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From the Organizer… What Change Making Looks Like: From M.A.D. to Budget Testimony

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Madison Action Day
I attended my first Madison Action Day (M.A.D.) last week, along with 35 other JONAH and local EXPO members.  It was a tremendously positive and powerful experience. The day made me so very thankful for those that attended, those that spoke, those that organized, those that listened, and for all the work we do.  It was a sign of hope and a clear vision of a nearer, better, future!

The focus of the day, and the speakers, were on WISDOM’s 3 core values: Radical Inclusion, Costly Reconciliation, and Living for the 7th Generation.  The greater message through these values was that in order to create a Beloved Community we MUST repair mistakes and damages of our past, and include in our decisions not only every human in the present, but consider the future as well.

These 35 attendees were about half folks who had been to M.A.D. before and half newcomers.  It made for vibrant interchange and inspirational moments. Some spoke, some listened, some planned to listen and were inspired to speak, but all were inspired and felt they made an impact. Some comments from attendees:

“Best part of [Madison Action Day] for me was connecting with people who have directly experienced the injustices we are working to address. Being in an atmosphere of diversity.” 

“I got to speak my mind about issues I believe in.”  

“The best part of the [experience] for me was being able to be a part of the legislative visits – it gives me more hope when we gather together to make the differences happen that we want to see.”

“My 8-year old daughter attended with me, and she was changed by being in the capitol, wants to tell people at her school about it and to make a difference.”

Read more about the day in an article by Wisconsin Public Radio: https://www.wpr.org/people-across-wisconsin-gather-urge-racial-justice

Joint Finance Hearing – April 15 River Falls
M.A.D. only made me more excited to continue JONAH’s process of being involved in public change! And I hope it has for you, too! The intention behind M.A.D. is talking to legislators about how the budget impacts matters we care about, and all of us who attended learned that they listen.  There is a great opportunity to talk with legislators when they are completely focused on the budget – and that is at the Joint Finance Committee Hearings.

This year there is one in River Falls on April 15 – starting at 10am.  JONAH will be there. We are collaborating with great groups like EXPO,ACLU, Citizen Action, WI Public Education Network, INDE, and El Centro to have a great turnout for social justice.

Impact What Matters to You
Whether you care about improving the criminal justice system, healthcare, child poverty, affordable housing, drivers cards for immigrants, or the environment, there are a number of ways how you can make an impact on what matters to you for the joint finance hearing:

  1. Write your legislators: comments can be emailed to the committee at BudgetComments@legis.wisconsin.gov.
  2. Write your story for someone else to read at the hearings: email to cvjonahorganizer@gmail.com.  Contact Lynn if you need help writing your story.
  3. Volunteer to read someone else’s testimony at the hearing!
  4. Attend with us!  Volunteer in the tent, wear a shirt in solidarity with our speakers, or speak yourself! Drive, ride, or show up late (we can sign-you in).  REGISTER HERE: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScuCjQ9i82OKUvQG__Mv1CDCpE9bxdl7Hga_FTmvxrqNcROEQ/viewform?usp=sf_link

Not sure what to talk about?  Read the WISDOM booklet from Madison Action Day, it is full of facts on the issues we support and clear asks for legislators regarding the budget. Feel free to call me to talk one-on-one about this process and how powerfully hopeful it is.: 715-497-8732. More on the budget hearings here: https://www.leadertelegram.com/news/local-briefs/state-budget-hearing-planned-in-river-falls/article_cf90055f-00a4-55bb-b20f-1d5d617f683e.html

I would love to see a good JONAH turn-out.  I am proud every time I hear one of you tell me what matters to you, and think it would be amazing if our legislators did, too.  YOUR VOICE MATTERS!