- School Board Candidate Forum: Thurs. March 5, 6:00pm at the Sun Prairie Public Library
- City Council/Mayoral Forum: Sun. March 22, 2:30pm at the Westside Community Building
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Great Decisions program returns to Sun Prairie
Are you interested in what’s going on in the world? Would you like to discuss global ideas in a friendly, non-partisan group? Then Great Decisions is for you.
Great Decisions was created by the Foreign Policy Association, a not-for-profit education organization that’s been around since 1918. The program is sponsored locally by the Sun Prairie Action Resource Coalition. The program is free, although there is a materials cost of $25.
Participants in this national civic education program learn about US foreign policy and global issues, discuss multiple viewpoints in a group setting, and take part in a national opinion ballot survey on policy issues.
The Sun Prairie Great Decisions group will meet at the Sun Prairie Public Library each Wednesday from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm. The group will start on January 14, meeting for eight weeks (except for January 21). The Discussion Leader is Glenn Schmidt from SPARC.
More information is available on the Foreign Policy Association Website, www.fpa.org. You can find the eight 2015 topics to be discussed, from Russia and the Near Abroad to Brazil’s Metamorphosis on the website. You can also connect with the Great Decisions program on Facebook at facebook.com/GreatDecisions.
To sign up for the local discussion group that starts January 14, contact Glenn Schmidt at email@example.com or call him at 608 658-4602. Participation is limited, so sign up early to reserve your spot.
2015 Great Decisions Discussion Topics
Russia and the Near Abroad
Privacy in the Digital Age
Sectarianism in the Middle East
India Changes Course
U.S. Policy Toward Africa
Syria’s Refugee Crisis
Human Trafficking in the 21st Century
The SPARC Local Action Fund 501c3 will hold its quarterly business meeting on Mon. 11/24 at 1:00 pm in the Community Room of the Sun Prairie Public Library.
We especially invite attendance by those who wish to get involved with the fundraising and grant writing efforts of this charitable arm of the Sun Prairie Action Resource Coalition. Funds raised through the SPARC Local Action Fund support our SnackSmart program to provide healthy snacks to hungry students in Sun Prairie public schools and other community projects.
If you would like to help with these efforts or get more involved, please contact us at SunPrairieAction@gmail.com.
Thought Sun Prairie might like a picture of the LOCAL election results. Voter turnout in Dane county was nearly 73% and here in Sun Prairie, 12,915 votes were cast in the governor’s race! We had thousands of voter registrations almost ran out of ballots. The clerk literally printed extra ballots herself and we were prepared to handcount votes and only just missed having to do so!
In the city of Sun Prairie:
Burke 60.05% (7755 votes)
Walker 38.97% (5033 votes)
Breakdown by district:
District 1 (Colonial Club) Wds 1-5 – Burke 62.63%, Walker 36.39%
District 2 (Patrick Marsh) Wds 6-9 – Burke 60.18%, Walker 38.69%
District 3 (Library) Wds 10-14 – Burke 64.45%, Walker 34.58%
District 4 (Westside Community Bldg) Wds 15-19 – Burke 53.54%, Walker 45.59%
On the minimum wage question, 65% of Sun Prairie voted YES to raising the minimum wage to $10.10 and 34% voted NO. On both the question of accepting federal Badger Care fund and the transportation fund question, 75% of Sun Prairie voted YES.
It was wonderful to see long lines at every polling place and to see so many people so eager to cast their votes! So nice to live in a community where so many people are so engaged, informed & involved! Once again, Sun Prairie sets a high bar for the rest of the state!
The spring elections will be just around the corner, when we’ll have opportunity to vote for the offices that matter most to our community. Seats will be open on the school board and city council – SPARC would love to see members of our network continue to step up and run for these seats!
Local action works!
SPARC is thrilled to report a major step forward in our efforts to advocate on the issue of student hunger and the problem of teachers & staff trying to help by paying out-of-pocket to feed kids at school.
While the board rejected the tax levy increase approved by voters at the annual meeting, the revised budget that the school board passed last night includes $19,000 that will be used as a starting point for an elementary Fruit Bowl pilot, making whole fruit snacks available to any kid who needs one during the school day. Our tax levy remains the same as last year.
This action is just a beginning, but it’s also the result of many presentations, conversations, emails, discussions, and appearances at school board meetings that helped launch this effort and open eyes to the impacts of student hunger in our schools. We so appreciate the board members, administrators, teachers and staff who have been listened seriously to our concerns and started the process of working toward sustainable solutions to addressing the needs of hungry students. As Dr. Culver said recently, we truly are fortunate to live in a community where our schools and our students are so valued.
SPARC has been asked to continue helping address hunger needs at the middle and high school levels while the district’s administrative team looks deeper into the ways student hunger affects teaching and learning in our schools. Our next step is to talk to the staff at these schools and see how we can be of the most help. We know from the survey we conducted last year that the needs are even greater in the upper levels than at the elementary schools, so we appreciate your continued support of our program as we continue to advocate for systemic solutions to this problem. For more information on how you can help, please visit: https://sunprairieaction.org/snacksmart-the-sparc-local-action-fund/.
As always, we thank you for your support and welcome your ideas and suggestions for how we can continue to help in our small way to move Sun Prairie forward! As we’ve learned through the SnackSmart program, change is slow but our efforts ARE making an impact, and moving one step closer to making sure every kid in our community has an equal shot at success.
28 October 2014
It’s a busy fall in Sun Prairie and SPARC put together this Local Action Guide to help you keep track of what’s important to our community! Scroll down for updates & announcements of important events and volunteer opportunities.
VOTER REGISTRATION & INFORMATION: Need to register? Not sure where to vote? Visit My Vote Wisconsin to find your polling place, see a sample of the fall ballot, and learn what you need to do to register. You can register at the polls on election day or you can register in advance in person at City Hall or the Sun Prairie Public Library. Be sure to bring proof of residency with you to register! Not sure if you have what you need to vote? Check out this handy new interactive voter guide from United Wisconsin to find out!
EARLY/ABSENTEE VOTING: You can vote early (in-person absentee voting) at City Hall from Oct. 20-Oct 31. Alternately, you can request that an absentee ballot be mailed to you (requests must be made by Thursday, Oct. 30 and ballots must be postmarked or returned to City Hall by 8pm on election day). Sun Prairie residents can click here for more information about Absentee Voting.
UPDATE: Due to the US Supreme Court ruling, the VOTER ID law will NOT be in effect for the Nov. 4, 2014 election. Voters are not required to show proof of identification. The only documentation an unregistered voter needs is proof of residence to register to vote.
VOTER ID LAW: As of today, the voter id requirement WILL be in effect for the fall election, so please encourage everyone you know to be prepared at the polls and help spread this important information. SPARC has several volunteers lined up to provide FREE rides to the DMV for anyone who needs one. Just email SunPrairieAction@gmail.com to make arrangements. Here are some voter resources you may find helpful:
POLL WORKERS NEEDED:
The City of Sun Prairie needs your help to ensure a fair and smooth election on Nov. 4. Full and half-day shifts available, compensation provided. Must attend one of four training sessions that will be held on Oct. 22 (4:30pm), 23 (9am), 29 (5pm), and 30 (9am). For more information, contact Arrin Linzenmeyer at City Hall – firstname.lastname@example.org or 837-2511.
OTHER UPCOMING EVENTS & ANNOUNCEMENTS:
Have news or announcements to share in the SPARC Local Action Guide? Email your suggestions to SunPrairieAction@gmail.com!
The Sun Prairie Action Resource Coalition is thrilled to report that the IRS has officially approved our application for 501(c)3 status, which means that we can now fully expand our efforts to make a local impact through SPARC Local Action Fund, the charitable arm of SPARC. Many thanks to all on the SPARC team who worked so hard to make this happen, and to the many community supporters who continue to make our efforts possible.
The SPARC Local Action Fund has been established to provide a mechanism for SPARC to serve the community by applying for grants and soliciting donations to help promote equity, build community, and fight hunger in Sun Prairie through such programs our existing SnackSmart program, which provides healthy snacks to hungry kids in all seven Sun Prairie elementary schools and Prairie Phoenix Academy.
If you or your organization would like to make a tax-deductible donation to the SnackSmart program, you can donate to the SPARC Local Action Fund 501(c)3, CLICK HERE TO DONATE:
Donations can also be mailed to SPARC Local Action Fund, 6325 Devonshire Lane, Sun Prairie, WI 53590. Donations received by mail are not subject to fees, so if you intend to make a larger donation, this ensures every dollar goes directly to the community. Please email SunPrairieAction@gmail.com with any questions.
Healthy snack donations can also be dropped off at our local collection location, the Sun Prairie Public Library, 1350 Linnerud. Healthy snack ideas include individually-packaged, high-protein, low-sugar and nut-free, non-perishable items such as
Click here for more information on the program and how you can get involved.
SPARC Urges Residents, Businesses To Pledge to Community Radio Project
The Sun Prairie Action Resource Coalition (SPARC) urges area residents, businesses and organizations to contribute to the “Kickstarter” fundraising campaign for the planned 103.5 The Sun community radio station.
The fundraising deadline is Aug. 19 at 11:49 a.m., and many more pledges are needed to launch the community radio station.
If funded, The Sun would provide a much-needed local outlet to connect our community, giving local individuals, groups, and businesses a new forum for sharing news, information and opportunities, SPARC said.
In a news release Wednesday, SPARC said it is urging its members and Sun Prairie residents to contribute $10 or $100 or whatever people can afford. SPARC also asks that you also share the link to the Kickstarter campaign – http://kck.st/1w3FAFq – on facebook and Twitter to help spread the word and support this effort.
SPARC is offering its supporters a chance to contribute to a group donation to the program, and challenges other local community to groups to raise funds among their memberships also.
SPARC members wishing to contribute to SPARC’s group contribution can send their donations to Heather DuBois Bourenane at 681 Broadway Drive, Sun Prairie, WI, 53590, to be included with the SPARC donation. At a donation level of $150 or more, donors receive an opportunity to host their own show and recognition on an Adopt-a-Watt plaque at the station. Deadline for contributing to this group donation is August 16, 2014. Please email SunPrairieAction@gmail.com with pledges or questions about the team donation.
SPARC will also collect donations in person this Sunday when it hosts the Progressive Partners Picnic (free and open to all) at Orfan Park from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m). Donations intended for the community radio may be dropped off at this time by anyone not wishing to donate online.
If the goal of $10,350 is not reached by August 19, the Sun Prairie Media Center will not be able to collect any of the money pledged (and all pledges made through SPARC will be returned). Media center director Jeff Robbins has reported that interest has been strong but much more is needed and soon but the time is growing short to turn that interest into tangible financial support.
SPARC encourages other local community groups and organizations to help the Sun Prairie Media Center to get the word out and make this happen in our community.
The Sun Prairie Media Center is a non-profit organization operating on a budget that covers the day-to-day operations of KSUN and KIDS-4, Sun Prairie’s two public access TV stations. It won’t cost much to operate ‘The Sun’ radio station once the initial costs are covered.
The proposed community radio station would host talented local musicians that don’t get the airplay or recognition they deserve from local commercial radio. It would also feature local sports and forums on important community issues. Residents will have a large role in determining the programming of the radio station.
Anyone who donates at least $10 to 103.5 The Sun Kickstarter campaign will receive some exclusive giveaways, including “103.5 The Sun Community Radio” stickers, flashlight keychains, t-shirts, and mugs. In addition, anyone who donates at the “Adopt-A-Watt” level of $103 will have their name etched on a plaque at the “103.5 The Sun Community Radio” studios.
All donors will receive updates on the radio project and special on-air thanks once the station launches. “103.5 The Sun” is scheduled to be on the air in summer 2015. Additional information on the station and its progress is available at https://www.facebook.com/thesuncommunityradio?ref=br_tf.
The Progressive Partners of Wisconsin’s Second Congressional District summer picnic will be held Sunday, August 3, from 1-4pm at Orfan Park in Sun Prairie! The Sun Prairie Action Resource Coalition is excited to host this quarterly meeting for the first time and looks forward to a fun, productive afternoon that will provide an opportunity for grassroots teams and area progressives to connect, share ideas, and talk about how local action works in our communities!
We will have a sitter on hand to watch kids at the park during the “business” portion of this largely social event, so feel free to bring the whole family! In addition to plenty of free time for socializing and connecting with area progressives, we’ll be chatting with a few of our elected officials and fall candidates, and learning more about the Community Schools initiative in Sun Prairie and how we can organize locally to protect our public schools and provide an equal playing field for all students. Each of the grassroots teams will also provide a short summary of events/organizing activities since our last meeting.
RAIN PLAN: In the event of stormy weather, we will send an announcement to all who RSVP’d and will hold the event at the Westside Community Building at 2598 West Main (corner of West Main and Highway C/Grand Ave). There is an outdoor shelter, however at Orfan Park, so we don’t plan to change the venue unless the weather is very bad.
Hope to see you there! Friends, new & old, and families welcome!
Please share this invitation widely and RSVP today!
Want to see how far one little act of kindness can go?
SPARC’s Grow it Forward Community Art & Action Project is a collaborative effort to “grow” an interactive garden mural at the library that represents random acts of kindness and connections that inspire all of us to “grow it forward” and build community in Sun Prairie. This art and action project provides an opportunity to embrace diversity and build community, two major themes of the Sun Prairie Reads novel, Seedfolks, through local acts of kindness.
For every act of kindness you do over the summer, place a flower on the mural on the library wall and watch us grow a garden of kindness together. Paper flowers – and “seeds” with ideas for local actions – are provided at the mural, or you can make your own. All are welcome to participate in the GROW IT FORWARD Project, which will continue as an ongoing project through the duration of the Seedfolks Sun Prairie Reads program.
While you’re at the library, be sure to participate in the Summer Reading Programs for kids, teens & adults! And remember: the library is a collection site for our SnackSmart Program, which provides snacks to summer school. If you’d like to make a donation of a healthy snack (suggested items: nut-free, healthy snacks like fruit, NutriGrain bars, cheese sticks, no-sugar added applesauce, low-sugar cereals and low-sodium crackers). Just drop your snacks off at the bin behind the check-out desk – and be sure to add a flower to the wall if you do! We CAN make sure no kids learn hungry in our schools!
SAVE THE DATE: SPARC will be hosting a second talk, on Sept. 11, 2014 at 6:30pm at the library, on Growing Community: Sharing our Stories. Please mark your calendars and joins us for this celebration of the diversity of our community and the value of connecting with one another.