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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: Majoritarianism

This is the tenth in a series on Whitewater’s local politics of 2021. The contested April school board election has now come to a close. An animating concern of many parents was that the Whitewater public school should not have suspended face-to-face instruction for as long as it did, and that, in doing so, the…

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: 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…

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…

Whitewater School Board Meeting, 2.22.21: 7 Points

Monday night’s school board meeting saw, among other items, athletic recognitions, a student report, live video from the middle school’s slot car club, a report on closing achievement gaps, outreach to homeless students, modifications to the district’s COVID-19 protocols, approval of the teachers’ contract,  and an update on the district’s budget. The full agenda for the…

The Power and Value of Open Enrollment

It’s beneficial in-and-of-itself that people should read, reflect, and commit themselves to ‘lifelong learning.’ Some years ago, the Whitewater Unified School District had a fine goal of inspiring students to become “engaged lifelong learners.” Yet in smaller communities, without the money or numbers for plentiful schooling alternatives, government taxes for a school system, establishes rules…

Whitewater School Board Legislative Breakfast, 2.15.21: 6 Points

On Monday morning, some members of the school board and administration met online with area legislators (Reps. Vruwink & Loudenbeck, Sens. Ringhand & Nass) for an audiovisual conference in place of a traditional breakfast meeting Board members and administrators recounted, among other items, lessons from schooling during the pandemic, and serious matters present before and…