Success Story

2011 WNPJ Fall Assembly & Awards Celebration Highlights

On Saturday, October 8th, Senator Fred Risser was presented a "Lifetime Peacemaker" award by the Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice. "From sponsoring one of the first lesbian and gay rights bills in the country back in 1982, to taking a stand for workers' rights as one of the 'Fighting 14' earlier this year, Senator Risser has long fought the good fight," said Diane Farsetta, WNPJ Executive Director.

CSWAB gains better soil testing for explosives

In response to a campaign by WNPJ member group Citizens for Safe Water Around Badger, Wisconsin State regulators have ordered the U.S. Army to improve soil test methods for a carcinogenic explosive that has contaminated groundwater and drinking water wells in rural communities near Badger Army Ammunition Plant.   The precedent-setting decision by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) is expected to prompt similar requirements at other military bases where dinitrotoluene (DNT) contamination has been found.

Menominee School District drops race-based nickname

Athletic teams at the Menomonie School District in Dunn County will be changing their nickname from "Indians" to "Mustangs," in response to complaints received about the districts use of race-based logos and mascots. School Board President Colleen Davis told Wisconsin Public Radio that, "We knew a complaint was going to come, it was imminent. We had gotten several phone calls saying if the board did not respond in the near future they would just go ahead and file a complaint with the state." Under Act 250, a state law enacted last year, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction is required to review any school district's use of race-based logos or mascots if a complaint is received from a resident of the district. Several Wisconsin school districts have changed their team nicknames since the passage of the law, including the Osseo Fairchild School District, which dropped its "Chieftains" nickname in June after being ordered to do by the DPI.

Mayors for Peace reaches 5000 member cities

With the addition of 19 new member cities on September 16th, Mayors for Peace reached 5003 member cities, becoming the largest international, direct-membership association of local governments in the world. Mayors for Peace member cities are located in 151 Countries and 188 U.S. Cities, including Wisconsin members LaCrosse, Madison, Milwaukee and Waukesha.  Since 2003, thousands of cities have been inspired to join Mayors for Peace in support of its ‘2020 Vision’ of a world free of nuclear weapons by the year 2020. The total number of citizens represented worldwide by Mayors for Peace is approaching one billion.

Boston Mayor Threatens to Withdraw from ICE’s Secure Communities Program

Boston Mayor Menino is calling for a change or the end of the deeply flawed Secure Communities program that's deported nationally 61,234 immigrants with no prior criminal record.

Secure Communities shares the fingerprints of individuals booked into jails with federal immigration databases.  It severely hinders local law enforcement’s ability to protect the public, because those fingerprinted for suspicion of minor crimes may eventually face deportation.  The program is supposed to only deport those guilty of serious crimes, but nationally 47% of those deported were low-level offenders and 28% had no criminal record.  Many cities and states, including New York, Illinois, Colorado, DC, and parts of California, have threatened to drop the program.  On July 11, Boston Mayor Menino announced that he too had serious doubts about the program.

US mayors say: Bring the war money home

Wisconsin mayors John Dickert of Racine and Paul Soglin of Madison were among those speaking in favor of a resolution passed by the US Conference of Mayors Monday, calling for efforts to end our current wars and asking the President and Congress to "bring these war dollars home to meet vital human needs."

The last time the mayors did that was during the Vietnam war. David Swanson offers a detailed rundown on how it happened.

Mayor Soglin also described the resolution on CNN. You can view the video below.

German government announces plan to phase out nukes

Just one week after the Swiss government announced plans to phase out the use of nuclear power, German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced her own nuclear "exit strategy," with a plan to shut down all of Germany's nuclear plants by 2022. Merkel's shift was especially dramatic, given that she had been promoting nuclear plants as a safe "bridge" to renewable energy less than a year ago. The change comes less than a week after thousands of people across Germany took part in protests against nuclear power. The previous pro-nuclear stance taken by Merkel's Christian Democratic Party was also blamed for the party's poor showing in recent elections.

Swiss announce plan to phase out nuke plants

The Swiss Cabinet announced today a plan to completely phase out the country's use of nuclear power in favor of wind, solar and other renewables. The announcement comes days after an estimated 20,000 people took part in the biggest anti-nuclear protest in Switzerland in 25 years. The recommendation  will be debated in parliament, which is expected to make a final decision next month. If approved, Switzerland's five nuclear reactors would go offline between 2019 and 2034 after they reach their average lifespan of 50 years. Switzerland now gets about 40% of its electricity from nuclear power. Full story here...

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