Just over ten years ago, the landscape for workers’ rights and organized labor in the state of Wisconsin changed dramatically. The passage of Act 10 under Republican Gov. Scott Walker was a hammer blow to the labor movement that essentially stripped collective bargaining rights from public sector workers, made it much more difficult for workers to organize, and forced unions to take massive concessions on healthcare, retirement benefits, and much more. Soon after, in 2015, Walker signed legislation that turned Wisconsin into a “right to work” state, issuing another blow to unions in a state once heralded as a bellwether of the labor movement. But all hope is not lost. In the wake of this coordinated assault on workers and unions, many are using the tools still available to them to build up their communities and rebuild working-class power in Wisconsin. This is precisely what we have been investigating in our special series of conversations with teachers, organizers, scholars, and activists in Wisconsin that TRNN Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez, Cameron Granadino (TRNN), and Hannah Faris (In These Times) recorded in the summer of 2021 as part of a special collaboration between The Real News Network and In These Times magazine for “The Wisconsin Idea.” In the latest installment in this series, we talk with Maricela Aguilar Monroy, an educator and organizer in Milwaukee who comes from an undocumented and mixed-status family. After moving to the US from Mexico, Maricela has spent most of her life in Milwaukee and is working to strengthen the community that has provided a home for her so it can continue to provide a home for others.
Additional links/info below…
- Maricela’s Twitter page
- YES! (Youth Empowered in the Struggle) Facebook page and Twitter page
- Maximillian Alvarez, The Real News Network, “Ten Years after Act 10, Wisconsin Teachers Are Still Fighting to Rebuild from the Rubble“
- In These Times investigative series: The Wisconsin Idea
- The Jacobin Show, “The Democratic Coalition after Trump and the Fall of Wisconsin“
- Dan Kaufman, Norton Books, The Fall of Wisconsin: The Conservative Conquest of a Progressive Bastion and the Future of American Politics
- Michael D. Yates, Monthly Review Press, Wisconsin Uprising: Labor Fights Back
- John Nichols, Bold Type Books, Uprising: How Scott Walker Betrayed Wisconsin and Inspired a New Politics of Protest
Permanent links below…
- Leave us a voicemail and we might play it on the show!
- Labor Radio / Podcast Network website, Facebook page, and Twitter page
- In These Times website, Facebook page, and Twitter page
- The Real News Network website, YouTube channel, podcast feeds, Facebook page, and Twitter page
Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive at freemusicarchive.org):
- Jules Taylor, “Working People Theme Song”
Pre-Production: Maximillian Alvarez, Hannah Faris, Alice Herman, Cameron Granadino, Eleni Schirmer (research consultant), John Fleissner (research consultant), John Yaggi (research consultant), Harvey J. Kaye (research consultant), Jon Shelton (research consultant), Adam Mertz (research consultant)
Studio: Cameron Granadino
Post-Production: Cameron Granadino, Stephen Frank, Kayla Rivara, Jules Taylor
The Wisconsin Idea is an independent reporting project of People’s Action Institute, Citizen Action of Wisconsin and In These Times.
The transcript of this interview will be made available as soon as possible.