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Gentleman from the 54th

It has come to my attention that this video has been removed from Youtube. I am working to find another source. In the meantime, consider this link from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and ask yourself why this video may have been been taken down. Thanks for you patience.

Update: Here you go. Skip to my next post here to find a link to dramatic events taking place in our legislative body. I know that sounds boring. But I promise . . . it’s not. Far from it.

Wisconsin Stands Up for Workers

From Mary Bell, WEAC president:

By Mary Bell

This evening I stood shoulder to shoulder with AFSCME Council 40 Executive Director Rick Badger in response to the state governor’s attack on public workers. The following is a statement I released to the press:

“We know these are tough times and we have made it clear to the governor and legislators that we are prepared to do our part to help our state recover. This isn’t about protecting pay and benefits – it’s about protecting the right to collectively bargain. That’s what’s being stripped away here – the rights to be represented.

“Wisconsin has a tradition that respects the value of work and the individual workers. Governor Walker in a few short days will have destroyed our traditions and imposed his values on all of us. That’s not how we do it in Wisconsin.

“Without a voice in the schools, without rights to speak up on behalf of students and the education profession, educators are concerned about the future.

“Thousands of teachers and education support professionals have flooded the Capitol this week, raising their voices against a plan to throw out 60 years of labor-management peace.

“Our union is calling all Wisconsinites who are able, to come to the Capitol on Thursday and Friday and stand beside your neighbors, family and friends to help our voices be heard.

“If you can’t get to the Capital, go to your place of worship – and pray. Pray about what kind of a state you want to live with, what kind of state you want for your children.

“Our goal is not to close schools, but to instead to remain vigilant in our efforts to be heard.

“Wisconsin’s governor and Legislature have denied opportunity for discussion and collaboration. By stripping away the rights of workers, they’ve left nothing more than one’s ability to have a voice and to stand together and say this is wrong for Wisconsin.”

The response–which, in reality, began 3 days ago. This reporter makes it sound like this is the first day the capitol has been packed. It’s been packed since Monday like this:

Erik Severson unwilling? Or unable to understand.

Teachers Disgust Erik Severson

At least he tells the truth

In all fairness, it sounds like Erik Severson, my representative for the 28th district in Wisconsin, has been trying to contact me at home. I’m assuming he is interested in talking to me because he got my name and number from someone who read one of my letters to him. I’m not sure yet, if he himself has read my letter(s), or anyone else’s. But it sounds like he HAS at least been working the phones.

The problem here is that he is trying to contact me, at home, during working hours. Surely, if he’d read my letter(s) he would understand that I am a teacher. Surely, then he’d know that teachers are at work around 11:00 a.m. .

But maybe not.

I actually heard about this verbal exchange last night at a meeting. I don’t give much credit to rumors. But now today I got this interesting email documenting a phone conversation he had with a teacher very recently as they discussed this new bill.

This was written by Meg Farrington, who has given permission to forward this via email. I don’t know Meg.

I just got off the phone with Eric Severson my representative. He became
very angry and argumentative with me when I tried to communicate my points.
He said he had spoken to teachers all weekend and they understood the need
for this. When I tried to explain the need for collective bargaining he
argued more heatedly saying it would help us to bargain individually. I
tried to explain that the reason I teach in Wisconsin is because of the
strong benefit package that outweighs the lower wages and difficult job. He
cut me off at “the reason I teach in WI is because of my benefit package”
and yelled in a high pitched voice 3 times “You disgust me, You disgust me,
You disgust me!” I explained that I had called Sheila Hardsdorf’s office
and that her staff politely took my name and address and my input and
pointed out where I could find more info on budget hearings on their
website. I then said how would it look if I told my colleagues or wrote a
letter to the editor comparing his response to me versus Sheila’s. He then
misquoted some comments other teachers had said to him. He did finally
somewhat apologize saying we both raised our voices. I asked that he meet
with our staff as soon as possible and to call me back with a time. He
wanted to meet at 9:00 this Friday. I told him teachers couldn’t meet while
teaching and he said “OH, I forgot”.

So here’s what I hope you all do. Please call him at home 715-755-4857 or
at work today 715-294-2111. His wife is politely taking messages since he’s
not going to Madison until tomorrow. I am also organizing a visit to his
house after school. He lives about 2 miles from me near Horse Creek Store
outside Star Prairie. His address is 2147 45th Ave. This is the candidate
that is keeping his Dr. job because he only has to be in Madison 30 days a
year for votes. So let’s bring this important voice to him. You can
Mapquest directions or see me.

Thanks, Meg