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Building community, sharing hope, and standing for justice since 2004

Cancelled/Postponed: Better Transit, Stronger Community: Panel Discussion

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Monday, March 23, 2020 - 6:30pm - 8:00pm
Appleton Public Library (Room C), 225 North Oneida Street, Appleton

Postponed/canceled event: This event is canceled as a cautionary measure to protect members of our community. This is an important discussion that ESTHER will reschedule at a later date.

Learn about:

Jaunty red transit bus

  • Services currently offered by Valley Transit
  • Highlights of the Valley Transit Development Plan
  • Demographic trends in our community that are increasing demands for public transportation
  • Two transit riders, who will speak of their experiences using Valley Transit.
  • Transit funding

Together, we will discuss how we can continue to strengthen transit and our community.

Panelists include Sarah Schneider--Valley Transit Mobility Manager, Peter Skopec—WISPIRG plus two Valley Transit riders. Local legislators and candidates are invited.

Free and open to the public.

Help spread the word - download and share the attached flier.

Co-sponsored by:

Wisconsin Conservation Voters Logo

Wisconsin Conservation Voters

Wisconsin Public Interest Research Group

Cancelled/Postponed? - Wisconsin Deserves Fair Maps

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Tuesday, March 31, 2020 - 6:00pm - 8:00pm
Lawrence University Science Hall, Room 102, 421 E College Ave, Appleton

In a recent announcement, Lawrence University has indicated that all campus events for spring term 2020 are cancelled as a precaution because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It therefore seems unlikely that this event will occur.

Professor Bill WhitfordA talk by retired UW law professor Bill Whitford on why Wisconsin deserves fair maps. Whitford is the lead plaintiff in Gill v. Whitford, a law suit challenging the constitutionality of partisan gerrymandering. In 2017, the US Supreme Court heard the case and in 2018 remanded it to lower courts, finding that the plaintiffs had not demonstrated standing for the case.

The public is welcome at this presentation.

Read the Wikipedia article on Gill v. Whitford here.

ESTHER’s 2020 Officers Announced

At the December 2019 meeting of ESTHER’s Leadership Board on December 12, officers for 2020 were elected.

  • President - Gary Crevier (newly elected): Gary has been an active suppporter of ESTHER for many years, especially through hisGary Crevier receiving the mantle of ESTHER leadership work with the prison reform task force and participation in ESTHER’s Religious Leaders Caucus. Read Gary’s personal profile here.
  • Vice President - Jo Phillip (newly elected): Jo is a member of the Fox Valley Islamic Society and works as a writer and editor in a Fox Cities marketing communications firm.
  • Secretary - Nancy Jones (continuing): A tireless contributor to and leader in many justice-oriented and community groups in the Fox Cities, Nancy belongs to Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Appleton.
  • Treasurer - Melissa Hughes (continuing): Melissa’s strong background in financial analysis, her past work in juvenile corrections in Canada, and her experience as a recent immigrant to the US make her well qualified to serve ESTHER in this role.

Board members expressed their gratitude to retiring president Fr. Joe Mattern, Appleton, and retiring vice president Mamadou Coulibaly, Oshkosh, for their dedicated service and effective leadership on behalf of ESTHER.

Become a Monthly Sustainer: Our Work Takes Time …

Bringing justice and equi­ty to our society will not happen overnight, or even in a year or two.

We love “quick wins” as much as anyone … but in our work toward systemic change, they are few and far between.

For example, Oshkosh Common Council’s February 2020 decision to fund free busing for Oshkosh Public School students came about only after a sustained campaign over more than four years by ESTHER Oshkosh and other groups. So we have to main­tain our effort over the long haul to bring about significant change, and that requires a de­pen­dable fi­nan­cial base.

Monthly Sustain­ers pro­vide fund­ing we can count on for the long run … through automatic month­ly con­tri­bu­tions (of $10 or more) from their check­ing or savings account.

We invite you to become a Monthly Sustainer of ESTHER. Just download this form, fill it out, and mail it to ESTHER, PO Box 784, Neenah, WI 54957.

Thank you!

Immigration Task Force Works Towards a Better Life for Immigrants

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The ESTHER Immigration Task Force has evolved over the years into a wide-reaching group of dedicated people with ties to many groups in the community and beyond. Our agenda includes advocacy for specific policy changes; community education and consciousness-raising relating to the experience of immigrants; and walking alongside immigrants as they negotiate the twists and turns of life in our community. Click “Read more” below to see the complete update from ESTHER Immigration Task Force chair Nancy Bourassa.

I Thought [Catholics] Couldn’t Join ESTHER

The November 2019 issue of The Compass, the official newspaper for the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay, contains an article entitled, “I Thought We Couldn’t Join ESTHER.” It was written by Peter Weiss, program manger for the Diocesan Office of Living Justice.

As Weiss notes, the view expressed in the article’s title is incorrect:

So to summarize, Bishop Ricken did not say it was wrong for individual Catholics to belong to groups like ESTHER and JOSHUA [ESTHER’s sister organization in Green Bay]. Rather, he recognized the good work these organizations do in our communities and left the decision [about membership or support] up to the prudential judgment of the individual.