WISDOM Updates


The Parole Commission Talking Points

posted by Sophia Webmaster

Apologies for the problem with the Talking Points in the last post.
Hopefully you can download them here: Talking Points for Parole Commission Hearing.

REMINDER: There will be a very important Public Hearing: Please join us in Action! 

Wednesday, August 23
10:00 am
State Capitol, Room 330, Southwest


Choose one of the Talking Points to call or write to your State Senator. Find their contact info here. And, join us in Madison!

This is the public hearing regarding the nomination of Daniel Gabler as the new permanent chair of the Parole Commission.


About 3,000 parole-eligible prisoners are systematically being denied a fair chance to earn their freedom - something the judges who sentenced them back in the 80's and 90's assumed they would have.  

To better understand this issue, please take a little time to look through WISDOM’S BOOK OF LETTERS.  You can see what this issue is about and why it is such a nightmare for the men and women caught up in it.

Please share this info with members of your organization, your friends, your Facebook contacts, etc.
 
The breakdown of the parole system is a seldom-discussed serious injustice.  
    •    All parole-eligible people have been in prison for at least 17 years, most of them far longer than the judge who sentenced them anticipated.  
    •    Many were very young at the time of their crimes and are now in their 40's and 50's.  
    •    Hundreds of them are trusted to leave prison unsupervised every day to work at jobs in the community, or even to work in the State Capitol and the Governor's residence.  

It is time they got a chance to re-join their families. It is time to save millions of taxpayer dollars. It is time to relieve some pressure on our overcrowded prisons.

Action Alert. Wednesday, August 23

posted Aug 21, 2017, 1:51 PM by Sophia Webmaster

There will be a very important Public Hearing: Please join us in Action!

Wednesday, August 23
10:00 am
State Capitol, Room 330, Southwest, Madison


This is the public hearing regarding the nomination of Daniel Gabler as the new permanent chair of the Parole Commission.

About 3,000 parole-eligible prisoners are systematically being denied a fair chance to earn their freedom - something the judges who sentenced them back in the 80's and 90's assumed they would have.  

The request of the ROC Wisconsin Campaign leadership is:
    •    If you possibly can, join us in Madison on Wednesday.  Whether or not you speak at the hearing, a huge number of people will let State Senators know that this is not an issue they can keep ignoring and pretending they don't understand.
    •    If you cannot be in Madison on Wednesday morning, please make a phone call to your State Senator. Find the number here.

To better understand this issue, please take a little time to look through WISDOM’S BOOK OF INMATE LETTERS.  You can see what this issue is about and why it is such a nightmare for the men and women caught up in it.
 
The breakdown of the parole system is a seldom-discussed serious injustice.  
    •    All parole-eligible people have been in prison for at least 17 years, most of them far longer than the judge who sentenced them anticipated.  
    •    Many were very young at the time of their crimes and are now in their 40's and 50's.  
    •    Hundreds of them are trusted to leave prison unsupervised every day to work at jobs in the community, or even to work in the State Capitol and the Governor's residence. 

As we send out more information, please share it with members of your organization, your friends, your Facebook contacts, etc.

It is time all parole-eligible people get a chance to re-join their families and communities. It is time to save millions of taxpayer dollars. It is time to relieve some pressure on our overcrowded prisons.

Call to Action: PayDay Lending

posted Jul 26, 2017, 5:18 PM by Sophia Webmaster

Banks Should Stay Out of Payday Lending

In past years, WISDOM took on payday lending in Wisconsin and was successful in gaining protections to cap interest rates and limit the number of rollovers allowed. We believe regulation of lending is a moral issue. No amount of corporate lobbying or campaign contributions can blind people of faith to the clear moral and ethical imperative to protect the needy from the unscrupulous.

Banks want to back in to the payday lending business. They are attacking hard won consumer protections like the ones we fought hard to win in Wisconsin. We have to stop them!

Here’s what you can do to help right now: 
Sign on to this letter urging banks to pledge not to enter the payday lending business. Share this with members of your congregation and ask them to sign on too.


Predatory payday lending has devastating effects on Wisconsin families and communities. It strips consumers of their hard-earned money, traps borrowers in a never-ending cycle of high-cost debt, and preys on American families precisely when they are struggling with the most difficult circumstances.


Wisconsin’s predatory lending industry profits exceed 500% interest on loans. These loans disproportionately impact communities of color. The Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions reports there are 222 licensed payday lenders operating in Wisconsin. Wisconsin consumers to pay over $500 million dollars annually in excessive fees.

Thanks for your support. Click here for more information and a report by the Center for Responsible Lending.

State Transportation Budget Action Alert

posted Jul 17, 2017, 1:34 PM by Sophia Webmaster

We still don’t have a Wisconsin state transportation budget!



WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW:


1. Calls: Now more than ever it's time to contact your elected officials. Find your Assembly Representative and Senator here.
  Script: Hi, my name is ____ and I’m a constituent from [hometown].  I’m calling because I want to encourage the Representative/Senator to focus on meeting important local needs in the transportation budget.   Please cut spending on highway mega-projects and invest in local needs - like repairing existing roads and funding public transit that connects people to jobs and the places they want to go. I also want to make sure that public transit stays in the segregated transportation fund.  Thank you!



2. Photo Petitions: Take a photo with a message of why you support public transit.  We’ll post it on social media as part of a state-wide campaign to keep transit in the public eye. Send us (wisdomforjustice@gmail.com) your photo, and then email it also to your elected officials… or tag them on Twitter and Facebook!  Contact the WISDOM office for details.



3. Write a letter-to-the-editor with your thoughts. Elected officials read them!


4. Join WISDOM's Transit Task Force.  Contact Dawn at cushorganizer@gmail.com.


EXPO Week!

posted Jun 28, 2017, 2:42 PM by Sophia Webmaster

This is a big week for WISDOM and our EXPO members!
  • 20 Wisconsin EXPO members are currently in the Gamaliel National Weeklong Training
  • Tomorrow is the kick-off of EXPO’s #CloseMSDF Campaign
  • EXPO’s first Banquet is on Friday
  • Several EXPO leaders gave presentations in a variety of venues


You can follow the excitement through the following links.  Also featured here are EXPO leaders in educational presentations.  EXPO proves the WISDOM principle that those who are closest to a problem are best able to solve a problem!

#CloseMSDF Launch Event Facebook Page
https://www.facebook.com/events/209008779603332

EXPO of Wisconsin Banquet Website
https://actionnetwork.org/events/2017-expo-of-wisconsin-banquet

MSDF Panel Discussion Sponsored by Rid Racism Milwaukee
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vHIqJA8KBec

Kathleen Dunn Show
https://www.wpr.org/once-prisoners-now-justice-reform-advocates

MSDF Promo Video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9FbiP25US0k&feature=youtu.be

Thanks for your support!


WISDOM:  Linking people of faith across Wisconsin to work for justice!
2821 N. Fourth Street
Milwaukee, WI 53212  
(414) 831-2070
    •    wisdomforjustice@gmail.com
    •    www.wisdomwisconsin.org
    •    http://www.rocwisconsin.org
    •    FaceBook
    •    https://twitter.com/wisdom4justice  
    •    
Donate

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EXPO Events

posted Jun 15, 2017, 6:33 PM by Sophia Webmaster

One of the most exciting, powerful developments in WISDOM has been the emergence of EXPO, EX-Prisoners Organizing.  Our formerly-incarcerated brothers and sisters are committed to changing the way we see and talk about people with conviction histories, and they are leading the charge to transform our terribly flawed criminal justice system.  EXPO has given a tremendous boost of energy, passion and insight to WISDOM.  

Yesterday, EXPO leaders Mark Rice and Carl Fields did a great job on the Kathleen Dunn show on Wisconsin Public Radio.  You can access the interview HERE. 

We have some opportunities in the near future to support EXPO and the serious agenda they have helped lead us to:

Close the MSDF Campaign Launch
Thursday, June 29
5 - 7pm
MATC Room M605
700 W. State Street, Milwaukee
Download a flyer HERE.
Click HERE for more info.

EXPO Banquet
Friday, June 30
5:30 - 8pm
Ascension Lutheran Church
1236 S. Layton Blvd, Milwaukee
Download a flyer HERE.
Click HERE for more info.

If you'd like to support EXPO or any of the work of WISDOM, you can make a donation HERE.

THANKS



 

Transportation Budget Call to Action

posted Jun 13, 2017, 12:42 PM by Sophia Webmaster

The Joint Finance Committee is still working on the new Transportation Budget. We want to make sure that the new budget works for everyone!

Please contact the following state legislators and your own legislators.  Be sure to include your address:  we want them to know of the support of people all around the state.  Please re-send your message regularly until the budget is finalized. Thanks.

Message:

Take action to create a transportation system that works for everyone in Wisconsin:

·      more money for Public Transit
·      more money for Specialty Transit for seniors and people with disabilities
·      more money for local roads
·      fund these important priorities by scaling back the huge highway projects that are not necessary
·      resist any attempts to remove public transit from the Transportation Fund.

 
Key Transportation Legislators:
Joint Committee on Finance


Sen. Alberta Darling
Co-Chair

Sen.Darling@legis.wisconsin.gov

Rep. John Nygren
Co-Chair
Rep. Dale Kooyenga
Vice-Chair

Rep.Kooyenga@legis.wisconsin.gov

Sen. Luther S. Olsen
Vice-Chair

Sen.Olsen@legis.wisconsin.gov

Sen. Leah Vukmir
Member

Sen.Vukmir@legis.wi.gov

Joe Malkasian
Clerk

joe.malkasian@legis.wisconsin.gov


Stedman Step-Up Scholar for 2017 Named

posted Jun 7, 2017, 4:17 PM by Sophia Webmaster

June 5 marked the one-year anniversary of the passing of our dear friend, colleague and inspiration, John Stedman.  John was an outstanding community organizer and a man of deep religious faith.  John not only overcame the demon of addiction, but he turned his struggle into his greatest strength as he exuded hope and life.

To honor John's memory, scores of people made donations, large and small, to the Stedman Step-Up Fund.  The fund was established to pay the way each year for a Wisconsin person in recovery from addiction to participate in the Weeklong Leadership Training of the Gamaliel network.

The second recipient of the Stedman Step-Up Scholarship was announced last night, as the Chippewa Valley EXPO (EX-Prisoners Organizing) chapter - which John helped to establish - held its first-ever fundraiser. 

Congratulations to Stacey Acuna
, who will be attending the Weeklong Training that begins on June 25.  Stacey has shown commitment and dedication to growing the Chippewa Valley EXPO chapter since she joined in the fall of 2016.  She has also been active in attending both JONAH and WISDOM meetings and trainings.  She has recently taken on the role of local EXPO chair, and is participating in WISDOM's Race and Diversity planning team.

In 2018, Stacey will join Sarah Ferber (last year's Stedman Scholar) and Sharon Stedman (John's wife) to choose the next recipient.

As always, if you’d like to support EXPO or any of WISDOM’s projects, you can click here.

EXPO Update and Funding Request

posted May 23, 2017, 8:37 AM by Sophia Webmaster   [ updated May 23, 2017, 12:36 PM ]

Dear WISDOM Members and Friends:

June is going to be a huge month for EXPO (EX-Prisoners Organizing).

The week of June 25 will be the 2017 EXPO Weeklong Training at UW Parkside.  This will be the Gamaliel National Leadership Training, a highly-regarded intensive week designed for people who want to learn to be effective community organizers and leaders for change.  The June training will be especially for formerly-incarcerated people and for family members of men, women and youth in jail or prison.

In early June, we will announce the winner of the Stedman Step-up Scholarship for this year - a person in recovery who will be participating in the EXPO Weeklong Training.  This will be the second person attending Weeklong thanks to the fund that was established in honor of our friend, brother and exemplary community organizer, John Stedman, who passed away on June 5 of last year.  Last year's recipient, Sarah Ferber, is doing amazing work in Eau Claire, and because of her example we have six more people from tat area who want to come to training.

The EXPO Weeklong has given us a good problem.  We have a LOT of formerly-incarcerated people who have become active in EXPO and who want to become leaders in the movement. Besides the six from Eau Claire, we have at least 15 more from Milwaukee, Madison, the Fox Valley and Racine. Not many are able to pay the cost of the training, so we are doing what we can to raise some money so we do not squander any of their great talent, energy, and desire to be a force for positive change.

The last full day of the Weeklong Training, June 30, will also be the day of the first annual EXPO Awards Banquet, to be held at Ascension Lutheran Church in Milwaukee.  Tickets are $50, and all proceeds go directly to the EXPO organization.

If you are in a position to help with one of these events, your contribution would be greatly appreciated.  
CLICK HERE
 if you are willing and able to make a donation.  Be sure to note if you want to help sponsor an EXPO member for training, or if you want to be a sponsor for the banquet.

It is exciting to see the EXPO movement growing rapidly.  We are even expecting about a dozen people at the training from other states who want to build groups back home. Your assistance can help keep the momentum going.

Thank you.

Three Legislative Requests

posted May 15, 2017, 11:21 AM by Sophia Webmaster

As the state budget process moves forward, leaders of various WISDOM Task Forces and Work-groups are asking everyone to please contact your State Assembly Representative and State Senator.  To find out who your legislators are, or to get their contact information, click HERE.

We are asking you to share three simple messages in your own words.  If you do not feel comfortable with all three, you can contact them about one or two of the items.


1.  The Legislature has rejected Governor Walker's plan for Transportation, and have said they will make a completely new budget plan.  There are many things they are debating.  In the midst of all their debates, though, please ask legislators to include more money for PublicTransit, for Specialty Transit for seniors and people with disabilities, and for local roads.  They can fund these important priorities by scaling back the huge highway projects that are not necessary.  

2.  Rep. Michael Schraa has introduced a plan to establish a pilot program that would divert many people convicted of Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) into an intensive treatment program, rather than a five-year mandatory prison sentence.  The "WISGREAT" program would not only provide intensive treatment, but it would also provide transportation that would allow participants to keep their jobs during the 18 months they would be confined.

Ask legislators to support Rep. Schraa and the WISGREAT program, as well as increased funding for the TAD (Treatment Alternatives and Diversions) program.  Both programs save taxpayer money and help restore people to health and a place as productive, contributing members of society.  WISGREAT and TAD hold people accountable for their actions while providing a path for them to recover and make amends.


3.  About 3,000 people in Wisconsin prisons are eligible for parole.  Yet, the parole system has slowed to a snail's pace.  Many men and women who have served the time they were expected to serve by the judge who sentenced them, and who pose no threat at all to the community, are being held unnecessarily.  For unexplained reasons, the Governor has proposed the elimination of the Parole Commission, which we fear would slow the process even more.

Ask legislators to refuse to eliminate the Parole Commission.  Ask them to instead demand a complete review of the 3,000 parole-eligible prisoners, and the release of those who have met the expectations of the judges who sentenced them in the last century.

If you'd like to be part of a Task Force or Work-group to help with these important initiatives, contact us atwisdomforjustice@gmail.com.

Thank you.

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