Posted on January 18, 2012
There are no words to explain how amazing yesterday was. Instead, I will tell the story through pictures with brief descriptions.
In the morning, outside of the GAB waiting for Lori Compas to announce how many signatures we gathered for Fitz:
Seconds after Lori announced that we had gathered 20,600 signatures for Fitz. We needed 16,742 to trigger a recall election:
Some of us Fitz recall volunteers went to the Great Dane to get some lunch after the sing along. Afterwards, myself and a few others went to the Monona Terrace to march to the GAB with everybody else to turn in the rest of the petitions:
After all of the boxes were delivered to the GAB, many of us gathered at the Capitol for some chanting:
Afterwards, many people (including Ed Schultz, Senator Chris Larson, Senator Jess King, Representative Peter Barca, Representative Dave Hansen, and Mahlon Mitchell) gathered at the Great Dane to celebrate some more:
This was the best day of my entire life.
Posted on January 18, 2012
We collected over one million signatures to recall Scott Walker. This could not have happened if it weren’t for all of the hard-working volunteers sacrificing their sleep, health, family time, and in some cases, their jobs, to stand on street corners in the cold, rain, and snow all while getting harassed and physically attacked by passer-bys. This couldn’t have happened if it weren’t for the people who checked and double-checked petitions to make sure there weren’t any errors. This couldn’t have happened if it weren’t for the attorneys working on the legal side of the recalls to make sure everything ran smoothly. And this couldn’t have happened if it weren’t for thousands of people around the state coming together to work towards one cause. Thank you, Wisconsin. Thanks a million.
Posted on January 17, 2012
Posted on January 16, 2012
Today is the day we’ve all been waiting for since last winter. We will be turning in enough signatures to trigger a recall election for not only Scott Walker and Rebecca Kleefisch, but also for 4 republican senators, including senate majority Scott Fitzgerald. As long as they don’t pull too many dirty tricks (which they obviously enjoy doing), then there is no doubt that there will be enough signatures even after they throw out the “bad” ones.
This has truly been one crazy, intense, yet inspiring ride, and I have met many wonderful people in the process. I urge people to try to avoid getting caught up in the excitement of the recalls and forget about the people who they’ve been working side-by-side with over the past 2 months. I’m excited that many of the people I’ve worked on the recalls with around the state will all be in my city tomorrow to celebrate at the Monona Terrace. I could talk about all of these people and write an extremely long post, but instead I will just talk about 3 people: Lori Compas, Randy Bryce, and Lane Hall.
Although I’ve known who Lori Compas is for quite some time now, I didn’t get a chance to meet her in person until about 2 weeks ago when I first stepped into the Fitz recall headquarters, aka the living room of her house in Fort Atkinson. After spending time at her house and talking with her face-to-face, I was inspired to start working on the Fitz recall full-time. I remember sitting across her kitchen table from her the 2nd night in a row I was there, realizing that that was where I needed to be, and telling her that I was going to be there every day until the end of the recalls. Both of us were excited to work together, and over the course of the next couple of weeks we spent a lot of time together counting petitions, verifying signatures, and bouncing ideas off of each other. Lori and some other Fitz recall organizers went out with me in Fort Atkinson at midnight on my birthday this past weekend to celebrate with me, and I had a great time. We were also celebrating gathering enough signatures for the recall of Fitzgerald. I can’t wait to help her bring the petitions to the GAB tomorrow morning at 11am!
I first met Randy Bryce (Milwaukee Ironworkers) on November 17th while we were both involved in a shutdown of the North Ave, bridge over I43 in Milwaukee. We had interacted often on Facebook, so when we saw each other, we immediately knew who the other one was. I then ended up running into him the next couple of days, as well, at the Recall Pep Rally at the Barrymore on November 18th, and again at the Recall Rally on the 19th. Those three days were very crazy, so we didn’t really get a chance to chat much. We then collected signatures together for a couple of hours in Milwaukee near the beginning of the recalls during an organized mobilization of Milwaukee activists. Randy and I instantly hit it off, and it felt as though we’d known each other for years. I guess that’s what happens when you’re fighting side-by-side with someone during a period of what I consider to be “accelerated history.” He also drove to Oconomowoc to meet up with me and collect signatures on my birthday this past Saturday. We didn’t collect many signatures, but I still had a great time and we ended up going out for a birthday drink in downtown Oconomowoc.
Lane Hall is best known for his light up recall signs that have brought many people together while holding these signs on bridges during rush hour, which has been named the Overpass Light Brigade. I first met Lane a few weeks ago when he came to Madison for the 250th sing along. He needed people to help hold his signs on a footbridge over East Washington Ave. before the sing along, and of course I was down to help. I ended up spending 2 hours on a bridge with him and several other people out in the cold while cars rushed by below us. We also met up in Milwaukee (where Lane lives) to collect signatures a couple of times, and I also drove to Milwaukee once to help with the overpass light brigade again. As with Randy, I feel like I’ve known Lane for much longer than just a few weeks. I was honored when he asked me to help hold one of the recall signs at the event at the Monona Terrace tomorrow night. Lane has also asked Randy and Lori to each hold a sign, and I will stand proudly next to them.
All three of these people I have known for less than 2 months, yet I feel as though I’ve known them for years. I imagine there are many stories the same as the 3 I’ve just told from people who have been working side-by-side on the recall efforts together. If Walker has done anything positive since he’s been in office, it has been bringing people together all across the state of Wisconsin. I consider these people my family now, and I look forward to working with them for years to come. I’m hoping these 3 short stories remind you all of the stories you have with people you’ve met during the recalls. Let’s remember to spend time talking with these people today and enjoy this victory with them. Forward!
Posted on January 13, 2012
Myself and three other wonderful women braved the treacherous weather tonight and ended up collecting 42 Fitz signatures in Beaver Dam in about 2 1/2 hours. There were times where the wind was whipping at our faces and we were knee-deep in snow drifts, but we kept pushing forward to collect our signatures. Although the weather was horrible, I still had a great time AND we collected a bunch of signatures. I am now warm in a bed at a friend’s house in Fort Atkinson with dry clothes on. Tomorrow I’m heading to the Jefferson office in the morning to kick off another day of recalling Fitz!
Posted on January 12, 2012
I haven’t posted any updates on my blog in the past two days because it’s very hard to sum up what I’ve been doing when I’m on the go literally non-stop for hours on end, doing whatever they need me to do to help in Fitz’s district. I have verified petitions, counted petitions, recruited people for canvassing, gone out canvassing, made last second trips to a different town when they need one more person to collect, and I’ve spread information about the Fitz recall as much as I can through social media.
Last night we recruited people to come to Cambridge to canvass (I got 7 people to come out and help!). We ended up getting over 60 signatures from that organized effort, and even Mahlon Mitchell, the president of the firefighters union, came out to help. Here’s a picture of him speaking to us before we went out to canvass:
I also was asked to be on WORT this morning from 8am-9am on their Total Recall Special live from The Victory cafe in Madison. I drove back from Fitz’s district late last night just so I could be here in the morning for that. Click here to listen to the recording. My interview starts around the 45 minute mark. Thanks to Tony Castaneda for asking me to be on the show! Here’s a picture from The Victory this morning:
Posted on January 11, 2012
The volunteers in Fitzgerald’s district have been working extremely hard on this recall for the past two months. Even when the WisDems said they were not going to file a recall for Fitz, the citizens stood up and did it all on their own. Their effort has been 100% grassroots, and you can read more about it in one of my other posts here. There are currently 16,000 valid signatures for the recall, and we need a minimum of 16,742 to trigger an election. This means we need more than that in order to create a good buffer in case signatures are thrown out.
This means we could really use your help over the next few days! Tonight there is a FitzBlitz event in Cambridge with Mahlon Mitchell, the president of the firefighters union. We will be meeting at 110 West Ridge Circle at 5:30 p.m, and will then be heading out to canvass the town. Please sign up here to let us know you’ll be coming!
People will also be meeting at the Columbus office tonight at 5:30 to head out and canvass. The office is at 315 East James Street, and please also sign up to let us know if you’ll be coming to the Columbus office tonight.
We will also be collecting on Friday and Saturday at various locations. We ask that you sign up to help out on those days, as well.
It is VERY important that you sign up to volunteer so we know how many people to expect.