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March 17, 2016
In This Issue:

Region 6 Tech Upgrade is Underway
WEAC Board Recommends Kloppenburg
Voter ID Law in Effect for April 5 Elections
Your Kids are Eligible for SCFL Scholarships
Free Access to Quality Educator Interactive
You're a Saint

Saint Patrick did not introduce Christianity to Ireland. It was practiced there long before he was born. Nor did he banish snakes. Post-glacial Ireland never had any snakes. Saint Patrick is not the only patron saint of Ireland. He is one of three, along with Saint Columbia and Saint Brigit of Kildare.
Patrick was a missionary and not a teacher in a public school, but he succeeded because he did what many successful teachers do. We meet students where they are to introduce them to new ideas. Patrick used bonfires to celebrate Easter because the Irish were accustomed to honoring their gods with fire. He superimposed a sun on the Christian cross because the sun was a powerful symbol in Irish culture and in the pagan religions most Irish people practiced at the time. That adapted symbol is the Celtic cross.
I mention these things not just because I am a high school social studies teacher and I can't help myself. It's because we are in the political season, and now is a time when we need to be extra vigilant about separating myth from reality.
For example, Scott Walker has appointed Rebecca Bradley to three positions, including State Supreme Court Justice, during his time in office. Each time, he has promoted the myth of Bradley as a fair minded and intellectually rigorous practitioner of the law. But our friends at One Wisconsin Now (OWN) have researched Bradley's background, and many of us are horrified by what OWN has found out. WEAC Region 6 is a proud sponsor of OWN's work.
In articles Bradley published in the Marquette Tribune, she repeatedly referred to people in extremely offensive and disrespectful ways. I won't repeat her words here because I do not want to give more ink to her kind of hate. To this day, she has continued to affiliate and align herself with extremist organizations and individuals who endorse the same views she expressed in her college writings, and it is for that reason she is unfit to serve on our state's highest court.
When we go to the polls on April 5 to decide between Bradley and JoAnne Kloppenburg for our state's Supreme Court, we will also vote in the presidential primary and in local elections for school board and other offices. These candidates have been surveyed and interviewed by Region 6 locals and our allies in the organized labor community. Before you vote, I urge you to find out which candidates have been recommended and where each of them stands on the issues that are important to us as professionals who care about children and public education.
This is one of the many ways that the union works on everyone's behalf. We help you separate myth from reality. You can find this information by talking with the leaders in your local and by going to the South Central Federation of Labor website.
If you have questions or suggestions you can always email me or call the Region 6 office at 1-800-397-2287.
Oh, and Happy St. Patrick's Day.

Mark Lindsey
President of WEAC Region 6
Region 6 Technology Upgrade is Underway

The leaders and staff in WEAC Region 6 are working to upgrade the region's use of communications technology and review its processes to improve communications within and between each Region 6 local. As part of this effort, the region is creating a new handheld application and asking Region 6 members for feedback.
The region currently communicates with members through its website, twice-monthly electronic SmartBoard newsletters, periodic email Alerts and Updates, Facebook page, Twitter feed, and Pinterest. The region often communicates with the general public through the news media. All communications are designed to enhance local communications about the union and issues important to teachers, education professionals and students. These communication vehicles inform and enhance face-to-face communications between union members and during local and region membership meetings. Then everyone is better prepared to talk about important issues with the community and the general public.
"Communication is everything," Region 6 President Mark Lindsey said. "Great things often happen when union members talk to each other and to their neighbors. The leaders and staff in WEAC Region 6 want to do everything we can to facilitate these conversations within each local and across the region."
The region has also initiated a new project to enhance communications through handheld devices. The project could lead to the development of a Region 6 app if that is what members decide they want.
"You can help by looking at the project we are working on and telling us what you think," Lindsey said. "We are not asking you to take a survey. Instead, just take a look at this draft and, if you want to, send us an email about it."
WEAC Board Recommends Kloppenburg

The WEAC Board of Directors has concurred with the Political Action Committee and is recommending Judge Joanne Kloppenburg for State Supreme Court in the April 5 election.

The WEAC PAC and WEAC Board issued a joint statement supporting the recommendation:

"Judge Kloppenburg will be a Supreme Court Justice of which Wisconsin will be proud. Her career has been one filled with integrity and independence. Judge Kloppenburg brings genuine strength and determination to restoring respect to Wisconsin's highest court. By balancing intensity and earnestness with an upbeat hopefulness, we can be assured that Judge Kloppenburg will bring focus and discipline in writing thoughtful and principled judicial decisions. Judge Kloppenburg has built a legal career standing up for the people of Wisconsin, first as an assistant attorney general and now as an elected judge to the Wisconsin Court of Appeals. It's time to restore Wisconsin government to one that is of the people, for the people and by the people. Judge Kloppenburg values public education, respects educators, and appreciates the critical role of unions in the 21st century workplace."

Many Region 6 members are volunteering to distribute literature, phone bank and post yard signs for the Kloppenburg campaign. Members interested in volunteering can call the Region 6 office at 1-800-397-2287 to ask for information about volunteering or go directly to the Kloppenburg campaign website to sign up for phone banking.

This is an 11.0101(10)(b)(1) communication with WEAC members.
Voters: Don't Forget Your ID

Wisconsin's voter photo ID law will be in effect for the April 5 spring elections. Voters must show photo IDs to vote at the polls and absentee voters must mail photocopied photo IDs with their ballots. Valid Wisconsin driver's licenses are one acceptable form of photo ID, and there are other options for voters who do not have driver's licenses.
The League of Women Voters of Wisconsin  has produced a comprehensive flyer explaining the law and how voters can get the photo IDs they need in order to exercise their constitutional right to vote. The flyers can be printed and handed out to people who might need information about how to get the right photo ID.
More information about voting absentee, finding your polling place, and all questions related to voting this spring can be found on the  My Vote Wisconsin website .
Region 6 Family Members Eligible for SCFL Scholarships

Undergraduate college students whose parents or guardians are WEAC Region 6 members are eligible for $1,000 scholarships through the South Central Federation of Labor scholarship program. The scholarship rules and application form are available on the SCFL website.
Applications can be submitted between now and the July 1, 2016 deadline.
Free Access to Quality Educator Interactive

As a WEAC member, you are eligible to use the QEI (Quality Educator Interactive) website at no cost to you, and a new online video outlines how you can use this special member benefit! QEI is a great resource to help you with your educator licensing and PDP (Professional Development Plan) needs. With the QEI, you can: write and store your PDP online; access member support through tutorials, FAQs and online video; submit required PDP verification data to DPI online; and create a personalized PDP timeline. Find out more and watch the video.