Supermarket Legends, an ad hoc volunteer group of people from Milwaukee and the surrounding suburbs, has its roots in the Walker Recall. The group does voter registration at locally owned supermarkets such as Lena’s and El Rey as well as other high-traffic areas and events in Milwaukee. Supermarket Legends folks also do some candidate advocacy–specifically, they hand out flyers with the names of those candidates who advocate policies that are good for Milwaukee (generally those would be the Democrats) and for referendums that are pro-Milwaukee. The Supermarket Legends group is registered with the state Government Accountability Board (GAB) as a political action committee (PAC), which allows them to engage in this kind of issue advocacy. When it comes to election time, they most definitely do take sides.
However, in regard to voter registration and education work, the Legends are strictly nonpartisan. Most are City of Milwaukee Special Registration Deputies (SRD’s)–they have had training and are authorized to register voters in Milwaukee. But the Legends have other tasks that don’t require the SRD certification, such as scheduling, partnering with an SRD, and doing voter education work for example.
The Legends try to coordinate with other groups that do voter registration so that multiple groups are not all covering the same events. They also encourage members to sign up as poll workers in Milwaukee County. A new law allows people to serve as poll workers anywhere in their county, rather than only in their own municipality.
Current initiatives include:
*developing voter education materials in line with the new voter ID requirements
*outreach to Hispanic and Hmong communities, including voter education materials in Spanish
*improving access to voting for residents and patients at VA facilities in Milwaukee
*voter registration and education in Milwaukee high schools
If you are interested in knowing more about the Supermarket Legends or want to join them in their “Every Voter, Every Election, Every Time!” quest check out their Facebook page. This is grassroots politics at its very best.