PHOTOS: THE PEOPLE LEAD

January 13, 2021

Grassroots groups call on U.S. Rep. Fitzgerald to do better

Brookfield, Wis. — Constituents from across the 5th Congressional District called on U.S. Rep. Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) to do a better job of representing Wisconsin and to protect and strengthen democracy instead of weakening it. ​Members of Grassroots Germantown, Indivisible Lake Country, Indivisible Tosa and Menomonee Falls Action Team joined forces for a coordinated call, postcard and social media campaign as part of the Indivisible movement’s The People Lead national week of action Jan. 11-15.

“We’re demanding accountability, action and compassion from Rep. Scott Fitzgerald,” explained Chris Byrnes of Menomonee Falls.

Holding “The People Lead” rally signs, a small group visited Fitzgerald’s district office in Brookfield Wednesday morning to deliver hundreds of postcards from constituents from across the 5th District. “Congressman Fitzgerald’s district office doesn’t pick up the phone or have voicemail, so we brought the people’s voices to their doorstep,” explained Nikki Etter of Wauwatosa. A staffer answered the knock at the door and accepted the postcards, though she said the office was not yet fully opened and that visits were not allowed without an appointment. Etter politely pointed out that it’s difficult to make an appointment when district office staff don’t answer the phone. Afterward, constituents discovered that someone had called the Brookfield police because of an “employee safety concern.” The Brookfield police officer watched the small group talk in the parking lot and then followed them out of the office park. “Calling the police on peaceful constituents is absurd,” Byrnes said.

The grassroots groups also criticized Fitzgerald’s vote objecting to the Electoral College results in Arizona and Pennsylvania. He was one of only two Wisconsin federal elected representatives to do so, in the minority of Wisconsin’s delegation and his own House caucus. He later said he would have objected to Wisconsin’s results as well, which would have silenced the votes of his constituents.

“As constituents, we are deeply concerned about his vote supporting the lies which led to the violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol,” said Lynn Carey of Germantown. “His vote to throw out the people’s votes is unacceptable. Voters in the 5th expect to hear from the congressman and in the spirit of democracy, he will hear from us, the people.”

The grassroots groups also condemned Fitzgerald’s continued support of Donald Trump, even as an impeachment vote was underway in the U.S. House of Representatives. “Continuing to support Trump and play to an already-fractured base with legislative theatrics is not what he’s being paid to do,” said John Norcross of Oconomowoc. “He can do that on his own dime.”

As part of Indivisible’s The People Lead week of action, the groups advocated for wide-ranging, commonsense democracy reforms, including HR1 For the People Act, HR4 John Lewis Voting Rights Act, court reform and D.C. statehood. They also urged Fitzgerald to follow former U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner’s tradition of frequent town halls and to hold a town hall in his first 100 days in office.

About Grassroots Germantown, Indivisible Lake Country, Indivisible Tosa and Menomonee Falls Action Team: We are among the thousands of volunteer-led Indivisible groups nationwide inspired by the Indivisible Guide, a handbook written by former congressional staffers. The guide provides a practical approach for making our voices heard as we work to protect our democracy, advance progressive values and policies, and hold our elected officials accountable.

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