Unsettled Times is a newsletter-style publication for sharing information useful to the members of Our Wisconsin Revolution. This includes leaders informing membership, and members dialoguing with one another by exchanging ideas on strategy, substance, and ideology. Since content will be free and shareable, the general public is the secondary audience. This publication will inform, inspire, and provoke resistance to anti-democratic forces. In the long term, we hope it will support Our Wisconsin’s work to promote democracy and more flourishing lives.
Any new organization just forming is inevitably murky. Stakeholders are unclear about what it is, what it is doing, who is involved, how to contribute other than financially, and so on. Things are especially opaque when we are trying to engage a wide variety of people with different levels of political experience. There is a risk that otherwise productive members and volunteers will spend time and energy trying to figure out what is going on and or become frustrated, or even turned off. A great deal of that potential inefficiency can be avoided with a regular way of communicating information. Then, once an organization is off the ground, it needs a forum for developing and explaining itself to its members and the world. This is what this newsletter will try to do.
The format and content can evolve as the needs and interests of Our Wisconsin evolves. As a starting point, Unsettled Times will consist of posted blog-style content on the Our Wisconsin Revolution website. Twice monthly, highlights of the web content will be bundled together and e-mailed to members. These e-mails will be the issues of Unsettled Times, scheduled for the 1st and 15th of each month (give or take a day based on weekends, holidays, strikes, etc). We will number the issues for future reference and store them in an easily accessible manner on the website. We hope this arrangement will appeal to both the heavily invested and the more casual member. Those hungry for more material and the latest information can go to the website at any time. Those who are more casual or otherwise occupied can wait for the next issue to arrive in their inbox. Issues will be just a few pages, something readable over a cup of coffee.
We want the pages and webpages of Unsettled Times to be lively interchange, so it would be a bad thing if everybody agrees with everybody else on everything. That means, by definition, that what is published is not necessarily the view of Our Wisconsin as an organization. The first issue or two will need to convey basic information about the organization – what it is, how to get involved, and so on. But the ambition is to quickly transition to member-driven content. If there is a huge amount of good content flowing, then we will consider possible expansions. The editor of Unsettled Times and people in leadership roles of Our Wisconsin Revolution will occasionally write articles, but hopefully the majority of content will come from others. We want a lot of voices of many kinds. Members, stakeholders, and allies and experts of any and all kinds should send us material.
All content is licensed under creative commons 4.0, which is the most inclusive license we know of. This means everything is freely shareable and re-printable with attribution (i.e. you can use it in other places without paying us, but you have to say where it’s from and who created it). You are welcome to print and distribute the issues. Yes, the title is a pun on the classic Times as the newspaper title. It looks like this title will be valid for a while.
If you want to write something, watch out for a call for submissions within the next few days. If you want to be involved in the production of Unsettled Times, write to the editor at email@example.com and describe what you might be able to contribute, and the level of your availability. If you have any special qualifications, mention that too. The founding editor is Matthew Lawrence Kearney; like the rest of the leadership of the organization, he has offered to serve at least until the upcoming founding convention, when a new leadership structure of some sort will be put in place. That new leadership will have total freedom to change things, should they wish to.
-Matthew Lawrence Kearney