river defenders

  • Saturday, November 11, 2017

  • 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Event Host(s):

Milwaukee Riverkeeper

Event Info:

Increasingly, we are seeing legislation that is detrimental to the environment being drafted and passed into law with minimal public input. For the sake of our rivers, we cannot allow this trend to continue.Equip yourself with the tools necessary to show up and speak out at public hearings with confidence.

Learn how to take action to create the type of change you want to see.Our community knows the value of swimmable, fishable rivers. Let’s make sure our elected officials and public agencies protect our river basin for generations to come. RSVP now to attend our River Defenders Advocacy Workshop!


2:00 pm Gathering and Refreshments (10 minutes)
Welcome/Introductions (10 minutes)
2:20 pm Section 1: Impact of Public Input Panel Discussion (30 minutes)
Section 2: Public Hearing Key Elements (10 minutes)
3:00 pm Break (20 minutes)
3:20 pm Section 4: Writing a Perfect Statement (50 minutes)
4:10 pm Optional Activity: Lincoln Creek Flood Control Area Visit, Additional
Statement Refinement, Break (15 minutes)
4:25 pm Section 5: Large Group Statement Refinement (25 minutes)
4:50 pm Debrief (10 minutes)


Havenwoods State Forest Environmental Center
6141 N Hopkins St, Milwaukee, WI 53209

Mahnker Dahnweih

Civic Engagement Coordinator, Milwaukee Riverkeeper

Cultivating interest in year-round civic engagement in the Milwaukee area is a passion of mine that I just happen to get paid for. I believe that the key to making democracy work is to create strong, healthy, sustainable communities. My involvement with African-American Civic Engagement Roundtable and Uplifting Black Liberation and Communities (UBLAC) is a testament to that belief. In my free time, I enjoy reading historical fictions and playing board games with my roommates.

Matt Dannenberg

Field Director, Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters

I am a Field Director with WI League of Conservation Voters and have been with the organization for seven years. My favorite outdoor activities are fishing, hunting, and camping. I have taken part in dozens of public hearings with school boards, legislative, finance committees, and with Milwaukee Riverkeeper on the Waukesha water diversion hearings. It’s more important than ever that people show up to make their voices heard at hearings!

Nate Gilliam

Founder and Lead Organizer, People’s Progressive Organizing Committee

I help advocate for solutions to improve the quality of life the most vulnerable people in Milwaukee. I am a Milwaukee native, growing up in the Granville and Havenwoods sections of the city. Previously, I have volunteered with various organizations, where I engaged in community outreach education around health disparities in urban communities on Milwaukee’s north side, in Barry Farms Housing Project in Washington DC, and Allentown section of Freetown, Sierra Leone. In 2015, I was able to visit Cuba on an educational trip to learn about healthcare and agriculture work. I studied Environmental Geography at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Shauntay Nelson

Program Director, WI Voices

I am a leader in multiple areas of democracy, including Fair Maps. I help to coordinate the efforts of progressive organizations, statewide, while working to build collective impact toward civic engagement and policy change.

Yolanda Perkins

Data and VAN Administrative Manager/Director of the Data and Organizing Fellowship, Wisconsin Voices

I was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. After years of bad decision making and a lot of self reflection, I made up my mind to try something different. Even in the face of uncertainty, I knew one thing–”the unknown” was better than “the now”. I started volunteering in my community and learned the words to describe my struggles. Now, I am in a position to pass on my knowledge of community investment, strategic planning, integrated data and tech, and leadership development to people of color. My professional interests include being intentional about cultural adjustments and relational base building. I love data and identify with its unlimited potential, quality, effectiveness and uniqueness!

Matt Stienstra

Advocacy Campaign Manager, Hunger Task Force

As an electoral and issue campaign veteran, I have spent the past 4 years as Hunger Task Force’s Advocacy Campaign Manager where I create and implement campaigns to strengthen policy and laws that fight hunger. Using both online and offline strategies, I work to build public support behind anti-hunger policy and programs and elevate stories of hunger to local and national media outlets. When I’m not at work, I’m at home playing with my 16 month old daughter, trying out new recipes or watching 80’s movies.