WISDOM Updates

Transportation Public Hearing, May 2

posted Apr 20, 2017, 5:55 PM by Sophia Webmaster


Transportation Public Hearing
Tuesday, May 2
7 - 8:30pm
Ascension Lutheran Church, 1415 Dopp Street, Waukesha (Waukesha Metro Route 6)

The Joint Finance Committee has scrapped the Governor's proposed transportation budget. Representative Kooyenga of Brookfield is tasked with putting together the new transportation budget. We want to let him - and Senator Vukmir, Waukesha County, also on the Joint Finance Committee - know that people care about funding for local roads, public transit, and senior and disabled transit.

This is an opportunity for them to hear from people who couldn't get to the official public hearings. Come and speak or send a written comment to the SOPHIA office, 100 East Broadway, 53186.

WISDOM and our colleagues in the state-wide Transportation Coalition have gathered thousands of signatures in support of our interests.  We will present these petitions and any written comments. If you haven't yet signed, you can do so: click here.

Plan to join us and bring a car-load of your friends, neighbors, congregation members.  For more info:bpfarr@ssndcp.org.

EXPO Is Making a Difference

posted Apr 20, 2017, 2:35 PM by Sophia Webmaster

  • EXPO and WISDOM leaders were shocked recently to learn that the Wisconsin Department of Corrections (DOC) was using a training presentation that compared people on supervision to animals. Our organizing efforts led the DOC to remove the offensive images from their PowerPoint presentations. Thank you to all of you who contacted your legislators and local DOC officials and posted on social media regarding this matter. Click here to read an article about this.

  • The 2017 EXPO of Milwaukee Community Forum will be on Saturday, April 29 from 11:30 am to 3 pm at the Wisconsin Black Historical Society (2620 W. Center St., Milwaukee, WI 53206). Topics will include the Milwaukee Secure Detention Facility, crimeless revocations, and community-based alternatives to incarceration. Click here to RSVP and to read the bios of the panelists and presenters.
  • Here is the link to EXPO Radio:http://www.riverwestradio.com/show/expo-ex-prisoners-organizing/

  • Please consider making a financial contribution to EXPO. Your support will help EXPO advance our mission of ending mass incarceration, eliminating structural discrimination against formerly incarcerated people, and restoring formerly incarcerated people to full participation in the life of our communities. Clickhere to learn more about our work. 

    For information on how to become a Sustaining Member of EXPO, contact us at expogroupwi@gmail.com. To make a one-time contribution, click here.

Immigration Solidarity March, Tuesday!

posted Apr 17, 2017, 12:34 PM by Sophia Webmaster

Members of WISDOM affiliates will hold a March of Solidarity with Undocumented Immigrants to coincide with the visit of President Trump and Governor Ryan to Snap-On Tools, Kenosha.

Tuesday, April 18
9:30 am. 
St. Mary’s Lutheran Church, 2001 80th Street, Kenosha 
The march will proceed West toward Snap-on where President Trump and Governor Walker are planning to visit.

As people of faith, our vision is to build community in which everyone is treated equally. We lift up our undocumented neighbors who are struggling to build a better life for themselves and their families, many of whom are escaping unspeakable conditions in their countries of origin. We believe all children, including children of undocumented parents, deserve to feel safe. 

CUSH, RIC, MICAH, SOPHIA and other WISDOM chapters continue to advocate for reforms that reflect our values, and treat all immigrants and their families with compassion and respect.  

Participants are encouraged to bring patriotic flags, signs that speak to our faith values, and your WISDOM t-shirt if you have one. 

For more information, contact Sandy Milligan, 262-564-8223.

Madison Action Day pictures, and more next steps!

posted Apr 6, 2017, 5:49 PM by Sophia Webmaster   [ updated Apr 6, 2017, 5:50 PM ]

It has been a week since Madison Action Day 2017.  Click HERE to see some pictures from the day. If you were there, you might see yourself!  And, if you weren’t, you can see what you missed.

It was one of the largest and best such events we have ever had.  We are still working through the evaluations and the reports from the scores of legislative visits that were made.  It is already clear that the day made an impact.  While we don’t know the final outcome of any of the issues we presented, we do know that our concerns were heard and, apparently, taken seriously by some.  More striking is that participants obviously found great value in interacting with other WISDOM members, and feeling the power of belonging to such a large and diverse network of people of faith and good will.

Since Madison Action Day, more than 20 WISDOM members have offered testimony before the Joint Finance Committee in Platteville and West Allis regarding issues that are addressed in the budget.  There are still four more opportunities to make your voice heard by those who are working on the state budget for the next two years.  The remaining budget hearings are:

  • Friday, April 7 – Berlin High School (Berlin is sort of near Ripon)

  • Tuesday, April 18 – Spooner High School  (Spooneris between Eau Claire and Superior)

  • Wednesday, April 19 – Ellsworth High School (Ellsworth is in far west central Wisconsin)

  • Friday, April 21  Marinette High School (northwest of Green Bay)

The hearings all start at 10 am.  If you want to coordinate with other WISDOM people who might be going to the same hearing, call the WISDOM office at 414-831-2070and we’ll help you connect.

On Madison Action Day, many people were also inspired to be more involved in some of our Issue Workgroups.  Here are the times for upcoming conference calls:

  • Parole and Compassionate Release  Saturday, April 8 at 8:30 am
  • Transit  Monday, April 10 at 7 pm
  • Solitary Confinement  Tuesday, April 11 at 4 pm
  • Prison Prevention (TAD and 17 year-olds) –Tuesday, April 11 at 5 pm
  • Post-Release Issues (Revocations, etc.) –Thursday, April 27 at 7:30 pm

New members are welcome to join the groups.  Just dial in to 712-432-1601, and use the access code 423950#  The calls all take just an hour.  It is a good way to stay up-to-date on the issues, help fashion the next actions, and stay in touch with the others who share your values, concerns and hopes.

Great Madison Action Day! We're not done though!!!

posted Apr 1, 2017, 1:24 PM by Sophia Webmaster

800 WISDOM members gathered in Madison on March 30.  We were inspired; we learned a lot; we strengthened our diverse community of faithful people seeking justice; we shared our message with our elected officials.  From Dr. Alex Gee's powerful keynote address to Revs. Boyle, Brisco and Mattern's inspirational send-off, the day was packed with quality workshops, legislative visits, and amazing, powerful testimonies from our leaders.

There will be more to report from Madison Action Day in future communications.  But, today we need to focus on some follow-up steps that are coming up very soon!
  • The WISDOM Immigration Task Force, which was buoyed by tremendous enthusiasm from so many people from around the state looking to protect, educate and act on behalf of embattled immigrants, will have a conference call this MONDAY, April 3, at 7:30 pm.  The number to call is 712-432-1601, passcode 423950#  This is a great moment to get involved!
  • Also, on Monday, the legislative Joint Finance Committee will have its first Public Hearing of the season, at UW Platteville.  A group is going from Madison to each take their 2 minutes to share our concerns with this important budget-making committee.  If you can join us in Platteville on Monday morning, please do.  Call David Liners, 414-736-2099, for more information.
  • The second Joint Finance Committee Hearing will be Wednesday, April 5, at State Fair Park in West Allis.  We hope to have a strong showing from Southeast Wisconsin.  For more information, or to connect with others who intend to go to testify, call the WISDOM office, 414-831-2070.
  • The third Joint Finance Hearing will be Friday, April 7, at the Berlin High School. Berlin is about 35 miles west of Oshkosh.  Again, to connect with others who intend to make their voices heard in Berlin, call the WISDOM office.
  • Finally, next Saturday, April 8, at 8:30 am, the Parole and Compassionate Release Workgroup has their monthly conference call.  New members are welcomed and encouraged to attend. Call 712-432-1601, passcode 423950#.

We did a lot of good things on Madison Action Day.  This week, we have a lot of opportunities to keep the momentum going!

Still Time to Register for Madison Action Day, and EXPO Radio

posted Mar 23, 2017, 8:48 AM by Sophia Webmaster   [ updated Mar 23, 2017, 8:49 AM ]

March 30 is coming soon!  If you are not already signed up to be one of the 800 WISDOM leaders at the State Capitol next Thursday, now is the time to do it!  You can click HERE to register, or you can contact any local WISDOM organization.  Or, you can call the WISDOM office at 414-831-2070. Download a flyer HERE.

You can register right up until March 30, but if you are signed up before March 24, we can be certain that there will be a lunch for you, and a seat on the bus from whatever community you are coming from.

Madison Action Day is the one day every two years when people of faith gather from every corner of the state to learn, to be inspired and to act.  We will pray together; we will learn about state budget issues that matter; and we will be sure that our elected representatives know clearly WISDOM's values and priorities are.  You don't want to miss it!

Tonight will be the first installment of EXPO Radio!  EXPO (EX-Prisoners Organizing - a growing part of WISDOM).  EXPO Radio will be on the air every Wednesday evening from 8:30 to 9:00 pm, starting tonight!  The best way to listen is online at riverwestradio.com.  This will be a unique program: of, by and for formerly-incarcerated people.  Tune us in!  And, pass the word to others.  If you miss it live, you can come back later to hear it from the archive.

A message from WISDOM's President: Such a Time as This

posted Mar 20, 2017, 9:03 AM by Sophia Webmaster

When the WISDOM organization decided that it would forgo its former approach to the Madison Action Day for 2017, no one knew at the time that providence was being fulfilled. As an organization we simply wanted to streamline the message of the day and to give each particular issue the appropriate time and attention it deserved. Who could have imagined that the country would fall into the control of  leadership that has proposed and begun to carry out some very oppressive policies?  WISDOM and its affiliates were formed to combat and alert the people of its devastating consequences.

The scripture above is from the Old Testament book of Esther. Esther's uncle Mordecai suggested a providential reason for her becoming queen at this precise time in history; that is, Esther was acting as God's agent in delivering the Jewish people. Esther agreed to intervene with the king on behalf of her people. She fasted for three days in order to seek God's guidance through prayer at this critical juncture. Esther's ability to look beyond her needs saved a multitude.

During this period of Lent many of our faiths make a pledge of repentance, contemplation, and sacrifice. We look beyond our needs in order to identify with and get in concert with the creator. We have an opportunity and a charge to make a statement in Madison on Thursday, March 30th. 

As President and member of WISDOM, I strongly ask each of our affiliates and all the membership to pray, meditate, and reflect on building for a powerful gathering. Who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?

We are still accepting registrations.  Bus transportation is available from many of our affiliate organizations: contact your organizer for details. You can register on line here, or download a registration flyer to mail in here.

Just Two Weeks Until Madison Action Day!

posted Mar 17, 2017, 6:33 PM by Sophia Webmaster

The excitement for Madison Action Day on March 30continues to build!  As of the end of the day March 15, nearly 450 people had signed up for the big event.  WISDOM leaders expect that number to be more than 800 by the time we all meet at Bethel Lutheran Church onMarch 30.

Registration will remain open until the event itself onMarch 30.  We are, though, asking everyone to do their best to have people signed up by Friday, March 24. That is the day we need to have a number for lunches.  If you will be coming on a bus, your local organization will need to know how many people need seats.

You can get details and register online HERE, or you can register through any local organization in the WISDOM network, or you can download a registration flyer HERE.

March 30 promises to be an inspirational and educational day.  We will deal with issues of criminal justice, public transportation, health care, education and jobs.  WISDOM will also take a stand in solidarity with the Menominee Nation as they fight against an open pit sulfide mine in their ancestral home.

Madison Action Day 2017:  Be inspired, be educated, be visible, be heard.  BE THERE!

Issues for Madison Action Day on March 30

posted Mar 12, 2017, 7:24 AM by Sophia Webmaster

There will be Breakout Groups dealing in-depth with 11 different issues at the WISDOM Madison Action Day on March 30.  They are:
  • Treatment Alternatives and Diversions (TAD) - seeking more resources for alternatives to incarceration.
  • The Second Chance Act - which would move most 17 year-olds back to the juvenile justice system (currently, Wisconsin is one of a few states that treats all 17 year-olds as adults).
  • Solitary Confinement - pushing for continued reduction of the use of solitary confinement, and investment in mental health programs in prisons as alternatives to it.
  • Crimeless Revocations - calling on the state to stop sending people on Supervision back to prison for mere rule violations if they have not committed a new crime.
  • Parole and Compassionate Release - rather than end the parole board, restore real opportunities for the many parole-eligible people in prison to earn their release.
  • Transitional Jobs - calling for greater investment in a very successful program that provides jobs for people who have been unemployed for a long time.
  • Transit - working to increase the resources dedicated to public transportation, to invest equitably in people who do not drive cars.
  • Immigration reform - standing in solidarity with immigrants in this very difficult time
  • Back Forty Mine - standing with the Menominee people to oppose a sulfide mine on their ancestral lands (which include burial mounds) which also poses a threat to our rivers and Lake Michigan.
  • Health Care As a Human Right - working to ensure that health care coverage is not lost for people in Wisconsin, but rather that it is expanded.
  • Education - this workshop will be led by students, dealing with their needs and hopes.
Please remember that we want as many people as possible to register for Madison Action Day by this coming Wednesday, March 15.  We want to have a good initial sense of who is coming so we can start to plan for space, food and materials.  We will continue to accept registrations after that date, but people should be advised that we may not be able to have lunches for people who register after March 24.  You can register online HERE, or through any WISDOM organization, or download a flyerhere and mail it in to the WISDOM office.


Bethel Lutheran Church
312 Wisconsin Ave, Madison, WI

  8:00 Breakfast and Networking at the Church 
  9:00 Welcome, Prayer, Plenary, Workshops, Strategy Sessions
12:00 Lunch, Visits with legislators about proposed state budget issues
4:00 Closing event at the Capitol.

$25 includes breakfast, lunch and materials

Support Public Transit at Madison Action Day

posted Mar 8, 2017, 2:31 PM by Sophia Webmaster

Support Public Transit by Signing Our Petition

One of the issues that we will be addressing at Madison Action Day on March 30 is Public Transit. 

Creating a transportation system that works for everyone in Wisconsin and uses our tax dollars responsibly starts by getting our spending priorities straight. We have to spend less on costly highway expansion programs and more on urgent needs, like maintaining existing roads and connecting people to jobs and opportunities through more cost-effective public transportation.

Urge Governor Walker and Wisconsin Legislators to cut spending on highway mega-projects and invest instead in local needs - like repairing existing roads and funding public transit that connects workers to jobs and a growing number of seniors and people with disabilities to services and opportunities. 

Sign our petition for a more responsible transportation budget: c
lick here. WISDOM leaders will take your name along to Madison Action Day on March 30 to show support for a Responsible Transportation Budget!

1-10 of 111