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Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2009

Hero of the Week: Dolly Grimes-Johnson

Plus Jerk of the Week & Issue of the Week

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Hero of the Week

Dolly Grimes-Johnson

Based on the idea that every woman, man and child deserves respect, the staff and many volunteers of the Sojourner Truth House provide shelter, safety, support and education in an effort to break the cycle of domestic violence. In recognition of nearly 30 years of service to the community, Dolly Grimes-Johnson was recently awarded the “Social Worker of the Year Award” by the National Association of Social Workers. Grimes-Johnson currently serves as director of shelter and case management services, supervising the vital services so essential to victims of abuse. We congratulate Grimes-Johnson and the staff and volunteers of the Sojourner Truth House, and urge readers who wish to help to visit Sojourner’s Web site at www.sojournertruthhouse.org.

Jerk of the Week

Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner

This week’s Jerk of the Week award goes to Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner for his hypocrisy and misinformation in criticizing the appointment of former state Supreme Court Justice Louis Butler to serve as a U.S. district judge in the Western District of Wisconsin. Rep. Sensenbrenner argues that since voters rejected Butler when he lost his 2008 election to continue to serve on the court, he should not receive this appointment. Sensenbrenner fails to point out that the 2008 election was terribly flawed because the winner, Justice Michael Gableman, outright lied in his ads attacking then-Justice Butler. Sanctions have been proposed for Gableman’s false, potentially illegal campaign ads. Given that it was a very close race, these false ads probably put Gableman in office.

Sensenbrenner also missed the fact that Butler is representing only the Western District of the state, and Butler received more votes than Gableman in that area.

And, finally, we don’t recall Sensenbrenner objecting to President Bush appointing John Ashcroft as U.S. attorney general after Ashcroft lost his Senate re-election bid to a deceased man, the late Mel Carnahan, who died in a plane crash after his name was placed on the ballot against Ashcroft. 

Event of the Week

Exploring the Power of Nonviolence Conference

Marquette University will host the seventh annual Conference of the Peace and Justice Studies Association, which will feature anti-death-penalty activist Helen Prejean, Will Allen of Growing Power, and restorative justice advocate and former state Supreme Court Justice Janine Geske, among others. The Oct. 8-10 event—featuring the theme “Exploring the Power of Nonviolence” and sponsored by the Peace and Justice Studies Association, the Wisconsin Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies (WIPCS) and the Marquette University Center for Peacemaking—also marks the 140th anniversary of Gandhi’s birth. On Friday, Oct. 9, Emma’s Revolution will perform at 8 p.m. For more information, go to www.peacejusticestudies.org.

Issue of the Week

Film Festival Attendance Drop

The city’s current film festival ended on Sunday and the numbers speak for themselves.This year’s festival had 20,000 attendees, but failed to generate the excitement and attendance of the original and very successful Milwaukee International Film Festival (MIFF).

The last Milwaukee International Film Festival, in 2007, had 45% greater attendance than this year’s event.

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