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Justice for Kozee Decorah

Kozee Featherstone MontageAs part of their efforts to shine a light on missing and murdered indigenous women (MMIW), our allies at Menīkānaehkem are asking for the support of ESTHER members and friends to:

  • Sign and circulate this petition regarding the murder of 22-year old Kozee Montana Featherstone Medicinetop Decorah. The petition asks that the charges against the alleged perpetrator be increased from manslaughter to second-degree murder, that five additional charges be added, and that he not be released on bail.
  • Contact the US Attorneys assigned to the case by mail, email or phone (contact info at Read more below) to urge that the charges be modified.

Why are we asking? On May 15th, 2020, Kozee Decorah celebrated her 3-month sobriety anniversary and was working hard to move back home to Wisconsin in the coming months. The very next day she was murdered in Winnebago, Nebraska, by her fiancé, Jonathan Daniel Rooney, who then mutilated her body.

On June 1, 2020, Rooney was charged with MANSLAUGHTER OCCURRING IN INDIAN COUNTRY for the death of Kozee Decorah – a minimal charge given the severity of the killing and the subsequent mutilation of her body.

COVID-19 in Wisconsin Prisons: A Day of Action on May 20

View of State Capitol from DroneA Call to Action from WISDOM Executive Director David Liners:

Dear WISDOM Leaders,

This Wednesday (May 20) at 11 am, it will be time for WISDOM to Storm the Capitol. That is when we need everyone who is concerned about the health of the people in our prisons to contact Governor Evers. Let him know that this is the time to use the authority he has as Governor to safely reduce our prison population by at least 25%, starting with the elderly, the sick, those who pose no danger to society, and those who are due to come home soon anyway.

Please sign up here:

On the form, you can let us know how you will contact the Governor – by e-mail, by phone, on Facebook, or any way you are comfortable. We will send you back some ideas: talking points, memes, facts, that you can incorporate into your message.

Please share this with others. We need the Governor to understand that there are thousands of us, from all parts of the state, who are very concerned about the inevitable spread of COVID-19 in our prisons, endangering incarcerated people as well as the thousands of people who work in the prisons.

A recent report by the Legislative Reference Bureau made it very clear that Governor Evers has the authority to commute sentences, to grant pardons, and even to defer punishment – and that his authority is only limited by his own policies. You can read that report here:

So, please sign up, please spread the word, and please take action on Wednesday at 11 am to STORM THE CAPITOL.

David Liners
414) 736-2099

Bread for the World Offering of Letters

Thursday, April 30, 2020 - 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Zoom Webinar

Bread for the World -Have Faith, End HungerA Special Invitation for ESTHER Faith Communities & Individual Members 

from Bread for the World Midwest Regional Organizer, Zach Schmidt
& Prince of Peace ELCA Advocacy Team

When Prince of Peace’s ELCA Advocacy Team realized our annual Bread for the World Offering of Letters would need to go virtual, we also realized it was an opportunity to invite area congregations to join us in advocating for the hungry. 

We are excited to announce that our 2020 Offering of Letters will be kicked off with a special webinar for ESTHER member faith communities and individuals.    

Please plan to join us on Thursday, April 30, at noon for this fabulous opportunity to join with neighbors throughout the Fox Valley to address food insecurity and nutritional needs even as we are physically distanced.

Please leave a message at to request the registration link.

Better Nutrition, Better Tomorrow: BFW's 2020 Offering of Letters to Congress

Need more information?  Learn more at these links:

What is Bread for the World?

What is an Offering of Letters?

Does an Offering of Letters make a difference

See the attached articles for more information.

RVP Needs You!

Posted in

Empower (MyRVP) logoWisconsin’s April 2020 primary shows what a difference the turnout of informed, motivated electors can make in an election. Some reports indicate that “Relational Voting” may have played a significant role in the outcome of that eletion. That’s why ESTHER is looking for leaders to participate in our Relational Voting Program.

What’s Relational Voting? Research has shown that people are more likely to vote if they have a relationship with someone who is encouraging them to do so.

It is easy to participate in the program, which requires only three simple steps:

  1. Download the “Empower (MyRVP)” app to your smart phone (Apple or Android). Then, register yourself to the Empower network (using your phone number or email address) and enter the code word “WISDOM.”
  2. Choose 20 names from the contact list on your phone and add them to the list in your Empower app
  3. Commit to contacting these people from time to time to remind them to vote in upcoming elections.

You are the only person who will ever contact these people about voting-related matters. Talking prompts will be sent to you to remind you to contact those on your list and suggest topics.

If you have questions, please reach out to Bill Van Lopik (

By participating in this program, you could possibly earn money for ESTHER as well as yourself. We have funding to pay up to 40 people $50 each if they follow through on this simple program.

Cancelled/Postponed? - Wisconsin Deserves Fair Maps

Posted in
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.

Cancelled: Fair Maps and Census 2020

Posted in
Monday, March 16, 2020 - 5:00pm - 6:30pm
Copper Rock Coffee Co, 210 W College Ave, Appleton

Due to the current coronavirus situation and the need for social distancing, this program is cancelled. The League will reschedule a livestream program on the US Census soon and communicate the date/time and how to access the livestream once the details are available.

stylized images of many people of diverse dress, color, etc.On March 16, LWV-Appleton will host a program on the 2020 Census and Fair Maps (not women's history as previously announced).

A representative of the Outagamie County Complete Count Committee will talk about the upcoming census and local efforts to ensure a complete count.

Also, former Wisconsin Representative Penny Bernard-Schaber will speak about gerrymandering and fair maps. Penny served 3 terms representing the 57th district which includes southern Appleton and parts of Menasha. She will be talking about how gerrymandering has changed our local districts, how it impacts municipal clerks, and the partisan roadblocks it creates in Wisconsin. Penny is also leading the 8th Congressional District Fair Maps Coalition, which is working towards a non-partisan redistricting process following the 2020 Census.LWV - League of Women Voters of Appleton

Mark your calendars to come and learn more, and bring your questions!

LWV reminds attendees that Copper Rock is providing the venue at no charge, so please buy food and beverages to enjoy throughout the meeting! Come early if you want to order food—the program will begin promptly with LWV announcements at 5:25.

MMIW Task Force Bill - Public Hearing

Wednesday, March 4, 2020 - 1:00pm
Wisconsin State Capitol, Room 412 East, 2 E Main St, Madison

The Wisconsin State Assembly has scheduled a hearing Wednesday on AB 548, which would create a task force on missing/murdered tribal women and girls. This hearing is an important next step in authorizing and creating the task force!

Come to Madison on Wednesday, March 4, to show your support for the bill.

Can't attend the hearing? Show your support by signing this online petition.

The primary purpose of this task force is to reduce violence against Indigenous women, resolve and identify systemic causes and contributing factors of violence, and identify the root causes of gender-based violence against Indigenous people.

Transit Equity Day

Tuesday, February 4, 2020 (All day)
Appleton Transit Center, 100 E Washington St, Appleton

Transit Equity Day - February 4Join Sierra Club Wisconsin, the Coalition for More Responsible Transportation, ESTHER and other groups in honoring Rosa Parks’ birthday by celebrating Transit Equity Day! Plan to ride the bus on February 4th.

Join ESTHER, Sierra Club Fox Valley and others at a special event at the Appleton Transit Center from 10:30 to 11:30 on February 4. Paper roses will be distributed (in honor of Rosa Parks) along with transit equity buttons to wear. Or watch the Facebook Live feed on the ESTHER Facebook page, starting at 10:30 am.

Talking about transit equity focuses attention on the need for a higher level of investment in transit so people can get to their destinations, even if they don't or can't drive.

Find out more at the Facebook page for this event.

Smart Justice Lobby Day

Wednesday, January 29, 2020 - 11:30am - 2:00pm
Wisconsin State Capitol, 2 E Main St, Madison

Smart Justice Lobby Day January 29, 2020

Join the ACLU of Wisconsin’s Smart Justice Campaign, WISDOM, EXPO, ESTHER and others at the State Capitol on January 29 to call for change in our criminal justice system.

Weekly Climate Strike - Fox Cities

Strike With Us

Sponsored by Youth Climate Activists Fox Valley

Fridays through April 17 at Houdini Plaza in Appleton:

“We are climate striking every Friday to raise awareness about the climate crisis. By doing this we are putting pressure on our state government and Appleton City Hall to take action. We demonstrate at Houdini Plaza from 5-7pm. Everyone is welcome, everyone is needed.”

Click here to visit event page on Facebook

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