celebration in the small town where she lived. I expressed how wonderful I thought that was, and mentioned that this ...

A TALE OF TWO PROTESTS

 These are frightening times to live in. We have more than one pandemic spreading across these United States. There is coronavirus, but then there is the misinformation, conspiracy theories, and quackery that also pose a great risk to the lives of Americans. There is police brutality leading to the deaths of black people, but then there is the misuse of law enforcement by elected officials trying on the emperor’s new clothes to see if dictatorship is in fashion this year, and the small business owners who have not been able to count on law enforcement to protect them from looters. When protestors showed up with guns at state ...

YOU CAN VOTE EARLY

 With the looming threat of an epidemic, people are preparing in all sorts of ways. Hand sanitizer, toilet paper, cold and flu medication are gone from store shelves. People are washing their hands more often, wearing masks, and telecommuting to work. Athletes and entertainers are playing for fans who are watching via television only, and events, some of them slated for several months from now, are being canceled or postponed. So what about voting? On April 7, Wisconsinites are expected to vote in local races and cast their ballot in the presidential primary. Because of voter I.D. laws, that means long lines and wait times, and a ...

AN OPEN LETTER TO SENATOR RON JOHNSON

Dear Senator Johnson, I remember a time, not so long ago, when there was a man who held the senate seat that you currently hold who broke with his party and voted to hear from witnesses in an impeachment trial. The year was 1999, and that Senator was Russ Feingold. The president on trial was Bill Clinton. There are many significant differences between that impeachment trial and this one. First off, it needs to be said that Bill Clinton won both the popular vote and electoral college, where as Donald Trump only won the electoral college. All this rhetoric coming from Republicans about the will of the people is a bit off-key, ...

THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM

I'm not a Republican, but I have a pretty good memory, am no fan of mice, and I'm fat. In fact, not just fat; obese. I am almost always the only fat person sitting at a conference table in a room full of people talking about health, and more specifically, the topic of obesity, exercise and nutrition, or as the people around me like to say, “chronic disease prevention.”What is even more awkward is that I suffer from many chronic diseases. Most of them have little to do with my size, but it is not as though I can just start telling everyone, “it’s not what you think… here's the list of conditions I suffer from…” because we'd be there ...