Annual picnic is July 30

7/27 UPDATE: We're excited to have a special guest with us at the picnic: Jason Kander of Let America Vote. One more reason for you to come by on Sunday!


It's time again for your county party's annual picnic! 

This year we will gather from 11 to 2 Sunday, July 30, at Warner Park, 2930 Sherman Ave., on the North Side of Madison.

The picnic is always a good time, with Mike Basford running the grill, cold beverages on ice, and politics in the air. This year will be entertained by the folk-rock sounds of local favorate Shotgun Mary. 

We expect Mark Pocan and other candidates and electeds to stop by.

Bring a dish to pass, your throwing arm (for cornhole), and a little cash for a raffle/fundraiser to get us on track to win in 2018.

See you at the picnic!

Questions: Call Dorrie Sundquist at 608-332-5332 or

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While we were meeting...

While we met Tuesday night, Dems in Oklahoma flipped two GOP legislative seats in special election. That's part of a trend: Since Trump's inauguration there have been 23 special legislative elections. Dems have held all six of their seats, while they have flipped four of 17 -- 24 percent -- of GOP seats. A ray of hope in a difficult time.

One other hopeful sign is the GOP's difficulty in undercutting Obamacare, despite running on that issue for seven years. Attendees at Tuesdsay's meeting all called Ron Johnson's office to tell them they opposed the Senate bill. Please do the same. The phone numbers are in the post below.

Thanks to our presenters and everyone who was able to attend the meeting. For those who couldn't make it, here are the presentations:

Dane Dems Roadmap to 2018
Indivisible Madison
DPW Off-Year Field Program

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Red alert! Call Ron Johnson today

Update: We finally know what’s in the Senate version of Trumpcare — and it’s not pretty

Mitch McConnell has put his secret Trumpcare bill on the Senate calendar for fast-track consideration. It's crisis time, and we need to call Sen. Ron Johnson to urge him to vote no on the bill, and to concur with his stated concern over McConnell's secrecy and rushed schedule. Even if we don't get Johnson's vote, we could indirectly affect other senators' votes, because Republicans are counting calls.

Here are his office numbers: 

  • Washington: (202) 224-5323
  • Milwaukee: (414) 276-7282
  • Oshkosh: (920) 230-7250

Call early and often! If it's after business hours you can leave a voice mail. Don't worry about giving a polished speech. If you have a story about the benefits of Obamacare and/or the impending harm from gutting it, please share. If not, just state clearly you are against the GOP bill, based on what we know about it, so the staff can tally your view.

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Midsummer meetup set for July 11

We normally don't have membership meetings in June and July, but there's too much happening this year to wait till August. So we'll have a special meetup, with both Dane Dems members and participants from other area progressive grassroots groups. We'll have time for sharing a refreshment and meeting new people, as well as a program featuring 

  • A chance to engage on resistance activities with Indivisible.
  • A chance to engage with the DPW's turn-on-the-off-year field plan.
  • A briefing on the roadmap to the 2018 elections.

Please save the date and plan to come out in July.

What: Midsummer meetup for Dane Dems and other progressive organizations
When: 6:30-8:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 11
Where: Goodman Community Center, 149 Waubesa St., Madison

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2017 Final Dane Dems Delegates/Alternates

On the 16th, I sent out a preliminary list of delegates and alternates to the DPW Convention from the Dane Dems. This was before the deadline on the 19th to verify your membership status.

Since then, we have had a few developments:

  • Seven delegates and two alternates have informed me that they will not be able to make the convention and were removed from the list,

  • 14 delegates and 27 alternates were removed after the 19th for not updating their memberships, and

  • Four delegates who serve as chairs of DPW caucuses (Emily Kuhn, Arvina Martin, Shelia Stubbs, and Nate Timm) were elevated to Auto-Delegate status by the DPW - which allowed me to bring four people off of the Alternate List.

With that, here is the final pre-convention list of delegates and alternates:



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Pocan elected as co-chair of Congressional Progressive Caucus

From The Hill: 

Liberal Democrats on Tuesday elected Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) to replace Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) atop the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC).
Ellison, alongside Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), has headed the CPC since 2011. He stepped out of that role this week in order to dedicate more attention to his duties as deputy chairman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), a post he picked up this year after losing a tight race to Chairman Tom Perez, a former Labor secretary.
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County Board update

We did not have time for County Board announcements at last night's meeting, but thanks to Supervisor Mary Kolar, we have this written update:

With the beautiful warm days we’ve have been having lately, I hope you’ve been able to get out and enjoy a Dane County Park. My Dane County Board progressive colleagues and I are focused on maintaining and expanding the many free recreation opportunities we offer, from clean lakes to fish, boat and swim in -- to bike trails -- to the over 12,000 acres of land on which we manage parks, forests and campgrounds. I hope you can enjoy these free resources in the coming months.

Our progressive priorities also include improving our criminal justice system by diverting more individuals from the system and improving the facilities in which we house those who are incarcerated. Dane County is looking at options for replacing outdated, dangerous housing in the City-County Building and at providing appropriate housing for those with mental health and medical needs who are incarcerated.

On, June 15th, the Board will be meeting as a “committee of the whole” to hear from our consultant on Jail options. The consultant’s recommendations will take into account County Workgroup recommendations that will result in greater diversion from jail and greater equity in our criminal justice practices -- as a result, we know that the consultant will be recommending a decrease in the total number of jail cells. If you are interested in this issue, please join us at 6 PM on June 15.

Finally, even as we are looking forward to warmer weather, the County is planning for the return of colder days. Dane County recently announced that naming of the Homeless Day Resource Center – it will be called The Beacon – And, it is expected to open October 1st – in time for winter.
These are just some Dane County highlights.

Please reach out to me or your Dane County Supervisor to learn more.

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May membership meeting

At our May meeting we'll host a forum for the four candidates for state party chair: businessman Joe Donovan, attorney Eric Finch, Glendale Mayor Bryan Kennedy, and incumbent Chair Martha Laning. We'll also hear from candidates for the open Wisconsin DNC representative slot. Both the chair and DNC positions will be filled at the June 2-3 state convention in Middleton.

We’ll also have reports on progress from the workgroups that organized at our April meeting, and discuss endorsement rules and convention delegate selection.

See you there!

When: 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 10
Where: Concourse Hotel, 1 W. Dayton St., Madison


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May 6 is deadline for requesting state convention credentials

The June 2-3 state convention will be conveniently located in Middleton, and will include important votes on state party chair and DNC representative. Please consider attending.

Anyone can go and observe. To receive voting privileges as a Dane County delegate, you must request credentials by May 6. You can do that at this link. You will also need to pay a registration fee, which you can do at the door, or you can do a lower cost in advance at this link. Finally, you must be a paid-up member of the party by May 12. If you are unsure about your membership, please contact McKinley Kant at (608) 807-0610 or

Program info on the convention is here.

Dane County gets 329 delegates to the convention. It appears we will get more requests for credentials than that. If so, everyone who attended the April 23 2nd District Convention as a delegate will automatically be a delegate to the state convention. For the roughly 150 additional delegate slots, we will hold a lottery to assign delegates and alternates. Note that if you end up as an alternate, this is not final. During the convention we will count no-shows and elevate that many alternates to delegate. In the past everyone who has wanted to be a delegate has been able to, though there is no guarantee of that.

Finally, we need several dozen more volunteers to help run the convention. If you are able, please fill out this form.

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2nd CD Party election results

More than 200 Democrats, most of them from Dane County, gathered Sunday for the 2nd Congressional District Party convention. Here are the results of balloting for officers of the 2nd CD Party. Terms begin in June.

  • Chair: Christine Welcher
  • Representative to the DPW Administrative Committee: Michael Martez Johnson
  • First Vice Chair: Ann DeGarmo
  • Second Vice Chair: Britt Cudaback
  • Treasurer: Zach Madden
  • Secretary: Debbie Fairbanks 
  • Alternate to the DPW Administrative Committee in Place of Welcher: Jackie Spaight
  • Alternate to the DPW Administrative Committee in Place of Johnson: Ian Oyler 
  • Member of the DPW Platform and Resolutions Committee for a 3-year term (June 2017-June 2020): Marilyn Feil
  • Alternate to the DPW Platform and Resolutions Committee for a 1-year term (June 2017-June 2018): Chris Schmidt
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