64 results for author: Joyce Luedke


WISCONSIN TAXPAYERS CONTINUE TO SUPPORT PUBLIC SCHOOLS

According to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, 286 public school referendums have been passed (out of 421 districts that went to referendum) since January 1, 2010. This means people in these districts have voted to raise their property taxes because of the cuts to education under the Walker Administration. (I spoke to Tom McCarthy at the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction on 9/24/2018.)On April 3, 2018, voters in the D.C. Everest School District overwhelmingly passed a referendum to update the buildings along with other necessary improvements throughout the district. Property taxes will be raised by $24 for every $100,000 of ...

THRIVING OR BARELY SURVIVING IN WISCONSIN?

Here are some sobering facts from several reports. The ALICE Report is an acronym which stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed Wisconsinites. The ALICE report reveals the struggles our families, neighbors, and co-workers experience on a daily basis who work hard, earn above the federal poverty level, but not enough to afford a basic household budget. Over a third of ALICE households, 670,992, do not earn enough to cover the basic needs of housing, childcare, food, healthcare, transportation.A. In 2017, another 661,565 households lived below the official poverty rate. The poverty rate in 2016 had increased and is at its highest ...

VOICES FROM THE MARCH FOR OUR LIVES IN WAUSAU, PART 2

Kristin Conway, the organizer for Moms Demand Action (MDA) in the Wausau area, reflected on the mass killings in recent years. A few months ago, MDA began with two people. Thirty-five people attended the meeting after the Parkland shooting.Moms Demand Action provided a table inside the Wausau Mall with literature, voting information, and postcards. Participants wrote messages on the cards that were then sent to Congressman Duffy’s office.Marchers solemnly marched to Congressman Duffy’s empty office.“Now we ask for some silence and mindful thoughts or prayers, as we read the names of students and teachers that died because Congress ...

COMMON THEMES

Common themes intertwined from the Marchers who came to support the students during the March for Our Lives in Wausau. About 200 people joined student organizers on the 400 Block in Downtown Wausau to remember the 17 students who died February 14th at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.Anna Klieber, one of the organizers from Wausau West, spoke about growing up with social media and technology. It is a way to stay connected. She also sees the harm that social media can do. Anna spoke about Emma Gonzalez, one of the survivors of the shooting, and reiterated one of the themes: “Enough is Enough! Never again.”Anna ...

SPOTLIGHT ON HOMELESSNESS, Part 2

Pam Anderson, co-chair of the Marathon County Housing and Homelessness Coalition, spoke about a husband and wife who became homeless after a car accident. The husband lost his job due to his injuries and had to be retrained for a different job. They slept on the floor in the attic of the wife’s father’s home. It was four years before they got back on their feet.In Marathon County, 41% of families are living from paycheck to paycheck. Ten percent of ALICE families are below the poverty level. (2017 United Way Quality of LIFE report for Wausau and Marathon County)There is a total of 1,083 adequate affordable housing units in Marathon County. ...

HOMELESSNESS, part 1

In his opening statements to Mayor Robert Mielke and Wausau City Council members regarding homelessness, Joseph Volk stated: Marathon County and Wausau have a problem.Joseph Volk, the Executive Director of the Wisconsin Coalition Against Homelessness, was one of the speakers at the Presentation: Spotlight on Homelessness in Marathon County, Thursday, February 15th. Mr. Volk highlighted many statistics regarding homelessness. (Additional information has been added by the author of this report.)*Homeless children in the school districts of Wausau and D.C. Everest has increased 110% in five years. For the 2012-2013 school year, 99 students in the ...

JASON’S LAW—BIPARTISAN VA OPIOD PRESCRIBING REFORM

You should know the story of U.S. Marine veteran, Jason Simcakoski. Like too many of our veterans, Jason Simcakoski, went to the VA to get help, but instead got hooked on prescription drugs. Tragically, Jason Simcakoski died in 2014 from mixed drug toxicity while receiving care at the Tomah Veterans Affairs Medical Center. The Simcakoski family decided to turn their tragedy into hope for other military families. Working closely with Senator Baldwin, they crafted bipartisan legislation named in honor of Jason to reform the VA and stop the overprescribing of opiods at the VA.Senator Baldwin and the Simcakoski family worked together to get the job ...

PIONEERS IN THE SCHOOL PANTRY MOVEMENT

Students and Staff at D. C. Everest High School are Pioneers in the School Pantry Movement. Food is a basic human need and Everest High School is finding ways to support students who face food insecurity.Dr. Todd Bohm, the assistant principal, and Erin Jacobson, the high school social worker, agreed to an interview about the food and clothing pantry that was started in 2016 after seeing the needs of many students. Dr. Bohm wanted a convenient way for students and families to access food and clothing without the barriers.I. The pantries are accessible to students and families based on need with no forms to fill out.Some students are ...

PIONEERS IN THE SCHOOL PANTRY MOVEMENT

Students and Staff at D. C. Everest High School are Pioneers in the School Pantry Movement. Food is a basic human need and Everest High School is finding ways to support students who face food insecurity.Dr. Todd Bohm, the assistant principal, and Erin Jacobson, the high school social worker, agreed to an interview about the food and clothing pantry that was started in 2016 after seeing the needs of many students. Dr. Bohm wanted a convenient way for students and families to access food and clothing without the barriers.I. The pantries are accessible to students and families based on need with no forms to fill out.Some students are ...

PURPLE BULLSEYES

Purple Bullseyes line the map of the Thomas Street Phase II project. Purple Bullseyes designate the homes, apartment buildings, and businesses slated for some form of destruction. Most of the citizens inside these homes and apartment buildings are low income and vulnerable. Each person living inside a home, an apartment building, or business with a Purple Bullseye has a story.I did an informal, independent survey of some of the citizens on both sides of Thomas Street who will be impacted by Phase II. Over and over the people spoke about the anxiety, the stress, the trauma, and the uncertainty of being forced to move knowing the obstacles before ...