WISDOM Updates


ROC Action Opportunities

posted by Sophia Webmaster

Dear WISDOM Leaders and Friends:

There are two opportunities in the very near future to let your voice be heard on matters of great concern to the Restore Our Communities (ROC Wisconsin) campaign for criminal justice reform.

1. The Department of Corrections is accepting comments on potential changes to the Administrative Rules that affect "inmate classification, sentence, and release provisions".  We are asking the Department to make two very specific changes:  One is to make it a priority for parole-eligible people in prison to be placed in assignments that will help them to complete the requirements for their release.  The other is for the DOC to identify and assist people who are eligible for "compassionate release" to get through that process. 

We have until November 1 to send in comments. 

The address to send those comments isDOCAdministrativeRulesCommittee@wisconsin.gov 
    

  • To download a sample comment to send regardingParole-Eligible People, click HERE.
  • To download a sample comment regardingCompassionate Release, click HERE


2.  There is a bill working its way through the legislature right now that is about building a new prison in Green Bay.  Essentially, the bill calls for the state to sell the current prison (and its very valuable land on the Fox River) to the Village of Allouez. If needed, they would rent it back until a new prison is completed.  In the meantime, the state would contract with a private firm to build a new prison on some less-valuable farmland.  When it is done, the state would lease the prison from the builder.

We are not opposed to closing the Green Bay prison.  We need to be clear, however, that we do not need to build a new prison.

Through common sense reforms (e.g. ending Crimeless Revocations, fixing the Parole system, increasing TAD funding), we can reduce the prison population enough so we will have no need for a replacement prison.  

To download WISDOM's position paper on this, clickHERE.

Right now, the bill is before the Senate Committee on Government Operations, Technology and Consumer Protection.  You can send comments to the Chair and the other Senators on the Committee:    


Thank you.


WISDOM:  Linking people of faith across Wisconsin to work for justice!
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Congratulations! Great work!

posted Oct 13, 2017, 9:12 AM by Sophia Webmaster


Great Work!

1) Congratulations to EXPO for a very successful Mass Story Lab on Tuesday.  A near capacity crowd heard compelling personal stories from EXPO leaders and then engaged in small groups to develop strategy for the 5 committees that are steering the campaign to #CLOSEmsdf.  An article is here, and photos are availablehere.

2) Congratulations to WISDOM's Transit Task Force.  Our organizing efforts led to modest wins in the state transportation budget.  More importantly, our outreach to legislators, photo petitions, and public hearings were all instrumental in canceling the progress on the unnecessary I-94 expansion in Milwaukee. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation requested the US DOT cancel the project, and last Thursday, the USDOT formally rescinded the approval of the project.  Wisconsin transportation dollars can now be used for public transit and local road projects.  Details are here and here.

Contact us at wisdomforjustice@gmail.com to join these and other efforts towards greater justice in Wisconsin!

EXPO's First Newsletter!

posted Sep 19, 2017, 1:38 PM by Sophia Webmaster


1) News from EXPO!

Click here to download EXPO's first Newsletter.

2) Mark your calendar for this special EXPO event

Mass Story Lab: Milwaukee
Tuesday, October 10 
6 - 9 pm Food will be provided
Marquette University, Schroeder Complex, Room 256


Reservations are required. Click 
here to RSVP.

Mass Story Lab is a special storytelling event to amplify the voices of people whose lives have been changed by the Milwaukee Secure Detention Facility (MSDF). Through storytelling, dialogue, and community design we will envision a future beyond prisons.

Mass Story Lab is a participatory storytelling project that leverages the power of storytelling to inspire conversation and change in communities around the U.S.  To learn more, visit http://www.massstorylab.com/
.

Action Alert! Tell Congress to Get Rid of the #RipOffClause

posted Sep 9, 2017, 6:49 PM by Sophia Webmaster

Here is a call to action, related to our work on Pay Day Lending issues:

Wells Fargo committed fraud by creating millions of fake accounts and then told its customers: “Too bad, you can’t have your day in court.” In response, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a proposed rule prohibiting forced arbitration clauses in consumer financial contracts.  The proposed rule would restore the rights of consumer to have their day in court when financial institutions like Wells Fargo violate the law. 

Even before the proposed rule is made final, several members of Congress have pledged to try to block it. We need to raise our voices in support of accountability for wrongdoers.
Here are a few things you can do right now:

1. Call your senators and representative (the Capitol Switchboard is (202) 224-3121) and urge them to support the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s forced arbitration rule, Consumers deserve the right to take financial institutions to court when they break the law. Forced arbitration robs consumers of justice and gives financial institutions a license to steal.

2. Write a letter to the editor of your local paper. Avoid a partisan tone or attacks, but urge your Senators and congressional representative to support restoring your day in court and accountability for widespread misconduct.  Let us know if you would like a sample. If your letter is published, please let us know.

3. Spread the word through Twitter and Facebook, using #ripoffclause.  This toolkit can help.

Thanks for defending access to justice!

EXPO's First Newsletter!

posted Sep 8, 2017, 8:39 AM by Sophia Webmaster


1) News from EXPO!

Click here to download EXPO's first Newsletter.

2) Mark your calendar for this special EXPO event

Mass Story Lab: Milwaukee
Tuesday, October 10 
6 - 9 pm Food will be provided
Marquette University, Schroeder Complex, Room 256


Reservations are required. Click 
here to RSVP.

Mass Story Lab is a special storytelling event to amplify the voices of people whose lives have been changed by the Milwaukee Secure Detention Facility (MSDF). Through storytelling, dialogue, and community design we will envision a future beyond prisons.

Mass Story Lab is a participatory storytelling project that leverages the power of storytelling to inspire conversation and change in communities around the U.S.  To learn more, visit http://www.massstorylab.com/
.


WISDOM EXPO
2821 N. 4th Street
Milwaukee, WI 53212
(414) 831-2070
expogroupwi@gmail.com

Transit Conference. Monday, September 25

posted Sep 5, 2017, 6:51 PM by Sophia Webmaster

Join our Transit Task Force members at a conference sponsored by our coalition partners, 1,000 Friends of Wisconsin.

Transportation: The Future is Now: How communities can design transportation policies to achieve economic growth, environmental sustainability and social equity in a changing world.

Monday, September 25th
Monona Terrace, Madison


A complete agenda and registration info is 
here.  Use the $75 non-profit category.  If the cost is prohibitive for you, contact ash@1kfriends.org to discuss scholarship possibilities.

Topics include: 
•    Reducing carbon emissions and protecting the environment;
•    Changing demographics - an opportunity to invest in a 21st century transportation system;
•    Harnessing changing technology while retaining core community values;
•    Being economically competitive while providing equitable access to everyone;
•    Optimizing our existing infrastructure.

The keynote speaker is Sharice Davids, White House Fellow at the U.S. Department of Transportation Office of Civil Rights. There is also a great line-up of transportation experts, community advocates and elected officials scheduled to speak, including WISDOM Transit Task Force leaders. 

Contact WISDOM Transit Task Force Organizer Dawn Ankney for more information or carpooling possibilities, dawnloriankney@gmail.com.

The Parole Commission Talking Points

posted Aug 23, 2017, 4:25 PM 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.


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