Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Wisconsin Supreme Court Unanimously Upholds Marriage Amendment

In November, 2006 voters overwhelming in Wisconsin passed (59%-41%)  a marriage amendment which stated

Only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state. A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized in this state .

In July, 2007 William McConkey, a voter and taxpayer Wisconsin brought suit against the Amendment challenging its constitutionality, specifically claiming that this violated the separate amendment rule, in essence claiming the issues in the Marriage Amendment were two separate issues. 

Today, The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled unanimously 7-0 that indeed this Amendment is Constitutional.  The concluding paragraph of their decision reads:

We hold that Article XIII, Section 13 of the Wisconsin
Constitution——the marriage amendment——was adopted in conformity
with the separate amendment rule in Article XII, Section 1 of
the Wisconsin Constitution, which mandates that voters must be
able to vote separately on separate amendments. Both sentences
of the marriage amendment relate to marriage and tend to effect
or carry out the same general purpose of preserving the legal
status of marriage in Wisconsin as between only one man and one
woman.

Praise the Lord for this decision!!

To read the full text of the Court’s decision you may use this link:

 

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Milwaukee City Hall to host LGBT Exhibit

From July 12th thru the 26th the Milwaukee City Hall Rotunda will be the home for the Milwaukee Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transgender Community Center’s Anti- Violence Program Postcard display.  Expect another round of promotion for LGBT issues.
 

Friday, June 25, 2010

MPS Board Members Vote in Favor of Arizona Boycott Resolution

Following approximately 25 minutes of discussion, the Milwaukee Public Schools Board of Directors voted 5-2 in favor of Director Miller’s Resolution to support a boycott of Arizona over their passage of legislation to protect their borders and curb illegal immigration in their state. 

Voting in favor of the Resolution were Directors:  Bonds, Blewett, Woodward, Miller and Falk.
Voting in opposition were Directors Petersons & Voeltner
Director Spence was temporarily absent and did not vote
Director Thompson was not present for this School Board meeting
 

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Milwaukee County Supervisors Refer Arizona Boycott Measure Back to Committee

On Thursday, June 24th the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors voted 17-2 to refer Resolution File #10-238 back to Committee.  This Resolution calls for a boycott of Arizona and companies in Arizona due to the State’s passage and enforcement of legislation to stem illegal immigration in their state. 

Sponsoring supervisors recommended it go back to committee with one supervisor stating they will revise the Resolution so that the State of Arizona is boycotted, but not businesses in the state. 

Prior to the vote on sending it back to Committee a motion was made to table the Resolution.  The motion to table failed on a vote of 9-10. 

As a result of today’s vote, this Resolution, File #10-238 will now go back to the Finance and Audit Committee.  Supervisors on this Committee include:  Coggs, Thomas, Mayo, Schmitt, Johnson, West and Jursik.  The measure will come at a future date to the full Milwaukee County Board.  To contact supervisors with your view you may call the Milwaukee County Board at (414) 278-4222.
 

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Milwaukee County Board and City of Milwaukee Also Consider Boycott of Arizona

Milwaukee County    
Not to be outdone by Milwaukee Public Schools, last week the Finance and Audit Committee of the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors passed Resolution #10- 238.  It’s summary says: 

“A resolution by Supervisors West, Broderick, Coggs and Dimitrijevic, directing the Milwaukee County Department of Administrative Services to the extent practicable and not in conflict with the law to boycott travel to and doing business with the State of Arizona, and companies headquartered therein, until Arizona rescinds SB1070 or the law is otherwise ruled to be unenforceable.”

The “Be It Resolved” Section of the legislation states:
            BE IT RESOLVED, that until Arizona rescinds SB 1070 or the law is otherwise ruled to be unenforceable, the Milwaukee County Boar of Supervisors directs the administration to the extent practicable and not in conflict with the law to: 1) refrain from entering into any new or amended contracts to purchase goods or services from any company that is headquartered in Arizona; 2) prohibit travel by Milwaukee County employees to conferences or meetings being held in Arizona; and 3) to review existing contracts for the purchase of goods and services with companies headquartered in Arizona and to discontinue those contracts consistent with the terms of those contracts and utilizing principles of fiscal responsibility; and
            BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors urges Milwaukee County’s U.S. Senators and Congress members to advance and support comprehensive federal immigration reform legislation that respects the due process protections of all individuals in the United States and provides a path so people have the opportunity to become citizens.”

Today it was announced the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors will vote on this resolution at their meeting Thursday, June 24th at 9:30am in Room 200 of the Milwaukee County Courthouse.  Those wishing to contact their supervisors may do so at (414) 278-4222.  You may also follow this link to contact your Supervisor directly:  http://www.county.milwaukee.gov/FindSupervisor

City of Milwaukee    
City of Milwaukee Aldermen have also passed (File #100068) in committee language that would bring about a boycott of Arizona.  Their “Be it Resolved” Section states:

“Resolved, By the Common Council of the City of Milwaukee, that the Congress of the United States is strongly urged to swiftly enact comprehensive immigration and naturalization reform that preserves the civil and human rights of all persons, and that promotes domestic commerce; and, be it
 
Further Resolved, That the Common Council of the City of Milwaukee opposes practices by state and local jurisdiction that risk racial and ethnic profiling in efforts to address immigration and naturalization; and, be it
 
Further Resolved, That the Common Council shall not participate in or authorize its representatives and employees of the City to participate in any conferences or meetings in the State of Arizona so long as Arizona’s restrictive regulation of national immigration is enforced; and, be it
 
Further Resolved, That the Common Council shall not authorize any new City investments in financial institutions with companies based in or having a major presence in the State of Arizona until Arizona’s S.B. 1070 is repealed, and, be it
 
Further Resolved, That the City Clerk send a copy of this resolution to the President of the United States, to the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, to the Majority Leader of the United States Senate, and to Wisconsin's Congressional delegation.”

City of Milwaukee Aldermen may be contacted at (414) 286-2221 or utilizing this link:
 

Monday, June 21, 2010

MPS Schedules Full Board Vote on Arizona Boycott

The Milwaukee Board of School Directors has released their agenda for the School Board meeting Thursday, June 24th. Included on the agenda is the resolution (read June 15th post below) to launch a boycott of Arizona over their passage and enforcement of immigration laws designed to curb illegal immigration. (By the way “illegal” means something that is prohibited by law). As of this writing, it is # VIII, Section D, Number 1 on the agenda:
http://mpsportal.milwaukee.k12.wi.us/portal/server.pt/gateway/PTARGS_0_2_65012_0_0_18/100624RBnotice.pdf

The “Be It Resolved” Section is modified as follows:

COMMITTEE’S RECOMMENDATION
Your Committee recommends that the Board adopt the following resolution in lieu of
1011R-003:
BE IT RESOLVED, That, until Arizona rescinds SB1070 and HR 2281, or the laws
are otherwise ruled to be unenforceable, the Board direct the MPS
administration, to the extent practicable and not in conflict with the law, to:
1. refrain from entering into any new or amended contracts to purchase
goods or services from any company that is headquartered in Arizona;
2. not send MPS employees to conferences or meetings being held in
Arizona; and
3. review existing contracts for the purchase of goods and services with
companies headquartered in Arizona and to discontinue those
contracts, consistent with the terms of those contracts and utilizing
principles of fiscal responsibility; and
4. where no alternatives are available, an exception my be provided for
purchases necessary to support existing programs or curricula within
MPS; and be it
FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Milwaukee Board of School Directors urges the
district’s US Senators and Congress members to advance and support
comprehensive federal immigration-reform legislation that respects the dueprocess
protections of all individuals in the United Stares and provides a
path so people have the opportunity to become citizens; and be it
FURTHER RESOLVED, that this resolution is to effective immediately upon the
Board’s approval.
* * * * *

At the Committee hearing last week, all Committee members present supported the proposed boycott resolution. The full board meets Thursday, June 24th at 6:30pm at 5225 West Vliet Street. You may contact the MPS Board of Governance at (414) 475-8284 or via email at: governance@milwaukee.k12.wi.us .

SPECIAL NOTE: WVCY-TV (Milwaukee Channel 30) will air the Public Hearing from last week’s committee meeting regarding the AZ boycott on Tuesday, June 22nd from 7:00-9:00pm and again on Wednesday, June 23rd from Noon to 2pm.

Madison Considers Forcing Contractors to Provide Domestic Partner Benefits

Following the lead of Dane County, a proposed ordinance will be soon introduced in Madison requiring companies which seek to obtain city contracts be required to offer domestic partner benefits to their employees.  (See story)

Residents may contact their alderman on this issue by contacting the Madison Common Council at (608) 266-4071 or directly at: http://www.cityofmadison.com/Council/whoAlders.cfm

 

Friday, June 18, 2010

MPS School Board Committee Backs Arizona Boycott

Last evening the Legislation, Rules and Policies Committee of the Milwaukee Public School Board unanimously passed a resolution to support an economic boycott of Arizona regarding their passage and enforcement of immigration laws in their state. Voting in favor of the Resolution were Directors Blewett, Bonds, and Falk. The Resolution will now go before the full School Board. Although the agenda has not yet been set (as of this writing) the full Board meets next on June 24th. Those wishing to contact the School Board may do so at (414) 475-8284.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Milwaukee Public School Directors to Vote on Boycott of Arizona Over Immigration Enforcement

On Thursday, June 17th at 6:30pm the Milwaukee Public School Board Committee on Legislation, Rules and Policies will be voting on a Resolution to participate in an economic boycott of Arizona due to their passage and enforcement of immigration laws. (Copy of the resolution is below).  If passed by this committee, it will move on to the full school board for a vote.  To speak out on this issue you may attend this meeting at 5225 West Vliet Street.  You may also share your views with the following Directors who sit on this committee:  Directors Blewett, Thompson, Bonds, Falk, Spence at (414) 475-8284.


(ITEM 2) ACTION ON RESOLUTION 1011R-003 BY DIRECTOR MILLER TO PARTICIPATE IN
AN ECONOMIC BOYCOTT OF ARIZONA UNTIL THAT STATE’S RECENTLY
ADOPTED IMMIGRATION LAWS ARE REPEALED
This Item initiated by a Board member
B ACKGROUND
At its meeting on May 27, 2010, the Milwaukee Board of School Directors referred
Resolution 1011R-003 by Director Miller to the Committee on Legislation, Rules and
Policies:
WHEREAS, In April 2010, the Arizona legislature passed SB 1070, a bill making it a
state misdemeanor to be in the state of Arizona without legal documentation
and giving law enforcement broader abilities to enforce federal immigration
laws; and
WHEREAS, While bill SB 1070 mandates law enforcement to detain people who
are “reasonably suspicious”, the legal definition of “reasonably suspicious”
states that it must be based on specific and articulable facts and inferences;
and
WHEREAS, The only articulable facts and inferences that could lead law
enforcement to reasonably suspect that someone is undocumented are skin
color, physical features, or vocal accent; and
WHEREAS, Making the decision to detain someone purely on the basis of these
criteria is the very definition of racial profiling; and in no way indicates that
a person is in the country illegally and, similarly, it in no way proves that
someone of a different skin color without an accent is here legally; and
WHEREAS, The bill requires detained individuals to show documentation that
they are here legally, such as a driver’s license or immigration papers, which
violates the civil liberties of law-abiding citizens who are not required to
carry identification but could be detained and forced to prove their legal
status; and
WHEREAS, Many people already have a distrust of law enforcement, and this bill
will further strain the relationship between law enforcement and residents;
and
WHEREAS, The legality and enforceability of Arizona SB 1070 is questionable
since the Constitution of the United States grants authority over immigration
matters to the federal government, not to individual states; and
WHEREAS, Arizona SB 1070 discounts the efforts of immigrants who are following
immigration laws and struggling to navigate their way through the
bureaucratic process of becoming legal citizens; and
WHEREAS, Arizona SB 1070 is merely reactionary and does nothing to be
proactive in bringing about the nation-wide immigration reforms that the
United States needs; and
WHEREAS, In May of 2010, the Arizona legislature passed HB 2281, a bill
restricting and prohibiting the teaching of ethnic studies in Arizona public
schools; and
6 Milwaukee Board of School Directors
June 17, 2010
WHEREAS Arizona HB 2281 prohibits teaching classes designed primarily for
pupils of a particular ethnic group or to advocate ethnic awareness and
solidarity; and
WHEREAS, Ethnic-studies classes throughout the U.S. have historically taught
critical thinking, ethnic pride, and a fuller unbiased depiction of all people’s
journey in American history; and
WHEREAS, Omission of the experiences and contributions of many ethnic
minority groups has stood in the way of students’ understanding the full
spectrum of American history; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That Milwaukee Public Schools participate in the economic boycott of
Arizona until SB 1070 and HB 2281 are overturned; and be it
FURTHER RESOLVED, That this boycott include, but not be limited to, products
and services coming from Arizona, travel to Arizona, entertainment venues,
and tourist attractions; and be it
FURTHER RESOLVED, That this boycott shall not apply to products and services
of businesses, organizations, and venues from Arizona that have taken a
position against these laws; and be it
FURTHER RESOLVED, That this resolution is to be effective immediately upon
adoption by the Milwaukee Board of School Directors.