You would think that complying with a direct temporary-restraining-order (TRO) from a circuit court judge would be a no-brainer for the governor and legislators. Accept the judge's temporary order, play the case out, then appeal if you think the outcome was unjust.
But in Wisconsin, we've apparently got no-brainers in charge of both the executive and legislative branches.
At issue is Act 10, THE BILL, the supposedly non-fiscal version of the so-called Budget Repair bill (!!). This is the legislation that essentially kills collective bargaining for public employees in Wisconsin, gives the Medicaid-hostile Secretary of DHS unprecedented new powers, eliminates the organization that does payroll and beyond for Joy's respite-care provider, whacks the JoyParents' paychecks, and more.
I'm not even going to try to recap the torturous route that Act 10 has taken over these past weeks, but we've gone rollercoasting from celebration to mouths-hanging-open at the lawlessness of the Walker administration, and that cycle has been repeating. Temporary injunctions! Defying the courts! Slapdowns in court proceedings! More defiance! More slapdown!
As of this writing, we're on a celebration cycle: right now, Act 10 is NOT law and NOT to be implemented. The judge ruled yesterday that the TRO remains in effect until late May, when the legislative session is over and the Walker cabal can no longer declare immunity and have to haul their sorry selves into her courtroom so she can actually finish the case and make a real ruling. (Of course, if they waive immunity like their Democratic counterparts did, they could get this all over much more quickly. Likewise, they could just go back and pass the bill over again, but they're afraid they don't have the votes and they're worried about the protestors!) Expect shenanigans, expect appeals. And vote JoAnne Kloppenburg for Wisconsin Supreme Court April 5, because the state supreme court is where all this is going to wind up.
One thing it's hard to deny is that we're winning on the recall front. Less than halfway through the 60-day signature collecting window, the recall campaign has filed sufficient signatures to recall Sen. Dan Kapanke (R - LaCrosse). His recall election will be the first to happen -- more will reach their signature goals after a flood of signatures is collected adjacent to polling places on April 5. The recall organizers have announced that they're confident that there will be elections in six of the eight efforts to recall Republican state senators in Wisconsin -- which they wouldn't be saying publicly if they weren't very sure. SIX! And we only need to flip three of those districts to regain control of the state senate!
There's an inspirational recall-campaign ad that I'd like to share with you, that captures some of the passion and determination driving this movement. Well worth a minute of your time to watch:
Whether you're in Wisconsin or not, if you would like to affirm your support for workers' rights and beyond, you might be interested to know that there are events all over the country on April 4 and the week to come. Why April 4?
Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tenn., where he was standing with sanitation workers demanding their dream of a better life.There are over 600 events scheduled across the country in the upcoming week in conjunction with this commemoration. Find one near you.
In the midst of all this, the JoyFamily received some powerful affirmations this week.
It dates back to the church retreat in February, the one at which I coordinated a craft-project to make Medicaid-related protest signs.
We had to leave early before the Sunday morning worship so we could take the signs to a Medicaid-related press conference. So we missed the conclusion of an activity that had been going on all weekend, in which every retreat attendee's name was written on a brightly-colored slip of paper and people could drop by the table to write anonymous affirmations.
The JoyFamily's affirmation slips made their way into our hands just this past Sunday.
Rose squirreled hers away to be a private source of delight. I'm going to share from the other three, though.
A snippet from JoyDad's:
that what happens to one affects all."
A snippet from JoyMama's:
And the affirmations from Joy's sheet, in their entirety:
I value all you teach us.
I love to see your smiling face.
You explore, connect, and explore some more. Thank you for your spirit.
Thank you for everything you teach us, and for being your unique self.
The tears are welling again as I type Joy's affirmations, as the tears came down when I read the sheet to her out loud. We are blessed, so wonderfully blessed, to be part of such an affirming and caring church community.