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Annual Banquet set for Nov. 11; get your tickets now!

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Rev. Scott Anderson, Executive Directory, Wisconsin Council of ChurchesRev. Scott Anderson, executive director of the Wisconsin Council of Churches, will be the keynote speaker at ESTHER’s eighth Annual Banquet at 5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 11 at Liberty Hall, 800 Eisenhower Drive, Kimberly. Festivities include music and a silent auction. Current and new members are welcome, as well as other friends, supporters and guests. The cost is $40 per person, $70 for a couple, or $350 for a table of 10. Click here to register online.

We did it!

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We won a public hearing for a Fox Cities RTA bill!

A public hearing has been scheduled with the Senate Transportation Committee for a Regional Transit Authority (RTA) for the greater Fox Cities region (SB456)!

We need your help! ESTHER will be arranging a carpool to Madison for the hearing that will be held on Thursday, March 8th at the state capitol.  A time has not been given for the hearing. We will keep you posted on the time of the hearing and the and location for our carpool.

Time is running out. This session is scheduled to end in March. There IS NOT going to be another floor period scheduled for the rest of the year. This is our last chance to get something through at the state level this year. Without the flexibility afforded by a RTA, public transportation in the Fox Cities is likely to cease to exist by 2013.

What: Fox Cities RTA Public Hearing

When: Thursday, March 8th at 10:00 AM

Where: State Capitol in Room 411 South

Carpool Leaves: 7:45 AM from First Congregational UCC in Appleton (724 East South River Street)

Carpool Returns: Before 4:00 PM (estimated time) most likely earlier.

Let us know if you will be part of the carpool, call Stephanie at 920-216-0891. Additional information will be provided for those attending the hearing on Thursday as we depart Appleton for the State Capitol in Madison. 


 

Can't make it to Madison?  Your voice is still important.  Please these three members of the Senate Transportation Committee to share with them how critical the RTA is to our community. Call now! A few important points are listed below.

Senator Lazich (chair of committee): (800) 334-1442

Senator Leibham: (vice chair of committee): (888) 295-8750

Senator Lasee: (608) 266-3512

A few simple points about what a Fox Cities Regional Transit Authority (RTA) would do:

  1. Create a vibrant, modern transit system is a fundamental part of a successful and sustainable economy in the greater Fox Cities.
  2. Allow for a permanent regional transit authority in the greater Fox Cities is critical to providing regional coordination, creating a united voice across the region, and advancing efficient regional linkages for jobs and economic growth.
  3. Provide a dedicated funding source for transit to provide adequate, stable funding for transit and prevent significant cuts in service.
  4. The dedicated sales tax voted on locally by the community of up to but not greater than 0.5% for transit will provide property tax relief by removing local transit costs from the property tax.

 

Public transit is important to too many in our community. Let's work together to keep our buses moving.

Day By Day Warming Shelter Opens in Oshkosh

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Thanks to the efforts of congregations and individuals affiliated with ESTHER in Oshkosh, those with no place to go in that community will have a place in which to stay warm and dry overnight when the weather turns bad. The Day By Day Warming Shelter, located at the St. Peters site (449 High Avenue) of the Most Blessed Sacrament Catholic Parish, is hosting the shelter from the second week of October through the second week of April, and will provide dinner, breakfast, and a warm, safe place to stay overnight for 15 to 20 people. The shelter held an open house on October 24 during its first week of operation.

Congressman Petri, Congressman Ribble Say YES to Transit! Click here for video.

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Congressman Petri and Congressman Ribble along with over 250 people have committed to Say YES to Transit!!

 

At the Say YES! to Transit event on Aug. 11, both Rep. Thomas Petri and Rep. Reid Ribble committed to support and work toward a solution to offer flexibility in federal transit assistance, where decisions on how funding is used is made at the local level. Petri has been a long-serving member of the House’s transportation and infrastructure committee and Ribble just recently joined this committee. 
 
They agreed to work with fellow members of congress to pass legislation that will allow for flexibility in operational funding that will maintain funds for the Valley Transit and Green Bay Metro systems.  Let's help them keep that commitment. 
 
 
The ESTHER transit task force meets on the Third Tuesday of each month, from 6:30-8:00 PM at First English Lutheran Church (326 East North Street) in Appleton. Contact us for more information.

 

Broadcast Blues: corporate consolidation and the decline of objective reporting on TV

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Broadcast Blues movie poster

  • If you are think objective journalism has declined on TV, you are right!

  • If you are tired of propaganda masquerading as reporting on TV, you have lots of company!

If you want to know more about this problem and what you can do about it, join us at the Appleton Public Library for a free screening of the film Broadcast Blues and a discussion with filmmaker Sue Wilson. She is an award winning TV producer and radio personality, and she is a frequent contributor to the Huffington Post.

The presentation of Broadcast Blues is sponsored by ESTHER, The Fox Valley Unitarian Fellowship's Social Justice Ministry and the Appleton Public Library.

Where: the Appleton Public Library, 225 N. Oneida Street,

When: September 19 at 6:30 PM

Say Yes to Transit!

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Transit Summit: August 11th 4:00-5:00 PM

Public Event Sponsored by ESTHER (Fox Cities) and JOSHUA (Green Bay)

Confirmed participants in addition to other community leaders include:

Congressman Reid Ribble & Congressman Tom Petri

 

 

  • Do you ride the bus to work or to school?
  • Do your children or your neighbors' children ride the bus to school?
  • Do any of your employees ride the bus to work?

If you answered "Yes" to any of these questions, you should attend the "Say Yes to Transit" event on August 11th

Public transit is vital to a strong community, to the economy and to those who depend on public transit as their mode of transportation. To learn about the threats to public transit in Green Bay and the Fox Valley, come to "Say Yes to Transit." 

 

Where: First English Lutheran Church at 326 East North St, Appleton

When: August 11, 2011 from 4:00 to 5:00 PM

 

Download the flyer (below) for more information. 

Joint Finance Committee Public Hearing on the WI State Budget

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 New location of Joint Finance Committee Hearing - Neenah!

10:00 AM to 6:00 PM
April 13, 2011
Pickard Auditorium, Neenah High School

Speak out for a just state budget! 

We will all be impacted by the proposed state budget.  Those that will sacrifice the most are those that are the most vulnerable in our midst.  The poor and working low-income families, students, seniors, immigrants, and those in need of health care will see dramatic cuts to service.  At a time where we need a focus on jobs to increase the quality of life, we call for our state legislature to consider first the quality of life for the those with the most to lose. 

If you can’t attend, please consider making a written statement (click here) for us to give to the committee.  To read WISDOM's statement on the budget, click here and visit the website Pray for Justice in Wisconsin.

 

Click on link above to watch an interview of ESTHER leader Penny Robinson during the Joint Finance Committee hearing in Stevens Point held on April 8th.

Speak Up for Justice at Wisconsin Budget Hearings

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Wisconsin's BudgetLet Your Voice Be Heard

Joint Finance Committee Budget Hearings April 7 in Stevens Point!

Tell the Committee That the Budget Must Support Social Justice!

When: Thursday, April 7 at 10:00 AM – SAVE THIS DATE

Where: The University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, Lee Dreyfus Center

Read more…

Legislative Action Day Videos Available

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Crowd walking from church to CapitolThree stirring videos from 2011 Legislative Action Day, held in Madison on March 15, are now available on ESTHER's YouTube channel – rousing talks by Rev. Steve Savides from First Congregational U.C.C., Appleton; Rev. Willie Brisco, president of MICAH, Milwaukee's WISDOM affiliate; and ELCA Bishop Bruce Burnside.

 

More than 400 people, including 35 from ESTHER, participated in the event, which was organized by the Wisconsin Council of Churches, WISDOM, Lutheran Office for Public Policy in Wisconsin, and Madison-area Urban Ministries. We were inspired, we learned, we rallied, we marched, and we visited with legislators to ask that our values as people of faith be respected in the shaping of public policy for our state.

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