Spurred by concerns about the election outcome on the night of November 8 2016, two women reached out to each other by text determined to turn their concern into a plan of action. Shawn Wolf and Julia Kozel began contacting friends with the seed of the idea that they were not alone.
From those texts, a social media page soon followed and they were quickly connected with Gina Walkington and Jodi Muerhoff. These four women together would form a powerful online community which become Forward Kenosha. They recognized there was a need for a politically oriented group focused on protecting civil rights and advocating an inclusive agenda in local, state and national politics. Through their extraordinary efforts and with the support of a growing group of likeminded citizens, Forward Kenosha has grown to over 950 members. Julia, Gina and Jodi now serve as the ad hoc Board for Forward Kenosha and Shawn is an active member.
The first official meeting of Forward Kenosha was held on January 12, 2017 and was heavily attended by citizens who were committed to securing progressive policies from representatives at all levels of public service. On January 15th, the group held its first public event, a rally at the office of Representative Paul Ryan which was attended by over 70 individuals and was featured in the Kenosha News.
Forward Kenosha continues to educate its members through articles, speakers and provide calls to action on issues that impact Kenosha, Wisconsin and our country. They advocate knowledge, political involvement and community service and have partnered with other organizations in the Kenosha community and throughout the state. There are many upcoming events planned in order to continue to promote Forward Kenosha’s mission to act in solidarity to promote peace and to assure the dignity, inclusion, equality, safety and respect of every person in our community through education, advocacy and political engagement.
The mission of Forward Kenosha is to act in solidarity to promote peace and to assure the dignity, inclusion, equality, safety and respect of every person in our community through education, advocacy and political engagement.
We believe we can be stronger by working together to defend the rights of citizens and by advocating for progressive policies that support the prosperity of all Americans.
We believe that democracy requires us to be active participants, voters, and be engaged in our government.
We will continue to educate ourselves on current issues and relevant history that we may inspire ways to advocate, and improve laws and policies so that they fairly represent and protect the rights of all people.
We believe that politicians who answer to big money do not have the interest of their citizens in mind, but the interest of their donors. This no longer is acceptable.
We will serve as a reminder to our elected officials that they represent us and insist that our representatives answer for their actions and acknowledge our concerns.
We believe that in order to work together, we must model values of inclusion, tolerance, and fairness.
We will be an ally to those in our community that face discrimination and harassment based on gender, race, ethnicity, religion, socioeconomic status, gender identity and/or sexual orientation.
We will advocate for the community that reflects our values. One that is welcoming, safe, diverse, inclusive, and presents opportunities for all.
We will stand up to those who seek to disenfranchise, abuse, or take advantage of members of our community, especially those who are most vulnerable.
We will seek to provide continued education for ourselves and our community aided by facilitating opportunities to communicate with our elected officials and our community.
We will seek to increase local interest and participation in elections by helping residents attain the information needed to make an informed decision, assisting with voter registration access, and promoting candidates that align with our principals.