Educate All Students: Larry Miller's Blog

August 17, 2016

Milwaukee’s War on Black People

Filed under: BlackLivesMatter,Milwaukee Community Devastation — millerlf @ 11:29 am

 

Sarah Lazare
August 15, 2016
Alternet
Protesters taking to the streets today say that police violence against black residents of Milwaukee remains systemic. “You see anger, just the anger and the frustration of a community that has suffered atrocities and oppression on behalf of what they deem to be the police oppressive system, that has never seemingly been held accountable for taking the life, like the young man said, of their loved ones,” Muhibb Dyer, a community activist said.

Maria Hamilton, mother of Dontre Hamilton, leads the march Monday along Water St. during a Coalition for Justice rally at Red Arrow Park in downtown Milwaukee, Calvin Mattheis,

Donald Trump supporter and Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke has built a national profile by openly declaring war on the Black Lives Matter movement, from the floor of the Republican National Convention to the pages of national media outlets, once even proclaiming on social media that racial justice protesters will “join forces” with ISIS.

Now that some Milwaukee residents have staged days of open rebellion against police violence following the cop killing of 23-year-old Sylville K. Smith, Clarke is ratcheting up his rhetoric. During a press conference on Sunday, he employed dog-whistle racist language, stating that “the urban pathologies have to be addressed to shrink the growth of an underclass.” Clarke went on to argue that, from Baltimore to Ferguson to Milwaukee, there is a “war on police,” and vowed to escalate his crackdown on demonstrators. Meanwhile, Gov. Scott Walker on Sunday declared a state of emergency and activated the national guard against protesters.

But in a city that has been called the most segregated urban area in America, angry demonstrators are telling a different story, of a state-sanctioned war against poor black residents. This perspective was described by Sedan Smith, who identified himself to local outlet CBS 58 as the brother of Sylville Smith.

“It’s the police. This is the madness that they spark up. This is what they encourage. This is what they provoke. This is what you get. You take a loved one from something, this is what you get,” Smith declared on Saturday, standing in view of an auto parts store engulfed in flames. “I don’t know when it’s going to end. But it’s for y’all to start. We’re not the ones that’s killing us. Y’all killing us. We can’t make a change if you all don’t change.”

Before Sylville Smith was killed, Milwaukee was already reeling from former Milwaukee police officer Chistopher Manney’s killing of Dontre Hamilton, a mentally ill black man, with 14 gunshots in 2014. While Manney was fired from his position, he did not face any charges for the murder, and Milwaukee residents staged Black Lives Matter demonstrations to protest his impunity.

Protesters taking to the streets today say that police violence against black residents of Milwaukee remains systemic. “You see anger, just the anger and the frustration of a community that has suffered atrocities and oppression on behalf of what they deem to be the police oppressive system, that has never seemingly been held accountable for taking the life, like the young man said, of their loved ones,” Muhibb Dyer, a community activist and co-founder of the organization Flood the Hood with Dreams, told Democracy Now.

But in Milwaukee, injustices against black people extend far beyond policing. A 2013 study from the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee found the state has the highest incarceration rate for black men in the country at 13 percent. Report authors John Pawasarat and Lois M. Quinn note:

The prison population in Wisconsin has more than tripled since 1990, fueled by increased government funding for drug enforcement (rather than treatment) and prison construction, three-strike rules, mandatory minimum sentence laws, truth-in-sentencing replacing judicial discretion in setting punishments, concentrated policing in minority communities, and state incarceration for minor probation and supervision violations. Particularly impacted were African American males, with the 2010 U.S. Census showing Wisconsin having the highest black male incarceration rate in the nation. In Milwaukee County over half of African American men in their 30s have served time in state prison.”

Not surpringly, Wisconsin’s budget allots more for incarceration than for schooling. Four out of every five African-American children in Milwaukee live in poverty.

A report released last year by the University of California at Los Angeles found that schools in Milwaukee suspend black students at nearly two times the national average. Meanwhile, Wisconsin has the worst achievement gap between white and black students in the United States, thanks largely to the Milwaukee public school system, which has been systematically defunded and privatized for more than two decades.

Racial disparities extend to home lending. A study released in July by the National Community Reinvestment Coalition found, “In the Milwaukee Metropolitan Statistical Area, whites represent 70 percent of the population, yet received 81 percent of the loans. African Americans are 16 percent of the population yet only received four percent of the loans.”

NPR’s Kenya Downs wrote an article last year raising the question, “Why is Milwaukee so bad for black people?” Downs wrote: “Milwaukee is a vibrant city known for its breweries and ethnic festivals and can be a great place to live — unless you’re black. Statistically, it is one of the worst places in the country for African-Americans to reside.”

When Baltimore erupted in uprisings last year following the violent death of Freddie Gray in police custody, angry protesters, most of them black youth, were widely demonized. Yet a recently released Department of Justice investigation into that city’s police department vindicates protesters’ outrage, exposing law enforcement’s atrocities against poor black communities, including systematic harassment, violence and degradation.

Now, like their counterparts in Baltimore, the black youth of Milwaukee are being demonized as thugs and criminals by the police department entrusted to protect and serve them. Bolstered by a hate-fueled presidential campaign, Sheriff Clarke is escalating his demagogic incitement against the very people he and his city have failed.

Sarah Lazare is a staff writer for AlterNet. A former staff writer for Common Dreams, she coedited the book About Face: Military Resisters Turn Against War.

This article was made possible by the readers and supporters of AlterNet.

 

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August 13, 2016

Half of Wisconsin’s Black Neighborhoods Are Jails

Filed under: BlackLivesMatter,Milwaukee Community Devastation — millerlf @ 8:05 am

17-year-old Lew Blank researched race and housing in his state and found some disturbing patterns.

AP/Gerald Herbert

17-year-old Lew Blank was fiddling around with the Weldon Cooper Center’s Racial Dot Map when he discovered something disturbing about Wisconsin, where he lives: More than half of the African-American neighborhoods in the state are actually jails. Not only that, but the rest of the black neighborhoods across the state are either apartment complexes, Section 8 housing, or homeless shelters—the lone exception being a working-middle class section of Milwaukee.

Sharing this info on the Young, Gifted, and Black Coalition’s blog, Blank explains that he used the Racial Dot Map to identify where predominantly black neighborhoods—defined as “a certain area where the majority of residents are African Americans”—are located throughout the state. There are 56 of them, 31 of which are either jails or prisons. There are 15 cities where the only black neighborhood is a jail. The city of Winnebago claims it has an African-American population of more than 19 percent, but most, if not all, of that black population is located among one of four correctional facilities there. It’s perhaps no wonder that Wisconsin perennially comes up as the worst place for African Americans to live in the country.

Below are a few maps from Blank’s Wisconsin collection—blue dots represent white residents, yellow dots are for Latinos, and green dots are for African Americans:

(Lew Blank)

In Madison, the circled “J” area is the location of the city’s largest jail. Every other area circled is Section 8 housing, save for two apartment complexes (“D” and “G”) and two homeless shelters (“I” and “K”). Read more from Blank about Madison’s racial disparities here.

(Lew Blank)

The large circled area of Milwaukee marked with an “A” is the lone black neighborhood in the state of Wisconsin that is not a prison or mostly low-income housing. That said, there are two areas within that large circle, and one area adjacent to it that are correctional facilities. Another predominantly black area way at the southern tip of the city (“E”) is also a jail.

(Lew Blank)

Three of the seven “black neighborhoods” in Racine are actually correctional facilities: The section circled by “B” contains two jails.

These disparities are not without consequence. Cities and legislative districts with mostly white populations are able to draw down extra federal resources based on their incarcerated minority populations through a sketchy practice called “prison gerrymandering.”

But Blank’s own conclusions about his map findings stand on their own:

Despite this terrible epidemic, it seems that whenever people try to speak out against it, they are met with backlash and apathy. Whenever people failed by a racially disparate economic system, a business-as-usual governmental system, and a rooted-in-slavery police system demand much-needed, life-or-death systemic changes by marching in the streets and chanting “Black Lives Matter,” they are somehow met with disdain for simply fighting for their freedom and their right to self-determination.

Perhaps instead of not listening to the experiences of Wisconsin’s and the nation’s Black [communities], we should lend our ears to their demands.

This kid is woke.

May 12, 2014

Sixty years after Brown decision, a new Jim Crow doctrine is rising

By James Hall and Barbara Miner May 10, 2014 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

 
It is time to fulfill the promise of Brown vs. Board of Education — the most important Supreme Court decision of the 20th century.
Sixty years ago, on May 17, 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled that “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.” Equally important, the court’s decision overturned the Jim Crow doctrine of “separate but equal” that had upheld segregation in all aspects of life, from jobs to buses to drinking fountains.
“The movement for African-American civil rights began long before the Brown decision and continues long after,” the Smithsonian National Museum of American History notes. “Still, the defeat of the separate-but-equal legal doctrine undercut one of the major pillars of white supremacy in America.”
Jim Crow took aim at the gains of African-Americans after slavery. Today, this country is witnessing a “New Jim Crow” that attempts to undermine the gains of the civil rights movement. This New Jim Crow fosters both racial and economic inequities.
Segregated schools and housing are the norm. Voting rights are under attack. Mass incarceration is destroying families and communities. Deadly “stand your ground” and “castle doctrine” laws are proliferating. Deportations and anti-immigrant prejudice are on the rise.
Milwaukee, unfortunately, has become a poster child for the New Jim Crow. Consider:
■Black-white residential segregation in greater Milwaukee is the worst in the country.
■Greater Milwaukee’s residential segregation based on poverty is the worst in the country.
■Wisconsin is last among all the states in protecting the well-being of African-American children, based on 12 key indicators ranging from birth weight to family poverty to teen pregnancy to high school students graduating on time. (Most of the state’s African-Americans live in Milwaukee.)
■Wisconsin locks up a higher percentage of African-American men than any other state — in a country that incarcerates more people than any other nation.
■The achievement gap between African-American and white students, based on what is known as “the nation’s report card,” is the worst in Wisconsin in every test category.
■The disparity gap in African-American and white employment among women in Milwaukee is the widest in the country. For men, is it the widest among the top 40 metropolitan areas.
That’s the bad news. The good news is that a growing number of people throughout the Milwaukee region want to do something. Two indications:
First, on May 17, the Schools and Communities United coalition is holding events to honor public education and to underscore the inherent links between strong public schools, healthy communities and a vibrant democracy. (Its forthcoming publication, “Fulfill the Promise,” has details on the issues outlined here.)
The coalition includes community, education, civic, student, labor and religious organizations — from the NAACP to Milwaukee Inner-City Congregations Allied for Hope, Centro Hispano Milwaukee, Voces de la Frontera and the Milwaukee Teachers’ Education Association.
Second, an initiative known as “Greater Together” is launching a summer-long media campaign focused on dismantling segregation and promoting social justice throughout greater Milwaukee. This unprecedented campaign is a unique collaboration between the creative and activist communities.
America’s journey of democracy always has been a work in progress. This is the challenge of the 21st century. Will we build a multicultural democracy, or will we build ever-more sophisticated structures that divide white from non-white, rich from poor, city from suburb, Democrat from Republican?
Predictions are that by next fall, for the first time, most of the children in our public schools will be non-white. By 2050, the majority of the U.S. population is expected to be non-white.
America has a chance, once again, to prove to the world that we are a beacon of hope and inspiration. We have a chance to build a multicultural democracy. But it is not a foregone conclusion.
Which brings us back to Brown.
In the decision on segregation in the public schools, the court noted that “education is perhaps the most important function of state and local governments.” The justices went on to recognize “the importance of education to our democratic society,” calling education “the very foundation of good citizenship.”
Milwaukee, unfortunately, is not just a poster child for the New Jim Crow. It also is a poster child for school privatization— in particular the school voucher movement, under which public tax dollars pay the tuition at private schools.
Milwaukee, perhaps more than any other city, forces the question: If public education is a bedrock of democracy and an essential governmental function, why are we privatizing our public schools?
May 17 provides a chance for a new beginning throughout the Milwaukee region — to learn from the past to build a better future. The time has come to work together to dismantle segregation, rebuild our public schools and ensure equal opportunity for all.
As the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. said 50 years ago when he visited Milwaukee: “The time is always ripe to do right.”
James Hall is president of the Milwaukee chapter of the NAACP. Barbara Miner is a writer and photographer. Both have been involved with Schools and Communities United and the Greater Together initiative.

Read more from Journal Sentinel: http://www.jsonline.com/news/opinion/sixty-years-after-brown-decision-a-new-jim-crow-doctrine-is-rising-b99265155z1-258710061.html#ixzz31XIEzdIj

 

May 8, 2011

Institute for Wisconsin’s Future: Revenue is Key for Wisconsin Budget

Filed under: Milwaukee Community Devastation,Scott Walker — millerlf @ 12:28 pm

Yes, it’s time to bring up that ‘T’ word

By Karen Royster and Jack Norman May 7, 2011 MJS

It’s time to talk about taxes.

The proposed 2011-2013 state budget cuts more than $2 billion from education, community services and infrastructure, medical assistance and other programs. This assumes that Wisconsin cannot afford to maintain good schools and safe neighborhoods. The public knows this is not true.

Across Wisconsin and the nation, people are telling pollsters that higher taxes must be a part of the solution to budget problems.

About 70% of Wisconsinites favor higher income taxes on the wealthiest, according to recent surveys by the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute and WisconsinReporter.com. New national polls by McClatchy-Marist and Washington Post/ABC News found the same result.

It’s time for legislators to openly discuss a balanced approach to the budget.

A balanced approach uses both program efficiencies and revenue expansion to sustain quality services and infrastructure during rough economic times.

Our grandparents built strong communities with extensive transportation networks, beautiful parks, health programs and excellent education. The state is allowing these treasures to fall into disrepair by cutting our investment in them. But there are constructive alternatives.

A recent report – “A Catalog of Tax Reform Options for Wisconsin” – offers 30 ways to generate state revenue to prevent drastic cuts. Not every option should be adopted, but enacting some would help balance the state budget while protecting vital programs.

Basing estimates on the latest state reports, options include:

Taxes on the wealthiest

• Increasing the top income tax rate (which applies to income above $300,000 for married couples) from 7.75% to 9.0%: $125 million a year.

• A tax on inheritances of more than $1 million dollars (exempting family farms): $107 million.

• Fully taxing investment profits/capital gains on investments outside Wisconsin: $50 million.

Taxes on large corporations

• A tax on oil company receipts: $171 million.

• Blocking proposals to reopen corporate income tax loopholes: $40 million.

Sales tax

• Increasing state sales tax from 5% to 6% (one penny per dollar): $870 million. (A portion of the funds would go for tax credits, such as the Homestead Credit, to offset the impact on low-income people.)

• A sales tax on personal, business and professional services: $731 million.

Other changes

• Raising tax on beer, wine and liquor to national averages: $42 million.

• Staffing the Department of Revenue to increase collection of delinquent taxes: Over $40 million.

• A 2% assessment on health care providers parallel to the fee on hospitals: $475 million (which would generate $712 million more in federal funds, to reimburse providers).

Spending is not the problem. Wisconsin is frugal with government. Census Bureau data show that per-person spending on state and local government is below the national average and the number of public workers relative to population is among the 10 lowest in the nation.

Revenue is the problem. One reason Wisconsin has a deficit is the many tax cuts in recent decades. Income tax cuts alone since the late 1990s depress revenue by well over $1 billion annually. Middle-class homeowners pay an increasing portion of state taxes, compared with high-income households and very large corporations.

A balanced budget strategy is crucial for economic recovery. What discourages business growth isn’t slightly higher taxes but deteriorating roads and bridges, unskilled job applicants, a lack of public security and dirty parks.

A balanced approach to budgets means everyone is a part of the solution. It means those who are most capable contribute a greater amount to the common good. This is as much a part of Wisconsin’s tradition as hard work, good beer and shared prosperity.

Karen Royster is executive director of the Institute for Wisconsin’s Future; Jack Norman is research director.

April 29, 2011

Hypocrisy Exposed: Firefighter’s Union President David Seager Opposes Privatization for City Firefighters, But Supports Privatization for Public Education

Filed under: Milwaukee Community Devastation,Privatization — millerlf @ 10:51 am

Milwaukee Firefighters Union President David Seager said in an MJS article today it was “a serious waste of taxpayer money” to study privatization (of Milwaukee Fire Department), an idea he called “ludicrous,” “myopic” and “absurd.”

Yet in an April 16 MJS op-ed Seagar supports expansion of privatization of public education. There he says “The school choice expansion gives our families strong reasons to continue to live and work and play in the city they love. Moreover, it “affords” them the opportunity to educate their children while remaining in the city.”

To see his full op-ed go to: http://www.jsonline.com/news/opinion/119949709.html)

Following is today’s MJS article that quotes Seager:

Alderman calls for overhaul of Milwaukee Fire Department

By Larry Sandler of the Journal Sentinel April 28, 2011

A Milwaukee alderman called Thursday for studying a major overhaul of the city’s Fire Department, including the prospects for hiring private companies to deliver emergency medical service and fire service, or consolidating operations with the suburbs and county.

“We’re living with a 1970s solution for how we provide fire protection,” Ald. Terry Witkowski said at a City Hall news conference, referring to the time when emergency medical service was transferred from the Police Department to the Fire Department. He said the city should find a way to provide “the same level of service, the same degree of safety, but at lower cost.”

The idea quickly drew opposition from the Milwaukee Professional Firefighters Association, which has repeatedly battled attempts to trim firefighter staffing.

Union President David Seager said it was “a serious waste of taxpayer money” to study privatization, an idea he called “ludicrous,” “myopic” and “absurd.” Seager said private ambulances could not respond to medical emergencies as quickly, efficiently or professionally as Fire Department units do.

Asked if he had discussed the study with the firefighters union or Fire Chief Mark Rohlfing, Witkowski said the quickest way to kill one of his own ideas would be to “go to the enemy first.”

Witkowski and Aldermen Robert Puente and Ashanti Hamilton, who joined him at the news conference, later said they did not consider the union to be their enemy, but that their responsibility to manage the city in taxpayers’ interests differed from the union’s duty to represent its members’ interests.

Rohlfing did not return a call seeking comment.

Emergency medical service has grown to 80% of the Fire Department’s calls. Witkowski questioned whether the city’s four ambulance companies could provide the same service at lower cost.

And if 80% of the department’s work is cut, Witkowski said, it was worth asking whether the city still needs 36 firehouses, staffed by 232 firefighters on each 24-hour shift, to handle an average of about 500 fire-related calls, including 36 major blazes, each year. He wants council researchers to study hiring a private company to operate the fire service or merging operations with neighboring suburbs or the county.

Mayor Tom Barrett also has advocated studying consolidation of local fire departments, among other services.

Witkowski said his move was prompted by Gov. Scott Walker’s 2011-’13 state budget, which would cut state aid to local governments and limit property tax increases.

Walker has said local governments could compensate for the cuts by raising employee benefit contributions, as provided in his budget-repair legislation. But as Witkowski noted, that measure excludes union-represented police and firefighters, who account for some two-thirds of the city’s costs. Court challenges have put the law on hold, and the city attorney’s office has questioned whether it can legally apply to the city pension fund.

Witkowski said the city has been cutting and reorganizing other agencies for 20 years, while the police and fire departments have largely escaped cuts until recent years, when firefighter staffing has been reduced.

Hamilton said studying changes in the Fire Department doesn’t mean they will be implemented, “but for us not to take a look at it . . . would be irresponsible.”

In another consolidation move, a Common Council committee voted Thursday to explore sharing prescription drug coverage with other local governments.

If the full council agrees Tuesday with its Finance & Personnel Committee, the city would seek proposals for pharmaceutical coverage not only for its own employees, but also for those of Milwaukee County, Milwaukee Public Schools, Milwaukee Area Technical College and the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District. The vendors’ proposals would compare the cost of covering each government separately with covering all five as a group.

April 21, 2011

Paid Sick Days: Is this What Democracy Looks Like?


 ( 1 / 1 )

Great Editorial Column on Paid Sick Days

Filed under: Milwaukee Community Devastation,Right Wing Agenda — millerlf @ 11:58 am

Against workers and Milwaukee

April 19, 2011 O. Ricardo Pimentel Editorial Column MJS

In November ’08, city of Milwaukee voters approved a sick pay ordinance with 69% of the vote.

Such margins of victory generally prompt folks to proclaim, “The people have spoken.” Such descriptors as “overwhelming” and that old standby “landslide” get bandied about.

Here’s what the state Legislature and their business enablers say: “Shut up.”

Are you sick and your boss wants you to come to work or dock your pay? Tough noogies, they, including the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce, say. Your kid is sick and needs to stay home from school, and you don’t want to leave her home alone? Sounds like a personal problem to us.

I’m translating business-speak into plain English here. Actually, they – along with Mayor Tom Barrett – are saying that this will put Milwaukee businesses at a competitive disadvantage because businesses in other cities in other counties get to be as cruel as they need to be to protect their bottom lines. This, to create jobs in which they can dock pay from you for being sick and that they can fire you from if you have a sick kid.

To save Milwaukee from the horrors of good public health – want germs with that burger, sir? – and making Milwaukee a great place to work, the Legislature has made it unlawful for cities to set sick days for businesses in their communities.

Instead, the cities will have to follow the state template on family and medical leave. Which doesn’t include sick days.

Got that? The Legislature will impose a fix for Milwaukee’s sensible detour into workplace sanity by imposing its own policy on sick days, which amounts to no policy at all on the topic.

It is resorting to this because MMAC exhausted its immediate legal remedies. After much legal wrangling, including a 3-3 state Supreme Court tie, an appeals court upheld the ordinance. It’s legal, in other words.

No problem. The Legislature, restrained only by how high the ceilings are when business says “jump,” just redefined what’s legal.

The ordinance would have required large businesses to give employees up to nine paid sick days a year; small businesses, five.

Tim Sheehy, who heads MMAC and is a genuinely nice guy, by the way, said that most large businesses already have generous sick day policies. His group’s concern is a requirement that sets inconsistent rules across the state, affecting businesses with outlets across the state. Smaller businesses, but I’m guessing he means other businesses as well, “don’t need an arbitrary standard of care on how to attract and keep” employees, Sheehy said.

But, businesses – and the rest of us – often need precisely that. And business views any requirement as “arbitrary.”

Businesses, in fact, resist anything that threatens prerogative and profit, though it’s unlikely that providing sick days does this. There is evidence to the contrary.

So, businesses have fought everything from minimum-wage increases to smoking bans to eight-hour workdays to laws banning discrimination to the very state act that the Legislature is now using to pre-empt local voters. You’d think that track record would tell us something.

But, OK, this is what businesses do, through groups such as MMAC and Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce. Tax breaks, relaxed regulation, having the Legislature pretend climate change isn’t real – all fine. A break for workers never seems to be on the agenda. For that, there is union influence. Oh, right; sore topic. Sorry. Let’s not go there.

But what makes this so much more wrong here is the pre-emption of a voter-approved ordinance. The Legislature is overturning local control, expressed in an overwhelming vote at the polls.

Oh, I forgot; the smoking ban. Folks crying about local control now weren’t shedding tears over a Legislature-imposed ban statewide. Right. But do you recall an overwhelming local vote banning smoking bans? I don’t. And weren’t the anti-ban folks the ones mostly kvetching about local control back then?

But the policy matters in any case. Smoking bans save lives. Sick days better lives – and workplaces. Can’t have that.

As of this writing, the governor had not signed the bill. I hope he surprises and vetoes it.

That’s because, with the collective bargaining law, the Legislature and governor have evidenced abundant anti-worker sentiment. This pre-emption seconds the motion. And, with sick days, they will be saying that direct democracy is only what they say it is.

O. Ricardo Pimentel is a Journal Sentinel editorial columnist, blogger and writer. E-mail rpimentel@journalsentinel.com

April 13, 2011

Milwaukee Brotherhood of Firefighters Supports Keeping Residency Rule

Filed under: Milwaukee Community Devastation,Scott Walker — millerlf @ 11:46 am

Firefighter group backs keeping residency rule Group says rule helps Milwaukee maintain tax base

By Gitte Laasby of the Journal Sentinel April 12, 2011

The Milwaukee Brotherhood of Firefighters came out in support of the city’s residency requirement Tuesday, calling it a way to maintain the city’s tax base.

The firefighters group is concerned that a proposal by suburban Republican legislators to drop the requirement would lead people to flee the city.

“It’s not so much what will happen right now. What will happen 10 years from now, 15 years from now?” said Brotherhood President DeWayne Smoots. “Everybody couldn’t put their house on the market and move right now anyway, but what about 10 years from now . . . Detroit didn’t fall apart over night. It fell apart over years.”

Milwaukee is already the fourth-poorest city in the nation, he said.

(more…)

January 24, 2011

Journal Sentinel Editor asks “why, why?” In some Milwaukee communities babies are dying at rates comparable to Third world countries.

Filed under: Milwaukee Community Devastation,Poverty,Right Wing Agenda — millerlf @ 10:06 pm

The Journal on Sunday ran articles about infant mortality in Milwaukee.

In the article and editorial they looked at the infant mortality rate of zip code 53206.

This zip code is 94.6% African American.

Only 4% of citizens in this zip code have college degrees.

The median income in this zip code is $20,787/year

In this zip code 39.2% of families are officially below the poverty line.

In this zip code the teen birth rate is 78.77/1000.

If you walk across the street from Talgo Inc. manufacturing on 27th street, on Milwaukee’s north side, you are standing in the 53206 zip code. The same devastated community that has lost manufacturing jobs, because Governor Walker (with silence from the MMAC) refused Federal aid for high speed rail, now is shown to have an infant mortality rate comparable to Colombia, Thailand and Syria. This same community would have been served by manufacturing jobs in its neighborhood and by access to jobs in an economic corridor running from Milwaukee to Madison.

This travesty is due to Milwaukee’s power elite and status quo abandoning economic development and job creation leaving communities like 53206 comparable to post-Katrina conditions. Instead they have put their efforts toward eliminating family supporting jobs, as witnessed at Harley Davidson, and preventing implementation of the public’s desire for common sense policies like paid sick days.

Right now the MMAC has picked as its main campaign, expansion and support for private school vouchers and the dismantling of public education.

Where’s the plan for economic development?

Where’s the plan for job creation?

Read the following articles on Milwaukee’s infant mortality rate from Sunday’ Journal Sentinel:

http://www.jsonline.com/news/milwaukee/114430779.html

http://www.jsonline.com/news/milwaukee/114430774.html

January 6, 2011

School Board President Bonds Responds to Alderman Hines On MPS Buildings Issue

Filed under: Milwaukee Community Devastation — millerlf @ 10:38 am

The role of City government in addressing Milwaukee’s problems is questioned.

To see the full statement go to:

School Board President Bonds Responds to Willie Hines

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