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$3,000,000,000

Foxconn is a multinational corporation on track to receive the largest corporate giveaway in American history. Wisconsin taxpayers will be handing over $3 billion in (largely cash) incentives to entice them to open a factory in Southeast Wisconsin.

You may have noticed that, up until now, we’ve been mostly silent on the subject.

We wanted to take time to talk to folks in our local chapters, and to fully understand what was really in the deal. We recently sent out an email, asking you how you all felt about it. Your response was overwhelming. And (virtually) unanimous.

We asked if you supported the deal. 99.2% of you said “no.” A small handful of you needed more information.

Some of your responses were so heartfelt and well-written, we just had to share them with our community. (They’ve been anonymized for privacy).

“Foxconn is a total rip off. Walker couldn’t grow jobs so he bought them with my money. I worked in the electronics industry for 23 years. The floor production staff isn’t going to make the kind of money Walker said they would, it just not going to happen. I predict that the plant will be just big enough to get the tax dollars. It will be too expensive to build screens in the USA compared to their plants overseas. Foxconn just wanted a hedge against Trump’s threat of retaliation against China’s trade practices, and Walker bought into it. I will be paying for this awful deal for the rest of my life.”

“In today’s business ecosystem large corporations have come to expect patronage from various forms of government. The reasoning is that business will provide jobs and other economic investment or value to the nearby area that they end up operating in. While this is true, it is definitely not fair to smaller businesses and creates an uneven playing field that benefits larger and larger businesses. Talk to any investment manager, they will tell you many small investments compared to singular large investments is a far better approach. It manages risk by spreading out success and failure. A single investment failing—while unfortunate—doesn’t become a doomsday event. By appealing to these massive corporations we are only placing them further up the ladder from smaller entities making competition scarce and forcing those communities to become tied to the corporation’s success. This is an extremely negative effect that I simply do not want perpetuated any longer.”

“$45,000,000 for each of 72 counties to create 200 jobs in each county. That would be 14,400 jobs created by and for Wisconsin citizens, and the money would circulate at home, not be siphoned off into a foreign bank account.”

“First of all, it could be spread around the state instead of being localized in one location. Like Roosevelt’s work programs, people could be put to work improving infrastructure (roads, bridges, etc); setting up Head Start centers and providing day care facilities in rural communities; create job training centers for those who who need training; put people to work constructing clean energy systems; provide seed money for small businesses that meet needs; and those are just off the top of my head.”

“We need an overhaul of the criminal justice system with our overcrowded prisons. Get the Parole board back. Release inmates after they served their 75% and 85% time as set up by the legislature as their legal right. Process the farm paperwork and feed the inmates decent food with the money saved by reducing overcrowding. Foxconn costs us money and will employ Illinois residents more than Wisconsinites. Make job training a part of prison release so our CNC positions and others can be filled by people eager to work and needing to start a new life. This will save money in multiple ways and provide for economic growth. Walker just wants to be President. He doesn’t want what would really help our budget and citizens.”

“Born and raised in Racine. The community is hurting but we did not need Foxconn. Many businesses are trying to find skilled workers in the county and already can’t. Really upset about how state of Wisconsin waived environmental regulations for this. This is our backyard we are waving people’s right to a clean environment for this business. It also sets a precedent of how they can treat us and how we treat ourselves in terms of the environment. Thanks!”

We also asked if you had suggestions for how else Wisconsin could have put that $3 billion dollars to use.

Here are your ideas:

Invest in education at all levels (177)
Fix our infrastructure and crumbling roads (135)
Provide healthcare for all of us in Wisconsinites (87)
Protected the environment
Support small businesses
Expand our investments in renewable energy
And many others…
It was so great to see how many of your ideas were right out of the OWR Platform. Just like you, we believe that by putting forward a positive, aspirational (because yes, it will take some work!) vision for the state of Wisconsin, we are offering giving everyone something to fight FOR, not just against.

Thank you all for sending in your feedback. You can expect OWR to make a strong showing of your opposition to this “deal” and we will fight back by putting forward OWR positive, aspirational vision for what this state can be for all of us living here.

Please feel free to reach us in the comments or info@ourwisconsinrev.com

Thanks!

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OWR 2nd Annual Convention & 1-Year Anniversary Celebration

Join us for the 2nd Annual Convention & 1-Year Anniversary Celebration

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How can I help?

You can start by joining and investing in our work. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to see the latest on what we are up to. You should definitely find your local chapter and get involved with it. If there is not one in your area, you can start one. If you can’t find someone else local, or a fit for your skills, or have any questions, just contact us at info@ourwisconsinrev.com.

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How is OWR funded? What does the money go for?

The goal is to be funded largely funded by regular contributions from our members. But we also welcome support from organizations such as grants from charitable foundations. The money we raise is used to meet basic operational costs like phones, printing, computers and Internet access, office supplies, travel and staff expenses, which are substantial even in an overwhelmingly volunteer operation. Information on the organization’s finances is reported regularly to a board of directors elected by members.

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What’s your platform?

Our full platform is here for all to see. It is very detailed, but is basically organized around four big wants and needs for Wisconsin:

A Real Democracy: Democracy’s been trashed in Wisconsin, and we’ve got to get it back. That means again drawing fair election districts, making voting secure and convenient for all, getting big money out of politics, improving government transparency, restoring home rule, free association and the right to organize, standards on public performance and honesty, ending corrupt privatization, and extinguishing racism and sexism and respecting human rights.

An Economy that Works For All: This means raising income and living standards and reducing inequality. Instead of treating people like road kill and the earth like a sewer, and democratic government as something to mock and starve and corrupt, we’d like to invest in people. Our platform has lots of details on how we’d do that, but it all comes down to pursuing the goal of economic democracy—an economy that is of, by and for the people.

Quality Public Goods and Services: Wisconsin is not the richest state, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have the best quality life. We just need to work together and pool our individual resources to serve the common good, inspired by a shared commitment to great public schools, a clean environment, safe and healthy communities, and world-class health care, transportation, energy and communication systems.

Fair Taxes: We can afford these needed public investments if everybody pays their fair share in taxes. This means restoring the principle of taxation based on the ability to pay. Taxes are the price we pay for civilization. We all pay them, based on our ability, or say goodbye to civilization. It’s really as simple as that.

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Where did your name come from?

Our Wisconsin Revolution is a homegrown movement started here in our state by people living here. OWR’s formation was inspired by Bernie Sanders’ run for president in 2016 and his call for a political revolution, and is part of a national movement. Our name connects us to that national movement of people all over the country supporting a new generation of progressive leaders and empowering millions to fight for progressive change and transforming our political and economic systems to once again be responsive to the needs of working families.

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What’s OWR about? What’s the goal?

Our Wisconsin Revolution is about countering money power with people power. It’s about revolutionizing our politics by mobilizing the power of organized people against the reckless abuse of power by rich elites. We’re sick of what’s happening in this country and this state, where public life has been coarsened and corrupted by a swarm of greedy, rules-rigging, billionaire takers. We believe our state and nation can be set right by organized citizen action.

Our goal is to do everything we can to make Wisconsin a democracy—with a government and an economy that are of, by and for the people.

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Our Wisconsin Revolution Makes First Major Endorsement


Tim Burns for Wisconsin Supreme Court

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, November 27th, 2017 (Download the release here)

CONTACT: Terrance Warthen (terrance.warthen@gmail.com, 262-705-2452), Sarah Lloyd (sarahlloyd53965@gmail.com, 920-210-7335)

Our Wisconsin Revolution, Wisconsin’s chapter of the national organization formed to continue the energy from the Bernie Sanders for President campaign, announced Monday, November 27th that 6,000 members voted overwhelmingly in favor of endorsing Tim Burns for Wisconsin Supreme Court.

“We are excited to make our first state-wide endorsement. Our Wisconsin Revolution (OWR) is a people-powered, member-driven organization. We believe it is time to make sure that the Wisconsin Supreme Court is truly acting in the interest of the people. This is why we support Tim Burns for Supreme Court Justice,” said Sarah Lloyd, OWR Co-Chair. “Tim Burns is running for this important position to make sure that the judicial system and especially the highest court in the state is acting to ensure a level playing field for everyone and not corporate interests. This focus aligns with the values OWR is fighting for in Wisconsin. Our members know Tim will bring an experienced, authentic voice of reason to the Supreme Court, a voice that sides with the people of this state. We are eager to mobilize 6,000 members across the state in support of Tim through the Primary and General Election in April.”

OWR will be running canvasses and contacting voters in support of endorsed candidates up and down the ticket for the Spring and Fall elections in 2018.

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Our Wisconsin Revolution is an independent, statewide, membership-driven, democratic-popular organization that aims to take Wisconsin government back from corporate elites and make it truly of, by, and for the people. Contact info@ourwisconsinrev.com (or 724-557-6269) to get involved.

 

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2017 in review

While 2017 wasn’t a great year for America (it really kinda sucked, right?), it was a great year for launching Our Wisconsin Revolution. While Washington, DC and Madison, WI were hijacked by the special interests (Foxconn anyone?), our people-powered movement grew and thrived throughout Wisconsin.

Check out what we, as a unified community managed to accomplish in 2017.

If you didn’t become a member of OWR in 2017, consider doing so today. It doesn’t cost any money and it will only take a few moments of your time.

Our average contribution in 2017 was $16. Consider kicking in $16, or whatever you can afford today, and help keep this important movement thriving.

Together, we’re going to take back our great state.