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The statewide COVID-19 website is a one stop shop that consolidates information from state agencies, and provides up-to-date information and guidance regarding COVID-19. DHS has also offered information on their website on How and Where to Get Tested.

If you're not busy, please make a call, send a card, or write a letter to someone you know who lives alone or may need assistance.

Please, let them and your family know that you are thinking of them, and that we are here for each other.

Bless each of you during this difficult time of uncertainty and suffering. Take good care!

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Contents

Mask Ordinance Approved

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Photo Credit: CBS 58/Brendan Cullerton

Today, Mayor Barrett signed the MKE Cares Ordinance, which was unanimously approved by the Milwaukee Common Council yesterday.

The ordinance will require people to wear masks in public spaces while the city's COVID-19 health order is in place.

The council also approved a separate measure that will provide masks for free to city residents.

The mask requirement will go into effect Thursday July 16th.

Read more 

MPS Released its Reopening Recommendations

Based on input from students, families, and staff, MPS has outlined three scenarios following a phased reopening model that would begin with virtual learning in the fall and progress to a hybrid model where students take turns making use of the school facilities, and ultimately to a full reopening with virtual options.

The plan will be taken up by the Milwaukee Board of School Directors on Thursday, July 16th at 5:30pm.

Members of the public will be able to give testimony during Thursday's meeting in relation to their opinions of the plan. Anyone wishing to speak will need to register in advance. The registration deadline for speaking is 3:00pm on July 16th.

To register to participate by dial-in, call 414-475-8200 and follow the instructions. To register to participate via email, visit the Boardcast page of the MPS website to send an email request:

Written comments may be submitted to the Office of Board Governance by mail, to 5225 W. Vliet Street, Milwaukee, 53221; by email, to governance@milwaukee.k12.wi.us; or by fax, to 414-475-8071. Written comments received before 3:00 P.M. on July 16, 2020, will be forwarded to the Committee for its consideration.

This meeting will be broadcast on WYMS radio— 88.9 FM, or on Time-Warner/Spectrum Channel 13, and via livestream or the MPS YouTube Stream

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Governor Evers Announced the People's Maps Commission

Last Thursday, Governor Evers began accepting applications for the People's Maps Commission a panel composed of Wisconsin residents who will be selected by 3 retired judges for the purpose of presenting a nonpartisan redistricting plan for Wisconsin's 2021 redistricting process.

The panel will be made up of 9 people, including one person from each of Wisconsin's 8 congressional districts. Political party officials, lawmakers, candidates for public office, and former lobbyists will not be able to take part as commission members.

Learn more

Apply here

The Wisconsin Supreme Court Ruled on Budget Vetoes and Lame Duck Laws

The Wisconsin Supreme Court has released its decisions in two highly anticipated cases. One was over the lame duck laws that were passed in the Winter of 2018, just before Governor Evers took office, and the other was in relation to partial vetoes that Governor Evers used during the crafting of the 2019 state budget.

The Supreme Court decided to uphold much of the lame duck laws limiting the powers of the governor and the attorney general. Although the court found that some of the laws were constitutional upon first glance, it left open the possibility of future challenges related to specific cases.

In another part of the lame duck laws case, the court ruled that the governor and his administration would not need to rewrite thousands of "guidance documents" and have them approved by the legislature before publication. In the decision, Justice Kelly wrote that forcing the governor and the executive agencies to comply with these requirements would "demote the executive branch to a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Legislature." and upset the balance of powers between those two branches of government. 

Read more about the Lame Duck ruling


In the other case, concerning the use of the governor's partial veto authority, the Wisconsin Supreme Court struck down three of Governor Evers' partial vetoes from his first state budget.

Although the conservative justices that make up the majority on the court agreed that these three vetoes were invalid, they offered different reasoning as to why.

In her dissent, liberal justice Ann Walsh Bradley offered the critique: "Without a clear rule, how will future courts know how to apply this law? They won't. How can governors be assured that the partial veto they are crafting is constitutional? They can't."

Read more about the Budget Vetoes ruling

Misinformation About Contact Tracing is Spreading

In mid-June, a rumor about surveillance equipment being installed in Appleton led to significant interest in the Appleton City Council's acceptance of $1.2 million in state reimbursements for its public health response to COVID-19.

Although public interest in municipal proceedings helps to strengthen policy, this time the interest was generated by a false narrative. The city council had no plans to approve surveillance equipment to be used to enforce quarantines.

Other rumors include the false narratives that contact tracers are working with Child Protective Services to remove children from the homes of high risk medical professionals.

These rumors weaken public trust in one of the essential elements of our response to a contagious virus like COVID-19. Without being able to test and follow the spread of the disease through contact tracing we will not be able to stop outbreaks as they are happening, and will only be able to shut down large areas once they have already seen surges.

Read more.

America's "Forgotten Pandemic"

The following article explains the complicated domestic factors that contributed to a lack of information about the 1918 Flu, also known as the Spanish Flu. That name was coined due to the same factors that obscured this disease's virulent spread across the world.

Although this strain of influenza led to 50 million deaths and infected approximately one third of the world's population, details about this disease were not widely reported at the time. This lack of information is what led to the 1918 flu and its resurgence in 1919 being known as the "Forgotten Pandemic."

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