I’m interrupting my own series on the CDC’s National Survey of Family Growth to help spread word in the women’s health community about the atrocities committed in Wisconsin.
After more than three weeks of an aggressively upheld stalemate in the Wisconsin capitol, on Wednesday, March 9, 2011, the Republican Party took steps to reverse 50 years of democratic progress. By removing certain components of Governor Scott Walker’s highly controversial budget plan, the Republican Senators were able to sneakily vote without waiting for the Democrat Senators to return to Madison. As a result of this vote, the unions’ rights to collective bargaining has been dismantled (thereby leaving teachers, nurses, and public workers vulnerable and unrepresented), programs that support middle and working class people have been eliminated, and constituents have been designated as second-class citizens. This underhanded procedural trick was a blatant assault on the democratic process, an affirmation that this legislation has nothing to do with addressing the state’s budget deficit and everything to do with Walker’s desire to dismantle unions, and a direct blow to the state’s workers, families and – of course - women.
I do not wish this article to be a complete soapbox speech. Instead, I wish to urge every one of you to get educated. Whether you identify as a Republican, a Democrat or something else completely, it is your responsibility to understand what is transpiring.
Still unclear about why this is an issue worth investigating? Without even touching on the main issue of collective bargaining rights and workers’ protection, for the sake of space, let me give you just a couple poignant reasons:
1. The vote was illegal – it was held in violation of the state’s open meeting laws. (Learn more here: www.doj.state.wi.us/dls/.../2010OMCG.../2010_OML_Compliance_Guide. Pdf.) Republican Senators did not offer the mandated 24-hour notice to their fellow policy-makers or the public before opening the vote.
Wisconsin is serving as an example to states around the nation.