22 results for author: Jennifer J. Dolan

The road to poverty is paved with good intentions

As a proposed increase to the minimum wage became part of the COVID Relief bill, then later scrapped, my subconscious pointed out a flaw in my thinking. I had a vivid dream where I was talking to numerous business owners who are a part of our vibrant local food scene. Many of these restaurateurs, farmers, and value-added food producers make $50,000 per year or less while paying the current minimum wage, or slightly more. Paying workers based on a wage ratio limit would not necessarily guarantee a living wage, so in the dream they were asking me what they should pay. What would be a competitive pay rate?

Abundant resources exist for those with multiple sclerosis

March is Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Awareness Month. As someone with MS, I make a point of writing something pertaining to this chronic and disabling condition each March. This year, my goal is to help those with MS, and their loved ones, become aware of the many groups that offer assistance and support.

A message from the editor

Image source: Hill's Manual of Social and Business Forms. Illustrator unknown.)Middle Wisconsin will be going away. Our last edition will be the May 17th issue. Will Hascall and I were willing to take this on as a publisher and an editor, but continuation of publication is not up to us alone.For our contributors, I recommend that you continue to write and to consider attending one of The Progressive’s OpEd Writing Clinics. These workshops help writers find ways to get their commentary published, noticed, and shared.For our readers looking to find other sources of quality non-profit journalism that embodies the values of Middle Wiscons...

Grief, worry, hope, and kindness

At the end of January, Will and I suffered the loss of a beloved pet. After talking with friends, we found out that three of them also recently had pets reach the end of their lives. Some lost people in their family as well. Some, like me, are worried about family who are sick.

Joint Finance Committee designates funds to in-person schools

Republican members of the Joint Finance Committee (JFC) announced that they will use $68.6 million (10%) of federal funds designated for K-12 schools to reward schools offering in-person instruction. This money will be awarded to school districts based on the number of hours of in-person instruction provided during the 2020-2021 school year. This does not affect the $617.5 million of federal funding earmarked for schools based on the Title I formula.

Retiring the Corporate America flag

Throughout the past few years, so much of what I believed has been turned onto its head. Most notably, my view that corporate influence on government is the greatest threat to democracy.

Some thoughts on the role journalism plays in society

Unity is more than just a good idea; it is vital. That isn’t to say that we must unite to create false equivalencies and accept fiction as though it were fact. We must restore faith in an objective truth, one of the tenets of good journalism.

Happiness, simplicity, and other worthy pursuits

Photo source: iStockThe other morning, while watching snow gently falling, outlining the lampposts and trees, I felt peace. More than that, I felt happy. Soon after, I found myself asking, “why can’t others find happiness in these simple things?” Of course other people do, but maybe not enough.Will, my significant other, has said to me, “sometimes I feel like asking people, ‘have you ever turned around to watch the sunrise?’”It is a question that should be asked of people who resort to violence. Surely there must be some deep unhappiness that leads people to act as they had during the January 6th Capitol riots. We know that ...


 Vote as if your life depends on it because it literally might. This week, as a self-proclaimed pro-life nominee to the Supreme Court avoids answering questions about her past comments on the Affordable Care Act, I have had to begin taking medication for hypertension. I had low blood pressure for my entire adult life, but then Apollo Global Asset Management, while accepting half a billion dollars from the federal government according to a June 2nd article in Bloomberg, decided it would be to their financial advantage to downsize its Verso paper mills. The hardest hit is the mill in my hometown; the mill where, until recently, my ...


 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 ...