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Local Government

Whitewater Common Council Meeting, 4.20.21: 7 Points

?? The Whitewater Common Council met on Tuesday, 4.20.21. The recording of the meeting is embedded above. The amended agenda for the meeting is available. A few remarks on selected items of the agenda —  1. Council Officers. Council re-elected unanimously Lynn Binnie as council president and Jim Allen as president pro tempore. (Video, 04:00.) 2.…

Whitewater’s Local Politics 2021: The Limits of Local Politics

This is the final post in a series on Whitewater’s local politics of 2021. Earlier posts at FREE WHITEWATER have addressed the limits of local politics in the community: local public (or powerful private) institutions have a limited power of action (with harmful actions likely to be more immediate than helpful ones). It’s certain that a…

Whitewater’s Local Politics 2021: Marketing

This is the ninth in a series on Whitewater’s local politics of 2021. Through all the difficult events of the last two decades (a Great Recession, an opioid epidemic, economic stagnation, creeping nativism, a pandemic, a pandemic recession), Old Whitewater has responded with the same question: how can we market the town to others? If…

Whitewater’s Local Politics 2021 — COVID-19: Skepticism and Rhetoric

This is the eighth in a series on Whitewater’s local politics of 2021. Why would a local politician publish statistics on a pandemic? Why would he write now and again with reports of the reach of the pandemic into his city? He’d write this way out of concern for his community. If that’s not plain,…

Whitewater’s Local Politics 2021: The Subcultural City

This is the sixth in a series on Whitewater’s local politics of 2021. There’s no politically predominant group in Whitewater. Strictly speaking, a subculture implies a dominant culture, but it’s less dramatic to describe Whitewater as several subcultures than as balkanized. One might call the city multicultural, but that term often implies an acceptance of…

Whitewater’s Local Politics 2021: The Campus

This is the fifth in a series on Whitewater’s local politics of 2021. Whitewater, Wisconsin is a small town where about half the residents are university students. Town-Gown conflicts here aren’t the most in all North America, but they’re not the least, either. The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater is beset with challenges apart from politics: long-term structural…

Whitewater’s Local Politics 2021: The City’s Few Progressives

This is the fourth in a series on Whitewater’s local politics of 2021. The largest political gathering in Whitewater in 2020 was a rally for racial justice in Whitewater following the death of George Floyd in Minnesota. Hundreds attended. It was not, however, an allowedly progressive event – the small local group Whitewater Unites Lives invited…

Whitewater’s Local Politics 2021: The City’s Center-Left

This is the third in a series on Whitewater’s local politics of 2021. There’s a joke that a Democrat told me at the turn of the century about Democrats in Whitewater: “Do you know who’s the head of the Whitewater Democrats? No? Well, neither do we.” Those days are long past. The Great Recession (‘07-‘09),…

Whitewater’s Local Politics 2021: The Kinds of Conservatives in Whitewater

This is the second in a series on Whitewater’s local politics of 2021. There are three principal kinds of conservatives in Whitewater. There are more kinds than this, of course, as there are many kinds of cats within the family Felidae; it’s enough for now to focus on the most common species within that family.…

Whitewater’s Local Politics 2021: Unofficial Spring Election Results

This is the first in a series on Whitewater’s local politics of 2021. One begins with two reminders: I endorsed no one in any local races, and suggested that for some – but not for those watching carefully – the results were likely to be a surprise. (They should not have been a surprise.) Today’s post…

A Janesville, Wisconsin Resident on His Town’s Politics (with Similarities to Whitewater)

Over at the Real Janesville™ Twitter feed, a resident of that nearby city offers observations on his city’s politics. In a tweet stream from 3.11.21, he describes the election scene in Janesville. First the feed, then a few remarks of mine on Whitewater. Advice for Janesville city council candidates: Don’t think you’re an agent for…

Local Politics Hasn’t Been Merely ‘Local’ for Years

Over at the Wisconsin Examiner, Henry Redman writes (with concern) that All politics is national (‘Candidates for local office are ignoring community issues, instead highlighting national culture wars’). First, Redman’s case, then a few remarks. Woodman [Kyle Woodman, a Republican running for Eau Claire’s city council] is part of a mostly conservative group of candidates…