|Community Shares of Wisconsin Announces Seven
New Member Organizations
MADISON-Community of Shares of Wisconsin (CSW) today announced seven new nonprofits have joined its fundraising federation.
The new CSW members groups join 65 Wisconsin-based nonpartisan nonprofit organizations working to advance social justice, protect the environment, and
defend civil rights in Dane County and across Wisconsin.
The nonprofits joining Community Shares of Wisconsin are:
* Mentoring Positives — An innovative, referral-based mentoring program that works directly with kids and families throughout Dane County and its surrounding
* MOSES (Madison Organizing in Strength, Equality, and Solidarity) — An interfaith organization that works to promote social justice with a focus on ending
* Omega School — A Madison-based alternate school that provides individualized instruction in a supportive atmosphere to help adults prepare for, and
obtain, a GED / HSED credential.
* Orgullo Latinx LGBT+ of Dane County — an organization working to build a safe, ethnically equitable and racially just place for the Latinx LGBT+
community in Dane County.
* Positive Women for Change — An initiative that provides coaching services to underserved women who have faced adversity and financial disarray.
* Rebalanced-Life Wellness Association — An organization that aims to ensure that Black men and boys, who bear the heaviest burden of disease and poor
health status, have the opportunity to live fuller, healthier lives.
* Voces de la Frontera — A membership-based community organization that aims to protect and expand civil and workers' rights through leadership
development, community organizing and empowerment.
The new member organizations were recruited and selected by other CSW member nonprofits and were unanimously approved for membership by the
Community Shares of Wisconsin Board of Directors.
Four of the organizations (Mentoring Positives, Orgullo Lantinx LGBT+ of Dane County, Positive Women for Change, and Rebalanced-Life Wellness
Association) have been previously featured by CSW as Inspiring Voices causes — Black and Brown-led organizations working to reduce racial disparities and
advance racial equity.
"We are thrilled to welcome these new organizations into our community of nonprofits," said CSW Executive Director Cheri Dubiel. "For nearly 50 years, CSW
has worked to raise funds and build support for local grassroots causes at the forefront of the social justice movement in Wisconsin. These new member groups
represent an exciting next chapter in that history."
Sign Up to Get Locally Generated Solar Energy
FROM Madison Gas and Electric
Customer support helped launch Madison Gas and Electric's (MGE) Shared Solar program about a year and a half ago. Customers who
subscribed to the program support solar power generated by an array on the roof of the Middleton Municipal Operations Center. The
voluntary program sold out quickly!
Now, MGE is preparing for Shared Solar's expansion, which will give more customers the opportunity to participate and grow solar energy
in our community. MGE is adding customers to a waiting list in anticipation of the program's expansion.
Program participation is easy and affordable. Join our waiting list at www.mge.com/sharedsolar and be among the first to learn about our
next steps. This limited opportunity will be available to MGE electric customers on a first-come, first-served basis.
Features of Shared Solar
Shared Solar is convenient and simple. Participants:
• Subscribe for up to 50% of their annual electricity use.
• Pay a one-time up-front fee and a fixed per-kilowatt-hour rate for solar.
• Pay the standard rate for the rest of their electricity.
• Take solar with them if they move within MGE's electric service area.
• Reserve their spot for 25 years but may exit at any time.
Working together to reach shared goals
Shared Solar helps grow solar in our community. It also advances MGE's Energy 2030 framework, which includes our goal of supplying
30 percent renewable energy by 2030.
Join us in the Shared Solar program as we work toward shared energy goals for our community.
Stay tuned for more details about the expansion and to learn about our other clean energy projects. Visit www.energy2030together.com.
LWV of Wisconsin Sues to Prevent Enforcement of Bills Passed During
Unconstitutional “Extraordinary Session” of the Legislature
Suit Seeks to Invalidate Actions Taken During Lame-Duck Proceeding
MADISON—Today the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin, along with five other plaintiffs, filed a lawsuit in Dane County Circuit Court challenging the
enforceability of the legislation adopted during an “extraordinary session” of the Wisconsin Legislature last month. The lawsuit asks the court to prevent
the Wisconsin Election Commission and Governor Tony Evers from enforcing or implementing any of the provisions of the newly enacted laws. The
lawsuit contends that because the Legislature unconstitutionally convened the December 2018 “extraordinary session,” all business conducted during
the “extraordinary session” is void and unenforceable.
“The people of Wisconsin expect their elected officials to represent their interests transparently, and in a manner that respects the limits of the
constitutional authority granted to them,” said
Erin Grunze, Executive Director of the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin. “The adoption of and attempts to implement the legislation passed during
the “extraordinary session” are unconstitutional and fundamentally undermine our democracy.”
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of three statewide civil rights organizations representing the interests of thousands of Wisconsinites: the League of
Women Voters of Wisconsin, Disability
Rights of Wisconsin, and Black Leaders Organizing for Communities. The organizations were joined by three Wisconsin residents, union laborer
Guillermo Aceves, longtime natural resources attorney and advocate Michael Cain, and former Wisconsin Assistant Attorney General John
Greene. The plaintiffs allege that the Legislature unconstitutionally convened an “extraordinary session” during which it passed three bills that expand
the Legislature’s powers at the expense of the executive branch of government, thereby causing the plaintiffs irreparable harm.
“We are urgently asking the court to prevent enforcement of the bills passed during the ‘extraordinary session’ to ensure the integrity of and to prevent
limitations on voters’ ability to participate in the state’s spring elections,” said Grunze. “One co-equal branch of government should not be allowed to
act outside its constitutional authority to the detriment of Wisconsin taxpayers and voters.”
The Wisconsin State Constitution authorizes the Legislature to convene in only two ways: by regular session or by special session called by the
Governor. The Constitution does not authorize the Legislature to convene an “extraordinary session” on its own initiative. The December 2018
“extraordinary session” was convened by the Legislature through a joint resolution, not by law or special session as required by the Constitution.
Therefore, the “extraordinary session” falls outside both constitutionally sanctioned categories.
In response to filing the lawsuit, lead counsel Jeffrey A. Mandell said, “The text of the
Wisconsin Constitution is unambiguous. The Legislature does not have the authority to convene itself in an ‘extraordinary session.’ Because the session
was unconstitutional, all business conducted during the ‘extraordinary session’ is illegal and, therefore, void. Fidelity to the
Constitution is a fundamental principle of law.”
“Provisions adopted during the ‘extraordinary session’ enshrine in statute dramatic changes to
Wisconsin’s Medicaid program, putting the state’s disabled community at risk and undermining our ability to effectively carry out our federally
designated protection and advocacy functions,” added Kristin M. Kerschensteiner, Advocacy/Legal Services Director of Disability Rights
Of Wisconsin. “These sweeping changes will harm disabled individuals across the state, were unlawfully adopted, and do not withstand scrutiny.”
“The changes to voting laws have an acutely harmful impact on minority communities who voted early in significant numbers in the November 2018
election,” said Angela Lang, Executive Director of Black Leaders Organizing for Communities (BLOC). “The Legislature doubled down on a strategy that
a federal court already declared unconstitutional. That’s not how democracy is supposed to work.”
Guillermo Aceves, a private citizen and plaintiff in the lawsuit, commented, “As a proud member of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local
139, I know first-hand how important it is to make sure our roads and bridges are built to the highest standards, and that the workers building those
roads and bridges are fairly compensated for their good work. An unconstitutional legislative session isn’t the place to make changes to the law that
could affect our state’s infrastructure safety.”
Michael Cain, a private citizen who joined the lawsuit, noted, “The bills were adopted with such haste that there was not a meaningful opportunity for
public input or for the legislators to assess the real impacts. As an example, the provisions dealing with agency guidance documents will result in the
waste of millions of dollars of taxpayer funds and will not serve the needs of the public, applicants, or the agencies charged with efficient administration
of State laws. As a taxpayer, a sportsman, and a lawyer who spent my entire career advocating for the protection of
Wisconsin’s natural resources, I believe these provisions undermine longstanding priorities enshrined in Wisconsin law.”
John Greene, a private citizen, former Wisconsin Assistant Attorney General, and taxpayer-plaintiff, warned, “Provisions adopted by the Legislature
during the ‘extraordinary session’ will undermine the Attorney General’s ability to represent the people of Wisconsin, protect consumers, and safeguard
the environment. These laws will make litigation in which the
State is involved more expensive and complex, and could reduce the amount of money the State receives from settlements. Taxpayers, the
environment, and victims of consumer fraud should not be penalized by this unconstitutional legislation.”
“This lawsuit is not about partisan politics,” stated Protect Democracy’s Deana El-Mallawany, who is co-counsel in the case. “It is about upholding the
rule of law and requiring the legislature to act within the constitutional constraints on its authority. Elected officials are bound by the constitution. They
cannot simply ignore its limitations. When they do, the people of Wisconsin and our democracy suffer.”
“Our clients are requesting that the courts intervene to prevent a co-equal branch of government exceeding the constitutional limits on its powers. All
laws passed during the extraordinary session are unenforceable because the ‘extraordinary session’ itself was unlawful under the plain language of the
Wisconsin Constitution,” stated co-counsel Larry Robbins of Robbins Russell.