October Update addendum

Regarding Board appointments, to clarify and give more context to the decision not to onboard any new directors at this time:

We received only one complete Board Interest Form from direct follow up from those who had expressed a desire to be appointed to the Board and from the membership at large call to action.  This overall underwhelming lack of response along with the important work of rebuilding relations between the leadership and governance bodies in the organization was part of the decision.  In addition while also addressing the immediate financial concerns of the bar it seemed that any new leadership could be better funneled to staffing a committee.  Lastly, in an effort to build working trust between the institution of the workers and the Board, the current 4 person Board is functioning as a joint committee – meeting and making decision with the workers’ collective.


We mistakenly sent out an earlier draft of the addendum to the October Update this morning. Here is the intended message:

Regarding Board appointments, we’d like to clarify and give more context to the decision not to onboard any new directors at this time:

In our October update (sent on Oct 15), we mentioned that “For the foreseeable future and until the possibility of closing lessons, the Board does not intend to fill the open five seats and for this time will continue to focus working closely with the WC.” 

There was a general call to action for new board members but we only received one complete Board Interest Form from the membership. Three employees initially expressed a desire to join the board but have agreed to hold off on seeking formal appointments for the short term.

The membership has shown greater interest in joining committees, where support work is needed the most in order to address the immediate financial concerns of the bar.  Several committees are meeting regularly and fueling our rebuilding effort.

The influx of new energy in committees has allowed the board  (Rebecca, Tracy, Peyton, Angie) and workers (Lisa, Harry, Angie, Erin, Tea),  to meet jointly every week and focus on rebuilding trust between these two bodies, and on re-calibrating the management and operations.

Directing renewed activism and leadership energy into committees, rather than expanding the board, while allowing the existing board and workers the space to meet regularly, is both a direct response to the level of member interest, and an intentional decision to focus on improving our internal culture.


Are you interested in tending bar at a democratic workplace?  Check out our job posting and email a letter of interest and a resume to info@riverwestpublichouse.org.  Tell us why you’re interested in being a worker at the Riverwest Public House, and why your skills, talents and interests make you a good candidate for our coop.  Interview will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled.

Member Potlucks returning with a new twist!

Please join us on Thursday, October 26 from 5-7 p.m. for an old fashioned RWPH potluck & Member Happy Hour. Bring a friend, a dish, and if you’re so inclined some vinyl, and join us for a Vinyl Potluck. What’s a Vinyl Potluck you say?  Well it’s everything you’d expect a RWPH potluck to be, friends, neighbors, workers, board & committee members sharing a delicious potluck with the added bonus of YOUR vinyl on the turntables! Bring some wax you’ve been dying to hear recently, our host for the night will take care of the faders & keep the good tunes playing during the potluck.

Next Vinyl Potluck is schedule for 11/9 – stay tuned for more details.

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9/20 Board Meeting Minutes and Upcoming Events (UPDATE)

UPDATE: Meeting agenda for the 9/26 meeting is available here.

Posted below is the meeting notes from our last board meeting.

2017.09.12 Special Membership Meeting Minutes

Please remember to attend next Tuesday’s (9/26) all-member meeting starting at 6PM.  We will have details and more information coming in email/social media and the website soon.

Also, we have some exciting events, from our lineup this Friday to Oktoberfest in Garden Park with Black Husky.

~Riverwest Public House Board of Directors

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Notes from Tuesday 9/12 Special Member Meeting

For those who requested notes from the membership meeting on Tuesday. They will also be available on the RWPH website. Also, a reminder that a follow up worker collective-chaired meeting will be held on Tuesday September 26th.


A link to our current bylaws can be found here: https://riverwestpublichouse.wordpress.com/structure/ 

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September Calendar

Music Series
9/9 DJ Robski 9pm FREE
9/15 Snag / Live Tetherball Tonight / Doubletruck 9pm $5
9/21 TV Mike and the Scarecrowes + TBA 9pm $5
9/22 Haunter + Alien Boy and Perfume V 9pm $5
9/29 Deep Purple Prince Dance Party 9pm FREE
9/30 Eric Mayson / Dancebums / LUXI / Ben Yela 9pm $5

Community Events

9/1 Drunk Spelling Bee 8pm FREE
9/2 Sorry Not Sorry 1pm FREE
9/3 Night Carnival Art and Costume Build 3-7pm FREE
9/5 DTF Tuesdays 9pm FREE
9/8 SURJ Bystander Intervention Training 7pm FREE
9/10 Packers Party! (Packer’s v. Seahawks) 3:25pm
9/10 Rummage Sale w/ music by Tom Schwark 12pm FREE
9/11 Theology on Tap 7pm FREE
9/16 Night Carnival: Teatro di Affetto 4-11pm FREE
9/16 Teatro di Affetto presents A Burlesque Extravaganza for Time Travelers and Rogues (Night Carnival After Party) 11pm $10
9/17 Packers Party (Packers v. Falcons) 7:30pm
9/21 SURJ Anti-White Supremacy 101 7pm FREE
9/23 Oktoberfest by Black Husky and Public House 12pm FREE
9/24 Packers Party (Packers v. Bengals) 3:25pm FREE
9/24 Krulospalooza w/ DJ Dripsweat 8pm FREE
9/28 Packers Party (Packers v. Bears) 7:25pm FREE

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We need you to help spruce up your Public House

Hello Members and Friends!

We want to thank everyone who has been coming out and supporting us. Also thank you so much to all the volunteers that helped our staff make Locust Street Festival the amazing day it was.

We have some exciting things coming up that we need your help with.

After 6 years it is time to spruce up the Public House. We secured a generous member loan (THANK YOU!) to do some much needed updates.

We will be closed on July 4th and 5th, and opening late on the 6th.

On the 5th and 6th we will be cleaning, painting,rearranging, stereo improvements, and sound damping all to create better meeting spaces and help our amazing shows sound even better.

So please check your basements and garages (or those of your friends’ and relatives’) and see if you have any of the below.

We also need your elbow grease on the 5th and 6th, see needs for volunteer hours below as well.

Help us stretch our Budget!!!

Things we Need:

For Soundproofing:

  • More Clean Foam Board (at least 3’ x3’)
  • Carpet Squares/Samples

For Painting:

  • Tape
  • Rollers
  • Roller Trays
  • Brushes
  • Plastic for floor

For Cleaning:

  • Heavy duty gloves
  • Extra buckets (just to borrow)
  • “Scrubbies” of any sort (not to borrow 🙂 )
  • Rags
  • Sponge mops (to borrow)


  • Experienced Painters-please contact Lisa to confirm needs info@riverwestpublichouse.org
  • Those willing to get dirty
  • Prep/Clean

July 5th starting at 9am
July 6th starting at 9am

Thank you so much!


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Night School: The Case for Optimism: Radicals and Progressives Take on Trumpist Nihilism

We can all see the empire coming, and we want to strike back.

Is it enough to say ‘NO’?

What are we fighting for? How do we take the initiative back?

The truth is we already have the initiative. Once progressives and the counterculture challenged the competitive society of materialism and dehumanization, inequality and alienation, hierarchies and disempowerment, distraction and inauthenticity, the conservative movement began mobilizing to stop us.

The internal hemorrhaging of geopolitical empire is a catastrophe for victims everywhere who will suffer its wrath-filled decline. Experiencing a pervasive sense of threat, many urgently seek to mount an opposition to the present assault on American institutions and the American (and many other) people. What is less clear is what the fight is for. Many wonder, is there even a vision for viable alternative? We must not let the empire suck our dreams from us. We must recall that American society refocused its fateful slide into domination and violence following the 1960s. After progressives and the counterculture challenged mainstream American life, immersed in materialism and consumerism, inequality and alienation and disconnection, hierarchies and disempowerment and loss of dignity, nihilist distraction and interdiction of genuine selfhood and community, many saw this was not a way to live and live well, certainly not in a time of post-industrial productivity where all can have more of what they need, and justice can be done, here and elsewhere, perhaps everywhere.

When progressives and radicals punctured the myth of the immaculate system and it started lurching and taking in water, conservatives and reactionaries bailed out and attacked and assaulted their very own system. Ironically, it has been liberals and even progressives who have returned to the defense of the system, the very system they were the first to insist needed wholesale change. Young people see the deeper rot in the system, and the lives of meaninglessness and desperation it offers and demands – and do not simply seek a return to pre-Trump or even pre-Reagan ‘normalcy.’

THE TIME OF VISION HAS COME: Our issue is the moral quality of our lives and communities and the opportunities to nurture and harness the power every one of us has for a life of realization, meaning, and contribution. We are entering a great experimental age – discovering new kinds of relations, work and play lives, temples and churches and communions, communities, families and education and the raising of children in just and empowering ways. This is a great age for envisioning, inviting us to explore hopeful and engaging ways to live. If we can then live these experiments boldly and mutually, share them, report on them, network and become them, we will find that vision indeed inhabits the land in new and compelling ways.

Join us for a Night School discussion as we welcome James Block, author, political theorist, and professor of political science at DePaul University in Chicago.

Sunday, May 28 at 6pm
Riverwest Public House Cooperative
815 E Locust St.
Milwaukee, WI 53212

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