Family & Community


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?

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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.

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Wisconsin Legislature strikes mask order; Governor reinstates four hours later

Talk to your friends and neighbors; this is not a partisan political issue. It's an issue of what is right vs. what is wrong, and what is good vs. what is bad for the people in our communities and state.

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How we grieve is who we are

Growing up in this environment made me better able to deal with grief. Some would say that I still am too stoic, I appear to uncaring. I am not, however I do grieve, and even cry. Just how I was raised was that we get the important things done first, then we deal with grief later.

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Still fighting for $15 minimum wage

Wisconsin has been at $7.25 an hour since 2010 when the state made the increase to keep up with federal minimum wage.

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Happiness, simplicity, and other worthy pursuits

The 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 ...

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Video: Norfleet and Kilian Discuss Environmental Justice in Wausau

A video discussion on the "Brother2Brotha Who's Talking" podcast with guests Chris Norfleet and Tom Kilian. Recorded November 7, 2020, it touches on local topics such as the East Riverfront, the Wausau Mall Redevelopment, Thomas Street, and the overall need for local frameworks that foster an inclusive democracy and equity for all.Note: Tom Kilian has served as a volunteer on Middle Wisconsin's digital efforts since 2013

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MOM AND APPLE PIE

“...remember the ladies, and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the Husbands. Remember all Men would be tyrants if they could.” Abigail AdamsIn 1776, Abigail Adams, the wife of John Adams, wrote a letter to her husband asking that the political and legal status of women be improved under the new government being formed. She was asking that the revolutionary rhetoric about being “created equal” and “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” include women. The founding fathers did ...

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CHILD POVERTY IN WISCONSIN INCREASES

A definitive new report by one of the top poverty research centers in the country reveals that in 2016 Wisconsin poverty increased by over 10% and child poverty increased by a shocking 20%.You can read more about the report and what it means for our campaign to end child poverty in Wisconsin on a new section of the End Child Poverty Wisconsin website. On that page, we’ll be posting information about poverty in Wisconsin and the U.S. you can use to show others in your community why this effort is so important.It is significant that this increase in poverty in ...

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STOP REINFORCING ANTI-IMMIGRANT IDEAS

Here are some tips to keep in mind when you talk about immigration: Immigrants are people who move—and are part of “us.” Always use inclusive language that emphasizes immigrants’ humanity and full membership in our communities: our neighbors, friends, and families. Avoid “good immigrants” versus “bad immigrants” talk. All people deserve to be treated humanely, whether they were valedictorians or not, whether they have a legal asylum claim or not, whether they were brought to the U.S. as children or came here on their own.When people say that ...

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