WisconsinEye is the C-Span of Wisconsin's civil society. The folks at WisconsinEye video recorded 18 different sessions at the 2011 Democracy Convention. They may be watched or listened to for free on their website, or purchased for download, here:
During the first plenary session of the Democracy Convention, panelists including: Executive Director of the Liberty Foundation, Ben Manski, consultant George Friday, political blogger John Nichols, and pediatrician Dr. Margaret Flowers, participated in a discussion regarding the starting of a democracy movement in America. The discussion was moderated by state representative Mark Pocan (D-Madison).
Tom Hayden, former California state senator and activist; Cheri Honkala, Green Party candidate for sheriff of Philadelphia; and Madison Mayor Paul Soglin opened the first National Democracy Convention sponsored by the Liberty Tree Foundation and co-sponsored by the Alliance for Democracy, Progressive Magazine, and Move to Amend, at the Concourse Hotel in Madison August 24-26, 2011.
On August 26, 2011, as part of the Democracy Convention, panelists discussed campaign finance reform. Speakers included activist Annabel Park, Executive Director of Common Cause Minnesota, Michael Dean, and Executive Director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, Mike McCabe.
On August 26, 2011, as part of the Democracy Convention, panelists discussed how to use local government as a way to challenge the political status quo and large corporate powers. Panelists included: Common Cause's Regional Director of State Operations for Western States, Dereck Cressman, activist George Martin, Executive Director of Democracy Unlimited, Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap, and South Central WI Move to Amend Co-Chair, Kaja Rebane.
In an August 26, 2011 workshop, as part of the Democracy Convention, participants learned how to use the Freedom of Information Act and their state’s open records laws to gain access to important information. Speakers included Bill Lueders, Money and Politics Project director of the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism, and Mike Buelow, research director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign.
On August 26, 2011, as part of the Democracy Convention, panelists discussed how the New Badger Partnership was a classic case of privatization of higher education – decoding the arguments made in its favor and fighting them, both with words and with direct action. Speakers include: UW Madison TAA co-president, Adrienne Pagac, vice-chair of the Associated Students of Madison, Beth Huang, and member of the Student Labor Action Coalition at UW-Madison, Leland Pan.
On August 26, 2011, as part of the Democracy Convention, panelists discussed the issue of verifying election outcomes. Speakers included: Jim Mueller, legal counsel for the group Wisconsin Citizens for Election Protection, Mark Halvorson, director and founder of Citizens for Election Integrity Minnesota, and Sean Flaherty, policy analyst for VerifiedVoting.org and the Verified Voting Foundation.
On August 26, 2011, as part of the Democracy Convention, panelists Brendan Fischer, law fellow with the Center for Media and Democracy, Laura Dresser, associate director of COWS, and Lisa Graves, executive director of the Center for Media and Democracy discussed the ALEC Exposed Project.
In an August 26, 2011 Democracy Convention session, panelists discussed how to use electoral politics at the local level to elect local representatives who will use their office to build the democracy movement and pass legislation that protects community and people’s rights and challenges corporate interests. Speakers included: Brenda Konkel, executive director of the Tenant Resource Center, Heidi M. Wegleitner, from Legal Action of Wisconsin, Michael Johnson, co-chair of Progressive Dane, and Shane Brinton, national field organizer for the Move to Amend campaign.
In an August 26, 2011 session of the Democracy Convention, panelists discussed lessons learned from the movements that have fought to drive women’s rights into our governing document. Speakers included: Greg Coleridge, director of the Northeast Ohio American Friends Service Committee, Jerome Scott, founding member of the League of Revolutionary Black Workers, and Mary Zepernick, founding principal of the Program on Corporations, Law & Democracy.
On February 21, 2011, the South Central Federation of Labor adopted a resolution that "endorsed a general strike, possibly for the day Governor Walker signed his budget repair bill." That resolution caught the imaginations of many people nationwide, and set off an internal debate within the labor movement over whether to get behind the call for a general strike. Panelists Ben Manski, Executive Director for the Liberty Tree Foundation, Eric Cobb, Executive Director for the Building Trades Council of South Central Wisconsin, and Samantha Jordan from Wisconsin Resists discussed what happened and what proponents of a general strike should do to make certain it is not suppressed, but spreads to other regions and sectors.
This session of the Democracy Convention demonstrated how grassroots organizing can help people to have a meaningful voice in the political process from the local to the national level.
On August 25, as part of the Democracy Convention, students of University of Wisconsin system presented a short history of the fight earlier this spring in the Wisconsin Capitol, through photos and personal stories.
On August 25, as part of the Democracy Convention, three people with a broad range of experience addressed thecorporatization and privatization of the University of Wisconsin and education as an institution and spoke about “how” and “why” this is happening. Panelists included Ben Manski, executive director of Liberty Tree Foundation, Erika Wolf, from the United Council of UW Students, and Sara Goldrick-Rab, an assistant professor from UW Madison's Department of Educational Policy Studies and Sociology.
On August 25, as part of the Democracy Convention, panelists discussed state and community banks. Speakers included political and social activist Bill Thorington, Sam Munger, and Coordinator of Californians for a State Bank, Susan Harman.
On August 25, as part of the Democracy Convention, panelists discussed how the classroom is becoming an extension of the corporate domination of U.S. culture and what they’re doing to fight it, from the military industrial complex to corporately funded university research and everything in between. Panelists included historian Allen Ruff and Erika Wolf, from the United Council of UW Students.
On August 25, 2011, as part of the Democracy Convention, state workers met to protest cuts to state workers wages as part of Wisconsin Act 10.