From Capitol Square to Grassroots Circles: Democracy in a Box

#turnoutforwhat #WIready Photo: WI AFL-CIO
Dear friends,

I keep hearing the same concern from people I talk to: that people who were so outraged in 2011 over Scott Walker's bait-and-switch won't show up to vote. 

I'm more optimistic.  I have great faith in the power of grassroots movements that have been building momentum since 2011 and directing their efforts into all sorts of productive and progressive projects.

I'm optimistic because I know these people.

And they haven't gone anywhere.  They've been working hard this whole time.  And they'll be there to vote on Nov. 4.  They're already proving it.

Our struggle to protect our rights, our schools, our environment, our communities might have moved from the spotlight surrounding the Capitol square to the kitchen tables around the state, but the struggle did not end with the recall.  It was channeled into lasting connections and organizations that have been working locally to enact real change. It was channeled into running for local offices, attending school board and city council meetings, starting local watchdog groups and civic organizations to put a local focus on issues that impact all of us. It was channeled into being vigilant and forming networks that make it more and more difficult to blindside people who trust those in power to look out for the interests of the common good.

So if you need to get reinspired or remind yourself why this election matters so much, I encourage you to revisit these stories, from real, regular people all over the state who shared their stories of why they worked so hard to protect the communities they love so much:

Of all my blog posts, this is hands-down my favorite and the most meaningful (even moreso than the letter to Brian Williams). I am so thankful to all who opened up their worlds for us to see, and share these deeply touching stories of where their concerns and motivation came from.  May your stories continue to inspire, and may your work continue to impact the lives of your communities.

I'll see you at the ballot box. And I'll see you where you live: rooted firmly to the grassroots actions that move things forward.

In solidarity,

 "Everything I did to be able to carry that box, I did for the future of my children."
- Sarah Hammer

"The box was justice. It was not the final chapter of justice, but the beginning of the end of a long battle that while some have become weary, some have given up,
has continued to become stronger as each day went on."
- Mike Tapia

"The whole process for me was a journey of love. Love for my State, love for my neighbors, love for the poor and love for volunteers all over the State that I have come to know as family. The journey took me to communities all over my County where I met people I never knew existed. I found I had courage to stand up to huge men who put my volunteers down, I found I had strength when my involvement was put down in our local papers, I found I had unceasing support from my family.
I discovered many amazing things about myself on this journey. I discovered that I am Wisconsin and as long as each one of us comes together to fight for what we believe in, apathy has no life. I found that one person can educate many and many people can educate the world.
- Robin Transo

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