*Peaches Lacey hosts the last Wednesday of every month.
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On Wednesday Nov 7, our host Jan Miyasaki interviewed Selena Petigrew, President of the Allied Dunn’s Marsh Neighborhood Association, and founding member and board member of member run and owned cooperative, Allied Wellness Coop. They speak about the voter turnout in the Allied Dunn’s Marsh neighborhood, where there was, roughly, a 70% turnout. Selena explains that the lines were steady throughout the day, and that voter turnout has increased in her neighborhood ever since the recall election. She explains that the issue most at stake this election was their livelihood. When asked what question Selena would present to the President, if given an opportunity, she said she would ask, “why is there such a difference between communities? My community should be able to get just as much as your community gets… He needs to know that we are all the same.” She speaks about the voter registration drive efforts that began during the recall movement, and she stresses the importance of having the people within a community step up to take leadership positions, so as to activate others within the community. “Please, support your associations,” Selena says. Contact Selena at firstname.lastname@example.org Listen to the interview here:read article »
On Wednesday November 7, our host Jan Miyasaki spoke with WORT News and Public Affairs Facilitator Molly Stentz about the November 6 elections. WORT had a four hour coverage of the elections on Nov 6 night. Molly reports on some of the highlights from last night, including the local elections. She talks about Tammy Baldwin, “…We have not only our first gay Senator, but also our first female Senator, from Wisconsin. So Tammy Baldwin continues to break records and break through glass ceilings here in Wisconsin, and continues to represent that streak in Wisconsin politics of independent thinkers. People that buck the status quo…” Molly also reports on the other highlights; the State Senate did return to the control of the Republicans, picking up two seats – the seat held by Jessica King for the 18th Senate District as well as the seat formerly held by Jim Holperin. Explains Molly, “That gives the Republicans a comfortable majority in the State Senate, adding to their hefty control of the State Assembly. It means that in addition to the Governor’s Office, all three bodies are controlled by Republicans, meaning its going to be an interesting year for politics in the State Legislature next year. They’re in a stronger position now than even in 2011. What happened last night is that the two seats that the Democrats picked up in the recall were effectively just switched back.” Robin Vos was predicted to have leadership in the Assembly. Paul Ryan, who also ran for re-election for US House District 1, will return to congress. Also victorious was Mark Pocan, who is now the congressman for US House District 2. He spoke with Norm Stockwell from the Monona Terrace, “This district has a long reputation of a strong fighting progressive spirits. Im up for that, and i’m going to make sure that I do my best to represent our district in congress and be ready on day one.” Jan asks about the voter turnout from yesterday. Says Molly, “It was high.. it was a record. The state elections board was projecting three million voters statewide.” Also present were international election observers present in Madison to monitor the elections. They will be holding a press conference later today. Listen to the entire interview here:read article »
In this special Election Day edition, Milele Chikasa Anana, of Umoja Magazine spoke with our host Aaron Perry on Tuesday, November 6. Milele joins the program to stress the importance of voting. She explains the importance of just one vote, “in 2004, the Mayor’s race in Milwaukee was decided by one single vote…so you’re single individual vote does count. In 1960…the margin of victory that Kennedy had over Nixon was less than 1 voter per precinct…that was a contest that has some similarities and possibilities for this contest. I hope there are people out there who believe that one vote matters.” She stresses the 15th Amendment, which provides each citizen the right to vote, “people can not be denied the right to vote based on race, color, or previous condition.” Aaron asks Milele to describe some of the changes she has seen, over her lifetime. “I think the election of President Obama is definitely a historical event that will go down in the history books. I think he brought in a fresh perspective, and of course he is the first African American [President]. It is only a few years ago that African Americans were fighting to vote. They had to fight voter intimidation, they had to pass a literacy test, they had to pass the grandfather clause, and they had to pay money to vote. And the NAACP and the ACLU and many organizations were fighting that kind of thing…so to have a person elected president, who just, in the past fifty or sixty years, his folks could not even vote, that is a miracle.” “If you don’t vote, your opinion does not matter,” Milele explains. Read more about Milele here. Listen to the entire conversation here:read article »
In this special Election Day edition, our host Aaron Perry interviewed Stacy Harbaugh, Communications Director of the Wisconsin chapter of the ACLU on Tuesday November 6. She is here to speak about voting rights and election issues. The Hotline, 866-Our-Vote, is available all day today for those who have questions regarding voting or wish to report any problems with the polls. Non-partisan attorneys who are specialists in Wisconsin laws will be on the hotline to answer the questions. While Election Day registration is still possible, there have been other changes made to Wisconsin voting laws, Stacy explains. The corroboration ban will no longer allow for another to vouch for one’s residency should they lack the acceptable documents. Also, the length of time required to establish residency has been extended from 10 days to 28 days. “But fortunately photo ID is not required for registered voters, that’s another big deal,” Stacy says. Stacy explains that the coalition advocates for people’s voting rights, and provides one such example, “today, if you don’t have a printed version of your bank statement to prove your residency, you can take your smart phone into the polls, and you can sit down and work with poll workers and show them your bank statement online…and that was something we pushed for, and fortunately the government accountability board, which administers our elections, saw the wisdom in that, and they made that a rule and now you can do that in Wisconsin.” Aaron asks Stacy to describe trends that are being seen. Rules and restrictions surrounding poll watchers, Stay explains, is one situation that will be closely watched today. She also explains that convicted felons can not vote until they are “off paper.” Stacy said to expect lines today at the voting stations, but to remain patient. She stresses that even though the polls close at 8 PM, people can still vote as long as they were in line before that, “Even if its 8 o’clock, if you are in line, you can still vote. Every polling place has workers that have been instructed to send someone to be the marker to see who is at the end of the line. Stay in line, stick with it.” Hotline: 866-Our-Vote (866-687-8683) Facebook: Wisconsin Election Protection. Twitter: @EPWisco For more information about voting rights materials, visit ACLU Wisconsin Listen to the entire interview here:read article »
On Friday November 2, in this special Wisconsin Book Festival edition, our host Jonathan Zarov speaks with directors of the festival Megan Katz and Allison Jones Chaim, as well as Cherene Sherrard-Johnson, Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The festival, themed “Lost and Found,” runs from Nov 7 – 11, with many of the events taking place at the Overture Center and several other locations in Madison, Wisconsin. Jonathan asks Allison and Megan how much of the work at the festival is ‘local’; Allison explains “upwards of a third, maybe even as many as a half have some kind of Wisconsin connection. It’s not necessarily that the work is about the local, but there are these Wisconsin connections that make people want to come back.” One such author is Cherene Sherrard-Johnson. Cherene, author of Dorothy West’s Paradise: A Biography of Class and Color, will be presenting at the festival on a panel – Recovering Black Women from the Harlem Renaissance and Beyond along with Tracy Curtis and Ethelene Whitmire. The book deals with Harlem Renaissance author Dorothy West, whose work was ‘lost’, “[Dorothy] was one of the younger writers to come to Harlem during the Renaissance, but she was the longest lived writer [of the Renaissance]…she didn’t die until 1998, so she really outlived almost all of them. She wrote for much of her life, but because her first novel didn’t come until 1948, and then she didn’t write for almost fifty years another novel, many people forgot about her.” When asked if the Harlem Renaissance writers, in general, made a living from their works, Cherene explains, “No, even the ones you know of, like Zora Neale Hurston famously died on an unmarked grave until Alice Walker discovered her, so this theme of recovery or discovery is one that often is happening again and again. Most of the [Harlem Renaissance] writers, with the exception of Langston Hughes…stopped writing, disappeared, died…” Jonathan asks Cherene to compare the Harlem Renaissance with the literary scene today in the United States, “The Harlem Renaissance really was an integrated movement, an interracial movement, because you did have this coalition of black artists and white publishers and patrons who were, in many ways, funding the art. That’s part of why there was such an artistic explosion. You also had black ….read article »
On Friday November 2, our host Jonathan Zarov spoke with Stephen Kantrowitz, who will be presenting on the panel, Freedom Stories: African Americans and the Civil War in the upcoming Wisconsin Book Festival. Stephen is Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and author of More Than Freedom: Fighting for Black Citizenship in a White Republic, 1829-1889. The book is about African Americans in the North, he explains, “there were about a quarter of a million free black northerners, about the same amount of free black northerners as there were free black southerners, and although their population is small compared to almost four million southern slaves, their importance is outsized much larger than their numbers would suggest…partly because some of them were fugitives and represented threats to the slave system, and partly because the place where free black people sit is in this intrinsically uneasy relationship to the American Republic. They’re free, but not white, and the Republic is white, and more and more from the 1830s on towards the Civil War. The amazing thing about these people is how they leverage that position of uncertainty into political power.” Stephen explains that the free black northerners had a huge impact on the North’s position of abolishing slavery in the South. He also explains how black northerners built huge networks, via newspapers, travelers, and free masons to “link together the forces of freedom.” Stephen will be presenting on a panel along with David Cecelski, whose book speaks about the life of a young slave rebel. David’s book, The Fire of Freedom: Abraham Galloway and the Slaves’ Civil War, “represents the other social movement of the era, the social movement of the slaves themselves.” Stephen explains that it was the combined movement led by both the black southerners and the black northerners, together, that turned the Civil War into a war of emancipation. Thursday Nov 8 at 7:30 PM Wisconsin Studio at the Overture Center Visit wisconsinbookfestival.org for more information. Listen to the entire interview here:read article »
On Friday November 2, our host Jonathan Zarov speaks with Jennifer Lapham, owner and founder of the Midwest Clay Project. Their adult Fall classes will begin this November 5. Jennifer explains the project, “We are a community that offers opportunities to work in clay, and classes for people of all ages and levels of experiences. One of the things that I really like about Midwest Clay Project is this incredible inter-generational community that has really built itself.” She explains that Madison is a strong community when it comes to offering classes in clay, among them including the UW-Madison, MSCR, MATC, Higher Fire, and Fine Earth. The Midwest Clay Project offers classes that teach both basic and advanced level potter’s wheel, hand-building opportunities, and animal/human figure classes. It is a community-based activity, since the nature of the material itself requires a potter’s wheel, Jennifer says. “One of the special things about Midwest Clay Project is that we’re really able to serve that east-side community. A lot of the folks in our studio come right from that east side neighborhood.” For information about classes and the Midwest Clay Project visit midwestclayproject.com 918 Williamson Street, Madison WI 53703 (608) 255-9240 Listen to the clip here:read article »
On Thursday November 1, our host Tony Castaneda spoke with Assistant Professor at the School for Workers at UW-Madison, Armando Ibarra. Armando speaks about Harvest of Loneliness: The Bracero Program, a documentary film that will be screened at the Labor Temple on Saturday, November 3 at 6:30. Armando will hold a discussion that will take place after the screening of the film, focusing on working conditions and immigration issues that are present in our society today. He assisted with the making of the film as a graduate student with film makers Gilbert Gonzalez and Vivian Price. Armando explains the Bracero Program, “This was a state managed labor importation program that took place between the US and Mexico from 1942 – 1964. The program has had massive impacts on Latino communities that most of us don’t understand, including those that study these communities. Many people’s grandparents and parents today were braceros.” He explains that the program was a system of labor recruitment, put into place by control of the growers. People from all regions of Mexico applied for permits, after which, if they were selected, would be placed through a processing station in the US, where they would be hand picked to be sent to farms across the US. By the end of the process, they were screened by both the Mexican and American governments, as well as the corporate growers. “There was absolutely no agency on the part of the workers in this whole process,” Armando says. The migrant workers were predominantly from rural lands who considered this offer as a good opportunity for themselves and their families. However, they soon began to see the harsh reality of the situation, “this was an abundant source of cheap, exploitable, replaceable, and deportable labor. That was the beauty of this program for corporate growers.” Armando reports that the plight of migrant workers has, for the most part, remained unchanged. He estimates that 25% of all the food consumed in the United States is grown in the central valley of California; And, on a yearly basis, 1.2 million farm workers, mainly Mexicans, apply their efforts towards producing that food, “The food you consume is being produced by Mexican hands, and…primarily ‘unauthorized people’, as we label here.” He speaks about the connection between food production and the current immigration laws and issues that are present in the United States today. Visit the website for the film here. Visit the UW School for Workers, Department ….read article »
On Thursday November 1st, our host Tony Castaneda speaks with the Chair of the Democratic Party of Dane County, Michael Basford. They speak about the upcoming elections next week, and the issues and anxieties that surround it. “All elections are about choices, and I believe we’ve got great candidates running,” Mike says. He describes himself as cautiously confident, saying there is much to be done in the last remaining days before Election day. There are offices open across Dane County – and people will be out to reach out to people in these last few days. Tony asks about the areas that voted against the recall against Walker; Mike responds “there is very big difference between that election and this election. That election was filled with tons of negative energy…[now] is nowhere what we saw then…and of all the people that voted, exit polls showed that people thought that this recall vote didn’t meet the standards.” He speaks about the two parties and their respective candidates, explaining his support of the Democratic Party. Tony asks him how Wisconsin became a swing state, and Mike explains “it’s always been a swing state, it’s always been mighty close. Even when Democrats win in WI, it’s not by huge margins. 2008 was a real anomaly. We didn’t know 2004 until well late into the night.” He believes that the results in Wisconsin of the election will be known earlier this year than usual, “we’ll know by 11 p.m. who the President is.” He explains that one can not reach a decision based on data from one poll: one must gather information from a number of them, “it’s why all these pollsters are in the business,” he explains. Tony raises the issue of voting machines, and their possibility for manipulation and hacking; Mike responds, “we make sure that there are paper ballot alternatives. If you want to cast a paper ballot, you can. Without a paper trail, everything is possible. The way we run it here in Dane County, we have Scantrons, which work great. The integrity of the election is dependent on people having the choice of paper ballots, and knowing that their vote will count. We are sending people all over Dane County to make sure things will go alright.” Mike Basford can be reached at (608) 513 1387. Union Cab will be providing free rides to people to and from the polling stations. Listen to the entire ….read article »
On Wednesday October 31, our host Peaches Lacey speaks with musician and recording artist, Sonny Mack. He grew up surrounded by music, first introduced to music through his parents, and began his career professionally playing with Bobby Rush. He grew up in Chicago, but has moved back and forth between the city and Memphis, where he currently resides. He has recently released a CD under the Ecko Records label. He describes the famous Beale Street in Memphis, Tennessee, where he plays with his band, “The United States is a melting pot of people from all different cultures and countries…on Beale Street, you can see people from everywhere…every city in the US, and other countries…people come from Scandinavia, Japan, England, everywhere. My band plays on Beale Street five days a week and we see people from everywhere. It’s a really great experience. My band doesn’t get paid for playing, they play for tips and then get a percentage off the bar…but that goes to show you how much my guys enjoy doing what they’re doing, playing R&B, soul, and the blues…” He speaks about the process of creating music, “the first thing, when I write, I write about life situations…things that happen to me, that I’ve seen, or that I know have happened to other people. Ideas first, and when I get the idea, I can hear all of the music and everything in my head. You get a good hook, that’s where the idea is, and you develop your song from the hook. You get your idea, then your hook, and then you tell the story.” After he develops the verses and the song, he takes it to his record company and collaborates with them until he has developed a full song. It is a process that needs to be continually worked on and added upon until the work is complete. Sonny speak about some of his songs, including “Clean Up Man” and “Body Drain,” as well as Ecko Records and his strong relationship with the label. Says Sonny, “there’s a magazine in Scandinavia, and I’m on the cover of the magazine. And this came from my relationship with Ecko Records. They came to Memphis, visited me, they came to Church with me, and they did a photo spread and everything. They remembered me when I was in Germany playing…a long time ago. So they did a follow up…they found out I was with Ecko Records and ….read article »